VI. CRACK XXXMAS
GIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: ADDICTION
IN WHICH OUR HEROINE GIVES IT UP FOR THE MA'A
Another Dysfunctional Xmas Ruined
(Part Six; Part One is HERE.)
Holly slipped out the side door of Sippies while Kris parked the car. Christmas dinner would have been nice. She was really hungry. But not half as much as she was jones'ing for crack cocaine. If she didn't get some real soon, she was going to totally freak out, she was sure. She'd never wanted it this bad. It actually hurt.
Holly clip-clopped around the back of Sippies and stood on the edge of Nimitz Highway, hitchhiking. If Kris wasn't going to spring for some crack, she would just have to go back to Chinatown and sell her ass. Or trade. One of the dealers was kind of sweet on her. He would trade rocks for BJ's. Kris was nice and all, but crack was crack. Maybe they could hook up later.
She looked good in the high heels and short dress Kris had bought her in K-Mart. She'd changed into it in the bathroom there. When she saw herself in the mirror, all cleaned up and dressed like a real girl, she knew she could make some money tonight. If Kris wouldn't pay to have sex with her, somebody would. She stood in the gathering dusk, hoping it wouldn't rain. It was a tough spot for hitchhiking, and she was hoping somebody would pull over soon, before a cop came along.
Kris parked his big old Cadillac Seville in the only space that would fit it. He got out of the cab and stretched, feeling strange. Was he in love with a prostitute? Or was it the full moon? He looked up at it, low on the horizon, and howled like a wolf. Maybe I'm a werewolf, he thought. How would I know? Werewolves never know. Unless they find blood or body parts left lying around. Or if they get shot as wolves, and wake up wounded as humans. I think that's how it goes, he thought. I'll just have to avoid getting shot, or leaving stuff lying around.
Kris howled again, getting into it, and walked across the parking lot to Sippies front door. He went inside and sat down at a table by the window, facing the bathrooms. A tired Filipina lady brought menus and asked how many. He told her two, and ordered coffee and a cherry coke. Girls liked cherry cokes, he seemed to recall. He stared out the window, watching the traffic headed out of town. The restaurant was on a large sort of island in the middle of the highway. Kris couldn't see the town-bound side of the highway from where he was sitting.
The waitress brought the coffee and the cherry coke. Kris told her he'd wait until the lady came back from the rest room to order. "The lady," he smiled to himself. She looked like quite the fine young lady in her new dress and high heels. Maybe if she could see herself that way, she would start acting that way, and get her ass off the streets. Maybe.
Kris fixed his coffee and sat sipping it, perusing the menu. He knew most of it. Sippies was a favorite among cab drivers, not so much for their food as for their twenty-four hour toilets, usually clean and well-stocked with toilet paper. That was important to people who lived or worked on the streets, ten, twelve, fourteen hours a day, or more. The food wasn't too bad.
Sippies was extremely popular with the Locals, but it also featured Mainland-style treats. It was the only place Kris knew of where you could get a grilled cheese sandwich with grilled tomatoes or a plate of french fries with gravy. They always had milk for their coffee, not that non-dairy crap that gave him agita. Half the locals were lactose-intolerant Asians, the other half were diabetic Pacific Islanders, so it was hard sometimes to find real American food without seaweed or non-dairy creamer or MSG or artificial sweetener. Sippies had both Local food and real food.
Kris looked at his watch. It had been about five pm when they hit K-Mart. Maybe six when they pulled into Sippies parking lot and Holly got out. Kris figured he'd been sitting there maybe five, ten minutes. Where was the girl? What did women do in the toilet, anyway? Their plumbing wasn't that different, was it? Maybe she was putting on make-up, or fixing her hair, or gossiping with some other girl in the bathroom. That's what girls do in there, right?
Guys didn't socialize in the bathroom. It was strictly business. Unless they were gay. In which case, the could do their business to each other right in the stalls, like that Senator. But the cops caught him. Imagine having that job? Spooking around a stinky old public toilet all day, waiting for a guy to hit on you? Didn't gays have whorehouses, or something?
Kris looked at his watch again. It had been over ten minutes since he had actually checked the time. The waitress had come by twice, asking if he was ready to order, and refilling his coffee cup. Where the Hell was Holly? Was she having sex with someone in the bathroom? Did women do that? Did she go into the men's room, by accident or design? Kris got up and walked back there. The men's room was empty. She couldn't have left without Kris seeing her. He had a clear view from his table of the bathrooms in front of him, and the front door to his left.
Kris knocked on the Ladies Room door. He pushed it open a crack and called Holly's name. He thought he heard someone answer. He wasn't going to go in there. Maybe she had diarrhea or constipation or some woman's problem. Kris went back to his table. The waitress came by, so he ordered some of Sippies famous Portuguese Bean Soup. It wasn't bad for local food.
By the time Kris had finished his soup, Holly had been gone almost half an hour. Kris thought of asking the waitress to see if she was all right. But then he'd look foolish, either way: If she was in there, he'd look like a neurotic worry-wart. If she wasn't in there, he'd look like a dork who'd been ditched by a girl. Besides, she could take care of herself, right?
When the waitress came by, he asked her to check on his friend in the Ladies Room. To Hell with looking stupid. What if she had OD'ed or passed out or something? Anyway, he was getting hungry, and he couldn't just sit there all night waiting for her like a schmuck. He had to know.
The waitress came back from the bathrooms and said there was nobody there. Maybe she wen' de odda one, she offered. There was another bathroom on the other side of the place, the take-out and self-service dining room. Maybe Holly was in there. Maybe she was sitting at a table over there. Kris told the waitress he'd be right back, and left a ten dollar bill on the table.
The other side was empty. A janitor was cleaning the one small toilet, with the door open and warning signs outside of it. Holly had ditched him and his Christmas dinner. Kris went back into the table-service restaurant. His coffee-cup and soup-bowl were gone, along with his ten dollar bill and Holly's cherry coke. The waitress was nowhere to be seen. Merry F**kin' Christmas, Kris thought.
[ PART SEVEN copyright 2008 Cosa Nostradamus.]
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