Thursday, July 07, 2005

riding shotgun

by tom nowak

warm with a cool breeze
haight street was booming
wendy and i were to meet jack
in a small cafe on upper haight
the people on the sidewalks were all happy
they smoked weed drank wine and pushed, life was good
we got to the cafe and spotted jack
we went over to his table and said hello
jack asked if i was armed
i said of course
good he replied
i need to pick up some cola, pete, and i need an escort
want the job?
of course man, anytime
we walked to his van
we drove to the freeway on-ramp and headed south
redwood city was the destination

we drove through the dim-lit streets
and snorted coke as we drove
jack pulled up in front of a small stucco covered house
wendy stayed in the car as jack and i went inside
an armed mexican met us at the door
we said hello and he nodded
hey pablo, jack said and pablo said hello
hey, holmes, he said nodding to me
long time no see
yeah i said how goes the world?
is ok, holmes, is very good

well what do you have for me? said jack
six keys of coke, eight keys of weed, high quality
and 20,000 pills of pharm speed
for those of you that need to loose some weight
pablo laughed
not one of us in the group was more than 110 pounds
anything else? jack asked
well from san diego i got some nice purple blotter
and meth from who knows where
ok jack said, i'll take it all
pablo smiled
cash, check or credit card?
we all laughed
jack handed pablo a stack of hundreds
pablo counted out a bunch and handed the rest back
just like mc donalds you get change back he said

we sat and talked for a few moments and snorted the obligatory lines
then jack said thanks and off we went
with pablo's crew to load the shit in the van
we hopped in the van when it was done and wendy smiled at me
jack drove and i sat shotgun, literally
i had a double sawed-off sitting next to the seat
as we crept towards the freeway
a car pulled up next to us
a nice dark colored low rider
the window rolled down
hey,eesee, want to buy some real ones?
jack said no and increased his speed
the car kept up with us
i saw a gun come out of the car's window

i yelled for jack to bend forward
i fired both barrels into the front seat of the car
i don't know if i hit anyone but the car pulled to a stop and no one got out
we hit the freeway and headed back to the city
well, jack said, that was pretty interesting
usually they try and hit me more than once
but that's the price i pay for doing business down here
i laughed and said, yeah i guess
wendy took the shotgun i handed her and reloaded it
she handed it back and i said, no you keep it babe
let me drop this shit off, jack said
and we can go to a party, ok?

sure man, sounds good
yeah at the old place, you remember it? in noe valley
ahh yeah i remembered it all right
it had belonged to a star once
and it was wildly decorated
we dropped the dope off with jack's partner and did the obligatory lines and left
the party is for harris, jack said
harris, i said
yeah he just got home from england
he did three years for us over there
smuggling hash
i wondered what happened to him
jack laughed
jimmy and bill and their old ladies will be there
they just got in tonight
jimmy and bill were friends from home
jimmy had been a drill sergeant and was a wild man
bill had been a captain in army intelligence
he had been stationed in germany and married a german girl
she was the double of eva braun, i never missed a chance to tell her

before we went into the house jack reached into a leather bag he had
here man he said, as he handed me a package
i said what is it?
5,000 hits of purple pyramids
ahh i said, thanks
no problem said jack, thank you
we went inside and moved around
jack went into the bedroom with harris as soon as we got in
and snorted a bunch of coke
people went into and out of the bedroom all night
i talked with clark and jimmy
i showed clark the acid
wow, gimmie some he said
and i peeled off about fifty hits
jimmy took them from me and disappeared
i'm sure everyone would be tabbed before the night was over
clark asked me if he could have some
sure i said, here, and peeled off a hundred
he disappeared
wendy and i strolled the rooms looking at people
we said hello to those we knew and just smiled at those we didn't
the bedroom door opened as we passed and jack said to come in
wendy and i stepped in

jack was there and so was harris
fresh off the plane, fresh from a british jail
hello i said, and put my hand out
hey pete, he said, long time no see
yeah man, how was the jail over there?
well going to jail there is a lot like getting hung
i said what?
he said well at first it's a shock to your system
then you get used to hanging around
we all laughed
i was well taken care of, he said
i didn't give anyone up and i even got the hash sent
yes jack said, and it sold really well
we sat at a long table and jack poured heaps of coke out
we snorted and snorted
and you know what?
the radio in the room went off
an hour had gone by
i smiled and jack reset the radio
we had all gotten into the hourly return to silence

jack left and we talked with harris
wendy stretched out on the bed and purred
harris and i talked old times
we snorted coke all night
at about 4 a.m. we got up and walked through the rooms again
jack had left earlier
jimmy was tripping and having a good time with his old lady

clark, the evil bastard
had given jimmy's brother bill massive amounts of acid
bill was talking weird shit
he was philosophizing about who the hell knows what
jimmy came out and told bill to go sit in the bedroom with mrs bill
jimmy then yelled at clark for giving bill so much acid
well, clark said sheepishly
i thought he could handle it
well he can't, jimmy said
we sat in the kitchen and snorted coke
after about an hour bill came back into the room
he had shaved his moustache off and had makeup on
he also had all his wife's clothes on including nylons
his wife was frantic
bill carried on just talking normal bill stuff
i was having a hard time to keep from laughing, but clark burst out
ahahahahah he said, holy shit bill
bill got indignant and left the room
jimmy looked at clark and said, ok we gotta take him somewhere

we walked bill down the stairs
i guess jimmy and clark were gonna take him to crisis
as we walked away from the door a police car pulled over

shit i thought, armed and dangerous and carrying drugs
the cop nearest us rolled his window down
what the hell is going on?
well, jimmy started to say
and the cop caught a glimpse of bill
bill said, sergeant arrest these men in his best captain's voice
the cop looked at him and then at jimmy

get him off the streets, and they drove off
we all laughed except bill
we got bill into the car
and jimmy, clark and bill drove off
i took wendy's hand and we started the walk home
the radio upstairs stopped
the hour's silence had just happened again

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