Crystal Lane Swift Ferguson /Fiction 4.2 / Fall, 2016



 Art by © Artist Sophia Luo (My Conscience) from RSR’s Featured Art Gallery


Growing up, I had always been awfully straight laced, or at least tried to be. I went to church with my family. I never got in trouble. I followed all the rules. I can trace all my trouble back to when my parents divorced. Cliché? Sure. True? Absolutely. I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, but it’s damn obvious in retrospect. I picked up a nasty cigarette habit. Then came the alcohol. Then that one time with pot. Then came the day I saw girls snorting some kind of white powder through straws and rolled up dollar bills off of the bathroom counter at Scripps Ranch High School.

“What is that?” I asked.

One of the girls—tall, thick, had chola eyebrows and tits that made me green with envy—faced me down. “Who wants to know?”

“Me.” My voice was stronger than I’d expected.

The chola girl extended her rolled up dollar bill. “Try it.”

Rather than use her grimy cylindrical George Washington, I took out the only thing I had with me to put up my nose to aid with the snort—a notecard from my Spanish class presentation on the Mayans. I was underprepared anyway. I rolled up the 3”x5” cardstock and snorted hard. The meth hit my nasal passage, the back of my eyeballs, my brain, and my heart—all at once. It was Heaven and Hell all wrapped into one. I would never be the same. First hit, I was hooked.

So began my love affair with meth. The problem? I couldn’t afford it on my $5.15 an hour from the Souplantation. I had to resort to stealing.

It started slow. Backpacks left in the quad by rich white kids at school. Giving people too little change back at the Souplantation.

Then I got bolder. I watched for people to leave their wallets in their cars in the school parking lot. Started breaking into those cars. All for the meth. It kept me happy. Skinny. Wanting to stay alive.
This time, I had gone too far. The car I broke into was that chola’s car. That chick that introduced me to my one true love—meth.

My life flashed before my eyes as she pulled out a gun and pointed it at me. I started to walk away. She started to put the gun back in her purse. I took a breath.

“Fuck you anyway!” I shouted at her.

Then, it was the second time she pointed that gun at me. So there I stood, possibly taking my last breath, and all I could think about was: more meth.

“Who the fuck wants to know?” the girl in the bathroom repeated herself with an expletive added for emphasis. “Yo, white bitch,” the chola snapped, “wake the fuck up.”

I blinked once, twice, was back in the bathroom, the chola girl still holding out her dollar bill-straw. My entire love affair with meth had been imagined. I locked eyes with the girl for only a moment, then and scurried out of the bathroom, toward my Spanish class to present about the Mayans.


unnamedCLS Ferguson
, PhD speaks, signs, acts, publishes, sings, performs, writes, paints, teaches and rarely relaxes.  She and her husband, Rich are raising their daughter and their Bernese Mountain Border Collie Mutt in Alhambra, California.


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