I didn't like people who gave out spare change to street people. None of my friends give out change to someone to support their habit. I was totally against it. Ever since I lived on the corner of 16th and Mission, and saw a guy get his head beaten in for no reason I have adopted this attitude. Giving out money doesn't solve the problem. It doesn't solve anything.

Night came and I woke up from a horrible hangover. My friend Dave came over to get together and go to some bars. Dave and I went together down to the liquor store at 17th and Mission. We bought a 24-pack case of Budweiser. On the way home, we passed out a few beers, to whoever was around. I have figured my luck of not ever getting robbed and beaten up on this street was that these people liked me. We sang "We Are The World." We told a few guys that we're having a party at the end of the month. I don't expect them to show up. I walked into the porno video shop and handed the young guy there, who handed out the quarters, a beer. He said thanks. I met him before at some parties. On the way home, I gave out about ten, twelve beers, and felt good about myself. None of this spare change shit. Cut out the middle man. We got home to the penthouse and drank what's left. Nothing happening tonight. Soon, we finished the beers. Now I regretted being Santa Claus.

It was 1:30 so we made another trip to the liquor store at 16th and Valencia where some old Australian guy was working. He knew me well, so he gave me a deal. As we walked by Esta Noche, a disheveled woman walked out. Dave talked with her. Somehow, he talked her into coming back with us. We drank a few beers together. This woman looked Mexican, wore Levi's, and was uncommonly masculine. Dave kept saying to her "Hey, dude." And she told him "Hey, I'm not a dude!" I asked her what she did. She told us that she was an architect. I knew that she was lying but I shook my head up and down. So before we had done anything the architect had the great idea of getting her friend and buying some crack. Dave agreed before I could say anything.

Esta Noche was where the drag queens hung out, so it was odd to see this woman hanging out there. After a few minutes, the architect found her friend. She asked me "Doesn't she look like Paula Abdul?" I shook my head and smiled. This woman looked nothing like Paula Abdul. She wore cowboy boots, Levi's, a baseball jacket, and a cap. Paula had this nervous drug twitch, and was constantly wiping her nose. We found a crack dealer in an alley. Dave and the dealer went together. Dave gave him thirty-five dollars.
Love bad. Addiction good.

We entered my apartment and sat down in the living room. We walked back to the rooftop, the architect broke out a pipe, and we smoked the stuff. I took a little hit from the glass pipe. Things started to get hectic. I felt like cleaning up the apartment. Dave and the architect went outside together, which left me with Paula Abdul, who was simultaneously wiping her nose and rubbing her neck. We had a conversation, but nothing was said. So this was feminism, I thought. I started to get paranoid. I talked to Dave outside, alone.
"What's going on?"

"They'll have sex with us, but they want more crack" Dave explained.

"I'm not going back out. Someone will probably hit us over the head with a two by four."
We had a big argument about whether we should go out. I didn't feel like doing it with Paula. She wasn't my type. The drugs had an effect on me and I didn't want to touch anybody. Otherwise I would have given her a go. So Dave ended up giving the architect twenty dollars, and they left to get more, or who knows?

"I don't think that they are coming back" Dave said.

"Yeah, you have a flair for the obvious. I thought we had a deal."

And they didn't come back. I could imagine being set up, being lead into an alley, and getting jumped. That was how it worked. People convinced you that you're having a good time, and they get you when you're least expecting it. I knew where the architect was taking me. I knew all about love.

I knew that I was an expert with women. I knew more about them than most people. I could tell you many things you never knew. But I digress.

So Dave and I finished the beers we had, and we must have passed out at about five in the morning. The next afternoon when I woke up, I was really sick. That speed sickness you get. Every time I got up, I would feel like throwing up. I stayed in bed, tried to watch football, but the players became multiplied and I didn't know what game I was watching. I had double vision. After some rest, I went to the bathroom and threw up. Then, later, I went to the liquor store and bought a Hawaiian Punch and a Calistoga. I drank the Hawaiian Punch, got sick again, ran outside on the roof.

Hours later I tried to drink the Calistoga, and immediately the water came out like a fire hydrant. Dave asked if I was all right. The best plan was to stay horizontal, and not to walk at all. Just close my eyes and stay still. I would never use any drugs again. I wondered if Dave had any more of that Valium.

I figured if I put my head between my knees, and my hands over my head I would be fine. Horrible love. Close my eyes and shut off the world. If I was flexible enough so that I could stick my head up my asshole that would be better.

A few months later, I saw the architect in front of the welfare office, walking towards me on the sidewalk. She was wearing black vinyl pants, a tank-top. She was very tough looking. I stood aside and made sure I didn't get in her way. I felt threatened for a second, then I passed by and never saw her again. Only in my dreams. Drugs bad.

I remembered when I was ten years old. I used to take off my clothes and tie myself up and thrash around in an empty bathtub. I used to be very innocent. Now, I needed new taboos.


    

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