You’re going to see the word drop here in this blog a few times. At The Show mgmt would pull us aside and have us “drop” excess cash from our till. This would happen often during our shifts depending upon how busy we were and usually before our lunch breaks.
The other reason you’re going to see the word drop in the context of this post is due to the 2014 motion picture The Drop that featured Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in his last starring role. Basically this is a crime movie which is set in a bar that is often used as a drop for underworld cash. So if you’re getting a very seedy feeling about the story I’m about to tell, you’re not too off base. Just imagine the person I’m going to discuss here.
This story takes place during mid-June ’17 and usually my day starts at about 4 AM which is usually the time I hop on the train to get downtown to The Hole. During this time I had been doing buy/receive for about a month and gotten into the routine of turning off my phone once it’s fully charged before going to bed. At some point during the previous evening Anthony sends me a text.
This is unknown to me until I get ready to leave home and turn my phone on. I see a text from Ant “Call me 911” it states. Now the first time he sent such a text which was earlier in our working relationship, in confusion my response was “Then call 911”. Of course when he sends things like this what it really means is you need to call me now. I forget why he sent me that msg in the past, but the reason for that text in this instance would become apparent to me.
Since it was about 4 AM and decide it was too early to respond, I ignore it. Also I had decided that he sent me a text this early just shows that he doesn’t really respect my time. Although I got his text once I turn my phone on which wasn’t necessarily when he sent his text.
So I go through my shift during the day and he does call a few times. Perhaps he calls on my 15 and then during my lunch and perhaps one more time after that. The he calls again once I get off work, and ultimately I don’t connect with him until I get home. So this is one of those times that he puts on a full court press because as it turned out, he really needed something.
Once we finally connect, Ant hits me with “I’ve been trying to call you I don’t get it“. I quickly land on him letting him know that no one calls me at 4 AM and expect an answer let alone a text. He seemingly understands and gets to his pitch about how he needs some cash for his son’s medical expenses. He’s claimed to have collected cash from his family but surprise, surprise he’s still short. So my attempt to cut this off I only offer him $20…
After an awkward silence he finally comes out and says “Man you know you can at least give $100!” I low-balled him intentionally hoping that this would kill this, but he quickly comes up with an alternative offer. I accept to keep this moving and yup missed my chance to just say OH HELL NO. I remember thinking this guy is unbelievable, but my hope had always been every time he does this that it’ll be the last time he’ll ask to borrow money only for him to try it again.
So at some point we arrange for a time to meet for this drop. I decided it was time for a haircut and one day during the week I choose to meet with him at a barbershop on the south side where I often go. I’m getting my haircut when he walks through the door and waits for me in the waiting area. Finally I pay the barber and sit down with him as he’s talking on his phone.
As happened during the previous few months he starts off running down some of the worst episodes since I’ve known him. He had to bring up D.B. and the night I went off on him and lost control (we’ll discuss that in the future). He discusses the fact that I blew it with some girl whom we formerly worked with at the theater. He even decided to hit me one last time with regards to Finer Foods.
When he does that usually his operative phrase has been “If you come to Finer Foods, you’ll make more money” and he brought up enough times that over the phone I just literally yelled at his hard-on for that line. I do that only for him to bring it up one more time later. On this day, however, he just simply asks “Are you thinking about jumping ship yet?” He doesn’t recognize at all my lack of interest and thus he comes back with “Just get an interview see how much money they’re talking and know your worth” before he lets it go. I just sit and look at him in silence as he preached about something I show very little interest.
We were at the barbershop a few hours just talking about the theater we worked at. Probably talked about my current job, but there’s a chance it went through one ear and out the other. He went through his facebook page over all the people he connected with from The Show. He’s just talking about most of them, not always positively. At one point I attempt to drop him the cash with a “lets get this over with”, though he only keeps talking and ignore my attempt to get that piece of business over with. Finally he gets up to leave and I request he drives me home.
Ant drives around in a car that often I describe as a hoopty. In the heat of mid-June it was just plain hot in his car. I don’t think he has any air conditioning at all, this is just a noisy old vehicle that gets him where he needs to go. It’s the price he pays for what he terms as his independence and ability to go anywhere he wants. Something in his own paternalism, he insists on lecturing me about.
Before finally pulling off he fools around outside as I sit in his hot hoopty. We finally pull off from his parking spot near the barbershop and it was at that point he finally asks for the cash. So as we drive off that was when I finally make the drop at which point I simply tell him that I want that money back when he’s situated. I don’t give a timeframe – which is my mistake and even if I had he’d take his time about it regardless – he gets defensive noting another time he borrowed some money. “Man you know I got you. It took me a minute the last time and I paid you back”. I only repeat what I’ve already said.
What happens on the way home is interesting. I express interest in seeing a picture with him and even suggest he choose the theater and he quickly chooses The Show. I quickly say no and he doesn’t like getting rejected referring to that as a “woman move”. He asks “How are you going to give me the choice and you reject it” and once I reply “any place but $h!tplace” he quickly gets mad saying something incoherent until finally I scream his name and he comes back to reality. He wasn’t going to let me get a word in edgewise to explain my position, and he’s quickly ready to offload me from his hoopty. Although he suggests another theater we never would hangout that summer.
Finally I told him far more than I should’ve with regards to what happened with my mother. Between her health issues and what happened with her job I see something very interesting with him. Once I tell him the story of what happened with her company I see a guy who was doing nothing more than playing a role. He wanted to show empathy with what happened with my mother, however, I just see a guy looking forward occasionally nodding in sympathy though on this day it was hard to believe his attempt. Perhaps I could pick up that he was just trying too hard. Finally we call it a day and he drives off.
Until running into him on his security job the next year during the holiday season, this was the last time I saw Anthony. I would call him one more time later that month which was more of an ordeal than I had expected. He made sure to note that he plans to pay me back in a text msg that next month, however, he had never further mentioned the $100 he borrowed after that.
I had called him after his last text and he never called me back. After this I just stopped trying to contact him. Essentially this would be the soft beginning of the communication blackout. Once things ran their course at The Hole not talking to Ant was just made easier until he started hitting my phone again in February ’18.