Overheard on the Dollar Van 09.08.03
Our hero Darnell is a male of African descent (whether he be/ considers himself African-American, Black, Afro-Ameri, Caribbean-American, et cetera, I cannot speculate on), about 18 years of age, an almost stocky or husky build. Not one to be called fat, he stands at approximately five feet ten inches. He dresses in popular “street” gear circa 2002—red jacket covering a replica basketball jersey, sweatpants, du-rag and red cap as garnish.
With him are two ladies of the African diaspora, both sizable in nature. One (whom we shall refer to as “1”) wears denim jeans, tightly fitted to contours like the plastic that holds a wall clock together. These contours are especially noticeable and healthy at the midsection + hip. She accompanies these with a denim blouse, which opens three buttons downward. Her hair is extended in plaits and reaches up and out like a mane covered in grease.
Two, heretofore known as “2,” wears a striped shirt, short on the belly and tight on the chest. Here, the denim jeans are as tight but curve at softer angles. Her hair is braided close to her head, her skin is paler than the other two. Judging by her teeth, bulging eyes, and muffled speech, this observer would not be surprised if she were kin to Raekwon the Chef of Crack Rock.
They discuss clothes, the homosexual population of Springfield High School, and how they are too old for sneakers at age 18 on a dollar van, typical for the area; the van is 13 people thick, a collection of folks from the Southeast Queens area ranging from (guessed) ages of 12 to 55. Traffic is moderate. The time is mid afternoon.
Darnell begins his story by talking of a friend’s cousin. He has known her briefly. She is looking for a new job because she dislikes her position at Rite Aid, and she also desires male companionship for a somewhat long-term period. Darnell’s brother is a male who is suitable for companionship. He informs her of a job opportunity with said brother. Which pays $800 every three days. But the job is only at night. In the South Bronx. To which she says,
Darnell: “when can I start?” And I’m like, I don’t know, it’s my brother’s deal. Let me get in contact with him. So I get in contact with him, call him on the cell, you know, and he’s there and she’s there so I’m like talking to him. And I’m like, she wants to work for you, and he’s like on the phone, all right all right. She got some references? And I’m like, I’m calling on her behalf, and I’m her reference. He’s like can I speak to her.
2: He’s up in the Bronx?
D: Nah, hold on, hold on, let me get to it. So he’s talking to her and he’s like you work at Rite Aid and she’s like yeah, and he ask her have you had any trouble at your job and she’s like, oh, you know, I got in trouble once because I was late.
He’s like, no, no, we don’t tolerate that around here, and she’s like, no, no, I’m a hard worker, I want to do this job, when can I start? So he’s like I need to meet you first, when can you come up? She’s like, I got night school and all. He’s like, when you get out of school, and she’s like I got class at 5. So he’s says to me, bring her up.
2: Up to the Bronx.
This observer failed to get enough notes on this part to provide actual dialogue. But the woman goes to the Bronx with Darnell, very late at night. They see a man pull into a parking space, where the woman declares “that n***a’s cute.” She is pleasantly surprised to find that the person is Darnell’s brother whom she is slated to meet. There are four people in this imagined apartment; one can imagine a small couch, a dark pallor over the place. There is another woman named Ebbie in the apartment along with Darnell, his brother, and the unidentified female. We continue.
D: So I was like, didn’t you say you thought my brother was cute? And she’s like, come on, Darnell, why you blowing up my spot? But my brother, you know, he’s kissing on her neck and Ebbie’s passed out on the couch by now.
1: You ain’t mess with her?
D: Ebbie? Nah, nah, I already messed with her and she’s like (sound indicating dissent, or flatulence), so nah. But she on the couch, snoring like a gorilla. My brother comes out and he’s like, I think you should see this.
I go in and she’s like buck naked, up on the bed.
2: Come on.
D: Yeah. (coyly) So we trained her.
1: Trained her?
D: Yeah, trained her.
2: More like ran a train on her.
1: Oh, that’s hood. That’s nasty.
D: Nah, you know. It’s not my fault if she’s gullible.
2: You ain’t mess with Ebbie?
D: Nah, Ebbie’s like (indicating a size too rotund for his liking).
2: Nah, she slim down. She a size 3, 4, 5, 6.
D: She might look a size 3—she’s no size 3. She’s like, you take her clothes off and all of that fat—it’s like skin all over the place. She got stretch marks too.
1: I got stretch marks.
D: Yeah, but she... but one time, I got with Ebbie, and we were like on a table and there's this piano there and she's coming and coming all over the place, but I'm not coming, I'm like working but she's come like twice now. So I'm doing my thing and working hard and she comes again and her arm and her head jerk back and she bangs her head into the piano and her arm goes limp--
2: Nice conversation we having on the dollar van.
D: Come on, everybody grown here.