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Cartre du Tendre

By Bruce Benderson

Call me Casio. Like the keyboard, man. I used to play in a band. Check out the wrist. Digital, bro. I ain't going to settle for less. You says you want to see the neighborhood? Well ain't nobody knows it better than Casio here. This is my territory. I ain't never got less than three bitches working for me at a time. I'm the king of bitches, poppa. But you got to lay the jack on old Casio in advance if you want to see that.

Let me take you down the Deuce here. It ain't what it used to be. Eight, nine years ago it was jumping. I could do this block in ten minutes. Take the stroll and put enough in my pockets for the day. I jump the train in the Bronx cause my pockets was empty. Come up these same stairs with hope in my heart. Let's count the steps between here and that peepshow. One... two... three, four... five and six... seven. In the door and down the stairs. Into Faggotland. Don't let me down now, Moby Dick. Find me a faggot has twelve quarters and two five spots. Sound of the quarters slipping into the slot. Watching me a straight movie, you better believe. This dude needs chocha to get off.
You see, old Casio knowing how to play this scene by timing it. Minute I flip my dick out, I raise my digital to my face. If it's a good cocksucker I can shoot the first load in three minutes flat. If it's a slow gummer or a nipper or wants to give my balls a physical he got five minutes to cover the map. Fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty... Over the finish line with a heavy load gets me ten. Taking these stairs two by two. I got money in my pocket and not a whole lot of time to waste. If traffic ain't bad we take it like this by the diagonal. Two, four, six, eight... we will not procrastinate. Fourteen, twelve, ten and eight... got no time to masturbate.

You got to pay to get in this movie. Putting down five leaves me three, being the faggot gave me eight not ten at the peepshow. Five down but fifteen to come if the action be happening downstairs in the head. What they got in the head you want to know? All kinds of action. I got a homeboy that owes me, fencing shit he boosted from the tourists. Or maybe I got a couple friends holed up in the stalls smoking a doobie. They can do me five or ten till I get paid. But look at that, bro. This must be my lucky day. That fucked-up pair of Reeboks poking under the door of the stall got to be that bootie boy from Jersey. And you smell that shit he be doing right here in the movies? The motherfucker's smoking scotty sure as the fuzz on his little sister's crica.

Get your ass in gear, nino! Haul out of that stall before I fuck you up! What I tell you 'bout smokin' crack in there. I'm a friend of the manager's and he done asked me to keep this place clean. Now empty that shit in my hand or I'll turn your ass in. Gimme the stem too, what you got in them pockets, faggot? You better pass me some jack or I'm going to make pasteles out of you. What you saying you ain't carrying no jack today. Step over here so I can turn you inside out. Look at this, a razor blade? Well I didn't know you was Rambo. Excuse me if I just house your weapon too. Mean to say that all you got but a dollar? Next time you see me you better not forget that you owe me!
Let's go upstairs cause my uncle likely be waiting for me. Maybe you read about us in The Village Voice-? The reason I ask did you read about us in the Voice is that me and my uncle was part of a feature. A reporter steps out of this cab on 42nd saying he come up to cover Times Square for readers don't know how to play it. And I says how'd you like to see the Duke of the Deuce get his tongue bath. All you got to do is pay me the price of the movie. We went in the movies and found the john likes to lay on the floor sucking ten little piggies. The reporter next to me scribbling everything down. Yeah it tickles but I'm a man and I know how to hold back my laugh, I tells him. Only problem was that a Chinese karate come on. The action started and I kicked uncle by accident. He started squealing and the reporter asks what is his name. Well that type don't want their name in the paper so I told the reporter that it's my uncle. And you know, that's just what they says in the article.

Uncle ain't here and I paid for the movie. Now I'm five out. With the three left from the faggot and one from the punk I only got four. We got to hop over to the Port Authority before the day shift changes.

I know so many people over here I call this the Mansion. There are plenty of motherfuckers here but the ones I call family stop by from time to time. Look over there, be one of my homeboys. Yo, man, can I talk to you? Step up, don't be shy. You know Ricky? Not the Ricky got a finger missing, the one with a tattoo say "Scorpio." No not the Scorpio always wears a earring, the one with the fade haircut. No I'm not talking about the faggot with the fade, man, that be Jose. Ricky. Yeah. You seen the motherfucker here at the Mansion? Don't walk away like that, come back here. You seen him up them stairs? Well I want you to tell him something for Casio. Tell him it be three days ago I hooked his 'ho up with a john and he ain't gave me nothing. Seem to me he been playing me ever since he moved into the Mansion. Now put your eye here and bust this. I got a razorblade in my mouth. I run into that maricon acting the way he is last night, I going to cut him.

Hey, what you doin' here, girl? Didn't I tell you to wait for me at the crib? What you trying to say I didn't leave no money for the baby? I'm out here all day trying to make enough to get by and you come to tell me that. Come over here. I want to take a good look at you. Your nose is running, your face is all covered with sweat. What you mean you having the flu these past few? Two days ago there wasn't not a thing fucked up about you. You tell me you knocked up I going to kill you and your baby. I been wearing a goddam bag every time we fucked. Don't think about looking to me about this one.

You sick, ain't you. Step away from me or I'm going to knock you out. You ain't gonna catch me having a junky for a female. I don't care you only sniffed twice last week, you ain't got no flu and it ain't no baby making you shake like that. Step off, I told you. You ain't getting nothing from me. Get your hand away from my pants cause you ain't gonna find nothing in there. Now stop sobbing like that, you know how it makes me feel when you cry. Alright, take all a these three. I'm giving you all the loot I got. What, baby? You know I ain't holding out on you. I know you needing at least another two to get off. Don't worry, momma, you can always count on Casio. Just go up those stairs there and ask for a dude with a fade called Ricky. Homeboy owes me five for hooking up his female with a john. Go straight up there now. I don't want you doing no 'ho stroll. Don't look at nobody. Just keep looking down.

Shit. One fucking dollar and the law be around with their dogs already. What time is it? Midnight? This ain't my day but the day ain't over yet. Come to think of it I got those rocks I housed from the punk. We'll go around the corner to 41st and see what we can do with them. Sad to say but these bums would sell their last piece of cardboard for a toke. Wouldn't you know it'd be raining. Well let's make the best of it and press our asses to the building.

Jumbos! Rocks! A buck for a toke! Step right up, I ain't got all day. Yeah, you can have a toke but first slip me a dollar. Hold on, old man, you're going to swallow the stem and end up shitting glass. Yeah, it's packed, I just slamdunked two rocks in there a minute ago. I give you one draw and I guarantee it be smoking the whole time.

Who's next now! Looks like the rain washed them all into the sewer. Don't mind if I take one toke myself, I got nothing better to do. Word, that first hit goes right to your cojones. Every time I taste that shit I get horny. I should go back to the Mansion and look for my female. Naw. She probably be nodding out by now. Yo, you remember the look on the face of that piece of bootie at the movies? He was bugging when I pulled him out of the stall and told him to empty his pockets. Come to think of it the pendejo got a sweet ass I wouldn't mind tasting. I should break him in over at the hustler bar on 48th. He liable to bring in a lot a money. Wonder if I should go look for him now... Naw... He's probably on the bus back to Jersey... This rain starting to come down heavy now... C'mon man, buy me a drink on 48th? I got a dollar, all you got to throw in is two. C'mon, man, haul ass, would you? Stop acting like we got all day.

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