The Night Of The Chickenhawk
FROM BOB PAULEY'S EXCELLENT BOOK: "A CIRCLE OF BLOOD, THE STORY
OF PAUL WILLIAM SCOTT"
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What happened - as told by Bob Pauley and Paul W. Scott
Man was born into a primitive world where killing his fellow man
was a necessary and acceptable condition of survival.
And with that barbaric act comes a passion that
he has not, we have not, entirely outgrown.
Bob Pauley Why We Kill
"It was the beginning of November, 1978. Where had all our friends
gone, wondered my soulmate Bernadine. What was to become of us in this
God-forsaken ghetto we called home?
"Bear", I asked her, "Maybe it's time we chased that dream of mine, are
you game?" Florida was at the other end of the world for us, ever-present
in the back of my mind. There was but one way to escape this nightmare
I had been living out one reform school at a time - get the hell out of
Dodge. Bear had suffered the same losses I had in the way of family
and friends, as one by one they had all disappeared."
"My dad still lived on that Pensacola farm I had yearned for all my life.
By now I was big enough to handle my dad's sexual hangups, if they happened. He was
never the knight in shining armor I used to picture him to be, I realized
that, but just maybe it would work out this time."
"One thing was very certain, Long Beach, California, was a part of
my life I was prepared to forget."
"Bear had a big heart and a "lotsa" soul, like ghetto people do.
More than a love for each other, I think we had an understanding
and passion for each other that grew out of sharing the birthright
we held in common - extreme miserable poverty. Things could
only get better, right? Wrong!"
"We sure enough made Pensacola as planned. We tried so hard to make
it work with my dad but all those childhood memories had neglected
to remind me of what a tough proposition that was to be. It didn't
take long for the stark reality of it all to convince Bear and me what an
impossibility staying with him would be."
"And yet, here we were 3,000 miles from our ghetto home and all the
reminders we had of that forlorn upbringing we had tried so hard to
put behind us. There was to be no turning back. Florida was our new,
our brand new, land of opportunity. It just had to be"!
"Pensacola was just the northernmost tip of this "Paradise found". I
had heard about and dreamed about Florida all my life and now, by the
grace of God, I had arrived. We would remain in Florida and create our new existence.
We would head due south, not north or west or whatever else would take
us back anywhere close to that hell-hole my mama called home. We had
no idea at the time that we were heading from the frying pan into the fire."
Welcome to Ft. Lauderdale. Had we died and gone to heaven or was this
really the Atlantic Ocean and the fabulous Gold Coast of Florida?
If there was ever to be a Shangri-la for Bear and me, then this was
surely it. No doubt in our minds, we had arrived. There was just one
slight catch - we were flat broke."
"Like my mom had always said, "Son, where there's a will there's a
way," and I had no fear we would find it. "Spring breaker" come down
here and never leave all the fun in the sun. So long as mama and papa
pay the Visa and the Master card every month some rich kids hang right
on to this "beachcomber" way of life. One such couple was Rick Kondian
and his soulmate "Sunshine".
"As we were moving in to our little apartment on the beach I had agreed
to work out the rent doing carpentry, plumbing, pool cleaning and odd
jobs around the place - plus 100 a week! Just two doors down Rick and
Sunshine were being evicted from their apartment, not for lack of money like
I thought, but for "excessive partying" I later found out.
"I took Rick and Sunshine to be kindred spirits from the looks of them,
never realizing they both had very wealthy parents who subsidized their
eternal vacation on the beach. I slipped Rick a 20 dollar bill so they
could find themselves and overnight in a cheap motel. That was the "soul"
showing through from our ghetto upbringing - from all the suffering
we had experienced. This goodwill gesture created a friendship we felt
we could use since our friendship list was sort of back to square one. Street
people - rich or poor - share a camaraderie with each other."
"Bear landed a job as maid at the nearby Holiday Inn, and so we thought,
Lady Luck had smiled down on us at last. On her way home that evening
Bear passed the Arcade Rood, a famous hangout on the Lauderdale Strip.
Bear had a thing for pin ball games and this was like the ultimate destination for any
old kid with a quarter in their pocket. There at the Arcade Bear ran
into Sunshine, Rick's girl, once again."
"Street people have a thing for "pot" too, I think it's one of those
"escapes" the psychiatrists used to tell me about. To us a
little "smoke" to calm our anxieties at the end of a long, hard day
was not an unreasonable request. Of course the state of Florida didn't
share our opinion on that subject."
"Sunshine told Bear her man Rick was onto a major "score" which
would bring the missing weed into our fold. There was this "fag", Jim
Alessi, who cruised the Strip in search for young guys ten to twenty
years of age. He would provide them with drugs of all descriptions in
exchange for homosexual favors. Such a person is known as a "chickenhawk"
in street language and is not uncommon. Jim Alessi was the classic, the
ultimate and uncontested King of the Chickenhawks."
"Rick was a baby faced kid of just 18, despite his streetwise "tough-guy"
image he worked so hard to portray. I was only 22 at the time, but
wise beyond my years in "street-smarts". Bear and I never found out
about it for seventeen years, but Rick had spent the previous night with
head-chickenhawk Alessi, sharing an evening of sex and drugs at
Alessi's home. Alessi was 28 then, came from a well-to-do family who
knew he was gay but didn't like to think about that."
"Runaways worked best for Alessi for all the obvious reasons -
they needed money and craved drugs and would do anything to get either.
At the end of the tryst they were much less likely to create problems
as they had no "mommy" or "daddy" waiting at home to question them."
"Speaking of which, good parents all, please occupy the children in another
part of the house so I can explain something to you of a somewhat
delicate nature. All right? Thank you. Here goes."
"Now a good "street-hustler" would allow a "hawk" to give him "head" and
this had no effect on his manhood. Being new and inexperienced at this game,
Kondian felt that this was very important. A "true man" can get his dick
sucked once in a while, but you can't be the cock sucker.
Then you become known as a "punk" on the streets, and punks finish dead last
in the logic of the street-hustler."
"However, having said that, Kondian did string Alessi
along, into believing that he, kondian, could be completely gay for the
right price - a hefty drug package. Alessi bragged to his gay
friends that day that he had had found himself a hot new
boyfriend and he had plans to go all the way with him that night.
Being aware of Alessi's desire, but wanting to get his drug "score", Kondian
had a plan."
"When Alessi showed up, according to Rick's plan, he would urge me
to come along and join in on the fun. This way he would have to do as
little as possible to "earn" the score. I was a handsome young stud,
after all, and Alessi was a hopeless queer right up to his death - which
was not to be long in coming. It was a simple plan to obtain drugs
for our girlfriends and ourselves, never once was hurting anyone any part
of our little scheme."
"Alessi showed up, as expected, with a plan of his own - he needed "someone"
to help him drive a station wagon from his dad's house over to his house.
There was a job he would be needing it for the following day. Before Alessi
could say "no" the two of us - Rick and I - had climbed into Alessi's
shiny new car. Rick was not a street-hustler in normal circumstances,
but Alessi had drugs and we wanted them. Rick cautioned me not to fall into
Alessi's chickenhawk" trap."
"Alessi had told Rick he'd give him 20 dollars and some "Stuff" for
bringing the car over, so as far as we were concerned, that would be that.
"I don't want that fag hitting on me", Rick told me privately."
"We went by Alessi's dad's home and met his dad, having nothing to fear we were friendly enough.
If I was shy it was because of exactly that, i was a shy person.
Hell, I'm retarded too, they keep telling me. Rick gets into the station wagon there, I ride with
Alessi over to this fancy home of his Boca Raton as Rick follow us."
"As we went inside the elegant home Alessi locked the door with
a key from the inside - a dead bolt lock. I never gave it much thought at the time since we
were going to smoke a joint, but here was a 235 pound 6'3" guy locking two comparatively small
kids in his lair. The "drugs" Alessi had promised were brought out by Alessi next,
and he invited us to join him in a smoke."
"What neither Rick nor I had realized then, was that Alessi was setting us
up for the "kill" - his kill, not ours. The "chickenhawk" had landed"
Swing low, sweet chariot
Comin' for to carry me home;
A band of angels a comin' after me
Comin' for to carry me home.