“Rob, Rob, Rob, – – –
Not much lately; well, I got into a fight with this guy behind Gamerz Asylum, and it was pretty cool. [Okay, so if I am remembering correctly, this was the last time that I participated in the little fight club behind Gamerz Asylum. I don’t believe that I recorded the 1st time in my journal, so I will most likely elaborate on that in another post. As for this fight, I believe it was a guy named “Joe”, whom I had never met before. He was at least a couple years older than me and attended a different school. He had long hair, and glasses, from what I remember. They told me that I should fight him, and I was totally down for it. He and I shook hands and squared up. As soon as they said “Fight!” I went into him hard, throwing a swift assortment of punches in his direction, to the point where he literally turned around and crouched. As he did this, his boxer shorts became visible, and for whatever reason, I decided to grab that kid by his underwear and literally rip them out from under him, lol. Then I kicked him away. I thought that was it. I had won. Go me. I was wrong. This only sent “Joe” (as we’ll call him) into a violent rage in which he came flailing at me and took me to the ground. The only thing I remember is having the wind completely knocked out of me. It took me a good five minutes to catch my breath. I don’t remember any direct out come from that, however down the road, Amanda (my girlfriend at the time) ended up working in the same restaurant with him and he remembered me as the kid whose ass he kicked. I still feel like I got the last laugh, although, I really shouldn’t have ripped the man’s underwear out from under him. Shrug.]
My gang, (Swamp Angels) just recruited 4 new members this week. We are doing good! Well, quitting cigarettes is a bitch, alright, bye.
So, a few things here. From reading this just now, I realized that there are A LOT of details missing. In between this post and the last one, so much had happened that I did not write about. I won’t go into TOO much detail about what transpired between then and now, but I will try to sum it up (as best as I can) to recount to you how I met these 4 new recruits and what that looked like. It wasn’t simply just walking up to people and saying “Hey, wanna join my gang?”. It had a lot more to do with the relationships and connections that I began to develop early on in High School, which in turn helped the Swamp Angels reputation grow, and thus the recruits usually came to us. Also, before I do that, I will explain the significance of the name “Rumy” (pronounced Rummy). There was an animated show on Adult Swim called The Boondocks that I used to watch around this time. On one episode, they introduced this character, Gin Rummy, who was voiced by Samuel L Jackson. I thought he was really cool and I partly got the nickname from him. Other than that, around this time, I drank a lot Gin, because Vampyre’s mom always had at least two handles of it at his house, which is where I spent a lot of my evenings. Also Rumy, because I played a lot of cards. Everyone else had a nickname, but I didn’t really, so when they asked me what they should call me, I just said “Rumy”. The rest was history. Fun fact, this was when MySpace was social media central, and everyone who was a Swamp Angel at the time was required to have their profile name fashioned in this way: +|SA|+ [and whatever their nickname was]. How I acquired the name “Blackjack” is a story for a whole ‘nother time. But it will come.
The four new recruits, if I am not mistaken, were as follows:
- Sticky Fingers
Not long after beginning my Freshman year in High School, I became reacquainted with a childhood friend of mine, Jorge, who I knew from attending the YMCA after school program while I was in Middle School. Jorge was a year older than me and always treated me like a younger brother. There was one time while we were staying at a Lock-In at the Y, where four kids who were in my group were beating up on me while we were playing in the inflatable bounce house. Then, out of nowhere, Jorge dove in the bounce house and dropped all four of these kids one by one and told them that it wasn’t fair for them to all gang up on me. This was the kind of friend that Jorge was.
Well, Jorge and I ended up having 1st period Weight Lifting class together and right away I stuck with him because I knew I was safe with him. Around this time, there was this kid who went to another school who was trash talking me over social media because he was upset that I was friends with this girl that he liked. He challenged me to fight him behind a Wal-Mart after school one day and said that he was going to bring some of his friends. I thought to myself “No problem, I’ll just bring along Vampyre and Shady (who were the only other Swamp Angels at the time)”, but it just so happened that on that particular day, both boys were absent from school. Probably hanging out with each other at Vamp’s house. Anyhow, on the day of the fight, I told Jorge that I was a little nervous and he assured me that he would come with me to make sure that I didn’t get jumped or anything. He just told me to meet him by the Taco Bell after school, and so I did.
As I approached the Taco Bell, I saw Jorge surrounded by a bunch rowdy, older boys (some of whom I recognized, but most of them I didn’t). Before I could ask who everyone was, they all came up to and told me not to worry because they were going to take care of it for me. Jorge grinned and reminded me that he would take care of it for me. They all loaded up into one their pickup trucks and headed off towards Wal-Mart. A large part of me was relieved. The other, a little confused. Jorge assured me that if I ever needed anything that he and these guys would have my back. They weren’t exactly a gang, but to one degree or another loosely operated like one. That same day I was introduced to a kid who was a year older than me called “Casper”. Casper told me that he had heard about the Swamp Angels and that if we ever needed anyone to be our eyes and ears, that he would get us whatever information we needed. I was very intrigued by this. Things were moving so fast, without me really even doing anything.
Casper was more or less associated with those same boys that went and took care of the fight for me behind Wal-Mart. From that point on, I mostly hung out with them to continue to strengthen our relationship as allies. It was not long before I began to hear about their leader, Howard. He was supposedly king of our High School back when he attended and there was no better fighter than him as the legend went. Once I met Howard, I could see right away that he was a natural leader and could easily influence others. He seemed to have a fair amount of respect for me as well, even though I was one of the youngest among that group of friends. Not long after I had made this connection, did Casper and I decide to hang out one night and sneak onto school campus so that he could show me the best routes to go to leave school and ditch class. As we were hanging out, I invited him to join officially and right then and there, did he take 10 burns in order to prove his loyalty to the Swamp Angels. 1 on each of the palms of his hands and 4 going up each forearm. From the beginning, Casper was granted the rank of Captain. He was also head of Swamp Angels intelligence, because he had the most connections and knowledge about what was going on in the school. He said that he got the name Casper because he was so pale, but I called him Casper because he was like a ghost and could vanish and reappear in an instance. This is not an exaggeration.
Next was Critter. I met him while on the way to Taco Bell with Jorge after school. He rode up to us on a bicycle and asked Jorge if he had a cigarette, which the cigarette that he was smoking was from me anyway, and so he told Critter that he would have to ask me. I, of course, obliged and gave him a cigarette. Right away, Critter introduced himself and asked who I was. Jorge basically introduced me as “Rumy, leader of the Swamp Angels”. Without hesitation, Critter wanted to be in on it and asked what he had to do to join. I gave him the burn right then and there, and after spending plenty of time with him after school for the next few weeks, made him my 1st General. Critter could have a very commanding personality when it came down to it and I needed someone who could give orders and enforce them.
At this point you may be wondering “How come Jorge never joined?”. Don’t get me wrong, I invited him to join on MANY different occasions. He had 2 main reasons for not joining, which I always deemed as valid. 1. he was a part of a neighborhood that already had a gang, and for safety reasons would have put him in a very awkward situation to be a part of a neighborhood and yet rep another set. We Swamp Angels were not very quiet about who we were and it would have been unacceptable for a member to hide the fact that they were one of us. 2. The second reason is so that he could spy for us on other gangs. As the Swamp Angels grew, his public association with us became less and less, so that way no one would suspect him of essentially being what we called a “Swamp Angel Associate” or “SAA”. And that is exactly what he ended up doing for us, and was pretty darn good at it to boot.
Next was Beast. Similar situation to how I met Critter. Was with the crew down behind Taco Bell and there comes this tall and lanky fellow who was bragging about all this pot that he just sold. I won’t pretend that it wasn’t anything but his stature that made me even think of asking him to join. He was all over it. I was not really into pot so much, but he always seemed to have it, so usually when he came around we all ended up smoking with him. He wasn’t terribly bright, although he said that he could fight well and would do whatever I told him to, which for the most part he did, but in the long run, not so much. (Story for another time).
It was either Shady or Vampyre who ended up recruiting Sticky Fingers. He was friends with some of the guys that we sat at lunch with. A nerdy kid, who had a knack for stealing. We figured that it could be useful to have a skilled thief in our outfit, so it didn’t take much convincing for me to let him join. I suppose this is something worth mentioning too. So Vampyre, Shady and Sticky Fingers although they were tough and could throw down when needed, were overall very nerdy. So was I for the most part. Video games. Anime. You name it. Casper, Critter and Beast on the other hand were not so much into those things, but more interested in the crime aspect of what the Swamp Angels represented. I was kind of the medium in between these two groups. All of us would usually come together during the weekends at Vampyre’s house where we would drink and smoke and party all night long, but during the week it was different. Shady was very studious and made excellent grades, so he usually went right home after school to study. He was the oldest and most responsible of us all. Vampyre ended up just quitting school all together and would just stay home and game all day and night. So usually, during the week, I would hangout with Casper, Critter and Beast after school and then in the evenings would sneak out of the house when my grandparents went to bed to go hang out with Vampyre and Shady. Sticky Fingers usually only hung out with us on the rare occasion that we ended up going to Vampyre’s to hang out after school, which was all dependent on whether Vampyre’s mom would be there or not.
So there you have it. If only I had elaborated this much in my actual journal while I was writing about this. I almost wonder “What was the point of writing all of this down if I was just gonna give small pieces of information?”. I want to say, fairly confidently, that I knew if I just shared the bare minimum amount of information, that older me would remember enough to be able to elaborate on it, as I am doing now. My long term memory has always served me well, so perhaps that was what I was banking on.
Anyhow, happy to hear any feedback. I will go back and make grammar corrections later on. Hope everyone enjoys this!