|Nowadays I get my weed from a Trini guy who lives a few blocks away. I was introduced to him by my friend on the block, the super. He knew I wasn’t happy with the stuff I had been getting – awful Mexican brick weed that smelled like soap, tasted like chemicals and gave you a headache. But at $25 a quarter ounce, it was easy on the pocket. The secret? Soak it for ten to fifteen minutes and change the water. Do that three times. It works pretty well and seems to make the experience a little more trippy and floaty. The water you throw out is a dull urine yellow and smells. Smells like a scraggly field in Mexico, and home-brewed pesticides.
Let it dry on a paper towel, or speed things up by drying in a pan. Which is what you are going to end up doing anyway, because you didn’t have the foresight to start another batch soaking ahead of time. Because you were stoned.
While walking around with my friend one day I was introduced to the guy as we passed by a prim little apartment building in the neighborhood. I was vouched for, in the language of these things. “He’s cool, man.” “Take care of him.” I got a phone number, and before long I used it.
When you want some weed, you call. I stick to calling during business hours. I don’t call my guy before noon on the weekend or anytime after midnight, especially during the week. He has a day job, a family. He’s not some kid on the corner.
So business hours are pretty much five to ten PM on weekdays, after he gets home from work and before he goes to bed. And weekends. When you call, you tell him how much you want and that you’ll be over in a few. Walk the two blocks, call again, and he comes down. You say hi, and the two of you walk slowly down the block. People may be going in and out of the building, or walking by on the sidewalk so you wait for a good break in the foot traffic, exchange goods with a handshake that I’m still not good at, and off you go.
This last time he was already outside when I got there, coming back from the store. I don’t know if I reached a new level of trust or if he just didn’t want to have to come back down, but he told me to come up with him. Maybe a bit of each.
The apartment seemed crowded. The living room had a couch folded out into a bed, and a cot alongside it. The shades were drawn, and shadowy piles of blankets were lit by the harsh light from the hallway. As we came in, my guy said something to an unseen person down the dark hallway.
He took his coat off and went into the kitchen and this is when I saw the mouse. It was stuck on a glue pad out in the open near the kitchen entrance, and I remember it being white and pink. My guy’s little dog was sniffing it as he came back in from the kitchen with a broomstick.
The mouse was moving. His feet weren’t moving, they were stuck to the glue pad. But his body was moving, writhing above his unmoving feet like a malfunctioning robot. Eyes wide.
My guy put one end of the broomstick on the mouse’s head and leaned on it. There must have been a thought, “What is this?” Fear. Pressure against the head. An explosion of color and sound. He did it thoroughly, and it’s the right thing to do. Doing it halfway is the worst possible thing.
He went back into the kitchen and got my stuff, and the mouse’s tiny death faded against the sweet, piney smell of the bag in my hand. Good stuff. And on my way out, I got new information. Packs of Newports and Marlboro Lights, available at a good discount. I’m not a smoker, but I’ll keep it in mind.