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Carbitol - The House at 303

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Find out how easy it is for a young man to lose his way and enter a drug dealers world. Set in New Jersey in the 1970s.

Submitted: July 18, 2019

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Submitted: July 18, 2019

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I had just finished adding milk and three spoons of sugar to my first cup of coffee when I saw Richie and Louie with their faces pressed against the sliding glass door looking into the kitchen. That was odd. They always rang the front doorbell. I moved to the door and unlocked and slid it open.

“Milt, we gotta talk to you.” Richie’s head was leaning towards my right ear as he whispered. Louie was scanning every inch of the kitchen and seemed to be listening for something.

“Hey guys. Wanna smoke a joint?”

Every morning I rolled twenty joints to put in a Marlboro pack. I usually greeted them with one and today was no different. I pulled one out to spark up but Richie shook his head, “No Milt. Not today. Is anybody else up?” 

“Let’s go outside. Mothafucka.” Now it was Louie’s turn. Louie’s favorite word was ‘mothafucka’ which he said with a real Jersey Italian accent.

I followed these two Mafia ‘wannabees’ out the door and down the stairs to the cement patio.

Richie had bent over a little to get his six-foot-three, 220-pound frame through the door. His strong Polish jaw was an asset for a guy who wanted people to like and trust him.

He had this wiry smile when he was trying to get you to do something. And right now he was pointing that embracing smile in my direction with full force.

Richie had quit high school at the end of 11th grade. After listening to his friends question his intelligence, or lack thereof, he decided to finish high school. I never did get him to tell me why he wanted to go back to a real high school instead of simply taking the GED. I just knew he was a man at Hackensack High School and we were all still kids.

A few weeks ago Richie came by on his brand new Kawasaki motorcycle and told me to get on and hold on tight. He pulled a wheelie down the street as I held on for dear life. My heart stopped with fear. We went to Staten Island where he street-raced with other bikers. Rich was really good on a bike and all of the other tough bikers wanted to talk with him. One bike race trip was enough. But it was awesome.

All of Richie’s friends from South Hackensack suddenly were my friends too. I was part of the gang.

Louie on the other hand was fumbling through gangster school. Once he found out that I was looking for some pot to sell. He took me to his connection’s house and when we got there they wouldn’t sell him any because he still owed for the last time. Louie pitched a fit until they finally let us in and gave me a sample to smoke. It was terrible weed and I made an excuse why I couldn’t buy it. Louie saw it as a perfect time to tell them what he got from them was awful too. Then he used that as an excuse not to pay them and argue he wanted the rest of his money back. We left without Louie’s refund.

Louie’s temper was legendary. A few months back, Louie and one of the guys named Jamie were in a Dairy Queen on the border of Hackensack and Paramus, a competing high school, when they saw a guy from Paramus’ football team looking at them funny, or so they thought. Louie and Jamie chased him down, beat the kid up and put him in the hospital for six months. Louie and Jamie got probation. The kid never even knew what happened. He was looking at the menu on the wall making faces because he didn’t know what he wanted.

So here we were standing on my back patio, me the book worm pothead, Louie, the guy who could turn violent at the drop of a hat, and Richie, the huge charmer with the little brain. It was Monday morning and Louie and Richie were making me nervous. I had never known them to turn down a joint or seen them when they weren’t laughing and talking about where everyone was hanging out that night. I was still recovering from the very busy weekend.

“The garage.  Let’s go into the garage.” Louie had figured something out and had to let us know.

We walked the 50 feet down the pathway and entered the garage. Richie closed the door while looking through the window for anyone foolish enough to follow.

“What’s up?  What’s going on?”  I wasn’t sure if I had said or done something they didn’t like and it got back to them.

I watched as these two tough guys played roles like characters in a police drama. Especially while they stood in the 70 year old garage between the two Alpha Romeos I owned; the rebuilt luxury Giulia TI sedan with the cloth seats and the rusty, dented Giuletta that reminded everyone of Donald duck’s car.  

“Did you hear that Dana Foglum and Anna Thompson overdosed at a party in Maywood Saturday night?”  Louie had a worried look in his eyes but I swear his chest was poking out.

“No.  I don’t even know Dana or Anna.  Who had the party?  How did they OD?” 

“Louie sold them twenty Carbitols and I told him not to.  Or if he had to he should only sell them one each. They were just chippie girls and those things were killers.” Richie continued. I think he meant naïve kids but he said chippie because he often made up new words.

Richie was shaking his head at Louie like his mother when he came home late.

“Mothafucka. I told those fucking pussies to only take one. They should have known better.” Louie said.

“I told him just one each” Richie was both mad at Louie and defending himself to me.

“Wait a minute. What is a Carbitol?” It finally registered that they had messed up bad.

“They just would have gotten them from someone else. Mother fucking mothafucka!”  Louie ignored my question. I think he had so much trouble thinking that he couldn’t listen and think at the same time.

“Where did you guys get them?  Do you know if the girls are OK?  Why are you telling me? You know I don’t like downs.”  I turned to face Richie as I said this. Oh wow! Did they just sell someone drugs they OD’d on?

Richie started. “Stash’s cousin works in the shipping department of Gloxam Drugs.  He saw all those boxes of horse tranquilizers going out and he threw ten boxes over the fence.  We went that night and grabbed them.”  It was now Richie’s turn to hold his chest out towards me. I knew they felt proud they were hustling just like the older guys. 

It was Louie’s turn. “Each case had twelve bottles with one thousand pills in each.  Ten boxes, that’s…” and he paused to do the math.

 “120,000” I almost lost it with the number.

“Yeah, motha-fucking 120,000 pills.  At $2.00 for singles and $1.00 each by the thousand, that’s, uh, that’s a lot of fucking green. Hah, hah, hah!”  Louie’s eyes doubled in size as he sucked his Marlboro’s smoke into a sick, twisted smile.

He scared me. I remembered the Dairy Queen Paramus incident which kept ne wary of Louie’s ability to snap into violence without notice. I, on the other hand, never fought. I ran. And I wanted to run right now. Richie and Louie felt the Carbitols were their chance to run with the big time criminals. A real career move for them but not a career I wanted to even know about.

“Louie, one of those girls might die.  It’s gonna get hot for us.  If someone talks and tells ‘the Man’ where they got ‘em, they’ll have search warrants and haul us in right away. We gotta ditch these things. Nobody would think to look here. Everyone knows you just do pot.”  He was talking to me. Now I got it!

“You guys are really nuts.  That could be manslaughter and are they under age?  That would be even worse.”  I was trying to change the direction Richie was going. Pot was one thing but hard drugs? I didn’t even smoke cigarettes.

“Why don’t you just flush them down the toilet?”  I was edgy and edging towards the back of my two Alpha Romeo’s.   I was trying to get away from Richie, Louie and the whole thing.

Richie shuffled back in tandem with me.  Louie leaned against the front fender of the Guilia TI. The Guiletta was so dirty and rusty no one would touch it.

“The girls might not have even been that fucked up. The Carbitols are worth a lot of money and we can off them real quick by the thousand.  We’ll give you 100 out of each 1,000.  We can move them in two or three days.” 

Richie turned his eyes down while he pursed his lips with what he took to be sincerity. I could feel the pressure of wanting to be all in with the boys and keeping my own conscience clean. I know Richie felt like he could talk anyone into anything and he was reading my internal battle.

“How many do you have left?  I don’t want the pills.  I don’t like downs.  I don’t know where I could put them.  They can’t be in the house.” I was going to make it impossible for them. 

There was a little guy on my left shoulder telling me not to do it but the one with the pitch fork on my right shoulder said, “Jump in!”

“I wouldn’t last 10 minutes in jail. I can’t do this.”  There I said it.

“No fucking way.  I’m not leaving eleven boxes of pills outside.”  Louie was too busy thinking about me not having them in the house to hear me tell them no. Since he was a thief he thought everyone was a thief.

“How many boxes are there? Eleven? That takes a lot of room. Why don’t you just hide them in your attic?” I was bargaining with the devil.

“Nine boxes and three bottles. We are going to let them go for a buck each to dump.  Louie, we don’t have a choice. We think plainclothes are looking for us and they’ll search our houses and cars. We saw an unmarked car following us but we lost him.”  Richie was really on edge.

“What would I do with 1,100 pills? I don’t have any way to sell them.”

“Milt, I’ll sell yours and give you the money, but where can we put ‘em?”  Richie wouldn’t quit.

I didn’t want to get busted for this but I was supposed to help out the gang, ‘Band of Brothers’, bullshit. 

If they put them in the trunk of the Giuletta then I can claim someone put them there without me knowing.  The trunk’s lock was broken.  They wouldn’t leave all those pills in an unlocked trunk in an unlocked garage and pay me too, would they? 

“You can put them in the trunk of the Giuletta.  It doesn’t lock but nobody opens it anyway.” 

“Louie, let’s do it.  Nobody would think we would be that dumb.”  Richie thought it was good and that sucked. 

“Go get them and I’ll see you later.”

“We don’t have to. The Carbitols are in the trunk.” Richie was desperate and had been driving around with them. I could see Louie shaking his head at Richie.

“We had to get ‘em out of our house.  We can always move them when we find a better place.  Let’s go get ‘em.”  Louie wasn’t in love with the idea but he was too scared to drive anywhere with them anyways.

This was bad.  I didn’t know they were so desperate.  Since everything was unlocked I could claim I didn’t know anything. What was I doing? What if someone stole them? Would Louie come after me?

So that is how I ended up with 111,000 horse tranquillizers in an eighteen year old Alpha Romeo Giuletta in my garage.  Richie and Louie kept their word and dumped the pills in five days.  I never even saw them coming and going. They just told me when they were gone.

They got my payment pills by taking my share out of each bottle before selling the bottle as a full thousand. Richie sold my share and gave me the money. Of course they took a seller’s fee from my cut.  The two chippie girls had gotten word in the hospital not to rat and they didn’t. The girls ended up OK after vomiting all over themselves and spending one night in the hospital. 

I was glad to be able to go back in the garage again without freaking out once all the pills were sold. And with this deal I was now firmly part of a new gang, the Richie-Louie-Me gang. I delivered and never talked and that meant everything to them. I didn’t know what that was going to do to my life. If only I had.


© Copyright 2019 Milton Galfas. All rights reserved.

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