was having keys made at the locksmith’s today. a two by four space that smelled of moldy carton and rusty wood. there were three men having a conversation with each-other while the keys were getting made. one of them was absolutely gorgeous. and Albanian with an exaggerated Brooklyn accent.
when i took out my keys, my red field black eagle key chain (Alb flag for the uninitiated) dangled for a second. all the men shot me such a look you’d think i flashed my undies instead of my keychain. then the gorgeous one went on with his speech about how the Russians were grabbing all the money left and right and leaving nuffin’ for the rest of the hungry mouths. some more comments were made, a deal was struck, hands shook and the gorgeous Albo left with the cop, and drove away in what else? Benz-Mercedes.
‘f. Albanians, man- said the other guy -can’t wait to get rich. you know, Italians, Polacs, Irish came and worked hard for their money. these people, they work five ten years and they got more money than you and me. can’t make that much money the right way, that’s all i’m saying. and all that money goes to their country. they come they show me their houses. mansions man, mansions. they flip the pictures and i say, no way you can get those houses in here. there must be something man. and they kill you for money. killed their own priest you know. there was a mosque being built and somehow their priest had some words with the builders. next morning, pouff, they took him out. i mean with other guys, i hit you, you hit me, we’re still friends tomorrow. these people gotts to finish an argument. you talk back to them you’re dead. killed their own priest, what can you expect? but they got the money man, them and the Russians. Albanian Mafia, that’s all I’m sayin’.”
I listened to all this conversation with my butt. I wanted to interfere, but if they know us for tough guys, why should i break that reputation? i remembered a former coworker who said “Albanian Mafia” when yet another Albanian receptionist was hired. but we work for less, and we’re the best workers we know, why shouldn’t they hire us? New York is immigrant’s Mecca not because people are nicer here, but because they appreciate cheap and hard work. and because Alb are not yet fully aware that they can ask for a raise, benefits and health coverage for family. we’re still at the illegal immigrant mentality, the street kids that can do anything to get a deal where everybody wins. and if we are crossed, we fight. it is not a matter of money, as much as it is a matter of decency and honor. we can both make a deal to cross somebody else, but if you double cross me, why should i let it go? so we fight back. of course, then we are Albanian Mafia.
i am not saying that weird things do not happen, and that networks of crime are not in existence. i am saying that other people (duds like me) have felt the usefulness of the Mafia reputation and are using it to great benefit. there is something to be said when every little crooks thinks twice about messing with immigrants, because they are Albanian. we like myths, and it is high time that we should profit from them as well.
that is why i said nothing to the sad fcuk gabbing behind my back. maybe he was messing with me, maybe he was messing with his other pal, maybe he was simply working through his jealousy for the young, hot stud with a Benz-Mercedes of before. whatever. i shot the locksmith my toughest Mafia chick look but he still overcharged me. so much for that reputation.