August 14, 2018
The Life and Crimes
of Billy Butters: Chapter 3
"Babe?" a hesitated twitch released from the side of his mouth. We were driving to my uncle's house for Christmas dinner. It was the first time I was bringing a guy to a family event and since Billy was known to say some outlandish shit, I was thinking of all the things that could go wrong and how he would embarrass me in front of my entire family. Why did I bring him then? It was about time I confirmed that my sweatpants and oversized t-shirts were simply my poor taste in style and didn't reflect on my sexual orientation. In other words, I wasn't a lesbian, rather I hated the tired of fat around my stomach and was lazy. A tragic combination.
Before I go further, it's important to know that I knew Billy was no prize chicken, but, he was genuine, he liked dogs and well, made me laugh. And from my time reading Cosmopolitan, those are two characteristics you want in a boyfriend. I figured that your partner can't have everything. Billy decided to swap his wife beater for a blue button-down collared shirt, however, he stayed true to his Enimem-inspired baggy jeans. In my free time, I was trying to train my dog Sampson to eat them, but I didn't have the North Korean training hand that was needed for such a task.
I looked at him, raised my eyebrows, "yeah?"
"Remember when I told you that I got caught selling weed?"
"Yeah," my palms became clammy. Billy told me a week prior that he had some trouble with the police because he got caught selling weed. I figured that since everyone smokes weed, someone needs to sell it. So, I gave it a pass.
"Well...," he hesitated, "it wasn't weed."
"What? Wait, what was it?"
"It was crack."
At that moment, I was stuck between anger and confusion. I was pretty sure that Ryan from the O.C. didn't sell hard drugs...if anything, this was turning into the Sopranos and I wasn't sure I could emotionally handle being a white trash version of Carmela.
"You're telling me this," as my voice raised, "while we're going to my family's fucking Christmas dinner? This is the fucking time you decide to tell me?! Now, I have to sit at dinner, knowing, fucking knowing, that my boyfriend was, or who even knows, really, who even knows, could still be a fucking crack dealer. Who the fuck even sells crack! Who!"
He giggled nervously while he shrugged his shoulders. But that non-verbal communication crap wasn't fooling me. "Uh, okay, well, I didn't think you'd take it that hard..."
My eyes squinted as I tried to figure out if I was overreacting. I wasn't. "Billy, you sold crack. How the fuck am I supposed to take it?"
"Well, I wasn't finished what I had to say."
"Please, tell me more," as I turned my head to look out the window.
"So, I have to go to court next week, it's gonna be my hearing."
I wasn't listening, I was fuming inside. He sold crack and yet, we're driving in a shitty 1990 Toyota which meant only one thing: he was a shitty drug dealer.
Knowing that my boyfriend failed at being a crack dealer was hurtful. It was the lowest form of drug dealing known to man and yet, you cannot even manage that. Plus, what was I supposed to tell my friends? What are they going to think of this? Girls, if you know anything that needs some CRACK, just let me know, my boyfriend is hella hooked up. Crack was dirty. I may have lived in Surrey, but I was at least four blocks away from the crack neighborhood and all I can tell you is that no one invites crack dealers to parties.
"How did you get caught?"
"Wait, I wasn't finished about the hearing --"
"Billy, I want to know how you got caught."
The car came to a full stop at a red light. Billy turned to me, "okay, well, I met this Chinese gang that would cover up their dealing by selling tv's out of the back of a van. And one day, we were all hanging out in the back of the van and this guy rolls up in a car and I knew it was a fucking cop but they were pushing me to sell. So, I went to him and sold him some rock but the minute I gave him the shit, we were all cuffed."
The light became green, we continued to drive in silence.
"You hung out with a Chinese drug gang that sold tv's out of the back of a van." I rubbed my face, pulling the skin down from under my eyes. "You are like literally the worst drug dealer ever."
He giggled anxiously while I was reevaluating my life's circumstances. Okay, here's the plan Natasha. You're going to go to court with him, don't be an asshole and dump him before it - it's just one more week. And then after the hearing, you're going to dump him. He's an idiot, it's time to get the fuck out.
We drove into the driveway of my uncle's house, I saw my grandmother's face pop out behind the curtain of the living room window. Within seconds, the front door opens with my family waving at us.
I opened my door slightly and turned to him, "and let's not tell my family that you're a drug dealer, okay?"
While waving back to my family, he looked at me with warm eyes, "oh yeah, yeah. I'm not gonna tell them. And I was a drug dealer, Natasha. That's in the past. I wonder what's for dinner," he opened the car door, "oh shit, your brother's here too! Fuckin' eh!" He threw the are keys on his seat, "I'm gonna go in, lock the car."
I sat in the car for a moment as I watched Billy get greeted warmly by my entire family as they exchanged hugs with one another. I even heard his name being called out joyously like it was apart of a fucking Christmas carol. They really had no idea.
It was the day before the hearing and I was with Billy at the mall. Who knew that I didn't need to train my dog to viciously devour his baggy jeans, rather, he just needed to sell crack and get caught in order for him to change his look.
"What do we need to get you?" I started counting on my fingers, "a shirt, pants, a belt, maybe a nice pair of matching socks and --"
"No, no, I don't need socks. Your mom got me those great socks for Christmas, remember?"
"Aren't those like really thick thermal socks....you know for like hiking..."
"No, you can wear them with anything."
I stared at him in silence before continuing. I knew I had to take control. "Okay, so, you need to look like a wholesome, clean white boy," I explained while walking past a Build-A-Bear store. "Basically, you need to look like you didn't sell crack." We stopped in front of the Gap. I looked at him, looked at the Gap, that's when I knew we hit the ultimate white people store.
"I don't like the Gap," he said.
"You could be going to jail, who gives a fuck if you don't like the Gap." I grabbed his hand and pulled him inside the store.
"Here," as I showed him a white button-down shirt and a pair of trousers, "this is what you need to look like, like a taxpayer."
He grabbed the shirt and looked at the price tag, "it's $50 for this shirt. I'm not paying that, it's fucking robbery. It's probably made by some slaves in Bangladesh." He looked at the tag, "See," as he showed me the fine print, "it's made in Bangladesh. I'll go to the Salvation Army and get a shirt from there for like $2, fuck this place."
"Are you fucking serious? You're a humanitarian right now? This isn't the time to go through racks of clothing to find a shirt that doesn't smell like stale bread." I stared at the shirt, thinking of a solution, "just stick the tags in and you can return it the next day."
He took the clothes and went to the change room. I followed him and waited by the door.
"Let's see," I said as he slowly opened up the door. Oh no, he actually looks...kinda...hot. No, stop that. He pulled down the shirt, I sensed the discomfort. "You look good," I said casually, "this will do great in court."
There was a panic in his eyes, "you think?" We both knew that he was fucked. "Yeah," as he turned in front of the mirror, "I think the judges will like it."
He turned a couple more times in the mirror, "okay, well, I'll meet you out front. I'll get changed and get 'em."
As I waited outside of the Gap, I looked at the people walking by and wondered how many of them were crack dealers. Probably not that many.
"Natasha!" he called out while walking out of the store in a tempered pace.
"Where's the ba---"
"Just keep walking," as he grabbed my hand. I pulled my hand away from him, "where's the bag? Why didn't you buy the outfit, what the fuck Butters!" He opened his jacket, revealing the shirt underneath, "I managed to fit the pants underneath my jeans too."
"Are you fucking kidding, you stole your outfit for court? Who the fuck does that?"
"Shh, don't speak so loudly," as he giggled, "you thought I was going to pay for that? I'm not contributing to the capitalist agenda."
One more day, just last one more day.