Sunday



The police would come looking for my brother Brad at his job, but it was nearly impossible to find him out there. Brad built houses back then. He could be at any work site out of three hundred or four or five or six hundred that sprawled across a newly cleared field. It was southeastern Virginia Suburbanization - neighborhood construction on a tremendous scale - Virginia Beach - big ass big - as big as any of all Hell's resort towns. But down the street from the biggest navy base in the world and the ship yards to stock it. Brad was out there building homes for people to live in. And Brad never broke a law that wasn't fuckin stupid to begin with.

Where Brad worked, there would be roads that were not even named yet. There would be hundreds of houses in various stages of completion. There wouldn't be phones. There would be brand new sites with cinder blocks sticking out of the ground where no wood had even been nailed down yet. That's how a house starts (a non-slab house). Just a bunch of cinder blocks sticking out of the ground, set in cement, looking like a little cemetery. Then the framers come and build a wooden box on these cinder blocks. Then, using chalk boxes, they pop lines on top of the box, the floor, where the walls will go - they read from blue prints where to pop these lines, where these walls will go. Then nail three layers of 2x4 where the walls go (tack the second to the first). Then pry off the top two, nail studs perpendicular to the bottom of that, and stand that jank up, tack it, level it, nail it off, and you got walls. Haul up the roof trusses next. Well - my brother could have been at any of these sites, engaged any of these various phases of carpentry. Or maybe he was wandering around selling little sandwich bags full of nature's best. You know. There would be hundreds of houses in various stages of completion. There would be hundreds of long-haired wild fuckers out there. Buying and selling. Getting high in half built homes on beautiful days. Tan and muscular and wild. And high. Climbing and perched on the skeletons of homes, passing joints, hanging down like monkeys, tool belts with tools clanking and the guys making jokes and stoned. Crazy music blaring out of a boom boxes. Hard-core fuckers spiking up in port-a-potties. Stoned fuckers speaking in strange lingo, talking about bags of weed, songs, shows, and skateboard tricks and girls and about the cops.

Finding Brad out there was nearly impossible even though just about everybody out there knew him. They bought weed or whatever from him. He'd make hundreds of dollars a week doing that shit. Brad offered good product at good price, and he discouraged competition. He was funny, cunningly funny, screaming and groin pull hernia funny, and he was friendly and he was in and out before you knew it.

When police cars entered the developing development, word spread fast. Guys peeked out between the bones of skeleton houses and yelled to each other - site to site: "Cops!" "Cops!" The other side of the neighborhood knew they were there almost immediately. Brad wasn't the only one with charges or suspicions. Guys who had charges or were being sought or whatever, would calmly take a little break. There wasn't exactly a Human Resources department where the coppers could go and ask the whereabouts of so and so suspect. Guys worked above and under the table. Contractors don't keep the best records. And if you go in there asking for a tall skinny guy with long hair, well, that could be just about anybody out there, except the short guys. So the cops rolled around in futility, and the guys who knew they were being looked for - they hid in places where it would be impossible for any outsider to find them - because they had built their own hiding spot. Their own hiding spot - they built it. And they wait there until the cops leave. And when the cops left, the guys would resume their work. So in a way, the cops drive up the cost of your homes. By disrupting the construction process. You should file a complaint.

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