Monday, July 24, 2006

Drinking

It's time to drink. And post stuff here. Don't read further if you don't want to know what I'm all about. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Last Words...

Hopefully this is the last post until the book is (hopefully) published.
I'm basically using this blog as a backup for the previous posts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stealing Lenny is Done

The book is finished. I am in the process of working with editors. It needs work, but I've finally defeated the bastard.

Monday, May 16, 2005

If you're here, reading this, you obviously want to read the book. Well, I've been working on it, but it's not done. Well, it actually is like 99 percent done, but it needs editing badly...BADLY. So that's what I am up to as far as Stealing Lenny is conserned. I will have it totally done sometime this year, for sure.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

To tide you over

I will not be posting any more of Stealing Lenny until I know more about this publisher.

In the meantime, I came across @ 5:00AM (as I am typing this) a few pages of observations I made during the early days of FBT. Mid 2002. Here it goes:

1. The first moose might have been a mixture of a camel and a horse; maybe there was a lot of breeding between the camels and horses, and maybe their offspring were not sterile like, say, mules are, and maybe the moose mated with each other because it just felt right, and because they could: this is the stage they’re in now, maybe.

2. I stopped looking at them. I appreciate them now.

3. There are Orientals. There are dogs with fur over their eyes.

4. Purest blue. Even the sky is a reflection.

5. Dilly dally. Rip your band-aid off. Ride the carousel. Surprise the snakes.

6. It is not so much the look or talent of Elvis, but what his existence resulted in.

7. If darker people are more evil than lighter people, darker colored plants must be more evil than lighter colored plants, like, lets say a light colored bush or shrub.

8. The people are coming. They might even walk right past the garbage can, though they probably don’t know it.

9. Silken Laumann: Holy Gums!

10. I sit quietly trying to find beauty in the one who tries to make herself beautiful.

11. Upon first glance, a green butterfly closely resembles a marijuana leaf cluster, but after further investigation it is discovered that the smoke from a butterfly is bad.

12. The bully starts humoring his superiors when the following day’s events involve cleaning the shipping equipment.

13. Computer generated maple syrup is just like the real thing.

14. Put a bunch of cats in a room made of ice and that’s funny. Put a pair of elephants in a room made of ice and that’s even funnier. But put a pair of elephants AND a bunch of cats in a room made of ice and prepare to macaroni your pants laughing!

15. Shaking up an ant farm is almost as offensive as someone shouting something in a foreign language at you.

16. Let me tell you, getting hit with a purse is actually quite painful.

17. My only concern is that I won’t remember who to apologize to in the morning.

18. In two years I will have patented my own brand of extra strong beer. It will be 23% alcohol. No 23.5%. It will be named after my Irish grandfather, the “OK Grenade”.

19. On a purely physical level, vines are to trees as sperm is to the egg.

20. It’s amazing the difference in breathing ability 10 miles north of the Greater Toronto Area.

21. I like a police officer with a flashlight and a plastic glove about as much as he likes looking at a silo.

22. A breast implant for Rita McNeil is about as useful as wrapping a plastic straw.

23. In the 60’s, you could be the biggest asshole without having to be worried about being charged and convicted as a result of video surveillance footage.

24. “Save the Trees”??? Are you stupid or something? Have you used a telephone lately?

25. Happiness is baking in the sun wile you have a nap while the air conditioner freezes your feet, ass and balls off.

26. They took away the smoking section at my High School. But at my University you can still smoke anywhere. Where do the brains lie? By the way, a High School graduate is capable and eligible to teach high school in many places, sometimes even in Ontario.

27. The train said 2003 A-L. The man with the suit and tie walked past the bell of the train and the ring of the cell phone. The smoke got in my eyes as the man announced “Hair-cut time for everyone!”

28. Don’t blame me. It’s the toilet’s fault.

29. If I don’t pass out on this train, that’s a good thing, and I will make it all the way to Union Station and the North somewhere. If I do pass out, I will only go 200 miles east to St. Catherines. I was in the bathroom when this train began to move. There is definitely a first time for everything.

30. Holy shit. I guess I should keep writing instead of getting some pre-party shut-eye.

31. Hey you bugger. I’ve already written that down! I guess I should try to market my stupid ideas after.

32. When I write too much the paper curls sideways in disgust.

33. I have a cut on my hand that contains a lot of rust. But I’d like to party first before receiving a tetanus shot. Choices, choices.

34. A fan is not AC.

35. They should have more fog on the highways. More fog, more fun!

36. Having in your possession a fake ID does not mean necessarily that you are over the age of 19.

37. Wonder what it’s like to murder someone? Just kill an animal, and if it feels good, kill yourself.

38. We should into orbit an artificial sun that follows the moon. Just think about how much it would save us on energy costs.

39. Why not charge us 30 dollars extra on our income tax every year to arm us to the teeth, then let out all the exotic killer carnivores from our government run zoos, and let all the dangerous convicts out from jail, then make it legal to kill anyone and everything that does not make us feel safe?

40. It makes no difference whether or not beer is chilled if we are puking our guts out because of it.

41. A dog might bark if you kick it in the ribs.

42. The art of drinking in public is all about drinking fast, running fast and knowing the right hiding places from the fuzz.

43. I have a theory… men can hold piss for hours and hours, but women can hold shit for days and days.

44. If hair is hair, is a beard fur?

45. Anyone who uses stupid fonts on their computer should be shot.

46. The drink you drunk, the better you beer.

47. Never force a fart too hard. For those of you who have, you know this is very, very good advice.

48. It’s like baby steps. You should take little sips to ride the thing you have going at the present time.

49. If you’re so drunk that you ash in your beer instead of an ashtray, it’s time to order another beer.

50. An evening of Greek Karaokie is kind of like playing Craps and rolling snakeyes, then getting your nuts kicked very hard by an ugly girl.

51. Those chains that connect a wallet to pants should promptly be used to strangle their owners.

52. Shards of glass should be used for ‘Stupid-Fishing’. They would work well.

53. Blue people should pay a visit to a doctor.

54. The difference between pissing your pants and pissing in a urinal is that you get less piss in your pants when you piss in a urinal, but honestly not that much less.

55.Watching someone lip-synch is almost like being deaf.

56. The part of your pants that lives around your ankle is a kind of ‘pant-sleeve’. And it is quite moist, for some reason.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Fuck Me, and you too, I guess

I don't know if anyone is still reading this. But it warms my heart to post this anyway.
4:24 AM St. Patrick's day (uh, like after the parties have peaked presumably). I have not been drinking, ect. as much lately. I don't know if it is good or for worse. Creatively speaking. As you know I have hand written every word, and transcribed onto my PC editing here and there at the same time, completely blasted out of my head, as said in my introduction at the top here. I am still not done typing up what I have hand written yet. I have 12 more chapters to go, and then maybe two more to write yet. But it will be done. I have been blessed by many of you by positive words, so I am going to finish the fucker. It's hard though. You try writing a book and then have it published and marketed. Fuck. More will come soon. I said to some of you it will be done this year (2005), and I mean it.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Intermission

A short transcript of my plans for this evening copied from Yahoo Messenger Chat with a close friend:

Me: I want you to take this down, fine sir, and keep it safe for a rainy day:
Me: For what you are about to hear is a take so wild and grotesque, even you may have to make your own trip to the bathroom.
Me: I found myself walking down the street about 45 minutes ago, when a curious rumble came about my guts.
Me: With a six-pack in my bag, and a mostly finished bottle of Gin sitting on my desk, I realized then that I wasn't what I used to be, but now a full-blown raging alcoholic.
Me: No, my good sir, at one time I was a raging inkaholic, that is a person addicted to writing.
Me: I have neglected my ink side for the alcohol side, and thus will begin the process of quitting drinking and persuing writing more closely again.
Me: But alas, tonight will be the first step in my shedding of beer-fueled escapades, my somewhat undignified drug-adled brainfuck experiences, and forever begone will be gin-fueled dumps.
Me: For The Dump, I shall call it, has ruined my taste for booze altogether. Unspeakable horrors still linger where I once squat. The echoes of agonous screams and splashings will mar my existance forever.
Me: Tonight I will get hammered and finish writing Stealing Lenny.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chapter 28

We did a quick scan of the main floor. Not only did these keep a pig-sty of a house, they were obviously rich as kings. Brian began to haul out cases of cocaine and electronics. I came across a suitcase and opened it. It was filled with American bills. Very possibly our other half of the money. “I’ll be taking this, you bastards.” I said. I went out and threw it underneath the driver’s seat with the other suitcase of money.

Then I heard a mournful groan come from the trailer thirty yards away. “Fucking savages must have left the animal for dead.” I said out loud, walking over. As I came around the back the stench of a dying animal overpowered me. The lion was in worse shape than ever. “Jesus,” I said, “You look terrible.” I felt considerably bad for the guy. No one had even stopped to take a peek behind the drugs and money for the fear that they might see a living breathing good hearted cat staring back at them. “Sorry, pal.” I said. “It’s not your fault. You never did anything wrong, buddy. It’s my fault you’re like this. Fuck. You beling in Africa with your brothers and sisters.” I lamented chesely out of guilt. “You don’t belong in a fucking dirty trailer like a…” I felt my words weren’t helping the situation much.

“Come on!” Yelled Brian, climbing into the van.

“Hang on!” I yelled back. I looked at the pitiful excuse for an animal in front of me. “King of the Jungle.” I said. Then I thought about it. “Lions don’t even live in the fucking jungle. You guys are all over the world, but not in the jungle at all, right?” I went up close to the cage and looked down. Lenny lay flat, struggling for breath.

“This is the most clear headed decision I’ve ever made.” I raised the .45 and emptied the gun into the animal’s head. When the dust cleared I threw the gun away. Lenny the lion looked peaceful for the first time since I’d first laid eyes on him. I walked back and got in the RV once again. I looked around and came to the realization that I was now the king.

“To the nearest motel.” I said to Brian.

Chapter 27

We pulled into the long dusty driveway once again. I glanced over and eyeballed the machine gun pointed at my hip and shuddered.

When we pulled up there was no one outside. I pulled out my magnum and made sure it was ready. “You crazy bastard, Brian.” I said, with no response.

We pulled around the front of the house confidently. We got out; the white RV glistened magnificently in the hot evening sun. Brian held his gun in a militaristic way. I pulled my .45 out and cocked the hammer in anticipation of shooting someone. Maybe the big fat boss man, I thought.

Brian opened the front door with confident ease. I followed in closely with my gun pointed viciously. My heart pounded through my ribcage.

Three shots rang out and Brian strafed left towards a cabinet. As I followed several more shots ripped up the shelves and the books on them. Like it or not, I was in a rotten firefight with guys who knew how to kill people.

After a short pause, Brian roared and rose firing, his screaming drowned out by the rattling of the machine gun. I eyed around where I was crouched to see the brains and blood of a small dark man paint the area behind him. Jesus, I thought, he’s a good shot that Brian.

Brian ventured further, and several more shots rocked the walls of the giant house. Men shouted and fired back. Then Brian rose again and fired until there was no sound except for an empty click of the gun.

Then it all stopped. My ears rang loudly in the empty silence. I waited in my own sweat. More silence. My heart was threatening to crawl out my mouth.

“Brian?” Just ringing. Not a sound came from the house. Christ, I thought, Brian’s dead, everybody’s dead, everything’s fucked, and it’s my fault. Now what? What happens now? I thought.

“How many were there?” Brian called. I slumped back, closed my eyes and exhaled.

“What?” I asked, getting up. It appeared to be over, for now.

“How many guys were there before when we were here?” He asked.

“Oh. There was the fat guy, and then the three smaller guys.” Brian walked up and looked at me, obviously not comprehending what I’d said. “There were four guys Brian, four.” I said, holding four fingers up in front of him.

We shuffled down the hall. It was a disgusting, ungodly mess of blood and guts and wasted human life. There were clearly the four men we’d done the deal with only hours earlier, all dead now. My eyebrows were raised to the top of my head. “Impossible.” I said.

Brian looked nervous for the first time in a while. He said, “I thought I was dreaming. It was like I was dreaming.”

“OK.” I said. “Well, you’re awake now. Let’s get fuckin’ rolling.” He gripped the gun hard and muttered something about the authorities. Shit, I thought.

“Come here.” I said sternly, walking into a sort of a kitchen. “First of all, we’re out in the middle of nowhere. And even if someone heard gunshots, we’re in America now, so no one will pay any mind. There won’t be any cops. OK?” He looked vaguely convinced. “Second,” I continued, “There’s our bag of drugs.” I said pointing towards the bag on a table. They had torn it apart and much of it’s contents were strewn about the room. Brian and I packed it all up in a hurry and brought it out to the RV.

“Want anything else?” I asked. Brian looked up and a smile grew between us. “We’re already neck-deep in shit.” I said. He shrugged and we went inside to see what we could find.

Chapter 26

It was about that time that we discovered that our big bag of drugs was missing. We pulled over in a cloud of dust. “Fuck!” Yelled Brian. “They fucking stole it! Fucking cunts! I’ll kill them!”

“Calm down, you bastard.” I said. “It’s got to be here somewhere.” Christ, I thought, maybe he’s getting the DT’s.

But after a frantic but thorough search turned up nothing, I became irate as well. We got out on the side of the interstate and began pacing and mulling over what to do. I was trying to keep it together for both our sakes. But the idea of being robbed out of thousands of dollars worth of narcotics as well as being ripped off for half our price wasn’t helping my mood.

“Those fucking bastards are dead, man!” Raged Brian. “Those fucks are dead!” He threw away most of a cigarette and lit another.

“Just calm down for a second.” I said coolly. “We’re still ahead, you know. And we haven’t been arrested yet don’t forget. We could do time in every state we’ve been in. We’ve committed federal crimes in two countries. If we get caught now they’ll throw a list of charges at us as long as, uh…they’d probably give us the chair.” Brian stopped and perked up at the sound of the chair. Maybe that will get him thinking a bit clearer, I thought.

He went inside the RV, and I could hear him rattling around. Probably for some scraps of drugs that might be lying around, I though. The poor bastard was hysterical at this point; completely out of his mind.

Jesus, I thought, I wish I had some morphine to calm him down. So I went inside to help him look for some.

But I found Brian standing tall with a machine gun in his arms with a crazed look about him.

“Shit, Brian. Where’d you get that thing.”

“I’ve had it for a long time. I’ve never used it until today.” He said.

“You haven’t used it today.” Suddenly I knew what he meant. He had a look about him that made me think he’d gone completely bonkers, perhaps possessed by the gods of revenge.

“We’re going to reclaim what’s ours, man.” He said.

“Brian, put that fucking thing away dude. There’s cars everywhere. It’s just a matter of time before the fuzz show up. C’mon. Let’s go home.”

Brian snapped out of his distant gaze. He pointed the gun at my face and clicked the safety switch off. “We’re going back to get what’s ours.”

“Fine, fine. Have it your way.” I said climbing into the driver’s seat. “Just put that fucking weapon away.” I started the engine and took off across the grass barrier between highway sections and drove South once again.

Brian sat in the passenger seat and held the gun vertically between his legs. What do you have against these guys anyway?” I asked. “They’re just ordinary criminals doing their jobs the only way they know how.”

But Brian obviously wasn’t in the mood for small talk now. “We’re going back, Mike. Understand?” He paused and looked down at his huge black assault rifle. “This is an M-16 SWAT team gun.”

“Oh good.” I said.

“This will fuck them up real good.”

“Hmm.” I said.

Chapter 25

We finally pulled into a long dusty driveway. A great big house, probably from the 19th century, loomed at the top of a small hill. The place was surrounded by fields, then forests. It gave me a sickly feeling right away. Thank god it was still mid afternoon.

“Fuck this place.” Said Brian. “Fuck it all, let’s get it over with.”

“Call ‘em.” I said.

Brian flipped open the cell. “We’re in the goddamn driveway, OK?” He shouted. “Mmm.” He said, then hung up. “They’re waiting for us.”

“No shit.” I tried to give him a kick, but missed. Must cool down, I thought. I drove slowly.

We were greeted by four men in black suits, which looked entirely too hot for this part of the country. “Don’t say anything.” I told Brian, as we pulled around to the front of the house. I felt the gun in my belt, and hoped to hell it was still loaded.

We stopped and slowly got out. I put the keys into my underwear for safekeeping. Brian went around to the trailer door and waited. I walked towards the man who appeared to be in charge. He was a giant olive skinned man, fat. He stood still with his arms folded and a stern kind of stupid-looking expression.

“I thought there was supposed to be a woman in charge here.” I said. The man said nothing. He didn’t flinch either, which was making me even more uneasy.

I turned around and noticed Brian eyeing the other three men cautiously while they jabbered in Spanish and compared their photos to the shell of the animal in the trailer. They returned to us after a minute, and continued their jabbering with the big man. He nodded, looked at me, and said. “Come.”

I followed him to the back of the trailer and waited while the others finished their yapping.

I was surprisingly calmer as the situation unfolded; I had expected the worst, and my fears melted into simple tension. I was becoming anxious and impatient though.

The men appeared to be reaching some kind of conclusion. The shouting and arguing stopped. Finally one of the men turned to me and said, “This animal is sick.” All four men turned their piercing gaze towards me. Brian looked away and shrugged his shoulders. I suddenly felt obliged to say something, I blurted out “This animal is a bad traveler, but otherwise is completely healthy.” I glanced into the trailer. The lion’s fur was matted and bald in patches. He was lying on his back, legs half in the air. His ribs threatened to pierce his skin when he breathed heavily. He was also covered in shit, and obviously almost dead. He let out a half-hearted groan.

I looked back at the men. They were again conversing and bickering for a minute or so.

“We’ll give you half. Take it or leave it.” Said the big guy. I’d had a feeling something like this would come out of his mouth.

My blood suddenly boiled. I had gone through hell for almost a week, now these bastards were copping out on their end of the bargain? They wanted to hoop me for half the money after all that? I thought about killing these motherfuckers for being cheap sons of bitches. Fuck, I thought. I looked back at the animal, then to Brian. He looked fairly sick as well, and I supposed I didn’t look any better either. “OK. Half.” I said.

The big man snapped his fingers without taking his eyes off of me, and one of the men went off into the house.

“It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.” He said robotically.

“Mmm.” I said.

The man returned with a suitcase. I grabbed it and was surprised by the weight of the thing. I nodded to Brian to unhook the trailer. I shook hands with the boss man and took the suitcase back to the RV. Brian jumped in and said “Let’s go to a hotel. I’m fucking exhausted.”

“Agreed.” I said, opening the suitcase. There was a hell of a lot of American money in there, and I didn’t care about how much we’d been ripped off for anymore.

Intervention

I need one of these probably.
Anyway, More will come soon. I have 11 chapters after this that are dying to be put on the web. And so they will be. Keep watching.

-Mike

Chapter 24

I got back in the driver’s seat of the RV and sped forth. Brian was stirring and awakening from a peaceful unconsciousness.

“Where the fuck are we?” he asked.

“Five minutes away.” I said. “Get yourself together, you bastard.” I glared at him as he got up and went into the back.

“Don’t fuck yourself up now.” I said, turning backwards. “I need you now. We need each other right now for Christ sakes.”

“Fuck you.” He said. I could hear him rummaging around in his big bag of drugs and shit.

Jesus Christ, I thought. “Hey Brian, bring me some methamphetamine.”

We both took some meth, and were completely awake and fully alert. I looked down at the revised directions I had penciled out the previous night. We were within two miles now, according to my calculations.

Suddenly Brian freaked out.

“What the fuck are we doing? What the fuck?” Said Brian.

“Don’t you fucking loose it on me now, you fucking cunt.” I said. “We’ll be there in a minute. I’ll take care of everything. All you have to do is guard the lion. When we get the cash, I’ll give you the nod, the fucking sign, OK?” Shit, I thought, he’s fucking completely doomed.

“OK.” He said. He was already in a bad state of mind.

“Here, take this dose of Meth, OK?” I said, handing a full dose of Meth to Brian in a thin paper wrapping. “It will keep you thinking straight and quick.”

Brian took the entire dose like a champion. He ‘eked’ and then sat. He stared straight ahead at the road ahead of him, nonetheless with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Christ, I thought, this is it.

Chapter 23

Now, I have to pause here for a brief period. Very brief indeed. I must warn the reader, all too late I’m afraid, that this strange span of time in my life, this adventure into the uncannyness of American rottenness, if you will, from beginning to end, is told from my blurred memory of it. My memory has been quite hampered and put out on a limb by over-indulgence of seven or more chemical substances that I know of. Also there are unfortunately no second parties to remind me of what actually went down during these times.

It is, I suppose, the way fate is made. Fate on earth is not determined by what we remember after all. It is determined by what actually happened, what we do that changes the equilibrium of our fucked up world. All I have is a pen and paper, and the fragments of the most beautiful and horrifying story I could ever relate to in my life. If the reader thinks this is absurd and unorthodox, I remind you that if you feel like going fucking crazy one day, North American culture is ready for you, and it is of course the best place to do so. And our education systems are designed to make us all “literate” and “intelligent”.

So listen, er, read the rest of the story, and as a compromise, I’ll stop making ridiculous excuses. OK?

Chapter 22

The lion looked up from it’s daze, got up and roared at full volume at the sight of us. I knew that desperate sound; it was the same sound in cats as it sounded in humans. It was the desperation for the drug. And we had none. Again, the sound emanated that pleading and ungodly cry just the same as a man in the grips of an opiate meltdown.

“Sorry, pal.” I said to the lion.

Satisfied that the animal was still alive, we went back and continued driving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Chapters Januay 31

I'm sorry about the delay in new material. It's already written; can someone help me type it up perhaps? Send me an email if you'd like to help. I'm busy for fuck-sakes. Any help would be appreciated. School, work, other stuff, taking too much time away from Stealing Lenny. Publisher is still waiting for a draft. Anyway, January 31 I will post more chapters, hopefully the rest of them. Keep checking.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Chapter 21

Dawn.

The road was in front of me whether I saw it or not. I set the cruise control for a faster speed, and the RV and trailer creaked and screamed.

We were within fifty miles of our contact. I was pleased, and Brian too. The poor bugger was still in the fetal but was beginning to stir and curse occasionally. He was sweating quite a bit which could only mean one thing. The heroin had definitely got a hold of him. But more importantly it had gotten a hold of the lion as well.

I pulled over one last time. The diner had a dumpy little gas pump in the front. I asked the attendant to fill it. In the meantime I dug up the big package of junk out of the drug bag. I grabbed a needle and an empty bottle of beer and took off to the station’s men’s room. I had my way with the drug, and flushed the remainder down the john. By the time I got back I owed the attendant forty-three dollars, and told him to keep the change from a fifty.

I wasn’t hungry anymore, and Brian would be pissed off when I told him about the smack being gone, so I drove off. The exchange was long overdue now, so I pressed on.

Surprisingly when Brian woke up he asked about the animal, I we pulled over onto the shoulder. We went around back and dumped the remainder of the rotting meat into the trailer with the lion, which he began to devour loudly. For the first time since we’d stolen him, I noticed that we hadn’t taken the greatest care of him.. He looked skinny and haggard.

“He looks like shit doesn’t he?” I asked Brian.

“He looks rough, man.” I looked at Brian. The lion looked malnourished, abused, agitated, stressed, and strung out, but Brian looked even worse.

“Got a smoke?” I asked. Brian had plenty, but in his bag.

“Christ.” I said. “What don’t you have in that fucking bag? I thought I gave you money to buy shit for this operation, and you end up spending almost everything on drugs and useless shit.”
“Don’t be hard on me please. I’m hurt. I’m fucked. I shot up for the last time tonight. No more. The rest is for the animal.” He went around and slumped in the passenger side. My heart sank as I rummaged through the bag for a smoke. Fuck, I thought, no more smack for any of us.

“Where are we?” He asked.

“We’re about forty minutes away.

Chapter 20

I dialed. It rang. A man answered. I felt small.

“Hi, is Monique there, please?” I asked softly.

“Wrong number.” Click!

I turned the phone off and slumped over the wheel and stared along the bluish interstate marked by countless yellow scars.


I turned the phone back on and checked the number I had dialed before. By Christ, I thought, it was the wrong number, thank God.

It was an ungodly time of the night or morning, but I didn’t care. I needed to make that call. I felt very scattered and needed something to bring me back down to earth. Maybe it was the booze or the aftershock of some drug. Or maybe it was that this ordeal was taking far too long. My mind was bursting with a million little sounds, images and thoughts, but was completely blank at the same time. All I knew for sure was that I had a burning itch inside me, and only a few precious hours to scratch it before we arrived.

I dialed the number very slowly and carefully with shaky hands.

Ring.

Ring.

Ring. “Jesus.” I said.

Ring.

Ring.” Bitch! Pick up the phone!” I shouted.

Ring. “Oh, fucking great…”

“Hello?”

“Jesus Monique. It’s the…like the voice of God. I fucking miss you so much. I’m in some big shit.”

“What shit? Is this Mike?” I was confusing the poor girl.

“Yes it’s Mike. Brian are doing something really bad and stupid, but it’s for money…and I think it’s almost over…”

“Are you OK?” She asked.

“No, I’m going fucking crazy here. God damnit. But when I get out of this mess I’m coming home and we’re getting married. OK?”

There was a terrifying pause. I couldn’t believe what just came out my mouth.

“OK.” She said. Relief swept through my body and soul like the first wave of heroin through the veins.

“Mike?”

“What.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m in North Carolina, sweetheart.”

“I’m going to meet you there as soon as I can get a flight.” She demanded. “Where is the closest city?”

Fayetteville, I think.” I said, tearing through the map. “Listen, are you sure about this? I want to see you too, but don’t you have things to take care of up there or something?” I knew her better than that. The company she was co-owner of practically ran itself.

“Fuck it, Mike. You’re important to me.” I’d rarely heard her cuss like that. I knew she meant business for sure.

“Well, let me know when you know what’s going on Monique.” Jesus, I thought, Brian is going to be pissed. I looked over at him; he was sleeping like a baby. Fuck him and what he thinks, I thought. I gave her my cell phone number and hung up.

Chapter 19

When Brian and I awoke that morning, we were both kind of sober. We talked about the job we had brought upon ourselves involving the delivery and sale of the lion, and we both agreed to hold off on the drinking and drugs until we had this one in the bag. It would be healthier this way for sure. As much as I wanted to kick him hard in the nuts for slipping me acid the evening before, I resisted for the time being. We didn’t even talk about his dosing me, which was fine by me, as I was still jittery from it, and wanted nothing to do with it. Basically, I just wanted to forget it and never talk about it or think about it ever again.

I knew that what really mattered was getting in touch with our buyers in North Carolina, and delivering the animal.

Now, Brian had been my close friend for years and years now. But I knew now that I couldn’t trust him as I could before. No big deal I guess, I’d just have to try and keep my head clear and watch him for any wrong moves. Also I made sure that I kept the .45 on my person at all times, and kept an eye open as I slumbered.

For the first time in days, we answered the cell phone we’d been given. It rang just as we were pulling away from town. I took a very deep breath, and answered calmly, “Hello?”

“Do you have our lion, or what.” The man said firmly.

“Yes.” I said. “We are about three hours away, and driving towards you right now.”

“We are ready for your arrival. We would appreciate it if you answered your phone from now on when we call. It makes us feel more comfortable, and when we don’t feel comfortable, we are more likely to drop the whole deal. OK, fucking understand?” CLICK.

“Shit.” I Said. “Brian, how long until we get there?”

“Five hours. Maybe more. Fuck, I’ll drive faster if…”

“OK, drive faster.” I said impatiently.

“Isn’t it time to feed the animal or something?” He asked.

“He isn’t eating.” I said. “I’m sure of it. I’d check on him, but I’m afraid he might be dead when we look into the back. Just like you’re going to be dead when you get your money and spend it all on fucking junk.” I looked at Brian in the eyes. “We’re both going to die soon if we don’t take care of this in a reasonable way. Pull over. Now!”

Brian pulled off on the soft shoulder. It was getting close to dusk and the highway was practically deserted. We got out and peered into the back of the trailer. Both of us jumped back at the violent roar that came from within the trailer.

“Jesus Christ. Brian, stir up what we have left and shoot him with it. Look at him. He clearly needs it.”

Brian was already on it. I followed him into the RV and watched as he cooked up a big hit for the lion.

“I’m doing part of this hit too, Mike.” Said Brian. “You want some too?”

“Umm…shit. I don’t think so. One of needs to be awake enough to drive. You and the lion aren’t going to be able to drive in the next few hours are you. One of us needs to drive and stay awake. I’ll do it. Cook one for me later maybe. I might do one later.”

Brian gave me a nice juicy hit of smack for alter on.

“Watch this.” He said. We went around to the door of the trailer. He sat on the back of the trailer and proceeded to shoot his allotment. He slumped for a moment, but bounced up, as if in a kind of survival mode. The lion roared loudly in anticipation.

He opened the trailer door a crack. Jesus, I thought, the guy’s gone completely Orangutan. But the lion got up and pressed his rear end against the crack of the trailer door, and Brian plunged the contents of syringe into it. The big cat promptly lay down and purred loudly. I watched in astonishment. The animal was a junkie. Fuck.

“Cigarette?” Brian offered.

“Thanks.” I said, fumbling for a lighter. I inhaled deeply. It felt wonderful.

“Look…” Said Brian, pointing to the animal. He was rolling around meowing like a kitten searching for a teat. He rolled onto his back and began pawing at the air.

“Time for us to get on a roll.” I said. I got behind the wheel and started the motor. Brian got into the passenger side. “Where is the cell phone?” I asked him. He fished it out of his pocket and tosses it to me.

I started off, and wondered what I was going to do with the phone when I built up the balls to actually do something with it.

In the meantime, I focused on the road ahead and told Brian to check the map. We figured and cauculated it for a while. “We’ll be there by the time the sun comes up I think.” I said.

“Unnngh.” Said Brian, and passed out again.

I gripped the steering wheel, fighting to stay alive, sober, alert, awake. I tried to focus on the task at hand. I knew that we had a job to do here, and I knew that we’d make it or break it soon. But I decided to use the phone to make one phone call that would make or break my sanity.

Chapter 18

I stabbed blindly over and over again, until I realized I was killing the pillow. Brian had probably retreated into the bathroom or outside for some peace from me for the time being. I threw the knife in the direction of the heroin and laid down, waiting patiently for my heart to slow down, waiting for this terrible drug to quit making me do irrational things.

The acid began to subside to the point that I could start thinking rationally again, at least to a certain extent. When my eyes were opened, however, I was still perceiving ghosts and cats and scissors flying from my left to the right floating through the window of the room. (As a side note: When this happens, it is clearly the time to lay down flat on your back and let the trip play out on it’s own. Which, of course, I did in this instance.)

Volumes upon volumes could not even come close to describing how much information is actually processed by the human brain during this delicate time. But that is beside the point. Describing it does not contribute to the plot of the story here, does it.

So I laid there for several hours until the full-length fully-interactive cartoon feature had ended once and for all.

Then I fell into a totally uneventful, dreamless sleep.

Chapter 17

I shook Brian awake. He took the needle from his arm, threw it, and laughed. “Jesus, Mike, you still killing people?” The body of the dead Latino man was gone. Fuck, I thought, I’m going nuts. I noticed that Brian was sprouting what seemed to be horns.

“OK, I get it.” I said loudly. “Someone gave me some acid. Like you.”

“It was me all right. Before you went out to score. Sorry.”

“Fuck you, Brian. I’m trying to do this here. Stop doing that shit. This is serious now. Did I kill a Mexican tonight?” I asked.

“Oh fuck,” he managed. “You killed some brain cells, no doubt.” He went into a laughing fit.

“What time is it?” I asked.

More laughing.

“What fucking time is it?” I screamed.

Yet more laughing. I felt the anger boiling and churning within me; but I remained as calm as possible.

‘8:56’ the hotel alarm clock read. Is that AM or PM, I pondered.

Brian continued to be uncooperative. “Shut up.” I said, crawling into the bed. “Keep quiet, you fucking bastard.”

More giggling.

More giggling.

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

Then full volume laughter.

I turned the light on and grabbed a big, half bottle of gin. I took a huge pull from the bottle. “Is this what you want you simple cunt of a friend? Fuck you asshole!” I took another humongous pull. “What, are you trying to fucking kill me, huh? Is this what you fucking want?” Another huge pull, and my stomach did a cart-wheel. I became more alert. “What…why did you buy this shit in the first place anyway? It must be the closest thing to Hell on earth. Brian? Fucking bastard!”

He sat straight up, pointed and laughed. I picked up the package of heroin and the big knife. “We are not having any more of this.” I threw it towards the bathroom, while Brian lost his mind laughing.

As with my previous acid trips, everything became shiny, outlined, and very clear. The hallucinations became unbearable. Too many trees, video games and books bolted through my mind. Brian looked into my eyes and chuckled. I gripped the knife hard and lunged at him.

Chapter 16

The latino man in the passenger side lit a cigarette. He turned around and looked me square in the eyes and said, “Let me give it to you straight, Mike. We’re on to you.”

I sobered up a bit.

“Where to?” asked the cabbie.

“Green Motel.” I said robotically.

I returned my gaze to the Spick who was eyeing me down. I was panic-struck, dumb-struck, and high. I had too many questions, and my mouth was too numb to ask them.

“Are you a cop?” I managed.

“I am a taxi driver.” Said the taxi driver.

“Not you!” I shouted. He eyed me suspiciously in the rearview mirror.

“I am a friend, and an enemy.” Said the Latino man, in a sly Latino kind of way.

“Give me a break.” I said.

He threw the cigarette out the window and lunged at my throat. I backed away, but he held firm to my shirt. “I want that fucking lion.” All three of us were on edge now. The cabbie ran a red light. The Latino man’s grip tightened. Give up the lion, and my boys and I won’t turn you in.” I was too high to do anything. So I waited to see what happened.

“The cops are on to you. Give up the lion and we’ll give you twenty percent.” The bastard said.

“I’ll have to think about it. You know, sleep on it.” I said. “I have to talk it over with my partner.” Oh Jesus, oh shit, I thought. “Mind letting me go here? I haven’t done anything to you, have I?” I said. The Latino gentleman released his grip and climbed out the window.

“We are here, sir. Your stop, sir.” Said the cabbie, wiping away some sweat.

“How much?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about it…get out.” He said.

I threw him a bill and exited. The angry Latino followed closely as I approached the door of the motel door. My mood was turning very sour and my blood began to morph into vinegar again. I walked up the stairs towards the room when the Latino man stepped on my heel. I got up and lost my mind on him. I turned around and kicked him hard in the ribs. He crumpled like a sandcastle.

“Listen, you fuck,” I growled. “I’m in charge of that fucking animal. Understand?” I gave him another hard boot. “I don’t give a fuck who you think you are. You make one wrong move and you’ll find yourself watching that animal chewing on your own limbs. Do you understand what I’m saying here?” He was on his hands and knees panting. I looked around. “Get up!” I shouted. “I’m in charge you fuck.” He rose painfully and muttered something in Spanish. He followed me to the room where Brian had been hiding. I threw the Latino man on the floor. “Look! We have a new friend, Brian.”

“Do you got the stuff, uh, man?” Brian asked shakily.

“Fuck!” I screamed. I slammed the door. “Pay attention. This guy says him and his fucking boys are going to turn us in if we don’t give him the animal.” He shrunk into a corner, still muttering words I couldn’t understand. I picked up a large, offensive looking serrated hunting knife. “I say we smoke this fuck right here right now Brian.”

“You’re tripping balls, Mike.” Said Brian. I eyed him with the devil. “There’s no one there.” He said.

I looked at his shaking figure. Christ, I thought, he’s in terrible shape.

I took the bag of heroin out of my shirt pocket and tossed it on the bed. He lunged on it like a vulture and went to work on it immediately. Poor fool, I thought, always getting himself into things he can’t get out of.

Snapping to, I found myself lunging at the Latino man who was trying to compose himself enough to escape. I cought him before he got to the door. With my first thrust of the knife I fell into a state of fantasy and realization of some sort. Everything fell apart and came together suddenly like the universe. When I came to I was looking into a dead man’s eyes. He looked like he died in fear, and ground beef. I felt bad murderer until I remembered what he’d threatened me with, and what he’d tried to do to my plans. Fucker. Then I began to feel bad that I had graduated into the realm of being an actual murderer. I had killed a human being

I noticed Brian lying on the bed with a needle in his arm. He looked like a corpse; a corpse who had died before his time had come. Artificial death. I had a rushing feeling. It grew more intense, and more intense, until I realized: I knew. I was having the trip of my life. Fuck it, I thought, I’m fucking lucid dreaming, that’s all.

Chapter 15

Brian had a Hell of a time finding me. It probably had something to do with my wandering into the lobby of the local bank in the midst of a nitrous oxide binge, passing out on a couch or something, and eventually being escorted back to the mental hospital by the local police.

To put it in a nutshell, I wound up back in the exact same place Brian was searching for me in by complete chance. I thank the rum. I also thanked it for my pounding headache, as I cursed and stepped into the wretched RV once again.

It looked the same to me, and still smelled just as bad.

Christ, I thought, it’s like I never even left.

Is it all a fucking dream, I thought. Probably. That would make sense, and would make me more comfortable. But, alas, I had to face reality. Fucking reality is a stupid retarded bitch of a cunt, I thought.

I came back to reality with an extremely painful swipe to the head by Brian. “What’s your fucking problem?” He screamed.

“Shit…” I tried to recover from the blow. “Don’t have one. A, uh problem…one.”

“This whole thing is your fucking idea, Mike. Get the fuck with it!” He bellowed. “Don’t you even give a fucking crap about what happened?” He flustered, puffing up a joint?

Then an awkward pause.

Followed by an even more intense awkward pause.

“Uh…” I began. I started with what I was really wondering. “So, how’s the animal?”

Brian screeched to a sudden halt on the shoulder of the interstate.

“Well, well, well. Look who shows a bit concerned about the fucking animal.. Fuck.” He went on. “I had to drive through two whole fucking states to get your ass out of that place. It’s your fault, and don’t you forget it…” He was acting now, like a completely pathetic little girl, and I almost felt bad for him. But I neglected to feel bad for him, so I got up off my seat and kicked him hard, square in the nuts.

I felt bad for degrading Brian so.

Anyway, I took over the driving again. We were still driving South at this point.

At this point actually, I’d like to recap our situation, because like me at the time, you, the reader, may be a smidgeon confused.


**************

After Brian admitted me to the emergency room at the hospital in Norfolk, he headed South towards our destination. Pacing himself reasonably, he stopped frequently to check on the animal. He began to notice more and more that Lenny the lion was becoming more awake, alert and agitated. Brian went and bought some cheap chopped meat and threw it into the trailer with the cat. But the animal seemed blind to it and continued to complain. The animal’s attempts in distracting Brian were becoming louder, and began to worry Brian about drawing attention to the trailer which produced loud lion-like bellows. After several attempts, it hit him at last. He figured it out at last, though it was not a particularly feasible outcome, at least the bellowing would stop. Unbelievable, but it made sense.

Brian cooked up a syringe of heroin and proceeded carefully into the cage. Lenny growled and roared, but somehow unthreateningly. Brian plunged the contents of the syringe into the animals back and escaped quickly. Catching his breath, he waited and watched. The lion slowly rolled onto his back and began to purr. Brian was relieved, and especially proud of himself for removing the thorn form the lion’s paw. Though he worried at the same time; for the supply of the brown shit would only last him and the animal a matter of three or four days at most. (Oh, yes, this is supposed to be a ‘nutshell’)

Brian continued on alone and afraid towards the destination in North Carolina. Two days had passed and he was almost there, when he received my call. Instead of going ahead and making the deal on his own he opted out to come and collect me. I still don’t know what thought or feeling pushed behind his eyes at that point. Maybe it was fear. But he came to collect me, his virtual leader, and maybe his virtual confidence, before dealing with those rotten bastards.

So we drove away from the hospital, or whatever it was; me, Brian, and the lion. We were very much alive, but two of the three were very much in need of the most potent opiate, of which our supply was shrinking at an incredible rate.

We were still a half-day or so away from our buyer, but maybe more since it was late and we needed to hibernate. Both Steve and our buyer had been setting the ringer on the cell off constantly. Naturally we didn’t answer the phone under any circumstances. “Maybe we should tell the buyers we’re coming.” Said Brian.

“We need to find more junk first. There’s no way around it. That animal is going to die if we don’t pump him up before we drop him off.” I emphasized. “I’ll find somewhere in the next city. Don’t worry. You’ll get some too.” I said looking over the map. Charlotte’s close. Hmm. There must be junk in that city. It’s a port state, I thought.

I knew it would take time, even up to a few days, to find good smack in a new city. Fuck our buyers. They’ve waited their whole lives. They can wait a couple days more, I thought.

We finally set up camp in the outskirts of Charlotte in the first motel we could find that was close enough to the downtown core that would suit our needs. I fed the lion what he needed. Then I hailed a cab and traveled to the dirtiest part of town I could find.

It took less than two hours to find a reliable dealer who understood that cost wasn’t an issue, only quality and quantity. I tried some myself and decided it was definitely making me ring and itch all over, so I purchased most of what the guy had and got into another cab. Or what I thought was a cab at the time.

OK Here It Is

Fuck it. It doesn't matter if it's online; It's my fucking work, and I'll do what I please with it. So here is the second section of three sections I guess. Still unedited for christsakes. Very unedited...

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Shit!

I'm not posting any more chapters for a while at least. I'm working with an American publisher and am in the submission phase. Wish me luck! And drop me an email for fucksakes!

-Mike Flynn

Monday, August 23, 2004

Chapter 14

I went back to my room and sat down. I eyed the pinkish slop on the tray in front of me. Jesus, I thought, what I would do for some vintage scotch. Or anything other than this fucking crap.

After a lengthy showdown, I submitted and mowed down. It had a pukeish texture to it. Not too bad, I thought. The doctor suddenly exploded through the doors. I realized for the first time that my doctor had probably been into the amphetamines long before I smeared my ass into this hospital. Probably long before I was born by the look of it. The man’s hands shook in a Parkinson’s kind of way.

“OK. Are you ready to tell us your real name, or do you want to wait until next Monday?”

“Uh…” What was he saying here? “My name…is Amotherfucka.”

“OK buddy.” He said taking off his reading glasses. He whistled in the two black orderlies.

“Oh shit.” I said scrambling away from them.

“Relax, RELAX!” yelled the bigger one, grabbing me around the waist as I clawed about the window like a fly. He put me in a bear hug and carried me like a dog. We went into an elevator.

I’m fucking in for it now, I thought.

“I’m gonna put you down.” He said. “Just try to relax a bit, or I’ll break your fucking legs.” Naturally, I quieted down a bit.

I noticed that the doctor was following us for the first time. He asked, “You’re being released. Good luck, whoever you are. You have no insurance that we can find, so you are useless to us. There’s not much we can do for you now. Son. Hell, it’s sad that some people these days…” Blah blah blah, I thought, I’m getting out of this evil fucking place.

They gave me most of my things, minus the pills, and made me change into my street clothes and out of the blue skirt thing.

I felt for my goods in my pockets. Nothing. Fucking bastards, I thought. I walked back in the reception area, and the big nigger was still there, pretending to sweep the floor. “Where’s my money you fucking bastard?” I shouted.

He looked directly at me and said calmly, “I don’t know what you’re saying…mothafacka.” And he turned away from me.

“Fuck.” I said. I looked around. “Does anyone have a dollar? A quarter even? Fuck!”

The black orderly came ambling towards me strongly, but I held my carpet. He looked directly down into my eyes, put something into my hand, and said, “Get the fuck outta here before I break your legs.” I looked down and saw a few dirty American twenties.

I walked out of there cursing God and all his creations. I found a payphone across the street and phoned Brian once again.

“I’ll be there in…an hour maybe.” He said uncertainly.

“I’m…uh…” Where am I? I thought. “Fucking find me, Brian.” My head still spun slowly from whatever they had shot me full of.

“Don’t stray far from the mental hospital, dude.” He said.

“Fine. Hurry the shit up, you cunt.” I had nowhere to go anyway; no definite plans.

I looked around me. I was outside a pharmacy in some kind of plaza, and it was hot. So I went in and found the first thing on my mind. Blue migraine pills. No wait, it can’t be, I thought. Nope. Advil migraine liquid caps. Fuck, I thought, is there anything in this drug store to get me high? I continued to sperm around the store, but to no avail. This was a pretty uptight establishment. I was being bitchy and impatient and I didn’t really have any conscious reason to be. I felt people’s eyes on me, and on my every move. So I left quickly.

Two doors down in the plaza was a grocery store. I walked directly towards the dairy section and picked up an armful of whipped cream cans and sped to the cashier.

“Where you from?” Asked the cashier without a shred of humor at all.

“Where the fuck are you from? Ireland?” I said with even less humor. She was obviously of African-American descent.

“I can’t sell you these. You’re from across the street.”

“What? The mental hospital?” I asked, trying to act deeply offended.

“Next please.” She said looking away, rolling her eyes.

“I’m leaving here, with or without paying, with these fucking cans of cream.” I announced loudly.

She was probably more phased than she put on. She immediately rang in the eight cans of whipped cream.

“Eleven fifty-one.”

I threw her a twenty and left with two bags full of the dentist candy. Jesus, I thought, I’ll even have cream-foam to eat later on.

I kept walking along the front of the plaza until I came upon a store with a whole lot of bottles in the window. The ‘ABC Store,’ it read on the front. What the fuck is this shit, I thought.

I walked in, and as if in a wet-like dream I soon discovered myself swimming in a pile of horribly under-priced booze. I felt the need to touch something. I felt very sexy. I bought two big bottles of Rum for less than twenty bucks, and soon found myself sitting in front of a large bush right in front of the mental hospital, alternating shots of Rum and deep whippets.

Chapter 13

I woke up very groggily to the sound of the door opening and someone coming inside.

“Good morning Colin! Your identification does not match our records…it says you’re dead. In other words, you are in big trouble, my friend!” (Then that same hideous laugh of the black orderlies.) “But we’re going to give you all the help you need. Indeed.”

“Phone.” I mustered.

“All in good time, son. Now, I’m coming back in one hour to go over some small details with you . So get up, have a shower, eat your lunch.” He pointed towards the gruel on a tray above me. “Get yourself together.” He got up and left, reading some kind of information or something on a clipboard. Probably something about assaulting the next patient he was about to see.

I passed out into yet another dreamless wreck of a sleep. Apparently about an hour later I woke up to, “WAKE UP!”

It was the same doctor. I actually doubt he was a doctor. But anyway, I awakened more energized and furious this time. “Why the fuck do you people have to drug me up like that? Fuck!” I shouted.

“Um… he pushed his glasses down to the bottom of his nose and looked down at the report on his stupid fucking clipboard. Then he looked up at me again. “You tried to kill yourself, son.”

“I did not!” I screamed. “And don’t call me SON, you fucking faggot!”

He sighed. “You’re just a young man…can’t you do something positive with your life? You only get one of those, you know.”

I was pissed off beyond belief now. “Let me the fuck out of here you piece of shit! I didn’t try to kill myself. I’m not suicidal, you fucking fuck! If I was I’d be dead!” I was sure the blood vessels in my eyes were all burst by now. “My friend tried to cure a headache with some fucking Codeine, and it might have been too much. That’s it! That’s my fucking story, OK? I’m not suicidal.” He looked mildly concerned, so I started playing on it. “You look like a reasonable man.” I began. “Your black orderlies drugged me and took my valuables away from me.”

“All they found were pills, and not much else.” He said.

“OK. I need to make a phone call. I have that right in this fucking country, do I not?” My head was spinning wildly.

“This isn’t prison, son.” He laughed. “It’s much worse than that.” And more laughing. I wanted to smash his brains against the wall of the room, but somehow I controlled it. I guess that’s why people went completely crazy in these institutions after all. No room, no understanding, no escape. So I pretended very convincingly to calm down. I breathed out. Then out some more.

“I’d like to use a payphone, please.”

He led me to a payphone way down the hall.

“Where’s my change?” I asked him. He looked up, shrugged his shoulders, and walked away.

“Fuck you, asshole…” I mumbled.

I dialed the operator and asked for the cell phone number that I needed. I hoped that Brian was alive, and in a decent state of mind. The automated operator conversed with Brian. He sounded like he was right out of his tree. He argued with the robot voice, but then accepted the call.

“Hello? Hello?”

“Mike?”

“Yeah man.” I said. “Come get me.”

“Are you still in the asylum?”

“I guess so. It’s more like Hell.”

“Uh…” And then quite a long pause. “I think I’m on my way. You know, to, ah, get you. Right?”

Oh great balls, I thought.

“When you were discharged from the hospital, you were still in a coma, so the sent you to some mental place.”

Coma? Shit. “Uh…where are you?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Listen, a lot of bad shit has gone down. I’m on my way, dude.”

“Do you fucking know where you’re going?”

“Yep. I have the map in front of me…” The at least two car horns. “Uh…I know where you are. Just sit tight.”

“Hurry up Brian. I think the orderlies have been taking advantage of me.” I said.

“Jesus. I’m on my way.” He hung up.

Fucking bastards, I thought.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Chapter 12

I regained consciousness very, very gradually, from a completely dreamless sleep. The first thing I noticed was the taste in my mouth, which extended down my throat into my gut. It was like I chased gin with peanut butter and mustard, but all burnt. I struggled to move my limbs, speak, open my eyes, anything. Oh, I thought, I’m pissing myself. It’s a start.

I managed to open my eyes. The light was dim, but painful. Everything was confusing. One thing was clear though. I wasn’t in the RV anymore. I realized after a while that I must be in a hospital somewhere.

What the fuck happened this time? I thought. What the fuck happens now?

Groggily I sat up feeling moderately weak. I was on my feet in a few minutes. I looked around the room. Ugly white hospital room. I noticed that some perverted bastard had stripped me of my clothes and replaced them with a blue dress sort of thing that looked like it was part of a tent at one time. No, I thought, is it blue paper towel?

I tried the door but someone had it locked from the outside. “What the fuck’s going on here?” I shouted, getting fearful suddenly. “Lemmie out you fucking…” I heard the door being unlocked so I backed away. Two big black men entered quickly, one armed with a big needle. “Don’t stick me with that you fucking bastard.” I said pointing and backing away. I got on top of the bed, now in full survival mode.

The one with the needle spoke. “We don’t want to stick you. We want to help you.”

“Then get me a coffee. And get me out of this place…and give me my fucking clothes back.” I pleaded.

“Do you know why you’re here, Colin?”

Jesus Christ, I thought. My wallet, the money…fuck. My ID said I was Colin something. “Ya, I’m Colin. And no I don’t know where the fuck I am.”

“Figured.” Said the other big dude.

“Well,” said the one with the needle, “You’re in Norfolk Virginia. Do you remember trying to kill yourself at least?”

I thought hard. “Um, not recently, no.”

“Well, they pumped that cough syrup out of you real good. Then they made you eat charcoal. Apparently you asked for more when you’d finished eating it.”

“Oh, I’m sure.” I said.

“You’ve been here for hours, sleeping your head off. Some guy brought you in. Didn’t want to give his name, but he said you two were cousins.”

Jesus, I thought, I have to get out of here and find Brian, now. “Listen fellas, there’s been some mistake. I just…uh, is this a mental hospital?” They had a good laugh.

To make a long story shorter, I pleaded my case which only humored the orderlies. I thought they might be reasonable and at least let me use the cell-phone they’d taken away from me. But they laughed again, and stuck me with the needle anyway.

Chapter 11

Brian pulled over at a shitty looking diner in some fuck town called Batavia about an hour later. We ordered pancakes and milled on how lucky and possibly smart we were for pulling the boarder off unhinged.

“But I have to admit that you’re a fucking genius, Brian.”

“I made sure I was stoned on Codeine. Nothing matters when you’re on that stuff. I’m never afraid of anything when I’m on it.”

“Oh. I was wondering why you were so cool back there.”

“Codeine’s the way when there’s a stressful situation you gotta deal with.”

“I hear that.” I thought for a moment. “Um. Brian. You seem to have a fuckload of drugs. Like right now. On this trip.”

He laughed. The Codeine made him absolutely careless. “I spent a lot of money, you know, the couple thousand, on, uh, necessary pharmaceuticals for this trip.”

“Thank God.” I said. He continued in a voice that was just one level louder than would make me comfortable.

“First,” he began,” the necessities. “Alcohol: 1.14 liters of Gin, 1.14 liters of Crown Royal Whiskey…um, oh yeah. Seven hundred and fifty milliliters of 151 proof Bacardi Rum. He he he!”

“Jesus.” I said.

“Anyway,” he continued, “Um…150 milliliters of near-pure codeine. I had a small sip already. Furthermore, A lot of fucking Valium, most of which are in the lion now. Also, hear me also, we have plenty of heroin. Lots of fucking smack for a rainy day, or any day. Hail Opiates! Plus a lot of other stuff. Oh, there’s some coke, and the Meth you ordered. Hoooooo!”

Brian was beginning to loose it now. I’d always figured that if I wasn’t the end of me, he would be.

“Keep it down Brian.”

“Yes, yes…” He continued. “We have plenty of opiates!”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Ten hits of Ecstasy…oh, the killer…a dozen or so hits of vintage blotter acid soaked into some cherry flavored suckers. Hahaha!!”

We paid our bill and left. I threw a couple of pancakes in through the top of the animal trailer, though I figured the lion wouldn’t be hungry yet after his ordeal. I took over driving. The RV was nice looking, but relatively gutless, and almost useless in a police chase, I guess.

“Fuck, man.” I said after we were rolling again. “I want to try some of that acid. Go get me some.” Brian went to the back and fished around in the bag for a while. The contents of the bag would put us away for a really long time, so it was imperative that we devour what it held in a efficient and practiced manner in order to get rid of it quickly.

The force of a transport passing us rocked the RV and trailer. Brian came back with four suckers and a mini-mickey of white Bacardi Rum. “Take these. They’re laced in LSD.” So naturally I chewed them up and washed them down with the rum.

“I could use some morphine, or some of that Codeine.” I said. So he went to the bag and got the requested items and brought them back. I knew the Codeine would kick in sooner than the acid, which would relax me a bit before I started tripping.

“I’m gonna be too fucked up to drive soon.” I said. “How would you feel about driving in a while?”

“Sure.”

“Good. I get a bit distracted when I’m tripping.” I answered.

“Where the fuck are we?” I asked after a while.

“Um…we should be coming to the boarder of Pennsylvania soon.”

“Oh.” I said. “Keep an eye out for me, will you.”

“Sure, man.” He said assuming a slumber-like position in his seat.

Momentarily as I drove, I began to fall into a trance-like state of semi-consciousness. A tree suddenly fell across my path onto the highway. I tensed up and drove right through it, and forced a laugh. I looked over at Brian. He was snoring, and he looked somewhat like a squirrel. I concentrated hard on my driving, while sipping out of the bottle of Codeine. I could feel the raindrops beginning in my legs and then reaching up my spine. I knew from experience that I was going to be toast when the rain reached my brain, so I pulled over at a truck stop and parked in a big spot near the edge of the parking lot. By that time I was tripping seriously hard. Oh well, I thought. I fished around the contents of the big gym bag and came up with a second bottle of Codeine. I looked in and it seemed almost empty, when I realized that I had brought it back to the bag to put it away, and was not taking it out. Jesus, I thought, I’m fucked. I contemplated driving on, but quickly dismissed the idea. I got into the driver’s seat and reclined it back all the way, and held a huge bottle of Crown Royal on my gut.

The next thing I knew I was driving along the highway again. I noticed a huge transport go sideways right in front of us. I tried to swerve away from it, but it was too late and I plowed right through it. Again, it wasn’t really there, and I recovered into a lane missing any cars that may have been nearby. After this point I managed to outwit what the acid was doing to my brain and I managed to keep in relative control of it. I dismissed anything out of the ordinary, which isn’t easy, but I had a lot of practice under my belt. I couldn’t figure out the blackout though, until I remembered that I was also high on Codeine and probably drunk. I drove for a long while, maybe two hours, in this state. When I began to come down I felt tired, and decided it was time for Brian to drive. I pulled over and shook Brian awake. “It’s your turn to drive. I’m too fucked and too tired.”

He groggily looked at his watch. “It’s only been an hour.” Shit, I thought, good, compact acid. “Hold on.” I said. My brain felt like it had been battered and deep fried.

I went around back and opened the trailer door. The lion lay motionless. I went in to check to make sure he was still alive and breathing, but I was too fucked up to be sure.

“How is he?” Asked Brian, pulling on to the interstate, giving the engine all she had.

“Fucking fine.” I said. “Jesus, I’m getting the DT’s.” I watched the Roadrunner drag a clear bag of giant black mushrooms across the highway right in front of us.

“Don’t worry, man.” Said Brian. “You’ll be straight by the time the sun goes down. It’s good acid. It comes in waves, and it gets worse before it gets better. Just to let you know.” Great, I thought.

“Are you hungry?” I didn’t reply. “Fuck, am I ever hungry.”

For what seemed like a goddamn eternity, we drove and drove as I anxiously awaited a highway-side oasis of some kind. Then by some act of God it seemed, Brian pulled into a friendly-looking truck stop. I checked out the Lion again. The animal was definitely alive, but it’s attitude toward its captors would apparently be tarnished, as we hadn’t done anything in particular to increase it’s trust in us.

Brian and I sat down at a huge table with caterpillars and grubs spewing from a hole in the centre of it. I tried to shake them off the table and put things over the hole to get rid of them until Brian told me to stop acting like a fucking asshole and to relax. I wasn’t hungry, so I ordered a beer.

“Hey, man. You OK?” he asked.

“I’m fine. Fucking acid though. I’m fucking fucked.” I replied.

“I don’t like to see you like that. Especially when we have important shit to do.” He looked concerned. He also looked like he had been shot through the face and chest several time, but I ignored it. “I’m gonna loose it if that beer doesn’t get here soon. Make it come.” I pleaded loudly.

“Shit…” Brian was anxious and uptight now, for some reason. “I’ll be right back.” He said.

I waited and waited. Then a waitress finally came with the beer. I drank most of it in one swoop. It tasted like sewage and fire.

Then Brian returned with the brown bottle of Codeine. “Drink all of it, Mike.” I did, with one pound. It tasted like cherries and fire.

“Codeine.” He said. “That’s all of it. Maybe sixty milliliters, maybe more. But that acid will be totally flushed out soon, man.”

“Oh good, I’m almost done this beer. Order me another two.” That’s the very last thing I remember.

Chapter 10

As we pulled up to the customs officer I felt anything but relaxed. But Brian seemed content as Hell for some reason. I wiped some sweat off my brow and had a good look at our customs officer. She was a young blonde with an official’s cap that looked way to big to be on top of her head. Brian rolled down his window, smiled and winked at me.

“Citizenship.” She said, concentrating on a binder on her lap.

“Both Canadian.”

“Destination.”

Kentucky.”

She looked up and almost smiled. Almost. “I lived there for about ten years. Whereabouts are you going?”

“Uh…” Brian fumbled. Oh shit, I thought, the cat’s out of the fucking bag now. “We’re going to pick up a very important horse. A racehorse. A famous one.”

“In this…trailer?” She asked looking at it in somewhat disgust.

“Yeahp.” Said Brian.

“What’s the name of the horse?” She persisted.

“I can’t say. It’s standard procedure.” Standard procedure? Fucking dimwit, I thought.

“Are you bringing the horse back to Canada?”

“Yes mam.” He was trying at this point to charm the guts out of her. “And yes, we’ll have all the papers and information for you when we come back through tomorrow.” He smiled back. Oh fuck, I thought.

“Well, OK I guess.” She paused and looked down. “You know, though, we’ll need to look in the back. And the trailer too. You don’t mind, do you?” Fuck, I thought. Double sideways ass fuck shit cunt fuck, I thought. Brian was as cool as I’d ever seen him though. He looked back at me with a sly grin. “Oh that’s fine…” Now he whispered closely to her. “Listen carefully. We’re undercover police with the RCMP. You understand?” He quickly flashed his wallet to her which probably contained nothing that even resembled a badge, or identification for that matter. Nonetheless, her eyes widened. What a dumb cunt, I thought. Brian looked in this side mirror. “We’ve been following the blue Pontiac a few cars behind us.” She looked back at the blue car, that may have been blue, but probably wasn’t a Pontiac. “Don’t look at them!” He said quickly and harshly. “Not yet. We believe they’re smuggling a rare form of biological material for bombs. You have to help us stop them.” He winked at her and smiled. “Your actions will not go unnoticed.” She looked nervous now. “Oh, OK sir. Don’t worry. Go ahead. I’ll try to be of some help.”

“You already have.” Said Brian. She nodded, and we drove away, never looking back, and never hearing anything more about it. She was either belittled and chastised by her fellow officers and quit, or kept her horrible mistake a secret to take with her to the grave.

Chapter 9

Brian and I realized what panic and fear are really all about two and a half hours later as we neared the boarder.

“Fuck.” Said Brian. “I haven’t thought about the fucking boarder until now.”

“Me neither.” I thought for a moment. I was sure we’d be fine getting across, but the fully grown African Lion in the back might pose a bit of a misunderstanding or something. “Still got those pills?” I asked.

“What pills?”

“Do you still have that bottle of Valiums with you?” I asked again, hopefully.

“Oh. Valiums. Sure, they’re in the big gym bag back there. I’ll get them.” He said quickly. “Why do you want Valium?”

“To give to the cat. It’ll keep the bastard quiet while we go across.” I said.

“Makes sense, I guess.” He thought about it for a minute. How many tabs should we give him? You know, to knock him right out?”

I pretended as if I actually knew what I was saying. “We’ll give him what you take…we’ll do up a ratio of his body weight to yours. How much do you weigh?”

Brian swerved away from a flattened animal in the middle of the road, presumably what previously was a skunk. “Fucking animals. Uh, about one seventy-five, man.”

“OK the lion probably weighs 350 or so, I’m guessing. Seem about right?”

“Whatever.” He said.

“So,” I continued, “how many of those pills do you take to get to the state where you can’t move or talk?”

“17 ten milligram tabs.”

“So we should give him 27, no 37 pills, right?” I was completely shooting in the dark at this point.

“Yep. Sure. Thirty-seven pills will probably knock him out real good. Wait, I don’t know how many I have left.” He pulled over and went back to take a look. Finally he returned with the bottle.” My doctor gave me 150 tabs. I probably have half of those left. Let’s just give them all to him.

“It’s a good idea.” I agreed. “We can’t be careful enough around the fucking boarder.”

Getting a loin to consume 75 raw Valium tablets is harder than you can even imagine. After many attempts using various crude and offside methods, I finally constructed the idea to mix the pills into his food. The problem was that he had been cage-mates with the large box of meat for about six or seven hours now, and had gorged himself into a lazy stupor.

“Fuck.” I said. “I wish we had some smack. We could shoot him up and drop the shit down his throat.”

Actually,” said Brian, “I have, um, a bit left over. Well, actually I have quite a bit. Enough to put the lion out so we could do our business with him.”

“Awesome.” I said. “Go get that shit. We’re close to the boarder.”

It was a quarter to seven in the morning when the lion relaxes enough to get the pills down, and shortly after until he seemed unconscious enough to leave. “That bastard isn’t going anywhere for a while.” Commented Brian.

The good thing about the rusted animal trailer is that it didn’t look like an animal trailer, and you couldn’t see inside it at all because the walls were rusted metal sheets. So unless the customs people asked to look in, or unless the animal made a noise, we wouldn’t have a problem. And we had definitely taken care of one of those.

As we approached the boarder, I asked Brian if he wanted me to deal with them. He said he was fine, and to roll us a joint.

“Be cool Brian. I’m getting that terrible feeling again dude.”

“Shut the fuck up, man. Don’t fucking jinx us now. I know what I’m gonna do.” He passed over the splif to me.

“What?” I asked.

“Relax, man…” He said giving the RV more gas.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Chapter 8

Brian and I arrived almost together at 10:20 PM. “You’re late you bastard!” I shouted. He began moving things into my car. “Fuck you, asshole.” He said.

We ate pizza and drank beer as we conversed about the stupidity about the actions we were planning on taking. The pizza was good, and expensive by the looks of it. But the beer was imported from Europe, ferociously strong, and had the same name as a popular brand of toothpaste, but much fouler tasting. Brian was still worried about the chance of a violent confrontation, which was a pretty valid worry I realized, considering what we were doing. So I told Brian to shut the fuck up and that I’d see about getting some kind of protection.

We left at eleven PM on the dot, and arrived at Steve’s across town shortly after, large tools in hand. He was ready for us outside; the RV was parked around back. We were surprised at not only the quality, but especially the size of the fucking thing. “Christ Jesus.” I said. “You want us to use that piece of beauty to move that filthy animal?”

“What? Hell’s no. No, use the animal trailer over there.” He pointed to what appeared at first glance as a large, rusted pile of shit. We went over and pulled the vines and weeds away, and yanked it out of it’s hole. It appeared to have a solid floor, solid walls, a celing, and a padlocked door. “Good enough.” I said.

“Listen,” said Steve, “I don’t want you bringing that lion back here. Meet me at the parking lot at the Caravan.”

“No Problem.” I said. “It’s on our way out.”

“When are you leaving?”

“Tonight. In the morning. Whenever we get the animal, basically.”

Steve handed me a cell phone. “Call me as soon as you get him. I’ll meet you with the fifteen grand when I see the lion.” I could hear Brian swallow loudly beside me. He was alert at the sound of money.

So we discovered that there was no need to destroy the guts of the RV after all. I regretfully put the heavy tools back in the car and helped Brian load up the RV, while Steve attached some license plates. We then attempted to hook up the trailer with much trouble, but it was probably on good by the end of the fight.

“OK,” said Steve, reaching into his pocket. “Here are some phony licenses and registration for you guys.” Mine was a man named Colin Kent, and had a picture of a man who looked late-thirties but was mid-twenties. “This one’s real, but the guy’s dead.” Said Steve not reassuringly. I thanked him and grunted.

Brian’s license said that his name was now Aktar Morktar Eliv. “I don’t look like this guy at all.” Said Brian. “He’s almost twenty years older than me.”

“Yeah, I think it’ll do.” Replied Steve.

“I’m white. This fucking guy has a turban and a beard. And he’s brown, not white.” Brian protested.

“Just say you shaved your beard and lost your tan.”

“Fuck.” Brian put the license in his wallet and sulked into the driver’s side of the RV.

“Hey, thanks Steve.” I said. “Wish me luck.”

“I wish you a clear path, and that you and your friend don’t fuck it up.”

Brian was still grumbling, but stopped as we neared the zoo. In it’s place was a very tense silence. The zoo looked alien to me at night. I had never seen it that way.

“It’s only two gates and one cage away.” I said. “All you have to do is back in and drive out. I have the keys for everything. Be quiet as fuck when we’re in there, OK?”

It was earlier than I’d hoped, but we were there now, and it was now or never. We were about to commit our first major crime, and it showed on both our faces. We were about to take the plunge into the vagina of crime. We were no longer to be ‘regular virgins,’ but criminals.

It didn’t look or sound like anyone was around. We drove up to the first gate. I opened it and Brian backed in slowly to the next gate. I opened the creaky fucking thing and went into the cat barn, looking for Lenny the Lion. The cats in the other cages started banging around. “Shut the fuck up! You goddamn things.”

I heard Brian coming up behind me. “Go back and keep a look out.”

“Why?” He asked.” If anyone sees us we’re fucked anyway.”

“Fine. Open that trailer door, will you.” I said. I grabbed a lead chain off the wall. “There you are.” I whispered eyeing Lenny.

He paced nervously as I unlocked the padlocks on his cage. “Good boy.” I said to him. “What a good lion you are, Lenny.” I’d handled him a few times before, and was moderately confident that he wouldn’t rip me to shreds. Not right away at least. I opened the cage door and slipped the chain around his neck and pulled, but he had decided he wasn’t going to budge this late in the evening. He was a pretty far cry from the king of the jungle, I decided. “Fucking animal.” I said. They have this animal on tranquilizers or something? I thought.

I got Brian to get a big box of grade D beef chunks (Lion food) out of the fridge. The lion followed the box right into the trailer. “Get in there, you fucking bastard.” I said giving him a hard kick in the ass, which didn’t phase him in the least. I closed the trailer and put the padlock on.

“Don’t worry about the gates.” I said. “No one will be here until around eight tomorrow morning. I know that for a fact.” I closed the gate to his cage anyway.

“Fuckin’ A, man!” Shouted Brian, as we pulled out of the driveway and onto the road. “This is pretty easy damn easy, man.”

I lit a cigarette and pulled out the phone. “Steve. We have him.”

“Perfect. But didn’t you say you had him before? At your house? You didn’t, did you.”

“Nope. I was pretty fucked up when I was talking to you, and it must have slipped my mind that we didn’t, you know, have him yet.”

My heart exploded as I saw flashing lights behind us followed by the “Bliip Bliip” of a siren.

“Uh…I’ll call you back.” I said.

“Why?”

I hung up on him.

“Pull over.” I said. “We’re fucking in for it now.”

“Get in the back!” Shouted Brian. OK, sounds reasonable to me, I thought. I was just locking myself into the tiny bathroom when we pulled to a stop. Jesus fuck, I thought.

I could hear the murmuring of Brian and the cop after a minute or two. Then another long pause. I was essentially shitting my pants with fear and guilt, so I pulled them down and sat on the john. If I was to go out, I’d do so with dignity. I’d go out on my own terms.

Then came more talking from them, and then…laughter on both sides. What the hell? I thought. I was pulling up my pants when I felt the RV begin to rumble and drive off. Brian was shaking when I got to the front. “Oh, I’m gonna fucking puke.” He said.

“What in Mary’s cunt just happened?” I asked.

Apparently we had forgotten to hook up the brake lights on the trailer. I called Steve back.

“Nothing happened. We must have been cut off…yeah, we’ll be there in ten minutes.” I hung up.

“Hey Mike,” said Brian, “let’s open a bottle of Rye.

“Agreed.”

“Open the glove box.” He said. It was there that I found 750 milliliters of pure relief and heartburn. We drank some and put it back.

Steve flashed his headlights at us as we pulled in. We stopped and got out. I went over and opened the trailer door a crack. Steve peered in with a flashlight. “Yep. That looks like him.” He said clicking off the light. “Listen guys, your agreement specifically asks for the lion in a healthy condition. You worked in the zoo, Mike. You know how to take care of this animal, right?”

“No problem. I know how to keep it alive.” I’m not too shabby at killing cats either, I thought.

“Water, food, everything?” he persisted.

“Fuck off Steve. What’s in this for you? Huh?”

“Nothing.” He lied. “Just take care of my stuff.”

“Fuck.” I said. “We’ll bring your stuff back in one piece. Hopefully. Hey, how long does it take to get to North Carolina anyway?”

“Maybe twenty hours. Maybe less. One of you should sleep tonight and take over driving in the morning. You’ll get there on time I’m sure.”

I thought about the Crystal Meth. “OK Steve, we’re off.” We shook hands and parted.

Chapter 7

I had never been charged with anything more than a few drug incidents and the occasional assault. But I was setting myself up for committing a crime that could land me in jail until I was old and frail, or worse. Oh well. Fuck it, I thought. It’s too easy. Easy money. And I really didn’t feel all that bad about it. I knew the owners of the zoo had that animal insured for a hundred thousand, or more maybe.

I got twenty five hundred just to be sure, and delivered it back to Brian. His eyes were saucers, which told me that he hadn’t seen that much green in a long, long time. I went and found the axe and two sledgehammers, as well as an industrial saw and a pick axe. I agreed to meet Brian back at the house at ten o’clock at night.

By that time it was around five, which meant I still had two hours before I was supposed to go over to Monique’s place.

I bought a mickey of rum and went down to the lake. I laid down on the hood and drank it in the evening sun. Then I went over to Ted’s for a late lunch of chicken tasting food on bread. I couldn’t get Monique out of my head. No matter what I did she was always there like a bad smell. I got there early, but she didn’t answer the door, so I let myself around back and curled up on the sofa.

I woke up to the sound of her coming in the front door. “Monique? I’m here.” I called.

“Hoo is ‘ere?” She answered. French was her first, and almost only language.

“Mike.” I got up and stretched. My watch said it was almost nine. “Remember?” I asked giving her a hug.

“Oh shiiiiit. Sorry. I ‘ad a really lon day. Shit.”

“Don’t worry about it. How are you, my love?” I teased.

“Let’s go upstairs, OK Mike?”

Thirty minutes later it was time to talk.

“We’ve known each other for a long time. I, uh, I feel things for you that I’ve never told you about before.”

“Are you gay?” She asked. Her impeccably bad English occasionally made her come across as a pretty dumb broad indeed.

“No, Honey. I’m not gay.” Jesus, what was I trying to say here anyway? “Umm, Monique, I love you.” There, that was plain enough English for even her to understand. Then she did something I didn’t expect at all. She burst into a sobbing fit, and didn’t stop. Monique always seemed to have something on her mind, or something underneath that never surfaced no matter what. I’d always known her to be like that. Quiet and reserved as if she didn’t have a care in the world on the outside, but silently broken inside. Anyway, at this point I’d figured I’d fucked things up somehow, and looked again at the alarm clock. 9:38 PM in large red numbers.

“I love you too, Mike.” Then more crying as I waited kind of half stunned. “Why didn’t you say that before a longtime ago, Mike?” I knew exactly what was going through her mind. She had been mindlessly fucking everything that walked her way ever since I’d known her. But every time I hadn’t talked to her for a few weeks, or even months, I always get a call from her when I’d thought she’d forgotten all about me. I understood now that she’d been feeling the same way as I did for a long time. Turns out that both of us were a pair of chickenshits. She knew she’d been hurt over and over, and had wasted a hell of a lot of time doing things that made her unhappy. What a bad time to uncork all this crying, which she was still doing by the way. It was five to ten.

“Listen,” I said giving her a squeeze. “Everything in my life is totally fucked up right now. I gotta go. I’ll call you tomorrow.” I gave her a kiss and pried her arms off me. I knew if I wanted to, we would be up for days talking and whatnot, but there loomed in front of me a bigger itch than even she could scratch. The itch for money and drugs.

I could still hear her crying softly beside me as I drove home.