None of these
fistfights for money ever brings Tyson happiness. They only bring him relief.
Now it's morning and the wealthy white people in the East Side Manhattan
apartment building where he has recently rented are approaching him, one after
the next, to shake his hand for breaking Holmes. "I'm going crazy," he
says under his breath.
He gazes at the
young woman on his arm, a beautiful TV actress named Robin Givens, who has
grown up in private schools and upper-middle-class suburbs. She wears a short
black-and-white pinstriped skirt with matching vest, her hair falling in
perfect curls across her shoulders. He wears unlaced sneakers, a sweat suit and
a wool hat tugged low over his round, rough head. "You want to go to my old
neighborhood?" he asks her. He cocks his head and grins. "You
They choose the
silver Lincoln stretch limousine over the black Mercedes-Benz stretch limousine
waiting for them outside. In just a few minutes, they are riding through the
holocaust. He stares out through the black-tinted window at empty lots full of
broken glass and rubble, rusting cars, washing machines toppled on their sides,
windowless and doorless houses, burned out, staring through black
sockets—skulls. Brownsville, in Brooklyn. "My neighborhood," he says.
His face is shining. "I grew up here. It's mine!"
He presses a
button, the window slides down. "Rockaway Avenue...all up and down this
road, I robbed people. Who? Anybody who was a victim. And right here, by the
train station, women would get on the bus; we'd reach in the windows, rip off
Mike," says Robin.
"If a kid
knew his mom was going out with money and didn't want to steal it himself, he'd
tell me where she was going, what time. I'd wait for her and rob her, then we'd
"And we'd rub
drunks' fingers in the snow so we could pull off their rings. There's the
grocery store. See those women coming out? We'd wait outside and offer to help
them carry their bags to their cars, then, while we were handing them back
their bags, we'd reach into their pocketbooks and steal their wallets."
can't picture you doing that. Look at all the barbed wire. This place is
freaking me out."
"Can you see
Robin walking these streets? Look at these people, look at their faces. Tough
faces. These are my people. These are the people I represent when I fight. Slow
down here. See the building with the boards over the windows? That's where we
lived." Gleefully he says it: "Condemned!"