Yesterday, I was trolling the streets of Denver looking for a fix. I drove by an alley filled with overflowing dumpsters. Two shady characters were loitering on the sidewalk. Perfect. I pulled up and parked my car in a lot strewn with broken glass and litter. I’ve acquired a habit that is worse than crack and I needed a score. The gangstahs by the alley glared at me as I got out of my SUV. They have seen the likes of me every day. A seemingly normal looking white guy pulls up in a 4-Runner with a booster seat in the back and look of edginess attributed to his need to fill the craving of his addiction.
I gave the traditional tough guy head nod to the street kids and opened the door to the 7-11. I was about to feed my evil addiction. I like to drink a Monster, nearly every day. I know. Way worse than crack. It doesn’t even taste good. And there are ingredients made up of combinations of letters that don’t even form real English words. But lately I’ve injected my body with Monster energy drinks and I was craving one yesterday. I’ll hope for an intervention someday, but for now, I’m enjoying the ride.
I walked up the counter to pay for my crack. The cashier was a sloppy looking white guy in his early thirties with a really full beard and tobacco stained teeth. He said, “What is the logo on your shirt? It looks familiar.” I was wearing this:
I said, “Remember those red plastic adapter things you had to wedge into the big holes on 45s – those albums that played singles – to get it on a phonograph – they weren’t even called turntables back then.”
The 7-11 guy got excited and said, “Oh yeah, that’s right. That reminds me of my favorite Christmas time story.”
I was holding out my three bucks, but the 7-11 guy wasn’t taking it. “You are going to tell me the story, aren’t you?”
He launched right into it. “I remember slowing down an Alvin and the Chipmunks album so that all their voices sounded normal, but then Dave’s voice sounded like a demon and he was yelling at the chipmunks. It was so cool listening to this demon scream at them. That is my favorite Christmas time memory.”
“Wow. I thought you were going to reminisce about listening to Bing Crosby’s White Christmas album with your parents, but that is a pretty good Christmas memory about the demon and chipmunks.”
“Yeah. My favorite Christmas memory.”
I really have to stop drinking Monster.
The very next day (which is today), I had another fun encounter at the checkout lane. I like to buy the Sunday newspaper and have a nice long breakfast at a greasy spoon. I stopped in a Walgreens to pick up the Denver Post. There was a stack of them by the front door and it was just a ten-foot walk to the line at the cashier.
The second person in line was a very gorgeous woman. She was probably around thirty and was in really good shape and had a naturally beautiful face. Her eyes were rich and her long hair was shiny. The thing is; she was pissed. She looked fricking angry at the world. The physical contradiction of her stunning beauty and severe anger was startling.
I glanced down to see what she was buying. Suddenly it all made perfect sense. She had one item in her firmly clenched hand. An early pregnancy test.
When it was her turn to pay, the cashier asked her if she wanted a bag. She quickly answered yes. I got the impression she was hoping for a negative test result. And I also deduced that it would not be good timing to invite her to join me at breakfast.