(Nathan Cyprys, Dog Barker, Air Kicker, on his Island Home, 2011)
We used to throw gang signs around until the day a bunch of gangsters chased after us in Pete's car, looked at us with eyes peering from bandanas and reversed ballcaps, looking real mean, even evil. Those were the most menacing look eyes I had ever seen, and when their leader spoke, his voice muffled by bandana, it pierced my spine with intoxicated fear, this shit was real.
Eventually we apologized enough and they called us pussies enough that they lost interest in having us had pissed our pants. Our night, which started off as fun and careless, full of shenans was over, filled with battery acid; a byproduct of adrenaline. We couldn't end this night like this, we needed to get these shakes from our fingers and toes out into the ground, we needed to turn this night from it's previous turn and form what is called the flipping a bitch.
When Rufus took off his sock and fed it down the remains of his bottle of JB I never thought he'd light it, yelling at Pete to catch up to those gangsters, and that when we finally reached them that he'd throw it at their car. I remember shitting myself, even before the moment of impact, I started yelling at him, worried that the bottle was going to ignite in his hand, shattering glass, fire, and burning whiskey on all of us. And when that bottle disappeared from his hand, and returned with a smile on his face, it took us closer to him as he whispered to our furry ears that we were gangsters now, some real gangsters that never sleep, because sleep is the cousin of death, and we'll sleep when we're dead. All while this was happening, there was fire all around us, the gangsters' car had ran off the road, busting into flames, and we could see them running with fiery haircuts. I searched myself for any emotion and there wasn't nothing, the field they crashed in was burning too, and smoke slowly filled the scene. The stars were out, the sky was clear, and the wind blew in from the coast. If it didn't feel surreal before all of this, we were in a dream now, seeing them dancing there, yelling a familiar tune, I swear to God they were singing, in perfect unison, and if I listened close enough I could hear Tha Crossroads*.
Eventually even they would fall, our days as kids were gone, and buried beneath the soil they smoldered on. Inside their car we found guns, spare bandanas, a large collection of Bone Thugs and Mack Daddy, and something deeply profound, we knew perfectly well what we were going to be from now on. If I look back to that moment, I never would've guessed I'd become a man like that, with some Aztec princess tying a bandana over my month, giving me a kiss on the cheek, and as she walked off my hand slapping her hind, just before we rolled off into the fog of the night. That would be the last this world we know of me, or at least the me I left behind in that smokey field.
On nights like this, if you listen close enough you can hear my crew and I, from far off and away, the sounds of hydraulic screaming and trunk door slamming, with gangster rap and deep bass, the ground rumbling and the howling men. Word to your mother.