Pete ... loud ... but nice. Turkish is his ’baby’ has 'been with him for 15 years'. Turkish looked up at me from Pete’s lap. Cute.
“You don’t sound like you’re from America”
“What’s it like?”
... staccato questions - like gunfire.
“Never been myself … my brother went to New York a couple of years ago. Had a great time, other than being manhandled by the police.”
I stopped and looked at him. An older gentleman, with that rough London accent that would have fitted into a movie like 'The Long Good Friday'. (Excellent movie BTW - if a tad dated.)
“Seriously?” I asked.
"Yeah," he said " up in Harlem. My Brothers mad on Jazz, so someone bundled him in a cab and told the driver to take him up to Harlem. He had a great time. Only white bloke in the entire place and the Jazz was amazing. Well, that’s what the brother said, i don’t know. I wasn’t there.
"Yeah that area is great for music, sounds a fun time ... what went wrong?"
"Well, it turns out that he was the only white boy and not just in the club! When he left, a police car driving by saw him and they thought he didn’t ‘look right’, so pulled over and had him against a wall in seconds."
He went on .... "Once they heard him talk, the penny must have dropped ... so sent him on his way, but they told him he wasn’t in the right neighborhood - so don’t come back."
"So he didn’t, not even to America. Blimey that President of theirs talks about ‘no go’ areas in London ... what a load of bollocks, I think he got confused with New York."
"So would you go to America?" I asked?.
"Me? No mate. Not me. My brothers a big bloke and if that can happen to him - I’m not gonna risk it ... I’m 76 now, not as quick on my feet as I used to be."
"But that’s a pretty unusual case."
"Probably." he said, "but why risk it? What’s America got that I need - let alone want?"
A little piece of you
The little peace in me
For this is not America