Two men are standing outside the Jade Palace, a Chinese fast food restaurant, in South Philly, where drug deals are conducted and teen age prostitutes gather like a covey of ravens. They are leaning against the wall and one of them is up to no good.

“What the fuck’s the matter with you, you old fuck?”
You lookin’ at me?” said the Gangsta Boy in his low slung,
Blue jean pants and ass turned around red baseball cap.

“I aint be lookin’ at you, Boy. I done seen it all.”
replied Catfish Joe.

“You aint got nothin’ to give me, motherfucker?”
asked Bad Boy.

“I aint got shit for you, Boy. Spent my whole check on
cigarettes and booze,” said Catfish Joe.

“You sho’ aint spend nothin’ on yo’ appearance. That’s for sho’,”
snickered Bad Boy, and he further commented,
“You aint got no business drinkin’. Like to give you a
heart attack, or the shits at the least. And smokin’ aint no
damn good neither.”

“Where you get yo’ medical degree, Boy? Gangsta U? And what I got
to look good fo? I aint no fancy pimp or nothin’. As fo the drinkin’,
nothin’ but the best fo’ old Joe, Fast Ford, (Thunderbird).”
And the old man laughed. There was a rattle in his chest.
“Besides, even Jesus, hisself turned water into wine
You should know that from yo’ Bible trainin’.”

“What make you think I got Bible trainin’?”asked Bad Boy.

“Everybody get The Word when they’s young.You jes’ fell off the God train. And you headed straight fo’ hell, and the Devil be shovin’ is pitch fork straight up yo’ young ass.’

“Shut the fuck up,” and fork it over.
Or I’ll mess you up good, Bitch.” Said Bad Boy.

The old man laughed and said, “Boy does I look like
I got me some titties? What you mean, Bitch? ” said old Joe.

“Give it up, Motherfucker,” said the boy.

“I aint never done that and aint likely to,” said old Joe,
and emptied his pockets.
Only pennies fell out.
“See, pennies from heaven, Boy.”
Then he had a laugh riot and several spasms of coughing.

“Dang,” said the Boy, “Why aint you take yourself to the doctor,
Old Head? You got TB or somethin’?”

“Boy, I got everything known to man and then some.
I aint got no money for no doctoring,” replied old Joe.
“If I be a gnat’s ass from Old Man Death,
What make you think I want to go on livin’?
I done it all, Boy,” said Old Joe.

“You fucked up in the head, old man.
Aint nobody who done everything,” said Gangsta Boy.

“Well, you aint never known ol’ Catfish Joe,” he said.

“My name’s Tyrone. Why yo’ name be Catfish Joe?” said the Boy.

“I fishes the river fo’ catfish. Do that explain my name
Good enough fo’ you?” said the old man.

“What else you eat?” asked Tyrone.

“This and that,” replied old Joe.
“Boy, why you be up in my bidness?”
Does I look like the fuckin’ encyclopedia or somethin’?”

“You look like somethin’ else entirely, Old Man,
But I aint sayin’”, said Tyrone.
“How you get yosef’ in a fucking mess like this?”

“Who say I be bad off? I lives off the land like Tarzan.
You want my goddamn life story, Boy?” he asked.

“Why you aint call me Tyrone, Mr. Joe. I done give you
my name.”

“Sorry,” replied old Joe. “It’s nothin’ on you. I just aint used to people givin’ me they Christian names no mo’. Tyrone, you got some time to spend?”

“All the time in the world, Mr. Joe,” he replied.
“Okay I be tellin’ ya my story. One time when I was young,
I was rich as Croesus. I had me six fine, fat, juicy Bitches and they
Wasn’t no ho’s neither. None of my womens had to work. Just lay
Back, fuck, and look pretty, that’s all. And I had me a big, giant
Mansion with twenty servants. They was all white, you see.
I figured, why not fuck ‘whitie” cuz he done fuck me royally
Fo’ so long. Tyrone, I tell ya it was heaven.”

“Tell me about the Bitches, Mr. Joe,” asked Tyrone.

“Oh, they was the finest pussy this side of Mississippi.
Big, black, and juicy as goddamn Georgia peaches. They was horny as cats in heat, too. They loved the hell, out of they ol’ Daddy Joe.
I done it all wit’ them. The suckin’. The fuckin’.
Old Joe know what to do wif a woman.
Then when I done give one money to buy a pretty dress,
Another bitch find out and she be jealous like ol’ Daddy
don’t love her as much as the first Bitch. Then I gives
her money and she go get an even better dress.
them Bitches was a trip. I tell ya, Tyrone.”

“And what about yo’ mansion”, asked Tyrone.

“Oh, boy, it was splendid. Just splendid. Twenty six rooms,
all done in white, white furniture, white shag carpets.
The Works! I even had me some Elvis paintings and
Bull fighter paintings on black velvet. I likes art.
It was real class, I tell ya’ I also had me a turquoise
Cadillac with zebra upholstery. Shit, them were the days, Tyrone.”
The old man’s eyes misted over.

“Mr. Joe,” said Tyrone, “How you gone tell me
you wasn’t no pimp, Where you git’ the money!”

“Tyrone,” he replied, “I be a God fearin’ man.
I wasn’t never no pimp. They’s evil Bastards.
Goin’ straight to Hell fo’ damn sure.”

“Then where’d you git’ the money?” asked the Boy.

“Well I be tellin’ ya’ shortly, Just you hold yo’ damn horses.
Listen, Tyrone, when you was little did you believe in
Santy Claus and the Easter Bunny, and witches, and shit?”
asked old Joe.

“Sho’, Mr. Joe,” replied Tyrone.

“Well, I got somethin’ kind of weird to tell ya’. But I
wants to tell ya’ I ain’t no goddamned head case.
Tyrone, I had me this old, brown mule, the name of Sugar.
And when I would hold up her tail and it was time to go,
she shat diamonds. Big, beautiful diamonds, and nothin’ else.
Then the old Bitch died on me, and I didn’t have nothin’ no mo’.
Lost the mansion and the Bitches, too. Aint no woman gonna fuck with no po’ ass man.You, believe me, son?”

Tyrone paused and looked directly at old Joe.
“Sho’, I believes ya, Mr. Joe. It was some damned Bad Ass
Luck. Mr. Joe, why you aint come home wit’ me for dinner?
ham, grits, greens and biscuits. You like peach cobbler? Mr. Joe,”
said Tyrone.

Mr. Joe replied, “Boy, you don’t know me like that. How I know
You aint poison me, or some shit?”

Then Tyrone smiled, and said, “My gram’s a God fearin’, high yella
Gal and she got ass for miles and she aint had none in twenty years.
And she fine, Mr. Joe. Real fine.

“Boy, why you aint tell me this befo’? Give me my cane and
let’s git to steppin’,” said old Joe.
And they walked off into the sunset,
And Tyrone turned to the old man, and said,

“See, Mr. Joe, I do know you like that.”
And he smiled real hard like the goddamned
morning sun.
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