God the weather was looking like shit today Amy thought as she fumbled in her purse looking for her cigarettes. Fucking shit did I leaves those things in that fuckers car, damn she wanted to smoke she always did after doing a trick. It was just as good a mouth wash and what the hell calmed the nerves down too, not as good heroin but better then nothing. Amy gave up looking for the lost smokes. Drizzle from the cold sky pelted her flatting her hair. Shit she thought, I got twenty but she already knew where that money was going. She had just woken up at three in the afternoon and needed to score. Heroin was the best alarm clock in the world. She was jonesen pretty hard by now. Even though it was cold and she was dressed like shit for it. A small line of sweat covered her body, causing her to shake and shiver uncontrollably. It was like her body was in revolt she ached horribly and she could not stop scratching her arms. Serious red welts mixed with new and old scabs perforating her skin from her shoulders down. She was on Fifth Street but needed to get to Downer Street. That was a three mile walk she could take the bus but, then she would be short for the horse. Fucking dealer would not even let her be short by a couple of dollars. She might find a trick to give her a lift but she doubted it she was pretty skanked out by now ,unable to stop shaking and her nose was running like a faucet.
The loud blare of a horn and the hard screeching of tires woke Amy up out of her stupor as she crossed Linden Street. Not paying attention she had stumbled into the intersection on red and the car had almost hit her. Looking with dreary eyes that really saw nothing, Amy didn’t feel anything gazing upon what was almost the harbinger of her death or at least severe injury. Putting one foot in front of the other she kept crossing the street. The man behind the wheel honked his horn repeatedly. “Fuck you!” she yelled but got no real satisfaction out of it. The fact of the matter was she didn’t get satisfaction out of anything anymore except for the smack. With just a couple of more horn blast from other cars, she crossed against traffic and was soon safely back on the sidewalk. Lifting her head she saw the Seven Eleven sign, that might be a good thing. The Seven Eleven was where some of her fellow sisters hung out. If she found one she might be able to bum a smoke, she damn well knew though none would share a bag with her. Under the glowing sign she saw a tall skinny black lady. And like Amy was dressed like a tramp even in the cold weather. It was Candy Amy was sure. The only problem was which one. Gears shifted and swirled in Amy’s mind. It was like an engine running low on oil hot and noisy. Her mind took over and a monologue formed. In her withdrawal addled mind she was unable to stop it.
The high on dope Candy was the sweetest person you could meet. Shit Amy had seen that Candy give twenty dollars to a young girl trying to become pro. The girl must have only been 13 or 14 tops. Candy had seen her and she was like “What’s that dumb motherfucker trying to do?” She walked up to her and asked, the girl tolled her she needed some money to get a bus ticket to see her mom across state. There was a bus station downtown right in the middle of the city. We weren’t far from it and Candy had said “I give you twenty dollars will you take your ass of the street and get on that bus?” The girls eyes got all big and wide, you could just see how grateful and happy she was for the help. Yes the girl said, Candy gave her the money “Now you hear me take your ass on that bus, I know the route and want to see you on it.” Candy didn’t know shit or even what bus if any that girl was taking. But, she gave her the money and the girl left. Damn if we did not see that bus 30 minutes later and the young girl just waving at us happy as can be. We never saw the girl again. Maybe that Candy saved the girl from the streets never know.
Pictures formed and disfigured in Amy’s disjointed thoughts. The outside world was stable but, it was like she was hallucinating on the inside. Consciousness would not heed rational thought and the mind movie kept playing. Amy laughed out loud, except the laugh sounded more like a scream. The evil Candy the one that’s not high on dope that’s a different story. There’s this old bum hangs around the same haunts as the working girls. He is as close to a charity we have. Old Andy we call him. I don’t think anyone really knows his name. We call him old Andy cause he looks like an old really old and dirty version of Andy Griffin. I don’t think he is playing with a full deck but is really nice. Most of the girls kind of take a shine to him. Anyways, he is always running around begging for 55 cents. You see old Andy hand this ally cat as old and mangy as he, it goes by the name of Clyde. Sometimes that was how we would ask for them “Hey seen old Andy and Clyde around?“ They made quite a pair. Old Andy never begged money for himself but was asking for money to feed Clyde. At the Seven Eleven cat food is 55 cents. One time Old Andy comes walking along with Clyde lounging in his arms like usual. I was right next to Candy trying to read the weather if you know what I mean. The reports didn’t look good. Candy was fidgeting uncontrollably and her nose was running down her face turning into a soupy goo on her top. Her eyes were rolling moving around her skull like they was trying to pop out. I guess old Andy’s barometer wasn’t working that day. He approached Candy just as calm as could be. It was like watching a man calmly walk into a burning building. Andy went into his spiel and Candy goes off saying “Motherfucker why you always bugging us bout that cat?” She pulled out a screwdriver she kept for protection against the johns and started stabbing Clyde. Clyde took one in the eye and it popped out sticking to the end of the screwdriver. He jumped madly scratching the hell out of Andy, his shirt was torn to ribbons and blood flowed freely down his arms. Candy seemed to just go into a fugue state after the viscous attack. The light in her eyes dimmed along with any signs of cognizant thought and she walks away. Lucky for Andy or that screwdriver would have torn through his old skin like a knife through wet newspaper. Andy looking like the oldest little boy sank to the sidewalk tears fell leaving streaks of cleanliness down his dirty face. He was mumbling something incoherent yet the pain and the grief was still coming through in Andy‘s voice. Clyde was all he had, to tell you the truth I think Andy would have passed on if Clyde had died. He didn’t though he came back the next day with a missing eye but other than that the same cat.
Amy wanted her mind to shut up and stop speaking like it was telling a story. It was driving her crazy. Fuck she thought. The wind blew in hard bringing some sense back. Approaching she saw Candy was calm and not shaking that was a good sign. In her hands
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