“What’s good?” Middle Man Mike asks me as he enters the break room. He has a seat across from me and daps me up. “Just taking my half… Lisa still here?” I ask him. Middle Man Mike nods. “I think she’s closing with us.” I put my head in my hands. “Fuck. I’m not in the mood for her shit right now…” “You get fucked up last night?” I smile. “Uh huh…” Seems all I do lately is get fucked up. I’m more paranoid than ever, and the only thing that seems to help is booze. Hangovers are now a thing of the past. More often than not, my buzz from the night before lingers well into the following day. If I don’t reign it in soon the DT’s are gonna set in. Whatever. If that happens I’ll just buy another fifth of Crown.
“You going to any shows soon?” Middle Man Mike asks me. “I was thinking about going to Veil tomorrow night for Destructo. I don’t know for sure, though. I don’t think I know anyone trying to go.” “I’ll go. What is he, like a DJ or something?” “Yeah, he’s pretty dope. The crowd at Veil can be kinda douchey some nights, but it shouldn’t be too bad tomorrow. If you really wanna go I’m down.” “How much is it to get in?” “I think tickets are like ten bucks.” I say, checking my phone. “Yeah dude, I’m down. You got tabs, right?” Middle Man Mike asks. “Yup.” “Word, you wanna trip?” Fuck…
I have tabs, but they are not good. For the last year, I have been polluting the local drug scene, selling 25i tabs as LSD. My product has become so wide-spread that I don’t even bother trying to find real acid on the street anymore. Usually I just get some real shit from the darknet when I wanna hang with Lucy. Now I’m faced with quite the predicament. If I don’t trip with Middle Man Mike, my cover could be blown, and all the dealers I’ve been fucking over could wise up and give me the thorough ass beating I deserve. Yikes.
“Yeah, that’s cool with me.” I say to Middle Man Mike. “Word. Do you still get Molly too?” He asks me. “Nah, not since Mark got locked up. I stocked up before he went away but I moved the last of my shit a couple weeks ago.” “Word, yeah we’ll just trip then. Maybe we’ll find something at the club. I got tomorrow off, you wanna chill before the show? I’ll be around all day.” “Yeah, I’m off too, you know where I live, right?” I ask him. “Yeah.” “Word, I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I call Middle Man Mike at two o’clock the next day. “What’s good? Yeah, you can come through whenever. Wanna do me a favor, though? Grab some booze on your way over? I dunno, you like whiskey? Cool. Grab a fifth of Crown Royal, I’ll pay you when you get here. Get some coke or ginger ale to mix it with, whatever you want. Oh, and can you grab me a pack of smokes too? Newport Hundreds. Menthol. Alright, thanks. Peace.” No n-bomb trip is complete without a pack of smokes and a healthy supply of booze and weed. Knowing I’ll be able to level off with whiskey puts me at ease a bit. I haven’t done n-bomb in a year, maybe even longer than that. I’ve never had a bad time with it, but it’s one of those rare drugs I have little desire to try again.
I pick a random Destructo mix from his soundcloud and play it through my Bluetooth speaker. There’s a knock at my door as I pull a couple of glasses out of my kitchen cabinet. “What’s good?!” Middle Man Mike says as he steps inside my apartment. He puts the liquor store bag down on my coffee table. “Thanks for grabbing that shit, how much was it?” I ask him. “With the smokes it was like 50something. I think I got the receipt in my car…” Middle Man Mike replies as he searches his pockets. “Don’t worry about it, man. I’ll grab your dough.” I go into my room and pull my stash box out from under my bed. I’ve got a little over three grand in cash wrapped tightly in a rubber band. I peel off three 20’s for Middle Man Mike and break a half-strip of n-bomb off one of my seven sheets. “There you go, man.” I say as I hand him his money. “Thanks dude. You wanna drop now?” He asks as I sit down on the couch. “Yeah, sure.” Might as well get this over with…
I put the tab of n-bomb under my tongue, but I can still taste that awful, mouth-numbing bitterness as it marinates in my saliva. I gag as I swallow my spit, and gulp down the tab after two minutes. Instinctively, I pound two shots of Crown back to back. “I fucking suck at doing shots, I don’t know how you do it.” Middle Man Mike says. “It’s called being an alcoholic.” I joke, but not really. After I make myself a drink, I start grinding up weed. “Is this the guy we’re seeing tonight?” Middle Man Mike asks me. “Yeah, this is Destructo right now.” “Word, I like it.” Middle Man Mike says. He pulls up the sleeve on his white-t to scratch his shoulder, revealing a large band aid on his bicep. “What happened there?” I ask as I roll a joint. “Oh, that’s just from the Vivitrol shot.” He replies. “The fuck is that?” “It keeps me off dope. It’s kinda like Suboxone. It blocks your opiate receptors and makes it so you can’t get high. I get it like once a month or so. I need it, dude. It’s the only fucking thing that works.” “Interesting…” I say as I spark the weed.
The n-bomb come-up is swift and intense, but smooths out after we smoke the joint. I’m tripping, but mildly. Lights are brighter, there’s mild visual distortion, and I’ve got the giggles. The leg-shaking jitters and overwhelming stimulation I typically associate with n-bomb are nowhere to be found. It seems I’ve dodged yet another bullet. Dare I say, this is actually a pleasant experience. “Yo, what’s it feel like? If you don’t mind me asking…” I ask Middle Man Mike. “What, the tabs? I’m tripping pretty hard.” “Nah, I mean… dope. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?” Middle Man Mike smiles and laughs a bit to himself. “Have you ever done an opiate? Percs, OC’s, even fucking lean?” I shake my head. “Nah, I know I’d like ‘em way too much and get addicted. I have a hard enough time with coke and booze and shit.” “Dope is like… It’s unreal, dude. I can’t really explain it. It’s like perc’s times a million. Honestly though, I like Oxy better. I used to sell mad 80’s in high school. I had like a $400 a day habit. That was back when you could still shoot ‘em, too. Then they stopped making ‘em and… You know the rest.” He says, slapping his forearm.
We finish the bottle of Crown and smoke another two joints. I am now sufficiently hammered, stoned, and tripping, but I wanna push it further. “Fuck, I’m loaded. Could use a bump right about now…” I say as I light a smoke. Middle Man Mike looks at me and smiles. “You wanna grab some yay?” He asks excitedly. “Yup! I just got a new connect too…” I say as I thumb through the contact list on my burner phone. “Who?” Middle Man Mike asks. “I think his name’s Richie. I was fucking hammered when I met him…” Middle Man Mike laughs and rolls his eyes. “Richie Connolly? His shit is fucking trash. I know where to get some good shit, how much you tryna grab?” I check my phone, it’s 6:30. Doors don’t open ‘till ten. Realistically, I can be good for the night with a gram, but I’m drunk as fuck and have plenty of cash. It’s also Friday, so there’s a very high chance I’ll be looking for coke tomorrow. “What’ll he do a ball for?” “Like 180 probably.” Middle Man Mike replies. “Word, that works.”
Within minutes, we’re on our way to meet the coke man. “You sure you’re alright to drive?” I ask Middle Man Mike, slurring a bit. “I’m doing fine, aren’t I?” He replies as he passes the joint back to me. I giggle as I ash it out the window. The sun’s just beginning to set and the sky looks incredible. I almost forget about the joint burning away in my hand as I take it all in. Maybe this n-bomb shit isn’t all that bad after all. Is what I’m doing even that big a deal?
Yeah, it totally is.
Middle Man Mike brings us to an apartment complex and leaves me in the car while he runs inside to make the deal. A black dude walks by and gives me the stink eye, or at least I think he did. Is that racist? Fuck man, I must be tripping. Middle Man Mike returns, handing me my 8-ball and putting his bag into his mouth as he shifts into drive. “Put that in your mouth, be ready to swallow it if you have to.” He tells me. “The fuck? Why?” I ask as I follow his orders. “I’m pretty sure there’s an undercover sitting in one of those cars over there.” He says as we leave. We check our mirrors nervously, but nobody follows us out. “Haha, sorry dude, must’ve been the acid.” Middle Man Mike says when the coast seems clear. “This dude usually gets fire shit. He doesn’t step on it too much like fucking Richie does.” “Word. You wanna pull over here? I wanna grab some beers. We still got some time before we gotta head in.” I say, pointing to a strip mall on our left. Middle Man Mike pulls in and parks. This liquor store happens to be adjacent to a Walgreen’s, and as I open the car door, I notice Middle Man Mike is having an internal conflict. He’s staring at the Walgreen’s window intensely, and his hands are hovering over his keys in the ignition. “You alright, dude?” I ask him. “Yeah, yeah, I’m good. I’m just gonna run into Walgreen’s real quick while you grab those beers.”
“What’d you get at Walgreen’s?” I ask as we arrive back at my apartment. Middle Man Mike sighs. “I don’t wanna sketch you out, man, but I grabbed some pins. I like to shoot this shit…” He says as we get out of the car. I shrug. “It’s cool, man. I’m not judging you either way.” I put the twelve pack of Blue Moon in the fridge, take two out and hand one to Middle Man Mike as I sit down. He’s already hard at work preparing his blow. “You got like, a spoon, or a bottle cap, or a beer can or something?” He asks me. “Yeah, gimme one sec…” I take the cap off an old Jameson bottle from my recycling bin and hand it to him. “Thanks, dude.” Middle Man Mike pours himself a glass of tap water and brings it back to the table. He rips a piece of cotton out of one of his cigarette filters and rolls it into a ball. “I can go in the bathroom to do this if you want.” He says as mixes up his shot. “It’s cool, man. Do your thing. I’m not squeamish or anything.” I go to my room and pull out an old book of CD’s, which has now become a collection of coke plates. I pull two out and go back into the living room, where Middle Man Mike has just found a vein. He lets out a deep breath and quickly pulls his belt off his arm. “Whooo! God damn dude!” He says, standing up and pacing around a bit as he lights a cigarette. “Good shit?” I ask him. He just nods quickly. Words seem difficult for him right now. “You can dump your shit on this.” I say, sliding a scratched up copy of Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue over to his side of the table. I dump a pile of blow out onto my copy of Appetite For Destruction and chop it into four thick lines. I sniff two of them and the liquor and weed fog begins to fade. The drip used to make me gag, but I now realize it’s an acquired taste.
Middle Man Mike does shot after shot of coke at an alarming rate. My curiosity grows as I drink and observe him. I look down at my next line and then at Middle Man Mike’s needles. “Why not? It’s not like it’s heroin. It’s just a different route of administration. You’re still doing coke either way…” Do I really wanna open this door? I kill beer number three and go for it. “Yo… Think I could get one of those?” I ask uncertainly. “Huh?” Middle Man Mike asks as he pulls the needle out of his arm and his hands shake. “I think I wanna try shooting some.” I say, motioning to his pack of needles. Middle Man Mike hesitates and tenses up. “I can’t. I’m sorry, dude. It’s…You don’t get it. I don’t need that shit on my conscience. I can’t. I’m sorry.” He says. “I can buy you more…” I begin. “Nah, man. I can’t help you cross that line. Just stick to sniffing it, trust me.” I decide to take his word for it and don’t press it further.
Douchey club kid collared shirt? Check. Air maxes? Check. Slightly ripped jeans? Check. My white trash drug dealer uniform is complete as I splash on some cheap cologne and get ready to head out. The pack of Newports in my shirt pocket really completes the package. I take $200 out of my stash as my drinking/drug budget for the night. “You wanna take the bus to the train? I’m not tryna get a DUI.” I say to Middle Man Mike before sniffing another line. “I can drive us to the train, dude. I wanna do another shot before we get on anyway.”
We cruise another joint to the train station. Middle Man Mike ties off with his seatbelt and takes one final shot before we get out. “Fuck, dude. I blew through all my shit…” He says as he opens the car door, tossing his needle and empty coke bag into a bush. “I’ll hook you up, man, don’t worry. I got plenty.” I assure him as we get on the train. We sneak key bumps between stops and the ride goes by quickly.
One of Veil nightclub’s gimmicks is that it’s got two floors, which makes it difficult to use or sell drugs there. The bouncers keep watch over the main dance floor from above, pointing out anyone acting suspiciously and swooping in on them when they least expect it. As if that wasn’t obnoxious enough, they only have one bathroom, which only has one fucking stall. I’m fiending for coke as Middle Man Mike and I climb the stairs to the second floor. Much to our dismay, there’s already a line for the bathroom. This simply will not do. I am very drunk and demand a space in which to do more Cocaine. I grab a Jack and coke at the bar and take in my surroundings. The one bouncer on this floor is preoccupied with watching the first floor from the balcony. There’s a large crowd of people dancing around him, and an empty couch against the wall. I motion for Middle Man Mike to follow me to the couch and we sit down. The crowd provides adequate cover as we sniff another couple of bumps each. We hide out here until we finish our drinks. I check my phone. We’ve got a good 20 minutes before Destructo comes on. “I’m going out for a smoke.” I say to Middle Man Mike.
“Yo, can I get a cigarette, man?” A shirtless white kid with dreadlocks asks me as I light a smoke. “Sure, man…” “Thanks dude. They fucking kicked me out, can you believe that shit?” He says as he hands me back my lighter. Looking at him, I can certainly believe that shit. His pupils are gigantic and his lack of a shirt is a direct violation of Veil’s dress code. “Damn, that sucks. Why’d they kick you out?” The kid rolls his eyes and shrugs. “They said my pupils were dilated. But like, I wasn’t hurting anybody! I was just minding my own business, dude, and all of a sudden they’re like ‘You gotta go!’ Fucking bullshit, man…” “Yeah, these bouncers can be real Nazis sometimes. What happened to your shirt?” The kid looks down at his chest and looks around on the ground. “Huh. I dunno, man.”
When I return, Middle Man Mike is nowhere to be found. I grab another drink and make my way to the main dancefloor. Destructo is just getting on, though most of the crowd doesn’t seem to give a shit. I find a corner to hide and do more coke in. I feel a hand on my shoulder as I head back into the crowd, and nearly shit my pants. I turn around to fine Middle Man Mike grinning at me. “Open your hand!” He yells into my ear. He hands me a Molly capsule. I’m already feeling really good, but I can always feel better. I pop the cap without a second thought and wash it down with some more liquor.
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin! I think this might be Methylone, but I don’t care. The excess of this lifestyle is a high within itself. I dance like an idiot with a retarded grin plastered across my face. The narcotics turn this otherwise underwhelming set into some of the best music I’ve ever heard. When the lights come back on at 2 AM we’re both covered in sweat and chewing out our cheeks. Menthol cigarettes are so god damn good when you’re rolling. “You going home after this? You can crash at my place if you need to.” I ask Middle Man Mike as we walk to the train station. Middle Man Mike shakes his head as he types out a text message. “I’m going to this girl’s house after I drop you off. I really hope my dick still works…” He says, laughing nervously.
“Alright dude, it’s been real…” Middle Man Mike says as we get back to my apartment. “Definitely. Getting to sleep’s gonna be a bitch.” I say as I dap him up. “Oh, shit, hold on…” Middle Man Mike reaches into his center console and pulls out a pill bottle. “Here, take a few of these. They’re Valiums, I owe you for the coke and cid anyway.” “Thanks, dude. See you at work.” I say as I get out of the car. I take two of the Valium with some beer and sit down to pack a bowl. I look at the empty beers, bottle of crown, dusty coke plates, remaining tabs of n-bomb, and weed as the excess and debauchery of the night truly begins to sink in. The warm apathetic buzz of the Valium mercifully cushions the coke, molly, and n-bomb comedowns as my eyes grow heavy and I begin to drift off.
I think I have a problem.