Butts (Part 29)

March 5, 2014 § 7 Comments

Somewhere between Columbus and Smithville Turner came down. The clear moonlit night rushed into and was thrust away from the windshield as the big motor pushed the Chevy effortlessly along the highway. Clem had cracked her window halfway and was smoking a cigarette. “Feeling better?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

“You were down at the bottom of a pretty black hole there for a while. Thought I might have to come lookin’ for you.”

“How could you tell?”

She smiled. “Hmmm. Was it the wrenched expression on your face that looked like you were taking the world’s longest crap? For two solid hours? Yeah, that might have been it.”

“I hate pot. Makes me paranoid. And that beach weed is nasty, just nasty sick gross. How in the world will you sell it? Nobody’s gonna buy that stuff. You won’t be able to give it away.”

“Sure I will. High school kids’ll buy anything as long as it gets them high. They won’t care. I’ve seen schoolkids pay good money for the worst stuff you can imagine. Transmission fluid, airplane glue, they do not fucking care as long as they get high.”

“Let me get this straight, Clem. You’re going to target schoolkids?”

“Sure. Why not? Everybody knows kids do drugs. I did. You did. Plus, this beach weed will be cheap, so it’s like a discount. Easy on their budget.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. You’re actually doing them a favor. ‘Clem’s Discount Illegal Drug Sales.’ Kind of like the K-Mart of drug dealers.”

She smiled. “Pretty nice of me, don’t you think?” She spit out the window. “Stuff does taste pretty nasty, though.”

“Actually, it’s not really very nice of you at all. You’re preying on kids. Pot may not be the ‘demon weed,’ but it never helped any kid who was struggling in school.”

She rolled her eyes. “These are practically adults, Turner. Little stoner delinquent druggies who listen to Rush and bang each other and get high. They’re old enough to make up their minds about which drugs they want to take and they don’t need you or me acting like their parents. If they wanna get high let ‘em get high. Kids just wanna get hi-igh, kids just wanna get hiiiiiiigh … plus, we need the money. Right?”

“You need the money.”

“Sure do, sweetcakes. You know why? ‘Cause mommy ain’t sending me monthly checks so I can fart around on my girlfriend’s couch reading some dumbass book so some dumbass college teacher can give me a dumbass grade so I can go out and be a doctor or a lawyer or an Indian chief and swindle people so I can have enough money to give to my kids and start the whole damn thing over again. You don’t like dealing or hooking, Turner, so how the fuck would you be paying the rent if mommy weren’t sending you those checks?”

His cheeks were burning. “I’d do something you’ve never done.”

“Like what, Mr. Philosphizer?”

“I’d get a fucking job. You think the only kinds of people in the world are rich kids, hookers, and dealers?”

“I know which one you are. And I know without that little monthly check you’d be out on your ass and I wouldn’t be gettin’ any holypants lectures about selling pot to stoner high school dropouts.” Her anger made the words hard and sharp. “And why the hell is some job slinging shit in a Denny’s more honorable than selling pot? Who made pot illegal? Some asshole in Congress, that’s who, so he could make a billion off tobacco or alcohol or some bullshit they peddle in hospitals that you can’t buy without a prescription. You ever worked in a restaurant?”

“No.”

“It’s shit work, Turner. I’ve done it. People treat you like shit, the men ogle your tits and ask you for a date while their fucking wives are in the ladies’ room, snotty little brats spill shit on the floor, they tell you the food’s for shit after clearing off half the plate, they run you shitass ragged and then leave a fifty-cent tip. At least when they’re lying on top of you it’s over in five minutes and there’s enough cash left over to make rent.”

“When they’re not throwing you of the pickup at 50 miles an hour.”

“Right, or raping you or cursing you or threatening to beat you up if you don’t do their cousin as a freebie, but you know what? I’ve seen waitresses slip on grease in the kitchen and get third degree burns on their faces and get shitcanned for not showing up the next day. I’ve spent enough time in emergency rooms getting my own broken ass fixed to know what happens on job sites. People get hurt, fucked over, fired, and left for dead, and if they’re lucky some ambulance chasing douchebag takes their case, gets them a few bucks and keeps the rest of it for himself. So tell me again about how you’re gonna go get a job and protect the youth from the evil drug dealer Clementine? What job are you gonna get, Turner?”

“I don’t need to get one yet.”

She snorted. “Exactly my fucking point.” She blew a cloud of cigarette smoke in his face. “You know what’s weird about you?”

“What?”

“Here you are all healthy and shit and you’ve never asked me to quit blowing smoke in your face.” She blew some more smoke in his face. “Doesn’t it gross you out?”

“Yeah.”

“I knew it.” She exhaled the next breath out the window. “So how come, Turner?”

“How come what?”

“How come you never asked me to stop?”

“Aside from the fact that I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t?”

“Yeah. Aside from that.”

“Because I’ve been waiting.”

“Waiting for what?”

“Waiting for you to bring it up.”

“Oh crapcakes. What if I’d never brought it up?”

“Then we’d never have talked about it.”

“You are completely nucking futs,” she laughed. “Okay, I’ve brought it up. Now what?”

“Would you mind not blowing smoke in my face?”

“Just like that? That’s all you have to say?” She screwed up her face. “Of course I’ll stop. Anything else?” Her left hand was on the wheel and her right hand was on his thigh as the ash crumbled off his leg and onto the floorboard.

“Yeah.”

“What?”

“Would you  mind throwing those things away and never smoking them again?”

She looked straight ahead and flicked the glowing butt out the window. “You know how many times in my life I’ve thrown away a pack of cigarettes?”

“How many?”

“One.” Then she grabbed the almost-full pack of Marlboros off the dashboard and tossed them out, too. “What’s next, hon?” she asked with a giggle. “Do we start going to church now?”

“Fuck church,” he laughed.

She licked her lips. “I like the way half of that sounds.”

———————————

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§ 7 Responses to Butts (Part 29)

  • New Girl says:

    It’s like candy. Thank you, best three bucks a month I spend.

  • Dan says:

    I remember the great weed shortage in the summer of 1985. I would have killed for some of your I mean turners awesome ocean weed. Thanks for the great read. Colorado loves you

  • 900aero says:

    Thanks Turner, I mean Seth.
    By way of trivial asides, I tried to read this at work yesterday and the software vigilantes who help me stay on the straight & narrow determined that it should be blocked because it referenced sex. No mention of all the hooch and violence….Nice to be able to check in today from off the grid and catch up.
    I think The Great Weed Shortage of ’85 reached Australia too from memory….or was it 87?

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