Carlos stared at me, “You packing?”
Packing? What was Carlos thinking? I didn’t have a suitcase, backpack, or carryall. I was clueless? The only trip I wanted to go on was a trip to Las Vegas with J and have a quickie marriage.”
I answered, “No, Carlos. If I was packing I’d take J and we’d head to Vegas.”
Carlos give me his best impression of a hyena grinning and said, “Man, you got a sense of humor. I can tell you high up in the gang ranks because you can make jokes about this stuff. I got just the thing for you since you not packing right now.”
I shot Carlos a smile and look that said I know exactly what you’re talking about and I was as clueless as if I was at a stamp collectors convention. “What?” I asked.
Carlos reached down into the front of his pants. My first thought was this is an odd way for a guy to scratch his scrotum when he’s in public. It’s more common among men to nonchalantly reach down and grab their crotch and scratch until the itch goes away. It’s accepted protocol, you can scratch over pants but not in your pants. Father told me in the only Father to son talk we ever had, even if you’re following male protocol you scratch more than twice, you’re beginning to take too much pleasure in it. As a teenager, I did a lot of scratching in bed.
I knew Carlos took hold of something. I didn’t even care to speculate about what he was holding. I’m not sure this bad boy act is going to play well with J. She’s apt to hit me square on the jaw and send me to the floor.
Carlos grinned at me with his gold canine and five tooth grin. He said, “You gonna like this.”
“I’m not so sure, Carlos. You don’t have to show me,” I said.
“I got to show you if you gonna be a bad boy. You got to make the black beauty think you’re a desperado.”
Maybe being a desperado wasn’t such a good idea. I was staring at the bulge in Carlos’s pants where his hand gripped hold of only God knows what. A scary thought ran through my fragile mind. What if Carlos is the head of a Mexican cartel. Carlos is hiding out from authorities by working as a custodian and cleaning toilets in the Loomis Building. What police agency is going to look for El Queso the head of Mexican cheese cartel doing custodial work in Loomis?
With a flash of showmanship seldom seen in the elevators at Loomis, Carlos pulled out an actual gun. His hand was on the trigger and he was twirling it, cowboy style. He fired it twice into the elevator cabin side wall hitting Genevieve Loomis in each eye. It wasn’t a case of first degree murder, since it was a full wall photo of Genevieve’s head. From where Carlos was standing and then pointing the gun, he couldn’t miss Genevieve’s eyes, The gun was only six inches away when he fired. I screamed at him, “I’ll give you my wallet, please don’t shoot.”
Carlos laughed like a hen laying an egg. When he finished cackling, he said, “No, problemo, Double M. I don’t want your gang on my case. I’m going to give you the gun so the caramel nugget double dipped in milk chocolate will think you are a bad boy.”
I raised a hand, I lied, “No thanks, Carlos. I have a trigger temper. I’m liable to shoot one of my patients.”
Carlos pushed stop on the elevator. We were stuck between the thirtieth and twenty-ninth floors. He scratched his head. I wasn’t sure if he was thinking and trying to get his brain to come up with a better idea or if he had head lice.
Carlos suddenly exclaimed, “I got it Señor Double M. Take off your chirt. Chirt was how he said shirt.
“What are you going to do Carlos? Why do I have to take off my shirt?”
Carlos reached onto his cart and picked up an expensive fountain pen one of high priced lawyers lost or Carlos lifted off a desk. He unscrewed the top off the pen and held it up to his eye as he were deciding if it were clean enough to inject an IV into my arm.
Carlos said, “I’m going give you a tat of a naked woman on your bicep. You’re in pretty good shape. When you flex your bicep, she’ll jiggle her titties.”
My heart hit the elevator floor. If J saw a nude woman on my bicep jiggling her breasts every time I flexed my arm, she’d have nothing to do with me. J’s standards of behavior are considerably higher than mine, and infinitely higher than Carlos who set the morality bar so low a snail could leap over it. Think. Think. Think. I screamed to myself.
“Tell him you have a tattoo and it’s a secret tattoo given to you by the gang,” said my conscience.
“Where did you come from? I didn’t see you get on the elevator?” I said.
“Where you go, I go. Usually, I’m socially networking with the other consciences. I can multi task. I listen to you and laugh and tell my colleagues what your up to. It’s their form of entertainment.”
“Do you think that’s fair? I didn’t say you could share my life,” I said.
“Sue me,” laughed my conscience. “Listen up. Take my advice.”
Carlos said, “Who you talking to, man? I don’t see nobody. You see somebody I don’t see?”
Back in the present moment, I saw my way through. I said, “I was talking to El Jefe, the founder of the gang. You know the gang leader executed for twenty-seven murders. He communicates to me when I seek advice.”
“Not the El Jefe?” said Carlos incredulously.
I never met El Jefe. I didn’t know a deceased gang leader by this name existed. I knew El Jefe meant the boss. I heard one of the illegal immigrants Mother and Father hire because they work cheaper than legitimate citizens call his supervisor El Jefe. I answered as only I can answer, by lying. “It is the El Jefe. He told me I can’t take my shirt off because it will show the secret tattoo he carved into my right pectoral with his knife.”
Carlos blessed himself at least a dozen times. I not messing with you. El Jefe is a legend. Nobody goes against El Jefe. Even from the grave he has sex with your girlfriend if wants to have sex with her.”
“That’s not all,” I said and I don’t know why I said it. I think I enjoy lying.
“There’s more?” asked Carlos.
“He has seventy-five women in heaven who take care of his every need and I mean every need.”
Carlos had us moving toward the 21st floor. Small things are beginning to make me grateful.
Carlos said, “I can only hope I have twenty or thirty women catering to me when I get to heaven. Will you tell El Jefe to put in a good word for me?”
“I’m on it, Carlos,” I said as the elevator glided to a stop at the 21st floor. We fist bumped.
As I was leaving, Carlos hollered, “Tell El Jefe, I like blondes.”