Charley sat directly in front of me with a serious look on his face after declining my offer of a vaporized bag of medical. After all, that’s what I do as a Vape-Master. Charley leaned a little forward while putting his hand over his chest just a little to the left of his heart. “I got shot last week!”
Charley grew up with a Picasso over his bed according to Jake. Charley was the youngest of a wealthy family headed by his world famous father. Having been estranged from academics, unlike his older successful brothers, made Charley the black sheep of the family. What could his worried father do to set his wayward son straight?
Jake had a knack for identifying youth needing a little direction which their wealthy parents so hope for. With just a little financial assistance from the family trust their offspring will learn to manage a medical marijuana dispensary, overseen by Jake, while earning his/her place as a self-sufficient member of society. Everyone wins as long as the parents accept the fact that their child is not going to leave the marijuana culture no matter what they do.
“Is your father pissed,” was my response. “Yeah,” was Charley’s.
Having grown up in Chicago I think nothing of the criminal activity typically under the categories of vice; loan sharking, prostitution, hard drugs, etc. Working late in Chicago might mean catching dinner other than at the local restaurant, which turned into a gambling spot after serving coffee and burgers all day long. Anyone walking by could see, between the cracks in the drawn shades, what was going on. I figured the drawing of the shades was to put law enforcement on notice so they could avoid the embarrassment of walking in with an appetite for food.
My youthful Chicago experience helped me through my vape-tending days as vice paraded itself through the vape-room, taunting me with seemingly once-in-a-life-time sensational opportunities. Odd as it is may seem, whoever pulls the strings of the vice tempters general respects those who, like me, are simply amused at the attempt to illicitly implicate another in crime.
Seeing that a potential ‘mark’ is immune to opportunities for ‘getting away with something’ can generate respect for not being so foolish as to fall for a bite of the unforbidden. I often wondered if the LA Commissioner assigned to close down medical marijuana dispensaries had bedded the same underage South American ‘street wise’ girl I met a few days before he was fired for having sex with a minor. I bet he didn’t grow up in Chicago.
I knew I would get no where in unveiling any other story than the ‘official’ one Charley related to me;
“I was walking in between a friend and the TV when I saw a white flash and smoke. I turned to look at my friend and said, ‘What the Fuck.’ Just then I saw the 40 S&W in his hand and blood coming from my chest. Without having felt a thing I yelled, ‘You shot me asshole!'”
A month later Charley let a 40 S&W bullet drop onto my open palm – the very same bullet that was ‘accidentally’ fired by a ‘friend.’ The bullet had entered and exiting Charley without hitting one vital organ, bone or artery. Both the TV and Charley had holes, but only one functioned afterward.
After realizing Charley would only give this ‘official’ version of the story I asked Jake if he was the ‘friend’ in question. Jake carried a Glock 40 S&W automatic stuck into his belt, which he managed to pull out so fast one tended to wonder where it suddenly appeared from. “No,” was his response along with the reassurance that, “The police had declared it an accident. Nuff said.” Jake did happen to mention, with a hint of glee, that Charley finally felt the pain within a minute after being shot.
Charley now seems no worst for hanging with his fun-gun friend, whoever that may be, and within weeks he was the proud manager of a medical marijuana dispensary, which also gave Charley further experience with guns after being robbed by a gang months later.