All Our Poisons

I gave her everything I had handy, twenty two or twenty three cents at the most, with a headlight glimmering at me through her palm.

Then I slipped into the front pouch of my bookbag and dug out the silver I tuck in there for emergencies. I was in good spirits, which always does my charitable side well.

"That's right," she said, striking up a conversation I wasn't expecting. "I want to get some of that good stuff you're smoking."

It startled me to know she was referring to the little chillum I tended to clutch during long drives. I still had it between my fingers when I pulled up to the light.

"Don't worry," she reassured me. "Plenty folks use drugs. Some folks hooked on sex. Others want that money. Everybody's addicted to something."

The light changed and I drove away convinced we all do have our poisons.