Thursday, December 14, 2006
“I’ll take a gyros with no tomatoes, well done, to go.”
I paid for the awful beast and settled in to wait for my food. A short Mexican with slicked back rockabilly hair, dirty fingernails, and blood red eyes walked out of the bathroom. He’d washed his hands after using the commode, but to dry them, he used his apron, which was encrusted with tzatziki sauce. He was trading shit smears for the crust of dried yogurt cucumber sauce.
His face looked familiar. Was it Jose, the screaming burger chef I worked alongside at Zippy’s ten years previous? Those pulsing facial veins drew the same map, just with deeper potholes. Jose had become even more frightening to gaze upon. The kind of man that causes children to clutch mommy’s leg and hide behind her.
“Jose?” I asked quietly, afraid I was wrong. No answer. He sat down near the sticker vending machines. So he was taking his afternoon break. I was glad somebody else was preparing my food. Despite his lack of response, I had to be sure. I paced over, faking impatience for my greasy pita sandwich. I stole another glance. Definitely him.
“Gallo Negro? Is that you, The Black Rooster?”
“Ees George, yah. You…” He wagged his finger, trying to pin a name on me. He remembered my face, at least.
“It’s me, Steve! From Zippy’s!”
He broke out in a smile. We chatted about the past; about kitchen crew that had moved on to bigger and better things; a few who got deported. The conversation eventually turned to our old business.
“Eeyou steel like-a the cocaine?”
“Fuck yeah!” My eyes lit up, my head nodded vigorously.
“I sell you some next week. I no like selling the heroin, sheet ees no good man. Fucking crazies. I try sell more yay.”
“I’m your man.”
We traded digits. I did not ask how his name switched from Jose to George. None of my business.
My brother came to town recently.
“Me and Ricky hung out with Victor last night.”
“It’s ‘Ricky and I,’ not ‘me and Ricky.’” Wait, what? Victor?”
Victor was in jail, last I heard. I’d used him as my primary hookup for two years. He was my favorite coke dealer, a Latin King with the highest grade blow in town. When he disappeared, I was too spoiled by his product to buy the heavily cut speedy garbage sold by the silk-shirted shiny-shoed Euro fucks from the nightclubs. As a result, I dropped the hobby altogether for almost a year. If what my brother said was true, it was great news for me.
“He’s out already? I thought you said that was his third strike last year.”
“Yeah, but he has good lawyers. He still has to go back soon. I don’t know exactly.”
“Must be his sentencing coming up, or some legal technicality. I hope he gets off scott free. Can you reach him? Is he still up to the same old shit?”
“Yep, he’s dealing.”
“Hook it up, bro!”
After two weeks testing my new diet of high grade keen, canned Pabst, and the occasional chicken wing, I’ve lost ten pounds, my nose squirts blood at random intervals, I pee out my butt, and my hearing comes and goes. Although using lots of cocaine eventually becomes vaguely unfulfilling, kind of like masturbating to exercise videos, right now I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. 5:10 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
Side Order #3
Side Order #2
Side Order #1
The Perfect Kiss
Drowning Dignity Like An Unwanted Kitten
Anti Rape Spree (Three)
Beer For The Ruthless (Two)