Albuquerque woman Rebecca Simmons expressed concern today that her neighbor may have become a major “pusher” (illegal distributor) of the narcotic marihuana, also known by its street name “grass”.
The spry septuagenarian, who is known to her friends as “Becky” and resides in the 300 block of Negra Arroyo Lane, has become increasingly troubled by the circumstances of her neighbors of over fifteen years, Walter and Skyler White.
“I’ve known them (the Whites) for years, such a nice young couple. They’ve got a new baby, and this poor crippled boy, who’s just the nicest young man you’ll ever meet”, Simmons explained. “But about a year ago, the husband, Walter, was diagnosed with cancer.
“When I heard that, my heart just sank. Not only because of the baby, and the son, but because I know that the doctors are now prescribing ‘medicinal MaryJane’ to help with the symptoms of the chemotherapy, and that junk is so terribly, terribly addictive and unpredictable. My sister’s neighbor’s nephew’s friend overdosed on it”, she cautioned.
“Walter’s a nice man, but he seems weak, and I was worried that he would become addicted to the ‘grass’, as the kids call it. Reader’s Digest says it’s a ‘gateway’ drug, so in no time he could move on to harder stuff like ‘the dope’ or even ‘reds'”, the woman said, ruefully shaking her head, a barely audible “tsk-tsk” emanating from her lips.
In the aftermath of the diagnosis, an abundance of peculiar behavior left Simmons, 78, with a vague, indescribable sense that something “wasn’t right” in the White household. Prolonged absences on the part of the husband and a sudden disengagement from what had previously been a cordial, “neighborly” relationship left the Albuquerque native puzzled by the people whom she had long considered friends.
“Now, I’m not one to poke my nose in other people’s business, and I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but one day Walter called me, panicked that the boy, Walter Jr. is his name, had left the stove on before they went off to Santa Fe. He asked me to double-check it, which I did because I still have a key to their house. Thankfully, the burner was off. But then I started thinking about it, and they had been gone for days, surely the house would have caught fire long before then?”
“It just seemed fishy”, she added.
“Since then, its been on my mind, and isolated events suddenly seemed to add up to mischief. I realized that they’ve been keeping very odd hours, and I’ve seen lots of strangers coming and going. The few times I see Walter these days, he looks like he was just beaten up. Furthermore, he seems to keep getting into car accidents. Why, I swear he’s had three or four broken windshields in the past six months on that ugly tan jalopy of his”, she continued, systematically building an incriminating, though admittedly circumstantial, laundry list of evidence strongly suggesting severe grass abuse and involvement in a high-volume criminal grass-pushing enterprise.
In addition to the unusual conduct she has witnessed from the people whose behavior had long been so predictable, Simmons noted that the most damning evidence of pushing is the unexplained financial windfall that has apparently benefited the family. According to Simmons, sudden changes in one’s standard of living are often a telltale sign of high-level pushing activity.
“Walter was so sick he had to quit his job, but suddenly he’s driving a luxury car, and he bought that crippled boy a fancy hot rod too? Moreover, I heard that they bought a car wash somehow. I don’t see how they could afford to do that on a teacher’s salary, and Skyler has been a bookkeeper, part-time for the most part, since I’ve known them. Maybe a rich uncle died?”, she asked, winking.
“I assume he had to turn to pushing to support his habit. Now, that Walter’s a bright fellow, so maybe he has been able to figure out how to outsmart the other pushers, whom I’m sure are nothing more than a bunch of deviant halfwits”, she noted.
“Of course, there’s that terrible chicken man…”, Simmons trailed off, referring to the recent revelation that a local restaurateur, killed in a nursing home explosion, had been involved in a large-scale methamphetamine distribution ring.
“I’m sure I’m all wrong about this”, Simmons stated optimistically. “It would just break my heart if that man let his family down like that”.
At press time, upon hearing a commotion outside, Simmons, peeking through the blinds, noted an unfamiliar white sedan parked askew in the White’s driveway, and observed a “grass-addled” hippie pounding on the door of the residence, presumably desperate to obtain a “fix”.