Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Two men walk toward the weight lifters in the far corner. Both have shaven heads. Both have facial tattoos.
"I bitched about losing my toothbrush so much they just gave me a new one. They didn't check. They never do."
"The plastic handle's sharper than a straight razor. Work of art." He moves his arm. It is under his sleeve.
They approach O.J. Simpson, who is sitting on a bench watching guys clean and jerk.
They sit on both sides of him.
O.J. sits up straight. "Hi, guys." He does not make eye contact. He looks out toward the far basketball court.
"Been reading the National Enquirer," says the tall one, Tom.
"One with your picture on the front." says the other, the shorter one, Erik.
"You guys saw the Enquirer?" says O.J. "So, you know I'm selling some stuff. I'm getting out of here real soon so I'll need the money."
"Got a new lady lawyer. She's getting me a new robbery trial. Seems my last attorney, Galantner...I paid him $525,000, but the guy who was actually in court with me got only $5 Grand. Strange. She says it's negligent representation, conflict of interest, some such, so it'll be time served and I'm out of here."
"You're doing 33 years for armed robbery, Simpson?" says Tom.
"I'm not a robber. Getting back my own stuff's not robbery. Most guys do what I did, it's three to five, not eight to 33? It's unfair."
"Says in the Enquirer you're selling the bloody knife? The one you killed Nicole with. You still got that knife?"
"It was my knife, so I can sell it if I want. I kept it." O.J. glances at Tom. "I got two severely injured knees. How can I kill 2 people in the middle of the night, and nobody hears nothing? And they said I scaled a wall to get back home, and nobody saw me? Come on. It wasn't me guys?"
"Enquirer says you want $5 Million for that knife?"
"Yup," says O.J. "I need the cash when I get out.
"But, $5 Million?" says Erik.
"Look," says O.J. "that's what it's worth. It's probably the most famous murder weapon since the gun that shot Lincoln. Come on, worth every penny."
"I got other stuff," says O.J. "I saved it all. I figured after the trial I needed some kind of retirement plan, so I saved some stuff that I knew would be valuable in the future."
"Kind of stuff?" asks Tom.
O.J. rubs his knees. "You know, stuff."
"Okay," says Tom. "$5 million, we can always come down on the price. We can negotiate."
"What?" says O.J. He blinks.
"Go on, Simpson," says Tom. "What else did you save?"
"Okay. The glove. Remember, the one that didn't fit."
"The bloody glove? You got that too?"
"I bought it back. I was found 100% not guilty, so...I sent it all to my place in the Bahamas...you know, to keep it all safe. The glove, I'm putting that up for $3 million. You know, that glove fits Kato." O.J. snickers.
"$3 Million?" says Tom.
"At least. And for the car guys out there, my White Ford Bronco. It's down there in a garage just outside of Nassau. I'm thinking, $20 Million. Does that seem high? There's people who'll pay that, come on. It's O.J's Bronco. I'll get that. I'm O.J."
"Well, I got to say, Simpson," says Tom, "you're probably the best running back I've ever seen play, when you were with the Bills...well...Bo Jackson, he was really good..and on defense there was Michael Strahan... He was real..."
All right already. Guys, there's been more written about me in sports than anybody since Babe Ruth."
"Will people really buy this stuff, at that kind of money?" asks Erik.
"I have the bloody socks, they found in my room. I'm thinking $500 Grand."
"Half a mil?" says Tom. He looks over at Erik, and rubs his hands together.
"And believe it or not I got the glasses that that kid Goldman was returning to Nicole. Now those are really valuable. $2 Million easy.
"All my stuff. It's worth millions now. Like my jogging suit. That's gotta be at least $4 Million.
"I've even got Fung's rubber gloves. They said he contaminated everything. They were an important part of the evidence against me. I'm putting $1 million on them. I got a family to support, you know. My daughter Khole Kardashian. Who knows what's in my future."
Tom looks at Erik. "I'll tell you what's in your immediate future." Erik pulls back his shirt sleeve.
"Simpson, we're here to take our cut."
"What? Your cut?" says O.J.
"We we're thinking 30%, but we'll take 25. We gotta a right to it."
"What right? You can't do this. It's outright robbery. I got friends who'll track you..."
"What friends, Simpson? The public? The police? Your football buddies?"
Erik pushes the toothbrush handle into O.J.'s ribs, just far enough. O.J. lets out a moan, and jumps up. But Erik yanks him back down.
"Sit down," says Tom. "Guards will be over here. Look, it's 25%."
"There's no way..." says O.J.
"Protection," says Erik. "We've been protecting you since you got here. There's guys in here who'll mess you up bad, just to get their picture in the papers, or on Dateline of something." He shows O.J. the shiv again. "Trust us, you need our protection."
"It's called, 'The New Order,'" says Tom. "Maybe you'd like to join?" He looks at Erik, who is shaking his head, 'NO.'
"Well, maybe not, but just remember the money will be going to a real good cause. We help people see the light. Very important work, you ask me."
"25%?" says O.J.
This time the plastic shiv draws blood. O.J. looks down, and starts to shake. He grabs his side.
"So, it's a deal." Tom and Erik move away. "It's pay back Simpson for keeping you safe."
O.J. looks down at the blood on his hands. He looks up and nods. He tries not to, but he slumps over, and groans loudly.
His distress compels lifters to stop in mid clean, guards to turn and look, and other nearby cons to raise their eyebrows.
O.J. hears, "We'll be waiting for our cut, Simpson." as Tom and Erik disappear.
"I'll sell my stuff, and live in the Bahamas. All cash. No banks."
But nobody's gaze follows Tom and Erik. They hold their eyes on him.
He tries to stare back, but can't. He puts his head down. He wants to cry, but won't.
This is not the way it was supposed to be.
"What's going to happen to me?" he mumbles, his hand holding back the pain in his side.
What's going to happen to me?
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