Thursday, March 24, 2005

Discussions of the afternoon: Immigrant and American blacks: the spanish language diaspora; white contractors who rely on cheap dark help and overpaid (white) site managers as front-men to talk to clients; Seaga, Vivian Blake, and life in Tivoli Gardens; why Jamaican men don't eat pussy. I'm fucking with the W- a little: "Bumbaclot! I don't put my mouth on that!" 

The lead carpenter is from the countryside but was a policeman in Kingston. W- was in a posse, but I knew that when I met him. You sense the violence right below the surface. It's an unstable, hair trigger violence, a sort of tension that's difficult to be around if you're aware of it, because if you're aware of it you're nervous and if you're nervous, you show it, and if you show it he gets nervous, and you don't want him nervous because that makes things more difficult. 

The answer is to fuck with the him without showing disrespect. I don't lie, I don't pretend to be what I'm not—I'm white [to him]—and I don't condescend. And I feel sorry for his girlfriend. 

The other carpenter working with me is Peruvian—we're both working for the cabinetmaker—and Ricky is another sort of hard; a brawler who became a Christian to control his anger. He carries a bible around in his pocket and studies Tae Kwan Do. Indian features, stocky, but tall. He's half Sicilian. He gets along well with the kid, but as I told him today, I can tell he's a fighter, and fighters don't use guns. His aggressive insecurity is more annoying than threatening—his wife teaches in the Bronx and he has two young daughters. 

W- walks up to the window and points "Look! A dead bird flyin through the broken sky!" Everyone looks and he starts laughing.

Ricky had been a cage fighter, illegal MMA. He demonstrated the iron fist by punching a concrete wall. I heard a loud dull thud and felt the vibrations.

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