[Short Story] Walking Through Duane Reade On Acid

duane reade

The acid kicks in as soon as I walk through the doors of Duane Reade. I walk straight into a seasonal isle and am blocked by two guys having a conversation about what it takes in order to be considered a king pin in the drug world. They agree that once you move product across state lines you have reached this status. They notice me and let me pass by.

The fluorescent lights are freaking me out so I take a left and find myself in the beer aisle. Two guys (one wearing a cape, the other a scarf and tee shirt) grab a six pack, then a twelve pack and then decide on a thirty pack because they can send in a for a blow up chair. “Dude, always take a free chair.” Says the guy wearing a cape. The guy in a tee shirt and scarf nods approvingly.

Next, I find myself in some random aisle with a lamp so I rub it just in case a genie pops out. Next to the lamps are the condoms. A girl is looking at them with her friends and says “It’s not exactly date night, it’s more like rape night!” She says this excitingly though so no need of concern. She then says something about Morrissey. A voice inside me says stay away from any girl that likes Morrissey, she is likely insane.

Next I walk by the pharmacy offering free flu shots. I wonder if it’s the “shot” like a heroin junkie or just the mist like a light cocaine bump. I look closer and realize the pharmacy is closed and move on, almost knocking over a sunglasses display. I stare at a pair of aviators and wonder if I should wear sunglasses more often. Maybe I’d feel like a rock star, or I could wear a hat pulled down and be incognito. Of course, no one knows me, so… I notice a brunette dressed in a United Airlines flight attendant outfit, she is next to a pilot who is looking at aviators. I’m assuming he is a pilot because he looks like the dad from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Regardless, I hope they have a good date night and not a rape night. For what seems like an hour I’m lost inside a paradox of nail polish. Eventually someone guides me away.

A voice tells me to walk left and there is some cheap jewelry. Why is it whenever I walk by jewelry I fantasize about robbing all of it? There is a mirror and I catch myself in my hoodie, I put up the hood and briefly fantasize about being in a rap battle. Someone is pulling my arm…

“Dude, what are you doing?” It’s my friend James. I just look at him and tell him it’s the acid.

He stares at me and tells me that I didn’t take acid, he was with me all day. “Dude, this is the just the way it is at Duane Reade.” He nods.

“Why are we here?” I ask.

“You wanted tissues.” He points one aisle over. “Oh yeah, I always like to have tissues in case someone is bleeding. Makes me feel like a doctor.”

James stops me and says, “Did you even hear what I said about Morrissey?”

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About Pulp Scribbler

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

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