“Small bag,” she said and he looked at her, “just a small bag.” He nodded and steered them into an alley. They walked to end, moved under the bare bulb on the wall by the
back door of a long empty deli. He opened his coat and pulled a small bag of grain from a pocket. He held out his hand and she put several neatly folded bills into it. He handed
the bag over. They waited.
“You going home now, white girl,” he said to her, “get all cozy in your lonely and smoke some of that?” She shook her head.
“No, not tonight,” she told him, “I gotta hang around here for a while.” He nodded. He could tell she wanted to smoke but, Ariel never carried her works with her. Never wanted to let anyone know she was a smoker. It made sense before, when she was driving trucks. Getting caught with grain or works was a deaths sentence. Six years on the long haul and she had never been hit with a single violation. She had learned to be careful. Now, it didn’t really matter anymore. She hadn’t been driving for six months and now, with the new auto-driver laws, her chances of driving again were very slim. Still, she was cautious. She didn’t want to be anymore but, some habits …“What are you waiting for, white girl,” Trevor asked and she dismissed his question with a shrug. “tell you what,” he said, taking a small, yellowed rectangle of parchment from his shirt pocket and folded it in half. He then pulled a small, blue bottle from his hip pocket, pulled the tiny cork and let it hang from it’s gold chain against the side of the bottle. He poured some grain into the creased parchment, recorked the bottle, slipped it back into his pocket and quickly, skillfully, rolled the parchment.
“Why don’t I keep you company while you wait and we can sample some of this new grain I am thinking of investing in.” She looked at him for a moment. This would be a ﬁrst. She never smoked grain with Trevor. She had never smoked grain with anyone. This was something she liked to do alone. She thought for a moment, realized how much she needed to get high and she gave in. She nodded, he smiled and lit the cone. He took a long hit and passed it to her. She took the burning cone, put it to her lips and inhaled. It didn’t take long. The grain was strong, smooth, slightly sweet. Soon her head was light and she felt the back of her neck release, felt the tension ﬂood down her body and out on the ground. They passed the cone back and forth for a while, saying nothing. He took another hit, held it out to her and she declined. She was in the perfect spot, easy, loose relaxed. Any more and she knew she would not have any control left. Trevor spit in his palm and put the cone out. He then pulled a small onyx box out of his jacket pocket and dropped the remainder of the cone inside. They stood, their backs against the brick wall and were silent. “you good, white girl,” Trevor said and she laughed. “Okay,” he said and joined her in the laugh.