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I don't think this Town was always like this. Not always. Does anywhere start out bad? Bad like this? I doubt it.
Once, this place was just a New England Irish town. Once, it was just us living here on the edge of the bay, on the edge of the river. Potato famine cast offs making a new life in a new world. But things, they never stay the same for long. They always change. Especially for the Irish. The 'luck of the Irish' doesn't mean that we've got good fortune. It means that fate shits on us whenever it can.
The New World got crowded, and the Irish breed fast. The Narrows shot up tall and wide, sprawling along the river. It got long enough since we'd left home that we forgot what home looked like. Home was the Tenements, home was the Narrows, home was our little bit of river and the Mars Hill slaughterhouses, where we bled and sweat in the day to day. Home was anywhere the strangers weren't. And there were a lot of strangers.
The strangers were the Italians--the Sicilians and the Napolitanos who figured they could just take this place from us. The strangers were the people who'd lived here before us, the boring white Americans with no identity but the one they bought at Macy's. The strangers were the black gangsters that the Sicilians used to own, but who've now carved up half of the Narrows for themselves.
Some people wanted the Black Irish to be strangers. The older ones, the ones with the prejudices that they passed along to their children, the ones that warned of Gypsies and dark haired Irishmen, who'd rob you blind (never mind that they were already paying for their beer with fraudulent disability checks). No, the Black Irish our ours just like any Irishman is ours, but everyone else... no, they're strangers. They're different. And they want to take what's ours.
We don't have much to take. That's why we protect it so fiercely. It comes from centuries of defending a tiny little island from invaders, from being a colony, from being the lowest of the low. We drink and we fight and we make the best of our short little lives, and we feel bad so we confess and we pray. But when it comes down to it, all we have is all we have. And all we have is worth fighting for. Worth dying for.
The Italians think they can out spend us. The Homeboys think that they can intimidate us. And everyone else thinks that we're just clever characters, charming, like off of a postcard. But we're more than that. And this Town, it belongs to us. From the Narrows all the way Uptown, this Town is an Irish Town.
And we'd die before we let these bastards take it from us.