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tragedy on a small scale

These are such confusing, exciting days. School is starting and I have people living at my house for a few days and all of my relationships with people are shifting and I have 18 million projects, most of them fun but not allowing for much sleep, and...hey, is this a run-on sentence?

Anyway, I came here to tell you about something and I'm going to do it!

I work with this 19 year-old sweet lil' punk of a kid who lives with his mom and spends all his money on dope, and expensive audio and computer components. I like him, he's really intelligent and funny, and he's just getting in touch with his feelings so he's still pretty surprised by someone like me who wears his heart firmly buttoned to his sleeve.

When I relieve him at 11pm, we go outside and smoke a cigarette and bullshit. He mostly talks about Star Trek Voyager and Diablo 2, but occaisionally waxes philosophical in his 19 year old way.

That's why I was a little...mmn...disturbed when he asks me out of the blue yesterday if I'd ever done 'crystal'. What he is referring to, for those not in the know, is a really potent Methamphetamine that is really hot these days...in Washington State at least. It might be bigger than heroin. More likely he's just talking about crank, which is the stepped on version of same.

Now, I worry about this kid a little already. He already does quite a fair amount of drinking for a 19-year old, and he listens to Korn, Marilyn Manson, Eminem, and all those voice-of-the-disenfranchised-and-slightly-psychotic-suburbanite bands, and is just pretty directionless. I know, I know...he's basically your average teenager these days.

But now he looks like he's flirting with that crazy-ass jet fuel. He asked me if I wanted to do it with him sometime. (You know, sometimes we go out and smoke a bowl in his tricked-out Toyota.)

I told him I wasn't gonna be into that. I have actually tried it, and I have watched some really cool people just go down. Sores all over their faces and red eyed and pretty much crazy. The bullshit addict lies and the inevitable stealing.

I told him about the 'speed bumps' or just the big red sores that come as the skin begins to break down after a while of being on the shit.

"Nono, he said, crystal doesn't do that. Maybe they were really on heroin," he said.

I told him I knew damn well what they were doing.

"Maybe they were taking some other shit, too."

Who knows, maybe he'll get wise really quick. Or maybe he'll just be another small-scale tragedy in the midst of all the large scale tragedies going on.