The Graveyard Shifts; Eduardo on the Prowl?

Medicinal marijuana comes in a variety of strengths and is priced accordingly. I recently stumbled onto a wicked psychosis inducing strain and plummeted into the bizarre world of the depraved and insidious in downtown Denver. Denver is filled with freaks and vampires of all flavors but it does allow you to do your own thing and not be so much a spectacle. Groups of barely legal kids hang on 16th Street that remind you of something like Dicken’s street punks from Oliver on X. Girls in tight dresses all dolled up as waitresses for outside restaurants that pay attention to anyone with money, various hucksters and pimps of all merchandise. Open patio bars where people go to pay top price for a drink and engage each other on a humid dance floor to do the hump and bump….they feel 20 years old again, or wish they were, for tonight. Various street performers litter the LoDo district, most half assed, some exceptional-dear God, a fucking mime! The police are on hand, parked on their cycles in a circle, no real problem tonight, everyone is grooving on the fine weather. Political dementia takes the mind of some and leaves them leaning against walls with crude signs, shouting random two word protests at passing people. This is Denver.

Then, there is the other side of the route on 16th Street, the one that ends at the Occupy Denver encampment. The zombies down there have turned their quarters into some parallel dimension, living off scraps of food and bastardized technology. Being piped up on some strong strain of weed can either relax you in these surroundings or turn it into a real nightmare and mine took a turn to the dark side this evening. I noticed a bad vibe the minute I showed up among them which is uncommon for me. They typically welcome me down there but this time things were pretty quiet and standoff-ish. One noticeable difference was a large iron fence that now stood around the Civic Center park where the zombies had been  residing. No one was in that part of the park now. The entire clan had dropped their bags and belongings on the other side of the Broadway Street, one block closer to the State Capital. Their numbers were diminished to 30 or so people, a sloth gathering of the really nasty mongrels, dirty urchins pawing over pipes and egg salad sandwiches. They stare at me but make no attempt to greet me. I sit down and pull out my drugs to try and coax some information out of anyone interested in a buzz but the only taker was some small skinny character that reminded me of Ratso Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy. He keeps hitting me up for cigarettes, more pot, anything he can scrounge from me.

Finally, A familiar face walks by-it was Big Country, the easy going young man with a southern twang in his voice that I had met not long ago (see earlier blog, ‘The Man Called Big Country and the Rainbow Fingered Girl“). I walked up with a smile and asked what was going on but even this friendly face looked at me with suspicion. Dear God what had happened? Were the drugs that strong or was this paranoia I was experiencing justified? The zombies may turn on me at any moment so I prepared myself for a quick escape. Big Country did explain to me that the fence was put up to allow maintenance on the park. Apparently all the police cars, people and tents were so weighty that it crushed the sprinkler system and repairs were needed. Actually this somewhat worked to their advantage; the park area bordered on the west side where they had been living is under Denver PD jurisdiction, the east side is under Colorado State Police territory. Although the east side of the park is smaller the state cops are a lot more lenient, or have more to do than play tit for tat with the zombies like the city cops do.  While I stood there talking to Big Country a State patrol car rolled to a stop in front of us and the officer said they caught the man everyone was looking for down there.

“Who’s this guy everyone was looking for?”

Big Country told me some guy had been terrorizing the protesters, running around their camp waving a gun and ranting;  my thoughts immediately went to Eduardo.


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