Whats happening beautiful people? I really wanted to write something after Miami but when I returned for some crazy reason or another my leg swole up under my knee and it was a real scare. We went to the hospital because I thought I had a blood clot after the long flight but it turned out to be blood behind the kneecap or something of that nature, the swelling is going down and it will be back to normal in a few days. I need to have my leg elevated so while I'm sittig here like a momo, I might as well write something.
As you may know, I went to Miami last weekend to do Comedy at The Improv in Coconut Grove, it had been the first time I had performed down there in 3 years. I was excited. I'm Cuban but I'm not from Miami, I went down there a lot while I was growing up because as all Cubans, I have family down there. I can't really say the people I went to visit were family though, my mother had baptized their daughter, in The Cuban culture thats a big thing, so we were like family because I loved them very much. They were the Castrillions, Rudolpho, Vivian and the kids.
My Father had known Rodolpho from Cuba, after they migrated to the States, their relationship grew. My Father was a Club and Restaurant owner but his real business was bookmaking of Bolita( A Spanish Lottery based off the last 3 numbers of the total earnings at the local horse track). Rodolpho was a savy construction guy, who was involved with other things that I didn't know about. Whenever I went down to visit, he would always turn his world around for me, they both would. Vivian was a former Teacher in Cuba who always stressed education, even when you were on vacation from School, she'd still make you read and do math problems for a few hours every day. I would usually go down to visit them in mid July and I would stay till mid August every year since I could remember.
The kids were great, Jaqueline, Rudy and Gina were their names with Jaqui being the oldest but younger than me by 2 years. I would play with them all day long, we did everything, from ride our bikes to swim to catch lizards, those were things you didn't do in the City, so I loved it! At night we'd watch TV and crack jokes and giggle, when it was time for bed everyone would go to there rooms and I would hang with Rodolpho. We would talk about life and school and sports but after he'd have a few drinks the conversation would always go back to a subject he love to speak about, my father, Manolo.
He would tell me stories about them growing up in Cuba and their struggles and how they both went from broke kids to making tons of dough then he would tell me about my Fathers dreams of the future but also the dreams that he had for me, how we wanted me to go into the service and become a soldier than go to law school to be an attorney so I could represent all his criminal friends, he'd tell me that then he'd giggle, I could never figure why. Then he'd end the conversation with how much he missed my father and he would break down and cry, it was surreal, but the comment about protecting his criminal buddies would always make me think.
My father passed when I was 3 years old. I had read all the newspaper articles about his death and how he had died suddenly at the age of 37 from a heart attack and how he had left behind a son and a daughter in Cuba and all the shit they write in those things. One night when I was aboout 11, Rudolpho and I were having one of our conversations and he broke down unexpectedly, it usually took a couple of stories to get him going like this, he looked at me and said that he could've saved my father. I asked him what he was talking about. He went into a story about the last night of my fathers life how they were all partying doing blow and drinking and having a good time and he said that at about 1AM he went home because he had a meeting in the morning and he could'nt get fucked up.
They kept telling him he could'nt leave but he had to go, he said they busted his balls all the way till he shut his car door, he said my mother was the leader of the don't go brigade, but he had to do what he had to do. He said he went home and fell asleep and within minutes the phone was ringing, it was my mother crying telling Rudolpho to get back that something was wrong with Manny. He told my mother to stop fucking around that he had to get up and he hung up. The phone kept ringing and he would'nt pick it up. Finally he said that the phone didn't stop and that finally he got up to answer and yell and it was a different friend telling him that he had to get down there that there had been a problem.
He said he sped down there but when he arrived they were putting Manny in the ambulance, he wasn't dead but he had slipped into a coma. My mother was also sick he said but she was ok by the time they had arrived at the hospital. Within an hour bad news came, Manny had passed. He said he was heartbroken. He and Vivian helped my mom get everything together. They even accompanied the body all the way to Cuba with my mother. He said he was always heart broken about that night, then he lowered his head and told me why.
They were celebrating some big drug deal they had made, something I didn't know about at that age. Besides the numbers game, my Father was also involved with heroin in the 50's and 60's. He partnered up with some Jewish kids from the lower East Side that he had met as a young kid when he came from Cuba way before he had met my mother. They sold Heroin in the Urban areas and my Father was the front man because he knew the language, in those days the races only dealt with one another, from there he got into the numbers business because the Italians could'nt do numbers in Spanish Harlem either.
At the party they were passing around blow freely but someone had pure Heroin in the same aluminum foil that the coke was being passed around in. When it came to my Father he did a big blast, he passed it to my Mom but she only did a little bump. My father immediately started puking and going into convulsions, my mother just puked, she didn't have enough in her system. At this point people started panicking and thats when Rodolpho got the call, he thought it was a hoax, it wasn't, in his mind he felt that if he had come back immediately when he had gotten the call, he could have saved my father, he lived with that.
A few years later Rudolpho got pinched for drugs and a few years after that, my mother died, that was 79'. In 84', I'm having dinner at this Cuban place in Jersey, when this guy approaches me and tell me that Rudolpho is a friend of his and that he's been looking for me. I almost shit, he's out? I asked in Spanish and the guy said yes, and tha he wanted to see me asap. He gave me his number and I called right away. When he answered, we both cried. At the time, I was going through hell. I had been out there alone for 5 years, I needed someone, he was my saviour. Finally I could rest, I had a family, I can move to Miami and start my life. I went down and it was great, I was making plans to move down immediately but I started thinking, why go back empty? This is Miami, while I'm getting organized I'll make a few grand for the move, so on my visits down there, I became Johnny Dealer. I hooked up with a guy that would give me a few ounces on the arm and I started my career as a smuggler. I thought I was Miami Vice!
This went on for a few months then I got sloppy, I started making calls from the house and it didn't take long for Rudolpho to figure out what I was doing. He sat me down and told me Vivian had found out and I had to leave. I was furious! How can you do this to me, I'm just trying to put together a few moves, hell you did it! He told me to pack ad get out. I had some dough but not enough for the cab ride. I asked him for money and he told me he didn't want to talk to me again. I was so hurt. I didn't know what to do. How was I going to get home? I went in Rodolpho's room looking for cash, there was none but there was a gold watch, I clipped it and went to a pawn shop, got cash on the watch and left. My plan was to return the next day, get the watch out give it to Rudy to sneak back in and move on with my life.....Wrong!
I got a call the next day from Rodolpho telling me he knew about the watch and what a piece of shit I was. I hung up on him, at that point in my life, I had done alot of bad things, but this was bad. I immediately drowned my sorrows with Cocaine and never thought about that day again until I was locked up in a cell years later. When I got out I was on a mission to get them both on the phone and apologize for what I had done. By that time everything had changed, their number, their address, everything, I didn't know how to reach them. I did everything I could do to feel better about what I had done. I even named my daughter Jaqueline because I knew how fond my mother was of Jackie.
I've been going to Miami since 98' for comedy and everytime I was down there, I'd look in every yellow page, white page, I'd call information but nothing. The last time I was down there, I did everything I could then a friend suggessted Facebook. I punched in the name on the keyboard closed my eyes and when I opened there was my long lost Jaquelline! I contacted her immediately and I waited. She got back to me but she was not as enthusiastic as I was about finding her.We sent messages back and forth but I felt we hadn't really connected or they were still mad at me. I kept an open mind.
The week before I went to Miami, I contacted her to tell her and her sister that I was coming, I heard nothing. When I got to Miami I checked my facebook and she replied that she'd try to come on Friday, I left tickets but they never showed, I wrote it off and told myself to move on that I would see them in the next life, I was a little sad. Saturday early show I'm sitting outside and before my eyes I see my cousin walk up with her daughter and her sister my other cousin Gina, I could'nt believe it. I hugged them both and while I'm standing there looking at them my life flashed before my eyes, these were the same girls I had grown up with over 40 years ago, and for a minute I felt the warmth that my life had before my mother passed and finally I got a chance to look them both in the eye and say, I'm sorry for what I did. They both looked at me smiled and said not to worry about it that we were family and things happen.
I didn't even sleep that night from the excitement, even if I never see them again I got to say what I had to say, now I can move on. Rodolpho died in 2002 and Vivian is still alive living in a retirement community, I'll see her next time but for now, I'm happy! Sometimes I'm sorry is a bigger word than you think. Thank you for reading!!!!
Thank you for all the support on my New CD, "Its Either you or The Priest". Its still on Payloadz.com but its also on preorder on iTunes with the official release being this Friday the 13th!
The documentary is fucking Beautiful and it should also be ready by Friday......Lee is doing a great job..........Details coming soon!
I'll be in Atlanta next week with Joe for his Taping. I'll be at The IceHouse on the Wednesday April 25th for another episode of "Stories"........The Drug ones.......Acid, THC Crystal, Gorilla bisquits, Cocaine, heroin and more.....626 577 1894! I'll be at The MBar in Hollywood Saturday the 27th for The Art's a Joke @ 10pm Tickets are @Brownpapertickets.com
Thank you guys for everything you do for me.......See you next week! Much love and Stay Black!