I used to like fiending for drugs with friends. In it there is an open admission, without admonishment. It is a form of secular confession, a democratic absolution. It's like perpetually chasing a dirty tennis ball that you're not quite sure you want in your mouth, but chase it you will, and sometimes offer to share.
Now, I eat pistachios as if they're laced with smack or crack, whichever. The shells merely function as the needle and the pipe, the process, the ritual. I gobble them up in the darkness, the sound of their cracking alerting Raquel to my unquenched cravings. As if I have my back hunched over, abusing myself in the light of the television, to the glow of pornographic transmissions, discovering the specifics of pistachios, watching the pile of empty shells grow, guilty with greed, winded with obsessions. When I think Ive gotten away with a particularly gluttonous episode I'll bury the empty shells at the bottom of the garbage can, wrapped in paper towels, rinsing my hands of them.
There's often one shell that refuses to be picked up from the counter. It's the last one and doesn't want to be easily scooped, always face down, resisting my clean getaway, my prying fingers, as if we're playing a game.
I miss them. I wonder, do they ever dream of me.