I observed a drug deal…

Well, actually, I observed two, but I’m going to talk about the first one.

I was enjoying a Frosty at the park with my daughter.  At two and half years of age, you can get away with entertaining a child by just letting them run around you while sharing licks off of a spoon.  I’m pretty sure she got more licks than I did, but that’s OK, she was definitely doing more of the running…  As we were enjoying our time together, I spent my spare attention on what I do best- people watching.  I observed a young lady walking up the street towards a street corner just opposite of where I was sitting.  She was looking at her phone and had earphones in.  She was somewhere between 16 & 20, it’s hard for me to tell.  Blond, young, pretty.  She made it to the corner and stared around a bit, she was texting on her phone.  As she approached the corner, a young guy, probably a couple years older than the girl, stepped out of vehicle.  He was scruffy, like he didn’t know where he had put his comb.  Probably hadn’t showered that day, either.  It was interesting to note that the girl had a relaxed presence about her.  She was engaged in what she was doing, but wasn’t really concerned that she might need to be somewhere different.  The boy, from the moment got out of his car, he was looking around.  Not in a casual way, as someone would do when they are just seeing their surroundings.  He scanned quickly, jerking his around a little too much, showing tension in what is normally a casual task.  My kids do the same thing when they’re nervous and don’t want to be observed.  You might as well just raise a flag…

So, these two meet up and an interesting ritual takes place.  The greet each other, hug and kiss.  Chit chat for a bit.  Then the hand off is made.  She hands him something with her right hand while he does the same with the left.  It’s almost like two people slapping palms instead of a handshake, except they curl their fingers into their palms and immediately slide their hands into their pockets after doing so.  Then they hug and kiss again and off they go their separate ways.  She walks back the way she came and he takes off in his car.

What I want to know is this: Why the extra layers of B.S.?  Why the kissing and hugs.  It was a social convention, judging by the body language of the two, but why even bother?  A dealer and his client completed a transaction, and beyond a drugs for money relationship, they didn’t look like they ran in the same circles.  So why the façade?  I don’t hug and kiss my doctor or pharmacist…  It’s a conundrum for me, that level of physical contact, that intimacy, for something I have no regard for.  Hmmm.

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

1 comment

  1. This is out of my world, But the intimacy of something that causes intense feelings of pleasure may inspire deep feelings. Maybe he tells gullible girls that a kiss will disguise and provide cover for the hand off. She has to be gullible, doesn’t she?

    Once I belonged to a club with an interesting trick. When they met in the park they would put a big helium balloon in the air over the meeting. You could always find them even if there was a change of venue. You remember, O Kagehiru, I did the same at my wedding.

    Once, I was in Haverhill, Mass visiting my brother. I saw the yellow balloon. Cool. I walked over. Across the street a similar shifty young man was sitting in a beat-up car with a couple people walking up to him. No one happy, or laughing, or even appearing inviting.

    I was withing twenty-five feet before I caught wise.

    I mostly resent him tainting a clever idea in my mind.

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