"You wanna buy 'dis weed?" said the owner of the hand and the pot. "Two dollars."
Now, understand, my experience with pot is minimal. The two times I did try it I coughed so hard I actually vomited - the first time in the street, the second in a friend's bedroom trash can. Sexy, no? I did get a second-hand giggly fit later that night, but nothing so awesome as to risk horfing out my rib cage in a violent coughing fit in attempting another drag.
Generally, however, I don't care if others do it. Just not in my house. Cigarettes and weed, you smoke it outside. Legalize it for all I care, it'll raise some good revenue and God and Schwarzenegger know that California is hurting financially and a legitimate pot industry backed with crazy taxes would be a nice shot in the arm. Sell it in a locked cabinet near the Virginia slims at the grocery store.
Yet, I draw the line when a creepy old man who I might normally walk off the sidewalk to avoid were he coming my direction reaches into the car I'm sitting in and tries to peddle it out. Call me a prude, I guess. It's just bad manners if not anything else.
"I don't need it. I prefer hard stuff."
"Oh... uh... I see. Well we're okay," I stumbeled. I was thanking God that BF was in the driver's seat and I didn't have closer contact to the face that had more lines than a Boston roadmap. I tried not to look into his shallow eyes, pink and watery that echoed to years of abuse and hard times. I would have been sucked into the sadness had I not been so unnerved. This was not meth or pot abuse which I could recognize and had seen before.
"I prefer heroin."
It was heroin abuse.
"That's pretty hardcore," replied BF. He seemed to be keeping his cool whereas I was just at a loss for words.
"I prefer heroin." The man slurred the word out as "harrowen". "So you wanna buy this?" It was a harrowen' scene indeed. It was then we heard a loud and audible roar, like a sad cry from any number of beasts in the forest. It was his stomach. He did not seem to notice.
This man needed a sandwich. Not to mention drug counseling, invasive dental surgery, a shower, and to get his arm and pot out of the fucking car. Still a thought crossed my mind; much like the oil slick of a man meth addict I encountered not so long ago this dude was not eating. After hearing his stomach rumble that audibly we knew he was hungry, yet instead of looking for food to nourish himself here he was hawking crumpled bits of pot in order to score a bit of smack.
It made me think of a few people I know and still care about. I hope that they are okay.
"We're good dude. Good luck finding a buyer." BF turned the key and rolled up the window forcing the man to pull back his arm. We drove off to dinner in silence for a bit. We still had to take in the strangeness and horror of it all, it's not everyday that a raw shot of human suffering and harsh reality come to you curb side like a drive-in diner waitress.
After a while I broke the silence. "You sure we didn't need any harr-O-win?" I asked.
We laughed. Not because it was particularly funny, but because we weren't sure what else to do. Here's hoping he doesn't find a buyer, and instead finds his way to the Food Bank or rehab.