i slow down and make a right into the alley.

there are cop cars all over the place. i wonder what’s going on. but they’re not near where i’m going.

it should be a quick transaction.

i park and look around. the cop cars are empty. there’s a guy in a pickup with the engine running.

i walk toward the back of one of the buildings along the alley where the meet is supposed to take place. he’s not there. maybe the cops scared him off. not likely. him and the cops, they have an understanding.

so i wait. it’s starting to rain. maybe i should find another dealer. but i really need it.

finally he comes to the back door. his face is covered. he holds up the package with my name on it.

is this what you want? he asks.


i slip him a bill. he hands me the package.

a cup, really. coffee. guatemalan. my drug of choice.

this is how you get coffee in the age of coronavirus.