You mean, let me understand this … cuz I … maybe its me, maybe I’m a little fucked up maybe. I’m funny how? I mean funny, like I’m a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? Whattya you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?
Well, we weren’t married to nine-to-five guys, but the first time I realized how different was when Mickey had a hostess party. They had bad skin and wore too much make-up. I mean, they didn’t look very good. They looked beat-up. And the stuff they wore was thrown together and cheap. A lot of pant suits and double knits. And they talked about how rotten their kids were and about beating them with broom handles and leather belts. But that the kids still didn’t pay any attention…After a while, it got to be all normal. None of it seemed like crimes. It was more like Henry was enterprising and that he and the guys were making a few bucks hustling, while the other guys were sitting on their asses waiting for hand-outs. Our husbands weren’t brain surgeons. They were blue-collar guys. The only way they could make extra money, real extra money, was to go out and cut a few corners…We were all so very close. I mean, there were never any outsiders around. Absolutely never. And being together all the time made everything seem all the more normal.
Now go home and get your fucking shinebox!
I had to start braising the beef, pork butt and veal shanks for the tomato sauce. It was Michael’s favorite. I was making ziti with the meat gravy and I’m planning to roast some peppers over the flames and I was gonna put on some string beans with some olive oil and garlic, and I had some beautiful cutlets that were cut just right, that I was going to fry up before dinner just as an appetizer. So I was home for about an hour. Now my plan was to start the dinner early so Karen and I could unload the guns that Jimmy didn’t want, and then get the package for Lois to take to Atlanta for her trip later that night.
See, the hardest thing for me was leaving the life. I still love the life. And we were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I’d bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I’d either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. Didn’t matter. It didn’t mean anything. When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it’s all over. And that’s the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There’s no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States. Even before I first wandered into the cabstand for an afterschool job I knew I wanted to be a part of them. It was there that I knew that I belonged. To me, it meant being somebody in the neighborhood that was full of nobodies. They weren’t like anybody else. I mean, they did whatever they wanted. They double parked in front of a hydrant and nobody ever game them a ticket. In the summer when they played cards all night, nobody ever called the cops. Tuddy Cicero. Tuddy. Tuddy ran the cabstand in La Bella Vista Pizzeria and a few other places for his brother Paul who was the boss over everybody in the neighborhood. Paulie might have moved slow, but it was only because he didn’t have to move for anybody.