I ran an errand and on the way back nearly home and on my own block I heard from behind me from a group that I passed, a man’s voice say urgently, “I gotta talk to that guy.” I kept walking within a few steps a tall ageless shirtless man caught up and walked beside me very close. “Look. Look what I got.” I have no idea who this is. “Look at my hand. Look how dirty it is.”
Now I know. He’s the guy who asked me for a dollar so he could buy a beer. I recognized his hand. This is the second time he’s showed me his hand. And come to think of it, he’s the only person who's ever done that. He has a big dark dirty hand. It’s unsightly. “It’s sticky. "I washed it and it doesn’t come off, it keeps picking up dirt. It’s sticky. That’s how sticky the weed is. Look. Look what I got.” He’s excited.
He doesn’t look the same as before. He’s not wearing a shirt and he’s darker than before. His skin tone is broken. He's a mess. He hands me his bag but I don’t take it. I can’t. I’m holding two sticks. And I’m carrying a gallon of milk and pint of Häagen-Dazs and a hot sub sandwich on my back. I really must go. I’m starving.
“Look. Look what I got. I’m loaded, Dude.” He holds his arm straight forward holding a small parcel a light grocery bag inside another grocery bag, double bagged, crumpled up both twisted together forming a bundle. “I got cookies and butter and weed. The weed coated my hands back there with resin. Smell.”
“I gotta go. I’m starving.” I don't like this.
“Okay, okay, okay, wait.” He un twirls the bags reaches in and produces a sugar cookie, re-twirls his bags. “Here.” Right there on the street in front of store windows, in front of my building. a resident I know speaking with others walking past and greeting me as they go.
“Fine. Thank you. We’re even, eh? Thanks for that.”
Beer for cookie. Even Steven. I guess. I told him before I don’t drink because I have enough trouble walking. I think he assumes I’m in pain. If I can’t have beer and my building says "no smoking" then he’ll give me a cookie instead. I think his urgency is street economics even Steven sharing ease the pain thing. I don’t know.
“Okay, go eat eat your dinner.”
Glad to depart. I enter my building. My hot and cold dinner element mixing. I’m home now. Democrat convention all over the place. What the heck. Ate his cookie first and now I’m quite high.
I’m fine. Except I cannot seem to get up off the sofa right now.
Yes I can.
I walk out onto the bumpy terrace barefooted and now inside the carpet feels like walking on cotton balls.