"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
Hunter S. Thompson

Jason Hardung

Dealers Are People Too

Dave was a dealer of mine.
A forty seven year old John Steinbeck character
relocating to Colorado instead of NoCal.
I gave him conversation
he gave me oxycontin morphine and Bronco
Ultra Light cigarettes. All he has is an old trailer
he bought with his settlement money.
He makes Adirondack chairs
out in the wood shop
he converted from a car port. I never
talked about my poetry or women
he dropped out
of school in second grade
and never learned to read.
He watches Sesame Street
and is getting better with words.
Westerns like Lonesome Dove
and Bonanza run continuously
on the television producing hypnotic
blue squares in the dark
flashing on the wood paneled walls
and while I would fix up in the kitchen
He’d drink red wine from a box and brag
that he was the foreman
on a potato picking crew in South Dakota
and he stabbed a guy in a bar
for calling his mom a fat bitch.
He threw his own shit on the guards in jail.
He says it with such bravado.
He is five foot five 120 pounds
He collects Match Box cars
mostly late sixties Chevys
and turned his living room
into a speedway plastic tracks
laid across the floor
designed with the precision
of a French engineer.
He says he always wasn’t this stupid.
He got dumber when he had a seizure
his head hit the cement floor.
One time we got in an argument
he wouldn’t give me any pills
and I told him that I didn’t want to be his friend anymore.
I made him cry.
The cops were after him
on a hit and run warrant
his cat died
his girlfriend died
something inside of him died.
The tears rolled down his nose. It was
the first time he seemed more than just
a drug connection.
He was blood and bones
and sadness
and he had heart
he was human. He wasn’t so different
than me.

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