by Matthew Dexter
The Canoeing Joint is a palapa bar perched above the Animas River where stoners floated in inflatable donuts through a waterfall. When the river got polluted everybody started smoking crack. My blood boils when I think of Dad stirring Pyrex bowls caked with white powder. Before the EPA screwed us, Dad swaggered sheepishly behind his kegs—sunburned face scarred from falling rocks, greeting young crunchies and old hippies yearning for Fat Tires, ice chunks, shooters, climbing ropes to secure Styrofoam coolers.
Dad shaves his scrotum every afternoon wired out of his mind from margaritas and frozen pomegranate daiquiris. There’s a sack of nutmeg on a machete. Dad slices coconuts, sprinkles hash into hot almond milk, screams from the resin of his burning lungs.
“Yippee ki-yay, motherfuckers!”
Dad’s been growing boobs for eleven weeks. I don’t mean those Lilliputian man-boobs you find in male potheads. Dad’s embraced the physique of Buddha. He’s a wizard with his tree house meth lab—cocaine from Bolivia makes us wealthy. We can’t buy that Wu-Tang album copped by Martin Shkreli or anything—we’re not scumbags. We have a moral compass that rusts beneath the arsenic of the Animas.
Dad cooks rivers of ancient souls, wrinkles, rainbows reflected in crystals. This is “the good shit.” Disk jockeys chant: “Cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, zinc, lead, Werewolves of London.”
“That real heavy metal shit from the early eighties,” Dad says. “Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden. An abominable snowman, nearly a million pounds of avalanche and sludge.”
Aussies call Dad “Snowman.” He fantasizes about barbecuing crocodiles in Australia. No more paddling and whitewater rafting with leprechauns or tourists with lobster sunburns.
Dad got lucky. He lives on Lucky Charms, coconuts, carrot cake, and cocaine. Makes love to Mom in the tree house, branches bouncing—our faces redder than toilets filled with hemorrhoid blood.
Dad’s clients know the thrombosis of being broke. They come from down the mountain. We bike for supplies in downtown Durango, listening to that Casey whistle. Following yellow brick road toward the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Some call Dad “The Wizard of Fort Lewis.” Nobody knows what will kill him. Mom strokes his beard and sack for hours. She begged him to shave when he owned The Canoeing Blunt—but he never did. Now he waxes his anus, emits toxic wisdom from the Animas.
Everything comes full circle. Meth makes hippies do mysterious things.