Stingray Ray

by therockfile

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I think he was a Navy guy, lived in Key West, stationed in Cuba part of the year. This was ’71, ’72. He’d go back and forth, making house calls between Cuba and the Keys, selling joints and bags of grass to the base rats. Totally anonymous, really easy, he said. Shit, his commander was hittin’ him up for joints all the time. He gave ‘em away free just to keep it cool. None the wiser, right kid?

Once, he came back to that shack on Duvall Street, right in the middle of downtown, with a shit-ton of grass, the biggest score he’d ever had. This shit don’t come round that often, he said. Maybe this is it, time to cash out, sell the whole load up in Miami to some Canadian with a yacht. Hit the bars by the inlets off the beach and see what’s what. So he got out of town, headed north, up to South Florida. Those days, ridin’ the highways with two suitcases full of shit was cake. Before the cocaine cowboys took hold of the waterways and the public imagination and before the cops started stakin’ out highway rest stops and fuckin’ 7-Eleven parking lots. Shit, those ten fuckin’ lanes outta Miami didn’t exist. If you had an officer’s uniform, you were invisible, unless you stirred some shit at the joints on the strip, and you’d just get shown the door, thrown out on yer ass. Hell, county cops didn’t give a shit, they were there gettin’ loaded too. Get your lean on, gentlemen.

So my man hooked up with a buddy of his from Hollywood, Bruce I think. He did handyman shit, mainly on boats down along the shore in Lauderdale. Rich northern fucks who knew dick about boats. Bruce copped his share of shit every now and then, nothing big, just enough for party money. So my Navy boy cashes, sells the whole joint to Bruce. Cool, clean, concise. Just walked away from that two-bit weed business. One last killer bail sold for hard bills, you know what I’m sayin’? So get this. He takes that cash and walks right into a Corvette dealer on 441 off Atlantic. He tells the salesman he wants the cherry red one, the one parked right outside the goddamn showroom.

Well, that’s the owner’s, keeps it right here to bring guys in off the street. Looks like it worked.

Yeah, well, that’s the one I want. How much to drive it off the lot?

No can do, Army man. Nope.

Navy.

What?

I ain’t Army. Want the red one. I got cash, all of it.

I seen that shit show before buddy, maybe you should take a walk.

Listen, you get the captain, tell ‘em there’s a Navy man here with a shitload of cash, you got that?

Shit.

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