Hello From Žižkov-Chapter 3, pgs. 102-106

“I’m Annabelle.” I said, letting go of his hand. I turned to tap Marco on his shoulder. He turned around and looked at Endres. He looked bored and annoyed.

“This is Marco.”  I said.

“Hey.” Marco said with a quick wave of his hand. “You want a drink?” He said pointing at me.

“I have just come from Thailand two days ago, so I am going through a little culture shock.” Endres said, leaning close into me then swaying away.

“Oh. I imagine.” I said. “Where are you from originally?”

“I am from Norway, Oslo. Do you know it?”

“I know of it, but I’ve never been there.” I said.

“It is alright. It is rather boring.” He said.

“Hey,” Marco interrupted, “you guys want a drink?” His eyes darted between us.

Endres and I both answered yes.

“I’ll buy this round.” Marco said. He turned toward the bar.

“Do you have any hash?” Endres asked to Marco’s back.

“We’re buying rounds.” Marco said throwing his voice back over his shoulder.

“Did you just ask if he had any hash?” I asked Endres.

“Do you like Nick Cave?” He asked me.

“Yes.” I said, confused about the direction and flow of the conversation.

“This is a Nick Cave song.” He said pointing to the ceiling.

“I know.” I said.

His thin wiry body moved like his conversation — erratic, confusing and slightly amusing.

I stopped a moment to listen to the music. It was from The Murder Ballads. I had always liked that album.

Endres had physically floated back and forth as he spoke. He leaned forward toward me like he was going to fall, but just hung there as if held by invisible strings. Suddenly, yet with enormous grace, he pulled himself straight then tipped back in the other direction like one of those clown punching dolls. He smiled at me again then swayed in a complete circle.

“Are you having trouble scoring?” He asked me with a more serious tone. He attempted to whisper this to me, but ended up yelling in toward my ear.

“I haven’t tried. You’d have to ask him about that stuff.” I gestured to Marco with my thumb.

At that moment Marco walked up to us with our beers. We took our glasses from him and followed him to a table at the back of the room.

Endres took a sloppy drink of his beer and shook slightly as he set the glass down on the table. With a devilish grin he smiled back and forth to Marco and I. Marco and I exchanged glances. I couldn’t tell whether Endres had something physically or mentally off or if he was just functionally wasted.

“So. Thailand. How was it?” I asked trying to start some sort of conversation.

“It is different from here. A lot of drugs.” He looked to Marco. “Do you know where I can find any hash?” He shivered and pulled his jacket around him.

Maybe he was going through withdrawals. I wasn’t sure if people suffered from hash withdrawal.

“Nobody’s holdin right now.” Said Marco. He was looking toward the door, watching people as they exited and entered the bar. He pulled out a cigarette from his pocket and placed it between his lips. He began patting his numerous pockets, searching for the lighter that he never seemed to have on him.

Endres pulled a lighter from his jacket pocket, flicked the flame and offered it to Marco. As Marco leaned toward the lighter, Endres fell forward out of his chair and tumbled to the floor with his chair clattering behind him.

“Jesus!” Marco yelled out. “Man, are you okay?” He reached out for Endres who was partially under the table.

I didn’t move, but held my breath trying not to laugh.

Endres popped back up, and plopped into his chair, still holding the light for Marco’s cigarette, as if he hadn’t just fallen to the floor.

Marco hesitantly leaned into light his cigarette then he removed it from his mouth. “Fuck, muthufucker, you gotta be careful.”

I sat there stunned for a moment, but the expression on Endres’ face as he fell kept popping into my mind like it was on a film reel. His eyes had blown into circles like two blue moons plummeting to the concrete. I busted out laughing then Marco broke and started to laugh. It was the kind of laughing you did when you were a kid — the uncontainable crumbling kind of laughter.

“Shit, man.” Marco snorted through his laughter.

Endres smiled then slid his lighter back into his pocket.

“Are you guys staying out all night?” He asked shaking another drink to his mouth.

I didn’t know what Marco was thinking, but if it was what I was thinking, he was wondering what this guy was selling.

Marco started laughing again. “No I don’t think so.” He said. “I’m kinda tired.”

“Yeah. Me too.” I said.

“I have a pill. You can take. It is a capsule. We can split it. Between the three of us.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“Something to keep you up. It is from my doctor, I used to have more but I used them all. Sold some for money.”

“What did he say?” Marco asked me. “I’m losing my fuckin’ hearing or somethin’.”

“He said he has a pill to split with us if we want. It’s supposed to keep us up.”

“Would you like some?” He asked Marco as he pulled the capsule from his front pocket. He held what looked like a white powder filled capsule between his finger and his thumb, pinching it lightly so as not to drop it.

Marco puffed out his lips as he stared at the pill. And without thought he shrugged in his causal way as if he was saying, “fuck it.”

Endres pulled the capsule apart and tiny white beads spilled out over the table like balls of mercury on water. Marco and Endres licked their pointer fingers and started attracting the tiny beads to the saliva. I followed suit. Once they stuck to our fingertips we placed them in our mouths. The beads were bitter, like aspirin, and we each took a sip of our beers. Then we all looked at one another in silence. The funny thing about drugs was that you always knew it would take time before something hit, but you were never quiet sure when or how it would hit. There was always that moment of silence when everyone looks at each other expectantly like something is going to happen right away. Especially when you didn’t know what you just took. We all looked expectantly at one another in silence.

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