“No heroin for sale at this house”
Was what I wished the sign read.
But it didn’t. Not that there was an actual sign out. Dealing may be a stupid life choice but no-one is that stupid.
But the sign is there in other ways. How many cars pull up outside your house each day. Count them, go on, sit there for a full day, have a bottle of coke and a bag of chips to keep you going and whip out to the toilet as fast as you can. Do that and count how many cars pull up. Have a page in a notebook just for recording how many cars pull up outside. Make a little tick mark for each one. And at the end of the day, when you’re hyped off the coke and wiping salt from around your mouth, add them all up. How long did it take? I know math ain’t your thing, but really, did you even get one?
I counted 37 yesterday. Thirty-seven little tick marks on the page. In groups of four with one mark through the middle to count off the five mark. Seven groups of five and then a little lonely group of two that came just before bedtime. There were more but I was tired. So let’s take the number as 37.
That’s thirty-seven people who came to the door and gave the knock. Some of the door knocks are rat-a-tat-tat. “I’m ready, I’m here, give it to me” – they seem to say. Others give a little scraping sound. They’re not sure. They’re looking around. Does anyone know they are here? There’s always a cap on the head, and it’s always pulled down by a shaking hand. They don’t want to be here, but here they are yet again.
Here they are pulling crumpled money out of the inside jeans pocket where it’s safe. No one listens to me, but if they did, I’d say it was safer staying in that pocket. No, don’t put your hand in there. Turn around, head back out that door and pretend you never gave a little scraping knock. Get back in the car, and let those little hand shakes you’ve got turn the steering wheel left instead of right at the corner. Go find someone who loves you. There is someone. Stop being an arsehole to that person and let that love reach you. Take that money from your inside pocket and buy a thing, I don’t know what thing that will be, but it’ll be a thing that you and that person who loves you smile and laugh about. And they’ll hold your hand and say that was a great choice. I’m so glad you did that.
But no-one listens, because I never say anything. I just sit here and watch them take the money from their inside pocket with shaking hands and wish there was a sign outside that said “no heroin for sale at this house”.
This piece was the first one I wrote with a prompt (no heroin for sale) and a time limit (15 minutes). It was the first time I trusted that the words would just come as they needed. It has not been edited since.
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