Part 033

Thirty Three

“No, no,” said Tia as the car Jenny was driving slowed to a crawl in an abandoned part of Buffalo.  “I want to know why, as in, why did you become a pirate.”

“That should be obvious, ain’t it?” Jenny replied.

“Maybe, but I want you to tell me.  Assume that someone reading this blog about you doesn’t know anything about pirates at all.”

“That’s kind of hard to imagine.  I mean, pirates, they’re like all over the place.  Lots of movies, shows, books especially are filled with them.  They’re everywhere, sometimes only a few at a time, sometimes a lot at once, but you’re never really free of pirates.  I’ve seen them in everything since I was a little girl, and most of the stuff I see was around for years before I was born.  So I mean, like, how could I not be into them?”

“Okay,” said Tia.  “Maybe that’s a bad question.”

“Yeah, I think it is.”

“So let me ask you:  What made you become a pirate here, on Lake Erie?  What made you a pirate on the U.S.-Canadian border?”

“Okay,” said Jenny, “now that question I can see you asking.  Why not?”

There was a long silence as the car stalled in the middle of the block before Tia followed up, “That’s it?  That’s all you got?”

“Okay, let me put it another way:  I don’t see me doing anything else.  I don’t have any real money, not like the rich folk that kicked a lot of other people out of town when they bought their houses on the West Side out from them.  I don’t have a job in the money business, and I don’t have the means to afford my way in to that.  And I don’t really have the means of going somewhere else where you get three jobs to be able to afford a few things and always be a few bad breaks away from being as poor as I’d have been if I stayed in Buffalo.  And what’s left for you when you’re this poor, when you don’t have the means of getting out of this mess and will never join the ones with everything who are keeping you out of their game, is you’re either a criminal or a victim.  And if that’s my f’n’ choices, yeah, I’ll do crime, ‘cause that’s the better choice, right?”

“And it’s piracy as opposed to everything else for what reason?”

“Like I said,” said Jenny, “pirates are hard not to imagine, for me at least.  And the choice between that, or something simple like selling my body or running drugs, or something I’m not that good at like breaking open data files or ID swaps, I’m going to go with being a pirate.”

“And why that, and not smuggling?”

“A lot of smugglers are sometimes pirates, and some pirates smuggle.  There’s a lot of going back and forth between them for some, but you find something you like or are good at, you do more of that than the other.  And me, I can’t see being anything other than a pirate.”

“Are you afraid of someday getting caught?  What happens when-”

The blare of the siren whooping a few short bursts behind the car made both women jump in their seat as the plain cop car with the on dash lightbar pulled up behind them.

“Oh for f’s sake,” grumbled Jenny…

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All content Copyright © 2011 James Ryan


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