Short Story: Dopeman


My mentor always told me this was going to happen.  Why do you want to deal anyway?  This is the stressful side of the business.  Users, now that’s the rush, the relaxation.

Staring at a gun in my face.  Pleading. Begging.  Bargaining with one of my clients not to shoot me.  You have the bag, keep the dope.  Keep your money.  Just let me walk away.

I spit out the two twisty bags of crack I was storing in my mouth.  “Take-it!”

Eventually, they all get greedy. They are junkies for Christ sake! This is what my mentor told me.  Listen, to me, I’m trying to teach you.

I was listening, just never took his words seriously.  Every user is your friend at first.  You are more important than their family and friends.  You are their God, their savior.  Once using turns to addiction, your relationship, it changes.  No longer is your client prompt with crisp dollars.  Now, it’s crumbled stained dollars and even bags of change.  “It’s all there, trust me”.  Never let a customer slide, it shows weakness.  My mentor told me this, but I never took his words seriously.

Stress is looking cross-eyed at the barrel of a gun pointed between the eyes.  More stress is when you hear the gun engaged one slip from the end.

If a client ever turns the tables on you, tell him what he wants to hear.  My mentor’s words.  At this moment I am speechless.

The blue flannel pajama top with ivory colored shorts is an odd combination.  Once you lose the grasp on using, nothing else matters.  My job is to notice this, to prepare.  Unfortunately I was too consumed in just showing up, collecting my form of a check without taxes.

I am afraid to move my head to the right or left, but I suspect other junkies are lurking, seeing what is happening.  At this point, it’s too late.  I’m finished.  Even if he pulls the gun away, I’ve lost control.  Occasionally you need to let your clients know who is in charge-send a message.  I didn’t understand at the time, but now it is clear.

My last ditch effort are the tears I force out.  I tell my client I will give him all the drugs I have, plus ten thousand dollars.  I say I will do anything.

When a hand holding a gun begins trembling, this is a cause for more stress.  I am seconds away from passing out when he slowly pulls the gun away and asks, “You serious about anything?”

I tell him yes.  He puts the gun down at his side, unzips his pants and says, “Well, let’s get started…”

I reach behind my jeans, loosen my belt a little bit, enough for me to pull out my gun out of my pants and with one swing of the barrel knock my client on the pavement.  I scream to let all watching know what is about to happen.  I pull the trigger, sending a message.

If you don’t pull the trigger, someone else will.  My mentor’s words, months ago.  This is before he started using and became an over zealous junkie.  I’m going to miss his words.


About Pulp Scribbler

The Writing of David S. Grant View all posts by Pulp Scribbler

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