Pressure cooker

We discover that Lary has lied to us

Grant and I still have yet to break into Lary's house, a fact for which I blame Grant, who actually called Lary and told him to expect us. "Jesus God, Lary can't be expecting us!" I shrieked. "Last weekend he just bought his third gun from some guy in a Waffle House parking lot."

"Bitch," Grant said, "that is exactly why I called him."

After some thought, I realized Grant is probably right. Lary is a lot less dangerous when he's expecting you. Take Y2K for example. Remember Y2K? With all the pussy-ass idiots panicking in the streets like fruit bats because the end of the world was imminent on account of how computers supposedly couldn't deal with the calendar crossover? Lary was the only person I know who didn't cop to the least bit of freak in anticipation of Y2K. Even I bought into it a bit by hiding an industrial-sized can of yams on the bottom shelf of the baker's rack in my kitchen. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but I am notoriously lazy in the face of any approaching Armageddon, plus I was a hundred months pregnant at the time.

Anyway, I called Lary on Y2K eve to tell him to expect me in case the world came to an end, because the truth is there's no better preparation for disaster than to be on the list of Lary's friends. He lives in a stone compound, for chrissakes. The only way Grant and I can break in is if we use my key, which Lary gave me 10 years ago because of all my failed attempts to break in. In all, those attempts resulted in a half-dozen shattered windows and a minor shower of gunfire (the gunfire, he says, was just because he wasn't expecting me). This is why Grant has the foresight to call Lary in advance whenever we have a hankering to break into his house these days. So calling ahead was not such a bad idea after all.

"We're coming over, don't stand in our way," I informed Lary, sounding very resolute.

"Nobody's stopping you, bitch," Lary shrugged. He was, after all, sitting right next to me at the Majestic Diner. Grant and I had persuaded him to come meet us by swearing the owner had recently added Wild Turkey to the breakfast menu. We might have been able to pull off the Wild Turkey thing if the actual owner didn't happen to walk in while we were there, which killed my plans to stock some used bottles behind the register. But luckily, Lary didn't detonate like I thought he would, he just sat down and ordered some coffee. "I keep all my drugs in the pressure cooker," he added. "Help yourself."

Damn him. It's just like Lary to suck all the fun out of an intervention by being open and honest and refusing to skulk around. It takes the excitement out of confiscating all his heroin or huffing glue or whatever the hell his new drug is these days. We're all curious about that; what Lary is consuming lately, or vice versa. He's always telling stories about experimenting with weird-ass prescription crap he brings back from South America, stuff like Ritalin, antipsychotics and asthma medication. This is a far cry from the drugs of back in the day, when vintage addicts all popped cool-sounding drugs like "bennies" and "black beauties." Lary, for example, will hork anything from his friend's cancer medication, which probably has hormones in it, to Mexican Ambien, Peruvian Xanax and opiated chewing tobacco from Sweden, which he says you can buy at the Nicaraguan duty-free. This comprises his "stash," he says, which he keeps in his pressure cooker, which itself is kept on the dresser next to his bed.

"I don't even know where I got it," Lary says of his pressure cooker, which he's never actually used to cook anything, and I say this knowing certain drugs do take some cooking. "It just showed up one day."

This is no surprise. Lary regularly awakens from fugues to find himself surrounded by strange objects, and I'm not just talking about the fake boobs as big as orbiting moons on his second-to-last girlfriend. He woke up once to find a truck on his roof, for example, and things disappear, as well. His cat Mona has been missing for a year and a half.

"It's huge, too," Lary said, clearly impressed with his pressure cooker. "It's gotta be restaurant-grade — five or six quarts. It holds all my drugs."

"So what are you saying? Some fairy came in the night while you were sleeping and left you a pressure cooker to keep all your drugs in?" I asked. I remember that pressure cooker, come to think of it. I've opened it up. I've looked inside. All I saw were wadded-up plastic bags. They didn't look like drug bags to me, but then I don't know what drug bags look like. In fact, I don't even know what drugs look like. In fact, I wouldn't know a crack pipe from a dozing diamondback rattler. In fact ... Jesus God.

"There's no drugs in your pressure cooker!" I shouted at Lary. "You are a big fat lying sack of maggots! All addicts are liars!"

"Well," he said, taking a gingerly sip of his coffee, "I must not be an addict then."


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