Tim Elhajj @ Redmond Association of the Spoken Word

I’m going to appear at RASP later this month to read from Dopefiend and sign books. I’d love it you came over and said hello. I’ll have a bunch of books and the readings usually include a little Q&A at the end.

Where: Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, Room 105

When: Friday, February 24, 2012, 7 P.M. (and the last Friday of every month)

Map picture

Dopefiend Excerpt: Good Intentions

rockford graduation

“Jamir,” I  said (pictured, right, hugging), fighting for calm. “What are we doing?”

He grinned, a big sloppy smile. “Tonight you finish treatment, yes?” he asked.

I nodded, surprised he had even remembered.

“We celebrate,” he said. “Look, look.”

In the street ahead, I saw a blur of sequins, a flash of female flesh, short skirts and bikini tops. Prostitutes. Three or four of them had their arms in the air, waving their hands above their heads. I looked at Jamir with confusion and horror. He mistook the look on my face for a question of logistics. “Just climb in the back,” he said. “I’ll pay.”

The light dawned—I’d finished treatment, I was moving into my new apartment and Jamir wanted to get me something, a sort of housewarming gift. I felt alarmed and disgusted, but also a little touched. There was an awful moment where I just didn’t know how to respond. Then, from the street, we heard the voices of the women waving their hands.

As one they chanted, “GO HOME! YOU’RE DRUNK! NO SERVICE!”

I laughed, relieved. We’d been flagged.