>The Strabismics Pt. 1


This is the first installation of a chapter in my forthcoming book, Hot Love on the Wing. To my younger readers, proceed with caution, it is rated M for Mature.

It was Easter weekend and he hadn’t seen Buckley for a few weeks.  Their friendship had plateaued due to Buckley being set on making new friends at school and spending most of his time there, although he missed Gabriel.
They manhugged, with their arms x’ed around each other’s shoulders and an arched gap between their pelvises. It was Friday afternoon and the evening sunshine darkened so when they sat down there was an odd play of sunshine across Buckley’s bed and onto his face; it looked like a nasty birthmark. Gabriel hadn’t been smoking weed and didn’t miss it, but social smoking was a delight. Buckley packed a bowl eagerly and he said this was the last, melancholically, but that he knew a guy from Stony Brook who had a friend who lived in Bushwick.

“Bushwick? Isn’t that in Brooklyn?”

“Ya man, it’s off the L train. Supposed to be real fire.”

Although most druggies won’t admit it, the adventure of picking up the drugs is half the pleasure of consumption. Since Gabriel had never been to Bushwick he decided it would be fun to go.

As he felt his thoughts and worries begin to evaporate, Buckley took out a piece of aluminium foil with a black letter on it and an empty pen. He lit the black letter with a lighter and hovered the pen over it as he sucked in the fumes. 

“What the fuck are you doing, man?”

Buckley nodded profusely as he finished inhaling the last of the smoke. “Dude, I’m trying to quit Oxycodon, so I smoke this opiate resin.”

Gabriel looked at him like he was five feet underwater. “What? So you’re smoking heroin?” He tried to be amiable, unjudging about Buckley’s habit. This is my friend, he is a good guy. Maybe it isn’t the way it looks. But it looks like he’s smoking crack. All those times we smoked weed under the bridge and now…

“Dude, it’s not heroin. It’s much safer than heroin because you couldn’t possibly smoke enough of this to die.”

“You might as well smoke heroin. You look like a crack fiend.”

“Trust me man. It’s much safer.”

“I just don’t want you getting caught up in these drugs man. Mary is one thing, but this resin shit is weird.”

“Try it and see for yourself that it’s not that weird.”

For a second, Gabriel debated whether he should try, but his gut warned him. “Nah, I’m okay.”
    Buckley finished his drug and his phone vibrated. It was a text message from his man in Bushwick. “He said go to the Morgan stop and he’ll meet us there.”

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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