“Look at this fucking guy Rem, I’m telling you I’ve never been surer of anything in my life. The man is a pederast, if you don’t believe me and do something about it I will,” said Ricardo fidgeting in his seat. Remy started grinding his teeth looking at Jonathan, one of the workers at his grandmother’s retirement home.
“I don’t like this place man, it’s creepy as fuck,” said Hanley. Ricardo, Remy and Hanley had each sniffed a several lines of cocaine before they had gone into the New Haven “Jewish Home”. They were all being loud, covered in a dense layer of sweat and in Hanley’s case he had some cocaine on his nostril.
“You got a little something there, nah right there bro,” said Ricardo pointing to Hanley’s nostril. He nodded his head, wiped his nose with his finger and shot the little particles up his nose. Ricardo rolled his eyes while Remy had his fixated on Jonathan. He had on high pants, he wore Velcro shoes and he had a comb over. His smile and voice reached beyond the limits of bizarre, and his demeanor suggested what Ricardo was saying had to be absolutely true. The drugs persuaded Remy to believe there was no other plausible explanation for this man to be working in a convalescent home. Remy wanted to take this man, whip out his gun and break his teeth with it. All this made sense when you were to that high.
Remy kept a steady glare on Jonathan as his Grandmother finally walked in. She waved over to him as the three of them stood up. Ricardo and Hanley worked for Remy for three years and they had grown to know his grandmother Ana Marie as if she was their own. That was the way she was, especially when she was well. Remy had watched his grandmother’s health decline quickly. The timeline was fairly cohesive with the extension of his drug use.
“Hi grandma,” said Remy walking over to greet his grandmother. She smiled and he kissed her on the cheek. He wasn’t sure if she even knew who he was at that point, over time she had started to call him Carlo. Carlo was Remy’s dead brother who had been gone for about five years. He was gunned down by rival gang members near the Methadone clinic on East Street. He never visited his grandmother, who raised Remy and Carlo after their mother overdosed. It was a bleak life, one that made it feel natural to do wrong.
“Yes, yeah, it is that way. You know? Yeah that’s it,” muttered Ana Marie Santana looking at her grandson. She smiled a little but then looked clueless again which made Remy sick to his stomach. He closed his eyes and looked down at the ground as Ricardo and Hanley helped Ana Marie into her chair.
“How have you been Grandma? Did they give back your teeth?” asked Remy grabbing his grandmother’s cold hand. He rubbed it with his finger as she looked up at him and smiled again. She nodded her head but stayed silent.
“Hello Ms. Santana, how are you. Do you remember the last time we were here, we did the Irish sing a long,” said Ricardo. Ana Marie turned her head and looked at him and smiled.
“Yes Carlo, of course. Of course, yes, of course. And that’s daddy,” said Ana Marie. Remy sighed and looked up at the ceiling in frustration.
“Where is my husband? Get me my husband now! Send him a message, tell him I’m ready to go home!” shouted Nancy, one of the other patients. They were all in the dining room as it was six pm and they usually would eat dinner around four in the afternoon. Remy and the crew purposely avoided dinner at all costs, due to the sight of his grandmother struggling to eat. While they ate there would be arguments, fights and beeping from the various gadgets beneath the residents that would go off when they would stand up.
It was a gloomy environment that nobody wanted to be, and it was a constant reminder to Remy that he wasn’t living up to his grandmother’s spirit. At least he didn’t believe so, he knew deep down that if she was ok she would tell him to leave her alone and live his own life. Nevertheless Remy felt obligated to take care of his grandmother, and it killed him when he realized that even if he hustled relentlessly and used all his savings he’d only be able to afford a decent place for six months. The reason he was reluctant to do that, was because it would cripple Remy for the near future and he didn’t honestly believe he could do things any faster.
“T-t-t-the b-b-baby, where is Carlo? C-c-c-ca-can you find it?” stuttered Ana Marie as she began to shake.
“Should we call the nurse?” asked Hanley as Remy grasped her hand and dropped his head. He winced as he watched her in pain. He remembered the day that she told him if she ever got bad and stopped being able to function normally, to take her outside and shoot her.
“Let’s call the nurse Rem, she isn’t well man. I’ll go get her,” said Ricardo standing up. Right after Ricardo walked away there was a loud scream that came from a different room.
“Fuck this place scares me,” said Hanley shaking his head with an expression of disbelief. As Ana Marie kept stuttering, Remy brought her even closer to him. He had her face against his chest but she kept talking. Remy looked up to see the nurse coming over.
“She sometimes refuses to take her meds, but if you all are here it might be easier to persuade her to take them. You are Remy?” asked the nurse to Ricardo.
“No I’m Remy, these are my friends Hanley and Ricardo,” said Remy pinching his nose and then wiping it with the back of his hand. The nurse looked at him with an odd expression as he started to sniffle, but then turned around.
“What’s she looking at?” asked Remy shrugging his shoulders. Ana Marie started to laugh obliviously as there was another scream in the other room. A few moments passed and then the Nurse returned carrying two cups, one considerably smaller than the other one.
“Here she comes,” muttered Hanley as the nurse came back over smiling.
“Ok Remy, could you help me with this. She hates taking pills,” said the Nurse to Remy quietly. She then turned to Ana Marie, who was sitting next to Remy. “Ok Ana Marie, are you having a nice visit with your grandson?”
“Yes, v-v-v-very nice, yes,” stuttered Ana Marie.
“Grandma,” said Remy.
“Yes!” shouted Ana Marie suddenly becoming hostile. Remy sighed and scratched his neck. He pinched his nose and sniffled as the Nurse looked at him again with a suspicious gaze.
“Grandma you have to take these pills now, please do it for me ok?” said Remy bluntly. Ana Marie nodded her head but he wasn’t sure what that meant.
“Here is your meds sweetheart,” said the Nurse bending down and placing a few capsules into Ana Marie’s hand. She held them and didn’t put them in her mouth, so the nurse grabbed her hand and brought it up to her mouth. “Put them in your mouth. Ana Marie, put them in your mouth.”
“Grandma, please take your medicine. Do what the nurse says,” said Remy putting his hand on his grandmother’s knee. She nodded her head and then put the capsules into her mouth.
“Good job,” said the Nurse bringing her the other cup. The nurse was clearly surprised that Ana Marie actually took the cup and drank the water. “Great job Ana Marie, have a nice visit with your grandson.”
“Y-y-yes, I will. Tell da-da-daddy ok?”
The nurse walked away, so Hanley and Ricardo pulled their seats back over. Remy looked down at the ground for some time but lifted his head up when he remembered that there was a candy bar in the car. He had noticed that he stuttering and shaking had gone done, but she was still muttering nonsensical words that nobody could understand.
“Yo, I’ll be right back. Grandma, I’ll be right back ok? I have a surprise for you,” said Remy bending down to kiss his grandmother on the forehead. He walked away from her, Hanley and Ricardo exiting dining room from the front. He walked through their little sitting room, past the nurse and then to the door. The door was locked as this was the Harbor, also known as the dementia and Alzheimer’s ward. Remy tried to remember the code to press, but was struggling. The nurse must have noticed and came over to push the numbers in.
Remy thanked her, opened the door and watched it close behind him to make sure that no one left behind him. After the door closed he cruised through the long hallways completely zoning out. He passed lots of people and would nod to all of them, some not looking back. As he floated through the halls his vision started to become blurry and convoluted, his skin started to feel pasty. He began to crave drugs and knew that once he got back to the car he had to do a few lines.
Remy became sick to his stomach after he passed patients who smelled viciously of urine and feces. Remy’s stomach turned after walking by one room that really smelled foul. After he had passed through that he walked into a room that had a large gazebo in it. A few patients were sitting with family at the couches and the tables. Remy started to walk a little faster as he began to crave the cocaine more and more. He finally got to the lobby to take a right and finally leave the building.
Their car was parked in a handicap space because Remy hadn’t been sure if they were leaving that day to go out to eat and also because he was lazy. He pressed the button to unlock his Black Nissan GT-R and then opened the car door. He slid into the front seat but didn’t close the door. He looked back to see the bag full of candy bars and brought it up to the front. After that he looked around the car trying to remember where they put the cocaine. He then realized it was in the glove compartment. So he reached over and pulled the bag out. He looked around the parking lot and then turned back to the bag. He grabbed some with two fingers and then dropped some on the back of his hand below the knuckle. He pushed one nostril closed and then shot it up the other. He sat there and put his seat back and must have dozed off for a few minutes. He then awoke and decided to do some more. Just as he poured a line on his finger and went in to shoot it up his nose her heard someone calling his name.
He flipped out and dropped the bag into his lap.
“Remy, you there?” asked Hanley. Remy looked over to see Hanley walking out of the front door. Remy started punching on the steering wheel and basically growling as his friend walked over. “What’s wrong man?”
“You scared the shit out of me man! Fuck man!” yelled Remy. Hanley walked up closer and opened the passenger seat.
“Oh you fucking jackass, you spilled all the shit man! Come on, you’ve got to watch what you are doing!” exclaimed Hanley. They both stepped out of the car and started to clean up by dabbing the cocaine and then putting it on his gums. There actually wasn’t that much on the seat, not at all but everything that was ended up back in their nose or in their mouth.
“Why did you come out here? Where is Ricardo?” asked Remy.
“Oh that’s right I meant to tell you,” said Hanley rubbing his hands through his long black ponytail. “So we were sitting there right, and then your grandmother said something. Now we heard it, but she wouldn’t say it again for us but maybe she’ll say it for you?”
“What did she say man, come on!” howled Remy as he shot a line up his nose from his finger. The drugs made him grow more and more impatient.
“So Ricardo was talking about getting a massage, and Ana Marie says that man Jonathan could do it for him. So Ricky and I were like woah, so we asked her about it and she said that he takes her pants off,” said Hanley. Remy just starred at Hanley while shaking violently. He was so angry that his finger nails had cut through the skin on his palm. When Remy would snort cocaine he’d always get very violent and angry, it was usually part of his job, but today he was with his grandmother. He knew something bad was going to happen.
“Are you telling the truth, swear to me that you are telling the truth man?” demanded Remy grabbing the collar of his friend’s coat.
“Honestly I wouldn’t be lying about something like that,” said Hanley. After speaking he shot some cocaine up his nose and shook his head. “That guy in there is weird Rem. We watched him, he kissed one of the patients right smack on the lips.”
“Are you fucking serious man, fuck!” yelled Remy slamming his hand on the steering wheel. “Where is Ricardo, I hope he is with my grandma?”
“He is with your grandmother, should I go get him?”
“No don’t go…wait yeah bring my grandmother to bed. I’ll come by and see her tomorrow, but just put her to bed and casually ask that fucking piece of shit when he is getting off from work. Seek a random conversation, you know what I mean? Be like, must be rough days here, when you getting off?” instructed Remy.
“Alright, I’ll say it just like that,” said Hanley. He got up from the car and walked back into the front entrance. Remy watched Hanley nearly fuming from his ears. In a moment of unsurpassed clarity, he realized that what he was going to do was wrong. But something about Jonathan made Remy sick, he looked like a pedophile. Remy knew about that, something that only he and the uncle that molested him and Carlo knew.
As he sat there steaming whilst snorting dangerous amounts of cocaine, he realized that he was becoming sick sitting there. He probably had done to much, as his heart rate had gone up to an insane rate and he was sweating profusely. He started to wonder if this was the end. If he started to convulse or have a severe seizure, he wondered if it would be ok. If he would have done enough in his life to where if he died at that very moment it would be ok, and he decided that he hadn’t. So Remy got out the car and lit a cigarette.
As he smoked the cigarette and stood there, he started to become rather woozy. His eyes kept drifting closed so he flicked the cigarette to the ground and smashed it with his foot. After he stumbled back over to the car and fell asleep. It took another half hour for Ricardo and Hanley to come out, as they casually had a conversation with Jonathan. When they came out they figured that Remy was dead by the way his head was back.
“Rem, wake up bro,” said Ricardo pushing his friends shoulder. Remy woke up abruptly and jerked his body up nearly colliding heads with Ricardo. The front door of the car was open, luckily the car was off.
“Yeah what happened?” asked Remy looking at two old women who had walked out of the front entrance. They stared at them for a few seconds but then shifted their attention to walking to their car.
“He should be coming out any second man, and he is done with his shift. I said that we wanted to show him something of your grandmothers,” said Ricardo. Remy nodded his head and slapped his hands together with glee.
“Alright so get ready. Get your guns ready just in case. Let’s all stand by the trunk and be really nice, this is going to be great,” said Remy. He looked over at the front entrance and opened the glove compartment. He stuck his finger into the bag and then put it into his mouth. After he jumped out the car looking around meticulously, he adjusted his handgun which was tucked in his pants. Remy bent down and opened the trunk and then finally closed the car door which had been opened for about an hour. Remy gravitated toward the back of the car and leaned against the side.
Multiple people were coming out of the entrance at that point, none of which were Jonathan. Remy sighed and closed her eyes for a few minutes. He opened them when he heard Ricardo howl, “Hey Jonathan, over here.”
“Hello, I’m sorry but I’ll miss the bus if I don’t go now,” said Jonathan as he walked over to their car. His voice sent chills down Remy’s back and fear through his heart. He knew he was close to having a flashback.
“We can give you a ride home, that’s no problem,” said Remy nodding his head.
“That would be very nice, are you sure?”
“Yeah we are sure, come on get it,” insisted Remy. Ricardo walked over to the passenger side and slid the seat up. As Jonathan stepped in Remy grabbed Hanley. “When we get there I pull over. We do the trunk.”
With that Hanley stepped into the passenger side front seat and immediately closed the glove compartment which was wide open. Luckily Jonathan couldn’t see much in the dark, but they didn’t want it to spill all over the place. Ricardo and Jonathan had already been situated in the back seat. Remy started up the car without further ado and sped off.
“So where do you live boss?” asked Remy pinching his nose and wiping his forehead.
“I live on Mill River Street it’s not far from here. The dead end street that’s just ahead of Humphreys and behind the old Starter building,” said Jonathan. His voice once again freaked Remy out and made him angry.
“Yeah so we appreciate how you take care of my grandmother. She is a beautiful woman right?” said Remy looking back at Jonathan as they stopped at a red light.
“Yes she is very beautiful. She looks a lot like you. Was that your mother who always comes in?” asked Jonathan with a weary smile.
“Come again?” asked Remy wiping his forehead.
“Is that your mother, the woman that visits with your grandmother? She looks exactly like you.”
“No that’s my Aunt Mina,” exclaimed Remy as they drove past the diner and turned into the Starter Building.
“Oh no sir, my house is beyond that tunnel,” said Jonathan as Remy drove deeper into the parking lot.
“We forgot to show you that painting of my grandma,” said Remy. Jonathan just went with the flow as he sat there holding his small lunchbox. Once they stopped, Remy and Hanley shot from their seats to the outside. Their dressy oxfords and loafers on the pavement was a welcoming sound. Jonathan slowly departed from the backseat and stood there not knowing where to go. “I apologize but the painting is in the trunk.”
Remy went to open it while Hanley and Ricardo reached for their guns. The trunk popped open and Remy walked over to lift it open all the way. Jonathan turned his head because there was nothing there. Hanley and Ricardo expected a tense tough guy dialogue, but Remy just grabbed the back of his head and smashed it a few times against the trunk door. The cracking sound was loud and it didn’t look like Jonathan would be getting up.
“Get him into the trunk and then grab his phone in case he wakes up,” said Remy as Ricardo and Hanley had him in their arms. They dropped him into the trunk and closed it, then looked around and saw nobody. The part of the building that faced them had no windows and there were few cars there as well. As Hanley got into the back seat, Remy turned on the car and grabbed the bag of cocaine. Ricardo slammed the door after he was in and took a deep breath.