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White Lines – The Eight Ball

This is part four of a four part totally awesome blog. Fell behind? No problem. Just go here:White Lines, The First Line and The Second Line and then The Teener.

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Then the door opened. It was Debbie. And the candy! I was so relieved to see them – I mean, her.

“Is he out there?” I asked, hoping she knew.

“Are you gonna order?” the guy behind the register asked Debbie now, already knowing my answer. I already knew her answer. We had to explain or get out.

The interesting thing was not that we actually told him that some scary child rapist was chasing us, but his complete lack of reaction. Like this was an everyday occurrence at Taco Hut or something.

“We’re closing in thirty minutes,” was all he said as he started to mop.

We hid in a hard cold booth of the take-out restaurant variety, not the comfy rad variety like that of Denny’s, probably because they want you to actually TAKE-OUT not stay for five hours chain smoking for the price of one cup of coffee and making art towers out of empty creamer containers.

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After a five-minute play-by-play recap, the realization hit us. It was Friday night and we hadn’t TOUCHED a piece of candy yet. This realization was not spoken; it was addict-mind-trick spoken through brain waves. Where any two or more people deep in addiction are together jonesing, this is the norm. We can speak the unspeakable with our minds.

Side note: Ritual is an integral part of drug usage. For most addicts, the ritual of using is multi-faceted: scoring, holding, preparing, and using. If any of these components are compromised, the high can suffer. I like to call this “super-addict-stition.”

Whoever establishes the ritual is as follows:

  1. Whoever’s holding.
  2. The Elder who brings the newbie under his or her wing.
  3. People who party together may merge rituals or form new variations of each ritual, as long it’s copacetic.

There was no hierarchy in our underground network of transplants, but there was a strict class structure when it came to getting high. The bottom line was devout respect for the other user’s ritual because the ultimate party foul was fucking up another person’s high.

Yet again, I did some math:

  1. Debbie was holding = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  2. She was the Elder = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  3. We merged rituals somewhat with the subtraction of banana and the doubling of funds, but the location of scoring, the act of piling, and horror movie watching were all ritual B.C. = Debbie’s in charge of score.
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One of our Friday night faves.

We sat across the table from each other mind melding. My mouth started to water. Candy filled my senses. I ached for sugar. I knew she did too.

“Let’s go,” she said as she rose, without even checking outside for eagle decaled cars.

I knew better. We should wait longer. He could just be out there lurking in the old bushes waiting for our young bushes to come bounding out of Taco Hut’s door all innocent and candy-eyed. I considered bartering with her to stay another 15 minutes and eat some candy there, but I knew it would fuck up both of our highs and perhaps our friendship.

My thirst for sugar became stronger than my thirst for survival. We booked it the half block more to her house and made it back safe. Who knew what happened to GP and who cared. We were onto the next thing.

Immediately, and with not one word, we devoured ten bucks worth of sugar to the sound of naked chicks getting slaughtered. Candy fixed everything. We went into sugar comas and woke up with unrelenting hangovers. We did this every Friday night for the next two years.

The Grody Pedophile incident was only the third time I used with Debbie and it didn’t stop me one bit. The Slippery Slope Theory is just a speculation, but from less than a year after moving to Sparks I’d already gone from smoking to porn to sugar. And this was only the beginning.

. . .

Thanks for reading, gorgeous! Stay tuned – next Monday will be another new vlog. If you missed my last vlog, click here. 

White Lines – The Teener

This is part three of a four part totally awesome blog. Fell behind? No problem. Just go here: White Lines, The First Line and The Second Line

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The next Friday night something was off. Neither of us would admit it, but there was just something in the air, something foreboding. But when you’re an addict, the carrot is too bright and shiny to pay attention to portent. After all, we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it. We had a vision.

All went fine at the Sev. Mathematics worked out. No banana. All was well. It was time to race home.

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We normally walked on the Park Lane Mall side of the street, but on this night we were on the Shopper’s Square side. I noticed a black Trans Am replete with a large eagle decal on the hood up ahead. These cars, along with El Camino’s, were pretty common in Reno, (and still are in Sparks), but the passenger side door was open. And there was a man inside.

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Walk fast. Look down. Stay focused on candy.

The eagle decal grew larger and larger and we got closer and closer. Then, there it was. Up close full-on eagle.

“Hi girls,” a calm male voice said, who I will now refer to as GP, (Grody Pedophile).

Thank God I was now a porn-cinefile, so I immediately recognized male masturbation.

Debbie immediately jaywalked across all six lanes of the street to the other side. She didn’t even look.

I did.

“You want to help me out?” GP actually said. Grody.

I booked it. Fast. Unfortunately, so did GP. He hopped in his bitchin’ not-a-Camero-but-so-very-close-to-one, revved up all eight of his horses, and proceeded to CHASE US.

Debbie decided to run down a dark backstreet, for what reason I will never know. Places with people are safe. Places with light are safe. Dark backstreets where no one would hear our prepubescent screams were most definitely not safe.

But Debbie had the candy. And she was going down that dark street. 1 + 1 = I was not going to let my candy go that easily.

We were about halfway down the block, still a block-and-a-half from Debbie’s house, when the street was illuminated by the lights of GP’s grody car. He was heading straight for us.

I had to think fast. It came to me. Tacos. So obvious.

There was a Taco Hut one block away. I was so scared I’d never run so fast in my life. Debbie wasn’t as fast, but her leg-span was about three of mine, so we were running at about the same child-running-from-grody-pedophile clip.

“Taco! Hut!” I yelled, interspersed with panting.

“No! Home is closer!” She argued.

“There are people at Taco Hut! HE CAN’T RAPE US WITH PEOPLE WATCHING!” I screamed with all my might.

“You’re wrong!” She lamely disagreed.

I made the executive decision right then and there. It was better to let Debbie get raped and the candy get stolen than for both of us to succumb to the same horrible fate.

“I’M GOING TO THE TACO HUT!” I hollered as I ran toward the neon taco shining like freedom.

I ran into the Taco Hut full of patrons, panting and generally freaking the fuck out, and now looking like a complete weirdo. Which I am, but I don’t like other people thinking so without my approval. I pictured Jolly Ranchers, naked Debbie, Tootsie Rolls, and GP bodily fluid all over some dark scary lawn. I had no idea where she was and what was happening to her, or our candy.

I had not a cent to my name as it had all been spent on sugar crack, so my awkward moment became even more awkward when the guy at the counter asked me for my order. How long could I hide out here until they kicked me out? Where was GP? Was he lurking somewhere in the enchilada sauce?

Come on by on Thursday to get answers to all these questions and more when the conclusion to White Lines is unveiled. 

White Lines, The Second Line

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The first time I went over to Debbie’s house, it was obvious why she ate. Her mom and dad were both really big and her house was really small. It was rented, not owned, and on a street that was one lane away from having “interstate” in front of it. The sound of cars whizzing by at German engineering speeds competed with the deafening cry of airplanes landing and taking off at the airport that was mere blocks away.

She wasn’t even zoned for Agnes Risley, but her parents let her switch because she was having huge problems with the bullies in the school for which she was originally zoned. I changed my mind about her parents right away. They cared about Debbie; they were just so poor that they had to move wherever job opportunities presented themselves.

Her dad was a janitor at the school she left. I guess the only thing worse than being a mid-school-year transplant and six-feet-tall was having your dad be the custodian. My empathy grew for Debbie almost as quickly as my pant sizes were about to.

Her parents made me dinner every time I came over. I had liver and onions for the first time there. I actually didn’t know it was liver because I always thought it would be all jello-y wiggly like in the store. I didn’t realize that when it’s cooked it, well, cooks. It was alright, just not good enough to freak out over so much that I’d go so far as do something dramatic like actually eat it again. And I had a layer of grease stuck on the roof of my mouth for about a week.

My first sleep over was on a Friday night that, luckily for me, was allowance night for Debbie. Her dad handed her a crisp five-dollar bill and we were off and running.

“I’m going to show you what I do on Friday night,” Debbie said, mischief beaming out of her dark brown eyes.

I followed her out the front door and onto the practically-a-freeway street. My belly welled up with butterflies. Where was this strange Michegonian taking me? Would guns be involved? Should I have worn two pairs of underwear?

“Where are we goooooooooooiiiiiing?” was muffled by the cars whizzing by coupled with the foot-shorter-I-was-than Debbie. Instead of grabbing a bullhorn and attempting a repeat performance, I hurried my little legs up because that girl hoofed it good. Especially when she was on a mission.

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The alarming chirp-chirp accompanied by the heavy glass doors heaving open, Debbie introduced me to my soon-to-be-favorite-place in the world, the Sev. At least that’s what we tweens-trying-way-too-hard-to-be-cool called it long before the word tween was even a glimmer in the American vernacular’s eye.

 

My love of the Sev was so serious that every single dream I had for an entire year featured a 7-11. Besides simply being a sweet-ass convenience store, the Sev contained a world of consumeristic possibilities from cigarettes to tampons to No-Doz to Slurpees.

She sprinted to the candy aisle and practically lay down on the shiny fluorescent-lit floor.

“Pick out five dollars worth of anything on this bottom shelf. I like everything so I’ll let you pick.”

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Everything I learned in math class came into play. On the bottom shelf were all of the penny candies, which really cost anywhere from a nickel to a dime, but nickel candy sounds about as lame as a dime bag, and are all about as extinct as beepers. Jolly Ranchers were three for five cents. Tootsie Rolls were five cents apiece. Ring pops, Laffy Taffy, Sweet Tarts, Jawbreakers, and these weird skeleton candies in an actual little coffin were all a dime apiece. Anything with banana was out because I hated banana-flavored things. Banana is about as subtle as rape. It takes over any other fantastic taste with its “hi-I’m-banana-I-suck-because-I-taste-like-ass” taste.

Little beads of sweat formed on my brow. I could tell this could be a pivotal moment in our friendship and I didn’t want to lose a friend. I did the math and tossed candies onto Debbie’s stretched out sweatshirt which she, once full, folded in half to transform into a remarkably crafty go-go-gadget candy pouch. When finished, she strongly resembled a crack kangaroo. She hopped up to the counter and dumped our booty out. We waited in frothing anticipation for the clerk to count out every-single-candy that, of course, equaled exactly five dollars. Yay, awesome math student extraordinaire!

This was the Friday night ritual:

  1. Race back home, giddy with anticipation. No candy eaten in transit, even though we both really wanted to.
  2. Arrive and dump out all the candy onto coffee table.
  3. Put ultra gory horror movie in VCR (yup, they too had a VCR – how was it that only my poor friends had VCR’s?)
  4. Devour all the candy during the movie. One at a time.
  5. Go into full sugar coma.
  6. Rinse. Repeat.

The next morning ill from a gnarly sugar hangover, I devised a way to double our sugar intake for next week. Mom picked me up that afternoon.

“Mom, Debbie gets an allowance of five dollars a week,” I said, batting my eyelashes.

And with that, we doubled our prize money.

The next Friday double sugar coma was so intense I was unsure we would ever recover. Our stomach’s ached. Our head’s ached. We felt death approaching.

We couldn’t wait until next Friday so we could do it again.

Not for a moment did either of us ever consider doing anything different with our 10 dollars. We could’ve gone to the movies, which I’d only been to about two at this time. We could’ve gone to Park Lane Mall and bought fifty pairs of earrings at Claire’s. Each. Or we could’ve bought twenty-five pairs and gone to Sparro for pizza and Cokes.

But no, we were addicts. We saw only candy.

 

 

White Lines – The First Line

The Slippery Slope Theory postulates that an unassuming action or event inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating into some significant impact, particularly one of the shitty kind. It’s a lot like this Laurel & Hardy movie I saw where this little pebble got loose at the top of a mountain and turned into a monster rock avalanche almost destroying everything in its path on its way to the bottom.

This is the story of how I tripped and fell right into a huge pile of white powder.

“Debbie is… big,” Mom replied after I enthusiastically asked her what she thought of my new friend.

That’s not exactly what I meant by thought when I asked. I was hoping for “smart,” or “sweet,” or perhaps “nifty,” but most definitely not “big.” “Big” is how one describes a sofa or perhaps a T-Rex, but not a human. At least, that is, if you’re me.

I liked Debbie. We met in Mr. Loman’s sixth grade class. She had pimples and boobs and was approximately six-feet-tall. Yes, she probably could’ve been a linebacker, but I saw in her less football player and more puppy who hadn’t grown into her feet yet. She was like a Chihuahua trapped in a St. Bernard’s body. Puberty was not kind to poor Debbie.

So, of course, I liked her immediately.

I added her to my awkward friend collection the second her huge frame appeared in the sixth grade doorframe, shadowing most of the classroom like Godzilla. Mr. Loman lifted the needle off the class record player, (which is how we hit pause in the 80’s), as we’d been listening to his favorite Beatles song, “Revolution 9.”

“This must be Debbie, our new student who just moved here from Michigan. The painted turtle is Michigan’s state reptile,” and with that, he went right back into “Revolution 9,” as he believed it to have all of the answers to all of the questions of all of the worlds. Every time the number nine came up in conversation, he would repeat, “number nine, number nine, number nine,” about 25 times. Some would consider this annoying; I, on the other hand, believed him to be possibly the coolest human ever. Let’s just say I had an affinity for eclectic types.

Mr. Loman also wouldn’t put up with bullying the classroom so even though most of my bullies were in class with me this year, I was safe during classroom hours. It was actually hilarious to see Tammy get so busted bullying me that she never even looked at me during class for the rest of the year.

Debbie arranged herself into the empty desk kitty-corner from me. She unpacked the contents of her tattered gray backpack into her new desk. She seemed nervous. It was right in the middle of the school year, so I assumed her parents were probably given the same parenting handbook mine were. I think these handbooks were most likely given out wherever alcoholic beverages were being served.

Marie and I shared a secret eyeball moment to confirm Debbie’s acceptance for membership to our underground network of transplants. Our underground was so underground that we didn’t even know we had an underground.

Here’s the new kid chronology since the fourth grade:

  1. Marie = new kid. Weirdo. All alone. Boo.
  2. Marie + Courtney = two. Better. Two is better than one.
  3. Courtney + Marie + Debbie = three. The triumvirate of cool, so cool there must be laser beams and stuff.

It was entirely apropos that The Beatles were playing as she entered, because this, my friends, was destiny.

Note: There was no hierarchy in our movement. Actually, the new kid was the most important because the new kid brought power. Power in numbers. The more of us, the less we’d get bullied. At least in theory. I would later name this the “Bullshit Theory” or “Courtney’s a Delusional Freak Theory,” although the latter is much more fact than theory, but please don’t pull me aside and tell me so because I will vehemently oppose said fact as merely speculation and words may be exchanged. Consider yourself warned.

Nothing spells awkward more than getting stuck in a group of humans who’ve shared history that was B.C. (before Courtney). How many times can one retort, “oh yeah, I’m sure that was really funny, especially if I was actually there?” This later led to my obsession with never missing any event ever, lest something totally awesome happened that I missed that would be recalled at a later time.

My fellow members of the network had also experienced the Waldo-Von-Duchenheimer feeling of getting stuck in a circle jerk of kids sharing memories from when Billy farted in first grade or the memorable second grade field trip to the planetarium. We knew what it was to be uprooted. To have no history. To these kids, we were nothing more than evaporated vapor from Billy’s long lost fart before we appeared on their rearview.

We all ran to something to quell the pain of being outcasts. We sought solace together masked as “hanging out.” Marie and I had Duran Duran. Eve and I had porn and Kools.

And Debbie and I had sugar.

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