Monday, March 13, 2006

McAvoy The Unifier

(58) McAvoy The Unifier

Seamus McAvoy is the last living white guy in the Hoover Houses in Manhattan, New York County, New York City, New York.

He has unified the two big factions at Hoover, the African Americans and the Spanish speakers,

Seamus is the only white guy left in The Project. He’s been here since the buildings went up in 1957. Four generations of welfare and food stamp recipients. McAvoy among the first of them.

He’s married, which makes it okay in the eyes of the Church that he’s living with his wife and child, but not okay in the eyes of the Housing Authority, hence he’s never quite gotten around to telling them.

He owns a house (location unknown, but somewhere in the Bronx.) He rents it out and pays taxes on both the building and the income, which makes it okay in the eyes of the IRS, but not okay in the eyes of the Housing Authority, hence he’s never quite gotten around to telling them.

When McAvoy got into the Hoovers, he and the other white guys would snarl at each other in the elevator (on those days the elevator worked) and in the lobby around the mail boxes. Gradually the white guys got snarled out of the place.

Then came the Spanish. So the black guys and the Spanish guys would snarl at each other in the elevator (on those days the elevator worked) and in the lobby around the mail boxes. The Spanish guys wouldn’t get snarled out of the place. They stay to this day.

After awhile, snarling wasn’t enough and they started getting into cold stares and hot fists.

The Housing Authority doesn’t stop it. Can’t. Gave up years ago.

The cops can’t stop it. Can’t. Hardly respond to calls from the address anymore.

But all this stops, when McAvoy The Unifier comes into view. No more snarls, cold stares or hot fists. The action stops.

How does he do it?

He becomes the common enemy, just by being who he is.

Parts the waters, he does.

Seamus is getting old now. You get old fast in the Hoover Houses. But even if you didn’t, Seamus would, because he’s lived a lot of years, and that’s what happens when you live a lot of years – you get old.

Mostly, it’s just snarls and stares for Seamus. But one year, on St. Patrick’s Day, they had to call the cops and the cops actually showed up for this one: two groups of kids had surrounded McAvoy and were about to set upon him.

Detectives Johnson and Torres and a bunch of uniforms separated all of this and asked why.

The answer: at the Hoover Houses, when you wear green, you’re wearing gang colors.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 2006

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