Storytime: The Interview.

November 28th, 2012

So, how old were you?
“You really want to know?”
It’s important.
“…Shit, nine?”
Does it always happen that early?
“Well, you’ve got to remember, today’s youth isn’t what it was. We grew all knowing about it – it was something the cool guys did. Hell, half our parents did it, and only half of THOSE even tried to hide it. Kids aren’t that dumb, we all knew what was going on.”
So you were nine. How did it happen?
“I can remember it pretty good. A lot of stuff from back then is all gone except for the colours, but I held on tight to this. It’s late November. The sky’s that total off-white grey thing you get during the first real snowfalls – you know what I mean? – and me and my friends are all out late on our street messing around. Throwing crabapples on the road, you know. Pointless kid stuff. I won’t name anybody; they’re all doing fine, that’s all I’ll say. But they’re damned lucky to be that way. They could’ve been me. All of them, could’ve been me.”
“So we were goofing around, and then out of nowhere, this guy – let’s call him Jake, he was my best friend’s friend, not my friend, you know how it is – just up stuck his tongue out and ate a snowflake. Just like that, not even showing off. Like it was normal.”
What was your reaction?
“Well, I flipped the hell out, of course. I was a little tightass back then, and I knew that you were supposed to be hiding this stuff, and we were right near my house of course so I had to act up for any parents that were, don’t know, hiding in the bushes or something. But, uh, Jake just laughed at me. And then he dared me to do it.”
Your response?
“I said that was gross and he was a freaky weirdo, and he was going to get sick from all the crap in it. But Jake said I was a dumbass. Said around here all the snow was white as milk, all clean and fresh. No impurities. Then he double-dared me.”
“And then I did it.”
What was it like?
“Cold, mostly. I got so nervous I swallowed down the wrong pipe, spent five minutes coughing my lungs out and trying not to throw up. By then everybody else’d got over their laughing and given it a try. So I made a big show about how they were all gross and stomped off home with them laughing at me for being such a dip. And then… just as I’m reaching for the doorbell, swear to god….this big, fat, soft flake lands right on my mitt. It’s practically winking at me.”
What did you do?
“What do you think? And it was so much easier than the last time. Crisp. Clear. Clean. Perfect. Love at first shot. Nine years old.”

What happened next?
“Well, I sort of hid it from my parents. Obviously. Hid it from my friends too, because kids are dumb and don’t want to admit they’re wrong. Started a bad habit of covering shit up there, that did. And it probably didn’t help my addiction process – the other kids, they were social snow-eaters, sneak a flake or two to help them all relax together after school. Me, I was eating handfuls in the corner of the playground and making ‘ew’ noises at them for it.”
Did they ever find out?
“No. Not seriously. We did grow apart a bit as the years went on, and part of that was that their habit was less and less of one and mine more and more a compulsion. Especially after the third summer. Christ the hard times were hard.”
Tell us what made that summer so difficult.
“The first summer was sort of sad. I missed the flakes, you know? The second summer I was annoyed, but got over it. But the third one…I kept taking more, get it? Your third high isn’t as good as the second isn’t as good as the first. Nothing beats the first. So you take more and more and all of a sudden the summer’s here and you’re not going to see the ass-side of a droplet for six months. Rough stuff, when you’re twelve. Rough stuff. Puberty AND a snow problem. I wouldn’t stop fighting with my brother. All that stuff about how it makes you relaxed – that shit’s only when you’re high. When you come down, you just don’t give a damn about anything but when your next shot’s gonna be.”
How did the third summer change things?
“Well, I knew I couldn’t handle that twice. Got grounded so many times I almost forgot what the world past our driveway looked like. So I started a stash. Kept a plastic bag in the meat fridge out in the shed – not too big though. Wasn’t a total idiot, knew I had to keep it small enough that nobody’d look inside. Sometimes I think mom found it and thought it was dad’s; I knew he’d been up to some cold stuff back in his youth. Maybe I helped the divorce along a little more roughly. Didn’t think of it at the time.”
Did the stash help?
“Fuck no. Made things a lot worse. See, now that I was calmed down enough to go out and about during the summer, I saw kids acting just I’d been. I could spot what they were wanting a mile off. I was looking through the eyeballs of Adam Smith’s asshole there, and what I saw was demand. And then I looked back at my bag at home, and I saw supply. And we all know what happens when demand chunks the hell out of supply, hey?”
So you sold it.
“Yeah. I just gave away little bits at first as favours, then when I ran low I started charging. Was cutting my own throat at the start, really, ‘till I saw the sort of desperation I was working with. Ran a pretty tight monopoly ‘till grade nine.”
What happened then?
“Bigger school, more freedom, more competition. Some kids out there had access to fridges even. Nobody was going to pay fifty bucks for a half-assed palmful of melted sludge anymore. So I had two options: I could quit, or I could go whole hog. Guess which one I did.”
You were a dealer.
“Yeah. And a good one. I got by without even having a fridge; I ended up being almost more of a broker than the product-man. Found clients, talked them along, hooked them up with the cold stuff, got the commissions. Made me a really popular guy. And of course that was a feedback loop, because the more people liked me the easier it was for me to get them to bring in new customers. Repeat ad nauseum. Shit, that’s the only Latin I remember from grade twelve.”
When did you realize how serious what you were getting into was?
“Honestly? I don’t think I ever did, and there’s one clear memory I got that really shows that. I was seventeen and fucking around with some bad friends of mine – all the guys I worked with; really we had a better work ethic than anybody else our age, we were the entrepreneurs – and, let’s say, Trish, she breaks out an icicle.”
Just like Jake and the snowflake.
“No, no, no. Jake, it was casual, and that drew your eye. Trish, it was a showpiece. ‘Check THIS shit out, kiddos.’ I remember her saying that. I don’t know if she said it, but I remember her saying that.”
Did you have some?
“Well, with these guys I didn’t have any squeaky-clean image to preserve, AND I knew what I was doing – I didn’t, but that’s what I thought – AND I was pretty sure I was immune to the side effects of the stuff. Wilful blindness. So I did it. I saw the hard stuff, and I took it.”
“I’ve never beaten that high. I swore off snowflakes and never looked back.”
Because they’d led you to icicles.
“That’s right. Pure gateway chill, they were. Wasn’t a pure icicle, though. Years later, when I had more experience with this sort of thing, I think I decided somebody’d cut it with dog piss. Still the best stuff I’d ever had. Have ever had.”
What happened then?
“Well, I kept my hand in the snow trade, but I sort of slacked off. Spent a lot of time looking up ice and stuff – never on school computers, I wasn’t an idiot; deleted my home browsing history too – and decided that it was way too complicated to deal with in high school. So I went into university as a climatology student.”
This is a common perception of the profession, isn’t it?
“Yeah. Everybody ‘knows’ the clime students are just in it to get super high, right? Right. So of course nobody’d ever believe one of them really WAS chilling up homecooled ice in his fridge in the dorm. Cover story was that it was too obvious a cover story – sort of smart, but really stupid. And risky. My roomy found my stash at one point; I could tell he’d moved the boxes of old waffles I hid the cooling racks behind. But he never said anything, and I wasn’t sure if he was planning to rat me out or if he just wasn’t going to talk. Spent three months worrying I’d have to kill a guy if I didn’t want to earn my Bachelor’s in the fed.”
Obviously, he didn’t talk.
“Nope. Christ, I spent ninety-seven days sweating like a pig and dropping grades because of this guy, and in the end, he probably’d never even recognized what he’d been looking at. How stupid is THAT?”
After graduation, what did you do?
“Failed, mostly. If I’d been more self-aware, I could’ve seen it coming.”
“Yeah. I kept abusing my own product. Couldn’t make enough to sell in uni, so I got in the habit of just shooting it up as I made it. Fancied I’d make myself a connoisseur or dispose of the evidence or some shit, I don’t know what the hell. But it was stupid as fuck. I made myself five times the druggie I was in high school, and once I lost access to easy lab materials, well, that was it for my savings. I went through the motions of trying to have a life, but I didn’t anymore. Not really. My life was ice, and ice didn’t come cheap. Fuck, I couldn’t even go on a date without ducking into the washroom to crunch the ice cubes in my drink. Couldn’t go for two hours in a nice restaurant with an attractive single without cooling down. I was pretty much on the fast-track to human waste.”
And what saved you?
“Well, I had to start living at home again once my savings were gone, and my dad was concerned enough about my finances that he started to notice I was losing more than I was claiming. So he had a friend look into me. On the force.”
And you were caught?
“Busted hardcore. I think dad was hoping I was being exorted or something, he was really shocked when it came out that his kid was an addict to the hard, cold, long stuff. And I really was by then. Third day of custody I was begging to do anything for some ice – any ice. Ice from an industrial gutter, black ice off the highway with salt in it, ice made from frozen cat piss – way worse than the dog stuff, real sharp vinegar that cuts your eyes and mouth both. I had to have ice. The only thing separating me and those dead-inside-schmucks that hang around airport runways to lick the residue off’ve returned planes was that I hadn’t sold my nice clothes yet.”
And where did that get you?
“Well, here. Thirty-five to life for possession, with no parole. Minus five years or so for taking part in this. And that’s only because I was never convicted for the snow-selling back in school; that’d net me life without parole.”
Do you have any advice for our audience?
“Sure: kids, just don’t fucking do it. It’s cheesy as hell, but Just Say No. No to Snow. It’ll take you down a bad, hard road that don’t stop ‘till it hits the bottom, and that’s just a pause to catch its breath.”

Sam Hardin was a snow user. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of all snow users become snow addicts. One hundred and ten percent of all snow addicts end up taking icicles and becoming homeless degenerates that crowd the streets of our nation.
End the campaign to legalize snow: Just Say No to Snow.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.