Friday, January 25, 2008

the drug nod

on the way to the cafe one morning in costa rica we stopped by the bank to pick up some money. out in front were two Tico kids leaning on one of the cars in the parking lot. one had dreadlocks and had lazy eyes and the other had long straight hair uncut and uncombed and only wore shorts and flip flops. the straight hair one looked me in the eye with an eager knowing and began nodding his head in a fashion that suggested we had an affair to resume.

the drug nod.

i noticed it instantly and, needing some weed, reciprocated the nod and smiled widely. bearing all teeth, innocence and graciousness painted on my mug. he took a step toward me and i toward him and we tried to execute a proper transaction using just my broken spanish and a flurry of tight, descreet hand gestures. unfortunately his lack of any ingles prevented us from completing the deal and i had to get into the bank before we drew too much attention to ourselves. there were men holding shotguns not too far from us. sometimes you just shouldnt push it. when we exited the bank the kids were gone. but i knew then, they were there. that i just needed to find them.

later that afternoon we were on the beach and the two kids came walking up to us. the dreadlocked kid spoke perfect ingles and we had a brief conversation about his supply and my demand. at the time i had scored already from the owner of the hotel we were staying at and didnt need any, but i got his name, and he told me where he hung out and we made plans to see each other in the days that followed.

a few days into the week and we were out of weed again. i told everyone not to fear, that i could find us some. no worries. where there is demand, there is supply.

after looking at the spot where my weed dealing Tico friend hung out and not finding him there [it was a beach nightclub i had visited a few nights before. thats an entirely different, and much more boring, story all together] i decided to walk along the main avenue assuming that someone in the tiny beach town would know where to get some weed.

i strolled down the dirt road in the night and people wooshed past on ATV's kicking up dust and howling in celebration. young, vacationing americans seizing their dream. not too long into the journey i passed another Tico kid, this one unfamiliar and wearing a baseball hat backward and long cut off khaki's for shorts. i said hola and he said something in spanish and we walked beyond each other a few steps as if that was it. a gentle confrontation. i turned around and he still looked in my direction.

boom. the drug nod.

i went back to him and explained i needed some mota, mexican slang for weed but all i could offer in terms of communication. he casually nodded his head and asked how much. 10,000 colones, i said, no mas. i moved my hands across each other in a motion like that of an umpire yelling "strike!" he broke me off a small brick and i gave him the money. he said "i got some good yay-yo too." i thought about who i was with and what cocaine would bring to the party and declined his offer. on the way back to the villa, my sweaty palm holding the small brick in my pocket, i pondered the universal language of gestures and looks. the drug nod. the strike sign. supply and demand.

it was easy enough scoring, but i really wish there were these things everywhere. it would make life so much easier.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at