this evening i was outside with maude, and i ran into matt again. rather, he ran into me, as it was not my intention to run into him, necessarily. “hey, old neighbor, how’s it going?” he said.
“fine,” i said. “you?”
“partying too damn much,” he said. “boy, sometimes it seems like i just go and go until i can’t go anymore, you know?”
“yeah,” i said, although i guess i don’t really know.
“how was your thanksgiving?”
“good,” i said. “i just got back from visiting my parents in st. louis.”
this led to a conversation in which matt asked me how, if my parents live there, did i end up all the way down here in austin? so i told him i’m from houston, and then we talked about houston and its areas, urban and suburban, while i tried to use the power of my thoughts to send maude a message to hurry up and finish peeing. he asked where i’d lived in houston, and i told him the montrose area. “that’s a good spot,” he said. “that’s where you get the good drugs anyhow.”
since i’ve never been into drugs, i didn’t know what to say to that. not yes, because agreeing would be untruthful. not no, because that implies that i disagree and, as such, know where the better drugs are. and not i don’t do drugs because that’d either a) make him feel really stupid and make me look preachy, or b) make him ask me about what drugs i might have tried, thereby lengthening the conversation.
outlining the what-ifs of my potential answers had taken so long that i’d run out of time. “hmm,” i muttered, and louder, “are you ready for treats, maude?” she came running like the good little distraction that she is, and we went inside.
ten minutes later there was a knock at my door. it was one of those loud, insistent knocks you only hear when you’ve got a pizza or a package delivery. the cops use it in the movies, too, but since i’ve never had the cops come, i call it the pizza knock. the pizza knock makes maude’s head shoot up out of the blankets like a little furry rocket. anyway, i knew it would be matt at the door, and it was.
“hey,” i said.
“hey, i was gonna ask you, and this might be a strange question” (oh crap he’s going to ask me out isn’t he, what should i say? thanks but i’m not interested in dating anyone right now thanks but i don’t like to go out with neighbors thanks but i can’t date or the dog gets jealous thanks but you’re kind of annoying?), “but do you do anything other than wine?”
“yeah…” i said, relieved he wasn’t asking me out.
“oh, good. bump?”
shit! why, oh why, did i not know he was talking about drugs? he was just talking about drugs ten minutes ago! why did i think, “well, i drink beer sometimes, and i enjoy a nice vodka tonic, and those things are other than wine, so my answer is YEAH”?
“oh! i mean, no! sorry!”
“oh, well that’s–“
“i mean, i guess i was confused by your question. so i guess the answer would be no.”
“it’s okay. i had some extra, so i thought i’d offer.”
“well, thanks anyway.”
“sure. listen, don’t let this get around, okay?”
“i won’t.” besides the internet, who would i tell?
the lessons i’ve learned here are threefold:
1) when someone says something about where to find the good drugs, a response of “hmm” can be taken as a sign of agreement.
2) when someone asks if you do anything other than wine, they’re talking about drugs. if they wanted to know that you like vodka tonics, they’d ask if you drink anything other than wine.
3) there is such a thing as “extra” cocaine.
after matt left i had this terrible mental image of me at his apartment helping myself to some of his extra cocaine. we were snorting it off of a glass-topped coffee table, which is always how i picture cocaine usage. this probably means i’m sheltered, but it’s the kind of sheltered i’m really okay with. incidentally, this marks the second time in my life i’ve been offered drugs by a next-door neighbor. if basic math can be applied to these situations, since the first offer occurred in 2000 i’ll be receiving my next neighbor-drugs offer sometime in the year 2012.
just now i heard some loud banging noises coming from matt’s apartment, like the sound of hammering a nail into a wall. maybe he’s hanging a lot of pictures really, really fast.