Saturday, November 24, 2012

Camacho in the Half Life

“Can I do anything for you?”

He’s small and kind of fat and a little jowly. His skin sags, yet he looks much younger than his fifty years.

“Can you get me some coke?” He laughs a little bit.

We’re sitting in my rented car on a warm night in Carolina. I’ve got the top down.

“Maybe that’s not such a good idea. I think it’s gonna be a long night.”

Camacho giggles. “Aw shit, man. I know where we’re at. I been here before. I know a girl lives in this barrio. Probably don’t live here no more though.”

He’s dead now. Kind of dead. Almost dead. I’m not sure why he’s in my car. Maybe because we had some of the same friends for a little while, years ago. I didn’t know Camacho, although I’d seen him fight.

“Can we at least get something to eat? Potato chips, corn chips, some nachos or some shit. I’m hungry, dude.”

There’s a bodega on the corner, one of those bunkers where everything is locked down, money passing through a slot in bulletproof Plexiglas. It’s a high crime neighborhood with a lot of shootings, not far from where Camacho was killed.

Two young girls pass the car, and Hector quietly says “it’s Macho time” to them, but they keep on walking. It’s hard to know whether they don’t see him or just don’t care.

“Looks like I ain’t gonna get laid no more.”

“Were you getting laid before all this?”

Camacho pokes me in the ribs. “More than you, dude,” he says. “A whole lot more than you.”

For such a safety first, survival minded guy in the ring, I’m surprised by how little he’s learned about protecting himself on the street; he’s still fucking up in exactly the way that wound up getting him killed.

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