Shouldn’t You Be Home?

I haven’t bothered changing out of work clothes. I’m eager for my nose to stop running, and my legs feel like they’re trying to find a new place to live. A home where the owner won’t bruise them with a wire dog brush at 2am.  I decide at the last minute to let the dogs out. My parents paid the security deposit, and dog urine is hard to get out of white carpet. I just need to get out of the penthouse before Denny gets home and asks me where I’m going. I don’t feel like making up another school project.

The dress shoes my mom bought for me pinch my toes as I walk down the hill to Fifth Ave. We should have never moved here, it’s too easy for me to get what I want. The only thing I have going for me is that the dealers won’t deliver to my apartment like they did in D.C.

But I can have them valet your car”

“Man, you know I’m on foot”

I call my guy when I’m halfway down the hill. He’s at his usual spot, outside the homeless shelter. Everyone there knows my name already. It’s only been three weeks. They call out “Nick!” and ask for money. I keep my eyes down and look for my guy.

I finally spot Drey. He looks like he’s 14 and has high white Nike socks on. I prefer my dealers to border on adolescence, so I know they aren’t under-covers. I walk with him around the corner and tell him I have $100. He peels 10 wax bags off a roll from his sock.

“Don’t your parent’s wonder where you’re at?”

He doesn’t answer me since he’s counting. When he hands the bags to me I take a different approach.

“Don’t you want to do something else with your life?”

He looks at my running nose and wrinkled tie and shirt.

“Like you?”

“I don’t do this all day…besides I think this is the last time”

“I’ll see you tomorrow” he says when I hand him the money.

I put headphones in and start walking up the hill. When I get halfway I stop at an empty parking lot and sit on the pavement. I pour two bags out onto the screen of my phone and use a twenty to snort them. I tilt my head back to encourage the drip.

I’m well again. Ready to deal with that bitch Hannah in the lobby. She keeps asking me about the valet bill. Who cares when I pay it Hannah, it’s not like I’m going anywhere.

I stand up and consider deleting my dealer’s number. I’ll just be mad at myself tomorrow when I have to sort through the addicts on Fifth Ave. Having a knife pulled on you never gets any easier.

Instead I call Denny and ask him to pick up some vodka on his way home. Without it I’ll be sick by morning. I can’t call off work anymore or I’ll have to sit through another awkward meeting with HR. I’m all out of fake years for the year.

At home I hide the bags of heroin in the safe with the checkbooks and birth certificates. There’s no way Denny will look near the checks. I handle the finances. We both prefer it this way.

I pull a check out of the book for my secret account. I make it out to cash for $200. In the memo line I write “parking authority”.

I know I’ll need the money tomorrow.

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