LAZZO was hardly able to notice a cop’s vehicle that had parked outside and out strode an agile lawman who walked into the watering hole.
The seller at the counter said he was closing shop that moment and his transportation was parked outside.
At this moment, Lazzo and the occupants of the premises were mostly dazed owing to the lucrative month-end as always in the hood!
The ‘haves and have-nots’ all shared the spoils including the dreaded riff-raff. One recently swindled Lazzo out of his hard-earned cash when he pretended he had not been given money to buy the celebrated alcohol.
Lazzo’s mentor was the first to stagger on the landing of the watering hole but was astounded as his adrenaline raced up through his nervous system.
The cops had come! Now, what with the news that ‘the law’ had been upped in overdrive?
Anything was possible and one ultimate was the hauling away of revellers some of whom appeared to be in their own world but dazed with their revered ‘drinks’.
Lazzo had never seen anything like that where a lawman calmly announced that everyone had time to finish off their drinks and he would with his colleagues wait for them!
To someone below the inebriation stage, this was a ‘heart pounding moment because of what anyone in such a situation would anticipate.
Behind a large shop in the precincts was parked a bus and Lazzo with his mentor were shepherded to the waiting vehicle en route to the dreaded ‘dungeon’ called by many names in the hood but the commonest being ‘cell’.
After what appeared to be a joy ride to several other points, the busload including Lazzo were bundled into confinement at the apt destination.
Lazzo had just been paid and had several banknotes tucked in both trouser pockets which he did not declare at the reception to his own peril.
When shoved into the cell, he was greeted by the ‘self-appointed[‘ ‘captain’ who instantly asked for money because he was ‘the landlord in the place’.
Lazzo had no option but to surrender what should have been safe at the reception! His mentor however had surrender his cash and this served as a reprieve for the pair afterwards.
Anxiety had rippled through the hood following announcements that the law would be in ‘overdrive’ as one patron stated at the watering hole.
Lazzo had heard various reports from hard-core revellers who thought they were in a fix because they had to limit their presence at the watering hole from now onwards.
But the overriding term as excited patrons discussed the issue kept mentioning the long upheld ‘shishita’ operations.
The ‘shishita’ is a word from the north that implies to be ‘dull or gropping about without knowing what to do, loitering or plainly below average in one’s thinking pattern as they may sometimes stagger on the street!
However, one word which had become too familiar in the context of legal interpretation was ‘loiter’. This could also be associated with words like ‘vagabond’ (person of no fixed abode) or a ‘vagrant’ an adjective defined as ‘aimless wanderer, somebody illegally on the streets or wayward.
The latter is a synonym (a word meaning the same as the first one mentioned) and largely suggests some ‘behavioral independence often laced with a criminal idea and that needs regulation’.
The lawmen and women seem to base their actions against people found loitering very late in the night when sometimes drinking places have long closed!
These could be up to some mischief or have some hidden ulterior motives in the area hence their being given sanctuary in the right place where Lazzo and his mentor were currently facing a psychological ordeal!
Out of the ‘mill’ the following day, Lazzo and his mentor including others were drawn to the watering hole again where it was business as usual.
However, Lazzo had observed some drastic change of patronage at the watering hole because it seemed patrons had been ‘whipped’ into line as they were forced to retire early.
There was eerie silence in the night but occasionally broken by dogs barking in selected points of the hood but serenity was overwhelming.
Lazzo began to think that this was just what the hood needed because some misfits were too free to take life for granted.
Earlier, he had asked someone without (scruples) to buy opaque brew.
But after a few moments of loitering near the counter, came back to where Lazzo sat.
Naturally, Lazzo stretched out his hand for change but alas! The young man expressed surprise that he had been given any money!
Lazzo was so perplexed with a feeling very close to hate so that he merely stood up and decided to leave the watering hole.
Sometimes, he wondered why he found himself there. What a place to be!
Therefore, a typical definition of such a person is ‘one without scruples, that of an ‘unprincipled individual lacking moral standards or conscience to guide ones conduct.
This was simply, the opposite of a good person and one that can in the circumstances not be trusted.
Sometimes a stranger who may feel empathy after a long time of stay elsewhere would have an accurate idea of some characters they would contend with!
Once, one of his acquaintances expressed wish to visit Lazzo in the hood but was worried about the safety of his car.
Asked to explain, he said:”While we are busy imbibing at the watering hole and it is dark, I would not know what would be happening to my car…”
Of course, the view had to be laughed off by the joking pair as they had to catch up with the merry-making after a hard’s work.
But Lazzo observed that a night lifestyle had its own perils as even taught in the books of moralists who expected perfection in human affairs!
But one thing was clear. The night lifestyle in the hood had been curbed considerably as everyone wanted to rush home just when the woman behind the counter was beginning ‘to look very beautiful’.