Rocky looks around
before entering. No one
is looking. It’s safe.

He ducks inside and
quickly does his business to
pick up his supply.

The smell overwhelms,
yet it’s comforting and all
too familiar.

Tugging at the bill
of his hat and adjusting
his dark shades, he leaves.

He’s not totally
inconspicuous though. The
stash is in a grill.

He is carrying
a knock-off Weber charcoal
grill. Its red. And big.

But it will blend in
seamlessly at the beach with
all the barbeques.

Afraid of getting
caught, he acts casual. Or
at least attempts to.

The hand holding the
grill is shaking. He breaks out
in an icy sweat.

He’s paranoid. They’re
all watching me. What if I
get caught?
4 more blocks.

Rocky knows the spot.
they meticulously planned
this for weeks. It’s time.

Meanwhile, Sampson is
thinking about backing out.
What if we are seen?

But his withdrawals
are too intense. Shakily,
he pulls on a coat.

His skin is clammy.
The cravings consume him. He
needs this fix. Right now.

His phone pings with a
text from Rocky. Where are you?
Annoyed, he ignores.

Rocky sees Sampson
stroll up. Damn it! He looks too
f*$king suspicious!

Maybe it’s the coat.
The long, grey trench coat in the
heat of the summer.

Both irritable
and anxious, their greetings are
strained and insipid.

Sampson pulls a wad
of cash out of the trench coat.
Rocky swiftly grabs.

His arm tired from the
weight of the grill, he transfers
to Sampson’s right hand.

Sampson offers his
friend to join him. “Do you want
some?” Rocky pauses.

But then declines. “Don’t
get high on your own supply.”
But he wants too. Bad.

So he decides to
stay. Too embarrassed to be
caught, they turn away.

Away from the beach
crowd. And binge on a grill full
of McDonald’s food.