Snow Blowers

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The kitchenette reeked of burning plastic. It was the kind of smell that disarms nostrils. It was from James, as he was cooking up new product and was sort of a bad chemist — it was too much cleaner, not enough base — too much heat, too little pressure — rookie mistakes that, the veteran James would never escape. But to his credit, James would always manage to pump out product at rates to which few could compete. His stuff was rarely of high quality; if ever that was it was sheerly by accident, but the product was passable on the streets, and at street market value had made James become as a one-man Walmart to the drug world — compared to his competitors at least.Tina, James’s girlfriend, was in the doorway watching him as he cooked up his drugs. Tina was once a prostitute, which is how the two had met, but in the time since their relations began, she had took on a very important role that was absolutely pivotal in the success of James’s business: Tina was his strongest pusher. Virtually all transactions with James’s clients were done strictly through Tina’s own dealings. Tina’s street presence had become so heavy that, many if not most believed it were Tina who was spearheading the operation. It was only but other pushers and makers and, maybe the police, as well, who then even knew who James was any more.

Tina assumed a great deal of risk to be James’s pusher, but was willing to, all the same, despite her awareness of this. Perhaps she had found that the life she would have, was to be better than the life she was living — though perhaps maybe it was something different, maybe it was a mix of many things that would thus trigger her outcome — but in any such case, whatever it was, through working with James, Tina’s office was no longer the backseat of a car, or stranger’s bedroom. James would reciprocate more than fairly in exchange for Tina’s services, professionally speaking — and the two had become quite committed, to one another, in their own private life — the life that they lived, as intertwined as it was — between the business of drugs and all that came with it, the love that was between them was real and was strong.

Tina walked into the kitchen. James had not yet realized she was there standing in the doorway — she walked over to the sink, and shoved open the thickly paned window of the kitchenette, to air out the fumes — a gust of wind blew in snow as it opened — it was mid January in Buffalo, NY, and yet, it was the first true blizzard they’d seen all that season — ten full inches of some not-so-effective lake effect snow.

snowflake2_16374_lgLooking out from the window of the third story apartment, Tina could see that there was not very many who were out and about in the early Buffalo morning — “I’m not selling today” she said, to which James answered “If they call you,” he said softly — and with his back turned from her, as his focus was still on the drugs — his face was to the stove, his chest hunching over stewing pots, inspecting the drug’s processes and acting in thats accordance — Tina’s own back, too, was turned away — she was standing at the sink, staring out the window — she had said nothing in response to James’s comment, though she did agree with him. She pulled out a cigarette and turned toward him, to light it on the heating element of the stove top — she turned again returning to the window — a gust of wind blew in more snow, that fell into the aluminum sink below the window sill, wherein the snow was collecting, layering in sheets of white.

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