Alice and her cookies.

A lot of our time was spent downtown, which makes for a sketchy opportunity to aqqaint yourself with some pretty lowly people. Gutter networking, as I call it. Standing around in groups along the main street, smoking cigarettes and talking in abnoxious, hyper tones. Story telling and selling weed to passerbys. Drinking forty ounce bottles of beer buried in paper bags, and harrassing the public with innappropriate gestures and trashy language. Hustlers marketing goods, stolen from the overpopulated mall centered smack dab in the middle of the downtown square. Pill popping and acid dropping. Railing PCP and speed in the McDonalds bathroom. Classy times.

She, soaked it up all down there. Talking to everyone like shes on lunch break in middle school, and wants to share her snacks with the cool kids. Social to a default and naiive as all hell. In She’s mind, everybody gathering on the polluted street conrners, was a potential friend. If drugs were offered, she was the first one to open her hand. Scampering off with whom ever, sneaking into alleyways, and coming back to me restlessly loaded. Crack, acid, special K, whatever she could get her little hungry hands on. I hated when she did that shit, ’cause nothing out on the street is free, and she’d wrack us up with petty drug debt. Fueling my paranoia all the more, and forcing me to continouesly have the, ‘we don’t take drugs from strangers’ talk. Not that I wasn’t using, but I checked my sources first. Last thing I wanted was some pimp claiming my girl owes him, for that fat rail she snorted last week in the Taco Bell bathroom stall. It was like being on the street with Alice, always chasing that chescher cat, and eating up all the cookies. Tyler, often whispering in my ear, ‘Babe, you gotta get her in control..she’s gonna bring you heat.’ Thanks for your astounding wisdom Tyler. My eyes are open now. Which takes me back to this one particular day. This little tale will give a better insight into She’s character, as in, she’s ignorantly fearless. The kind of girl who always chooses dare over truth, and does it with an overextended smile and a skip in her step.

It was late afternoon and we were walking down the main strip. The bus stops packed with business type suit wearers, and a parade of multi fashioned commuters. Starbucks and cigarette smoke filling the not so fresh downtown air. She, prancing around me, the never ending barage of her thoughts filling my ears. Like a five year old girl after school, telling all the stories of her day to her Mommy, as they walk home from the school bus stop. I see this man, mid forties, dressed in a suit, waiting at the bus stop. It irritates me, seeing his calm demeanor, and I imagine him going home to his wife, and sharing the bottle of wine he carrying in his hand. This anger builds in me, a jealousy. I hate him for being so well dressed and lah-dee-dah with that damn LCBO bag in his hand. I turn to She, and say..

‘Wouldn’t it be halarious, if you just ran up and stole his booze. Just like that, BAM, in front of everyone.

I’d like to see the look on his generic, perfect little face.’ She looks at me and smiles that overextended smile, and says,

‘Yeah? I’m gonna do it! Meet me at the bridge in five minutes.’ Before I can tell her I was kind of joking, she crosses the street, and right in front of that huge crowd, and all the people walking by, rushes up to that man and grabs the bottle right from out his hand. Then takes off, like a jack rabbit down the street. I stood there, mouth hanging open, trying my best to contain the look of shock on my face. The man’s just standing there slack jawed. Poor guy. Turning in slow circles, trying to find something to say or do. If he did figure it out, we were already gone. Standing underneath that bridge, polishing off the bottle in minutes. Laughing like two dumbass kids on April Fools Day. Haha, Daddy sat on the whoopy cushion… Not my proudest moment, but a perfect discription of Shes approach to things like this. Pushing the envelope way past it’s paper seams, and I’m not going ot lie, I kind of got off on it too.

Getting back to the lowly people you tend to accounter downtown, there was this one group of guys I always look back on with a grimace and a turn of the gut. This long and lanky black guy named Babyface. The name ironic and underhandedly disturbing being that he prowled the streets for young girls to pull into his sex trade. Make a quick buck off their gulible underdeveloped minds. The kind of guy I would never had aqqainted myself with, had She not of been bouncing around chatting him up. The kind of guy, that when he speaks, you can hear the snake like hiss in his voice. The ashy skin of his hands, and yellowed fingers sending shivers down your spine. The kind of guy that emmenates a dark peversion, like a a shiesty New Orleans voodoo card reader. The kind of guy who sizes you up the moment he looks at you, and glides towards you like a snake over water. The whites of his eyes a sickly yellow twinge, with a glutonized stare peeking from behind them.

The kind of guy, my Dad would knock out if he had seen me in his pressence. The kind of guy we should all warn our daughters of. The kind of guy, that in a very short time, I will literally be breaking out of his house, through his bedroom window, escaping a very real threat, of being beaten and raped. He will chase us down the street, a knife in his hand, and I will run faster then Ive ever ran in my life. Terrified beyond my sickest nightmares, and knowing without a doubt, I saved She’s life that night, and my own.


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