by Samuel Bacome
We played dominoes a lot, me and BiBi, when we where at Walden House. I was the house champ, at the time, and she was as good as me. Besides being my best opponent, she was the BugZapper for scumbags. Breathtakingly beautiful: Samoan eyes, hips, thighs. Irish nose and cheeks. My friend.
It had taken more than three weeks of me not hitting on her for her to say more than a few, terse words to me. We were in treatment, and both being propositioned… constantly.
Before we’d known each other, we’d both chosen the same taqueria as a fervent favorite, and for the same reason: their carnitas. Respect.
We played constantly. At lunch, between groups. She won often, and I loved her for it. I think that she felt the same. She’d done her nickel behind a felony, I’d never got caught up, but spent five on the streets. Human, and animal, respect was in effect.
So, we played dominoes.
One day, as we drew, I knew that I was screwed. 6-6, and twos and fours. The hand was hers. I slapped down the big 6; the rules for opening. She slapped down- and I do mean slapped 6-3,yelling “fiddeen, bitch!” as her eyes smiled at me. I could see her hand in her smile, she could see mine. Only our 2,000′ the game.
Even as we played,we still had eyes. Had to: “Treatment” isn’t all that safe. I had noticed a guy planning how to hit on her, watching from behind her back, like any other predator. Figuring a likely angle. She was irresistible, to most. I was chuckling inside as he approached, not noticing me kicking my chair back, not noticing BiBi’s chair moving in sympathy, her peripheral vision finding him. When he got within four feet, he did notice both of our shoulders square just as he said, “Hey, Bay-bee!” Still, he kept pushing, we could both feel It. So Beebee said, “WHAT did you say?” The fool looked to me for support as I tossed down 10 points and said “You sure you got this round, BiBi?” Then I looked up at him with cold, hard eyes, and said “Yeah, what the hell did you say?” Panicked, he looked to her, to her eyes. They are wet brown, mine change: green that day. Both, the same cold, hard eyes.
We weren’t going to let him go. He was an obvious predator. Women and men get raped in treatment. Recruited into prostitution, and worse. We both knew it, and wanted him to know that we knew. Wanted him to know that wasn’t an option on our watch.
He lied about what he said, several times. The implicit threat of us, and his seat between us, wouldn’t let him leave though. Finally after 10 minutes of abuse he admitted his attempt at sexual larceny. We let him go, with his promise: he would never again attempt to take advantage of an apparently vulnerable woman, or man. And with relatively minor help from us, he rarely did, at least while he was at Walden.
Just Another Day.
Copyright 2013 ©Samuel Bacome