About that time I began hanging around this professional boxer named Jimmy Blake. He was up and coming locally, and I had an idea to write a profile of him. He was a heavyweight with a third grade education. He had lost part of his tongue in a street fight, part of an ear to a meat grinder, and made a career of having his bell rung. He hesitated before finishing his thoughts, so proving an easy target to those who were unaware of his pugnacity. We hung out for a few days, and I was able to sell his story to a local sporting rag. Then I discovered he liked to smoke crank.
Jimmy had an inflated torso and a short temper. I was a drunken stoner whose conversational style attracted antagonism. It was our inability to communicate and our drawing of dissention that bonded us. For a month we were best friends.
When I couldn’t sleep, I drank. When I drank, Veronica would call.
He had a solid connection. We smoked speed all night and all day. The house was never cleaner. Even the oven got a good scrubbing. When I couldn’t sleep, I drank. When I drank, Veronica would call.
“You’re drunk,” she would say.
“Yes,” I would say, then hang up the phone. Jimmy would fire up some more crank. My breath smelled like a PCV valve.