Chris was ugly. A rat-faced little curmudgeon. He was dumb, too. He never read anything except BMX Magazine and the Penthouses that he stole from his mother.

 Chris's father had left the family years ago, and he never had a cent in his pockets. His mother worked long shifts at the local McDonald's, where she was the manager. 

 Since Chris had no moral guidance, he carefully crafted his personality out of a perfect melange of all the popular anti-social cartoon characters. He was part Kenny part Beavis and part Simpson. His spiky hair was dyed half blond, he played air guitar, and would snivel, burp and make loud gastro-intestinal noises at inappropriate moments.

 Chris only had one friend, a boy named Tommy, whom everyone made fun of for being retarded. Tommy wasn't really retarded, but he looked retarded enough for the kids to call him that. His forehead was a tad large, to be honest.

 Despite Tommy's position in the local social hierarchy, and maybe in part because of it, he chose to be an Artist. A composer of alien landscapes. 

 "Drugs Make You Think Cool", Tommy would write indecipherably at the bottom of all his paintings in lieu of his name.

 A trained eye could see the sheer brilliance in his work. Tommy had finished about 25 major pieces, and no two paintings seemed the same. The viewer's mind could ponder only the purest escapes as the oranges melted together with the purples into a mystic haze. Many remarked that Tommy painted these landscapes as if from personal experience.

 One evening, an art dealer from Atlanta saw his work at a high school exhibition and decided to feature him in her gallery. "This is some pretty serious work here Tommy," the woman had said. She paid him $200 each for his five best works. Tommy used the money to buy more canvasses and better paints. And also a big bag of crystal meth. He had been a casual user for years, but now he was becoming an addict.


 Loneliness has a strange way of making people get along. Chris didn't always like hanging out with Tommy because of the way people treated him for being different. And Tommy didn't always like hanging out with Chris because he always followed the crowd and never had an original thought. Still, compared to the other people around the trailer park, they were best friends.

 "I hate raver kids the most out of anyone, even hicks," Chris said to Tommy the next day while smoking under the local bridge.

 "They're fucking stupid as shit," Tommy commented playfully while sucking a drag off his cigarette. "Ravers are always gobbling down E's and trying to be nice to one another. If they ever ran out of drugs they would just be regular assholes like everybody else."

 "Little fucking popular bullshit pipsqueaks with no dicks," finished Chris.

 "Yeah, I hate ecstasy. I read it makes straight men want to suck each other's dicks. How gross it that?" commented Tommy.

 "Ha ha! Sucking dick! Tommy's queer!" screamed Chris, clenching his butt cheeks together as if to stave off an attack.

 "Even if I was queer, which I probably am a little, I still wouldn't wanna fuck you, you ugly sonuvabitch!" replied Tommy.

 Chris said nothing in reply, but he looked even more hurt than usual. Most kids thought it was cool to make fun of fags. Tommy was always different about everything. 

 Twitching slightly, Tommy reached in his pocket and removed his plastic baggy of crystal meth. He carefully poured and cut two rails on his Moby CD.

 "You tweekin?" asked Chris, unsure what to think. He had seen the older kids doing it, but he had never been offered any before.

 Tommy looked at him. "Yeah. It helps me with my painting. I haven't slept since Monday. After a couple more lines I'll be wiggin' bigtime. That's when I paint. It's how I got the inspiration for the all the work that lady picked for her gallery. I got nothing else but Art going for me, you know."

 "You can say that again," responded Chris, wincing as the light reflected off Tommy's monstrous brow.

 Tommy snorted his line and handed the CD case to Chris.

 "You too, Chris, up the nose. You're like me- you got nothing to lose by doing drugs. Maybe you can find a purpose in life like I did."

 Chris gave a skeptical look.

 "You look like a retard and my face looks like pizza vomit. We're never gonna get girls to suck our dicks like movie stars." 

 "Maybe we are both ugly," Tommy replied, "but the drugs sure work, and you can suck my dick if you want."