One night while I was living with Len and Tony in San Jose,
I caught Mike shoveling a small hill of white powder
into a tequila and lemonade I'd left on the counter.

"What's that?" I asked.

"You'll like it." Mike's voice was slurred.

"No. Really. What's that?"

The red-headed kid answered for him: "He's putting chloral hydrate in your drink."

"Oh, gimme that." I grabbed the drink
and splashed it into the sink. My aim was pathetic:
the corrupted tequila dripped down the cabinet,
and pooled into a sticky puddle on the floor.

My shoes made a tearing noise like velcro
as I clomped out of the kitchen and onto the carpeting.

"He likes you." The red-headed kid's voice was loud enough
for me to hear it back in my room.

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