First and Second Gear

by Jerry Vilhotti



During Johnny's social-psychology class, he pondered deeply all the psychological and sociological diseases afflicting his older brother Tom. Tom had been invaded by polio as a six month old and Johnny wondered if the maiming affliction had not traveled from his shriveled left leg up to his fucked up horny brain.

Reluctantly, Johnny had agreed to go partners with Tom when buying a big second-hand car and he agreed to the terms that Tom and his second wife, a sister-cousin to a former Miss America who had a problem when entering stores believing all things in it being sold belonged to her for the taking as once did the world holding her up onto a pedestal, would have the car on weekends but for an occasional one that would have Johnny and his wife Linda Ann going to Burywater, that was situated by a polluted river that once witnessed Indians being massacred by a taliban-like group, to visit their parents.

When Johnny was in need of some money in his third struggling year of college - though Linda Ann was working hard in mid-Manhattan two floors above the British, perpetuators of the caste system Embassy that was constantly being picketed by the Irish and Nehru Indians having felt first hand the Imperialist's wickedness foreshadowing a future bloodthirsty urge to join the bully nation of the world in killing more innocent people to add to all the foxes they had maimed and killed in the name of "good sport what" footing most of the bills like tuition and the eating of some food - he managed to get a job as a census taker but this depended on whether he had a car since Mr. Boyston told him his area would encompass a large part of the biggest borough that included Green Point, Williamsburg and Crazy Joe's neighborhood where the "totally bad guy" was saving people in tenements from large fires.

The Tuesday Johnny was supposed to begin counting all the hyphenated-Americans, Tom stole their car while it was parked on Metropolitan Avenue waiting for Johnny to come along and start her up; instead, Johnny had to walk nearly ten miles his first day. Counting Joe Torre's mother living near Mother Cabrini's shrine among the two thousand he found that day.

Johnny recalled the son-of-a-bitch was teaching an abnormal psychology course at a catholic university in The East Bronx, across from Arthur Avenue where Johnny was the only one born among all his siblings, that was protected by high spiked fences to keep all the frightening kind of people out - except if one were a Vince Lombardi - one of the seven blocks of granite keeping other football teams from scoring many points on good Catholics.

After his last night class at Harlem College a half mile up from an Ivy League school but told the world in its brochures it was really situated in the Upper West Side, not terribly far from The West End Avenue, adjacent to the un-polluted Hudson River, Johnny decided to invade the Jesuit campus and after a half hour he did find their car double-parked outside the Humanities Building.

Around mid-night entering their apartment a phone call was waiting for Johnny; dangling from Linda Ann's hand:

"Is this a Johnny Sanger?"

"No," Johnny said; thinking it was one of Tom's sick Greenwich Village coffee house friends playing a: "I got nothing better to do" fucking joke.

"You're a car thief! I am head of the campus po-"

"First off pal, my name is Sanque and second I didn't steal my own car - so you can't bull shit me with that!"

"You're in big trouble. The car belongs to an assistant professor named Mr. Thomas Sa-"

"Look if my so-called brother told you-"

"Brother? Am I in the middle of a family thing?"

After Johnny explained it all in excruciating detail, the man apologized ....

Johnny finished his work that extended for about a year; getting promoted to field supervisor while "stealing" their car three more times and then gave the gas guzzler to their father to give to Tom.

Johnny finally graduated college; began teaching near Bedford -Stuyvesant to pay back the city for having given him the opportunity to attend college - after a Mister Moriarty Roberts at the state x-agricultural college in Connecticut told him "his kind" could never handle their tough courses tough Johnny had told him he had attended Brokenland College for two years all ready where most of the students had read The Bible by the age of four.

Johnny and Linda Ann bought a new Mustang convertible to drive it all over Old New York with the wind blowing through their hair.

When hard-face Tom called asking if he could borrow the car so he could tell his two young daughters, living in Boston with his third-x-wife, that the Spring-time yellow brand new car was his, Johnny said: "No."

Johnny hung up the phone and would not talk to him for many many years; trying to cover all the hurt he felt. Feeling like Abel at the hand of Cain.


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