A Full Circle
I called the phone again & again & again but nobody answered. Then someone did.
“Jeremy, you gotta stop calling here.”
“Can I speak to Cindy?”
“She’s not here.”
“Where is she?”
“She’s gone,” the voice said. “She left this afternoon. I think she went back to Albany. Her and Nicole.”
I hung up. Before I could think of my next move, my fist plowed through the wall. And then again. And again.
I was so furious.
I called Ben. Only one thing could relax me. Only one thing had the power to change the world, to change everything, to make things better. This was my fault she had left. She had told me, she had really told me, that she loved me too much for her own good. And then what did I do, I drove her away. This was my fault. I bet she was booting up right now. Because of me. Because I drove her away. She’s probably holed up in some hotel room right now, shoving a needle into her arm.
Again, I slammed my fist through the wall, just as Ben picked up.
“Hey, man. Can you get me some crack? I need it bad.”
He said: “I can’t. But my mom can. She’ll be home soon. Why don’t you come over.”
I put on my shoes, grabbed my wallet and left. I went to the ATM machine downtown and took out 40 dollars. I headed up the hill.
When I got there, his mom was home, with some guy I didn’t know.
“I want a 40 bag,” I told them.
“Sure,” she said.
“Come with us,” he told me.
We left the house and headed downtown, first past the library, then the Price Chopper and the Walmart and a series of bars and then the train tracks and we just kept going.
She said to me: “Gimme the cash and wait here. I’ll be right back.”
The guy was leering over his shoulder as they vanished behind a house. It was so dark out. I was nearly panting. I was so angry and distraught. That backstabbing bitch! Shit, what happened to love, anyway? Does anyone truly love anyone anymore?
Nah, probably not.
They came back and they handed me a bag.
“Hey, man,” she said. “You gonna let us have some of that.”
I shook my head.
“C’mon, man,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
I started walking and then I was running.
Back over the tracks. Back past Price Chopper and then Walmart. All the bars were closed now. The world was shut down. The night was dark and lonely and scary and I was almost home.
Inside my dingy apartment I lit a cigarette and disposed of the ashes into my small, metal one-hitter.
Soon, I would feel good. In fact, I would feel great. In fact……….
I woke up when there was a knock at my door. I was wearing only my boxer shorts. I let Rusty in and he sat on my repurposed car seat.
“Dude, you woke me up.”
“It’s 4 in the afternoon,” he told me.
“Shit. Guess I slept all day.”
He found my pipe on the coffee table. My coffee table that looked like a dick.
“What the hell is this?”
I rubbed my head.
“Crack,” I told him. “I smoked crack last night.”
He lit his lighter and held it over the pipe. Tried to take a hit. There must have been some resin left because he managed to pull a small amount of smoke into his lungs.
“You ever smoked it before?”
He held it in for a bit. Released.
“Yeah, once. Dude, we gotta get some more.”
“The people I got it from last night, they won’t sell to me today. Because I didn’t share any with them.”
“I know someone we can call,” he said.
“But I’m broke,” I told him.
“Shit, me too. Do you have anything we can trade?”
I looked around my small apartment. “I guess my XBOX 360, I barely use it anymore.”
He made a phone call and offered to trade my 360 for some rock. The guy said he’d trade us eight ounces.
Rusty told me: “He said he’d give us eight ounces.”
My jaw dropped, Rusty looked hungry.
“That’s a lot of crack,” I said.
Rusty nodded. He said: “Do you know anyone with a car?”
“Yeah, my ex-girlfriend Kaylin has one. She might give us a ride.”
I called Kaylin. At first she said no, but when I told her I’d give her some weed she said yes.
But what we didn’t know until we got there was, it was a misunderstanding. The guy thought we were buying weed for 360 dollars. Kaylin was pissed that we talked her into taking us to buy crack. I was pissed that we didn’t get crack. Rusty was thrilled that we at least got some weed and then we went back to my apartment and smoked it.
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