the Devil’s greatgrandson…with my .44 gun

I haven’t been in Seattle long but I think I know all about it now. The piers are where to buy dope if you’re in the city proper. I was walking down there and having short and pleasant conversations with local characters:

“Spare any change?” “Help me out?” “Buy a newspaper.” “What time is it?”

“No, sir.” “Not right now, sorry.” “No thanks.” “Buy a watch, you fucking bum.”

Just like that. Then I walked past a pasty Caucasian. He was what my actor friends mean when they say, “Central Casting.” If you see a creepy yet entirely plain person and you are with an actor, say that. Say, “Central Casting,” in the creep’s direction. Your actor friend will laugh. Then say to your friend, “What’s the matter? Don’t you get it?”

My guy from Central Casting said to me: “Score-sum–bud-huh-huh-huh?”

That’s hard to read hyphenated but it was hard to understand when he said it hyphenated. Sound alone, I would have said he was selling bennies dunked in Asmara espresso.

I don’t smoke bud as I’ve gone lengths to establish. All of my friends do or did. CM smokes an outlandish amount of dope. I wish he’d been there. I just laughed at the poor drug dealer doing an honest night’s business.

CM would’ve said, “What? You’ve got some bud?”

“Yeah-yah,” the drug dealer would respond.

“Ahhhhhhhh,” CM would have gurgled while rolling his neck, “hhhhhhow much you got?”

“All-ya-need.”

“Really?” CM would ask. He has a way of saying really that makes it sound like you just said there were battery powered mice building swim suit models on the sea floor and it might be true.

“Sure-sure-sure.” Rat-tat-tat.

“Give up the bud,” CM would coo as if to a prom date, “Or I’m gonna kill ya.”

“No-fuckinway,” the dealer would say while walking quickly away from this trouble. But CM would’ve killed him then and there. I wish he’d been there.

The first time I saw CM kill someone was in LA. He pulled a piece of fencing from nowhere and just brained that guy with it. Swinging like a hyperactive kid who’s scared to lose his turn at the piñata. That was least appealing candy I ever saw come out of a piñata. I nearly loosed my bowels. This was the before time. The dark days. The nothing days. Long before I was brave but decades after I’d been crazy. I was hanging with CM a lot to give myself time to recover all that.

He didn’t kill the guy over drugs. It was over a Dr. Pepper for Christsake. I don’t know why he’s not in prison yet. Really stupid to kill someone over a soda pop. That’s the American West in a nutshell.

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