(The pic only has Two Hypes because the third hype is no longer with us because that is what happens when you play with needles and poison and all that) 😦 😦 😦
Three Hypes One Bag
I was sitting on the corner of Main and Walnut in downtown Huntington Beach, crawling from the depths of my latest Nod with two local Junkies—Tommy Two Bags and Surf Nazi—as we planned the whereabouts of our next Fix. The cops had been lurking the numbered streets and Main all summer long—informants, cops on foot, bikes, and cars, circling like hungry sharks, looking for the living carrion in the blank shadows of the world’s mistakes. They lived to fuck with punks like us: throw our asses in jail, sweep the growing piles of wooden trash off the pallid streets of HB.
Surf had just been released from doing a County Lid; and Two Bags just hung around as usual, just being Two Bags: a local street punk who always made the habitual days and schemes more efficient and enjoyable. Despite the warm summer day I was wearing black, pegged jeans, which was exactly where my cooker was stashed—the bottom of a soda can I sliced off with Surf’s house key, since I didn’t have one, which gave its bottom a razor sharp edge that dug into my ankle every time I shifted on the cement planter we sat on. I had stashed what was left of my chunk of tar, and day old syringe, on the inside of my dark blue cabby hat that hid my eyes from the black and purpling firmament—a nice little chunk for me, and maybe somebody else. But a third? I couldn’t sponsor both of them, not today at least.
“Where we going Two Bags?” Surf asked Tommy.
“The hell if I know,” he replied.
“Where to?” they both asked.
“What the hell do I look like your goddamn tour guide?” I told them. “Why don’t we go down to the beach and use the bathrooms down there. I don’t know what the big deal is anyways?”
“The big deal, asshole, is that I just got out after doing a whole 365 days ya dick. I’m meeting with my parole officer in a few days and the last thing I need is to get arrested my second day out.”
“The tattoos on your face were definitely a good idea then, if you’re trying to stay out of jail,” I fired back with a smile, making Two Bags abruptly laugh out loud.
Now Two Bags rolled with laughter, grabbing his Junky gut.
“Oh my god you guys stop! Hahahah”
“What’d ya do that for ya dick?” I said rubbing my cheek.
“Shut up, that’s why,” Surf answered.
Tommy Two Bags started to gather himself: “Okay now that the two of you women are done with your little cat fight can we get off our asses and go get high?”
He rubbed the tears of laughter and probably the lack of junk from his gaunt cheeks; but Two Bags wasn’t one to complain, he was a true Hype, a true Junky who didn’t care about anything anymore. I envied Two Bags.
“Well, wait up a second, I gotta take a whiz,” I said, then got up and went into B.J.’s Pizza bathroom.”
I passed families eating in their booths, waiters taking their orders, waitresses leaning on the bar, playing with their Iphones. I caught a glimpse of the noisy kitchen and the Hispanic staring into the restaurant, twirling a white towel in one pruney hand, waiting for something to do, the cooker grinding into my flesh with every step. If I kept it there any longer, it was bound to saw my foot clean off.
I pulled the dope and rig from the inside of my hat and threw a chunk in the cooker, got a splash of water from the sink, put the flame underneath and watched it melt into a black puddle of mud, with three little floaties—dead ants floating in the solace of their demise. I took a piece of cotton from the filter of my cigarette—unsmoked of course—constructed a tiny cotton ball like the end of a q-tip, put it in my miniature black lagoon, pulled the orange cap from my day old rig, stuck the needle into the cotton soaking in the cooker, then drew until the brown water filled the entire syringe—all 100 units.
Any minute I expected Surf and Two Bags to come barging through the door and looking for me and my dope, making sure I wasn’t doing exactly what I was doing that moment, preparing the ingredients to the most beautiful, most sacred Nod a Junky can ever hope for—a sleepless dream where the Hype brazenly teeters on the edge of the toilet seat, drooling on the tools left on the brown and black spotted floor, laughing in the face of an early death.
And when I popped my skin with the tip of my glistening, venomous spike, the door to the stall did actually open; but it wasn’t Surf Nazi, and it wasn’t Two Bags; it was a man wearing a black suit, his black hair slicked tight to his head, and he stood in the opening of my personal shooting gallery, a giant grin on his glowing face:
“How ya doin’ Darby?”
“Ooohhh shit! Not you again! What do you want!? Why are you back in my life?!”
“I don’t know Darby, why don’t you tell me?”
“Just leave me alone!”
“I will Darby, I will. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I mean, you look great Darby,” the man wearing the black suit sardonically stated.
“Why are you here? What do you want from me? Why don’t you mind your own business!”
“I just stopped into say hi is all. Is that a crime? To say hello to an old friend?”
“Friend? Hahahah FRIEND? HAHAHAHA!!”
“Yes Darby I’d say we’ve been on enough jaunts to call one another a friend don’t you?”
“Friends don’t leave each other in the fiery pits of hell to rot like a carton of spoiled eggs! To live with the rats and snakes! Getting chased by sharks and watching the others get eaten alive by what this placed deems, The Norm!”
“But Darby, last time I saw you we were walking through the Dark Alley, you were coming with me but when I turned around to show you where to turn, you had disappeared, a gust of wind howled, and then you were gone Darby. Now if you don’t mind…” he said extending his hand to help me up, “we have somewhere to be this time.”
It was like I had no choice.
He walked me through the restaurant, where everyone sat frozen stiff with frozen smiles: lies, charlatans, nothing but the sham and discombobulated waiting for the world to start again. And there we sat—Tommy Two Bags, Surf Nazi, and me, Darby Kane—nodding in the same spot, bobbing up and down like buoys on the swirly sea, eyes fluttering like drunken moths while the rest of the world had uncannily disappeared.
“I don’t want to go back this time! Just take me, please, it’s over!!”
“But I thought you loved the world? Now it’s unfair you say? And everyone hates you anyways?”
“I don’t care I don’t care! I don’t care! Please don’t make me go back in there! Please!”
“You are not ready Mr. Kane, you still have work to do,” the man with slicked hair said.
He pulled my hand and started dragging me towards my own lap so he could leave. I planted my feet in the ground and dug my toes into the gravel and tightened every muscle in my body, until the pain was back, and I was sitting in the clamor of Huntington’s Main Street.
“So are we going or what?” Two Bags said.
“Yeah you ready Darby?” Surf ensued.
I woke from my latest reverie, let out a deep sigh, an ambush of acceptance slithered up my spine as we walked down Main and towards the pier, crossed Pacific Coast Highway, and headed for the bathrooms, a hundred yards to the right of the grassy knoll.
It was dark once again.