V. Coke Induced Rages

It's not the best of places. It's like a hole in the wall, actually - small, old, the boards holding it together have been worn down from years of weathering. It could easily pass as a walk-in closet. I assume that it's located next to the station, because a train flies by the window. The tracks are so close to the apartment that it makes all of the pictures on the walls rattle.

I'm sitting in a wooden chair in the corner of the room. Pain shoots through my back and neck for falling asleep like that. Boone is passed out in the bed less than two feet to my left. His body is above the sheets, awkwardly folded in a 'U' shape. I'm about to stand up, but stop short before I place a foot on the ground. Petey is laying on the floor; a half empty bottle of wine is just short of his outstretched hand.

The record player in the corner is skipping - the needle stuck in between the grooves. A repeating, two second clip of harmonica is the only sound in the apartment. This must be Petey's place, as there's nowhere near enough room for the married couple.

The three of us slowly take our time waking up, and trying to piece together yesterday. Petey makes us a breakfast that consists of pieces of bread which he cooks on a bent hanger over a hot plate. I thank him for it, and the crazy night, and Boone offers to drive me home. He does a line off of his dashboard and swerves the entire way back to the club. We're sitting in the parking lot now, watching the snow melt against the windshield.

"What do you do for a living, Boone?" I question as I light up a cigarette. I don't want to leave just yet, and deal with the monotonous solidarity of my apartment. He lights one up as well and relaxes back into his seat. Neither of us are in a rush to go our separate ways. "I'm an undercover cop." he says smoothly, eyes creeping over to meet mine.

My heart practically stops beating beneath my ribs. Before I have a chance to struggle behind a reply, he laughs a little. A spurt of smoke escapes his lips. "I'm kidding, Parks. I'm uh, the night manager at Burger King. It's the only job I've been able to keep... Which is strange, because I didn't show up last night or the night before." He takes out his small metal container and separates another line on the dashboard.

I eye him, wearily. "Petey said... that you and him were trying to quit?"

"Yea." Boone inhales again, followed by a drag of his cigarette. "Petey talks a lot of shit." He falls into silence, and watches the world beyond the windshield for a few moments. His voice is harsh, unrestrained. "Somedays, it's all I have, ya know? My wife could leave me, I could get fired, Petey could fucking crash his motorcycle again... But this... it's always here."

I'm never one to lecture, as I don't have any sort of moral standpoint to give advice. But the words spill out of me, tumbling one after another. "It's destroying you, Boone. Last night... how you just stumbled into that lady's house... that was scary."

He rolls his eyes. "Don't fucking start with that, alright?"

"I'm trying to be your friend." I snub my cigarette out on the window frame. The plastic bubbles into a small circle around the dying cherry.

"Listen Parks, you're a cute girl and everything, probably the cutest I've ever met, but I don't need any advice. I'm practically twice your age."

"Age has nothing to do with it." I reply, carefully thinking my words through before I say them. "I've been around coke heads my entire life... And, what it does to you... it's gonna kill you, Boone. Or your gonna kill yourself."

He exhales, deeply, and I'm worried about the fuse I might have just lit.

"I met you less than a week ago. You know nothing about me, the goddamn life I lead. How can you say you're my friend when you're just plunging me deeper in this hell?" his hands begin to tremble, and he grabs a hold of the steering wheel.

"Hey, calm down." I say, trying to rationalize things.

"I don't need to be fucking calm!" he yells. In his pit of coke-induced rage he punches the door beside him, making me flinch. "I'm just another way for you to pay your bills. You don't give a shit whether I live or die - as long as the money keeps flowing, right? When I'm gone, you'll move on to the next coke head to suck dry. Someone should build a fucking cemetery in your backyard because I bet you've helped kill more people than you can count."


"-No, don't Boone me." he interrupts. "I'm a fucking addict, the only person I'm gonna hurt is myself. But what about you, huh? You're the dealer - the reaper. You can lecture me all fucking day about how the drug is gonna kill me, but in the end you're gonna be the one pulling the trigger."

"What's your fucking problem?" I snap. "Do you think you're better than me? At least I have control of my life. I'm not some strung out time bomb whose face down in a mound of coke all of the time."

Boone stiffens. "I don't need this; I don't need some bratty little kid telling me that I'm a fuck-up."

"Then how about I do us both a favor." I reach for the handle and open the passenger door. Cold air whips through like a slap in the face.

"Good, leave!" he yells; his voice is loud enough to shatter the mirrors inside.

"I never wanna see your fucking face again. And if I do - I'll beat it in." I slam the door, and briskly walk from the stationary vehicle. Every step I take makes an indentation in the freshly fallen snow. His words weigh like a boulder in my stomach, and the more I try to convince myself that he doesn't know what he's talking about, the more I believe him. I furiously blink away the tears blurring my vision.

His car remains in the parking lot, while I pull my hood up and hurry out of the cold.