Thursday, February 17, 2005


to a crackhead.

True story.

This morning, I park my car, put on my headphones and trudge toward work. As I'm leaving the parking lot, two guys greet each other in the middle of the street. They hug, slap each other on the back, and say, "Hey man, how you feel?" I turn up Garbage singing "Only Happy When It Rains" and cross the street. The two guys are done with their reunion, and sure enough, the scuzzier looking one turns and walks parallel to me. 1, 2, 3... on cue, he says, "Excuse me..." I look at him without turning my head. 4, 5, 6... again, "Excuse me..." I give him a frown and the universal signal for "make it snappy." He holds out some loose change in one hand, points to it and asks me for a quarter.

7, 8, 9...

"Why didn't you get one from the guy you just said hello to?"

"Aw, he said he was in a hurry..."



He recoils, but he's not done. "Well, yeah, come to think of it, you do look like you're kind of in a hurry."

Good recovery. He wants to play. Or anyway, he's had to think on his feet before.

I'm almost halfway to the door. I could just wave him off, but I'm pumped full of my morning drug, Starbucks premium blend. "So that's it," I say. "That's your rap, that's the best you got, you're just gonna ask, no story, no nothing?"

He's quick. "What do you want me to do, a little song and dance?" he says. Then he adds, "For a quarter?"


...but I rein it in. "Well, if it's not important enough for you to put some effort into, why should it be important enough for me to give it to you?"

He stops, considers this, but then goes back to Plan A, just outright asking. Go with what you know. "No," I tell him, "fuck you. Go work on your game! You got to show me something, man, you got to bring your A-game. Get the fuck out of here with that weak shit!"

We're at the end of the alley. He turns right and heads toward the Kwik-E-Mart. I turn left and head to my job with the state.

And as I sit and write this, Billy Corgan howls, "despiteallmyrageIamstilljustaratinacage."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's just a quarter you cheap fuck