Finally it was Friday. It had been a long week. I was tired. Today was the burial, Santo’s final act. I’d had a slight incident the night before attending the fourth and final wake. It was nothing. However the Big Guy screamed at me, the one thing I was trying to avoid. “Eh! What the hell are you doing? Your acting like a banana head!” And I wasn’t. I’d simply left. That and laid down on my back on the funeral homes side and watched the stars. It was peaceful. And lasted like any7 moment of tranquility in my life for a fleeting few seconds. “Yo C. Get up. The Big Guy wants to see you.” Jesus fucking Christ.
Stretch also had an incident already this morning mild in comparison in his Godzilla get away moment at Tuesday nights opening wake. I’d told him, “just be careful buddy, you might end up in a straight jacket.” “I don’t fucking care.”
“Yeah me either dawg, but I don’t want the straight jacket.” I was tired of the rituals. The cameras. The curtains. I’d remember Hatty and Monster arguing before Santo’s passing who was poorer. It was emphatic. Rich kids wanting to be poor. It was the single most retarded thing I’d ever heard in my life. “But Brian think of your land and wardrobe. You dads car!” “Dude are you kidding me, two words, Lake House.” Magic and I caught the Bart eyes. By Friday I was becoming negative. Remembering negative things. They’d live in my memory when things weren’t occurring around me.
Church service and burial
It was another glorious bright sunny day we didn’t have to be in school for. The church service was slated to start at 10 am. I’d already been in the middle of an explosion earlier regarding Magic and Pallbearer selection. Magic justifiably angry left out of the pallbearers. I tried to explain to him that Santo’s dad was never the most inclusive and “you’re an adopted black Jew. Come on.” It didn’t go over well. And I never said that although it’s true. It was Magic and because of that I was able to do a mature thing and think how I’d feel. I wouldn’t let that happen. It was clear we were getting rolled all over the place at this point on this thing and enough was enough. “Hold on Mike.” And I walked away.
The church was standing room only. It was a huge show, at that point. At grace chapel and just before 10AM Magic was included with the pallbearers. The body was still at the funeral home. It was now us, and the family as the Big Guy and a few aunt’s and uncles had left. “Boys.” Santo’s dad let us know we could go in and have a last moment. The casket was still opened. It would be the last time I’d see his face. I went first. “OK.” I had my Young Guns uniform like almost every YG pallbearer seemed to be carrying as well. I threw my shorts and #10 tank in their along with an almost three inch herringbone chain I’d bartered with Beef in ACE for a gun I had laying around Sugar Rays. If I didn’t like the weed game back in 9th grade, I hated the strap scene talking broker this year of 1993. I needed a G for the one I wanted downtown. Beef and I after our fourth lunch detention sitting up in ACE by ourselves worked something out. It was five hundred dollars. The chain I always wanted.
I was smart enough to not wear it. Knowing myself I was forcing it. And body language and my own risks. It was stupid regardless how good it made me feel. Picking on rich bully’s did too! I didn’t need that. But I had the chain and had decided the night Santo died I’d throw it in his casket. It was because of a story magic told me about Eton’s death back in the 3rd grade. We were still in separate elementary schools but everyone remembered Eton. His brother was part of the sacred 88 class. A legend and division 1scholarship athlete I’d never forget the story those Bride boys told me. His brother Eric standing at Eton’s casket had torn off a sick 88 dope gold chain. A chain people knew about, remembered so it had to be dope. Eton would’ve been a YG. Tragedy had struck our class and crew long before this. And unlike Super Bowls it gets old, quick.
And I was like every other kid I’d thought that since driving to the safe house that first fateful night. I’d pull the Eric Chrichlow and rip the chain off my neck at the casket a defining moment and dumb idea. And I never broke out the chain. Just stored it like that gun I knew I DID NOT need at Sugar Rays next store, the clubhouse. But I brought it today. And the bag of stuff I intended to leave in Santo’s casket to stay with him throughout the next thousand years or so until a nuke decimated the “crude matter” of a vehicle that brought so many people together, he was only 16, he would’ve thought. He’d never be forgotten. We’d never know then how rare like our friendships one life could be.
I threw my YG shit in the casket. It was our team. Just a summer league team, on paper. But to us, it was like being artists and the owners of our own label and we were twelve talented rappers from Manhattan. It was everything. And we were so good. Together we were so dam good. And it hurt. I loved hitting leadoff. I put the herringbone in there. I Laid my YG shit and said some corny wanna be gangster shit and kissed my man on those cold dead lips. After all I was in a thousand dollar Armani suit I borrowed from Enrico. My partner coveting that shade. The Italian. If anyone had a thousand dollr suit. But this was Madison everyone did. Des, Lynx, many kids wearing suits way too expensive.
The family files in once we’re all accounted for and situated for our first real responsibilities besides not killing anyone through this entire ordeal. They looked tired, carrying a look that a loving family that had lost a son of liberty would always resemble in my mind. All of this was obvious and that alone sickened my sedated stomach.
Yo Jesus I wanted to tell Santo’s mom that for the rest of my life I will do anything for her including assault people she’s frustrated with