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Made Man - Chapter 2


Matteo Calvi

When I was five I ran the playground. Now I know you say to yourself, big deal, but when you had kids stealing from their parents and giving to you it was a big deal. Me and my brother were doing good; we pulled in close to seventy-five dollars a week. Nobody dared to defy us, or so we thought. We had been running our small time operations for months and there were no problems, everything flowed smooth. Everything flowed smooth until one day when things got serious.

There was this one kid in my class, a red head. Now I gave this kid an extra hard time because of the whole Italian and Irish thing. So one day I slap him around a little because he wouldn't give me any money. Later that day I hear his big brother is looking for me. I sent the message to meet in the park at 4:00 and we would settle it.

Now I had been in fights before, but never a real fight. An Italian never goes solo, so I had my brother Georgie, and my crew, Paulie, Dom, and some of the other guys. Now everyone respected the rules, it was my fight and no one else was gonna jump in unless it got out of hand. We only travel in packs to intimidate. So on comes 4:00 and I see the red head walkin' to the park with this monster looking kid. He is tall and chubby and I start thinking, what the hell am I doing. But I couldn't run now I was too deep.

So this kid comes over and we start to shoot the bull. He tries to get wise with words and I shut him down. Us Italians can do that to anyone, we begin to win before the fight starts.  So anyway this kid realizes he can't beat me with words so he gets into a fighting stance and starts comin' towards me. Now of course I am 6 years old and I am fighting a 9 year old so I'm crapping my pants. So he barrels over and throws a fist going right for my nose, and in that instant everything froze for me.

I started to think as the punch was coming, what would my family say if I came home with a black eye, everybody would be after him and eventually they would find his body in a river. So I realized my only choice as the fist was inches from my face. I threw up my left hand and caught his hand, then jacked him in the face with my right. The kid starts to hold his nose. So I go over to see if he has had enough and the bastard slaps me.

At that moment he lost the fight. I ran at him and tackled him to the floor. There I am 6 years old beating the hell out of this kid's face. I couldn't even tell what was going on; I just kept swinging. That is what sets Italians apart, our will and heart.

Next thing I know me and the kid are down at the police station. He has two black eyes and a broken nose. I didn't have a scratch. So I start to think what my parents are gonna do to me. Then I see Cousin Vitto come strolling in. He slips the arresting officer a twenty and I was free to go. My parents never found out. As I walked home with cousin Vitto we talked about what he did. He told me he was the highest, the boss, and that's why he could control everything. He said I had heart and someday if I kept it up I would be in his place. He didn't want to say it but he was proud of me. Hell I was proud of me; I finally knew what I was cut out for.

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