I asked George what he thought of working third shift this morning.
“It’s alright,” George replied. “I have little supervision. I see my supervisor maybe twice a night. It’s nice to be able to goof off when I want to.”
I laughed heartily.
“I worked third shift for a year and never did ever feel awake,” I told him. “I was in this hazy fog all the time.”
George told me the hardest part was when he got off work. That would be the time he would hit his car and take a giant drink to get a buzz on the ride home.
“Makes for long rides home just listening to the radio,” he said.
“I’m amazed at you,” I told him. “You really are doing so well. The shakes are gone, your eyes are bright, and I’ve never seen your mother happier.”
George blushed if a black man can blush.
“I’m doing it for momma. She’s getting old and can’t take all that drinking shit anymore.”
I refrained from telling him he should be doing it for himself. I didn’t want to be a killjoy.
“You’re a good role model,” George then said, catching me by surprise. “You’ve walked in my footsteps.”
“And then some…” I replied facetiously. “At least you were never homeless.”
George and I both got quiet watching TV. I turned it to the death and destruction channel and George howled in protest!
“You know what?” I asked George. “You’re my dopeman.”
“How’s that?” George asked laughing.
“You bring me cokes; my drug of choice these days,” I replied.
George burst out laughing. He had never heard of such a thing.
“You can’t get high off of cokes,” he said.
“I can!” I protested. “I get all happy and hyper. I am so sensitive to most substances.”
George laughed some more and said he had never heard of a coke addict pawning his TV for cokes so I was safe.
“Damn your parents!” he exclaimed as he got up to leave. “Drink you some goddamned cokes!”
I smiled and walked George out to his car.
“Today gonna be a sober day?” I asked him before he shut his door.
“Cross my heart and swear to die,” he said with a big toothy grin and drove home.