The Starlight Motel was, if anything, more dissolute than the bar I just left.

As Alicia had warned me there was a gaggle of fourteen and fifteen year old

kids in hooded sweat tops hanging out up front who noted my approach and

fanned out almost in perfect synchronization to meet me. They where mostly

skinny, white, inbred looking.

 

"Yo, what you want man?"

"You looking for somethin?"

"Hey, hey - what you need?"

"Lookin' for rocks? Lookin' for rocks?"

 

I kept walking and muttered, "No. No I'm cool,"  and made it to the parking

lot of the motel. The sounds of stereos blasting eighties metal and TVs

blasting court shows crept out of the darkened windows all around me. I

walked up to the second level, found 217 and rapped on the door. The door

opened a fraction and a wired, nervous face peeked out of the crack.

 

"What you want, nigga?" it asked me.

"Alicia told me to come by. I'm lookin' for some stuff; she said you could help

me out." "Alicia?"

 

The door slammed shut and I heard a lock scraping open, and the door

opened wider this time. The kid who stood in front of me was a wiry white

boy in a Tupac Shakur T-shirt, wearing a red bandana over his shaved head.

 

"Alicia who?" he asked, jutting his chin up and sticking his chest out, "I

know a lot of bitches. Alicia who nigga?"

 "Old girl; hangs out at the bar across the road. Real fucked up legs."

 

The kid sucked in the air through his buckteeth in disgust.

"That nasty ol' crackhead ho? That bitch is always comin' on like 'D-Low I

need credit man, gimme a rock man, I'll suck your balls for it, D-Low.'

Sheeit, skeevy fuckin' bitch. Now she's sending fuckin' crazy honkies from

the bar over here. I gotta have a word with that bitch, yo..."

 

 I could see shitty and pissy diapers lying across the murky grey carpet in

the room behind the kid. On the TV, Cops was playing with the volume

turned low. I cleared my throat.

 

"So can you help me out? I need smack."

"No shit, huh nigga?" he replied simply, before slamming the door in my face.

I stood there slightly shocked for a moment. Through the door I heard

footsteps, a door opening and the kid talking real low. From inside a

woman's voice started yelling at him and a baby started crying. The kid

screamed at the girl and the door slammed again. Footsteps approached and

he opened the door.

 

"You a cop?" he asked.

"No."

"'Cos you know if you a cop you gotta tell me. That shit'll get thrown out of

court, yo. That's entrapment an' shit."

"I ain't a cop. I'm a junky. Can you help me out?"

The kid thought about if for a second and asked "How much?"

"Four."

 

I handed him the 80 dollars and he ushered me in. He went into the back

where the infant was screaming and I amused myself by watching some

drunken hick getting maced by the pigs on TV. Freebasing paraphernalia

was strewn across a broken coffee table, and the smell of ammonia hung in

the air, making my eyes smart. The kid returned and handed me a battered

packet of Camels.

 

"What're you? French or Australian or somethin' fruity like that?"

 "I'm English."

"Well," he told me, "next time you see that raggedy bitch you tell her not to

be sending over anymore French, Australian or English dope fiends to my

fuckin' motel. And next time, deal with the kids downstairs. That's what

they're there for, nigga."

 

"Sure thing," I told the kid, glancing inside the packet before slipping it into

my jacket. "Pleasure doin' business with you."

 I opened the door and the kid followed me out.

 

"Peace out nigga," he said before slamming the door behind me.