The following story is absolutely true, one name has been changed. Not because my ex-roomate is innocent, it's because he's a fucking scumbag.
5:43 am this morning, I was sound asleep. BAM! BAM! BAM! "United States Marshals, OPEN UP!" They must be here for one of my roommates. I turned on the light and went out to my second floor balcony, looked down. Five flashlights fixed on my face, behind the lights were five large men, five semi-automatic weapons and five badges. Now I know why the rent was so cheap.
As I stumbled down the inside stairwell the flashlights fixed on me through the windows of the front door. I was looking down at my feet on the steps when I noticed several bouncing red laser dots skip around on my chest. Ok, they're not here for the expired inspection sticker on my car. Moving toward the door with my hands exposed I opened the door and found myself surrounded by Kevlar vests marked U.S. MARSHAL. Behind the vests was muscle and adrenaline. "Now is not a good time to be a smart ass Styles" I thought.
"Are you Johnny (blank)?" Squinting from the flashlights in my eyes to see who spoke, a wild eyed Marshal who looked like the actor Ed Harris on steroids repeated himself. "Johnny (blank)?" "uhm, no, Eric Styles...." "Where is he?" "Uhm, he said he was going to Florida or something..." "Sounds like bullshit, cuff him." Ed Harris snapped. I won't go into a word by word transcript of the repetitive conversation. My shirt was lifted up looking for tattoos, asked the same questions again and again in different variations. The U.S. Marshals still didn't believe that I wasn't my roommate Johnny (blank). "You're him, wanted in fourteen states on six warrants."
I showed them where all of my I.D. was, W-2 forms, birth certificate, unemployment papers were, "I.D.'s can be faked" they snapped. "Then why do you guys always ask to see them" I thought. I felt like the Dude in the Big Lebowski trying to convince thugs that they got the wrong guy. "I'm 'the Binge' man, check my comic strip." By 5:58 am I was told I was looking at fifteen to twenty years in a Louisiana federal prison. Damn, I wish I had some coffee.
I heard them questioning the other roommate upstairs, his panicky Texas drawl echoing down the stairwell "Johnny's in Florida..." One Marshal with glasses, mumbled to Ed Harris "Nothing on this Styles alias from the F.B.I., we'll have to print him." Ed poked his finger in my chest "Johnny, when we get to the truth you're looking at an additional twelve months for trying to bullshit us." "But I'm the Binge..."
Understandably Federal Marshals get lied to constantly by the scum of the earth. They were doing their job, I knew I was going to be cleared evidently. Still, it sucked being woken up like this, and the marks on my wrists from the handcuffs would be there all day. We rode to the Orleans Parish Sheriff's lock up to run my prints by Washington D.C. to prove that I'm the Binge.
About 7:30 I was returned home by now two somewhat pleasant Federal Marshals. I explained how I was living there because it was all I could afford since I moved down from Jersey. My goal was to find steady work, save up some cash and move to a better situation. Confessing that when I first met Johnny I knew he was a meth-head and was probally dealing. The other roommate was a sketchy dopehead too. "That's not all that he is." Ed Harris quietly responded. The hair stood up on my neck.
As soon as I hit my room the other roommate was grilling me on my experience. Before I could even get my first cigarette of the day lit this flake was trying to find out what the cops sweated out of me. "I don't know shit, couldn't tell'em shit" I kept saying. The nervous Texan babbled on and on like the speed freak he was. Not an gram of cool in his system. Out of the blue he blurts "Yea, yea, they tried to say that there was child porn on my computer. But there ain't no child porn! I mean, not porn porn, you can't see no titties or anything like that..."
At 9:10 am I went downtown to H&R block to drop off my taxes. Afterward I swung by Waffle and Diane's to entertain them with how my morning went. Waffle dragged himself up to get dressed "Come on Dude, let's get your shit. You're moving back in with us." Stealthily we went back, gathered my stuff. The Texas roommate yelled through the door "That you Styles? I wanted to make sure it wasn't the fuzz. We showed them, huh partner?" With that I grabbed my last bag and drove off of Walmsley Ave.
I've been in New Orleans for just one month and I have been handcuffed twice and run downtown. Waffle never mentioned this in the travel brochure.