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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Blue Girl

"Wake up dude!  C'mon!" says Jason bouncing up and down on the couch cushions.  

Last night I got so drunk I crawled beneath them for warmth and to worm my way away from the all-seeing stare of the sun.  Going to bed at 6:00 am is a bitch.

"Fuck!  Fuck you!" I shove him off and crawl out.  "Oh fuck Jase.  Wait.  Hold on dude.  I'm gonna get sick ok?"

"Ok but hurry up we gotta go."

I stumble to the bathroom, gaze deeply into the stained toilet that always smells of piss because we never clean it.  EVERYTHING comes out in a tidal flood of puke and partially digested bits.

"Holy shit!" laughs Jason from the hall.  "That was like from your soul dude!  If only Mary could see you now!"

"Fuck...", I cough out between gasps and gags, "...fuck you!  Asshole!"

"Hey you gonna eat that half a burrito on the table?  From the smell of your puke, I'd say it was carnitas right?  El Taquito gringo special with some guacamole and pussy hot sauce?  Not Mexican hot for sure because it would burn holes in the floor-"

I slam the door and proceed to dry heave until I collapse on the ground groaning.  Why?  What?  Oh yeah.  Tuesday night.  Cocaine and tequila.  I pull myself up to the sink and mirror.  Eyes like two cherry tomatoes floating in a bowl of oatmeal stare balefully back.  I wash my face and brush my teeth as Jason pounds on the door taunting me.  Fucker.  I only open it when he blows the sweet scent of marijuana under the door crack.

I get dressed and we smoke a lot of weed.  I wish I could go back to sleep under the couch cushions or hell, my futon but Jason will never let me be.  It is a glorious Wednesday morning in the city and we ain't got shit to do.  I watch with disdain as he eats my leftover burrito.  I have a cigarette and a glass of tap water for breakfast.

"I met a guy who introduced me to a guy last night.  A hook up.  Said we can cruise by and pickup" says Jason picking cilantro out of his teeth.

"Pick up what?" I ask.

"Heroin!  What the fuck you think son?"

I shrug, "I don't know man.  That stuff is bad news.  I think I'm more of a weed guy."

"What?  Remember how fucking high smoking that shit got us?  Higher than any fucking weed or pills!  It was like being in your mama's cunt again!  Warm, soft and full of love!" says Jason leering at me.

"Yeah ok" I give in.  The high was pretty fucking amazing if I am remembering correctly but we both drink a lot.  "Where?"

He tells me and I laugh.

"The fucking Loin?  Some random room in the fucking Loin?  And at the end of the alley we turn left and knock?  What the fuck Jase?  Why not just use that weirdo hippie chick at the park?  Dev.  Go find Dev and let me go back to bed."

"Like any drug for sale, you need to expand your contacts" says Jason.  "It's for your own financial well being.  Dev middles.  This dude Sherlock is a source!"

"Sherlock?"

"Well his name is Nate Watson but everyone calls him Sherlock."

"Because he's smart?"

"No!" laughs Jason.  "He's a fucking dumb ass hick from Florida but he's ok.  Let's go!"

"I don't know man-"

"Look" explains Jason, "we are going into the Tenderloin as you have pointed out.  Not the best neighborhood.  And we both know you're a pussy.  But dude, you are a BIG pussy.  Tall, grouchy looking.  You could be mean.  Who knows?  Just don't smile.  Or talk.  C'mon I need you for backup."

And that is how I found my way to my first heroin house and the dead body.  I followed Jason as he walked brazenly and with purpose through crowds of park kids, beggar kids, gutter punks, hobos and crazy, psychotic lost souls.  It's a city thing.  You stare forward, you don't make eye contact and keep moving.  We keep moving until Jason finds the alley.  It's filled with smelly people.  Not smelly hippie people like at the park.  Smelly, dying junkie people.  Zombie crackheads conduct business openly here.  The tang of crack mixes with mentholated cigarettes, humanity and despair as we push through the lost souls.

"Hey man" says a bony older guy in a trench coat blocking our path.  "What are you dudes looking for?  Rocks?  I got rocks holmes, I got rocks, dust, speed-"

"Nah" says Jason casually shoving him aside.

"Ok!  How about a smoke?" says the guy trying to block Jason.

"How about you fuck off?" says Jason.

I see the guy reach into his coat and put my hand on his shoulder.  He whips around and stares at me with the the eyes of a lost animal.  A wild creature, forgotten by men.

"Here" I say holding out a smoke.

Thankfully only his hand comes out of the pocket as his bony fingers reach for the cigarette.  He nods and turns back to the alley.

"Don't feed the animals" scoffs Jason as we approach the end of the alley.

People are everywhere.  They lay on the ground, crouch against the Victorian buildings in the shade and shake.  Most huddle in small groups but some just wander alone.  A girl rushes forward and grabs Jason who shoves her away.

"What the fuck bitch?" he yells at her.

"You holding?  C'mon I have $7 and can get more!  I can make up the $15 if that's what you want baby..."

I stare at the skeleton in rags.  Older than us but ancient from her wounded stare.  Eyes that have seen too much.  Way too much.

"Fuck off!" says Jason.  We come to the door.  It is open and we walk inside.

I follow Jason and my skin tingles.  Nothing is normal.  Nothing is in the right place.  People lay sideways on the ground and stare at us.  Some giggle.  I smell human shit and blood.  Time to go.  But Jason pushes forward.  Then he stops.

And I hear the voice.

"Are you the ambulance people?  I found Alison like this.  I woke up and Alison was like this.  Is she ok?"

Jason turns around.  "Let's go" he says simply.

But I see it.  The Blue Girl lying on the floor.  Her brown eyes are peeled open in pure awe.  Like she saw her God.  Funny how you can tell amazement from just the eyes.  Even eyes that are dead.  Her mouth is obscured with foamy puke.  Her face and neck are blue.  Purple and black limbs with curled hands and feet sprout from the most normal looking and beautiful coral-pink sundress.  But I look at the face.  Oh so blue.  Empyrean blue like the sky at 6 am through our living room window.  When the Darkness is banished from the Earth by the rising sun.  Sol Invictus.

We walk away from this bad dream.  The undead lurkers in the alley no longer shock me.  Jason is silent but keeps a fierce pace.  Out on the street with traffic and sounds of human civilization we slow down a bit.  I stop at a payphone and he looks at me.

"I'm not calling the cops.  They are probably on the way if Sherlock thought we were ambulance people."

"We have to call" I say simply and Jason sighs as he scrounges a cigarette out of his leather jacket and lights it with a shaking hand.

"I'll never call the fucking cops.  She was dead.  You call."

"I will.  What's the address?" I ask.

It is surreal to dial 911 from a payphone as the city operates around us.  Driver's making deliveries.  People coming and going.  Life continues unnoticed, unchecked and not giving one fucking shit about you, me or the Blue Girl.  I tell the address to the 911 lady and hang up as she starts with her questions.  We walk down the sidewalk in the bright sunlight.

"Alright" says Jason.  "Let's go find Dev."