by George Potter
August 10, 2006
But no. I know what he wants. And he's not getting it. He's an asshole, and he ate all the ice cream I bought with my own personal money. Plus, he doesn't bathe often. Plus, he's my mom's ex-boyfriend and there are just some bitches I don't fuck after.
Me and Alicia are licking out the insides of a bunch of cigarette cellophanes we found in her couch. Some pillheads use them to bust. Lots of dope sticks to the sides. I know it's pathetic. It's also fucking ridiculous because yesterday was the 15th and Gerber's dumb ass got his medicine and you'd think somebody could cut out a goddam line for somebody.
"This is pathetic." Alicia says, like she just realized it, and is blaming me. Bitch sat there and licked out ten cigarette cellophanes before realizing she was geeking, I guess. They were the crappier looking ten, anyway. Sure, it was her couch, but it was my idea. We were hoping to luck into a couple pills. Gerber gets more traffic than the Wal-Mart parking lot. Buying on the right days, selling on the wrong -- or just looking for a place to bust and cut. They lose a lot of shit, pillheads. Especially the old ones.
Plus, I've been crashing here for weeks. It's practically my couch too.
Gerber leaves for work and for once isn't a total dick. He lays us out two purples and a peach, making a big show. He even leaves a five to bust with and tells us to get some breakfast up the road with it.
"The two purples are for you." he tells me as he walks out, and grins nasty. Pig.
Alicia is glaring from her fat little face. She has hair the color of dirt, and it frizzes. She's almost pretty though.
"You are gonna share, right?" she says, and she's almost already crying. Fucking hell. What a baby. She's a feeb. She doesn't get it. I think she only gets high because I do. She doesn't understand about the world. Or control.
"Maybe." I say.
I sort of do. I give her one purple and keep the peach. Just in case. She doesn't like it much but accepts it. She has to. She's my best friend.
Two purple little footballs, wrapped in a five.
What a pretty pretty burn.
Wait for the drain. Cock the head back.
This dude I fucked around with for a while told me it was stupid to snort my nerve. He said it was designed to be digested by stomach acid, that it was useless until it dissoved in your guts. Said it was psycho-something that I got off so fast.
Fuck him. Guess I'm psycho-something.
Plus, I like the burn.
Plus, I like the drain.
He asks me the usual question. It's rarely the first, but it always comes.
"Sixteen." I tell him.
He doesn't even smile. "So you're twelve then."
Asshole. I'm fourteen and a half. I almost blush, but fight it back. Blushing is fucking gay.
"Do I look twelve?" I say, and give him the look. I swivel my hips around and lean in. I hope I don't look retarded. I'm still working on this.
He smiles, finally. "Depends on the twelve year old."
I roll my eyes at him. "So do you wanna go party or not?"
He shakes his head and climbs into his car. "I find it funny that you told me you were sixteen. That's not legal either. If you're gonna lie, girl, go all the way."
Then the asshole pulls out and almost runs off with my french toast strips.
"I'll bet the only time you went all the way was with your daddy you fucking faggot!" I scream at him as he drives off. Alicia -- who's been moping around by the corner of the Burger King because the guy didn't even glance at her -- busts out laughing.
"Shut up!" I scream at her, sending her back to mope land.
Goddam. I hate being turned down. Hate.
I need another nerve.
I bust the peach when we get back. I'm nice and cut Alicia out a little line.
"At least they always talk to you." she says, like that's supposed to make me feel better. "They always talk to you. They don't even look at me."
I'm still pissed about that faggot, so I decide to be a bitch. I lead Alicia into her bedroom and line us up in front of the mirror.
"It's nature. Look at me. Look at you."
She narrows her eyes, bouncing anger off the mirror. "My boobs are bigger."
"But saggy. Only weirdos like saggy tits."
She starts to say something else, but I cut her off.
"I'm prettier, and have nicer hair. I'm a blonde. I have a really really cute ass and long legs. You have a big dumpy ass and short stumpy legs. Plus, you slump around like a fucking hunchback. Plus, you wear ugly clothes."
Of course she's crying at this point. Big baby. I'm not done being a bitch though.
"But the worst is your pizza face. And the fact that you don't put out anywhere near fast enough."
And all of a sudden Alicia isn't crying any more. Instead she's looking at me with hard little eyes, face all scrunched and twisted and mean.
"Maybe you're the one not putting out fast enough."
"What?" I really don't know what she's talking about.
She laughs, and it's mean too. "You think my Dad is gonna keep you up unless you give him some soon?"
I'm actually shocked. I start to scream out something but it's my turn to be cut off.
"I heard him talking to that one dude last night, after you passed out. He said if you didn't put out by tomorrow night he was tossing your ass."
"Fuck you!" I manage to scream. I'm immediatly pissed, and shaky. I'm gonna kill this bitch. She ruined the tiny buzz I had. "What? You got the hots for Daddy, bitch?"
"Fuck you!" Alicia screams right back. "He never gives me anything since you showed up! He never even looks at me!"
"He doesn't want me any more!"
We both stop. Neither one of us can believe she said it. Her face looks ready to explode. I can't help it. I laugh.
"You sick little slut!"
Her face does explode. She roars:
"Pay your fucking rent, whore!"
She lunges at me and theres this pain, and this flash, and these stars and then the world is black and fluttering into light again and my head aches and I'm on the ground and someone is screaming "Pay the rent, whore!" over and over.
Then theres another flash, and black again, and a long, dark thumping time and when I wake up I'm in the parking lot and people are staring and I can't believe that fat little bitch beat my ass and kicked me out.
I thought she was my best friend.
After a minute I get up and walk off, before the cops come.
I go back to the Burger king, and clean up in the bathroom and cry a little bit.
Fuck them. Alicia and her fucking smelly Dad.
It was a shithole anyway.
"Eighteen." I tell him. What the hell. That faggot might be on to something.
"Cool." he says. "You're incredibly hot."
I smile. It makes my head hurt. This dude isn't very hot. He's not ugly, at least. And he smells clean. Plus, he has a nice Mazda. Plus, he has shitloads of dope.
He starts rattling bottles in the Walgreens bag. "So, uh, what are you into. Pain aid?" His voice cracks on the last word. Wow. He must really be horny.
"Nerve." I say. "I need nerve."
"Cool. Uh. Hmm. How many?"
"Well, if I do more than four I get way too wild."
He fumbles with the childproof cap and hands me seven. Men are so fucking easy. I put two in my pocket and bust five. Burn. Drain. Mmmm.
We start making out and surprise, surprise! The boy can actually kiss and he doesn't immediatly start mauling my tits or make a head dive towards my crotch. He actually puts his hands on my shoulders and rubs my back. Nice. I'm gonna have to get me a phone number.
At first I can't enjoy it because I'm still pissed about that dad-fucker Alicia. But after a few minutes the nerve starts to kick in and the whole world starts to shine and go golden and I'm wet and in his lap and manage to make it real hot and dirty and it's sweet because he actually tells me he loves me and I actually manage to come this time.
The world is backing up and I'm in control and it's so fucking nice.
It's a good think we're parked way out in the boonies, because we fall asleep all tangled together and when we wake up it's getting on toward evening.
He's real shy and sweet and blushes. He takes me back to the Burger King where he found me. He gives me two more purples and mutters something and is gone.
Fuck. I forgot to get the number.
It's ugly hot, even though the sun is basically gone. I think about the dad-fucking situation and shudder. I wonder where I'll sleep tonight.
I stand there for an hour.
"Twenty one." I tell him. Go for the gold, I guess.
He doesn't believe me and doesn't care. He's quick at least -- pump pump pow. Four more pretty purples for thirty seconds of legs spread. Can't beat it.
We're riding and the radio is playing. It's almost dark. I feel like a baloon that's been glued to the helium nozzle -- growing bigger and lighter at the same time, moving towards explosion.
What I love about nerve is the way it makes you no longer give a fuck about the world. It's like you step outside of the world and can look at it from a place where it can't hurt you.
I hate the fucking world. It's dirty and sharp and ugly and full of mean fucking people who like to hurt you for fun.
It's pretty and interesting when you just look at it from outside, though. Like a painting of something scary. You can control it then. You get to be in charge. You can stop looking, or look at something else.
And sometimes, at the right point, you can tell it what to do.
Damn. I have a black eye.
How did I get back to this Burger King?
"I'm twelve years old." I slur. It seems funny. "Ain't even no hair down there, for real." And I laugh my ass off.
The old man just looks at me. Then he sighs. He waits for me to stop laughing. It's really dark now, and raining, and the sound of the windshield wipers and the tires on pavement is sweet and soft and just nice nice.
"Ten years ago I'd have felt honor bound to take you to the hospital to have your stomach pumped." the old man says. He has nice white hair and I wonder who the fuck he's talking to. Somebody sick, I figure.
"These days I'd probably be arrested." He sighs again. I'll bet he sighs a lot, being so old and white headed. "Do you even have a home?"
"Did you give me my pills yet?" I ask. I can't remember. "Have we already fucked?"
He seems to shrink. "Those pills will kill you eventually. What are you hiding from?"
"World." I say.
"The world is just where things happen. You can't hide from it. What are you really hiding from?"
"Do you even want to fuck?" I ask. "Listen, man. I only need two more to be right there. Right fucking there, man." It comes out sounding more hateful than I meant.
The car slows. Stops. My door lock pops open.
"Please get out." he says.
I'm wandering down the road in the rain when I remember the other two in my pocket.
I just eat them. Fuck it.
"Burger King." I say. It makes sense sorta.
"She's fucked beyond belief." one of the guys mutters. There are either three or four. I'm between two in the back seat.
"My daddy died a long time ago. He never tried to fuck me." I swear.
"My mommy drank so much she can't talk."
Whispers. They want to take me somewhere. I hope it's nice.
"I got my period when I was nine." I explain.
The road is bumpy. It's dark.
"People are nice when you let them touch you."
Going up a hill. I feel a little sick.
"I hate the world."
Stopped. I'm being carried. I laugh. I'm floating.
"I'm in control." I remind them. "I command it all."
I can stretch out. I can feel leaves. I can hear them crackle.
I feel weight and motion. Rhythym and laughter.
I step outside the world. I watch.
It's interesting when it can't hurt you.
It's a dream and I know it. A dream outside the world. Interesting and pretty.
I'm with Gerber and Alicia, and we're back at the little carnival we visited a week ago.
We stop beside a t-shirt booth and Gerber promises me a surprise. I can't stand to wait so I make time speed up the way you can when you're outside the world.
He hands me the shirt. The airbrushed message on the front still gleams a little wet in the carny light.
Right there, big purple cotton candy letters, signed with a flourish:
I squeal like a goofy kid. It's funny and cool. I sneak behind the booth and change into it, letting Gerber catch a little glimpse for being sweet and generous. He even spelled it right. I hate when people spell it with a Z. It's Xan. Like...an empress or something. Empress Xan.
"How does it look?" I ask.
He grins like a fool, eyes dancing.
"Wake up." he says.
"Fourteen and a half." I say. "Stop shaking me."
"Then wake up." Gerber says, annoyed. "Fourteen and a half fuckin' footballs?"
"Fourteen footballs and the peach you gave me, dumbass." I try to say, but only mush comes out.
Time passes. Eventually the world comes back. Sorta.
"No wonder you're zonked."
I'm behind the dumpster at the Burger King. I hurt. There's blood. I don't remember much. Good thing. Prettier that way.
More time. I cry a little, and wonder why. Gerber finally gives up and carries me to the car.
He babies me on the way home. He pets me. He apologizes about Alicia. He tells me he loves me and wants me and age is just a number and asks why won't I just let him take care of me.
I'm in and out of the world. I try to respond to his touch, because I really just want to go somewhere familiar and sleep.
In and out of the world. It always comes back. So you always have to find more medicine. You always have to find something to take the edge off. Something to numb the nerves.
It always comes back.
I'm past the point. The world is two poles that shimmer into and out of each other, reversing and tearing at my center.
Alicia cries and begs forgiveness and helps give me a bath and cuddles up beside me and tells me she loves me like a sister and wants us to be family.
Gerber gives her a minute, then runs her off and takes her place. He begs. He pleads. He cries.
Finally he puts the bottle in my hand. 90 count. A fortune. A treasure. Days and days of not worrying. No searching. No more doling out. No more waiting. My bottle. My control.
Something like peace.
"Please." he says.
I give up.
I roll over and into his arms. I force my eyes open.
"Be easy." I say. "Sore."
He is. Very gentle. It doesn't take long. When he finishes he whispers into my ear, voice choked:
And he sleeps.
Fading. This is the moment. I will be sick when I wake up. But that's hours and eternities away.
This is the moment.
I squeeze the bottle in my hand, drifting away.
90 count. A fortune. A treasure. Days and days of no worries. No searching.
Something like peace.