As any good penalty taker knows, the run-up is crucial. One must have nerves of steel and belief in their ability. You must pick your spot and not waiver, you must concentrate, and when the whistle blows you don't hesitate or do a little dance ala Neymar, you go quick with power and placement and then run towards the corner flag to celebrate... In the weed game i was an ace penalty taker. Nerves of steel? Check. Belief in ability? Check. No hesitation? Check. This was going to be some caper if i pulled it off, the risk was great and the reward was great but as Glenn Danzig once said, where eagles dare...
And so preparation began... the research on plane tickets started. I already had mine and with Veronica needing to get a passport sorted there was this little spot in the back of my mind that understood this might not come off. She was scrambling to get her birth certificate and application sorted and the truth was there wasn't much time, less than the six weeks the web site stated one needed unless of course expedited, which of course cost more money, something that Veronica was not exactly rolling in. Of course i did offer to cover any unforeseen or unmanageable expenses but she was adamant that she would do it herself. Meanwhile i got on with the business of making money and slinging weed.
My first trip across the pond was a carefully planned and orchestrated affair. Three years into the game and i was doing okay. I had managed to save enough money to cover the rent and bills for the month i'd be gone, worried about losing market share in the local weed game, planned my route and destinations and costs knowing that while i had a little nest egg back home it wasn't much, i'd be able to survive a few months without the cheddar provided by the game but then i'd be fucked. This time it was a bit different. The nest egg had quadrupled and just kept growing, the trip was only eight days so the stoner kids would be fine during that time and honestly i had the supply to do whatever i wanted. I'd make sure all the Weight Crew was sorted and take care of all the nickel dimers even if that meant a front until i got back. At this point i had moved into the position of being the best game in town and if you had my number you didn't want to be exiled. I always had fucking gear... period. I was a stoner's wet dream.
Of course there were always things to deal with... namely the Billy Goat was already foreshadowing that he was going to be a pain in the ass. For a guy who went to a prestigious university and was now living the hippie dream he could be as dumb as dog shit... or as i learned a cunning and conniving sort well versed in the art of debate and bullshit, a skill he may have learned from his lawyer mother. The main issue with the Billy Goat was the money, he never seemed to have it straight and while he always wanted more gear he never seemed to be able to pay his full tab. Now this was early doors with the new deal, the five pound special as i'd dub it, and the fact was that when i needed to re-up i was on the hook to pay in full which meant if Billy Goat was fucking about with my money i needed to make it up myself to keep the supply chain humming. At this point it was never much maybe a a few hundred bucks or even a grand, either way i wasn't exactly thrilled.
The fact was that at this point in my weed slinging career i'd seen a good deal of what can go wrong and my spider sense was tingling with the Billy Goat. He was a bit different. I'd been beat before by the knuckleheads who didn't understand that if you took weight on the front you couldn't sit around and smoke half of it and then get me all the money back. The worst beat was a quarter pound which at the time hurt but i give the guy credit, at least he showed up and explained that he was a fuck-up and knew that he was out. Took full responsibility for his idiocy and understood his banishment. His girlfriend would still come over and score and a few times she would pay off a small piece of his debt but then he fucked around on her and that stopped as well. Her suggestion was i break his hands. Talk about love.
But back to the business at hand. The plane ticket, bought so close to the trip, was not going to be cheap. Roughly a thousand bucks and the very real possibility that Veronica wouldn't make it because she didn't get her passport sorted. True to her word she kept her clothes on as well. When she'd see me she'd throw her arms around me and kiss me but that was as far as it went and while that may have frustrated our protagonist it did make for great sexual tension, even she admitted that. I'd stop in and see her at work and we'd discuss the trip, i'd check the progress she'd made on obtaining said papers, always making sure she was serious but as things went along it was obvious she was. In fact one of the biggest fears came from the ego, the fact i didn't want to be made a fool of like so many other guys who walked in the door of Anthony's Lounge, granted most of the guys who were made fools of didn't hang out outside the place with the women who worked there and most definitely hadn't "consummated" the relationship on a futon on a hot and humid night in August. That said my power and rep was expanding exponentially in the hood these days and i was not about to let anything stop the ascension. The absolute power corrupting absolutely.
And so the clock kept ticking and the ball was placed on the spot. Like some warped, stoned and drunk version of a self-help guru i visualized success. I kept the nerves calm and had the utmost belief in my ability. In short, the keeper stood no chance. The whistle blew, i took a deep breath, and started the run-up.