Now that I think of it we didn’t use real names when we were young. We came up with creative ones. We had Dead Boy. Dr. Danger. Hank Wright. Jay Bird (that was me).
And how about this. Big. We called her Big. But she was not. Not by a long margin. In fact she may have been about five foot nothing. But she was big. In personality. In style. In her incredible bluntness. In her angled dyed black hair. She thought she was big and I was afraid to argue.
Her dad was a VP of the Royal Bank—no kidding— and she was the bad ass daughter. In between the ever explosive times with Her (HRM) I had Big in my life. And that was just fine with Big. A lot of years have passed and truthfully I’d be guessing her real name now. A name I never called her. So let’s stick with Big.
“Where’s Big?” Hank Wright would ask. “Um…beside you..” That small. The day we met at the Black Bull across from City TV she simply asked if she could come home with me. Classic. And if I got back together with Her she’d say, “Oh for fuck sakes…” and that would be that.
I didn’t mention the fact Big was a drug addict but I guess I better let it slip now. Since I was her carrier when we went to clubs and such places. The hidden pocket at the bottom of my houndstooth coat. Frisk me if you may but no one is going to find this darn pocket. Never did. Not until Dickie found the key and the note in the new old coat.
Big and I, we’d be apart for months, all the while I’m carrying a thousand dollars worth of some drug in my secret pocket. Big didn’t care. Her dad kept her flush with drug money.
And that is one person I’d love to see now. Did she settle down (unlikely) and become a housewife? Tycoon? Did she grow up at all? Is she dead? Not like I can research and find out. I don’t even know her first name. But if I could guess I would say she figured things out, went to university and became a powerful leader. She was super smart.
My M/O. Smart women. Her (Jean) was very smart. I thought she’d be the Prime Minister and not an elementary school teacher. Big (?) was very smart, someone who could destroy anyone in Trivial Pursuit. At that age I couldn’t tell you what country was next to another country. But she could. And she had an incredible knowledge of so many things. History. Politics. Music. And she had the incredible ability to answer complex math problems in her head. What is 2,345 multiplied by 8,742? A blank look would come rolling over her face, and then the answer, always right, twenty million four hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety. Always. Always. Right.
And today, as I walk down Euclid wearing an exact replica of my earlier houndstooth coat, carrying a briefcase of cash and passports (and for fun I moved the loaded gun into my coat pocket) I reminisce about the lovely people who came in and out of my life.