Wednesday, September 4, 2013


They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

Exclusively for Readers of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE and
our Three sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City

All National & International Copy Rights Reserved to the Author

Chapter Nine: Wanda

Wanda was educated. She never suffered fools and had no
time for any man who was looking to fill her nights with
excitement only to leave her at breakfast alone, she told
Jordan the first day they met. That was fine by him, he had
learned to cook breakfast for himself early on in life. Could
make a great omelette, a mean cup of coffee and had even
learned to make french toast as good as anyone this side of
the Mississippi. He knew she was talking about much more
than food and he wanted more than a girlfriend too. Jordan
was a self professed , 'Momma's boy without a mama' , so it
worked out fine. He had few friends in Los Angeles and no
relatives to speak of. The guys in the quartet had disbanded
a summer ago, when their main man went on tour with a
big band that had gone off to europe. He hadn't touched his
bass for a while and even stopped coaching b-ball at the park.
It was time to settle down and all the ingredients were there.
When they first started dating, it was always an all day thing.
A trip somewhere early, the beach, the museum, a ball game,
then a movie, a poetry reading, a walk in the hills, then dinner.
He often cooked at her place. Three course meals with special
sauces, exotic salads and always some freaky dessert. One of
the dudes in his band had also been a chef at a creole restaurant
& after gigs, all the cats would descend upon his pad with their
girlfriends, dates and such, Jordan picked up pointers quickly.
He was a sponge for good habits, a fast learner and wanted to
better himself. They moved in together and never looked back.

She looked at the clock and new something was up. Jordan was
never late, he was one of those bus drivers who prided himself
on being poignant. After a while his regulars began to appreciate
that fact. They could always depend on Jordan to keep his time
spots. One out of a dozen or so stops is considered a time spot,
it lets you know that your either ahead or behind the schedule
that thousands of people depended on to get to work, to school,
to the doctor, to church or to some event that was going to start
or finish wether his riders got there on time or not. He tried his
best to get them there. If you were going to do something in this
world, wether it was cook a meal, play a tune, shoot hoops or
drive a bus, Jordan thought you ought to do it well. And he did.
Wanda turned on the television to kill a little time and there on
the eight o'clock news was the lead story, all about the shutting
down of Pacific Coast Highway because of an accident between
a bus, a turtle and a pedestrian. She knew that was Jordan's
route, chances were one in four that he was the driver. News
shows were always talking about traffic in Los Angeles, then
they'd actually cut over to the man in the helicopter high above
the city. Wanda always thought that was a put on, as if they really
needed some dude in a helicopter actually talking on television.
She minored in journalism and knew very well that any on camera
announcer could handle the job, but L.A. was full of stuff like that.
Half of it didn't make any sense at all, a quarter of it was for show,
and the rest was for entertainments sake. It didn't leave much to
the imagination. That was partly why she dug Jordan so much, he
was real, fun to be with and was dependable. She didn't care if he
was muslim, baptist or hindu, for her, it was more about the man
rather than any one group, belief system or way of living life.

He finally walked in the door after the Ten O'Clock news hour,
he was a mess, had been questioned for several hours and had
a strange look in his eye. Wanda had never seen that look before.
They never had any secrets between them, but it sure felt like
they had one now. "You heard about it?" He pointed to the
television. "Dude standing right on the side of the highway,
nothing I could do. Some giant turtle crossing the road ?
Cops asking questions, highway patrol, local sheriffs, radio
reporters, some cats from the L.A. Times and all the heavies
from Transit Authority. They docked me for two weeks. Two
weeks while they investigate. Turns out the dude on the road
was connected to some old gangster stuff. One of my boys in
transit told me, off the record. Probably gonna fire me. I
don't know what I'm gonna do." " You'll be fine. Come here."
She grabbed him and he pulled away, that was a first. In the
past, at times like this, she was Mama and he was the little
boy from Detroit with no one to look after him. Wanda figured
he was just shook up a bit. She never dared to think that he
was sitting on ten thousand dollars in hard cold cash and it
was making him sweat. If Jordan told her, she wouldn't even
come close to understanding. Now it was some gangsters money?
Why would some old bum on the highway be carrying that kind
of cash ? How could it have anything to do with mob stuff ?

Jordan had never been an avid reader, but he had started to
buy old paperbacks from a bookstore located in Venice beach,
not far from his break stop. He'd go in there and the girl
who worked there would suggest stuff. He had bought and
read Alex Haley's famous 'Autobiography of Malcolm X', on
her suggestion. "Did you know that he was a writer for
Playboy Magazine back in the day ?", she asked. " No I didn't."
She continued, " The Playboy magazine editors once sent Alex
Haley to interview the head of the klu klux klan, at his home
in the South. He went right up to the front door and interviewed
the guy. That takes guts, don't you think?" Jordan answered
"Yeah, that takes some doing don't it ?" They became friends,
whenever he'd break for lunch, she would have already pulled
a few books aside. Poetry by Maya Angelou, obscure art books
and early ephemera regarding L.A.'s african art scene in the
sixties, guys like Charles White. Wanda would come home
and there on the coffee table were books she had read in college.
She was proud to be with a man who had good taste in literature.
Jordan had once read a book by a dude named Chester Himes,
it was called, "Cotton Comes to Harlem" where some homeless
guy carts around a bundle of cash, with a bunch of gangsters
on his trail. Now, here he was, in the middle of a weird scene
out of a detective novel. His name and photo in the newspapers
and on the radio. He had become a character in a book. Damn.




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