REQUIEM FOR A DEAD WINO By Andre Austin Entrance: A lone wino sitting in an alley in the midst of a pile of rubbish. Discarded card board boxes, empty milk crates and the scatterings of various types of paper and over turned metal garbage cans surrounds the destitute figure of the tattered man of African descent. Dirt and grim hides the ageless face lost beneath the derelict inebriation from the consumption of his favorite drink and the foul aroma of trepid body odor acts as his guard against the reality which he hides. His shoes are in need of desperate repair, the soles have pulled themselves away from their foundation, the laces lost too long ago, and the heels worn to one side. His pants are sound excluding the busted zipper and frayed cuffs at each leg. The shirt he wears is minus a few buttons and the sleeves have been removed but all this is hidden beneath the full length dirtied trench coat he wears to carry as his most important piece of furnishing to his home-the streets. His card board Hut/House is very important because it is in itself operates like a closet for storage of his meager properties, his cupboard for his food and his shelving for his drink. Inside His abode he calls his castle you will find medals acknowledging he was a recruited hero with two purple hearts. What leads a man, from his heroics and dignity to bloodshot eyes and the façade of existing because he holds on to the last thread of honor he owns? Taking a large swig from his bottle of not to sweet, not too tangy rot gut, as his eyes opens the wino settles himself for evenings rest. Drinking himself into oblivion to avoid a seeming degrading reality, of himself and his kind. Twilight envelops the day bringing with it the blanket of darkness called night and the soreness of one less day to endure. Tucked comfortably within littered confines of his unnatural den holding closely pressed to side the sacred elixir of inebriation the wino slips into slumber. Entering the corridors of the smelly dark alleyway three young black youths stagger through with an aimless destination in no particular hurry to get there. Ice: Man, didja see how dat broad was peeping me out? X-Man: Da trick whatin peeping u out she was peeking your pockets G-Dog: Yeah, she’s a sack chaser. What Kanya West say? Nutin but ah gold digger Ice: Naw, yall jest jealous cause da trick chose me. G-Dog: Jealous? X-Man Chose you? Wino: Keep it down let a man sleep in peace X-Man: What da hell… Walking toward the direction of the slurred outburst, the young men peer in the darkness between the rubble of cluttered garbage. Ice: Well, I’ll be ****. Look ah what we got here. Wino: You ain’t got nut’in but trouble you don’t gitcha young *** outta dis alley n’ leave me alone. Ice: who da F.uck you talkin to? Wino: to you three hoods The young man then proceeds to step closer to the wino and begins stomping him in his chest. Ice: so how you like me now old wino man? G-Dog: hey man let I’m lone. Ice: F.uck dat bastard. X-Man: Come on Ice chill man, he ain’t nobody. Ice: I better go before I kill his drunk ***. Wino: You ain’t gone kill nut’in but somebody’s nature punk. Spinning around with the dexterity of an acrobat Ice pulls his gun from his waist band charging the mouthy drunk. Forcing the weapon to the forehead of the wino. Ice: whatcha say ol man? The alley falls to a deathly silence. Tension mounts as only the noise of passing traffic and scarring rodents of the night. Breaking the tensed silence Ice repeats his question with pressure. Ice: I said whatcha say ol man? Wino: Nuthin…I ain’t said nothing. Ice: Oh! Ain’t got nut’in to say nie huh? What’s wrong bad *** lost your heart? You ain’t got a lot at say huh? Well let me help your drank *** out a little bit. Git up on your knees! G-Dog: hey man loti lone, he ain’t nobody. X-Man: yeah Ice lets go man. Ice: Naw his stupid *** got to learn respect. Jimmie this, whatcha drinking ol man? Wino: Nut…nut’in. Ice: You **** right cha ain’t drinking nut’in cause it’s mine now. Raising the open bottle to his lip, taking a large swallow Ice relaxes his position commanding over the wino. In an unexpected flash the wino grabs Ice’s arm disarming him while pulling him to his soiled body and placing the weapon to the temple of Ice’s head. At the same instant X-Man and G-Dog both pull their weapons aiming at the wino. Wino: don’t anyone do anything stupid or I’ll blow his **** head off. Wino: Don’t move boy, I don’t wanna hav’ta kill’im but I’ll splatter what unused brains he has all over this alley Ice: Do what he says. I think he means square Buz-ness. G-Dog I can hit him from here without hitting you Ice. Let me at’ imp Ice? Ice: No Wino: You may get me but you can be sure I won’t be killing him off of pure reflex? No you can’t kin ya? Now move your *** , move to the front of me so we don’t waste Ice life anymore than he has already. Ice: Do what he says. Wino: Nie, whatcha got at say? You ain’t as bad as your *** though you was are ya? You know da sad part of dis is somebody’s going to die fore this N’ it don’t have at be dat way. Funny part is y’all don’t even know why ya wanna kill me. G-Dog: We don’t wanna kill ya ol man, but your pushing it. X-Man: We jest wantcha at let Ice go. Wino: And when I do ya’ll kill me? X-Man: No we ain’t Ice: I’am as if I was son of Sam G-Dog: What? Ice: When this ol bastard let me go plug his *** but don’t kill ‘im I’m gonna beat da **** out of him fore I take im out. Wino: Why you wanna kill me boy? Ice: Cause I ain’tcha boy, cause you dissed me and you ain’t ****. You don’t serve no purpose. You jest here in the way. Wino: So you wanna kill me cause you see a reflection of yourself in me. Ice: jest let me go ol man, you ain’t gonna win. Wino: You da one with da gun to your head smartass if I die you die, hell if I get shot you die nie shut up while I have my say. I guess maybe I have out lived my usefulness. Hell I know when you look at me you see a black man without a purpose. Somebody, nobody wants around. Somebody the world kin kick around and place all of their problems on. I know it’s true cause I see it when ya look at me ya thinking look at that nasty ol man, he ain’t ****, ain’t got **** and never will be ****. Well you’re right in some ways and wrong in others. I wonder if you know I’am the reflection of yourself. Yeah that’s why you wanna kill me cause you see me the way America sees you. An Invisible wretched Men. You ain’t **** walkin around witcha pants down below the crack of your ***, ain’t got no job so ya sell dope to ya children and sell ya women to anybody’ who will take ‘im cause you ain’t man enough to handle your responsibilities. You say ya hate white folk but’cha killin each other. Oh yeah I know why ya wanna kill me. You wanna kill me cause I remind you of how irresponsible daddy you barely knew who you growing up to be just like who your children callin daddy nie boy? Who ya woman wit since ya here wit me playing somebody in nobody’s land? The ol man releases his hold on Ice and toss the gun to him Wino: Go on boy be da man N shoot me if you have to I don’t care. Ice shoots, G-Dog shoots, X-man shoots. The ol man sags down into the rubble he once made as his only bed only to find it as his final resting place. His life’s blood slipping out, his breath coming and going in short gasps, he lays his eyes wide smiling into the darkness of night. Ice: Didn’t think we’d shoot your old as didja you pissy drunk fool? G-Dog Oh **** lets go Ice X-man: Yeah man, let’s go Ice: You shoulda pulled the trigger ol man then I’d be the one dying not you! Wino: You are the one dying; I’ve been dead just refused to lay down. Curtains The End Dedicated to the homeless whom have been summarily executed by thugs, idiots and the heartless suffering from pathologies.