Drake was 18 when it happened. Suddenly he was alone in the world, and there was nothing to live for anymore. He would sleep all day, and at night he would drink until he would throw up, and pass out. He would wake up in strange places with intense headaches, and a foul odor of cologne, bile, and liquor wafted from him for all who dared to get too close to experience. Flowers withered hopelessly away..And dogs howled and barked at him. It was during this dark time of his life that he heard about a place from a demon disguised as a friend where there were no rules, and people just did as they liked until the sun rose.
Drake was falling fast down a hole to his eventual demise. There was no turning back. The gravity of his depression had too strong of a grip on him now. It was only a matter of time until the end. After a cup of Top Romin Noodles, and some Spam that he stole from a local grocery store, he began his nightly ritual of drinking a few shots of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. That was his beverage of choice. That, and half a pack of Marlbro Red Cigarettes. The smell of the smoke made him feel awesome, and combined with the booze he could do no wrong. On the bus downtown he saw his accomplices, Jajhul, Randy, Desire, and Leah. Desire was going out with Randy, and Jajhul was going out with Leah, but the ladies were bisexual, so they would go down on each other from time to time too. There were no rules. It was a secret society for the lawless, living without any reservations for tomorrow. On the bus they smoked a little weed. Nobody dared to do anything about it, because they were either scared of them, apathetic or too high to care. When they got to the Avenues, Drake was the first to pull the wire. The bus stopped at the next block and they exited through the back exit without paying.
It was dark except for a few street lights, and the few cars that were there had smashed windshields. One car was completely engulfed in flames. People stood around the car with bottles in their hands shouting out cuss words, and hollering out at one another in celebration of what had created. They walked past the burning car to a place surrounded by a weather beaten wooden fence. It was so weak, you could kick it down, and there was all sorts of tags and graffiti sprayed on in vibrant colors on there too. A big man stood in front of the gateway past the fence. He grinned a shiny gold tooth grin and shook their hands with his ring covered fingers. They all walked past him except for Drake. He got pushed back.
"Why you not let me in bruddah?"
"Cuz you a punk!"
"Fuck you! I ain't no punk. Who be say'in dat?"
"Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit....Tell you what...Come back here with some pussy, and I'll let you in."
"Oh, so that's how it is?"
Drake shrugged up his shoulders tight, and threw himself away from the man as though to contain his desire to slug his fist through the bouncer's sternum. "Drake muttered obscenities as he bee-bopped his way past the line of pimps and hookers waiting to get in. He turned up the next street, and lit up a cigarette. Smoking helped him think with what little brain cells he had left. Then he saw a little bar lit up with neon signs. There were pool tables inside, and half way decent women accompanied by some well to do college kids. He flicked his half smoked cigarette away to the street where it bounced and sparked in a dance of orange light. He wore a New York Yankees baseball cap on backwards, a black hooded sweatshirt, big baggie jeans, and All Stars Sneakers. The room was filled with noise, and laughter. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, but when he made his way to the bartender people gave way as his obnoxious smell forced them to scuffle to one side. The bartender was a young lady in her late twenties wearing something that revealed her perfectly tanned cleavage. Drake made eye contact with her, and said "What up?"
"You gunna buy something?"
"Why you gotta be like that?"
"Buy something or I'll have Jimmy over there throw you out."
Drake attempted a flirtatious smile.
"Damn girl. You cold!"
She could see that he was having a difficult time by the sadness in his eyes. There was even a tear that rolled down his cheek.
"Ooooookay...Uh, One drink"
"Thank you.." He uttered with intense emotional pain in his voice.
She went over to the bottles and quickly assembled a Hurricane with twice the recommended shots in it. Something about his plight reach out to her, and so she played the roll of pharmacologist and administered some medication; medication being the alcohol.
He knew he was walking on eggshells in this civilized little place, and as the booze numbed away his sorrows, an idea occurred to him. If he was going to get past the bouncer, he had to win over a lady here. He eased his way back from the bar with his drink in hand. He spotted a dyed bleach blond headed Asian waiting for her turn at the pool table. He put his harm up against the wall there beside her head and said, "Try some of this honey, I think it's spiked with a little something-something..." She laughed a nervous laugh and turned away back to her friends by the window. He knocked back what was left of his drink. It slipped out of his fingers and broke on the ground. He strolled calmly outside. Then he watched her from the window. She saw that he was watching, and she nervously chewed on her lower lip. He saw that she was into him, and waited for her by a parked car. When she came out for a smoke, he was just by the door, standing by the wall, and whispered to her ear, "I know where the real fun is.."
She took a Marlboro Light out from her little black leather purse, which had chrome metal studs adorned around the edges. There was the ring of his zippo lighter giving birth to a flame that ignited the dry tobacco of her cigarette into an animated cherry, dancing with the life of orange embers. There was the sound of the wind transporting the nicotine through her capillaries from her lungs, and her eyes lit up with intrigue.
"Where is this fun place...Excactly?"
"It's not far..." He walked past her with his hand outstretched. Her hand reached forward as though against her will. Something within her...Something animal compelled her. He took hold of her hand, and they walked silently to the fun place. The bouncer gleamed at them, as they were aloud to walk through. Jajhul spotted him first, "There he at! I was going to come looking for you!" He was full of shit. They all were. Drake kept walking and ignored them. They were all dancing now on the floor covered with glitter, just like in Kesha's song, and that song was playing. Pelvises were grinding against asses, and hip hoppers where hipping and hopping. Couples made out in the shadows, and junkies sniffed their lines off pub tables. The base pounded so intensely he could feel the beat rattle his bones. It was awesome. In the distance people broke bottles and lit things on fire, and in the bathroom there were orgies and overdosed half dead junkies, on the way out of this world...Never to return. Drake and the Asian lady made their way over to a table full of drugs and booze. Her eyes widened, and narrowed as she looked at Drake flirtatiously and motioned for Drake to come closer. "My name's Yuko," she said.
They had to speak directly into each others ears to be heard.
"This is the part where you tell me your name" Yuko said with a smile.
When she spoke, he could feel her warm breath against his ear.
She poured herself a Gin and Tonic. "You're so quiet!" She exclaimed.
"Not quiet.. Just soft spoken. So...What do you think?"
She looked around. Leah and Desire where tongue kissing on the dance floor as Jajhul and Randy watched. Around them, people had their hands in air, jumping up and down to the beat.
"It's nice..But I know someplace better."
He looked at her, and he could tell by the spark in her eye what she meant by what she said.
"Lead the way."
She grinned with excitement and lust, and took his hand. They walked to her car. She was about to get in, when he stopped her.
"I'd better drive tonight."
She smiled and let him have his way.
She got on all fours, and crawled over the stick shift to the passenger side seat. When he fired up the ignition, the seat belts automatically swung back over their bodies. She put her hand on him. He was hard. They made out, and he started unlocking her bra. She pushed him back slowly, and said "Wait until we get there.."
They got on the highway, and headed south. Drake had to focus in order to keep the car on the road in his inebriated state. It was 4am. Nobody else was there except the two of them. She pointed out the way, and he took her there. They pulled into the parking lot of a cheap motel. They stopped at the front door, and made out as she turned the key.
Just as they were about to enter the room, several police cars stormed in the parking lot with screeching tires. Doors swung open, guns pointed out. Drake was shocked. He was totally caught off guard. She set him up from the beginning. She had been working undercover with her friends. She kneed him in the crotch, and pushed him down against the ice cold concrete, where she cuffed him so tight it broke the skin.
They told him that they were arresting him for theft, drug and people trafficking, and assault with a deadly weapon. When he got to prison Jajhul, Randy, Desire, and Leah were there too. They had 10 years to do with no parole. During the prison time Drake received rehabilitation for his drug additions. He even learned a trade in construction. A therapist helped him work through his problems. It wasn't like any prison anyone has ever seen before. It was a special place funded by some very wealthy politicians with ambitions to drastically lower crime rates by the beginning of 2013. Finally...There was hope.
Written by Stan Levine on Ocotber 13, 2010