Burn

Winter, and I walked the sidewalk at night along banks of hard snow. I’d just come from Rab’s apartment off the reservation. Rab—this white guy with a wide mouth and eyes that closed up when he laughed—sold pot. He was smart too—I had asked for a gram, and after he weighed it and put it in a plastic baggie, he didn’t believe me when I reached into my pants and jacket pockets looking for the cash among the cigarette wrappers and pocketknife, and when I acted the part and kept saying, “Shit shit shit, it must’ve fell out on the walk over here,” he shook his head, took the weed out of the baggie, and put it back into his Mason jar. “I ain’t smokin’ you up,” he said, and so then I said, “Fuck you, Rab, I really did lose the money, you’ll see, watch when I come back here in thirty minutes with the money I dropped, you’ll feel stupid then.” He shrugged a Sorry, man, and I slammed his door shut as I left.

At the bridge to the reservation, the river was still frozen, ice shining white-blue under a full moon. The sidewalk on the bridge hadn’t been shoveled since the last nor’easter crapped snow in November, and I walked in the boot prints everyone made who walked the walk to Overtown to get pot or catch the bus to wherever it was us Indians had to go, which really wasn’t anywhere because everything we needed—except pot—was on the rez. Well, except the grocery store or Best Buy or Bed Bath & Beyond, but those natives who bought 4K Ultra DVDs or fresh white doilies had cars, wouldn’t be taking the bus like me or Fellis did each day to the methadone clinic. That was another thing the rez didn’t have: a methadone clinic. But we had sacred grounds where sweats and peyote ceremonies happened once a month, except since I had chosen to take methadone, I was ineligible to participate in native spiritual practice, according to the doc on the rez.

Natives damning natives.

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