{ l o s t }


We pulled into an AM/PM market and I popped out to use the ATM inside.

A young guy in flannel swung the door open and looked at me and gave a little "been there, man" grin. I nodded my head and grabbed the door, thinking to myself how much I hated that sympathetic bullshit. Holding the door, I stared at the blue and orange sign on the corner, towering two stories and so carefully planted in a triangular island filled with flowers. It was the perfect irony, AM/PM – the store that never sleeps, baby.

The machine slid the cash out and I snagged my account statement, shoving it into my pocket without checking how much I had left. On the odd occasion that I balanced my checkbook, I would scan all those cash withdrawal receipts and a knot would build in my stomach as I once again "noticed" the pattern of withdrawal times ranging between 3 and 6am.

As soon as I hopped back into Sully's ride, Ted did a little jig in the front seat and hummed this unsettling little song that he often hummed in that nervous, anxious anticipation you get right before.

We arrived and weaved through a maze of turns ending up in a seriously scummy apartment complex. There were all sorts of guys mulling around the covered parking area, all waiting for some dumb ass white guys like us to make their fix worthwhile. One of the guys who our regular came over and gave the car a look-over like he hadn't seen us for the last six mornings in the same car at the same time.

"Fuck you want?" he said and shrugged his shoulders, the oversized Raiders jacket sliding around his bony frame. What a prick, I thought, we support these low-life junkies and they still through this 'tude like Snoop-fucking-dog. What an unbelievable loser.

{ continued }