In The Shooting Gallery

 

Written by  George Gad Economou

 

“I just need an 8ball, man,” she pleaded.

“I said, no! no money, no drugs, okay?

we’ve been through this, you bitch!” he raised his open palm but didn’t

smack her.

“come on,” she bellowed, “just an 8ball… damn it, just a gram!”

she glared at us with watery, bloodshot eyes.

why were we always the ones paying for her drugs?

I didn’t look at her, I just stared at the wall,

smoking my hash, vanishing into the rush.

my friend was on the floor,

scratching his arm,

talking about his favorite subject:

the cops watching us.

she cried, she pleaded, she screamed, she bawled.

the pusher did not know the meaning of compassion.

he sat next to me, while she stood there like a ghost, hoping

someone would pay for her fix.

“look man, I’ve got some good hash,” he told me. “straight

from Morocco.”

“how much?”

“for you, 25 per gram.”

“too much, man,” I blew a plume of blue smoke on his face.

“it’s straight from the mountains, man, I tell you,” he insisted,

“top notch quality.”

“make it 15 a gram, and we can talk.”

“all I need is an 8ball… I’ll suck your cock for it,” she offered.

“fuck off, I want money, not a blowjob,” the pusher waved her away,

then looked at me. “can’t go under 20, man; you’re killing me!”

“okay, 20 a gram, but I get a taste first.”

“don’t you trust me?” he arched his eyebrows.

“not after last time.”

“I was tricked, too! I wouldn’t sell you crap, man! you know that!”

“so I thought, then you pulled that nasty trick.

so, 20 a gram but I get a taste. deal or no deal?”

“you’ve found another dealer, haven’t you?”

“my business. deal or no deal?” I was famished

for more; was nowhere near a good high.

“alright, you son of a bitch,” he spat and handed me a smidgen of hash.

I rolled it into a joint, drugged a savoring puff.

“20’s too much, man,” I lied—it was worth

40.

“come on, don’t lie to me, you love it!” he punched me playfully on the shoulder.

“damn it, can’t you buy me an 8ball? I’ll suck your balls pristine,” she told me.

“sorry love, can’t afford it,” I shrugged her off.

“okay, fine,” I addressed the pusher, “it’s good shit.

give me 5 grams for a hundred.”

I pocketed my hash, he got up and

sauntered away. she

sat next to me, punched me

on the arm with all her (depleted) might.

“motherfucker!” she yawled in my ear.

“fuck off,” I shoved her away, and rolled

a fat joint.

“you could have gotten 4 grams and an 8ball for me.”

“why would I do that?”

“coz we’re in the same shitty situation?”

“you’re wrong, love,” I chortled, and sighed: it was

damn good hashish. “you’re here,” I explained to her, “because

you’re a crackhead that can’t live anywhere else. I’m here

because I love it. I could get a place

to call my own; I just prefer drug addicts and merciless pushers

over soulless ghosts.”

“you’re fucking insane,” my methhead friend interjected, before going back to

preaching about the ever-present cops waiting to bust us.

“I sure am,” I concurred. “cops still out there?”

“always, man, always.”

“good,” I rolled my eyes and drugged a puff. “want a drag?” I asked her.

“no, I need my fix, not some cheap hash.”

“your loss; this is good.”

“can’t you buy me an 8ball? I’ll owe you.”

“you already owe me half of Colombia.”

“then, an 8ball won’t make much of a difference.” she bit my

earlobe, sucked on it like a lollipop; shoved her hand

in my pants, tugging hard. “jesus, okay,” I pushed her aside. “here’s the cash, go

get your crack and stop molesting me.”

she blew a kiss on my lips and galloped out of the dilapidated house.

“the cops, man, they’re watching us,” he repeated, standing by the window like

the world’s worst spy, scratching his arms till he drew blood.

I grabbed my dirty legal pad, twirled the pencil in my fingers,

and smiled.

 

Text ©  George Gad Economou

*

 

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