The Forgotten City part I

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Prose, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Yep, I robbed five banks. Would’ve got away too, if I’d stopped at four. The nice guy robber is what they called me. I keep telling people I ain’t no addict. Gotta play this drug angle thing. It’ll look good when I go in front of the Fed courts. I never was no junkie or anything. Sure, I had my heyday with coke. But that wasn’t the problem. It wasn’t why I started robbing the banks. It was my wife that did that. Not just my wife, but the whole economics of supporting a family. I used to teach martial arts. I was into Tae Kwon Do for years. Then I got into the ground fighting. I worked really hard on integrating all these things into a new kind of style. I had good ideas, but my studio never really took off. I just didn’t have the students. Wasn’t the right target area to open such a thing. It got to be more money in the overhang than the damn thing was pulling in, and I had to close it down. Worst day of my life. Probably the best day of my wife’s. It really hurt me and she just couldn’t get why I was so down about it. Just get another job she’d tell me. Like my whole reason for existence hadn’t just been ripped away from me. And I did get another job. But then that place closed down and I was out of work again. She and I fought more and more and our two daughters seemed to suffer the most from it. So she, my wife, waits until things get real bad, when there isn’t a penny left to my name, and she decides it’s time to make a change. She tells me it isn’t the money, that she felt this way for a long time, but she just can‘t do it anymore. She said she couldn’t pretend any longer. I say, what pretend like I did after my dojo closed down and I had to work in a factory I fucking resented but I pretended I liked it? That kind of pretend? So much for, for better or for worse uh? I fought for a while, but there wasn’t any use. I had already lost her years ago, I just didn’t notice until then. I moved out to the camper we had gotten to spend the summers with the girls. A little place up in P.A. I got a job out there doing packaging for like nine dollars an hour. Right around then, problems start developing with the girls. My oldest daughter was on a couple different medications for ADD and some bi-polar shit. Which, by the way, got no better when her mother started pulling this shit and breaking up the marriage. My daughter was covered through welfare but my wife was too busy, going out to bars and such, to keep up with the appointments, and she lost the insurance until she could get back in for a review with her caseworker. So I got my wife, calling me freaking out. My daughter is freaking out. Her school is freaking out. I’m freaking out. But it was that year’s Christmas that sent me sailing over the edge. That really freaked me out. I was barely making enough to keep the electric on at the camper, and the car payment, and car insurance, and pay the child support that was ordered by the court. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t get the girls more than a couple cheap gifts, I didn’t even see them on Christmas. That’s when I really started taking the idea of a bank robbery seriously. I thought about doing a bank for months. I’d roll the idea over and over in my head. One day, two months after that Christmas, I just popped out of bed and did it. I had a bank in mind, but I didn’t scope it out or anything.  I wore a ski mask up on the top of my head like a regular cap and as soon as I walked in, I pulled it down over my face. Like I said, I didn’t really scope it out, but the two things I did know, the bank didn’t have an armed guard, and you wanted to get the cashiers right before or when they’re changing their cash drawers. I stuck my hand in my jacket pocket and acted like I had a gun. Well, I did have a gun, my grandfathers little .38, but they never knew that. In fact, in all five banks I never had to pull the gun out. I just had it in case someone tried to call my bluff or started acting crazy. I didn’t want anybody getting hurt. I was the nice guy robber, remember? Anyway, I just walked in there, told them I was there for the money, and I didn’t want to hurt anybody, and I just wanted the cash in the drawers and I’d be gone. They complied and everything went smooth. Everything except for my blood pressure. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Talk about a rush. But I got out okay. I didn’t take off running to the car, which I had parked by the tanning salon in the plaza on the other side of the street. I just pulled my mask back up off my face and tried to walk as briskly as possible without standing out. At any moment, I expected someone to tackle me, or for someone to yell out after me, but nothing happened. I got to my car and pulled around the back of the plaza and hit the little side road behind there. It wasn’t until I turned back on the main road, a few minutes later, that I heard the sirens. I drove better than I’ve ever drove and got back to the trailer safely. I put the small bag of money up in the cupboard after I checked it for any kind of electronic devices. I didn’t even count it right away. I had to lie down. I felt nauseated, but I felt good too. I turned on the local station on the television and fell back on my dusty mattress. I drifted in and out sleep, expecting the cops to bust in with guns drawn at any moment. But they didn’t come. I saw the televised newscast of the event, later that evening, and they had nothing to go on. The fear was slowly leaving me. I got up. I counted the money. I couldn’t believe it, there were almost thirteen thousand dollars sitting there staring back at me. I put it back in the cupboard and closed the cupboard doors. I’d get up every so often and peek in on it, like a father checking in on his sleeping child. I waited a few more days. Went to work as usual. Smiled at my neighbors as usual. But I didn’t spend a dollar of the money until I got my weekend visitation with my daughters. I just took them to different stores and told them to get whatever they wanted. You should’ve seen them light up and tear ass around that store. I sure made up for Christmas that day. But my oldest one, always the clever girl, she knew something was up. I gave my ex-wife a stack to help with the bills, and that pretty much dwindled the pile down to nothing. I waited a few more months and watched the remainder of the money return to the nothingness from where it came. I stopped showing up at work. I knew it was time for another quick strike. I knew of a bank back in Ohio that had a real slick route set up to get in and out easily. It was a Wednesday when I robbed that one. I followed the same protocol I developed on the first one. Everything was fine until I got home and counted the money. There was only three thousand. That wouldn’t hold for long. I started looking for other alternatives, I choose a bank that was over a hour and a half away. That one worked like clockwork, but only pulled down forty-five hundred. It was enough that I was able to chill for awhile. In fact, I actually called it quits. I always watched the nighttime local news to see what they might know. They’d run a post saying, if anyone has any information leading to the arrest of this man contact the nearest authorities immediately. But no new information ever presented itself. I tried to get a job, but there wasn’t any work. I made it a year before I hit the fourth one.  I knew it was risky. I knew it was too soon. But my daughter was starting soccer and no one had the money to register her and get all the equipment she needed. I drove three hours to the fourth bank. The in and out went smooth enough, but I could tell when they were putting the cash in my bag, that there was little money in there. I got home and counted out three hundred and fifty dollars. I knew that the cops were on to me. That they had an area pinned down from the banks that I hit. I knew this was the reason drawers kept getting shorter on cash. Maybe if I would’ve shut down at that point, I’d still be out there. But I couldn’t stop. I needed the money to bad. Three hundred dollars wouldn’t even put a dent in my debt. I decided to attempt the craziest, most-daring hit yet. It was at a bank practically down the road from me in P.A. I thought that they’d never expect a back to back hit from the perpetrator. I never even got to talk to the girls before I left. I just woke up during mid-afternoon and took off. I parked my car in a parking lot across the street behind an empty building. It was so quiet that day, like there was nothing going on at any of the other businesses and the parking lots were nearly empty. I entered the bank and before I could even get my usual greeting speech out, the head cashier interrupted that the cops already knew I was there, and I should leave before I make things worse on myself. I didn’t stop to argue. I knew she was telling the truth. I thought about staying right there and just giving up. But the whole flight or fight response kicked in and I took off. It wasn’t like the other robberies. I didn’t lollygag across the parking lot this time. This time I was in full sprint from the gate. When I was halfway across the parking lot I could hear the sirens. They were real close. When I crossed the street and got to my vehicle, the police cruisers were just pulling into the banks parking lot. Someone must of pointed them in my direction. As soon as I pulled out, the cops were looping around to start their pursuit of me. Now, I didn’t have the fastest of cars at that time. A Lumina with over one hundred thousand miles is not the ideal getaway car. I ran them around on some back roads for a few minutes.  They were about a football field or so behind me, but they were gaining quick. The car still had over half a tank of gas. But I knew I was done. In the end they’d get me. I decided to not make it any worse. I took a sharp left onto a dirt road and the Lumina almost rolled, but she regained her bearings. Good girl I thought to myself. I had a moment in a blind spot after taking the bend so I threw the .38 into a field. I had been having to piss since I left the bank, and at this point it felt like my bladder was about to burst. I slowed to a stop and pulled to the side of the road. The cop cars began screeching to a halt about twenty yards away, I got out the car, took four steps, and whipped my dick out and started pissing. Amazingly, the little prick didn’t have stage fright with all the craziness going on. So I’m pissing the longest piss of my life, while the cops are surrounding me, guns drawn, yelling for me to put my hands in the air. I comply and leave my prick waving a stream of piss in the open air. I tell my member to enjoy it, for it may be the last free air the both of us will breathe in awhile. A cop came from behind and tackled me to the ground. Piss sprayed everywhere, on both he and I. They ruffed me up a bit and took me in. I’ve been in ever since. No bond until sentencing for me. The state judge handed me five years with a smile and told me he wished he had more to give. The cops really put my wife under the scope for months, after my arrest. They believed I still had some of the money stashed somewhere. After awhile they gave up on that lead. The five years in this shithole isn’t so bad. It’s dealing with the federal courts, which should’ve started proceedings over a year ago. Christ, I’m almost three years into sentencing and still haven’t heard anything. I got no one on the outs to talk to attorneys and prosecutors for me. I heard from a friend of mine that my ex is dating some other guy now. After all the stuff I bought her and the girls with the money that I’m sitting in prison for; you’d think she’d at least bring the girls to see me once a month, hell I’d even take twice a year at this point. You know what kills me more than anything in here? Mail call. I’m being serious. Everyday we sit on our bunks like a bunch of little kids, and wait for a lifeline from back home. You wouldn’t believe the people I’ve seen freak out over the mail the last few years. Not getting any. Not getting enough. Getting a Dear John letter from a girl. People stealing other people’s pictures of people back home and jerking off to them. Man, this fucking zoo. Then I’ll be sitting here, knowing I got nothing coming, but that child molester across the isle gets mail nearly everyday. The one over on that top bunk, the guy that drugged those two girls and raped them, he always gets mail, and he has money sent to him every week from his wife that knows he raped those two girls. And both these sexual predator fucks get visits every week without fail. Guess that says a lot about us people that don’t ever get a visit or mail. I mean, if the lowest slime on the earth has people that care about them, and I don’t have a single person on the outs that even cares if I’m breathing… What the hell does that say about me? Living in oblivion is what this shit here is. Give me the death penalty over life in prison any day, I say. You know what scares me more than anything about this place? One day I just die in here and life just moves on out there. No goodbye. No daughter squeezing my hand on my deathbed. No profound last words traded with anyone but the fucking child molester over there… said Harry

Alright cocksuckers!! Headcount! Get your fingers out your boyfriends’ assholes and line up at the end of your bunks! Headcount! yelled the guard.

Clankclankclankclankclankclankclank, said the metal flashlight as the other guard banged it against a metal rail.

©2013 Carl Paul Henneman


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