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The neighbors were at it again. Pots and pans, fists, arms, rubber chickens, legs, coffee cups, lighters, lost souls, empty beer bottles and other assorted junk went crashing against the thin wall and Smokey Joe was screaming in Spanish at one of those French prostitutes. The ancient nicotine stained floral pattern wallpaper was peeling and curling up a little more with each bloodcurdling expletive. A photo of a happy couple fell off of the wall and cracked on the dirty hardwood floor. Their smiling faces had been covering a hole in the wall that someone had punched in during a fight.

"I'm not good with that word," he said.

"Well, I am," she said.

He scratched his wrinkled brow, pushed his greasy unwashed hair behind his pierced ears and started pacing like he had OCD. She stopped grinding her yellow rotted teeth to let out a throaty sigh, a sigh that told stories of years of Newport 100s and hard liquor – screwdrivers, cape cods, vodka and tonics, jack and cokes. Crow's feet around her hazel eyes betrayed her age. Under the dim bar lights, she had been beautiful, once, with her silky black hair like a raven's and those suicide red lips, lips you would kill for, the night she met him and Billy Joel sang “It's Still Rock & Roll To Me”.

"We're behind on rent, THERE’S NO FOOD IN THE WHOLE APARTMENT, and now Smokey Joe woke up Little Johnny and HE WON’T SHUT THE HELL UP," the wailing baby and blaring police sirens made odd music for her rant, like some avant-garde spoken word jazzy crap that would have been too real for a beat poet to actually put on a stage in Anytown, America.

"I can already hear your sorry ass, you ‘can't quit’, and you’re ‘no good’ with that word! Then you tell me ‘crack is an addiction’ and that ‘addiction is a disease’. You're pathetic,” she paused, amazed by what she was about to say, a baby in her arms. “Well I can quit loving you!"

He laughed, but the sound was sorrowful as he stared blankly out of the window at the brilliant city lights at night. It reminded him of some twisted kid hopped up on Ritalin playing with a Lite-Brite toy.

"Let me tell you something: cocaine interferes with the way your brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so you need more and more of the drug just to feel normal," her voice took on a dry monotone as she said this, an unusual tone usually reserved for giving a public service announcement or something else boring like that. "Using cocaine can make you feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious, even when you're not high. Cocaine use can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. People who share needles can also contract hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases." (NCADI)

"You're right. I'm going to quit, honey, for you, for Little Johnny," he promised her like it was some religious conversion, and I really think he meant it this time. “I love you.”

“FLUSH!,” the toilet triumphantly sounded as a small plastic baggie made its way into the dank foreboding depths of the Anytown city sewer system.

A single tear rolled down her cheek
as....

I laughed. I'm sorry. So did Nick. I can't believe they were making us watch another lame drug prevention video in school. The actors looked like rejects from Saved By the Bell. Thinking of that, why couldn't Lisa ever give Screech the time of day? That always bugged me.


Nick nudged my shoulder and we snuck out of the room to go smoke pot in Derek's POS red junker. We love smoking pot, but don’t worry, we'll never smoke crack. Crack is just stupid. Have you ever seen Bumfights?

Laughing like hell, we got on I-75 South and made our way down to Anytown to pick up a quarter and some blunts while Billy Joel sang “We Didn't Start the Fire”.

1. http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/govpubs/phd640/

....

(Wait, the story isn't finished!)

Angry clementine salamanders descended upon their car with obstreperous fury, raining down from the heavens like God's grace, like the plagues of Egypt. One of the salamanders was wearing a shiny sheriff's badge. It was the Special Amphibious Drug Task Force!

"Lkgrfapjihyuepjyktryet," the sheriff screeched at the scared boys, dousing their brains, now on fire, with lighter fluid, which is exactly what he shouldn't have done.

KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!

And... everyone was dead, their nicely barbecued remains mysteriously drenched in A1. Hey, no one said that clementine salamanders were particularly bright, an issue that was brought up several times after President Barack Obama had recommended the formation of the Special Amphibious Drug Task Force at his last State of the Union Address. True, their psychic powers were unparalleled. Once, one especially powerful clementine salamander had detected stores of Port Salut cheese more than 100 miles away - to the amazement of a crowd of people at a poker table in a Las Vegas casino.

At this point, God forgot to check on the brownies he had left in the oven and reality melted away. It fell from the sky in gobs, drenching people in uncomfortable amounts of reality, more than a fragile human mind can take. Soon enough, the gobs of reality flooded the streets and washed up everything. Turns out Socrates, I think it was Socrates, anyway, was right. Reality is in our heads. All we had left at this point was idealized geometric forms, or ideas. No one could tell a rectangle representation of a steak from a convex polygonal representation of a plate full of sharpened knives.

Hey, who laced my wine?

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