HERO APOMIXIS – Chapter 12





Hero had told Ilana, “no,” that he did not think that

she should come over to Jimmy’s so late but she begged

him and he’d given in to her even though the absolute all

of him was telling him no, no, no.

Jimmy was a physically slight (emaciated was more like

it), Gay, black, undercover crack fiend  from Atlanta, Georgia

with a sniffy habit he couldn’t keep up with. Hero

had started using Jimmy’s apartment to meet his connection from the Bronx: every evening he would bring Hero between 20

and 30 bundles for the next day and then drive back with

a few thousand dollars. Jimmy got 3 bags of

dope and $25 to buy groceries and cook dinner for Hero.

Ilana had recently finished a $3,000 naltrexone detox

somewhere out in Jersey but as soon as she’d got back,

3 days earlier, she’d been trying to get high – except the

implant the doctor had surgically put in her thigh hadn’t

stopped releasing more naltrexone which was blocking the

dope. Hero had seen junkies who’d gone through this type

of detox before, most of them his wealthier customers, and

they’d all thrown some pretty serious temper tantrums trying

to get high and wasted as much $ as they could shoot or

sniff in the process. It was always a bad scene because

although the naltrexone blocked the effects of the heroin

it didn’t do squat for the now “clean” junkie’s cravings.


An Israeli national of Moroccan decent, Ilana had come

to NYC 7 years earlier to attend film school and somehow

ended up owning a reasonably successful used clothing store

on St. Mark’s Place just east of 1st Avenue that she called

“Tattoo You.” Somewhere along the line she’d started sniffing

dope and that’s how she met Hero.

Hero thought Ilana was attractive, a real Sabra in every

sense of the word. Long, frizzy dark hair, and light olive

skin, very full lips, and large brown eyes with naturally

long lashes.

“Of course,” Hero speculated later, “she might have just

been dope sick, I don’t know.”

Ilana was all this and more – she was also a raving bitch.

About 5’6” and shaped well for her 30+ years,

Ilana was sort of like Dahlia, but not. He’d thought

that maybe it was because they dressed alike but whereas

Ilana was fun to be with and watch when she was relaxed,

she was equally as much a terror of disproportionate mental

mind fucking and adolescent game playing that normally

allowed her to push any man stupid enough to stick around

into one of her chosen corners. None of that got her very far with Hero once he’d caught on. Once he’d

caught on. In the beginning, Ilana had the most annoying habit of always being the very last customer of the evening to beep

him and she intentionally pushed the envelope every single

night. Then, once he’d arrived at her store, she’d make

him wait in the back room which was really a bathroom and storage area with a low ceiling full of used clothes in dusty boxes; very hot and stuffy. When her Highness finally tore herself away from her neurotic sorting of faux patent leather purses or whatever latest piece of garbage she was obsessing over at the moment, she would make her way to the back to see

Hero, who was tired of riding all day. Hero, who was

exhausted from dealing all day. Hero, who just wanted to

go home.

“Hero! How are you doing? You look tired, you should get

some rest.”

“What do you need, Ilana?”

“I don’t know, how is it?”

“It’s good, it’s from the same package as yesterday.”

“Are you sure?”

For Hero, this was no good. It was a stupid question that

was just begging for a very much deserved nasty and abusive


“No, I’m not sure.” His blood pressure rising fast, his

sweating body covered in bike gear, the two of them in that

cramped little room, “in fact, llana, it’s probably garbage,

no, in fact it’s no good at all, it’s beat – that’s why

I only sold 18 bundles of it today – so you don’t have to

worry if it’s any good. Now, how many?”

And, as this regular nightly exchange was getting itself

underway, Ilana would ask to see the bundle that she intended

to buy all of 4 or 5 bags from and then she would proceed

to hold each one of the ten in the bundle up against a low

wattage light bulb trying to figure out which of them had the

best count.

One time, Ilana said, “Do you have any others?”

And Hero thought about the 32 bundles stashed away in

his messenger bag. Three hundred-and-twenty bags for Ilana

to hold up and inspect one-at-a-motherfucking-time, never

quite sure which bags were biggest so that she would always

have to repeat the process over and over again until frustrated,

she’d finally just take whatever was in her hand at the moment.

“Oh, no, bitch,” Hero told himself – saying out loud instead,

“Here, lemme’ see.” holding his hand out for the bags

she was finger fucking and once he had them he said,

“That’s it,” and headed for the door.

“What? Don’t go, ok, ok, I won’t give you a hard time

anymore – but look – am I wrong? c’mon, c’mon, don’t go,

Hero, please – I’m sorry, ok?”

Ilana had placed one of her hands on his shoulder. Her

pleading tone – that accent. It was enough so that he went

deaf to the staccato pealing Death Metal knell of the Sucker

Alarm going off inside his head. Ilana knew he liked her.

She liked him, too. Those eyes were killing him. He genuinely

was fond of her, but oy, what a ball breaker. Later, Hero

thought that that had undoubtedly been a large part of his

attraction to her. Times would come when she would behave

selfish and cruel and still he would hold on. He saw why to be rejected when you sought the love and acceptance

they’d sold you as some bullshit birthright. Hero didn’t

want to reject anyone and he speculated at that moment

if this wasn’t the maker of saints and saviors?

Worse. Insulting by its implications, and pathetic in

its truth, was the fact that Hero and Ilana had been so

high all the time that they’d never even made love. A dope

habit, a real proper out of control, gotta’ get high – do

or die dope habit eventually consumes one’s desire for everything but more dope. That was a pig’s habit although personally Hero had known people who’d been strung out for more than 20 years without any major problems – in fact – a lot

of them said that the shit had preserved them by slowing

down their metabolism and reducing stress. Heroin was also

a great antidepressant. Dope: the ultimate consumer product.

Hero knew that the better the dope – the faster it sold

– the more it was in demand – the more money he made.

So, on that cool September night at about 10:30 P.M. Ilana

wanted to drive over to Jimmy’s place on east 6th Street

and Avenue D so Hero could hit her; she couldn’t inject

herself and although Hero wasn’t too thrilled about doing

it for her he was trying to delay the inevitable crossing

of those dark and brackish waters, tepid at best,

when he would eventually be asked to teach her how.

When she got there, Ilana went into the bathroom of the

studio apartment. She sat down on the toilet seat so Hero

could hit her in some relative degree of quiet because

Jimmy liked to play his T.V. so obnoxiously loud that concentrating on anything became next to impossible. When he finished Ilana thanked him and asked for a cigarette which Hero lit for her and then he left her sitting there while he stepped

into the kitchen to clean the works. His back was turned

when he heard llana’s head hit the tile wall with an audible

“SWACK!” and then her head and shoulders sliding against

  1. She was out cold sitting upright and beginning to

lean forward when Hero caught her and tried to wake her

  1. He pulled her body around and dragged her out of the

bathroom by hooking his hands under her armpits laying

her down a few feet from the front door beside a large wicker

chest that made an L up against the wall with the back

of Jimmy’s couch. Hero put some pillows under llana’s head,

and noticed that Jimmy’s unusually high strung crack body movements were accentuated by new jumps and starts that

when combined with the holding of his hands up under his

chin, made him look like a half-starved black squirrel on

the bad end of a 3 week speed jag. His shoulders appeared

as if they were trying to swallow his nappy head by sucking

it in through his craned straw of a neck and the skin on

his face was rapidly turning ashen gray as it tightened.

When Hero glanced back at him again he saw that a very

blank nervous expression had taken Jimmy over completely.

Had he been a little less worried about llana dying – and

worse yet – in front of a fucking witness – Hero would have

laughed at Jimmy’s too late realization that once he was

in the door it was his program. Jimmy thought whatever

Hero let him think and everything else was bullshit. Sooner

or later Jimmy would get farther behind in the rent and

Hero would be there to bail him out – and then throw him

out. Sooner or later.

Hero tried calling, “llana,” and then listened for her

heartbeat with his ear against her chest. Next he felt for

a pulse which was light but steady. Afraid because she wouldn’t

wake up he called 911 on his cell phone. (Jimmy’s phone

had been turned off months ago.) Before the police and ambulance arrived, Hero took off a black leather fanny-pack with 23 bundles of dope in it stashed it under some sweaters

that were on top of the wicker chest, and then pushed the

sweaters back towards the wall so that they’d be under a

short telephone shelf. Jimmy became frantic at the idea

of the police coming. Hero told him to, “Calm down – just

let me do all the talking.”

Jimmy tittered and babbled until Hero made him make sure the apartment was clean – that there were no stray straws or stems that the idiot had forgotten about laying out in plain view.

“She’s not gonna’ die, is she?! Not in my apartment! Oh,

God, no, oh, no, the POLICE?!”

Hero wished that it was Jimmy laying on the floor instead

of llana so he could’ve just put a dry cleaners bag over

his ugly stub of a head and tied it off at that spindly

black crack head neck of his. Then he would have gone out

for a couple of slices of pizza before coming back to wipe

the apartment down for prints. And if Jimmy woke up? He

would have had him committed for trying to kill himself.

The police arrived in about 10 minutes and Hero felt lucky

because the cop doing all the talking wasn’t too interested

in anything but getting out of there.

“What happened?”

“She just got out of detox- she went to the store – she

must’ve copped,” Hero knew that if he sounded just a little

upset and jumped around in his presentation of the “facts”

that the police would immediately feel secure and in charge

– which they were and he was just trying to steer this crowded

boat with a half dead body in it.“When she came back up she

went into the bathroom for a while and I got worried and

knocked but she didn’t answer. When I went in she was

like this. “

“ What j‘ado with the needles and stuff ? “

“I got nervous so I flushed everything down the toilet

but I don’t want her to get in any trouble or anything. “

The first cop, the one asking the questions, was a round

faced Irishman somewhere in his late 40’s who spoke with

a clean Queens accent. Either that or he’d transplanted

to Long Island or gone to college. He leaned over Ilana

and rubbed the knuckle of his middle finger against the

center of her chest making her groan.

“Wow, what’s that?”

“If they’re  not too bad – this usually wakes’em right up

– here – you do it till EMS gets here.”

All of the nerves that ended at the center of llana’s breasts

were stimulated and she groaned again just before

coming to and asking sleepily, “Wha? What happened?”

One good look at the police woke her right up. She was

still a bit groggy and unfocused protesting, “I’m ok, I’m

ok,” but the cop told her the rules were that she had to

go to the hospital to get checked out.

In another 2 minutes the EMTs were taking her blood

pressure and other vitals and also telling her that she had

to go to the hospital and she protested again until Hero

and the cop, combined, broke it down for her: she could

always go in handcuffs if she wanted to.

So down the stairs she went and into the back of a large

truck like ambulance also known as a “meat-wagon.” Hero

let the cops out and told Jimmy he’d be back. Inside the

cab of the ambulance he considered running back upstairs

to get his bag except the cops hadn’t left yet and he was

paranoid; he didn’t want to take the chance of anything

else going wrong seeing as how he’d gotten over so far

– so good. Also, it was too much dope to get caught with

23 bundles was about 3/4’s of an ounce – which would have

equaled 10 to Life at the very least. That had been mistake

#2. Mistake #1 was letting Ilana come over in the first place.

The hospital was quick. The ER was practically empty if

the waiting room was any indication. Hero waited about 2

hours and when Ilana was finally done she sat next to him

while they waited for her paperwork. She said, “You know

I love you?” and that’s when he heard the bell connected

to his Sucker Alarm clanging and wailing away inside his

head again. Hero wasn’t feeling very romantic at that particular

moment so he simply kissed Ilana and was glad to see that

she was ok.

Earlier that year a customer who’d seen Hero twice in

the same evening had mixed dope, Special K and only God

knows what else so that when the designer drug dealers,

whose apartment the young man was crashing at, tried to shake

him awake the next day – they couldn’t. The brains behind

the operation told her boyfriend to carry dude downstairs,

put him in the car and then take him to the ER and say

that they’d been out partying all night and that he’d fallen asleep

in the car. When he woke up – his buddy didn’t and was

he ok? Worked like a charm.

Hero admired that girl. She had shoulder length blond

hair and an upturned nose like all little rich girls should

and pursed full lips. She was awfully cute in a very

sexy way. When Hero’d made a delivery to her one day he

noticed that she had an “X” made of two by fours painted

glossy black bolted to one of the walls of her bedroom.

It had eyebolts for attaching people to it. He never asked

and she never offered.

Hero was truly grateful for her fast thinking – too many

customers knew that the kid had been up to see him

at another client’s apartment that he was using over on

the West Side. He watched his P’s and Q’s for a while but

was worried about some of the kid’s friends who were

nothing more than a brazen bunch of snobby, herb dealing

white boys with dreadlocks, tattoos, and too many piercings.

He wouldn’t put it past them to try and pipe him from

behind or attempt to perform some other equally honorable

act upon his person – like ratting him out to the cops.

This was indeed the 90’s.

Hero took Ilana home and caught a cab back to Jimmy’s.

The early morning air was damp and chilly and at what

must have been about 4:00 A.M. the scarecrow  buzzed him

  1. At the top of the stairs Jimmy was holding the door open

just barely enough for him to see with one eye through

the crack it made. In frantically hushed tones. he said,

“You’d better get out of here! The police came back here

looking for you! They know your name – they asked me if

I knew you, if I knew who Hero was!”

Tired but not sick, Hero could smell the bullshit – but

– police was police was police.

“Open the door, Jimmy,” he said in a monotone that told

Himself, “I’m gonna kill this clown.”

Once inside with the door locked Hero went to where he’d

left his drugs. They were gone. Jimmy fretted on the opposite

side of the cluttered studio. Before Hero could get word one

out of his mouth Jimmy said, “I flushed it down the toilet.”

Now Hero’s bullshit alarm broke from an overload of excessive

and outrageous bullshit.

“I saved a bundle for you so you wouldn’t be sick, I was

afraid, they said they were coming back …. “

“Gimme the bundle.”

Jimmy handed him the bundle of heroin with his arm fully

extended  and torso pulled back, cringing like he was

feeding a rabid dog in the worst performance of fright that Hero

had ever seen.

“Tell you what, Jimmy, I’m gonna’ call my connection and

then we’re gonna’ see what happens.”

With mock terror so pathetic that it was beginning to

piss Hero off almost as much as his missing drugs, Jimmy

stammered, “Oh, no, what’s he going to do? Is he going to

break my legs?”

“Relax, it’s not him you have to worry about, Jimmy, it’s

  1. I’m responsible for that material.”

Hero called his man, told him what had happened and said

he would probably be needing more product for tomorrow because Jimmy wasn’t too bright right about then – and he’d rather be safe than sorry. When he hung up, Jimmy was still doing his “Chicken Little” routine. Hero wanted to kill him dead

right there on the spot but there were too many complications

not the least of which was his dope. The words “stupid”

and “nigger” kept coming to the forefront of his mind.

“Where’s my shit, Jimmy?”

“I told you – I flushed it all down the toilet – I swear,”

his voice rising gradually so as to alert his neighbors.

“Why you ugly little bitch,” Hero muttered to himself

and shook his head; he hadn’t even laid a finger on him

yet. Motherfucker, he thought, he’ll rat and he’s letting

me know it before I break a chair leg off in his ass and

then knock his little yellow teeth down his throat with

the dirty end.

“Lower your voice, Jimmy.”

“But I told you!!”

“Don’t make me search your apartment,” Hero said. It was

only a studio but Jimmy had so much shit crammed into it

plus a short walk-in closet that was waist high full of

clothing that Hero suspected he’d collected off the street.

He was too tired and so he fronted – trying to scare the

little faggot into giving up the remaining 22 bundles. He

started searching and suddenly Jimmy threw on his jacket

and announced, “I’m going out to get some beer.”

But the only place he was going was to a pay phone to

call the cops and Hero knew it, too.

“Wrong act, Jimmy. Besides – you’re not going anywhere.”

Jimmy practically screamed, “I TOLD YOU, I flushed the

DRUGS DOWN TOILET!! Now you should LEAVE!!”

Hero weighed all his options as best he could without

any rest; he wasn’t too worried about the money. He could

make up the $1,300 he owed for the package in 3 days and

without breaking a sweat either. Hero promised Jimmy that

if he didn’t give him the 22 bundles he would not only

make an example out of him but also hurt him very, very

badly in the process.

“OK, Jimmy. You can play your stupid little games if you

want to – but here’s the deal: If you don’t call me to return

at least 20 of those bundles by noon today – you are going

to be one sorry faggot – no one told you to go flush anything

down any fuckin’ toilet, so, even if you did, which I don’t

believe you did, SHUT-UP! I’m not finished talking yet

you lying fuckin’ bitch – if you did flush’em? Tough shit,

asshole – you just bought’em, so either shit me 20 bundles

by noon, or come up with $1,300 in cash. And that’s not

counting my lost time and profit spent fucking around with

your pathetic ass, you sorry fuckin’ moron.”

And with that Hero turned around and broke-out, got himself

a room in The St. Mark’s Hotel and crashed.

Six and a half hours later he went back to Jimmy’s because

the asshole had beeped him: it was around 12:00P.M. Only

the jerk-off didn’t have his dope for him. Instead, he was

talking mad shit about how he was going to call the police,

 “If you don’t leave me alone!” Where upon hearing such

threats, Hero, still very tired and definitely not in the

mood, demoed Jimmy’s entire kitchen alcove – broke everything.

Jimmy loved to cook so Hero flipped over a serving

cart full of china, flatware, and glasses telling him,

“Good! You do that, Asshole! And when they get here –

you show’em this!” and then he flipped the cart creating

such a cacophony of breaking glass and dishes that it was

deafening. Then he broke every dish on the floor some more

by stomping on them with his boots. When he was done he

grabbed Jimmy by the nape of his skinny neck until the punk

cried sissy tears that pissed him off so badly that he bitched

slapped him 3 or 4 times fighting back a very strong

desire to beat the thief to his literal death. He half dragged

the liar into the bathroom and held his face in front of

the mirror and pointed out that his eyes were pinned.

“You don’t look very dope sick to me, Jimmy!” Hero barked

in his ear making Jimmy wince so that he shriveled up and

yelled, “OW!” too early though, like a real sissy-boy “OW!”

when Hero bounced his head off of the bathroom door.

“Where’s my shit?! huh, Jimmy?!”

“I told you,”  he cried but Hero cut him off, telling

him, “Shut the fuck-up!” and continued to bang  his forehead

against the wooden door just hard enough to bruise him up

a bit. He wanted to torture Jimmy whether he’d flushed the

shit down the toilet or not but was frightened that the

bitch would tell and fuck up his whole program. (So far

the cops didn’t even know that Hero existed.) He thought

of filling up the bathtub with ice cubes and cold water

and then forcing Jimmy to lay in it for a few minutes but

the temptation to drown the cocksucker was just too great.

Hero knew that he might not be able to help himself. If

there had been an armchair he could’ve tied the loser to

it and then duct taped his hands and fingers so that the

spread digits steadied his nails and they would be easier

to access with the burning ember of a lit cigarette – but

it was always the same – if he didn’t kill him he’d tell.

“Fuckin’ New York!” he screamed at Jimmy who looked as

if he’d just seen Lucifer on bad acid. “It’s not enough to

to spend all fucking day cutting you up, you son-of-a-bitch,

and then all night cleaning up!”

Hero had often scared people into paying when they’d tried

to beat him but they usually had some kind of backbone

and common sense – not like this cum drunk, homo-ass, crack

smoking, invertebrate rat fuck.

“It’s all relative,” he once joked after an associate

had watched him scare someone into paying some $ they’d

“forgotten” to give him for a front. It was his personal

“Theory Of Relativity” at work.

“Relative to what, Hero?”

“Relative to my foot in that motherfucker’s ass if I didn’t

get my money!”

And they both laughed so hard that they doubled over.

But today? Today the “Theory Of Relativity” wasn’t applicable

so Hero could only get away with breaking up some of Jimmy’s


He told him, “Ya’ know this ain’t over – you retard –

I’m still gonna’ get you personally for this.”

Jimmy whimpered and fretted and told Hero, “Just leave!”

sobbing over his precious china and broken brick-a-brack

now good for nothing but kitty-litter. Hero had guessed

right that another version of the “Theory Of Relativity”

was at work here. This was called Hero’s “Special Theory

Of Relativity.” The one in which the junkie’s desire for

dope became of greater importance than anything else – including his or her own personal safety. Hero’d been there and

knew that some people never came back. He’d get Jimmy later

he told himself, having worked some of his leftover anger

into a more manageable instrument than it had been before.

“Smell’ya later, Jimmy!” he said cheerfully and laughed

at the pathetic stick figure kneeling to clean up the

mess Hero had made. Halfway out the door, Hero turned back,

“ And, oh , just one thing, Jimmy. When I get you,” and

Hero winked at him, “just promise you won’t tell, ok? You

don’t want to give the shit back? No problem, Jimmy; but

one way or another ya’ gotta’ pay, Jimbo. Later, pal.”

And with that Hero whistled all the way down the stairs

while a few of Jimmy’s neighbors peeked out of cracked door

jambs to observe the last act of the spectacle they’d been

listening to for the past hour and a half. Jimmy sniffled

and closed his door with a quiet “thump.”

Three months later at about 5:00 P.M. on a cold February evening Hero was riding his bicycle all bundled up and

ready to make his rush hour deliveries. He had on long-johns,

long legged black spandex bike pants, 3 layers of pullovers

with a Gortex shell, gloves made especially for riding

in the cold, a 2 color, reversible neoprene face mask and

his very favorite wooly cap from Peru, knit thick with a

beautifully rich purple and white close stitch.

By no extreme coincidence Jimmy was crossing the street

while Hero made circles in the crosswalk waiting for the

light to change.

“Hero, is’at you? I have $40, sell me four bags,” Jimmy

bleated sounding too much like a sick calf ready to die.

Hero ignored him glad that the asshole wasn’t sure if it

was him or not. The second the light turned green he

rode off and bought a couple of McFood’s cheesy burgers

and waited for Jimmy to get a head start  Back outside

he rode behind him from just under a block away while he

finished his burgers and a small cola which he’d slipped

into the water bottle carrier bolted to his bike frame.

One block. Two blocks. At the third block he got closer

and when Jimmy was about 25 ft. away from his apartment

building – on the fourth and final block – Hero

opened a 4 inch serrated folding knife, rode right

up behind Jimmy doing about 15 mph and stabbed him as hard

as he could dead in his left ass cheek – hitting bone as

he did – and then pulled the blade out just as smoothly

as it had gone in and rode off the sidewalk with the weapon

under his right hand pressed securely against the handlebar

grip of his mountain bike. When Hero hit the street Jimmy

was just ending his greatest performance ever: a blood curdling

and genuinely heartfelt, “OUWOO!!” that let Hero know

it was definitely time to burn the road up. The block was empty in the cold gray twilight except for one Section 8 janitor who was tying up some garbage bags halfway back to Avenue C. Hero cut left down the avenue and up 11th Street where he dropped the knife in a sewer – without stopping – and hightailed it to the hotel where he’d been staying over on the West Side.

Hero avoided the East Village for a few weeks but only

to the extent that he didn’t hang out too much and it was

just as well because the temperature was really low. He

didn’t learn that he had a warrant for the stabbing for

almost 6 months. Jimmy spent 5 days in the hospital – all

of them on his stomach – and another 10 weeks without sitting

on anything. The miserable rat fuck identified him in a

photo line-up and the detectives and his legal aid

attorney told the judge that he had rescued Jimmy several

times from rogue crack dealers he owed money to and that

ever since he’d had a terrible crush on him only he wasn’t

interested and had eventually let the crack dealers exact

their pound of flesh. Now Jimmy was trying to punish Hero

for rejecting his overtures by blaming him for the new hole

in his ass. Hero almost lost it when his lawyer told the

Judge the story then congratulated himself and smiled.

Proof positive that the biggest lie was usually the best.

Bail was set at $5,000 for the drugs and $250 for the hole

in Jimmy’s ass.

A few months later Hero’s connection caught up with Jimmy

and after a short conversation he not only volunteered to

drop the charges – but to move back to Atlanta as well.

Ilana went back to Israel and stayed about 5 months before

returning to the East Village. (It was an addiction itself.)

Hero still thought about her selfish ass almost every day.

Hero? Well, we all know where he is. He’s still sitting

inside a 6’xl0′ cell in Attica but it’s not over yet. In fact, it has

barely begun.

“You better believe it, motherfucker.”




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