So, where do I start? The name's Joe Maloni, your average Joe, if you'll excuse the pun. I live a steady life here in Manhattan, live in a fine year too; 1942. I'm just a smudge on the world at the moment...But what I'm planning 'll make me a stain. A stain of tainted money, of successful hits, of a thriving family and a stain that won't be removed from the already torn rags that make up this god forsaken City. I will be the head Honcho, with a broad like Marilyn Monroe on my arm and a wad of notes in my back pocket.Yeah, Joe and Monroe..Has a ring to it, don't it?
Well for now, I'm just your average Joe, if you'll excuse the pun. Watching the big guys take a piece of the action, what am I saying? All of the action...Something I want a piece of. It'll take me time to control the whole board but I'm young, 23 years young to be dot on the mark. So I have the time to think, to earn my place up there, with the greatest. Because I know I'll be one. One of the masterminds with a lot to prove, yet no one to answer to. One of the ones that has respect through intimidation, rackets full of illegal richness. I keep seeing this guy, Al Capone. Came down from Brooklyn, been in the business for a long while, knows my family well, buys fresh lillies from my Ma's stall every week, and ever since I was a kid, he's given me a smile, as if he's known me my whole life.Well, I guess he did.
He comes to the stall, thanks my Ma for the flowers, then turns to me, a grin on that plump face of his. He fixes the collar of his overcoat, puffs a few cigar smoke balls then stares me dead in the eye, kneels down to level with me. His boys just stand there all stiff, as if someone had shoved a broom up their ass...On guard puppets, they were.
"You got potential, kid. Just remember, you can go a long way with a smile. you can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun."
At this point, Ma would usually smile to Capone, pull me close to her legs. I'd just stand there, a pitiful little kid with wild black hair, light freckles and a scar on my bottom lip from a milk bottle some bigger kids decided to slug me with. Ma always told me that my Pappy was a Jewish man, came over to America for 'business'. Wasn't a man of his faith, did bad in the world. She always said not to listen to what Ol' Al had to say, not to follow in my father's footsteps either.But I couldn't help it to think of it, like father like son, right? You gain in a place like Manhattan or you get forgotten. I don't want that. I want people to know my name for years to come. I wanna be one of the bigger fish, chomping up the small fry to satisfy a hunger for respect, for power. I guess I just want to be on top...
One of the guys, I mean.