Four years ago, when I first moved to Baltimore City, I lived in Butcher’s Hill with my best friend, Kelli. There were a number of characters in our neighborhood, but my two favorite white trash locals were named Ginger and Big Tweety. Those two were always out causing some kind of trouble. Sometimes when I walked by I would throw a fake gang sign and if they said it wasn’t a real gang sign I would be like, “It is too. It’s for a new gang I made up–you guys can be in it if you want. Girls only.” They always shook their heads at me, unsure if I was being serious.
One morning at 4:15 am, I walked a friend to his car that was parked five blocks away (god forbid anyone ever find parking anywhere in this city).
When I returned to my street there were two seedy figures frantically scratching at the lamppost in front of my house. I was nervous until I realized it was just my neighbor Ginger and her girl Big Tweety. Tweety’s real name was Trina, but she was hefty and regularly sported a gorgeous stonewashed denim jacket with Tweety Bird on the back and a Tweety Bird denim bowling bag as her purse–so naturally, Ginger called her Big Tweety.
This is what used to be written on the pole:
While Big Tweety worked diligently to cover this expression of true love, Ginger was writing something else. I got bold (was wicked drunk) and asked, “What happened to Jamaal?” and Big Tweety calmly replied, “He dead.”
Ginger said nothing.
I felt really bad about it. “Oh, oh my god, I’m so sorry,” I kept apologizing to her, but soon realized she didn’t care all that much because she was writing this:
Four years later, we remember Jamaal and all he did for the neighborhood, including the time he lit a bag of poop on fire and chased a kid with it and that other time he went door-to-door asking if “anybody got any weed.”
Rest in peace, Jamaal. We hardly knew ye.