Each day we passed by the bank I thought “I could take it.” Now I would have to give it my full attention for a while. It looked real promising, had all the tell tale signs of an easy mark, but… looks are sometimes deceiving. I just could not get my mind off it. It was just a thought running around in my head like one of those squirrels running in a wheel, in a cage I was going nowhere now, for now.
I was out with my sign in front of the Exxon the morning he came.
– You wanna go work and make some money?
– Sure do mister.
– Get in, and I did.
I looked over and saw Linda there in the station reading a newspaper. I thought won’t she be surprised when she finds I have found some, as she calls it, gainful employment.
We went up to reed Road and cut over to Chef Hwy. That was the main road coming in to New Orleans from the east back before I-10. My new employer was telling me about my job I was going to pull weeds from around his landfill that had been closed by the city (legally as it was still open illegally). We passed by a bunch of massage places and a few of those psalm readers then turned on a road that went between a muffler shop on one corner, and a bank on the other. Over behind the muffler shop was an old strip mall with a bunch of cars in one corner where there was a Big sign “Live Girls ” being held up by an almost twenty foot tall almost naked wooden girl. Seems that was the only thing Live in the strip mall. Just beyond this we crossed some rail road tracks and there was this large yellow monster kinda like the one that ate my last home. We stopped and he said this is mine and this is another landfill of mine. Just a big bunch of piles of dirt and junk. But he was proud of it. We were parked right by the corner of the fence of the bank and I was straining to get a better look. Ahh, do we ever do any work over here? Oh yea soon as we get the other one cleaned up. Well lets go get to it.
It was about four or five miles out in the weeds (no trees) swamp like, and hot as hell with a humidity of 95 and temperature of 95. The weeds were as high as my head. Johnson grass and bushes. I set in pulling weeds and he left and said he would be back. I needed water. He came back around noon and brought some lunch and water. He opened the gate which was solid wood about ten foot high. there was a little office trailer inside and another of those big ugly machines setting inside the place was filled with tracks and fresh dirt, trash and wild dogs. He said you could not dump here legally so he had to just open it for special jobs. We ate and both of us went to pulling weeds the bushes we tied with a chain around them and pulled them out with the truck. It was a hard dirty job but I was gainfully employed. The whole while I could not get my mind off that bank. It just looked so inviting. I think I just had the aptitude for spotting the ideal spots. Well an old criminal like me has to have those good casing skills. I learned most of them while I was at Angola for six years. Before that I had done a total of ten years in Texas and some time in Arkansas. Yep, you could honestly say I was one of those career criminals. Incorrigible is a word they used a lot.
When we knocked off for the evening I was worn out and needed some sleep. He dropped me off at the end of the bridge where I was now calling home and gave me 30 dollars. Promising he would return in the morning I made sure he knew I had to clean the Exxon first and would be done by 8 AM. I was filthy and my new clothes were grass stained and it was not shower night. Oh well, I just laid there dreaming of the bank it was stuck in my head. I made plans for the weekend. I would take a city bus out there and get a better look when no one was around. Do a walk-by real slow and see what was on up the street a ways. I know you can’t be too careful in these matters. One or two weekends of casing the joint should do it. I hoped…
The next morning I was there when Linda got to work and she asks
– What happened to you?
– Working. I am gainfully employed for now, and told her about the whole day, well except for the bank. Some things are just better left unsaid for the moment. I got the place cleaned up, told Linda I didn’t want to loose my full time job. She laughed and my employer came, I gave Linda the 30 dollars so I would not loose it at work. Linda said she would leave me some clean clothes. I was off to work. I could not wait to see the bank again…