Fifty Episodes! OMG! Wow! So much podcasting!!@!@!!!@
Tune in to find out how we celebrate this week.
And now, your selection of TPV goodness:
Megan opened the door of the basement, and wrinkled her nose at the dank air that rushed towards her. She clicked the flashlight and inched her way down the creaky stairs to the light switch. Despite this unfinished basement being a part of her house and therefore a part of her property, she had only ventured down here once before, with Chris. She had no use for unfinished space, and exploring this room alone was not her idea of a good time.
She turned on the light and resisted the impulse to gag when she realized she had landed smack in the middle of a sea of spider webs, moldy hunks of stray insulation, and powdery bits of decaying drywall. She treaded lightly across the junkyard to where the utility connectors sprouted from the wall. She examined the copper pipes, wiring, outlets, and faucets. Without knowing what to expect, she was now unsure what to make of all this. She just wanted to examine the hookups because she had tired of driving to the laundromat and thought maybe she would learn what to look for in a washer and dryer.
She traced the copper lines with the flashlight, and then noticed a long vertical slit on the wall. Other parts of the drywall in the basement were cracked or torn, but this seemed man-made. She ran her fingers over the slit, outlining it, until she realized that it was not a slit at all, but instead a U-shaped cut that went down to the floor, across and back up in equal measure two feet over.
It’s a door.
She grabbed along each vertical section, and dug her fingers into the drywall on either side. She pulled, and the section lifted, as if on a hinge. Under the opening, only darkness; probably a crawlspace. She ducked down and rested the drywall chunk on top of her head so she could grab the flashlight. She clicked the button and gasped.
Inside the crawlspace underneath her house were dozens of rectangular packages, wrapped in cellophane and masking tape. She could see inside them, and each contained a dense mass of something green. She stretched to grab one from the edge of a stack, and pulled it out into the lit area of the basement. Definitely marijuana.
“I’ve been sitting on about two hundred elbows of green for a month,” Wiles had said on the phone. “That’s not like yellow or white that I can just tuck away in a drawer somewhere. That’s a large amount of product taking up a large amount of space, and it’s just sitting there. I might as well be growing this shit, with as much real estate as it’s taking up. I’m out a lot of money until I can move this stuff.”
Two hundred elbows. LBs. Two hundred pounds.
She knew that Wiles sold drugs, but the practical questions about storage had never had occurred to her. Derek Wiles: her roommate, the drug kingpin. She no longer wondered “how far up the ladder” Derek was. Now she knew why Walker had approached Megan directly and why black cars with tinted windows parked on her street. Megan had no idea that Wiles’ operation had this kind of scope.
She turned the package over in her hands, as a millions thoughts raced through her mind. No way to shut them out.
Megan replaced the package she had taken, and then lowered the drywall back into place. She smoothed the dimples she had made with her fingers, then turned off the basement light and left the basement, and vowed never to return.
Brian waited at the far end of the NCAR building parking lot, his favorite meet up spot. In the evenings, the lot emptied except for the few cars belonging to people on evening hikes or snowshoe forays into the mountain trails that originated from the parking lot. Hikers would not notice a car idling in the lot, which was spacious enough that when parked at the back, you would have to plenty of warning time to ditch everything if a cop car came in via the lone entrance.
Brian had arrived early, hoping his contact would do the same. No such luck. He did not know the man he awaited, only a random guy who called him and got the number from another guy who probably got it from someone else. Brian did not care anymore. Now that he knew the truth about Megan, everything else was just noise. If Wiles found out, he would probably not just wave it off as he had Commerce City. That had been a simple mistake. Now it had become about family, and for being a relatively unscrupulous guy, Wiles traveled the moral high ground in that respect.
And Megan, she had not returned his phone called or texts, which lent credence to Alex’s claims. She had not attended Ethics class at all this week. He hoped that maybe she was out of town, or maybe she lost her phone, but he did not believe it. The evidence mounted. Less troublesome conclusions became harder to fathom.
Brian was not stupid, and the more he contemplated the night he spent with Megan in his bed, the less stupid he became. The way she had moved, the honeyed words she used, Brian had willingly succumbed like a man receiving a gift he thinks he does not deserve. “Do you want to make it eight?” she had said. That line she gave him, the one that melted him to a puddle had echoed in his head for days. Now he believed if he had said four, or sixteen, or thirty-five, she still would have said “me too” and then incremented the number by one for her grand finale come-on line.
Brian realized that she was not so different from Heather, after all; Megan pushed and prodded and used her sex to get what she wanted. Brian had been too blinded by the fantasy of possibility to realize how similar they were.
On the other hand, he could fully admit that– underneath the irritation towards Megan– he should have known that this girl had married someone else only inches away from his own social circle. He did not even think to ask her if she had a boyfriend, let alone a husband. His desire for something outside of himself had gotten him in trouble, as usual.
A car entered the lot, and cruised towards Brian’s Honda. Tired of obsessing about Megan and being angry with himself, Brian wanted only to start his car and peel away. Not at all in the mood to do this deal. But he had no choice. He had to do this.
The car, a white BMW, arrived next to his, and a crunchy young hippie with neck-length dreadlocks emerged, the kind of kid that Alex would call a Trustafarian. Brian rolled down his window and the Trustafarian leaned in, bringing with him the smell of beeswax and patchouli.
“What’s up, brother?” The look on the kid’s face changed. “Oh, wait, shit, I know you. Where do I know you from? Oh wait, that’s right… you were that RA guy… the Resident Assistant, or Administrator, or–”
“Advisor,” Brian said. “Been a long time since I was the RA.”
“Well, how about that kismet? I didn’t know you did the tweak, bro, much less sold it. I always thought you were kinda square. I mean, no offense, or anything. This is pretty rad. It’s always good to know another connect.”
“I gotta be somewhere,” the white reincarnation of Bob Marley continued, “you got the stuff? Can we do this thing?”
Brian opened his glove compartment and removed a gram of powder in a tiny Ziploc baggie, and extended it to the kid, palmed tightly to conceal it. “It’s fifty bucks.”
“Yeah, no problem,” the Trustafarian said as he dropped the money into Brian’s lap. The kid took the bag, opened it, and buried his face in the bag, giving it a rich sniff. “Mmm, nice,” he said.
Brian could not believe it. Displaying it, right out there in the open. This kid was either extremely brave or extremely stupid. Whatever tolerance Brian previously had for selling drugs left him in that instant.
Is this what it has come to? Selling bags to idiotic Rasta wanna-bees in the NCAR parking lot?
“Aww, don’t do that right here, man,” Brian said as he rolled up his window, started the car, and drove off, leaving the kid confused, holding his new bag of methamphetamine.
If I stop selling, what happens to Alex?