How a vape shop owner became the most important woman in my life.
So now I’m Googling where to buy Kratom with a frenzy I’d usually reserve for porn searches,(come on – y’all know we addicts love porn, too, it’s a cheap dopamine hit, but still a hit). I remember getting the weirdest results. I’d put in my location and these bizarre sites popped up mostly selling tobacco vape juice and bongs throughout the entire country. Made no sense. I was looking for my magic Kratom – I didn’t need to know where in Seattle you could get a four-foot bong. Eventually I found a site that listed a store that was ( I’m not fucking with you, here) 1.5 miles from my house.
I call the place and this kind sounding old woman answered. I put on my best, most professional “I’m not a drug seeker” voice, ( we all have one) and innocently enquired if she carried this little thing I’d heard about called KRAHH-TOM. She chuckled under her breath and corrected me. “KRAY-TUM?” she asked. I think about this moment a lot. I don’t know why, but it irks the shit out of me that she did that. I wasn’t a Kratom expert yet, I didn’t know the correct pronunciation. Clearly I’m asking about “KRAY-TUM” , why mess with me and quietly LOL? To be fair, she could’ve said she sells dismembered puppies to eat and I wouldn’t have given two shits – I just wanted the K. She told me, yup, she sells it. Then she lowered her voice. “It’s quite a popular thing here,” she whispered. You know, the alarm bells should’ve been going off here the second she started talking like a Dateline killer. For most people – for the “normal people” – the non-addicts – they would’ve been. But nope, not me. She had the fucking elixir of life there, she could talk however she wanted. “Come on by,” she said – like the spider inviting the fly into it’s web. Again, even with that slightly sinister invitation, my alarm bell system was still severely lacking in alarming bells of any sort, so I jumped in the car (I still had one at the moment – more on that another time) and off I went to my new nirvana.
Want to know how fast you can drive 1.5 miles? You really don’t. Whatever it was, I’m sure it wasn’t legal. It was funny, I’d driven by the vape place countless times, stopped in once, never knowing my future (and the end of it) was tied to it. It was a bizarre set up. The front of the building was a vintage/antique shop while around the back was a separate entrance for the tobacco/vape shop, like all the naughty, dirty people have to go in the back. Instinctively, I went in the rear entrance – guess I knew I was dirty and naughty.
And there she was. Mama Kratom – all 104 years of her wrapped in a hunched-over, wrinkly frame topped with a dark gray ponytail and grandma specs that dangled on the edge of her nose. Man, she even looked like someone out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Reminder – alarm bells – none, okay? She smiled when I came to the counter. I think I counted three teeth, I’m being generous. ‘I called,” I said. She just stared down her nose at me, silent, as if lots of men are calling her all the time. “About the kratom…” I whispered. She broke into a gigantic granny grin, then reached behind her and grabbed a small white bottle off the shelf. She held it up for me to see the words “Green Malay Kratom, 60 capsules”.
I wanted to kiss her, buy her dinner, and finish her crossword for her all at the same time.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” she asked.
We all know what happens next, right? I buy the K, take that blissful first dose and sink into a bed of unicorns and rainbows?
Not quite what happened. Mama Kratom wasn’t done with me yet.
After all, it was our first time…