The Fightins'

Posts Tagged ‘Bandwidth’

Posted by at 1:56 pm ET 71 Comments

Days sometimes have the proclivity toward extending themselves with complete disregard for the matters attended to within their countless starts and counted ends. As such it was on this one- late and long into the summer night though still brightness shone upon the streets of West Philadelphia. In a funeral home (an old funeral home, at one point in the building’s past life a corner store with two apartments crowning its hand-crafted shelves lined with boxes and jars- as only can be found in the city) office sat the big man. He looked menacingly at everything, and all were known to shrink from his gaze.

The phone, though, dared ring.

“Who this,” he snapped.



“Who’s this?”

“I’m not gon’ play this game, boy. Who are you, and what do you want?”

“It’s Meech!”

“I don’t know no fuckin Meech.”

The voice responded, upon a sigh, “it’s M1 Crackajack.”

“Ohhhhh. Why didn’t you say so you stupid mother fucker?!”

“Yeah, sorry. Look, cuz,–”

“Don’t know who the fuck you think is of relation, cuz,” the big man interrupted.

“Sorry, I’m just a little worked up over here– it’s the bandwidth. I got a bad batch, man. Shit’s all fucked up over here.”

Inside the small, spartan office, the big man seethed. “The fuck you want me do about it?”

More calmly, as would be judged prudent by both audience and critic alike if given witness to the scene (we feel more eyes upon us in our most desperate moments than actually stray in our direction, so is the nature of sadness), Meech conceded, “There’s nothing for you to do. I just… I need more. Like an early re-up. I’m trying to run my shit over here and I can’t do that if I don’t got no bandwidth. Fools are already trying to take my spot, use my men. The Barkstees boys are up on all my corners–those weak ass bitches belong in the low rises! Everyone knows that. Shit, I even saw my boy Dash is getting beef. He’s a soldier and all, but eventually a man’s got to eat.”

“You go to anybody else?”

“Of course not!”


“Nah. I swear. Some low-level guys offered me shit but I told them I’m not interested.” Meech was telling the truth.

The big man motioned to a corner of the room unseen from windows, doorway, and, to now, the narrative. A man, young- paradoxically emanating strength while enacting subservience- walked with a businesslike pace to the desk. With a few words, silently spoken (though his enveloping grip’s cover of the phone voided this necessity), the troop was off with his orders.


1989. Wildwood, New Jersey
A young Michael sits on an aquamarine painted bench in front of The Himalaya, two tickets short of a ride, two beers beyond his ability. His embroidered Z. Cavaricci t-shirt, along with his new jean shorts from Gigolo’s, frames what would later become known as “the outfit”, though at the moment it sings only a song to scrawniness. “Yes, these are real Jordans!” Michael shouts over the Slick Rick cassette blasting from his Walkman’s spongy headphones. “They do too make them in blue, you fag!”

A group of young girls approach (think Odette, Volume 2). Michael stands, folds two one dollar bills, and stuffs them into his sock. “Yo.” They giggle, though are clearly impressed that he leads his group. And with movement and light the night progresses. As the last of the Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam plays for those remaining afloat in the sea breeze and stars, Michael’s friend Tug eats a waffle and ice cream while our protagonist gives the girls directions to The Thunderbird Motel.


<End of Part 1>

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R.I.P Harry Kalas