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.


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