I was dating a girl who had a kid. That could be the end of the story in many cases and I’d understand if it was. The kid was almost four years old but he was incredibly stupid. He wasn’t able to walk on his own until he was almost three. I was almost reading at that age. I wondered whose genetics were bad, the mother’s or the lost father’s. We ordered a pizza that night, the kid shouted that he either wanted “pineapple” on the pizza or pizza on a pineapple. He slurred his words, too. After dinner, the girl looks at me, smiles and then says: “I need a blast.” Then she went to the bathroom and locked the door behind her. A blast! I have a long history with substances so I knew she wasn’t talking about going to the arcade to have a really good time or some other alternative definition of “blast.” Yes, blast can only mean one thing to those who have lived that life. She wanted to smoke some crack. and now she was sitting there in the bathroom, probably sitting on the toilet sucking from her stem like it was a male appendage, which I thought at the time probably explains how she had obtained the crack, as I had to pay for the pizza and everything else and had been paying that entire week. I waited outside the bathroom for her to come out. I heard her flush the toilet and then I could hear her scampering inside, putting things away, secreting her drug paraphernalia to its hidden spot and finishing with a quick spray of some kind of air freshener. I approached her with a frown. “How was the crack, you crack smoker?” I was enraged that not only was she smoking crack but she had declined to even offer to share. “I was joking,” she said. “I just had to take a really messy shit and I was embarrassed.” I didn’t believe her. So I took everything in that bathroom apart looking for the crack pipe or any of the signs of crack smoking. Chore boy (choy). Glass. A lighter. I found nothing. I even checked the toilet bowl. “I wasn’t joking,” she said. “My days of using ended when I had him,” she said, playing with her son on her lap. She had been telling the truth. But then I started thinking about it: her shit was disgusting. I had been breathing it in for a half an hour while I was looking for signs of drug use. Now I felt sick. I started to hate her for being able to make such a horrible stink. Only now thanks to the air freshener it smelled like roses and feces. No amount of matches could even dent that smell. “Are you sick?” I asked. “Have you been eating cat food?” She shook her head. This was just a standard shit for this girl. And she wanted to have anal sex that night. I told her I was going out to get something from my car and then drove away out of her neighborhood, out of the suburb. I ended up in a bad part of the city. I knew this area well. I found a guy who remembered me from a few years back and I bought a $40 worth of crack. I went to the gas station and bought the stuff I needed to smoke it. Then I went home and took the SIM card out of my phone. The crack was lousy. It had been stepped on one too many times. I took a shit. My shit smelled horrible, too, but it wasn’t anything close to hers. I ignored her texts and messages and unfriended her on facebook.

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