As she began the familiar lecture that began with the incident from last year
and ended with her in tears from getting so upset Adam shut the words out and gazed at her.
She was a very pretty girl, with high cheekbones and eyes like those Precious Moments
figurines. She was always dressed with a modest fashion; never too slutty or covered in
makeup but still held an attractiveness to her wardrobe that most girls couldn’t seem to pull
off. She genuinely loved him too and didn’t try to hide it. That’s why she would get so upset
like this, because she cared way too much.
He began to focus back in on what she was saying and Adam heard her
voice begin to raise emotionally as she was going off on how unhealthy meth was for you,
emotionally, mentally, and physically. Adam shushed her harshly, “Do you want me to get
evicted? Keep your voice down. The neighbors probably heard you.”
Hillary began to tear up on cue and ran to Adam to embrace him. She
squeezed hard and pressed her face firmly into his chest as she became desperate, “I don’t
want to lose you to this honey. I want you to be healthy. I want us to be healthy. I want us to
As she said this guilt ripped through Adam’s chest. He didn’t want to face
these emotions or this situation right now. She had just arrived and he already felt the need
to run. With shame thick in his throat he mumbled, “I have to go. I told Sal I would hang out
with him today.” He gently pulled away from her hug and went to put on his boots and his
Hillary sat on the bed heavily and it sounded like another spring popped.
Hillary had nearly regained control of herself when she said, “You need a new mattress or at
least one of those foam pads to put over it.” Hillary faltered before catching Adam’s eyes and
said, “I know what you do with Sal.”
Adam averted her glance and looked down to finish tying his boots and for a
second his heart jumped before he said, “No you don’t. You just think you do.”
"Right. Whatever. Adam, I’m not going to put up with this forever. I’ll wait here for you. When
will you be done?”
Now standing at the door, Adam allowed his neck to go limp, aimed the top
of his head towards the floor, and shrugged, “I won’t be long, two hours, maybe three. I love
“I love you too.”
Adam couldn’t get down the flight of stairs fast enough; being on the third
floor had its disadvantages. On the way down Adam lit up a cigarette as he rushed past a sign
posted up on one of the walls that stated: “THIS IS A NO SMOKING BUILDING”. Adam wasn’t
too concerned about it though, there were only five apartments in the complex and only the
old man with the cats didn’t smoke. Plus, when he had signed the lease, it had said that they
weren’t allowed to have pets so screw that old husk. When he got just outside the apartment
complex he slid on a patch of ice but caught himself before falling. “Jesus,” he muttered as he
looked around to see if anyone had seen his balancing act. While bundling himself up in his
jacket to fight the freezing wind he walked a little more carefully the rest of the way to his car
parked on the street. The car started up right away; the engine was still in good shape despite
the body being dented and scratched. His dad had given him the car as a reward for being the
first of his kids to graduate high school and it was nearly new then but when Adam learned
how to drive in a North Dakota winter with a manual transmission he made a few mistakes
that showed in the myriad of dents and scratches that covered it now, especially the front
bumper; the entire bottom half had been snapped off after a collision with a snowbank. It
adds character. Or something.
Rolling the window down just a crack to blow the smoke of his cigarette out
Adam navigated his way to Salvador’s place through the icy roads of Grand Forks. As he drove
he thought about Hillary getting upset again. He really did want to quit everything, clean up,
and live a simple life but it wasn’t that simple. Sal had said on multiple times that his only
goal in life was to “get fucked up and go on adventures”. Adam found it difficult to talk to Sal
about cleaning up without sounding like Hillary which would make him a hypocrite for always
tuning her out.
He felt another pang of guilt when he thought about her telling him that she
knew what he did with Sal. Sure, she knew that they got high together, she was right about
that, but there was so much more. When he was with Sal it really was an adventure. They
would go exploring the country roads during a blizzard just for the challenge of it.
Spontaneous trips to Fargo or Minneapolis (to pick up drugs, sneak into a club, or just walk
the streets and cause havoc without having to worry about running into someone you knew)
were never out of the question either. Plus the sex was great. Adam was sure Hillary had no
idea about the sex.
He got to Sal’s trailer and slid to a stop on more ice on the street. He cursed
the winter to himself as he ran up to the door and knocked. Sal never rushed to answer the
door and the cold was ripping through his coat so he knocked again immediately this time with
a lot more urgency. The extra effort did not transmit to Sal who still took about three minutes
to finally answer the door and let Adam in from the cold. “Fuckin a,” Adam growled at Sal,
“About time. It’s colder than hell out there.”
Sal smiled at this, and Adam remembered how much he loved that smile. Sal
had beautiful tanned skin thanks to his Hispanic mother that made his teeth seem to radiate
out from his mouth when he smiled. His hair was black, curly, and long with a bang that
always seemed to bounce over his left eye, though today it was a little more unkempt than
usual. He was shirtless even though it was winter and his trailer really wasn’t that warm and
his torso was toned without being buff and thin without being scrawny. To Adam he had the
most perfect body he could think of, judging his own disproportionate features in comparison.
“Starting the day off with a paradox are we?” Sal’s grin showed his appreciation for the joke,
and though Adam didn't find it quite as funny, he always smiled when Sal did. Sal's teeth were
straight but not quite perfect; he was the lucky one who never felt the tightening of teeth in
the crevices of your jaw for what is a perpetual eternity in the mind of a preteen. He noticed
the flawed teeth, the slightest overlap of the left incisor onto the right, and genuinely smiled,
locking eyes with Sal before the rambling of his mind slowed enough for him to respond,
“Starting the day off? Did you just wake up? It’s three in the afternoon,” Adam took his coat
off and threw it into the corner of the living room on top of Sal’s pile of winter wear. He didn’t
take off his boots.
“Morning is in the eye of the beholder! The day has just begun for me so this
is my morning. On that note, I haven’t smoked yet, care to join me?” Sal began walking to his
bedroom without waiting for a response; he knew it wasn’t necessary. Adam followed him into
the bedroom and found a seat on a five gallon bucket that held paint once and was flipped
upside so to be recycled as a chair. They began the familiar ritual of melting up shards of
meth and inhaling the fumes while continuing whatever discussion they had stumbled into.
Today it was a matter of whether morning was a static event that occurred whether or not you
were aware of it or if it was based on personal perception. They ended up agreeing that time
itself was a man-made concept, or at the very least only applicable to the time it takes a
rock/massive gas collection to orbit around another rock/massive gas collection. If time was
not able to be defined they would allow nihilistic thoughts to rule.
"If something cannot be consistently and universally defined then it cannot be," was the final
consensus, until Sal found a logical fallacy and the cycle began again.
Those debates are what drew them together back in high school, each finding
in the other someone of intellectual equality that could play a devil’s advocate regardless of
personal belief. The friendship turned into something more intimate after the first year but
Adam wanted to keep that part of his life quiet as he still struggled to understand who and
what he was. Sal was more confident and while he did not broadcast his sexuality he didn’t
hide it from anyone except Hillary. Adam was jealous of that and it made him desire Sal even
`Adam noticed something on Sal’s arm that made him nauseous. “Is that a fucking track
mark?” Adam’s voice nearly cracked with his shock at the sight, “I thought we agreed that we
would never shoot this shit!”
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Adam's Day (part 2)