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Sick drinking at home I drive to the only place they’ll have me.

“Who’s there?”

“Phil,” I say.


“Come on. Open up.”

Some guy I haven’t seen cracks the door and says, “Be cool.”

“Where’s Kevin?”

“You a cop?”


“What do you want?”

“I got two hundred bucks.”

He opens the door to let me in, and says, “Kevin’s in jail.”

“When’ll he be out?”

“Who knows.”

“Where’s everyone else?”

“Don’t tweak on me.”

“I need good stuff,” I say.

On the coffee table, using a pocketknife, he cuts off a nice piece, puts it in a glass pipe he hands to me, and flicks his lighter. Inhaling slowly until I inhale hard I take in all I can and hold it too long before blowing a nuclear cloud.

“Have another blast. I’ll get your stuff.”

People often tell me you’re supposed to wait before taking another hit but I seldom do, and cut a bigger piece I sizzle and inhale, and when the guy returns from down the hall I say, “This’s great.”

“Yeah, and here’s a chunk of it.”


He doesn’t reply. He opens the door.

I need the next hit bad but never drive fast when loaded. Twenty minutes to get home seem forever, and after raising and closing the automatic garage door I hustle inside and dig my pipe out of a secret place and use the sharp end of the thinner scissors blade to cut several big pieces. The first I inhale and watch smoke fill the pipe and keep inhaling until my lungs fill and I put the pipe on the kitchen counter, waiting for heaven. It’s coming. It’s got to. Where is it? I take another big hit and my lungs feel coated with something strange. I take another hit and many more and curse each time I don’t feel anything but singed lungs and the nightmare I can’t get high. I can’t here, but I’ll get high, believe me. I go to another secret place and get my revolver and head back to the other side of town.

I knock. There’s no answer. I pound the door several times then kick it. “Open this fucking door now.” There’s no response. I knock on the living room window and wait. I’m tired of waiting. I knock again and walk around the house pounding every window, breaking one in the rear, and return to the front and kick the door and shout, “Get your thieving ass out here or I’m coming in.”

I go around back again and break out more of the window and open it and climb inside. Pulling the revolver out of my coat pocket, I put my finger on the trigger, easing out of the bedroom into the hall, listening to silence and looking into night, and don’t know if the blast is from his gun or mine.

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