Word On The Street
Barbershop scene featuring Aaron ‘Baldy’ Moore and Damoni Harper
Soon after wrapping up their meeting at the 12 Lounge, the fellas part ways to resume life as usual. While the others were plotting something else to get into, Girard receives a text from Baldy, his barber, to come through to the shop. So, he heads to the barbershop for a fresh edge-up and some interesting gossip. Girard’s barbershop shares the same building as the salon Kendra’s girlfriend owns near Broad and Lindley in the Logan section of Philly.
“Baldy! What’s good?!” Girard replies as he enters the shop looking for a seat.
“There he is…my man, ‘G’! What’s good, homey?” Baldy greets Girard as he walks into the crowded barbershop. “C’mon, I got you right here, fam!” Baldy, wearing his Philly popular thick Sunni beard and bald head exclaims, while popping his client apron twice to clear hair from his chair for Girard to immediately have a seat.
Girard has known Baldy since they were middle-schoolers at Roberto Clemente. When the building used to be a retired pantyhose factory at 5th and Luzerne.
“What up? How you, fam?” Girard replies giving Baldy a pound and a hug before immediately sitting in the chair.
“I can’t call it, ‘G’!” Baldy replies, placing the apron around Girard’s neck.
“I appreciate you holding a spot for me, family.” Girard, expresses with gratitude.
“Naw, dawg! I needed to get you in the chair anyway, ASAP!” Baldy explains with urgency in his voice.
“Oh! Well, what’s good then, fam?” Girard asks, eager to hear what Baldy has to tell.
“So, what’s good with your boy, ‘E’?” Baldy asks, heading the topic.
“What you mean? You heard something?” Girard questions with a bit of concern.
“Word on the street is that your man ‘E’ has dealings with that dirty white-bor, Spyder from Kensington. Now, Spyder is supposed to be hustling some new type of ecstasy that’s making chicks go bananas for sex. But, a side effect to the drug is that the girls don’t remember a thing the morning after. So, the streets is sayin’ that ‘E’ got the date raping game on lock! I mean, they’re saying that he’s bangin’ down all kinds of badd chicks! Hell, I even had to warn my wife about what’s going on.” Girard sits uncomfortably, taking in every word as Baldy continues.
“Hmph! Is that right?” Girard replies with a stoic expression on his face.
“Yeah, and I heard that some ‘bor’ named Nelly is in on it, too. Apparently, they be doping chicks for redemption. Date raping these hoes because they be pump-fakin’ a little too much at your events. Especially, them high profile ‘jawns’.” Harp, another barber and friend from middle-school and high school in the shop chimes in as Girard idles in thought.
“Mmm…hmm…” Baldy concurs as he momentarily cleans his clippers.
Girard, didn’t appreciate the news he was getting. Especially, coming from the source. He immediately started weighing how damaging this could be for all the fellas and their brand. More importantly, if Kendra finds out about any of this, it’s not going to be good for their relationship. She would assume that Girard was in on it because the guys are so close, and he’s even closer to Eric.
“What about, LaRon? Did you hear anything about him?” Girard inquires. Trying to establish LaRon’s possible involvement.
“Naw, his name never even came up in the conversation. But, they kept mentioning the other ‘bor’ Nells or Nelly or something? They said, he was definitely runnin’ with ‘E’, too!” Baldy assures him.
“Baldy, I know you ain’t no snitch and all that. But it’s critical that you tell me who told you this information. ‘Cause, I’ve got to figure out how much damage has already been done.” Girard pleads, probing for more information.
“Well, some ‘jawn’ named April came through the other day with some other chicks, and I overheard them telling Felicia about it. Now, Felicia kept trying to shush them and lower their voices, because she knows that people know ‘E’ in the shop. But, these chicks was vexed when they came up in here, ‘G’. I mean, these girls were out for blood, ‘ya’, mean!” Baldy explains as he finishes the line-up on Girard’s neck and dusts off the loose hair.
Calculating the severity of the news, a disappointed Girard mulls in thought as Baldy applies the hair tonic and alcohol to his fresh edge-up.
“Damn, man! Things have definitely changed since we used to play handball in the Clemente schoolyard.” Girard says, taking Baldy back to the better times of their childhood.
“Haha…I know, right! Then, running track over at Olney High for Baker and Ferko. Yo, we’re gettin’ up there, ‘G’!” Baldy reminisces as he hands Girard the mirror to inspect his fresh cut.
“No doubt! Ferk, had us out there trying to kill us with them laps!” Girard remembers as they laugh about the good times. Suddenly, the sobering sound of a passing ambulance momentarily breaks their conversation.
“Damn, they stay rushing somebody off to Einstein Medical around here!” Girard addresses as the blaringly loud ambulance passes by the shop.
“I know, man! Bodies drop around here all the time, ‘G’. It’s really sad!” Baldy replies in a regretful tone. The noise of the shop eerily dies down as if everyone were silently praying for the patient.
“Hmph! Anyway, you still doing that Crab-fest thing you used to do every year?” Girard inquires off topic.
“Every year, we be out there!” Baldy, confirms with certainty.
“That’s what’s up! ‘I’ma’ try to slide through this year. Good lookin’ out on that info too, fam!” Girard appreciates as he stands from the chair.
“Anything, I can do to look out for my man, you know I’m there for you, dog.” Baldy assures, Girard.
“Here ‘ya’ go. That’s for me and the next man up. A little appreciation for getting me in and out, Bald. Y’all stay up!” Girard gracefully hands Baldy twenty-dollars for his services, before giving him and Harp a pound.
“Much appreciated, ‘G’. Be easy!” Baldy replies as Girard calmly exits the shop shaking his head in a haze of confusion.
Wild For The Night