a short story from “noms fictifs”

by Olivier Sylvestre
Hamac, 2017

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five one-cc’s you ask me just the flutes no water no cups no alcohol pads no brown bag to put them into not even after the hi not even before the thanks that you don’t spit out for me because a fix is a fix and you need yours as soon as possible to relieve the pain that’s been killing your veins since six am and you know that we distribute the stuff you need and collect the stuff you don’t in yellow containers before cactus opens on sainte-catherine your name i ask first name only nickname if you want fake name if you must the procedure is the procedure i need to write it down on my record sheet that records the distribution of syringes stericups crack-cocaine pipes condoms band-aids free advice puncture site checking injection coaching even if you’re a minor even if you’re pregnant even if you don’t care thanks to the harm-reduction philosophy dick-from-new-brunswick you answer without a blink nodding all alone dans l’accueil only your sea of dreadlocks to keep you company and these flutes you play on down the stairs of the métro the ones that make music and the others — the ones that make it stop suddenly you kinda open the vault lost in montreal since last new year’s eve no card no cheque no nothing mother dead father unknown just an uncle out here who don’t give a damn about me ain’t eaten for three full days but a hell of a style you still got there i can’t help noticing and this beautiful young girl jolene is her fake name always on your mind love of my life disappeared without warning in moncton with my heart in her pocket there’s no way i can ever save enough to go back and every time you think of her you swallow the cry all this you tell me behind the bulletproof glass in the four-second space-in-time between the counter and the exit and then you vanish to your not-so-sweet journey still no please no thanks but a beautiful and sad story for me only the harsh beeping sound of the door will mark your visit et là je peux pas m’empêcher de penser no man can choose this path ça c’est sûr there is no such thing as choice exile is a country you are forced into

your name i ask first name only nickname if you want fake name if you must

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