End Continuum – Not A Through Street

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. I was told her name was Melanie and she would be finishing my intake. “Your nose is a little crooked,” she said with motherly concern. “I got into a fight with a guy in a wheel chair and lost,” I told her as I stood and walked out. A year ago I was arguing down into “Parking Lot’s” crack twisted face about the quantity of dope he just sold me. He throws a jab, breaks my nose, and I stumble backwards and fall over a fire hydrant. I was looking up at a sign that says, “End Continuum – Not a Through Street.”

As I bolt out of gay rehab, there’s an old black man squatting between two cars, with his pants down, struggling with paper towels to wipe himself. He pleads at me, “You got a dollar, a cigarette, the time?” I find Bullet on the corner by the Police Station. “Sup, OG, he says.” He’s in a black tuxedo jacket, blue jeans, and red basketball shoes. They let drug dealing happen here, its called containment.

We duck into the pawnshop where he slips the rock from his mouth into my hand for the $18 I’m holding at my side. Bullet sees a bulletproof vest for $600. The owner tells him its Kevlar - it won't stop everything. “Cops don’t use armor piercing,” Bullet says. “What the fuck do you need with a bulletproof vest,” I ask.
“OG, look at me,” Bullet says close and low, “I’m…a…drug-dealer.”

The homeless people have stopped asking me for change. I must look really bad. It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here. I almost walk into this Asian guy; he is barefoot and shirtless, blue jeans with a hint of black briefs. He has a vacuum cleaner upside-down on the sidewalk with a screwdriver in his hand. He looks up at me quizzically, and I kind of need a reason to be gawking at him. "I'm probably going to the Gay drug rehab”, I blurt out. His eyes, thin, black, storm beautiful consider me for a moment. "I think that's a good choice for you,” he says.

“Occupation?” Melanie asks me as gently as possible. “Recovering Gay White Crack Whore with HIV.” “Sweetie, I can’t put that,” she says. “I’m an Unemployed Pearl Diver from Arizona.” 90 days clean and Melanie calls me… “John.” I had forgotten I had a name, a clean and sober name.