I been thinking for quite some time to post this new Mafia's article, but I have been delaying it for some time. The reason of this delay was that it could have endangered the safety of my life and the safety of my own family. Or worst, end up in some protection program for the rest of my remaining life.
That's why I'll be removing any potential references (such as: personal names, or location's names, and besides I don't know if I'll be writing the all story) which they could essentially lead to my true identity. Even though, in same particular case I'll be forced to keep them, because of their historical nature (meaning: facts that are worldwide well known).
Mafia's American style.
After I came to live in the U.S., I worked in different places. After some time, I started to work in a place (sorry but I can't tell what place it was) where a lot people came to do their usual business. They were people of every backgrounds: businessmen, politicians of every sorts, very rich men, affiliated to some kind of association, common people, and some, "Mafioso".
I'll pause for a brief moment and deviate from this part of the story, but I'm promising that I'll come back later to finish it. Now, I wanted to write of when I knew the first American goodfella.
When I knew the first American goodfella, I couldn't help but notice the way he was dressing. Unlike his Sicilian counterpart's fellows (which were dressing most of the times rather poorly), that wise guy was wearing a fashionable dress with nice shining shoes on his feet, gold rings on his fingers, and pomaded hair all combed towards the rear of his head. And strangely enough, he was acting to me very friendly. Maybe, because he knew I was Sicilian (That encounter, was for sure a real weird one. In truth, if he could been able to know back then how much I despised him and what he really represented to me, frankly, I don't believe he would have been that friendly to me).
And yet, I can't quite figure out if this guy was copying the bad style of some Mafia's American movies (see: Godfather, Goodfellas, the Sopranos, or many other American old movies) or it was the other way around. Those movies had really succeeded, in the capturing the real nature of the American Mafia's gangsters.
Anyway going back to when I started my first job in New York. This same place where I knew a lot people, and where I even knew some politicians from the New York metropolitan area, including guess who? The former mayor of New York City, Rudolph W. Giuliani (but this is an other story). As I said, I new from that place a lot of different people. One in particular which I wasn't too eager to know, just because, his only presence was enough to give me bad cramps to my stomach. He was a wise guy, and he looked exactly as one of those badly portrayed from some very bad Mafia's American movies.
The difference now was that he was for real. His attitude and his talk, were real too (the attitudes and the talks of a wise s..h...). I tried to avoid him the most I could, but because of my job I couldn't avoid him as much as I wished.
The first thing that struck me the first time I noticed him was, the golden rings he was wearing on his fingers.
He had a golden ring on his left hand's ring finger (I guess that indicated that he was married), and on his right hand, he was showing off two more golden rings. The one on his pinky finger was a gold ring with an embedded stone at the top of it. The other one, the one that had struck me was on his middle finger, and it was a big gold ring with some strange engravings on it.
I thought, that wasn't nothing special in it at the first glance (probably many people are wearing gold rings that big, and for sure they aren't gangsters), but when I paid a more attentive look at it, my mind quickly recalled back a couple of events from when I was still living in Sicily. In fact, I remembered to have seen that same ring with those same strange engravings on it, already twice.
The first occasion happened because of my business. It was in Palermo, I was talking to a Mafia's boss from the neighborhood, for the reason that I was trying to convince him to cut me some slack by giving me some more time to hand over, " u pizzu' " (The pizzu' is the protection money paid to the Mafia).
The second time happened in a different Sicilian location, and it was in a small town between Palermo and Corleone. That time I was also speaking to a local boss, but for a different reason. This time, I was pleading to the local Mafia boss to give back what he had stolen from my father. In fact after my father died, that piece of s... had the courage to steal (with the help of some corrupted local administrator) the land that my father had bought with the savings of a lifetime hard work.
I could have forced him to give back what didn't belonged to him, but I knew that I was playing with my life. In fact, the @#%$&@ was guarded by a pair of armed scum bags. At some point of our animated discussion, the two lowlifes that were guarding the boss motioned in a threatening manner their guns toward me. What else, I could have done? I left! When I left, I left with a heart full of bitterness and insane ideas in my head, for the revenge... Fortunately as the time went by, my head started to cool off and began to think that was better to give up the lost, rather than getting myself entangled in something much, but much worst.
In both of those two occasions the two, "gentlemen" were wearing (as I was mentioning before) that same gold ring with those strange engravings on it.
Just a pure causality, or there was more? I can't still figure it out. Exactly, what that meant? Maybe, that meant nothing! Or maybe, that meant a lot!
For sure, there must have been some sort of correlation among those facts. We already know, that the American Mafia and the Sicilian Mafia have (or have had) tight links. Is that ring a Mafia thing? Like an oath of loyalty and belongings to a certain clan, or just it is a simple way to recognize each other even in faraway lands?!?
Continue: Facing the Mafia - La Mattanza (chapter II).