Friday, March 5, 2010

Dreams of Death

By Eric Jessen 3/5/2010 (Photograph by Weegee)

Confessions of a Killer from "The Naked City"

The streets were rough in those days, but aren't they always. That's just one of those things people say. Only until you've licked the pavement do you know it's true.
I never thought it would end this way: lying in a pool of my own blood, eating cement, gunned down by a cop. Death, sure I saw it coming, and not of natural causes. I wasn't that thick. I wasn't one of those hot-shit hit-men, reckless punks who think they're in the wild west. But not by a cop, never aced by a dirty pig. What a horrible way to go. I always wished a boss ordered my death. That's more dignified.
I had it all mapped-out in my head, like a teenage girl planning her wedding. I would start out committing a few petty crimes: hold up a liquor store, a drug store. Maybe I'd meet a few hoods along the way. I knew the right places to hang out. Eventually I might drive for a bank job. I'd do some time, sure. The pen's where you meet the big shots. To earn the mob's respect I'd have to bump off some middle-ranking hood – just enough to get their attention. Then I'd take one in the back.
Everyone remembers you if you're killed by the mob. I tried my best, made it pretty far. Blackmail, that's where I went wrong – pinned the wrong people in a corner, the wrong cops. The DA always told me I'd end up a stain on the asphalt – called me “scum.” I hate that I proved him right. He's probably standing over my body right now, shaking his head. It makes me sick. He's one of those high-and-mighty pricks who talks about “cleaning-up the streets.”
Standing over my body, I bet he thinks the streets are cleaner now that I'm dead. He doesn't know the half of it. I've tasted them, they're filthy.

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