What can YOU say in six sentences?
Arthur Odell Crank--I wouldn't make that name up--sold weed to the street rats back in the '60s. His place, the White Sands on Jefferson just off 14th, was one of the last of the juke joints in that part of town, and his bust helped roll all the rest of them up to finis.
Cops kicked in the door to the rooms he kept in back of the Sands. A big photo accompanied the story: tens of thousands of dollars, tossed in an old, dirty bathtub.
I saw him years later downtown, old and a little bent over and shabby, standing in front of Friedlander's window, gazing away at the jewelry, his eyes far away, not moving a muscle, not even breathing as far as I saw and he stood there in front of that window a long goddamned time...
What I saw in his eyes was hunger I guess, a far-away hunger, there since the womb, for emeralds, gold, rubies, stoked by the memory of bills in old bathtubs--the food you can't eat that makes your mouth water 'til tears well up in your eyes.