You like cotton candy? she asked me.
We were in the back room, windowless and dark, and she handed me a small piece of paper folded into an envelope, about the size of a half dollar.
Inside the envelope was a rich, pale green bud, quite fragrant, and it almost sparkled in the light.
You gotta have presence on the court. Presence like a cheetah rather than a chimp. Sure, they both got it, but Chimpy gotta jump his nuts around to get it. The shy cheetah moves with total nonchalance, stickin’ it to them in his sexy, slow strut. Me? I play like a cheetah.
First, it’s a Saturday night thing when you feel cool like a gangster or a rockstar- just something to kill the boredom, you know? They call it a chippie, a small habit. It feels so good, you start doing it on Tuesdays… then Thursdays… then it’s got you. Every wise ass punk on the block says it won’t happen to them, but it does.
The first time we’d met like this was just before Christmas. She stopped by to give me a Christmas present. She gave me a book (she must of known how much I love to read). It was an old hardcover book with weather beaten pages and looked quite uninteresting. I tried to be polite, but she must have recognized the look on my face.
Open it, she said.
I opened the book to see that it had be hallowed out. The pages had all been glued together, with a small square cavity cut into the paper, reaching down to the back board. Here there was a small plastic bag, the contents the same quality green bud.
It’s important to be discreet, she told me. Not everybody understands that, if you know what I mean. This is just between you and me.
When I was young, about eight or so, I tried making friends with God by inviting Him to my house to watch the World Series. He never showed.
The quoted passages are all from The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll. The Basketball Diaries chronicle Carroll’s adolescence in New York during the 1960’s. Raised in the Catholic Church, Carroll’s book shares similarities to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, though grounded in the drug culture of the 1960’s.
The brief passages I provide here are just little glimpses into a peculiar friendship I one time had with a peculiar girl.