Monday, January 30, 2006


Karl had carefully divided the small pile into 5 crumbly white lines. Each line was about the width of a very skinny straw – like the kind you found wrapped in plastic on the sides of juice boxes, mom packed for lunch in elementary school. Each line was about 2 inches long. Most of the powder stuck together, but a few crumbly bits refused to adhere to the pile, and were scattered across the face of the CD case like specks of lint. Lily picked up the credit card sitting next to the CD case and carefully scraped up the stray pieces of powder. When she had cleaned up the line as much as possible, Lily took a deep breath to ensure that she would not blow any of the powder off. Finally, she stuck the green plastic straw deep inside her right nostril, plugged the other nostril, and inhaled sharply.

Lily sat back upright, and for what seemed a long time, she didn’t feel anything at all. The numbing effect of the cocaine she had just snorted dulled her senses momentarily. Suddenly, after an indeterminable amount of time, at least to her, she felt the familiar itch and sharpness inside her nose, and then the welcome explosion inside her brain. As the blow made it’s way through her sinuses, a sweet metallic flavour filled her mouth. The back of her throat felt thick and she swallowed hard, trying to overcome the numbness she felt.

She turned to Daniel, and handed him the straw. He gave her a hollow smile, but his focus was on the pile of cocaine in front of him. Without any of her preamble, he stuck the straw up his nose, and with great gusto, hoovered the line into his system as quickly as possible. He closed his eyes, already calmed by the presence of the white powder in his body. He leaned back, and without saying a word, waved the straw in the air for the next taker.

Sam reached over and made a grab for the green piece of plastic that was hovering in the air. She missed. After another lunge and a miss, she kicked Daniel in the foot to get his attention.

“Ow! Do you have to be such a bitch?” he said, frowning at Sam.

“Uh, oh!” Sam mocked him, “Is your little line wearing off already? It’s been, what, a whole 5 seconds?”

Lily sighed, “C’mon you guys. Get with it Sam. Karl and Jules are waiting.” And indeed they were. Karl and Jules watched the whole affair, slack jawed and a little confused. They were trying, without much luck, to wait patiently for their turn.

“Sorry guys.” Sam apologized, as she leaned over and sucked the powder up her nose. As the precious powder entered her system, she plugged both her nostrils and snorted hard to ensure that all of it would make its way into her body. Daniel waved his hand nonchalantly. He had already dismissed Sam, Karl and Jules in his mind. He made a grab for the straw, but was intercepted by Jules.

“Hey buddy, it’s not your turn yet.” Jules reminded Daniel gently.

“Oh. Yeah. Sorry Jules. I’m kinda out of it.” Daniel said faintly. Jules knew he didn’t mean it, but left it alone.

“Get on with it!” Karl was getting impatient. Jules quickly took his turn and handed the straw over to Karl, who after waiting for what seemed an eternity, took no time at all to digest the line that had been allotted to him.

All five of them sat back, and studied the empty CD case. Was it too soon to ask for more? “Yeah probably,” Lily thought.

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