When your boss pulls you aside, and she whispers “Take this to them, and bring back what they give you ~ and don’t look into the bag” it should raise some red flags.
But at sixteen, freshly kicked out of the house and alone in the world, my reply was “Yes, ma’am.”
This is the story of when I was a drug mule– and didn’t know it.
The setting is the deep south in the 90’s. Now, if you don’t know what it was like in the 90’s, throw your phone in a dumpster and put on some angry-chick music. That’s the 90’s.
I was an over-protected, sheltered girl from a rural town we’ll call Nowhere. I was kicked out of the house at age sixteen because my puberty clashed with my stepfather. I got various jobs while going to high school as a junior and senior ~ Burger King, pizza shop, just whatever. There weren’t many options in Nowhere. I took what I could take.
Oh, did I mention – NO INTERNET? 😵
Soon I graduated and got a job as a dishwasher at a local cafe. My boss was a tall woman we’ll call Darling, who was anything but. Her hobbies were yelling in my face, inappropriate jokes about egg whites looking like c*m, and tossing plates into my bubbly water so that they would shatter. When I reached in, I cut open my wrinkly, water-puffed hands.
The job paid about $125 a week, 6 days a week, and that was not bad in my eyes.
The first drop.
Darling pulls me aside one day and gives me a to-go order of breakfast foods. She conspirationally whispers the “Take this to them” line, with the “don’t look in the bag that they give you” ending.
Well, alright. Whatever to get a few minutes away from Darling.
With warm food in a paper bag, I walked over to the building they called a “high rise,” though it couldn’t have been more than ten floors. It was a low-income apartment building for seniors. The place smelled of pee, with a rickety elevator that freaked me out.
I go to the apartment number I was told to, gave the old woman the food, and grabbed a smaller paper bag. “Don’t look in the bag.” Yeah, yeah. Got it.
Well, that was stupid.
My dumb-self walked back and forth from that cafe to the high rise several times over the next few months, until one day I had terrible cramps and was doubled-over in pain.
“Do you want a Valium?” the one waitress asked.
“What is it?” I asked. Did I mention, sheltered girl? No internet? The waitress told me what it was and took it from the brown bag.
Ah. Clarity. “No, thanks,” I said. “I’ll just do a Tylenol.”
Turns out, I was running food to the high rise and bringing back prescription drugs 😑 Darling traded meals with the seniors (and I suspect, money too) for these drugs that she had no prescription for.
I thank God I was never caught red-handed, walking around with a brown paper bag full of pills, humming the latest Pearl Jam song and completely oblivious to my drug mule status.
Take care, my friends,
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜