“You have to hustle,” that’s what Buddha says, “If you want to make a buck you can’t fuck about, no credit and no tasters. It’s cash on the barrel every time; cash is the only currency available. If your deals are straight down to the nearest fraction and the quality is high your reputation will flourish. A good reputation guarantees sales so remember to never be stingy with the deals and never punt anything you wouldn’t smoke yourself.”
Buddha’s been a speed freak most of his days. He’s a strict vegetarian and without blood and bones to fill his guts he’s outlived most of his contemporaries and never known a day’s illness in his life. Or so he says. His place is a mess; a sick fluorescent light stutters and strobes in and out creating jagged time in his bombed out kitchen. The sink is full of pots dishes encrusted with gastronomic anomalies like salmonella and botulism. It’s a regular doper’s scullery for weighing deals, cooking crack and smoking hot knives from the stove. Poor Buddha, he was once the golden boy – surely one of the chosen. He was that older kid who seemed wise to everything a young hipster should know. We were like brothers back in the day when we used to dex cough syrup together which he washed down with orange juice and I with El Dorado wine.
Disgusting though it is I’m in the kitchen because I have no time for fraternisation with the motley natives who festoon Buddha’s living room. Besides, I have a bottle of scotch which I will share with no man. I need the whole hit, the fire in my belly, the saturation of my soul. Music drifts in though the open kitchen window; a familiar melody from my youth and numb reverberations of times past have me untied for a moment until I recognise my surroundings. I’ve been here before – I’m in the Buddha’s kitchen and not fully compos mentis. I take a long slow drag and it feels warm and thick as it coils in my lungs and produces a dull throbbing in the brain pan.
“It’s simple.” Buddha says, “There’s no great mystery. No secret recipe. You breathe in – you breathe out, you breathe in – you breathe out. Everything is perfectly natural, but there is no explanation, so you can forget about that.”