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Friday, June 24, 2016
My burner has been blowing up all god damn day. Everyone wants to know if I’m gonna be good for tonight. If everything goes to plan, I should be fine. But that’s the thing about the drug game: there’s no such thing as a sure thing. As product and cash switch hands and trickle down the ladder, someone is guaranteed to fuck something up.
Hardwell is in town tonight. The show’s been sold out for months now. This will undoubtedly be the busiest night of the summer. That is, if I’m even able to re-up…
I tried to avoid this. I tried to put the orders in early, only to have my vendor go on vacation. On Wednesday I scrambled to get an express order for 10 sheets of 25i-nBOME in before the shipping deadline. Now it’s Friday. Those sheets are crucial. They mean the difference between paying $120 for my ounce of MDMA instead of $1,000.
I speed home from work while two more texts hit my inbox. I haven’t answered any of them yet. I don’t say I’m good ‘till I’m good. Good means different things to different people. I’m not good until I’m home, the door is locked, and I have the shit in my hand.
I flick my cigarette and check my mailbox. An express envelope from Texas sits inside. I clutch the envelope to my chest, close my eyes, and sigh. I’m beaming as I dash upstairs to my apartment. While this is good news, I’m not out of the woods yet. I still gotta see my man Mark to trade three of these bad boys for a zip of MDMA.
“Yo, what’s good? Yeah, I finally grabbed more of those. I’m tryna do another trade if you’re down. Word. Aight, yeah. Come through ASAP, though. I got a show tonight and I got a ton of people looking. Cool. See you in a bit.”
Mark is usually pretty good with time. Sometimes he’ll string you along all night and just shut his phone off. He says he has a kid looking to grab some sheets off him ASAP, which puts me at ease a bit, knowing he’s on a schedule too. I fix myself a drink and send a text to my buddy Jack to come over when he’s off work.
I slice open the express envelope and tear layer after layer of packaging off my shit. 900 of the hits come together in one big piece of blotter paper the size of a typical sheet of printer paper. Grateful Dead bears decorate the print. GD bears on n-bomb sheets? Even I think that’s a bit disrespectful, but it’s a good selling point, I guess. The tenth sheet is a random psychedelic pattern. I count off rows of tabs until I have a stack of ten ten by ten sheets, and wrap them up in foil.
“Those coupons show up?” Jack asks me as he enters my apartment. I hold up the foil up, smiling as I throw it to him. “Grateful Dead bears, nice…” He says before tossing them back to me. “Now we just need Mark to come through with the M and we can get moving.” Jack and I hang out, smoking weed and drinking while we wait for Mark to show up. When I hear him knock at the door I’m finally at ease.
“What the fuck is this shit?!” I yell at Mark in disgust. I hold the one-ounce bag of alleged MDMA crystals up to my living room lamp and study it. Mark usually gets good shit, but lately, his connection has been fucking up. His MDMA is usually brown or off-white, but these crystals are pink. Last time I got pink crystals, they tested as Methylone, not MDMA.
“Look, kid, I’m sorry. I know you hate the pink shit, but this chick I fuck says it’s fire.” Mark says. I slide the bag over to Jack, who shakes his head as he gets a good look at the stuff. “I dunno if I can sell this shit, man. Why the fuck is it pink? Like, whose idea was that?” He asks Mark. “My guy calls it Pink Panther.” Mark says with a shrug. “Hey, if you guys don’t want it, you don’t have to take it. But it’s all I’m gonna have until next Friday. I’ll get some more of the white and brown shit when I re-up, but I’m kinda stuck with the pink for now. It’s up to you.” Jack goes to say something, but I cut him off. “Fuck it, we’ll take it.”
“What the fuck, dude?! I’m not gonna be able to move that shit!” Jack says after Mark leaves. “Look, I know it’s a pain in the ass, but Hardwell’s tonight, dude. We cannot afford to show up there empty handed. The shit’s been sold out for weeks now.” I reply. I go to my room and grab a shoebox containing my stash, cash, and paraphernalia, and bring it back out into the living room. I break out my milligram scale, a playing card, some sandwich bags, and empty gel caps.
“Let’s go, we only got a couple hours before doors open.” I say to him.
“Ugh… How many you thinkin?”
“60!? Fuck off, dude. This shit is so fucking tedious, there’s no way we’re gonna move 60 god damn caps tonight, especially if they’re filled with this stupid Pink Panther bullshit.”
“It’s all gonna get capped up at some point, man. The more we get rid of tonight, the better. I know what you’re thinking, but I think you’re gonna be surprised by the crowd tonight. This is Hardwell. A lot of people that are gonna be at this show never go clubbing, they barely do drugs, they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. Once they’re all hammered you’ll be all set. Plus, it’s gonna be dark, the lights are gonna be going crazy, they’re not gonna see it’s pink. Maybe try and intimidate them a little bit. Be like ‘Yo, I see a bouncer coming over, you gotta grab these now if you want ‘em.’ If they ask, just say the chemist put pink food coloring in it or something.”
“Pink food coloring. That’s your excuse?”
“Unless you got a better idea.”
Jack sighs and starts capping up Molly. I take a tiny crystal sample from the bag and put it into a plastic test tube. I put a drop of chemical reagent into the tube and it bubbles and fizzes as it reacts with the crystal, ultimately turning yellow. “Fuck, dude. Check this out.” I say, holding up the tube for Jack to see. “Great. Fuckin’ beautiful. Didn’t see that coming…” He replies sarcastically. Yellow means Methylone, which is almost MDMA, but not quite. It’s speedier and a bit less euphoric, but to the noobies at Hardwell tonight, it may as well be the real deal. I think we’ll be fine, but I certainly don’t envy Jack’s position as foot soldier this evening.
Jack and I split the workload pretty evenly. My connections and arrangement with Mark allows me to bring the product in for an incredibly low price. Jack’s charisma and gift of gab allows him to bullshit, pitch, and make sales on the dance floor. He makes small talk with every customer before he brings up drugs, and blends in easily with every little group of friends in the club. Though The Bay nightclub has very lax security, you still have to be careful, and Jack has the shit down to a science at this point. He doesn’t give a shit about the music, and treats every night at the club like a night on the job, and it shows, when he leaves the place with pockets stuffed with 20 dollar bills.
Capping the Molly is easily the most tedious part of the gig. You weigh out 200 milligrams (roughly), put it on a creased playing card, and funnel it into an empty gel cap. Jack and I do this process 30 times each. I take ten of the caps out for my personal stash, as well as a few “free samples” to give to girls when appropriate. At this point, Jack and I have become pretty recognizable at the club, and many of the regulars depend on us to have a great weekend. We have a few drinks each and take a cab to the club, pockets loaded with contraband.
The Bay nightclub: a den of sin and temptation, the east coast’s own little slice of Ibiza. An outdoor club, it overlooks the water, with palm trees, cabanas, three bars, and small pools and fountains scattered across it. The sound system and acoustics aren’t the best there is, but when you’re spun, you hardly notice. The real draw of the place is how few fucks the security staff seems to give about anything. You can smoke weed in plain view of them, there’s no searches at the door, and even the shittiest fake ID’s can get you in. It’s easily the best place I’ve ever had the pleasure of working.
“Jesus, dude. Look at that line. It’s only 8:30!” Jack says as we hop out of the cab. “I fuckin’ told you, man. You’ll do fine.” I reply, lighting up a Newport 100 as we walk to the end of the long line. I take out a nip of Jack Daniels and use it to wash down two caps. Time to see what this Pink Panther shit is all about. I’ve had a few drinks already, and have a pretty high tolerance to MDMA and Methylone. I roll every time I come to The Bay, despite a few attempts at quitting. The alcohol and atmosphere of the place never fail to draw me into the roll. I’m getting this shit for so cheap there’s little incentive to stop, besides, y’know, my brain frying.
But fuck my brain, I’m getting money.
Jack starts working his magic as the line lurches forward. “Yo, if you guys need Molly, I got you. Point 2 caps, $20 each, five for 80.” I mouth the words to myself as I light another cigarette. I’ve heard that god damn pitch so many times, and even though it means we’re making money, it’s still a little nauseating. I discreetly toss an empty Jack nip on the ground and pull another out of my pocket, sucking it down as the Methylone comes on strong. I have tons of money, but I’m still a cheap bastard at heart, and always smuggle in some booze of my own every time we come out here. Whoosh! My heartrate picks up and sweat forms on my forehead. Shit, I need another cigarette. I close my eyes and bob my head to the thumps and sounds of the opening DJ, that grow clearer and clearer as we near the club’s entrance. I reek of booze and am clearly already on drugs, but the bouncer lets me in anyway after barely looking at my ID.
My eyes bulge and I can’t stop moving as we walk into the club. Jack walks off to do his thing while I pace around, trying to keep my cool. 400 milligrams of Methylone is far from a fatal dose, but that doesn’t make it a comfortable dose. I’m nervous, everything’s so intense, I need to balance out. Wait, I have whiskey, duh! That’ll fix everything! I look over my shoulders and down my last two Jack nips, which brings me down at a bit and calms my nerves. I dance and flail like an idiot as the opening DJ plays to a growing crowd.
I get a Crown and Coke at the bar and stumble-dance my way back to the dancefloor, rolling face and drunk as fuck. “Jimmy! Yo! Jimmy!” I hear somebody yell. Jimmy is my alias when I’m at The Bay selling drugs. I turn to one of the cabanas and see Alex and his girlfriend Hannah sitting down. “Hey guys!” I say, waving as I sit down next them. “What’s goin’ on, man?” Alex asks me as he daps me up. “Hey, Jimmy!” Hannah says with a smile. “Oh, y’know. Hard at work!” I reply, lifting my drink. “You guys alright? You need anything?” “We’re fine, we actually just saw your boy there…” Alex replies. Hannah goes through her purse and pulls a couple of caps out, handing one to Alex. I’m more drunk than rolling at this point, and figure I might as well indulge with them, popping another cap and kicking back in my seat. “You said you could get L, right Jimmy?” Hannah asks me, leaning forward to see me.
“Uh-huh. Whatever you need.” I reply.
“Good, ‘cause I need a lot. Would you be able to do, like, a hundred?”
“Like a hundred hits? Or a hundred bucks worth?”
“A hundred hits.”
“Sure. I’d do that for 400. You got my number, right?”
“Yeah, your friend gave it to me.”
“Cool, cool. Yeah, I got that whenever. Just shoot me a text and we can work it out.”
“C’mon babe, I wanna grab a drink and hit the dance floor before this shit starts kicking in. Thanks Jimmy.” Alex says. “No problem guys.” We go our separate ways and I finish my drink. I grab another one. How long has it been since I took that last cap? I don’t even feel it like I want to. Fuck it, let’s take another one… I wade out into the dense crowd and get lost in the music. Hardwell should be on any minute now. Whoah. Feeling that pill right now. Feeling that pill hard, god damn. Fuck. Wait… I took two pills. Four pills, total, actually. Fuck.
“Yo, out of the way, dude. You alright!?”
“Huh?” I snap back to reality, my heart’s racing and my vision is getting blurry. This crowd is so thick, the air is so thick, I’m sweating bullets. God damn. “Yo, yo! Dude! Take this!” I feel a hand on my shoulder. Someone gives me a bottle of water. I stagger out of the crowd and chug it, toss the bottle to the side, and bend over as I pant. My hands are on my knees and I look like I might puke. I feel like I might puke. Puking is no Bueno. If one of the bouncers sees me yacking into one of the pools there’s gonna be a problem…
I take a deep breath and try to regain my composure. It’s all so overwhelming. The music, the lights, my chest, my fucking chest, dude! Fuck! Gotta not die, gotta not die, gotta no die. Everyone’s yelling, so loud! I need a fucking drink! I stagger to the bar, making sure to straighten up as I get within eyeshot of the bartenders. “Crown and coke?” One says to me before I can even order. I nod my head. “11.50” I slap a $20 down on the bar and leave it.
The bartender hooked me up with an extra stiff drink, which once again brings me down as I stand towards the back of the crowd, admiring it all. This place really is gorgeous. The production kicks into high gear as Hardwell takes the stage. Smoke machines, lasers, go-go dancers, or as I call them, half-strippers. I run to the bar for another drink, my tendency to tip big giving me preferential treatment over everyone else. Back on dancefloor I realize I’m down to three cigarettes. I had a fresh pack when I went in. Jesus Christ, I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes in two and a half hours….
I spin around, pumping my fists, chewing my cheeks, almost falling but never quite tripping up enough to finish the job. I jam pieces of gum into my mouth as some kid gives me a show with those light-up rave gloves. He’s really good with these things, god damn… Or I’m just wicked spun… He finishes and I give him a hug and 20 dollars. He tries to give it back but I refuse. “You earned it, dude. Holy shit, you should like, do that professionally or something.” I say idiotically.
“Yo!” A hand grabs my shoulder and I nearly shit myself. I’m not doing anything illegal, but I’m already a good scare away from cardiac arrest. “What the fuck?!” I scream, turning around to see Jack grinning at me. He’s holding up an empty plastic bag, and lets it go flying with the summer night breeze. My eyes light up as I realize what this means. “All of it?!?” I ask out of disbelief. Jack nods and pats me on the back. “I can’t believe it either, dude. But you were right! Half these people don’t even know what Molly is, and they still bought it! Some of them even asked for the Pink Panther shit by name!” He yells into my ear. “That’s my boy right here! Good work soldier!” I say as I dap him up. “We’ll do a count when we get back to your place, but we cleared 800, easy.” Jack says. 4 bills in one night?! I’ll drink to that!
I will also pop another cap to that, apparently. I walk around the club like I’m king shit. Walking out of here all fucked up and rich is a high in itself. And it’s only Friday! What a way to start the weekend! “Yo, have you been doing this shit?” Jack asks me. I just nod and point to my dilated pupils and sweaty, red, face. “Here.” He says, handing me a joint. “Face that shit, dude. You look like you need it.”
The rest of the night is a blur. I snort another cap under a cabana with some girl. I get more booze. Cab ride. Uncomfortably long ecstasy conversation with cabbie, followed by big tip. More booze and pot back at home. Chest pains. No cigarettes. Too loaded to get more cigarettes. Must drink more booze. Bed?
I wake up covered in sweat, with my heart beating harder than it’s ever beat before. Every breath requires every remaining drop of stamina left in my body. Something is very wrong. It’s never been this bad before… I need water. Past me didn’t leave me any water. Classic past me. I gotta get up, I gotta get to the bathroom. Where there’s water. I gasp and choke for air, like my lungs don’t have the capacity necessary to keep me alive. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. I’ve sweated out every drop of moisture in my body. My throat burns from whiskey and cigarettes. I fall back to sleep, wake up, and my vision is getting shaky. It’s never been this bad…
Laboriously, I get one leg over the side of the bed, then the other. I pant as I sit there, completely spent. The bathroom door is just a few feet away, but I don’t think I can make it. Holy shit. I gotta, though. I gotta, or something bad is gonna happen….
Left foot… Gasp! Right foot… Gasp! Left foot… Gasp! Right foot… Gasp! Left foot… Gasp! Right foot… Gasp! I make it, and grab the sink with both hands before I fall over. My arms shake under my own weight as I stare at the corpse in the mirror. I’m sickly pale, covered in sweat. But I’ve reached water, I’ve reached salvation. I throw the cold water on and stick my head under the faucet, sucking down gulp after gulp until I can’t hold myself up any longer. I collapse to the floor, my back hitting my tub, and narrowly avoid cracking my head open on the shower faucet. I slide up against the bathtub and just sit there, panting, fading, when suddenly, puke.
All the water I drank comes right back up on me, followed by a disgusting mixture of old whiskey and stomach bile. I haven’t eaten in… Fuck, I don’t remember. Holy shit, my head hurts so fuckin’ bad… I’m so tired…
“Yo! Yo! Fucker! Wake up! Wake the fuck up, right now! Harry!”
My eyes slowly open to Jack shaking me. “Yo! You ok, man!?” He asks me. I close my eyes again and just shake my head. Jack starts shaking me awake again. “Yo! Yo! Wake up, dude! I’m fucking serious!” I return to consciousness as Jack hands me a cup. “Drink this!” I gulp the water down quickly before Jack rips it out of my hand again. “Slower, dumbass! You gotta go slow! Otherwise you’ll just puke it all back up! And don’t fall asleep! You fall asleep one more time I’m calling a fucking ambulance, I’m serious.”
Every sip of water is quickly converted to sweat as I lay here, barely hanging on. Jack watches over me, concerned, his phone in his hand as he debates calling 911. He hands me a fresh glass of water and I dump it on my head. It works surprisingly well. He refills it and I continue to sip it, slowly. “You gotta stop, man. Look at this. I’m not your fucking Dad, but like, Jesus dude…” Jack says. I swallow, wincing still at the dryness of my throat. “I know, I know… I went… A little too hard… Didn’t I? Hehe….” I croak softly. My labored breathing is the only sound in the bathroom besides me sipping water. In… Out… In…. Out… In… Out… In… Out…
My strength slowly returns as I’m able to take a sickeningly dark yellow piss. I join Jack in the living room and we order breakfast. After some bacon, eggs, and more water I’m feeling normal, if not completely exhausted. Eventually I drift off on the couch, waking up hours later.
There’s a Gatorade, some fresh smokes, and a stack of cash on the table, along with a note.
Hope you feel better, buddy. I got you a fresh pack of Niggaports, menthol, just how you like ‘em. Call me when/if you wake up. Please don’t die, faggot. J
Jack’s such a nice guy. I down the Gatorade as I count out my money. $440, all in a night’s work. Counting money is the ultimate hangover cure. I put the cash back down on the table, snipe my smoke, and get comfortable on the couch. I got two hours before I gotta be back at work…
Thursday, June 16, 2016
My scream echoes through the slowly dissipating tent city full of hippies. The wind gives no fucks about my puny human rage, and blows harder in my face as I struggle to hold this motherfucking, fatherless, cock-sucking, good for nothing, pain in the ass tent in the ground. I shouldn’t speak so harshly about her. This tent has served me well these last three summers of festivals. She survived the Hudson Project, for fuck’s sake. I should be showing some god damn respect, but she’s on her last legs, and this is quite obviously her final trek with me into the wook wilderness.
“Grab the corner and pull it down, flat!” Jack shouts as he struggles with me. “Huh?!” I shout back and watch him grunt in frustration. Years of concerts and listening to my headphones at max volume has taken a noticeable toll on my hearing. Jack’s voice has a naturally low tone to it, requiring him to repeat himself a lot around me. Obviously, this can become quite irritating; especially when we’re trying to save our primary source of shelter from some of the most vicious wind I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing.
“GRAB THE FUCKING CORNER, AND PULL IT FLAT! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, YOU’RE DEAF!” Jack screams angrily from his side of the tent. I hear him this time, yank my corner of the tent as hard as I can, and slam the stake through the corner hole. We repeat this process until all of the remaining stakes are in their original positions before retreating back into the tent for some much-needed Cocaine and beer.
We’ve been at Disc Jam Music Festival for four days. It’s Sunday, and most people are packing up and heading home so they can show up to work tomorrow morning. Neither Jack nor I have to work tomorrow, so we’re staying. I was lucky enough to wake up before our coke dealing neighbor left and scored a very necessary half gram. Every time I’m at a festival and the final day rolls around my anxiety kicks in heavy. Most people walk away from these grounds satisfied and ready to head back to everyday life until next year. I have no life to go back to.
I dump the remainder of my old Cocaine out onto my phone screen and grab a straw. It adds up to four nicely sized lines, more than I expected to get out of the fading Walgreen’s pill pouch I dumped it out of. My nose is clogged from a weekend of abuse, and I sigh as I search the tent for something to blow my nose with. We still don’t have tissues, even though I’ve said “We should buy tissues.” 80-100 times in the past three days. I resort to toilet paper again, and gag at the bloody boogers and scabs that come rocketing out of my sunburnt shnoz. I wait a moment for blood, but it doesn’t come, and I rail my four lines up greedily, sniffing and snorting every two seconds as the never-ending drip of mediocre coke slowly slugs its way down my esophagus into my gullet.
Just after I put my phone away, the wind kicks back into high gear, and rips three of the tent’s stakes out of the ground. The rain fly flaps around violently, barely hanging on. If there wasn’t roughly 350 pounds of human meat in this tent, it would have flown away hours ago. “FUCK! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK! FUCK THIS DUDE, LET’S JUST PUT ALL OUR SHIT IN THE CAR!” I shout over the storm, the coke doing little to calm my temper. “Hold on, dude. I have an idea. I can fix this. Just do what I say.” Jack replies before unzipping the door of the tent. I follow him outside and wait for his instructions.
“Close the door.”
“MOTHERFUCKER! CLOSE THE DOOR!” He screams over the wind.
This is where Jack and I differ. In most respects we are like brothers. We both love music, drugs, movies, creativity, and have similarly dark senses of humor. We’re both stubborn, but in different ways. I’m done arguing with Mother Nature, but Jack must have the last word. He’s also been tripping since yesterday afternoon, and has taken over ten hits of both liquid and paper LSD this weekend. Some guy made a huge half-sheet ground score and asked him to be his guinea pig, and handsomely rewarded Jack when he reported back to him. Two other guys dosed him for free. I don’t do much Acid these days. Every time I do, Acid tells me that it is very disappointed in me, and doesn’t approve of the downward spiral my life has taken these last three years or so. It’s still fun, but I have too much baggage to hang with Jack.
“Alright, here’s what we’re gonna do. Please, for fuck’s sake, try and listen to me this time.” Jack begins as we each grab a side of the tent. The coke makes me want to argue with or insult him, but I hold my tongue. We’re in a shitty situation, and he has a point. I’d get frustrated with me too if I was him. I’m clumsy, and besides my cock and balls, I am hardly a man. I have zero discernible skills or useful talents. I can’t fix your car, I can’t wire a house, I can’t build you a shed. I can’t even change my god damn oil. Just pitching a tent took me several attempts to finally get down. Jack is much more resourceful than me in this regard.
“Grab your side, pick it up, and spin it clockwise. We’re gonna turn it around, so the door is facing opposite the wind.” Jack explains. “One, two, three!” My strung-out, skinny-fat, drug ravaged, animated corpse provides little help in lifting the tent, but thankfully we’ve used most of our supplies and it is nearly void of cases of beer and other heavy objects. We quickly re-stake the tent down and get back inside. The wind goes harder and harder, but the tent remains in place. “Holy shit, it worked. Thanks dude.”
I troop out to a nearby Cumerland Farms to grab a 12 pack of Bud Light. Jack hates Bud Light, but it’s all they have. He’s one of those craft beer guys. IPA’s, pale and amber ales, hops. That shit is all Greek to me, and all beer tastes like shit to me. I’m much more of a hard liquor kinda guy, since that stuff actually gets you drunk. Paying $30 for a 12 pack of Weary Wanderer Triple IPA Stout made with hydroponic barley by some old couple in rural Vermont was never very appealing to me. I reach for a PBR if I have to look somewhat civilized in front of other people. I’ve been called a pussy for drinking cheap beer, but I shut most of those people up when they watch me down the cheapest swill the bar has to offer with alcoholic ease. I don’t sniff coke ‘cause I like the taste, and I apply that same logic to all drugs, including booze.
The end is nigh and I am in full panic binge mode as I guzzle beer after beer and sniff bump after bump. I’m just trying to enjoy this last day of music and live in the moment, but after 24 years on this planet, I’ve yet to master the technique. I’m always being dramatic, I acknowledge being dramatic, but I still feel like shit. I wanna take one of these last two Etizolam, but I know I’ll need it even more tonight.
We set up camp at the main stage with the rest of the stragglers, all while the wind rages on. It pierces through my black hoodie as I shiver beneath it and wiggle my toes in my sneakers. I’m one of those pussies that’s always cold, so I try and warm up with some MDMA. This stuff has defied my expectations in every way possible. There’s almost no speedy edge to it whatsoever, just warmth and euphoria. The fact that I haven’t rolled in nearly a year certainly doesn’t hurt either. Jack and I split the last big dose in our bag and my anxiety finally begins to wane as it creeps up on me.
As my eyes pan the crowd and my head bobs to a band I don’t know the name of I see Mindy appear out of nowhere. She smiles when she sees me and approaches Jack and I, the wind pushing her oversized hoodie far over her head, making her look like some sort of hippie sand person. I’m surprised she even remembers me. We met last night, or early this morning, at one of the late night sets under the tent stage. I went to light a smoke and noticed her staring at me, her eyes black circles with little blue rings around them. Being the worm that I am, I jerked away like an Autistic teenager and kept checking out the band. I turned back again and she was still there, staring at me. Not smiling, not frowning, just staring, spun.
I asked her if she was OK, or if I had something on my face. She didn’t say anything. I asked if she wanted a water or a beer, she didn’t say anything. She took one of my cigarettes, though. The nicotine seemed to open her up a bit as she exhaled smoke in my face and smiled again at me. “My name is Mindy.” She began, her expression changing from blank to anxious and sad as she told me. “Hey Mindy, I’m Harry…”
“I’m the Messiah, you know.”
“Oh? What’s that like? Must be pretty cool.”
“It’s fun, but people are assholes, you know?”
“Mhm. I agree…”
“I’m tired of getting fucked in the ass.”
“No, not like anal sex. Like, metaphysically. You know what I mean? I still have my anal virginity.
Do you wanna sit down with me?”
I grabbed a water bottle from my bag and handed it to Mindy as we both sat down on the grass. She rooted through her purse, pulled out a bowl, and started loading it with weed. Jack turned around, looked down at me, arched his eyebrow, and winked at me. I circled my ear with my finger and mouthed the words “Fucking crazy.” Mindy took a huge rip off her bowl and generously tried to pass it to me. I put my hand up and shook my head.
“No thank you, I can’t smoke weed. I get drug tested.”
“You’re not on drugs right now?!”
“I can do some drugs. I got a test Friday. Coke, Molly, Acid, booze, fine. No weed, though. Takes too long to get out of your system.”
“Oh. That sucks.”
“Yeah. Don’t ever do heroin.” I said after shrugging and lighting a smoke.
“Oh, you too?”
Mindy reached over and hugged me unexpectedly. When she pulled away she went back to staring at me. “My parents sent me to rehab for a month. I was only snorting it, though.” She said after a long pause. I nodded. “Doesn’t matter what you were doing with it. You still know… I’m on subs now. Doing better. Where you from, Mindy?”
“Jersey. I got a boyfriend back there. One day I’m gonna give him my anal virginity. I’m saving that for him.” She said, beaming with joy before her expression once again changed to nervous uncertainty.
“There’s another girl he has, though. There’s another girl, but I’m the one. I’m the one…” She hung her head, slumped her shoulders, and began staring at the ground. “I’m the one…” She repeated to herself softly. Suddenly, another girl appeared behind her and crouched down next to her. “There you are! We’ve been looking for you! Come on!” She cried, hugged Mindy and helped her up. Mindy gave me a limp wave as her friend led her away into the crowd. “Nothin?” Jack asked me as I stood up. “Nope.”
“Hi Harry!” She says perkily. “Oh, no way, it’s the Messiah…” I say sarcastically as she sits down next to me. “I’m really nothing special.” She replies as she pulls her bowl out again. “Somebody gave me this. I think it has something in it…” Mindy pulls out a bag with a homemade Rice Krispies treat inside and shows it to me. “Edibles, nice! Careful, those things are strong.” I say as I hand it back to her. “You want any?” I shake my head. “Nah, can’t, sorry. Thanks, though. I get drug tested, remember?” “Oh, yeah! Shit, I’m sorry, I remember now. I won’t do it anymore.” “It’s cool, don’t worry about it. Hey, you want some coke?” Mindy’s eyes bulge and she nods her head quickly. I pull out my bag and get a bump for her on a key, bringing it to her nose as she sniffs deeply. She yanks the key out of my hand and shoves it into her mouth without a second thought, cleaning it right down to the panic button. Damn.
“So how’d you guys do in the wind this morning?” I ask her as I prepare my bump.
“My friends did OK, I didn’t have a tent.”
“No tent? Where the fuck did you sleep?”
“I just slept with some guy. He was cool, I guess…” She says, keeping her eyes on my coke as I put it back in my bag. “I don’t know what I’m gonna tell my boyfriend. I don’t think I should tell my boyfriend, he doesn’t need to know anything that went on here.”
I shrug and nod. “What happens at Disc Jam stays at Disc Jam, right?” I say, which makes her laugh.
“Haha, right? Can I have another bump? That last one kinda got knocked off by the wind…”
I have a bad habit of feeding women drugs every time they express the slightest amount of interest in me, whether genuine or blatantly manufactured. I load another bump up onto my key and hold it out under her nose gently like I’m feeding a deer that might dart away at the slightest wrong move. Mindy snorts up my coke and cocks her head back, pulls her sinuses open, and sniffs deeply. She licks the key clean again and starts staring at me again. “Most guys are full of shit. You’re just… here. Doin’ you. I like that. You seem like a guy I could be friends with.” And there we go. I think I know where this is going. I’m a big boy, and I don’t need help finishing my Cocaine from Mixed Message Mindy over here. Irritated, I start dropping hints.
Bump. Sniff. Back in the bag. She’s staring at me, I can still feel it. I play clueless. We exchange a few more awkward glances and smiles, like two drivers stuck at a busy intersection with a broken traffic light. “I think I’m gonna go find my friend. It was nice meeting you, Harry.” She says before she drives off. “Where the fuck did she go?” Jack says as he returns from making a weed sale in the campgrounds. “Back to her friend, or her camp, I dunno.” I mumble back to him. “Damn, seemed like she was into you.” Jack says. “Yeah, no, I don’t think so.” I reply. “You sure? From here it looked like she was throwing it at you. She probably was, you just had no idea. You kinda suck at that dude, no offense. I mean, I get it, she wasn’t exactly your type. But how long has it been at this point?” Jack says, prying at me. “I don’t even wanna fucking think about that, dude. Where the fuck is the K?”
There are a lot of things I don’t want to fucking think about. Like how I have $20 to get home with and $5 to eat off of this week. Like how I have a drug test Friday and I’m totally gonna drop dirty for benzos. Like how I blew a month’s worth of serotonin in three days, and owe it all back tomorrow morning. Like how I gotta tell my therapist I fucked up again and went on another bender, one I planned out all while lying in his face and telling him I was doing well. When I’m starting to get sick of my shit, I gotta wonder how long he’s been sick of my shit.
“Yo, can they have some K?” Jack asks me, motioning to a group of kids who just appeared next to us. One of them holds up a bag of Wine and promises unlimited access for just a line of K. I’m out of beer and it seems like a fair trade. We sort them out, I slap the bag, and chug, chug, chug, chug…
“Fuckin…. Fuck. Where’s the K?” I slur back at the tent. It’s midnight, how did I get here? I dump unknown white powder on my phone and rack some lines up. “We don’t have any more K, man. Remember? We did the rest with those kids at main stage with the wine?” Jack explains. “Oh. Shit. Fuck, man. It’s over…” I mumble before I finish my coke. I regret the decision as soon as the coke clears my nose. I don’t wanna be up anymore. I toss two Etizolam in my mouth and lay down.
“If anyone is in this tent, wake up NOW Let’s go!!!”
“Shit.” I mumble to myself early Monday morning. They said they were waking us up at 8 AM sharp. Guess they weren’t kidding. As I stumble outside to piss, I notice we’re among the last ones here. That’s usually how it goes: first to arrive, last to leave. I stumble around in a zig-zag pattern back to my car, arms full of stuff, while Jack sleeps back at the tent. He finally wakes up as we make our final trip back to the car, and it becomes very apparent I am not equipped to make the long drive home. Jack, being smart, saved some coke from the night before, and gives me a bump. I know it won’t last long, and I need to be strategic. I throw on The Marshall Mathers LP since its aggressive enough to keep me awake, and I know every word.
We get through the album and progress onto The Eminem Show. Around “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”, I start to nod and swerve. “Fuck, dude. You’re slipping, you gonna be alright?” Jack asks me. We pull over to a rest stop and I grab a coffee, draining it in seconds before we hop back on the highway. Nothing changes. I hit another rest stop and grab another coffee, nothing changes. Thanks again, caffeine. Jack, on the other hand, is wide awake, and apparently sick of wondering when he should grab the wheel. We switch off driving at the next rest stop and I start to fall asleep when…
FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! YOOOOOO!!!
We spin out onto the grass divider between us and a nearby exit. A white Honda goes sailing across and rolls over twice before settling against the guard rail on other side of us. “What the fuck did you do, man?!!” I scream at Jack. “Yo, yo, chill. We gotta switch sides, dude, c’mon.” I hold my anger and we switch spots just as a state trooper pulls up behind us. He gets out of his cruiser and walks over to the other car before approaching us. “What the fuck did you do?!” I ask again. “Shut the fuck up, dude. It wasn’t my fault, chill. You’re gonna see. They tried changing lanes to hit the exit last minute and slammed into us. That cop must’ve seen the whole thing. It wasn’t my fault, dude. I swear.”
The trooper corroborates Jack’s side of the story and cites the other car. Nobody seems to have been hurt, though the other car is totaled. I’ve got some minor damage to my car, but I’m able to limp it home. If nothing else, the whole thing has woke me the fuck up. My front axle wobbles as I pull into Jack’s apartment and I drop him off. “Word. Thanks man. One more thing…” He says as he opens the door.
“Take your sub. I wanna see you do it.”
I sigh, roll my eyes, and open up my script bottle. “You’re gonna make me fuckin’ fall asleep and get into another fucking accident..” I protest as I unwrap one of the strips. “You’re not sleeping after that shit. Now do it.” I put the strip under my tongue and Jack waits a few seconds for it to dissolve, at least enough to ensure I can’t go out and score a bag of dope tonight. I hate him for this, for being a good friend. “Good. Get some sleep, man. Drive safe.”
I wonder how that shit would have turned out had I been behind the wheel. Would we have even made it that far? I probably wouldn’t have handled it like Jack did. I remember that it’s Monday as I hit rush hour traffic on the way home. Motherfucker.
My car limps down my street two hours later, threatening to fall apart at any moment as the front right wheel wobbles with each rotation. I opt to leave everything but my backpack in here ‘till tomorrow and stumble into my dark, dingy, apartment. I collapse onto the couch dirty, oily, sweaty, toxicity pumping through my pours as I light my last cigarette. An ashy, beat up coffee table sits before a dusty TV in an otherwise empty living room. I laugh to myself as I smoke and think out loud. “Good thing I’m not on dope anymore. Otherwise I might fuck all this up.”