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I've been all over the place lately. At the beginning of the summer I was plowing through the Needles, Names, and Numbers drafts, ultima...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Crazy Keith, Who Lives by the Porno Store

“Shit, Jake’s not answering…” Jack said to me as we drove around town aimlessly. The last of our stash was burning away in a joint we passed back and forth. “Fuck…” I sighed. We each took a moment and called all the dealers we knew to no avail. “Fuck, man! This never happens! Who else sells bud?!” Jack asked, irritated.

“…Alex?” I suggest.

“Already tried him, no answer.”

“Fuckin… Tim?”

“He’s like a half hour away, I’m not tryna drive that far.”

“What about Rob?”

“I think he’s in rehab, he got way into Oxy over the summer…”

“Shit… I don’t know man, let me see…”

Jack stopped at a gas station to get cigarettes. As I waited for him, I stumbled upon an old text message from an unknown number sent to me a few nights before. “Yo its Dennis hmu if u need bud.” It read. Dennis was a co-worker of mine that sold bud on and off. He was always breaking his phone and getting new numbers, so getting texts from him from random numbers was pretty common. “I think I got somebody…” I said to Jack as he got back into the car. Dennis’ phone rang twice before he picked it up. “Hello?” An unfamiliar voice answered. “Uh… Dennis? It’s Harry. You got bud?” “This isn’t Dennis. I got bud though. My name’s Keith, he probably texted you from my phone. What’re you looking for?” I gave Jack a thumbs-up. “What’ll you do a quarter for?” I asked Keith. “A hundred.” “Alright, where and when can you meet me?” “You can just come to my house. You know where Dennis lives, right?” “Yeah I think so…” “Right before you make the right onto his street there’s a porno store. I live in the house across the street, on the main road. Hit me up when you’re here.” “Cool man, I should be there in ten minutes.”

“Does this kid get good bud?” Jack asked me as we headed to Keith’s. “I don’t know, I never met him before.” “Then how the fuck did you get his number?” “My boy Dennis vouched for him, it’s cool…” Jack shrugged. “If it ends up being mids you’re paying for it.” I was so grilled I never realized how sketchy it might be to go to a stranger’s house to pick up weed. I had put an awful lot of faith in Dennis, who was one of those “drug friends” that only ever hit you up to sell you a bag or split a bag with you. He had yet to do me wrong, and that was good enough for me.  

“There’s the porn store up there on the left…” I said. On our right was a two family house, the only house on that street, oddly placed between a liquor store and a dive bar. Standing outside on the second floor porch was a fat guy with a shaved head wearing a black wife-beater. He stared down at Jack and I disapprovingly while he smoked a cigarette. “The fuck is this guy’s problem?” I asked Jack as I called Keith. The man pulled a phone out of his pocket and answered me. “That you in the truck?” Keith asked. “Yup.” “Alright, come on in.”

Jack and I followed Keith into his apartment on the second floor. I couldn’t help but get the vibe that Keith didn’t have company very often. His kitchen table was covered in dirty laundry (or, in his defense, it could’ve been clean), his sink was full of dishes, and there were pizza and takeout boxes piled by the front door. The whole place was strangely dark and the main source of light seemed to come from the living room window. “You guys can have a seat on the couch there, sorry about the fuckin’ mess, I just got off work and shit, you know, I been working all the fuckin’ time and shit…” Jack and I sat down in front of a dust-covered big screen TV that would’ve been very impressive in 1998. Behind the TV was what appeared to be Keith’s bedroom, which featured a sheet-less mattress on the floor with a yellow pillow. I don’t know if it was naturally yellow, I didn’t ask.

I was starting to have second thoughts about the deal as Keith walked over to an empty bookshelf he had placed right under the living room window. He turned his back to us and began fiddling with something. “I wasn’t really expecting you guys to fuckin’ get here so quick and shit…” He said. Jack and I watched as he lowered his head to the bookshelf and took two big snorts of an unknown substance. We were teenagers back then, and seeing someone do Cocaine was still a big deal. After he cleared his sinuses, Keith turned back to us, holding a small bag of weed. “What the fuck was I saying again?” He asked us. He just stood there, looking at us, until Jack jogged his memory. “You didn’t expect us to get here so quickly…?” “Oh yeah! My fuckin’ guy is gonna come through with more bud, it’ll be fuckin’ ten minutes or some shit, you guys wanna smoke my grav bong?” Keith pointed to a TV table in front of us. On top was one of the filthiest ghetto grav bongs I’d ever seen, made with a 3-liter Poland Spring jug and a Rubinoff bottle. The water inside was a dull brown and there was random shit floating around inside.  “There is no fucking way I’m smoking out of that thing.” I thought to myself. “I’m down!” Jack said enthusiastically. Shiiiiiiettttt….

A couple grav bowls later, I was starting to get irritated with Keith. “Fuckin’ what were you guys’ names again? I fuckin’ forgot, I’m always forgettin’ shit, I’m sorry…” He asked as he made his billionth trip across the living room to do more coke. I found it odd that he never even acknowledged the fact that he was doing blow the whole time we were there. “You guys wanna fuckin’ play Twisted Metal?!” Before we could even respond Keith started up his PS3 and handed each of us a controller. I looked at the time on my phone. We had been there for a half an hour. While Keith was turned around to do another line I showed Jack the screen and mouthed the words: “What the fuck?” “Who the fuck cares? He’s smoking us up…” Jack whispered back. I sighed and got comfortable as Jack picked a track for us to race on. I wasn’t really sketched out or afraid of getting robbed anymore, I was just annoyed. I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a bit of a dick if I’m kept waiting for my drugs. Jack seemed amused by the absurdity of the situation, and didn’t really give a shit where he was as long as he was getting stoned.

Keith stood next to the TV and babbled at us while we played. “I used to play the old fuckin’ Twisted Metals back in the day on the fuckin’ PS1 and shit. You remember those fuckin’ games? They were fuckin’ awesome…” Keith swore like a Tourette’s patient. Every sentence was an incoherent mash-up of random words sandwiched between shits and fucks. After I lost yet another race to Jack I tossed my controller aside and started playing with my phone. “Yo, are those nunchuks?!” I heard Jack ask Keith. I put my phone down and saw Jack pointing to the threshold over Keith’s bedroom. “Yeah dude!” Keith walked over to the doorway and pulled a pair of nunchuks off the ledge. “You wanna see how I use these fuckin’ things?!” He asked us. “Yeah man, show us!!” I realized what Jack was doing and my interest in the situation was reinvigorated. “Alright, I’ll fuckin’ show you guys how it’s done, just gimme one sec. You gotta see this shit dude…” Keith did his lines and walked back to his spot next to the TV. He furrowed his brow and stared at us deep in concentration as he swung the nunchuks around his body spastically. I don’t know how the fuck you use nunchuks effectively, but I knew Keith was probably doing it wrong. He looked like a stunt double for Kevin James in that movie where they made him do Karate because he is fat. Part of me was worried that the nunchuks would fly out of Keith’s hand and I’d be too stoned to avoid getting hit in the face. Most of me was using every fiber in my being to keep from laughing hysterically at the obese man doing Matrix moves in front of me. My eyes watered as I bit down on my tongue. If I were to so much as look in Jack’s general direction we would both lose it. The tips of the nunchuks were getting closer and closer to the TV screen as he swung them around and around. I cannot begin to tell you how badly I wanted to see Keith’s nunchuks go sailing through his shitty Zenith TV. Just before I could get my wish, Jack intervened. “Careful, man. Don’t wanna hit your TV!” Keith stopped and caught his breath, his face beet red. “Oh, fuck! Thanks dude, I woulda wrecked my fuckin’ TV!”

A few minutes later a tall, lanky, kid in a wife beater and basketball shorts flung Keith’s front door open and stomped into the living room. He completely ignored the two stoned teenagers on the couch and walked right up to Keith. Keith easily had a hundred pounds on this kid and the added advantage of cocaine, but still seemed anxious around him. He nervously counted money out as his dealer, who I’ll call Larry, pulled a half ounce of weed out of his pocket. “So it’s 140 right…” Keith mumbled. Larry snatched the cash out of Keith’s hand and quickly thumbed through the bills himself. “You know how fucking much it is, Keith, 150. When the fuck have I ever charged you 140 for half?!”  “Uh, I don’t know, I guess I fuckin…” Keith stammered. “You fuckin’ what?! Don’t give me those fucking ten’s, dude!” Larry yelled. He pulled four ten dollar bills out of the money Keith gave him and threw them on the floor in front of him. “Let’s fucking go, Keith, I got shit to do…” Keith frantically picked the money up and changed it for two 20’s. “I’m fuckin’ sorry, man…” Larry said nothing as he grabbed the rest of his money, walked right past Jack and I, and slammed the front door on his way out. I couldn’t decide if Larry was a fucking asshole or the coolest guy ever.


Jack and I got the fuck out of there as soon as Keith finally gave us our weed. We told him we’d call him if we ever needed more and had a great laugh about the whole thing over a few blunts that night. I never saw Crazy Keith again, but every time I drive by the charred remains of that porno store (the owner burnt it down for insurance money years ago), I think of him. 

1 comment:

  1. are these true stories? my wife and i are recovering 25 year old heroin addicts so some of these stories are fucking hilarious to us. keep up the good work. especially liked junkies day off.

    ReplyDelete