You Know You Should be a Better Person (But You’re Not) 1/3
By Karmen Ghia
With apologies to Jay McInerney (or maybe he should thank me).
You know you’re unlucky when you and Thad G get to the post office after it’s closed. You knock politely on the glass door and are ignored. Thad G slams your body against the glass door until a postal employee threatens to call the police. You know it could be worse, but you’re not sure how.
“I swear, Thad, the money is there,” you whine like the sniveling little creep you are. “They open at 8:30 tomorrow, I’ll meet you–”
“I’m not meeting you anywhere,” Thad says in a way that makes your flesh crawl, as you marvel yet again that he can drag you down the street twisting your arm, while lighting a cigarette and talk at the same time. You hope he isn’t going to kill you now, but it’s hard to know what Thad G might do depending on his mood. He has a reputation for being a very moody guy.
You know cocaine is bad for you, you know running up a bill with Thad’s employer is also bad for you. You know lying to your big sister–the only person in your whole family who will still speak to you–is bad. You know she sent you that money order to pay the people who let you sleep on their floor with their pit bull, and won’t give you your stuff until you pay them. You also know they will never see any of that money because you’re going to cash your sister’s money order and give it to Thad G and hope he doesn’t beat you up too much to cover the interest your coke dealer wants and knows he’s not going to get.
You know you should be a better person, but you’re not. As Thad G drags you down the street to his beat-up Chevy Impala, you wish you’d thought of this before. You also wish you’d left town last week when you knew something challenging was going to happen to you this week. You wish you could predict the future and act appropriately on it. You wish Thad G’s car had a passenger door handle on the inside of the car. You know this doesn’t matter because you’d never have the guts to jump out of a moving vehicle. You also know you wouldn’t get very far if you did because Thad G has handcuffed your right hand to your left ankle. You wish you didn’t feel so stupid, although that’s a moot point by now, but you might be too stupid to realize that. You keep quiet because you know enough not to provoke him. You look out the window, you don’t ask where he’s taking you. You will know soon enough.