Chapter Eleven: The Funeral Home

Jennifer and Steve were outside the funeral home, chatting privately.

Steve said, “I can’t believe it! You brought home some cocaine addict, whom you didn’t even know, and the next day, you gave it to him!”

Jennifer replied, “How well did you know Yesenia? She had a drug problem, you know.”

“What are you talking about?” Steve asked.

Jennifer said, “You recognized Yesenia only because she happened to be in your biology class. The only thing you knew about her was that she was a legal resident of the school district. You didn’t even know what country she was from. You told me she was from Puerto Rico. Then, when I met her, she said she was born here in New Hampshire, and her family is from the Dominican Republic. You brought her home when she was under the influence of alcohol, and alcohol is a drug.”

Steve protested, “Well, that’s different!”

“How is that different?” Jennifer asked. “She was so drugged, she didn’t even remember what happened.”

“But I’m a guy.” Steve said.

Jennifer challenged him. “Oh, let me guess. It’s okay for you to have sex with a girl you don’t know, but it’s not okay for her to give it to you? Is it okay for you to have sex with three different girls in one night?”

Steve replied, “Sure, it would be.”

Jennifer said, “Then why wouldn’t it be okay for me to have sex with three different men in one night? You guys are cutting your own throats when you put down females for giving it to guys.”

Steve said, “But, I mean, Yesenia isn’t a cocaine addict. She may have gotten drunk on New Year’s Eve.”

Jennifer said, “Look what happened to Andy. He couldn’t get any, and he walked out in front of a truck and killed himself. Well, when guys turn to cocaine, they’re killing themselves, too. It’s usually just a bit slower. They still die. They turn to cocaine to cope with their failure to get laid, just like Andy turned to alcohol. The autopsy report came back today, and you know very well, Andy was drunk as a skunk. There are plenty of cocaine rehab programs out there, but none that offer the guy what he really needs.”

“How do you know Tony was doing cocaine just because he couldn’t get laid?” Steve asked.

“Because, when I offered it to him, he gave up cocaine. Given a choice between cocaine and me, he chose me.” Jennifer replied. “If some young lady had made a similar offer to Andy around two o’clock New Year’s morning, we might not be here now.”

Then Jennifer hit Steve with a tough question: “Or do you think people who abuse cocaine are the children of a lesser God than the people who abuse alcohol? Do you think people like Tony are worth less than people like Yesenia and Andy?”

Steve could not answer the question. He could not speak.


Copyright © 2004 Tom Alciere