"You blow snow, kid?" he asks me.
"Yeah, sure," I say, not looking at Michelle, knowing she'll send me bad vibes.
"How 'bout your chick?" Big Spender says, salivating as he checks out Michelle huddling between us. She shoots him a dirty look. She's not diggin' this convo. "Does she char herb?"
Michelle opens her mouth to say something, but I nudge her to keep quiet.
"She's not into drugs," I answer for her, suddenly feeling all protective toward her. I feel responsible for her, seeing how Michelle only came along on this trip to keep me company. And now this happens. If this guy makes a move toward her, I'll bust him.
Then this dude gets real pushy, pulling out more chronic and throwing the baggie into Michelle's lap. She freezes.
"Sure your chick won't have some?" he asks.
I toss the baggie back to him. "Like I said, dude, she's not into drugs."
He laughs and I wonder what else he's got on his mind as we head down the freeway, his big rig picking up speed. What am I gonna do? I've got to stay cool, keep this dude from getting any ideas about Michelle. I don't like the way he keeps brushing his hand across her knee. She looks like she's ready to send him coasting. I grab her hand, squeeze it. That calms her down.
"You two heading on down to Mexico?" Big Spender asks, cutting a rail of coke with a steady hand as we drive along the straight-away. My eyes bug out at the sight of the white powder, but I'm not gonna touch it. I swear.
"M--mexico?" I say, staring at the white snow on the tray, licking my lips, sniffing. "Yeah, we'll probably cruise on down."
Michelle freaks when she hears me say that. She lets out a big sigh. I know she's not into any of this, but what can I do? We're stuck with this dude until he makes a pit stop.
"I know a couple of guys across the border who can set you two up with peyote," he offers. "Real cheap."
"Yeah? Cool. We'll look 'em up," I answer, as I feel the truck slowing down, then swerve to the right as Big Spender snorts up the coke. White dust blows from his nostrils and the whole cab shakes. Oh man, I've never seen anything like it.
"Your turn, kid," he says, pushing the silver tray with the happy dust toward me.
"Don't touch it, Dean," Michelle says, her voice ringing out loud and clear for the first time in this convo.
Paranoia grips me like the coils of a rattler. What am I gonna do? If I don't sniff the coke, who knows what this dude will do next. If I do, I'm bummed and we both know it.