Hey! This is my new story, Fuggiasco, I hope you all love it!
I have to say a big thank you to Whatobsession17 for helping me make this story grow. She also has made an awesome banner and it's posted in my profile!
Kimmcarr and Jessypt, you two ladies are grammar queens and I bow down! I met these ladies through Project Team Beta and am so grateful that I did.
I owe you three ladies such big thanks for taking your time and helping me make this story one that I am proud to post!
This story contains subject matter which may be offensive to some readers. I will try to post a warning before each chapter if I feel there is a need, but the story in general deals with mature themes.
"There ain't no rest for the wicked,
Money don't grow on trees.
I got bills to pay,
I got mouths to feed,
There ain't nothing in this world for free.
I know I can't slow down,
I can't hold back,
Though you know, I wish I could.
No there ain't no rest for the wicked,
Until we close our eyes for good".
-Cage the Elephant
I'm pissed. It's two in the morning, and I'm sitting in the drizzle on the cold, hard, dirty pavement in an alley. Or should I say my current residence? I stand and kick the side of the building. There's no one else to take my anger out on, so the side of the building is taking one for the team. I smell a terrible stench, but I can't tell where it's coming from. Is it me, or all the other shit in the alley? My clothes are damp, the denim sticking to my body and rubbing me wrong, and I feel dirty. I run my hand through my hair out of habit, cringing at the grime I feel in it. My stomach is making horrific noises. I'm so hungry; I haven't eaten for two days.
I take in my familiar setting. I'm sitting behind Henry's. It's where the rich people go to drink, three stories of swanky bar. Most of the homeless avoid this area because the cops usually clear it out pretty fast. See rich people don't like the homeless; we make them uncomfortable. That's why I like to come here though. I don't have to deal with too many people and when the cops tell me to go, I go. Tonight, my strategy isn't working. Tonight I have neighbors.
My "next door" neighbor on the right, the dumpster, is housing a drunk and druggie who still has a needle in his arm. The neighbor on the left, I'm not so sure what's wrong with him, but he is currently puking all over the other poor unsuspecting bum who's sleeping under a pile of cardboard. Yes, I am homeless, but I am no bum; there's a big difference. Bums are content with their lot in life. I try to do everything I can to get out of this mess. I don't do drugs, and I didn't do shit to end up out here with the whores and druggies on the street.
A month ago, I had a job and was sharing an apartment with six other guys downtown. That only lasted for two months before I was laid off. I've been on the streets since I was twelve; not having a stable home, and being on and off the streets has been the story of my life. Now at twenty, I am still playing the same fucking game. Why did I end up on the street at twelve? Well I don't fucking talk about that. It is what it is, and I am doing everything I can to make it in this world. With no high school education, and no address or phone number, it's next to impossible.
I was working for a guy that does maintenance on all the big condo buildings around here. He's a real nice guy; his name is Mike. He doesn't judge us just because we're out here, and he tries to get to know us. He gave me and five of the other guys that were clean a chance. He set us up with an apartment; it was shitty, but I was just happy to have a place to go. I slept on the floor, and I was thrilled to do so. I was dry, clean, and full every night. Out of the six of us that he hired, two of us were honest - the rest burned him. He lost so much money from the others that ripped him off that he couldn't afford to keep me and Jake on. It was shitty and pissed me off. This is why I can't get a job, because of those fuckers that give us all a bad name. I have shitty opinions about them.
Jake, the other guy that got fucked over, is one of the only people I trust out here. I met him when I was sixteen. Tall dude, like six foot four, he's dark, must have Native American in him. He's about twenty-four, I guess, and nuttier than squirrel turd, but a decent guy nonetheless. I'm not even sure what's wrong with him; some days he's completely normal, we just hang out and bull shit. We watch out for each other and help each other get jobs, but then other times, well, like I said, he's nuts. He sometimes refers to himself as Sam, says he is the leader of the pack. Pack of what, I have no clue. On occasion when he is "Sam," I have heard him growl at people, although he hasn't done it to me yet. I just go along with it; it can be a good laugh. I feel bad for the guy though. He can't keep a job acting like that. Over the years I have learned that his family, instead of helping him, just let him live on the streets. I would think that, all he would need is a little medicine and he could lead a normal life, but I'm no fucking doctor. What do I know?
I lean my head back, feeling sick from the hunger and the horrible stench of the alley. Right when I am about to doze off. I hear pukey bum and cardboard bum fighting.
"Mother fucker, you puked all over me!" the bum under the cardboard screams. The other one is so fucked up that he doesn't even scream back. He just starts swinging blindly. With one push from cardboard bum, pukey is flat on his back, out. I stand up not wanting to listen to them anymore. I walk out of the alley and onto Burnside. It's an unusually dry night for Portland, just a drizzle. Normally it's non-stop rain here. I walk to the waterfront and turn to face the city: Portland, Oregon. It's beautiful to most that visit or live here, but if you're homeless, it's just a cage.
I turn back to face the water, the river sparkling from all of the city lights. There is a breeze making the water choppy, the boats anchored rocking from the force. The Burnside Bridge looms overhead, leading to the expanse of highway that people use to travel in and out of the city. Even though it's two in the morning, the highway is still busy. Not like at five o'clock when there is guaranteed gridlock traffic, but people are constantly traveling, coming back or forth. It is strangely silent for Portland, usually it gets pretty loud about this time when the bars close. I pause and listen to the soft noise of the waves hitting the rocks from the river, and the cars on the highway. Laughing and screaming breaks the serene silence. I look over to my right at the River Place hotel - yachts all park out in front of it. People are walking up and down the dock, leaving and entering the fancy yachts. I can see a woman in a large white dress, a wedding, I assume; the hotel is famous for their waterfront, grade-A, weddings. Their celebration will go on into the night.
As I watch, I wonder if the tux-clad men and the women in their elegant dresses have any idea of the need around them. The general consensus around here is that if you're homeless, it's because you want to be - it's bullshit really. The eight-year-old with his single mom that I gave my dinner to last night does not want this; I can promise that. Yeah, there are some out here who would rather do drugs and not work. Some have no desire to lead a productive life, but that's not the majority. There are plenty of us that want to contribute and be successful in life. Things happen and people get knocked down. Hell, some never had a chance to be knocked down; they started there.
Like I said, I've been out here, on my own since twelve. What the fuck is a twelve-year-old supposed to do? My story isn't unique as there are plenty of young kids on the street, and they're not all drunks. Sadly, most turn to crime. They see it as the only way to, not only make money, but also as a way to have protection. I'm not perfect, and I have done many things that I am ashamed of, but I learned quickly that getting involved in crime does nothing but keep you on the streets.
People say, "There are so many shelters, so many people that want to help you." Once again, bullshit. There is the Portland Mission here on Burnside. It's the most helpful shelter around here. Besides my being in school until sixth grade I also, through them, I have somewhat of an extended education, an informal one, but still. One pastor felt bad for me and tried his hardest to keep me up to speed. I'm no fucking genius, but I can write, read and do basic math; that's a lot more than most people out here. Most kids stay away though, because when you're underage, their answer is to put you into a foster home. People that have been in foster homes view them as hell on earth and would rather be on the street. For those of us who are over eighteen, you can get a hot meal once in a while and, if you're lucky, a bed. There is only so much they can do, and I don't expect anyone to carry my ass. My life is no one's responsibility but my own.
I sit on a bench just watching the water ripple on the rocks below and listening to the cheers from the wedding party. I sit thinking about tomorrow. I have to find a job by tomorrow. Someone that will hire me with no driver's license, home address, or phone number - yeah, that'll be easy. The first thing I need to do is get to the Rescue Mission early and see if I can get a shower and maybe get my clothes cleaned, while actively avoiding all the religious bullshit they try to cram down my throat every time I step in the door. I appreciate their help, and I'm glad that their God has been so kind to them, but he hasn't done shit for me.
I decide to try to get at least a couple of hours of sleep. I know that it won't be long before a cop tells me to leave. I lie down on the bench using my arm as a pillow. My mind is still reeling over tomorrow, and I am facing the fact that there is a good chance I will be on this bench again tomorrow night. I focus on the water, trying to clear my mind to get just a couple hours of sleep.
"Oh my god! Did she really go home with him?!"
"Seriously, when did she turn into such a slut?" I sit up on my bench and turn to see a group of scantily dressed girls, obviously leaving the bar after last call. They are standing right behind me and notice my presence when I sit up. All heads turn my way.
"Oh my gawd, ewww," says the one with her top on inside out, so drunk that she can barely walk. I just roll my eyes, lying back down, hoping that they will find the slut friend they're looking for so that they'll leave. I hear taping of high heels and feel a presence looming over me. I open my eyes to see bimbo number two hovering over me.
"Oh my god, I'm like, sorry about my friend, she is like, super drunk," her friend says in the most annoying valley girl lingo as possible. She's still leaning over the bench getting way too close to me.
"Super, duper drunk!" I say, in a high-pitched voice, making fun of the way she's talking. She must think she sounds cute; doesn't she know how stupid she sounds?
"Whatever, fuck you," she spits, losing her fake cutesy talk.
I don't even bother responding; I just close my eyes. Pissed off, she walks away. Soon I hear many clicks on the ground from their heels as they all walk away. I can hear them as they leave calling for their friend. No they are not calling, they are screeching, probably disturbing anyone in apartments nearby.
Finally, I get to a point where I am just about to sleep when I hear fucking sniffling not two feet away from me. Can no one fucking see me here, trying to sleep? I sit up again, planning to leave my bench by the river for a quieter location. As I sit up, I rub my hands over my face trying to shake the sleep off. I look to my right and see a girl sitting on the bench next to mine, crying. Fuck my life, stupid fucking drunk girls, leaving the bar and getting lost. I see it every night. I pay her no attention and walk up to the rail getting as close to the water as I can. I pull out the last cigarette that I have and try to light it up. The wind off the water is making it an almost impossible task, but I persevere and get it lit. After only my third drag on my cigarette, I hear voices behind me.
"What do we have here?" I turn to see Felix and Demetri, or Tweedledee and Tweedledum as I call them, approaching the girl on the bench. She squeezes the fancy bag she has closer to her, but it won't work; they'll get it. This is what they do: mug unsuspecting, lost partiers or tourists. They are a part of a much larger ring of thieves, if they want something they'll get it. They will also get away with it. That group knows the city better than any cop.
"Look, I think she's scared," Demetri coos in a creepy voice, running a hand through her hair. She shudders and seems to try to find conviction. She finally says, "Fuck off, leave me alone." Now it seems that she is trying to sound tough, but it comes out in a weak sob. She flashes a look to me obviously asking for help. Sorry, no can do princess. I see for the first time that she's all beat up, her face a mess of blue and purple marks, her long dark hair a mess. I can tell from here that her clothes are nice, but they're dirty. I find myself wondering what happened to her, but I stop that train of thought. Caring never works out; I have to watch out for number one. I decide that I will stick with my first theory of drunk, lost, skank; it's easier to walk away with that assumption. You don't fuck with people on the street, especially if they have a group to back them up. I've seen this a thousand times. For some reason, they get off on fucking with young girls before they mug them. I decide that I am done watching the show and start to walk away.
I only make it a couple of steps before I hear her begging. "God, please no! Take the bag, here take it, just leave me alone." I turn to see her struggling. Felix, a big motherfucker, has a hold on her, her back to his chest, and he is holding her arms behind her. Demetri, who looks like a fucking hobbit, is in front of her trying to get her shirt open.
"Fuck, please help me!" Her voice comes out in a strangled plea. She makes direct eye contact with me as she kicks her legs like a maniac at Demetri. I groan inwardly. Yeah, I'm an ass and look out for number one first, but I will never just sit and watch a woman get sexually assaulted - robbed, sure - but not this. I'm only a couple steps away, both guys are too preoccupied with their new toy to notice my advance. I think about trying to talk to them but laugh at my own stupidity. During all of my years on the street, I have never seen anyone talk it out.
So I decide to speak the language that everyone recognizes on the street, violence. I pull Demetri back by his shoulders with as much force as I can and throw him to the ground. He goes down easy because he isn't expecting the attack. Felix lets go of the drunk princess and comes at me. I lunge out of the way. He growls and comes back at me, Demetri right behind him. I turn to the girl right before Felix makes contact with me, "Run!" I yell. She does, no hesitation, and like a bat out of hell, she's gone. I spend too long watching her, as she runs away she trips and falls. I get slammed to the ground by one of the two idiots. I'm now left alone to deal with them.
I try to fight them off, but it's two against one, and one of them is much larger than I. I'm on my back, defenseless. I start swinging blindly, and I get a couple good shots in and feel my fist connect with someone's face, I'm not sure whose. For every one hit I get in, they get three. By the time a cop sees what's going on, which sends them running with her bag in hand, I'm in bad shape. Fucking drunk bitch, so much for job hunting.
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