Sunday, October 12, 2008

95 Kgs of AU

I sat across from a shady business man on Metro North while on my into Manhattan.
To a Shady Business Man,

To the Shady Businessman on Metro North,

Sometimes riding the train can be boring, but other times it can be interesting, if you get lucky and have the pleasure of riding next to someone mysterious. The other day I sat next to a business man, a shady ass business man, dressed pretty casual for someone headed to New York City; he wore a Ralph Lauren shirt with no tie, blue jeans, small sunglasses and carried a leather brief case. I knew the guy was strange from the gate because he was talking on the phone. You’re not really suppose to use your cell phone on the train, not loudly at least, anyone that rides metro north on a regular basis knows that. There are unwritten laws on the train, call them social norms, and this guy was ignoring all of them.

I sat across from the guy, in my usual seat, facing the opposite direction that the train was traveling in, in a seat that allowed me to stretch out my legs, I was pissed off because not only was this guy talking loudly but he kept brushing up against my leg. Even though there was a seat right next to him, he insisted on sitting as close to me as possible. To my right was a twenty something looking hipster kid, to my left was an older woman that got on the train at South Norwalk, at the same stop some tall skinny fagotty looking black guy came on the train, he was wearing a scarf and carried a purple woman’s purse; he made me uncomfortable to say the least.

This man was talking “shady business”. Although he didn’t say anything that would lead me to believe that he was doing something illegal he appeared to be the type of person, that if given the chance probably would be doing something illegal. His business seemed to fall in the grey area; I could only wonder how he described his means of making a living. I could pictured him at a cocktail party telling anyone that listened that he was in “imports/exports”, anytime someone says they’re in imports/exports, that’s a red flag for drug kingpin or arms dealer. He said it himself, “my export license is going to be changed, and I’m going to have a manufacturer’s license as well”. He constantly said, “I’m on the train right now so I can’t talk about that”, “I’m on the train right now so I can’t say his name, let’s just call him JB”. This guy had some nerve using that type of vocabulary on pack train headed into NYC.

“I head up a few large corporations” he said. “I have ties in Sierra Leone, I own a small law firm that handles my legal business, and I use a security company out in Arizona that travels with me around the world”. Who was this character? Anytime I hear Sierra Leone I think of either Blood Diamond or Lord of War. A diamond smuggler, maybe an arms dealer, hopefully not a drug dealer, In retrospect maybe the whole time he was talking in “coded code” and he actually was some drug dealer-never mind, what kind of drug dealer would be stupid enough to talk business on a public train?

I heard him broker a deal. 95kgs of AU estimated at one M of profit. The M of profit is obviously a million dollars, but 95kgs of AU? Hold on a minute, I got it, AU is the symbol for GOLD! Chemistry class finally pays off! How didn’t I realize that earlier? Not so shady after all. With the price of gold just under one thousand dollars an ounce, I’d say this guy is doing pretty well for himself. To give you an idea of the kind of numbers he’s dealing with, 1 kilogram is equivalent to about 35 ounces so that means if he was buying/trading 95 kilograms of gold, he was buying about 3.3 MILLION dollars worth of gold! One M in profit is right. He said he had houses in Nevada, Florida, New Mexico and Northwest Africa so while we’re all worrying about the economy, the credit crisis and losing our homes, this guy is making bank off of the hottest commodity available right now.

As we approached Grand Central I thought about getting up and pretending to dial a number, possibly leading him onto think that I was involved in his line of work. I was dressed the part; Casual clothes, glasses, a decent looking diamond watch on my wrist. All that I would have to do is use the same code language he did. Knowing this fool he probably would have bought it too, it would be like we were communicating in our own language. From there I would bullshit my way into making myself seem legit; I’m pretty good at that. Then before you know it, I break the news to him that I’m just a kid going into the city to intern at a record label, but that I would be more than willing to be his assistant. From there I presume he would take me under his wing, teaching me everything he knows until one day I’m able to broker my own deal. Then I become rich, remain and unknown and live the life I’ve always dreamed.
Time to get off the train.

Sent via Blackberry by AT&T


Anonymous said...

This story is near and dear to my heart. I would assume that this is also true for the people that ride the metro north regularly and don't feel like they fit in with the herds of business men that fill any given peak hour train. I've imagined more times than I can count about what these "business" men do, what kind of homes they go home to, and what kind of bad habits they might picked up in college. I then wonder if they are happy with their seemingly monotonous lives and if this is what the envisioned their life would be as a kid. I've met so many interesting people on the Metro North trains, this blog entry has inspired me to record my adventurous. Thanks Lex!

- Tashon

Kemit said...

You're right you do meet some pretty interesting people on the Metro North from time to time...Call me Crazy but I do miss that ride into the City!