I’d never watched my wife get her fix before, never seen the look in her eyes. She knew how I felt, the heart tearing anguish that made me want to throw her over my shoulder and run with her to anywhere but this devil’s den. I wanted to, but I asked her if she had her fixings.
“Yeah,” she responded, “just let me get ready.”
“Need a lighter? A spoon?” I asked.
She shook her head. I sighed.
While she prepared a man hobbled in and sidled up to the pusher. “What do you need?” the pusher asked.
“The good stuff,” the older, tired looking black man replied.
“Tell me what you want, I can help,” the pusher said with a smile.
“No, no,” he replied nodding frantically and falling to his knees before her, his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbow. “I got this.”
I’d never gone to a dealer and I’d only “partied” with “friends.” Friends who coerced, friends who’d made it clear that if I didn’t join in I’d regret my choice. I’d left those “friends” behind, fleeing the city they infested. Jean and I had never partied together, but I knew she did, rarely, stealthily, but I knew she visited dealers.
She got all her accouterments lined up and looked at me out of the corner of her eye. “It’s still not too late,” I said. “We can still go.”
She just smiled, patted my cheek and walked over to her dealer. I held back my tears and watched.
“One Powerball ticket, please,” she said, handing the gal her prepared form festooned with all her “lucky numbers.”
The gal at the counter took the money, smiled and said, “Good luck!”
My wife smiled back, kissed the ticket, placed it in her purse and said, “Thanks,” before returning to me, her pupils dilated so not even a circle of green shown.
I sighed, shook my head, and dreamed of a billion dollars.