During my 17th summer, I worked at a dry cleaner. Worst job ever. They didn’t even allow me a calculator. Who do I look like? Good Will Hunting?
One afternoon, a guy walked in and casually said, “Hi, I dropped off some pants earlier. I left some marijuana in the pocket.”
Stunned, and looking for candid cameras, I muttered, “Um, what?”
“I left a small bag of marijuana in my pants pocket. Could you get it for me?” he smiled.
“Do you just want the pants back?” I asked, confusion covering my face.
“No, just the bag of weed will be fine. Here is my ticket,” he handed it to me.
I hesitantly nodded and walked to the back of the building, the temperature at 345 degrees, and began rummaging through a pile of dirty laundry.
I found the pants, with instructions to be laundered and heavily starched, and sure enough, there was a small bag of dope in the pocket. Looking around for witnesses, I retrieved the drugs and quickly walked back to the front.
Chief was gone, but standing in his place was a local police officer. I let out a sound that resembled my lungs collapsing, and I threw my back against the wall, gripping the bag of marijuana in my hand, as the cop and old dry cleaner lady gawked at me.
“Everything okay, Susannah?” old dry cleaner lady asked.
“Sh-sh-sure,” I gulped, contraband hidden in my innocent 17 year old hands.
“That young man said he would be back later,” she replied as she tagged the police officers uniforms. “Said he left something in his pocket? Did you find it?”
“Uh, yeah. I got it,” I gulped, perspiring, picturing life behind bars as a 17 year old Republican girl. The horror.
“What was it?” old dry cleaner lady asked, police officer witnessing the entire conversation, my hands squeezing the drugs tightly.
“Uh,” my eyes darting around the room, trying to conjure up a lie, “Paper. It’s just a note or something. I’ve got it.”
“You can put it in lost and found,” she said, quickly figuring the math for the officer’s items.
I was expected to put a bag of weed in the lost and found?
Fat old dry cleaner man was in the office, reading a newspaper, breathing like an old bull dog as I shoved the drugs in my pocket, without him noticing. I scribbled some lines on a sheet of paper, folded it, and threw it in lost and found.
Hours later, Pusherman arrived.
“Did you find it?” he asked, calm, cool, casual.
“You’ve no idea what I’ve been through. I don’t appreciate it,” I said, reaching in my pocket and throwing his stash at him before one of the old dry cleaner people saw us.
He nodded, tucked his drugs in his pocket, and walked out the front door.
For three hours, at the age of 17, I was a dry cleaner drug dealer.