Big Sugar

—Havelock Ellis, Impressions and Comments. Ser. Iii, p. 55.


Big Sugar glanced at his watch, it was a few minutes before midnight and he knew they would be closing off most of the terminal’s wings, anytime now. He stared straight ahead and quickly headed for the emergency stairwells; they were worse than even the basement, for if the basement was purgatory then the stairwells were hell incarnate.

Big Sugar descended into this hell slowly; he noticed small groups of men on virtually every stair landing and, as he walked past the second landing, he saw that the concrete floor was littered with crack vials, dead lighters and matchbooks, used condoms, dirty needles and discarded, worn-out belts and pieces of tubing or rope. You could barely see even a piece of the concrete, as along with the aforementioned items, dozens of empty cans, bottles and containers were piled into various corners of the landings, giving them the appearances of being nothing more than small garbage dumps. Big Sugar nodded at anyone looking his way and tried to make eye contact with someone but they were all in their own little world’s, zombies, knocked out of the realities of life by their various inhalants, injections and inebriants or just their inability to make any sense out of an insane world, where the homeless, the mentally ill, the rebels and renegades and the plain old down and out poor were all subject to harassment and abandonment. And they all well-knew, no matter how much they feigned ignorance, that if they could just get their hands on that one sought after commodity, money, then they could live above ground again, in a cleaner, more subtle atmosphere. Oh, they knew the world was still crazy but if they could only get that money then they could pretend it wasn’t, along with the rest of those that identified themselves as human beings but who they knew would turn on them like the pack of raging animals they really were, unless they could produce that green paper with a dead president’s picture on them. Big Sugar walked past a homeless couple who appeared to be sleeping on top of the littered floor—on the fourth landing down—on top of what looked like a paper-thin beach towel, it being the only thing between them and the filth littered below them. Big Sugar stooped down and saw that they were breathing when he heard his name called. He jumped up and turned to see that it was Edward ‘Dumb Eddie’ Morton, a homeless, retarded Port resident who Big Sugar had rescued from thugs many times. He grabbed Big Sugar’s arm and hugged it to him, then slobbered, “Big Shoe-gah, Big Shoe-gah. Is Doris come quick, she gone kill herself.”

“Where Eddie, show me where Doris is—NOW!”

Dumb Eddie jumped when Big Sugar barked his name but turned and motioned for Big Sugar to follow him, as he began a journey downwards. Big Sugar followed him down a labyrinth of hallways and stairwells, until finally they emerged at a dimly-lit emergency stairwell where a young girl was sitting on a battered, paint-splattered milk carton. She had a .44 caliber revolver in her right hand and was staring, glassy-eyed, at it. Big Sugar walked over to her. “Hello Doris.”

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