Fred was my security man. He told me that when he was born, they threw him into the air. His son was nine. Once in a while, as we were walking along, the little boy would come up and cling on to Fred’s jacket. Fred put his hand lightly on the little boy’s shoulder. Fred helped me. He wasn’t afraid of anything.
One day, we saw a little kid standing by a speaker. The speaker was bigger than the kid. Fred said that someone died. He said the kid was playing music to tell everyone that the person was dead. The kid needed money for the burial, he said. Then, Fred started explaining about kids, and he held his hand up next to his thigh, and he told me about a little girl he was looking after. He said that she was eight, and he assembled a big team to take care of her, because she was so small, and then he told me what happened to her, and then he reiterated that it was important to keep her close.
Fred used to be part of a gang called the 42 brothers. He joined when he was 12 years old. Now, though, only three brothers remained. The other 39 brothers were dead. He said he used to burst into shops and wave a gun back and forth. He would burst into homes. He knew how to disarm a man holding a gun and he said that it is easier to face a man with a gun the closer he is to you.
He and his wife were separated. I got the sense that he missed her.