Some people don't know nothing about the world; like Zeke. Zeke is a nice cat, and he knows his stuff - which is taking pictures - but he don't know shit from Shinola outside of his studio. It don't matter to him if one bunch of arabs be killin' some other bunch - he got other things to think about.
Mostly Pussy. Sometimes it seems like Pussy is the only thing on Zeke's mind. No wonder - the boy spends all day taking pictures of it, and all night developing and printing so Rico, his boss, can deliver to all the porn-shops downtown. Zeke likes it. He told me it's the perfect job for him.
We was talkin' one time, and he told me that when he closes his eyes, all he sees is Pussy. Just a bunch of little pussy lips in space lookin' back at him. " It's like flowers," he said, " like a bunch of flowers of all shapes, sizes, and textures. They're so smooth and soft, the way those little labia curl around, it's just like petals on a fragrant blossom. All covered with sparkling, fresh dew drops, in the morning sun. The air heavy with their perfume...They're bright little flowers, set there to snag our attention, so we'll deposit our pollen and insure the future of the species."
That's how Zeke is. He reads too many books, I think. You got to pay some attention to what's goin' down, here on the street. There's a lot more happening than just Pussy. That's how Zeke got himself in trouble. He just wasn't payin' attention.
Zeke was working for this Italian guy, Rico. They were doing custom photo work for some of the porn-shops downtown. They were shooting in a warehouse down by Fisherman's Wharf. It was Rico's business, Zeke just handled the photo work. Rico would bring the chicks down in his limo, and Zeke would shoot all day, then stay late and develop his stuff in time for Rico to get it all out to the stores by midnight or so. It was all request stuff. You want a red-head down on her knees, with a bannana in her hole? No problem. A black chick eating out a yellow one? Whatever. Rico would put it together for you.
He was a drag to work for - always all over Zeke's case. Zeke never did anything fast enough or good enough; the guy was impossible to please. And he was always short on the bread too, always had some story or something. Zeke still made out okay, but he wasn't getting paid nearly what he should have been.
Zeke loved the job though, checking out all them fine beavers all the time. I seen some of the chicks, too, when I cruised by there once looking for Zeke. They were truly excellent.
Anyway, I was hanging out at Clown Alley one night getting a burger, when I seen Zeke come sliding in. He is a raggedy-looking dude; long hair, beard, and with a little earring in his right ear. He sat down and started tuggin' on his beard.
" Zeke! what's up? You out early tonight or what?"
" I don't know. Rico told me to cut out. I think he wanted to use the warehouse." He was all nervous, talkin' kind of fast. "I don't like it, Cindy's with him. He's such a fucking sleaze-ball...he was hanging around after I split, tonight. He came in right after the day's shoot, and said I could develop tomorrow. Kinda weird, he's usually in a big hurry." Zeke looked around, and shook his head. " I don't know what's going on; I hope he isn't gonna pull something on me..."
" Whatdya mean? What's he doin?"
" I just don't like the idea of him being up there alone with Cindy. He's such a degenerate."
Zeke is a sap for these chicks that he works with. He thinks they are the sweetest things in the world. And they know an overgrown puppy when they see one - they run Zeke around in circles. The fact that they are up there flashing their goodies for the whole world doesn't enter into his thinking. Zeke, he's unreal when it comes to chicks; just not in touch.
Cindy, he especially likes. She is gorgeous, but money hungry and cold as Alaska, inside. I'm not sure she even has a heart - maybe just a one of those pumps in there or something.
Zeke was in a stew. He didn't like the idea that Cindy might be there at the warehouse, alone with Rico,in the middle of the night.
" She wasn't wearing hardly anything, she'll be cold if she stays there. Maybe I should go back and see if she needs to borrow a jacket or something..." It was a weak effort. Less convincing than used dishwater.
" Oh man," I told him, " she probably ain't wearing nothing by now! What do you think Rico took her up there for anyway? You think maybe they're playing Penochle or something..?"
" Well, I'm gonna go by on my way home and see if she wants to borrow a coat or something. I'll check you later..."
" Don't man! Just let it lay..." But he never heard me. Reality had no place on his menu. He probably had a little picture of Cindy's fur rug stuck in front of his mental eyeball, kept him from seeing anything else.
What did I care? Rico would just yell at him, and give him an even smaller percentage of what was supposed to be his cut, next payday. But that wasn't how things turned out.
Next time I saw Zeke, was when I went down to the courthouse to visit him. He was in a holding cell waiting to go up on charges of possesion of Cocaine.
What happened was that Zeke was prowling around outside the warehouse, trying to look in the windows. He wanted to see if Rico and Cindy were still inside. Some neighbor called the cops, and for once, they came. Zeke, he starts talkin' to the man; tried to tell them he worked there and shit. So when the cops went inside, they found a lot of stuff - photo equipment, and things - with Zeke's name on it. They also found a kilo of coke, a set of scales, and packaging materials.
Rico and Cindy of course are gone. Probably out the back-door. Zeke was smart enough not to mention Rico to the cops; Rico has lots of friends out at the county jail - which is where Zeke figured out real quick that he was headed.
After he copped a plea, they gave him a bullet at the county farm and I went out to visit him again. He won't even do the whole year, it's only nine months with good-time. I figured I ought to see how my home-boy was gettin' along, take him some money for smokes and stuff. I was wonderin' what he saw when he closed his eyes, now.
" Hey! Check it out man! You look like you be jailin'! Flyin' with style/ Doin' your time with a smile..." Zeke looked healthy, I guess he was eatin'. Not too much else to do in there.
" Hey! It's cool...they put me out in the garden, at least I can work with flowers...Oh man, they got this drug counselor that comes in Sundays. It's a group therapy deal, they bring some of the chicks in from the women's side. I been goin' whenever I can. It's nice, just to, you know, sit around near a woman..."
I know right where Zeke was coming from. It's hard in there. Just cause there's no place to put it - no place you or I would want to put it - doesn't mean it doesn't get hard. You just gotta make do with what's at hand.
" ...And I met this nice chick..." he lowered his voice, and looked around, " she wants me to ask you if you could bring us in something. I don't know, something from her mom or something that the guards won't let her have...You could just drop it off in the flower bed near the visitors parking -they always send me and a couple other guys out there Sunday evenings to clean up..."
It was that fur rug, again, in front of his eyes. All them crinkly little hairs fucked up the boy's vision. No wonder he saw things funny; didn't see some things at all...
" Come on Zeke, who are you kidding...something from her mom, that the guards won't let her have? Gimme a break! She just settin' us up man. You don't even know this bitch, and you talkin' to her about bringing things in? You're fucked up Zeke! I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear this shit..." I couldn't believe the boy would be so lame.
" Zeke, you gotta learn to look at a woman and see something besides her Pussy. Check her out a little before you put yourself on the line...I gotta go man," I told him. " I can't listen to no more of this shit, it's too depressing."
I left some bucks in his account, and took off. I didn't go out to see him again. It's a long ways from downtown.
Zeke gets out in a couple more weeks, and I heard from him a few days ago. I guess he got an offer to do some camera work for a guy from L.A. Zeke is good with a camera, but I wonder if seeing that much Pussy doesn't do something to your perspective. I hope Zeke learns something about women, but I doubt it, considering he hasn't had much chance to study the subject lately. And when he did, it didn't seem to do him any good anyway.
That boy better get the flower petals out of his eyes, 'else he just gonna get hung up all over again on the thorns.
Story © 1995 by Jan Marica