Alberto Orta and his delivery methods.
I got a call from that kid who always had the camera around his neck pretty late on a Monday Night. I remember because it was Monday Night Football and everyone was screaming at the TV because the 49ers were playing and playing well. Those guys rule this side of the bay no doubt. That kid asked me if I knew anywhere to get to some speed. I hated that stuff and never went near it, but most of the people I used to work with dialed in on the regular with it. No judgements at all – if it kept you going and kept you on time with your routes, then all the better.
I hadn’t talked to that many people since the place closed down – I guess everyone else was busy looking for work or for themselves. That happens when you have too much time on your hands. Time on your hands – I don’t really like how that sounds. Make me think that time is something real, which of course, it isn’t.
Anyhow, I got the call and my mind started thinking money. My stomach actually thought it first. Yeah, I could get the speed no doubt. I remember the guy who sold it as well. He dealt with a bunch of that stuff, so I fished for his business card and paged him. That was the pain in the ass part, waiting for him to dial back. Dealers back then had so many calls coming in they could take their time getting back to you. And they did. 5 hours later, at like 2 AM, my phone rang and it was him. His name – Kirk Roland – that’s what it said on his business card. It also read: MC Skins Blaster – So, you know, take the name in the space of reality you feel comfortable with. We mumbled back and forth to each other. When he said the words “Glass Go” I said yes, and he told me to roll over in about an hour.
I rode my bike through the late San Francisco Night. He lived at the start of the Mission district but not really in the Mission district – a weird two block stretch below Market street on Valencia just after the freeway started. There were little stretched like this that didn’t have victorian houses or any of those other charms – they were only structures for usage. Kirk lived on 14th and Valencia in a building that could have existed anywhere. I knocked lightly and he came to open the door. The inside of his place was all red, illuminated by a lightbulb that made it all the more surreal in the darkness and still nature of the absurd time of the morning.
I started to walk my bike in but he turned and made his firs quick movement.
“Keep that thing out my house. Can’t you see the immaculate nature of what I have going on in here?”
I looked around and saw that, even though under the dim red lighting, everything – though there wasn’t much of anything, was in perfect order and place. The floors were indeed immaculate.
I locked my bike up on the standing pole just outside of his door, took my shoes off and walked inside.
Once I did, his mood changed and he became more of a host.
“Sit,” he said. “Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Business is booming for me these days. Can’t keep up with the demand. You wanted coke right?”
“Speed,” I said. “Crystal if you have it. Easier to sell.”
“Easier to sell for more,” he replied, laughing. “Yeah, I see you. It’s not for you. I can tell right off. You’re not shaking or itching to get out of here. Patience is not really a trait of someone who’s on the fiend. Am I correct?”
I didn’t know how to answer. I mean, if he knew I was selling his product, he might see that as a threat and want to squash that quick. I had to play it smart, and since I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, I plaid it even.
“My friends asked where I could get some – so, you know, I figured I’d pick it up and they’d let me party for free. That’s all.”
“You’re best to tell me the truth, because if you do that, we can talk business. If not, I’m going to sell it to you retail and then you’ll be scratching to pick up leftovers instead of making it real for yourself. Don’t worry about taking customers away from me. Coke is the big banger for me these days. With all these young kids raking mad cash, they want that magic white to take with them wherever they go. This shit you’re asking for, that’s for working class folks, and I don’t have time to deal with that. I’m more of a star man myself. I like the connections that come with the upper class of slanging. Now, how much were you looking to get?”
“40 dollars,” I said, thinking of how I could really stock the fridge with that 20 dollars worth of food.
He laughed and through a bad of Crystal down on the table that he had pulled from the drawer below. It looked to be about 2 grams worth.
“That’s some bullshit right there,” he said. “I mean, you’re here at this ungodly hour trying to make a little of the top and you’re buying 40 dollar worth of Meth? Come on man, think a little bit. You need to up your expectations. You buy in bigger quantity, your take home profit is more, and you won’t have to make as many trips to see me, which is better for me because I won’t have to deal with this bullshit amount. Why don’t you take an onion and see what you can do with it.”
“I don’t have money for that,” I replied, not knowing what an onion was. “Besides, I don’t want to turn into a dealer. This is a one time thing. Just doing a favor is all.”
He leaned in and got serious for a minute.
“Anything you’re going to do once, you should be able to do at any time. You can’t draw moral lines. People out there are eating each other. This shit is nothing. Don’t sell it to kids or pregnant women and you’re conscious should be clean. Go out and get yours. I’ll give you this on consignment. You bring me back 50 dollars and I’ll give you another. You break this into 20 dollar grams and you’ll clear 780 on the bag. If you do it right, you might be able to unload it in a night. Who you selling it to?”
“Strippers,” I told him.
He smiled, took away the small bag and brought out the bigger one. He weighed it in front of me. 1 ounce exactly.
I held it in my hand and moved it around a little. It looked like thousands of pieces of broken glass swooshing around. Kind of nice. We made arrangements for me to come back with the cash in a week, though Kirk was pretty sure I’d be back early than that.
“Don’t be going and making too much son, or I might have to blast you and take over that for myself.”
He busted himself up laughing and waved me off not to take him so seriously. I wrapped the bag up in some Raider towel he gave me and placed it gently into my shoulder bag where i had put so many of the business worlds important documents no long ago.
Out the door and into the night again, a new product to deliver.