On Saturday morning, Ian spooned with Teresa and held her close and warm. She made a comfy noise, and moved into him. They kissed and cuddled and he held her. This slowly turned into making love. She showered and Ian sat on the couch and smoked bong loads and read Eeeee Eee Eeee by Tao Lin. She came out and talked to Ian about work while she straightened her hair. He stopped reading and talked with her. He showered and went to Whole Foods, a block away, and bought a large iced latte, a large iced mocha, and two-bite cinnamon rolls. He stopped at the liquor store for shots of espresso-flavored vodka, and returned to their one-bedroom apartment; half of the second floor of a peach painted Victorian mansion. They smoked bong loads and danced to the Wii video game Let’s Dance. They laughed and had fun, stupidly. Ian plugged in his dead cell phone and texted Dylan about hanging out. Ian and Teresa didn’t want to do anything, but he could come over. Ian made cheesy grits with chicken bouillon and fried eggs.
Dylan texted that he had been suspended at work.
An hour later, he paced in front of Ian and Teresa, sitting stoned on the couch. He talked a lot, rather angrily, about getting in trouble for smoking at work, and that he might get fired and have to move back into the halfway house. Ian offered support, and told him that he would be fine. Dylan didn’t think so.
Teresa went in the bedroom when her sister called.
Ian said, “Let’s get drunk. You want a drink? We got this dance game and it’s awesome.”
“Dance game?” He said with a skeptic face turn.
“Yeah, on the Wii. It’s fun, man.”
“Nah, I don’t know.” He said, and sat down.
“What about a drink?”
“No. I don’t want anything.”
“You’ll have a bong load at least with me, right?” Ian asked.
They smoked some bong loads, and Ian started hyping the video game. He turned it on and started setting up the game. Dylan didn’t like the graphics and thought the game looked lame. Ian said, “Just watch me, dude. I’ll do ‘Hey Ya’.”
Ian danced to the song, holding the Wii remote. He looked over at Dylan glaring at him and stopped dancing, pausing the game.
“That just looks like the corniest shit ever. I was cringing just watching you play it.”
“Dude, it’s seriously fun. I know I probably look stupid, but who cares? It’s so much fun.”
Dylan wouldn’t do it. Ian sat on the couch, and Dylan said he wanted to buy him a Wii Game. Ian said, “Dude, I have a new game. This game. I just bought it yesterday.”
“I know, but I want to get you this game called Mario Sport. It looks sick. We can go get that, and play that game.”
On the 3-block walk to the record store by the Ogden Theatre on Colfax, Ian said, “You shouldn’t buy me a video game, man. You should save your money.”
“Why, I have like 2000 dollars, what’s 50 bucks?”
Ian tried to emphasize he would need this money.
Dylan told him he had made his mind up. He talked of having to move back into the halfway house. Ian told him if he lost his job, he could just get a new one. Dylan complained that it was slow at work, and smoked, getting his 3rd write-up for smoking, and how the manager hated him and knew it was his 3rd write-up, and now he was going to get fired.
Ian looked Dylan in his blue eyes as he spoke, and noticed the tiny pupils. “Pin-point eyes,” Elliott Smith sang in his head, and he thought, “Is he on heroin right now?” His doomed outlook was a characteristic of drugs. He had seen Dylan when he was addicted to pain pills, often in shitty moods while high, talking about how everything was horrible. It was easy for him to score drugs on the streets of Denver. It seemed buying Ian a video game for no real reason was strange drug behavior; Ian considered saying something, but didn’t want to deal with Dylan’s response.
In the store, they looked at the video games. The video games were behind the counter, and an employee waited on them. Dylan looked at it and then handed it to Ian.
“Doesn’t it look bomb?” Dylan asked.
“I don’t understand ‘uh’.”
“I’m just not that stoked on it. You should save your money.”
“Really, it doesn’t look fun?”
“Kind of, but I’m just not that stoked on it. We should just play golf.”
Ian handed the game back to the female record-store associate, and Dylan walked out of the store, ahead of Ian. They crossed the street in silence. The 7-11 had a chain-link fence around the parking lot and gas pumps and upturned concrete. They walked around the fence to a small path from the sidewalk that goes to the entrance of the 7-11. At the sidewalk, an energetic bum asked for money. They said, “No, sorry.” There was another bum, sitting against the trashcan before the door to the 7-11, and one passed the door. Dylan bought cigarettes and they walked towards Ian’s. While they discussed the “bum gauntlet”, Ian looked in Dylan’s tiny-pupil eyes. Dylan noticed and looked longer, holding his gaze. He took a drag of his cigarette, and when they got to the corner of 14th, he put on his sunglasses.
At the apartment, they smoked weed and played Tiger Woods Wii Golf. Teresa and Ian drank margaritas. They stopped playing and Dylan talked about losing his job, apartment and ending up back in the halfway house, hinting to fucking up.
They ordered Chinese food and watched a Tupac documentary on Netflix.
Ian was in the kitchen after the documentary. Dylan was trying to nonchalantly grab something out of his backpack, and noticed Teresa watching him. He took his backpack into the bathroom. He was in the bathroom for a while, and then asked Ian if he had any Tums. Ian only had two, and ate them because he felt possible acid reflux. He came out of the kitchen as Dylan came out of the bathroom.
Ian said, “I don’t have any more Tums.”
“It’s okay. I’m good.”
Dylan seemed egotistical and cold standing in the foray.
Ian walked with Dylan to the 7-11, a block away, to get money from the ATM, for a half-ounce of weed. Dylan bought a hotdog and ate it as they walked back up to 12th and the bus.
Dylan said, “You sure you can’t give me a ride?”
“I’ve been drinking, man.” He said, standing at the corner. “Here’s the money. Should I just give it to you here?”
“Yeah, it’s not like I’m giving you drugs.”
“Okay.” He said and gave him $140. “Oh, there’s a bus.” He pointed at the bus coming from Cheesman Park. “Hurry up, man. There’s the bus stop.”
Dylan gave him a dirty look and then crossed the street and trotted over to the bus stop under a big tree. Ian felt odd giving a person on heroin that much money, but knew he had money and wouldn’t fuck him.
Back at the apartment, Teresa told Ian about Dylan grabbing his backpack and probably shooting up in the bathroom. Ian thought so too. They talked about his pupils and outlook. Teresa said, “He looked like he was about to puke a few times when he first got here.”
Ian woke around 5 am and flipped and tossed in bed before getting up at 6 am, smoking bong loads and finishing the last 60 pages of Eeeee Eee Eeee. It reminded him of hanging out with certain friends who worked at bookstores, record stores, or young graduate students, who were making well-informed running jokes.
He was trying to write a review of Eeeee Eee Eeee on a pad of paper at 8:45 that morning when Teresa called him into the bathroom. “Ian… come here.”
“What?” He said, standing in the doorway.
She pointed at the less than quarter inch black blob on the counter next to the sink, and said, “What is that?”
“I don’t know. What is that? Do you think it’s like something to do with shooting heroin?”
“I don’t know what it is.“ She said. “I was just washing my hands and saw it there.”
“Damn.” He said, “This wasn’t here yesterday?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
“Do you think this is like the cotton or something from shooting up.”
“I really don’t know.” She said.
“It kind of looks like a chunk of black hash.”
“Is that what hash looks like?”
“Kind of, like that shitty kind they used to have that was black.”
He poked the black ball and it was hard and stuck to the counter.
Ian grabbed Windex and a paper towel, sprayed the ball of black tar heroin, and wiped it up with the paper towel. He smelt vinegar, and said to Teresa in the living room, “It’s definitely not hash. It had like a vinegar smell.”
Later that day, Ian drove to Dylan’s and picked up his half-ounce of weed, and played Tiger Woods golf and went home without bringing it up. A few days later he googled heroin and read about it smelling like vinegar, and realized that the black chunk was actually heroin, not the left over cotton ball, or something.