I went back to Aldi to buy more bacon and eighth of smoke. Out back there’s a dumpster. And next to the dumpster, there’s been this guy sitting. Been there the last few weeks. Always is eating a burrito. Slowly. Today he was there. But no tortilla on his burrito. I parked in front. Bought bacon. Then exit, turning right instead of left. Walking to the backside of the store. Rounding the corner, he’s there thank god because I need a lift. Some herbal centering. I raise my index finger to say hey. And left right left right closer to where he’s sitting. He’s chomping on a pale green leaf rolled up. Looks like Romaine. Like a big fat lettuce joint.
How about an eighth? I said.
He said how about you sit down. He passed me the Romaine wrapped burrito. I held it in my hands for a second, wondering which end to bite from. His end. Or the neatly closed butt end. I went for his end and hoped for the best. I figured it the polite thing to do. Otherwise burrito entrails would be falling all over the place. So I bit in and goddamn have mercy on my millennial melancholy, it felt like sinking my teeth directly into sex. The flesh of beans, soft rice. God the guac too. Mmmm. I chewed, swallowed and handed the thing back to him, pulling a cilantro leaf out of my front teeth. That gap, man. Should have gotten braces. My parents gave me the option. Said it’s your call bud. And I said no. They looked so unnecessary. My teeth will do what my teeth will do, I said. And my parents were freethinking hippies, or wannabe freethinking hippies, I (after the 60s, I don’t know that there’s a difference) so they let it be. They were always saying let it be.
Damn that’s a good burrito, I said.
He nodded, smiling.
Today the weed didn’t come in a Ziplock, like last week. Came in an empty tortilla bag. Whole wheat. Still had the ziplock feature though. I paid two twenties and a ten. Which I’m fine paying because he looks in pretty dire straits and because the stuff is dank. I handed him the bills. I had to uncrumple the ten make it life like. Pretty embarrassing.
Instead of saying thank you, I nodded. Felt more honest. Then I got up to walk away. But because I was curious, I asked. Where to you get the dope? I mean it was interesting. He looked like a homeless bum. Didn’t appear to have a car. Unless he parked it somewhere else and hoofed it here. Didn’t seem at all concerned about the cops. I first met him out here three-ish weeks ago when I was diving for watermelon. Aldi always discards watermelon. Most of the time, they’re cracked. But so what. We shared a watermelon, spitting seeds onto the black pavement. Been back twice since. Never see him with a phone. Always just him. The second time I saw him I asked for acid. I just asked, and he reached into is shirt pocket and pulled it out. Like he was expecting somebody ask him for two hits of acid or what not.
I’ve got my own supply, he said.
For LSD, too? I asked.
Yep, he nodded. He took a bite out of the burrito. He had that I’m orgasming right now look in his eyes too, right after he opened them.
I make most stuff, he said.
I turned around, nodding. Naively, like oh yeah. You just chill on an upturned milk crate behind Aldi and cook LSD. For sure, I thought. You know but then logic comes tumbling in. Takes a few seconds.
He finished the burrito. He didn’t have any cilantro in his teeth. I wonder if he said yes when his parents asked him about braces.
No really, I said. You can’t grow your own weed and synthesize LSD and be spitting watermelon seeds all day. I squinted at him, because the morning sun had just pushed it’s blinding fingers over the brick crest of the Aldi sign on the other side of the store. It burned my eyes, but my hippie parents trained me to look at the person I was talking to. I couldn’t see his face, just a silhoutte of golden white light. Like the edge of a sunny side up egg, the very edge, right where the slab of butter starts melting, and then is gone, just this slick of oil, right before it turns golden brown, it’s this golden white, like a halo. That’s what he had, a melted butter halo.
He said: it comes from within man. And he put his hand over his heart. From here. Which was also the chest pocket he pulled the green out of.
It comes from within? I repeated, like wtf.
Everything comes from within, he said.
And in my head I was like okay motherfucker I can’t see you because the melting butter sun, but you’ve had too much of probably everything and you’re brain is operating on limited circuitry so it’s cool.
He kept his hand on his chest, right over his heart.
And then I felt the tingling. It was little at first, like a patch of dried skin. On the left side of my chest, but then it grew into glowing, like when I sprained my ankle playing soccer once and my parents were early into the hippie stuff so they didn’t let me see the doctor but they took me to this fat lady’s house who didn’t shave her legs and had lots of plants in her house and she held my ankle and closed her eyes and then pulled out a little blue bottle that said Tiger Balm and it made my ankle burn burn burn for a few hours. Which kind of helped. My chest felt like that. And then I felt it in my shoulders, and under my arm pits. And down my back.
I turned away because I’ve been reading about UV rays and how damaging they are to your eyes.
And I when I looked back he hadn’t disappeared or anything, it wasn’t a waking hallucination on my part, he was still there, except he was pulling apart the bottom side of a banana peel. Opening it like the monkeys do. From the bottom up. I was going to ask him why. To see what he said. But I already knew. I already knew you know?
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