BYRM – An Excerpt & an Illustration: Chapter Twenty-four – Too Much Nitty Gritty

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

Illustrated by Max Currie

Kent dumped the contents of his hockey bag onto the floor: three T-shirts, one dress shirt, too small, a pair of sweats, two pairs of jeans, shorts, underwear and socks, all mostly dirty; Rushdie’s tattered and swollen Midnight’s Children; torn copies of the celebrity magazine Shukan Gendai; his dressing room star; the bottle of limited edition Kame no O sake and a half-empty bottle of cheap whiskey; seven packs of cigarettes; a pack of matches; a copper hash pipe; a pink Hello Kitty Zippo he lifted from Midori’s car; two mushy, brown bananas split open and mashed against the bottom of the bag; and one urn. He turned the clothes inside out. He  rummaged through the bag’s contents on the floor. He shook the hockey bag. He shook it again and again, until there it was, the miracle he’d hoped for: a plastic mini-baggie he’d either forgotten or never realized existed winking at him through the banana mush. The mini-baggie held a fingernail of shabu, the crystallized rock flattened into an icy powder. Kent knew two things. One: he should toss the baggie into the grimy toilet. And two: he wouldn’t. He wiped banana pulp from the baggie and shook it before him. A couple of drags would displace all of his aches and pains, clear his head, help him find Midori and pick up where they’d left off. Forget Hideo and Chieko. He’d do anything to feel better.

Kent went to the kitchen for tinfoil then returned to Midori’s room, stepping just outside the back door where he’d imagined a woman crying. He rolled the sheet of tinfoil into a thin tube. On another piece, folded in the middle to create a conduit in which to burn the powdered shabu until it became liquid, he tried to light the crystallized rock holding the Hello Kitty lighter underneath. But the air was gusty. He stepped back inside to light it again, the shabu bubbling up at him as it heated. With his tinfoil straw he inhaled then repeated the procedure three times until the shabu was gone. Within minutes his head cleared, his need for food and sleep vanished, and he didn’t care.


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