My friend Jack has gotten me into more trouble than anyone I know. After returning home from certain death or disfigurement on the pavement, I walk in to apartment to find a strange man standing in my living room. I scream and fling my motorcycle helmet at him, but don't come anywhere close. It's just Jack. He said he had heard about the untimely end of my affair with Martina and brought over a bottle of bourbon. Ordinarily I wouldn't touch the stuff, I much prefer gin and tonic, but I wasn't myself. Jack mentioned a friend of his who went by the name of Elvis who was looking to trade a F&N Herstal FiveSeven for two pounds of weed and wanted me to ride with him for the trade. I asked if the guy was white trash with a name like Elvis, but he insisted that the guy was real cool and didn't like people to know his real name. Jack, at this point, failed to mention that I had already met Elvis at a party and he is a raging coke head, alcoholic, and borders on anti-social. Thinking I would get to meet someone new and because I had nothing else to do at this point, I decided to go along.
Having to be in the company of someone you don't care for and being on a headfull of acid is not a good idea. You might come to say or do things which would be uncharacteristic. We arrive at "Elvis's" house on Manilla near Lamar. Jack knocks on the front door, no answer. He taps on the window. No answer. We hear the sound of a gun being racked. "Who the fuck is there?" yelled out in a loud cajun accent from inside. Jack replies, "It's just us, man. I've got my backpack and it's hot outside, can we come in?" Normally, this would have been enough for me to leave, but normal rode out a long time ago. He tells us to go to the back door and he'll let us in. We walk around the small fence and I can hear someone turning the locks on the door. Slowly the door creeks open but no one is standing there. We walk in and the guy closes the door behind us. I'm in shock and immediately recognize the guy. He is coked out of his mind, has a pistol in one hand, the door in the other, and has no idea who I am. He asks who I am, but I don't reply, Jack intervenes. "This is my friend J. He's a nice guy. Doesn't talk much though. He was just here for the ride."
Jack hands over the bag full supposedly full of pot. Elvis walks us into another room. There's a big screen, a leather couch, and a glass coffee table with a shoe box lid covered with cocaine. Elvis sits down and does a line, offers us some, we both decline, nasty stuff. Elvis pulls the almost kilo of pot out of the bag. He looks at it and inspects it very closely. "This stuff's old and has gone moldy. No wonder you only wanted 800 for all of it. I can't do nothing with this. Nobody will buy it. If you want the pistol, the light, and the ammo, I need shit I can sale. Go back home and get me the other bud." Jack tried his best to convince him otherwise, "Naw man, that white stuff? Man those are THC crystals. I told you I didn't kief this stuff first." I could tell Jack was lying. Elvis put the bud back into the backpack, opened the window, dropped it onto the ground and said, "Get out. Stop wasting my time and come back when you have some decent stuff." We leave.
We're headed back to my place and I lay into him.
"What the FUCK was that about? You bring me along for a drug for gun trade and the drugs aren't even good? Have you lost your fucking mind? He's a coke and weapons dealer. You don't even own a gun, Jack. Why would you even do business with this guy? Don't you know he can just take your shit? You dumb mother-fucker!"
"Man, be cool."
"Be cool?!? Me? I'm on a headfull of acid right now. I know that guy. You know I knew him and you didn't tell me who he was. Why the fuck would you do that? God damnit, just take me home you stupid fuck!"
"Man, be cool."
Jack's phone rings. I can't tell what is being said, but apparently it's Elvis. Jack sums up the conversation for me.
"That was Elvis. He said he recognized you as being Martina's 'stand in boyfriend' while A was off studying. He wanted to know if you wanted any coke... I told him it wasn't your thing."
"No, no I don't want any fucking coke. I want to go home."
"He also said to tell you that Martina is a two bit whore and you shouldn't be upset about her."
Now I was not only pissed off, but confused, frustrated and bordering on enraged.
We get back to my house and I help Jack start to clean off the buds. We are using a solution of 20 parts water to 1 part vinegar to remove the mold from the pot, then we place it all under a cake lid with tangerine peels to "cure" and change the smell. This was not a problem for me because it allowed me to take my stress out on the tangerines, peeling them and compulsively devouring them one after another. After a few hours of being under the cake lid, it worked. The smell was completely different and the pot had "fluffed" up a bit. We returned to Elvis's place to find him full of cocaine. He made the transaction with Jack and then invited me to join him at the casinos:
"So Payne, you a gamblin' man? I'm going down to the casinos, have a quarter ounce of blow to take with me, and would like some company. Do you play roulette?"
Fuck, was this really happening? Did I just get an offer from Satan himself to forget my troubles and play my favorite casino game on a head full of cocaine and LSD. I believe I did. I gladly took him up on his offer, ditched Jack because I was pissed at him, and headed for Tunica.