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  1. CapitalistZombie

    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

    be happy!”



    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

    jacket.



    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

    you honey.”

    “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

    more.


    `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!”
    (Continued)

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