Lydia was the quintessential hipsterette: pretty, edgy, hedonistic, volatile. One night at my place she made an announcement. “Who wants to see me clap with my ass?” She then moved to the far wall so that everyone could see and turned her back, hiked her skirt, dropped her panties, and began bouncing on the balls of her feet. And voila! Her buttocks smacked together rhythmically. Loudly. It was at once ridiculous, impressive, and stupefying. We all applauded, adding irony.
Lydia never missed a party. She’d be in my lap one night, Huff’s the next. You wouldn’t have guessed that she was Skot’s girlfriend. Couples were always tricky. I supplied many, and sometimes they’d place orders together, sometimes separately, and when they’d do it separately, I was expected to keep mum, which was standard procedure; there was no need for anyone to know anyone else’s habits. But often, one of the two would begin asking me, for whatever reason, to ignore the other. I’d politely explain that I wouldn’t do that, and that it wasn’t a money issue. To ask that of me was overstepping, I’d argue, and groundless. They had to agree. But breakups were trickier. He takes his friends, she takes hers, but who keeps the drug dealer? Answer: both, separately. And people just had to accept that. I couldn’t be expected to choose sides. (I’m just now realizing that although I had gay customers, I never had gay couples. Weird.)
Skot and Lydia’s breakup was messy. There were rumors of a physical altercation, which didn’t surprise anyone. Skot had once slapped a woman publicly and because he couldn’t deny it, he’d occasionally thread his mea culpa into conversation, just to ensure that his spin would reach everyone eventually. And Lydia was, well, Lydia. Whatever happened, she went straight to bed with Huff, my downstairs neighbor and good friend. Why him? I wondered.
Huff and I had always competed amiably. I had the cash and the little empire, but he had a bohemian charm I just couldn’t feign. He played guitar, knew his way around a mixing board. He was an artist, and therefore more soulful. Lydia had been flirty with us both from day one. And now Huff was feeling invaded by her. “She keeps texting,” he said.
“Just ignore her.”
“I am, but how long can I keep it up?”
He had a point, I thought. With cell phones, we’re all fucked.
Then Lydia called in the middle of the night. She’d never been over alone, so I didn’t know what to expect. I applied some deodorant, moved my hair around. When she arrived we hugged and kissed as usual. I sat her on the couch, got her a beer. She bought a bag and began tamping it. “Save it,” I said, taking a seat next to her. I poured out plenty for us both
She was trying to be her peppy self, but I could see that she was distraught. “I don’t know what’s happening,” she said, “he’s not answering my texts, he won’t see me. What am I supposed to do?” I wondered who she was talking about at first, and then I realized that it didn’t matter. Skot and Huff were interchangeable now, and Lydia was flummoxed. How, within days, had both men slipped through her nail-bitten fingers?
I consoled her breezily on the motives of men. She seemed intrigued, even though I was basically just offering fish-in-the-sea platitudes. I was probably more flattered by her attention than she was by mine. The conversation turned to cocaine, specifically its long-term effects—a subject on which I was presumed to be omniscient. I told her not to worry. “Look at Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood,” I said. “They were major cokeheads for many years. And now they’re fine. Eventually you quit, and any damage reverses itself.” This was my pat answer. I’d deploy it occasionally, citing Fleetwood Mac because they’d supposedly ripped a shit-ton of blow and were old now and clearly not dead. While on the subject, I mentioned the classic Stevie Nicks rumor: that she’d corrupted her nasal passages to the point where her assistant had to blow the coke up her ass. Lydia finished her line, swiped her nose, and turned to me. “Do you wanna blow coke up my ass?”
It was easily the least expected, most thrilling question ever asked of me. (And I realize how sad that is.) I choked out an affirmative. Lydia then peeled her stockings and underwear down to her ankles, turned over on the couch, hiked her skirt, and parted her cheeks. I was supposed to be preparing, I realized, so I quickly grabbed a full baggie and jammed in a straw. I would blow from the other end, obviously, but I was besieged by unknowns. How deep do I go? How hard do I blow? How much is enough? How much is too much? She was waiting, I realized, and the situation was clearly time-sensitive.
I packed the straw about half an inch deep and inserted it carefully, so as not to scratch her. I blew hardish—a gust strong enough, I’d say, to extinguish a few birthday candles. Or to disperse dandelion spores. Lydia didn’t react, so I asked if she was okay. Without looking back, she flashed a thumbs-up. I figured I had a window, so I quickly unbuckled my belt and pushed my jeans halfway down my thighs. Her feet were together, so I just moved in and began sliding my cock up and down the crack of her ass. I wanted to be sure that she was aware of what was about to happen, so, once fully hard, I poked her and made moaning noises. (Assuming the permissibility of this seemed safe enough. It occurred to me later how confounding an objection would’ve been. Wait, what’re you doing? I’m not that type of girl!)
We partied into the morning. I was high, and eager to press on, but we were running low on beer and cigs, so I asked Lydia to sit tight while I run to the store. I’d been in this situation often enough to know how easily the spark can die, so I blazed to the 7/11 on Silver Lake Blvd and Effie. By the time I returned, Lydia was out front, smacking Huff’s window with an open palm. I could hardly believe it. How, this time, had I not left the more lasting impression?