Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dear Mr. Bulger

Hi, Whitey.

So, we're driving, Mike and I, down West Broadway in South Boston, which eventually turns into East Broadway in South Boston, and we're thinking we should stop and buy Jim a twelve pack of beer, which eventually turned out to be the Heinekens that are sitting in his refrigerator as we speak. Unless, of course, he's already taken them down, which is something that's always a distinct possibility for an Irishman living in Southie, albeit a gentrifier in disguise. If you're Irish, and you live in Southie, are you still the genuine article if you grew up somewhere else, and you're a college graduate with a job in the business world? Probably not, but I can still pretend that you are if I'm going for Hardcore Boston, circa 1975, can't I?

So, on the way down West Broadway, we stop at a liquor store, and I'm thinking, circa 1975, that I should be a little wary of this. I mean, we're in the heart of Southie, and it's January, and three guys are standing in front of the place smoking. Who are we dealing with here? Some of Whitey's boys? Am I gonna have to throw down? Pull out my gat and be firin'?

So, you know, my guard's up when I'm walking in there, but then I see two hot chicks checking out the wine selection. Classy ones, not pregnant visor-wearing redheads with butterfly knives sticking out the pockets of their overalls. And then there's a guy with a poodle. And three guys who give me a wide birth walking in, as if they'd never seen such thuggery. And, finally, the guy wearing the leather pants.

In South Boston. A guy wearing skintight leather pants.

And I'm thinking, "Man, you leave a town for a few years, and things sure do fuckin' change." You readin' this, Whitey? Where you been? Your town's been occupied, and now, instead of you walkin' around, stealin' people's winning lottery tickets and commandeering their businesses, Southie's now the province of guys with poodles and guys wearing leather pants. And God only knows what those two went home and did last Friday night. You been home lately? Probably not, one would assume.

I'll tell you what, though. Your neighborhood's for the birds now, Whitey. Some pretty funny lookin' people seem to have gotten in there, and it don't look like they're leavin' anytime soon. In fact, it looks like they screwed around with the real estate values pretty good, too, and pretty soon even you won't be able to get a place there, assuming you've still got a little something stashed away, which I'm assuming you might.

The way I figure it, though, you'll be a little like me when you come home. You'll ride down West Broadway, and you'll look around, and you won't even know where the fuck you are. Even the projects look more like condos now. Painted 'em all up, and rumor has it they even let some of those mi-naw-ri-tees in there. Now, how that can pass without a little buckshot in someone's door, I have no idea, but I'm writin' it off to you not bein' around anymore.

Anyways, just thought I'd let you know that I was in your old neighborhood, and things look like they've gotten a little out of hand. I mean, come on. A guy in a liquor store on West Broadway wearing leather fucking pants?

The hell's this world coming to?