Friday, July 17, 2015

Getting Made

I got dressed. I wore my best suit, with the cufflinks I inherited from my grandfather. I shined my shoes, but they didn't look good enough, so I shined them again. I kept fussing with my tie, making sure it looked good. Everything had to be perfect.

The car came at exactly 9. Not 8:59. not 9:01. I was at the door. I was pretty nervous.

"Remember what we talked about, kid?" asked Uncle Paulie, who was sponsoring me.

"Yes, Paulie."

"Good. Remember, this is your family now. Are you sure you want to go through with this? Because you can turn around and go back into the house. There will be no hard feelings."

"No, Paulie, I want this more than anything."

"Remember, we keep business to ourselves. No outsiders. When things have to be settled, they're settled in house. Get it, kid?"

"Yes, Paulie."

"Once we do this, there's no turning back. Your mother, your father, your wife, your kids, they are important. But if you have to choose between them and us, who do you choose?"

"I choose you, Uncle Paulie."

"Remember, you will be in a special brotherhood now. When you have troubles, they will be our troubles. And when you have enemies, they will become our enemies. And then they will fear you."

"I understand, Paulie."

"Now we are your people. You will always have a family of friends. We will always go to the best places, eat the best food, and do the best things.  But you will never talk about our thing to outsiders."

"I understand, Paulie."

We entered the TGIF. There was Michael, my Godfather, with the paper in his hand. I signed it.

"Have a mozzarella stick," said Paulie.
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