“I bet he’d shoot your ass if you pushed him.”
“Hell with that. He’s just a mall cop. They don’t got guns”
Ivan pointed at the guy. “What’s he got on his belt, then?”
“A taser, maybe. Or pepper spray. It’s not a goddamned gun.”
The guard stood like an old west cowboy, thumbs tucked into his waistband. He hadn’t caught them doing anything this time, but he clearly remembered them from earlier in the summer. He had chased them and called them punks.
“I bet his gay hair is a wig.”
“Ten bucks says you can’t snatch it, dude.”
“Krylon, Rustoleum, motherfuckers boring em” sang Riptide as he swept the can up and down. There was a trick to getting the coverage just right—you wanted it dark enough so the tag stood out, but not so much that the paint dripped. That was bullshit, when the paint dripped. Fucking monkey move.
Riptide picked up the Candy Apple, shook the rattle can like a medicine man with his ceremonial gourd. Window glass crunched beneath his sneaker, ground into the carpet.
The red and black tag on the clean white plaster looked tight. Tight.
I hated it there. She kept everything all perfect, and noticed if you ever touched anything. And I mean anything. Once just to mess with her I turned a couple of decorative cups around so the handles pointed at an odd angle. I swear, she wasn’t in the room three minutes before she spotted it and fixed the goddamn cups. She shot me this real bitchy look when she did it, too. The look said I know what you’re up to, Buster. That’s what she called me when she got mad. Buster.
You asked why I ran away, didn’t you?
After mom left for her AA we hightailed to the beach. Zach was super pissed mom found our stash. I was too, because it was my fault.
“I should have hidden it better. I mean, what the fuck was she doing going through my shit?”
He shook his head. “Some vacation. Two weeks without being able to get high? Fucking sucks, dude.”
I held up the Proto Pipe. “At least there’s some stash in here. Let’s head down to the beach and get wasted.”
“We got to conserve,” he said.
But sitting on the sand we smoked it all anyway.