The start of a novel i really need a second opinion on.
|THE BUBBLEGUM GOON|
“And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons”- Bob Dylan
Paublo García had always had a glint in his eye. You could tell he viewed life as a race and that he was intent on winning, whatever the cost. This on the one hand gave him an admirable tenacity, and a tangible desperation to seize every moment of every day. On the other hand, it gave him a flagrant disregard for the devastation he may wreak in the process. However, none of this would occur to you on first meeting the jocular, outgoing boy with a rye smile that was Paublo Garcia.
Paublo’s father had built the garage in order to house his new Camaro. The car was his pride and joy. As black as coal and ridiculously fast, as long as it didn’t have to turn. Where ever he drove it he would park in the most prominent of spots. I remember when Paublo and me still went to school he would sometimes come and pick us up. He would park it in the middle of the school gates. Like a giant inflatable flouresant penis it was hard to ignore and his dad would just stand there and smile and nod like a C list celebrity basking in his thirty seconds of fame.
Of course his dad realised that such a nice car was going to require a nice garage and as a result, while the ink on the car’s import and purchase forms was still wet, he was already drawing up plans for the mother of all garage defense systems. Salesmen called, advertising laser censored intruder detecting systems, pneumatic electric multi-lock defended doors and bullet proof all-round impenetrability. He lapped it up and bought all the most excessive and cutting edge systems. The garage was more defended than the house a fact that was not missed by Paublo’s mother and that led to constant battles throughout the García household.
“Why do you spend all this money on your garage and your car? We don’t even have an alarm on the house.”
“We don’t having anything that expensive in the house”
“Then why did you spend all that money on a flashy car!!”
“Querida, you knew when you married me I was not a rational man…”
And so the arguments would continue bouncing around the house. While like pigheaded generals, the two parents waged a war of attrition against each other. They remained completely unaware of the activities of their son.
Paublo had never been satisfied with his economic standing. Neither had his mother but she had decided the best way to improve it was to badger his father. Paublo though had decided Crystal Meth was the answer. With a bunch of headache pills, PVC tubes and a collection of different chemicals from near the paint thining section of a hardware shop Paublo embarked on his first entrepreneurial scheme. The start up costs were low, most of the ingredients cost him a pittance and Paublo developed a knack for spotting and salvaging suitable pots and pans for the distillation process. But this was no easy process. Most Meth Labs were discovered by police because they were burning down.
Paublo hollowed out his wardrobe bottom to store all the chemicals and apparatus. His bedroom had always been dominated by a huge wardrobe in the corner, so storage space was not a problem. He started to wonder where exactly he could carry out his little experiment. It needed to be somewhere secure, somewhere private; somewhere he would not be interrupted.
One sunny Saturday Paublo bid goodbye to his parents as they set off in the Camaro to visit relatives, friends, or someone. With the dusk kicked up by the Camaro still eddying in the air at the end of the sun-splashed lane, Paublo set off into the darkness of the garage.
I don’t think Dereham high could every be fully ready for the full fire and brimstone wrath of Paublo Garcia. Going to school with him was like watching a slow motion film of a fox in a chicken coup.
The first I heard of the entire project was on the Monday after at school. When Paublo asked me in English if I wanted a kilogram of Crystal Meth. “What the fuck?” I whispered urgently under my breath. “Are you fucking crazy!? What would I do with an entire fucking kilogram of a highly illegal substance?” Thinking back I swore a lot more then. I guess it took less to shock me. A lot can change in two years.
“I dunno. Snort it? Smoke it? Sell it?” Paublo speculated in a slightly agitated manner. This manner was not entirely ill founded for Paublo had got quite carried away with his Meth production. After spending a good few hours creating a small test sample he had become enthused with his success, happy that he had somehow stumbled across something he was naturally very good at. Using some of the fruits of his labour to catalyze him he stayed up all through the night and the whole of the next day cooking his chemical brews until he had more Meth’s than he had ever dreamed of. All this he explained to me in the English class, with the studied nonchalance of a man who did not really know what he was doing but was desperate to appear confident doing it.
“What the fuck are you going to do with a kilogram of Crystal Meth?” At this point I was more than a little perturbed at the severity of what I was being dragged into.
“Sell it of course.” He replied with a rye smile. “It says on wikipedia its worth $150 a gram, that’s a hundred and fifty thousand dollar in cash.”
“Paublo, what fucking planet are you living on. This is Dereham not Harlem or Hells Kitchen. There are no Meth addicts hanging on the corners of Dereham high street.”
“We can sell it in mixers at parties and build up contacts”
“We? You must be fucking joking I am not getting into this whole world of shit with you.”
And I didn’t. I stayed on the outside of the whole operation watching Paublo claw his way into a grimy underworld he seemed strangely suited to. He bought an expensive fur coat and a trilby and pranced around in them like a whirling dervish; quickly going from one of the most inconspicuous members of the school to a boy that seemed to have a huge neon sign saying pharmacist above his head.
The potheads didn’t really know what to make of Paublo at first. They were like a group of monkey’s prodding an apple, waiting to see how it reacted. One of them ventured in first and made a small purchase. After a few days it dawned on the monkeys that the apple was, a very ripe apple and all descended on it at once. The school acted like a market. It brought buyers and sellers into close contact on neutral territory. I never realised how quickly demand can develop for new goods and services.