Gabba Gabba, Holy Fck.
So I was living in Seattle. This was probably 1990 or 91. I’m up in the University district and I’ve got a little hustle going selling dime bags of weed and hits of acid to college students. Pretty much, somebody wants a few bags or up to like a quarter sheet and I’m straight with them-however, if some Jake is stupid enough to try and score weight or quantity off me they’re getting burned. “Yeah, sure I can get you two ounces of primo bud…just give me the money and I gotta go to my connect.” See ya. Or I’ll sell them a piece of perforated cereal box sprayed with Aqua Net as a sheet of acid for a hundred and fifty bucks. Yeah, I was a dirty motherfucker but I had a habit to support. It was better that than sell my ass up on Aurora ave.
At any rate, I’d have my regulars. People who would show up like clockwork to get their little punk ass bag of weed after class or work or whatever every day. I used to hang out around 42nd on University Avenue, the parking lot next to Radio Shack up the street from Espresso Roma-or, as it was affectionately called by the “Ave. Rats”, the Depresso Coma. Basically, thats where everybody went to go on the nod over a cup of coffee after copping dope and getting well. Or fully lush, depending on the economic circumstances of any given junkie. Whereas the hippies all frequented The Last Exit cafe down off 39th and Brooklyn, the doper punks invariably set up shop at Depresso Coma.
So I’m there one night, hanging out and all highed up. At the time I managed a maintenance habit, I’d get my shit in the morning or afternoon and just chip off it through the rest of the day. I knew I wasn’t a real bad dope fiend cause I wasn’t one of those motherfuckers who had to get up at four am and do some dope then go back to sleep. I was also prone to doing pretty much any other type of drug that was in my reach though. And that night I’d eaten a quarter gram of some fucked up designer drug, MDA or 2CB or some fucking shit that was going around. Plus I’d dropped a couple hits of acid for the fuck of it. So I’m just bugging the fuck out on the fucked up paintings on the walls of the coffee spot, and in walks one of my regulars. I can’t remember his name for the life of me. I’ll call him Todd.
Dude was anything but a druggie looking charachter. He was nondescript in the sort of “square” masses sort of way. The only thing distinguished about him was premature balding. Anyway, Todd waves and comes over to the table and we start talking. You know, oh hey hows it going ya da da da da shit you do so it isn’t too obvious that you’re making a drug transaction-eventhough obviously you are. He tells me he wants like two dime bags. Ok, no problem lets go for a walk. We go outside go around the back and I sell him his weed. This dude is really like my most regular of regulars. At least once a day, at least two or three bags a pop. He’s one of the one’s I wouldn’t burn. Cause, y’know, I’m such an ethical illicit drugs salesman.
So it doesn’t strike me as odd when he’s like, “Hey, you wanna smoke a bowl? We can go over to my place, I’ve got lots of food.” I guess he was trying to be sounding like “Y’know for we we get the munchies after smoking.” But I also realized it was probably because at 5′ 10″ I weighed about 130 pounds soaking wet. I was already tripping pretty good. Dude is offering to smoke me out. Sounds about perfect, I don’t have to get high off my own supply.
Thus we go to Todd’s. He’s got an apartment in a building with a bunch of other students who have apartments there. Again, the whole scenario is kind of nondescript. Cluttered college apartment. Beat up couch. Tv. Cheap stereo and some cds and tapes. I’m chilling on the couch bugging out on the patterns covering the wall. Lots of patterns covering the wall. And the ceiling. And in the air. Oh fuck yeah, this is a pretty nice trip.
So he breaks out the weed and we smoke. I remember he had one of those fancy Proto Pipes, the machined brass one piece numbers. I was feeling pretty good. So good that I pulled out my stash and matched him a bowl. Didn’t matter, I’d just short someone tomorrow. It’s not like anyone was going to take the shit to their triple beam and come back bitching about it being two tenths short. Fuck ‘em anyway. Fuckin Jakes, all of ‘em. Except Todd. Todd was, at that point very cool. The patterns on Todds walls were very cool too. As was the person on his television who was addressing me concerning reincarnation and non stick frying spray. Simultaneously. Yeah, I was pretty fucking high.
What happened next completely blew my fucking gourd. Todd says, “Hey, I want to show you something.” I’m thinking, oh fucking Christ he’s going to pull his dick out and totally ruin my buzz. You never know when you’re going to run into a pervert in Seattle.
At some level I almost wish it was as easy as him just whipping his junk out and me making a hasty retreat. Of course there would have been some degree of awkwardness, but somebody hauls out their genitalia and you don’t need to even say shit-you can just fucking bail and be perfectly within the bounds of etiquette.
It was more complicated though. He gets up, goes to his desk drawer and pulls out this giant photo album and then retrieves three shoeboxes from under the couch. My weirdness meter is about peaking here, but so is my curiosity. I’m thinking what if he wants to show me some top secret documents or some shit. What if he wants to show me family photos form when he grew up on a hippie death cult commune or something cool like that.
He opens the photo album. It is filled with vintage photographs of so-called freaks of nature. Pinheads, Siamese twins, The Human Caterpillar (who was an Indian prince with no arms or legs. Todd explains to me that the guy loved to smoke cigarettes and could roll his own using only his lips), and these are all like, actual old ass original photos not just clippings. The boxes were full of them too.
I was fucking losing my fucking mind listening to him talk about these human oddities and seeing all these pictures. Dude was a vast storehouse of knowledge on the subject of Freaks. He knew everything about every person or conjoined persons in every photo. My trip suddenly became very, very strange.
Keep in mind, this was before this kind of stuff was easily available for perusal and research via the internet. This guy wasn’t just someone who had hit Google with a “Circus Freak” search term and got instant results. What I was seeing was the collection of a man truly obsessed with human oddities. Also keep in mind, I was on a lot of fucking drugs.
So when he turns and says to me pleadingly “Please, whatever you do don’t tell anybody about this. They would think I’m weird”, what could I possibly respond with but “Uh, naw, don’t worry I won’t say anything…”
I hung out for a little while longer. Todd made us sandwiches but I didn’t have much in the way of an appetite-not just from all the hallucinogens and opiates I was on alongside the weed-but there’s nothing like seeing an old black and white of a guy who has an extrnal intestinal tract to kind of curb the munchies.
So I split. Went back to the Depresso Coma. My coffee was still on the table. I went and asked the girl at the counter with the dreds and septum piercing for a warm up. Sat back down and looked at the cool shit climbing the walls. Todd was odd.