Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cheers to White Mike


 “Hey what’s up man?” I heard a voice ask. Oh shit it was…. that guy. He’d caught my eye once or twice walking back from class. We also appeared to share some mutual friends. My roommates (in a brief, somewhat curt manner) said they knew him but didn’t have much else to say about it… Oh well. 

The world seemed different after being straight. Colors are a little brighter, managing one's emotions became a little trickier and ordinary things like people sitting on public benches giving you the appearance that they were minding their own business and the smell of cigarette smoke seem to pop out a little more. I got the impression that whoever he was, he’d noticed me once or twice as well.
He seemed anxious, like he was always waiting for something but in all honesty, it was hard to hone in on what it was exactly. He was by all appearances a normal college student. Upper middle class brand names written all over him, the only thing that gave him away other than his (what looked like) blood dabbed designer sleeves, was the faint hint of desperation in his voice. It was a language I was well versed in.

“Hey, you were at Raleigh’s party a couple nights ago right? Keegan was there and…”

“Yeah uh, Mike. White Mike,” he said his arm already outstretched anticipating the handshake.

His grip was firm, persistent eye contact. A little too polished...  I should have known what was coming.

“So uh, shit man. Don’t take this the wrong way but I heard you might know where to find some H?”

After taking a step back and letting out a strained “Uhhhh” I answered with a calm;

 “Nah man Keegan was probably just bullshittin and whatnot. I couldn’t tell ya… I try not to fuck around with anything too crazy these days.”

“Oh yeah, I gotcha,” he said. His eyes darting, scanning me up and down. The mask was cracking.

 “I’ve been clean for two weeks so far. Shit’s hard man, ya know? I’m always thinking about that one last hit,” he said after letting out a sigh

“I certainly do,” I said while lighting a cigarette.

“Care for one?”

“Shit, yeah. Thanks man?” the further he stretched his arm out, the easier it was to spot his tracks.

“So how long were you on? I never really got into H. Used to dabble with Oxies and morphine a bit, but uppers were more my thing.”

“About a year on and off. Sixty bucks a day… Fuck dude, I hated that shit!” he said, laughing.

“Uppers I mean. Got to a point where I hated all of it but uppers were like straight poison for me…I mean a little coke here and there but I never liked feeling all cracked out from comin down.”

My mind dissolved into watery, pastel tones, suspended in some strange, glow-drenched liquid (acid flashbacks were always fun. My best friends the machine elves making an occasional appearance to check up on me). Traveling back to a life more (or maybe less. The lines though there were always blurred) troubled.

“It was definitely a wild ride… So were you bangin? I couldn’t help but notice you’re uh….” I gestured to the crook of White Mike’s elbow.

Yeah, fuckin unfortunately… had a hell of a time with all that. Blown veins everywhere. My arms got it the worst, but I would hit anywhere. My thighs, my neck, my dick.”

“Damn, never went that route myself,” I dropped my cigarette stomping it out with the heel of my well-worn boot.

“Good, keep it that way.”

“Two weeks is huge though man,” I chimed in after some awkward silence.

“I’m going on a month...”


 “So what’s your story man?” White Mike asked after taking a pull of some of most disgusting vodka I’ve ever encountered.

“What do you mean?”

It was my turn now. Not my poison of choice but booze was cheap and most college students drug addicts or not were broke. It may have been a foul, foul thing but for us it was a match made in heaven.

“You know the war stories. You’ve got dirt on me man.”

Mike paused to take another drink and laughed the smirky way he laughed. If it were anyone else I probably would have hated them for it but for some odd reason White Mike got a pass.

“I need some fucking dirt on you buddy." He said lightly shoving my arm

“Ah man, you don’t wana know any of that shit. I just uh, you know… started kickin it with the wrong people.”

“Nuh uh man. I don’t believe that shit for a minute. We’re addicts. We’re fuckin addicts.”

He laughed again.

“There’s gotta be something that broke the camel or you know whatever that thing is.”

“Broke the camel’s back?”

“Yeah, fuck yeah. Ahhhhh this guy. So… so shit man. What broke you?”


“Babe, I’m… I’m cold.” She whispered.

“I’m…” she paused to cough. It’s amazing how something so ordinary can be so terrifying.

“I’m really cold.”


“I don’t know man… the typical (burp) stuff. I lied stole did some innocent people real dirty. There was this girl that I knew. It just started with me buying perks off of her from time to time and then I kind of helped, if you can call it that… got her into… other things.”

“Fuck I’ve been there man. It sucks.”

“Yeah, shit’ll get to ya,” I said fighting my fucked up neurons to come up with anything else to talk about but that. After everything happened with Amy and Ricky and your typical sob story bullshit. There were some things that jst happened… but fuck it. I’m saving that story for another day.

“My main plug was a hooker. She had this boyfriend that was just as much of a junkie as her and… he died. He died in my car on the way to the hospital. We’d all picked up, gotten high and then.... It sucks man. It really fuckin sucks.”

“I think we’re gonna be good drinking buddies man,” I said after enough of a pause to process what Mike had said.

 “Cheers.” He said raising my plastic cup.

“Cheers to White Mike!”