One day some of the kids from the neighborhood carried my mother’s groceries all the way home. You know why? It was out of respect.
If you’re part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they’re going to kill you. It doesn’t happen that way. There weren’t any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles. They come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life, and they always seem to come at a time when you’re at your weakest and most in need of their help.
I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.
For us to live any other way was nuts. To us, those goody-good people who worked s***ty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, worried about their bills, were dead. I mean, they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something, we just took it. If anyone complained twice, they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.
For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules.
For a second, I thought I was dead. But when I heard all the noise, I knew they were cops. Only cops talk that way. If they had been wiseguys, I wouldn’t have heard a thing. I would have been dead.