Saturday, April 01, 2006

On The Restaurant Biz (Pete Moss Riff)

Look, I know I have to be at work tomorrow at 10 AM, just let me say this stuff first and I'm off to bed. Jeez. I KNOW it's two in the morning, OK?

Got dragged out to a bar tonight after work (where I drank Coca-Cola with a side of sissy) and I ran into some old running buddies. The restaurant business is incestuous: you meet the same people over and over again. I've also noticed that among the members of my brainwashing class, there's a high percentage of cooks and servers. (But not bartenders. Because we're Special.) When we pulled up to the place, the guy at the wheel whooped, "Look! There's Pete Moss!" And sure enough, Pete was sitting in his car breaking down an OxyContin for a quick snort before returning to the drinking hole. We parked beside him and rapped sharply on his window, barking, "Police! Get out with your hands up!"

Of course, like any experienced drug user, he had the perimeter view intact and was not surprised by our arrival. I'd worked with Pete a couple of years ago and I knew he was a consummate professional. Pete is a smiling salesman, quick with a joke and quicker with a dropped fork; someone who keeps his tables clean, his guests bamboozled, and his ticket averages stratospheric: all to support his addiction to opiates.

Pete is never late for work, because he needs the money. He's clean-cut, well-manicured, articulate, intelligent, and friendly. He knows the difference between a burgundy and a bordeaux, and he'll explain it to you in a way that doesn't make you feel like an asshole for asking. Pete will be happy to tell you the specials, and to recommed his favorites off the menu. He spends his mornings scoring pills, his afternoons selling them, and his evenings waiting tables.

Pete's life revolves around procuring and ingesting illicit narcotics, or rather, narcotics that once were someone's legitimate prescription but have been handed around in the great gray market that takes place in parking lots all over America all the time. Pete thinks he's got the game figured out. I think Pete's going down.

I asked him tonight why he didn't just smoke a little reefer, and be happy with that. He sneered at me. Literally, sneered. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been legitamately sneered at. "Grass doesn't cut it, dude. I want a buzz that I can get stuff done on."

Fortunately, the pharmaceutical industry is there to support people like Pete. As long as there are doctors willing to write scrips for people who want to sell drugs, Pete's gonna do fine.

And I'm still paying smoking a joint.


Loretta Nall said...

Your description of Mr. Moss brings up an interesting question.

If he is able to maintian his lifestyle, pay his bills, hold down a steady job (and do well st it by your account), and is also punctual, clean-cut, well-manicured, articulate, intelligent, and friendly then what exactly is the problem with his drug use aside from it being illegal?

I personally don't care ofor opiates because they turn me into a drooling zombie and make me sick to my stomach and itchy. I don' care for alcohol either because it renders me out of control quikly and I don't like having to ask anyone "Hey...did I do anything embarassing last night?"

But if someone is able to use a substance....any substance...and carry on a normal life then what is the problem?

True, opiates are addictive and can kill you but so can many other things.

I'm of the strong opinion that all drugs should be legal and regulated. That would solve most of the crime related to their distribution and use as well as cut down on the pread of disease and save lives from overdose by lifting the stigma attached to drug use, drug abuse and drug addiction.

People should not be harassed, arrested or charged by police for simply ingesting or possesing a substance but only when they harm someone whether they are high at the time or not.

Just my .02

Bitter Old Punk said...

I agree with you, Loretta. My point, which I didn't make very well because I was writing fuzzily at two in the morning, is that Pete spends most of his time feeding his jones, an incovenient and highly illegal process that involves lots of driving around, wheeling and dealing, cell phone calls, missed connections, and the other frustrations and vagaries that come with being a rinky-dink drug dealer. It would be much better for Pete and for the rest of us if he could just go to the Stop-And-Rob and buy a 10-pack of diamorphine and be done with it. Then he wouldn't be out driving around at three in the morning looking to score pills after slamming back multiple drinks.