Behind the Curtain 4 – No Names, No Faces, No Friends

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nick took the leash down from the hook on the wall. “Buster, here boy!” he said to the happy dog, galloping toward him. “Let’s go for a walk.”

Walking Buster was the hardest part of watching his friend’s house. It meant he had to walk around the neighborhood with the dog without making eye-contact with the neighbors.

“Just don’t offer any information,” Mike had told him. “I don’t even know their names,” he added. “And they don’t know mine, and that’s the way we all like it.”

Nick said there were a lot of grow houses here. Even though Cutten was an old, established neighborhood in Eureka it was still considered a “family neighborhood.”

Unlike other neighborhoods he worked in, you could still see the occasional mom walking with a stroller and parents walking kids to school in the morning.

Nick quickly walked Buster out of the cul-de-sac and onto the busier street of Walnut. “Less people wondering who I am on this street,” he thought.

Back at the house Nick rinsed out Buster’s water dish and filled it up again.

“It was nice outside, eh boy?” he said, patting him on the head. If only he could open a window or the blinds for some light. But that wasn’t going to happen.

The house was always too warm from the lights in the grow rooms, and no matter how many fans were on back there you could still smell the green of thriving plants. Well, thriving except for the spider mites, but that was a given.

Mike said he could sleep in the bedroom, but the noise from the fans was deafening, so he slept on the couch in the living room. Not that he slept much. All of the work was done at night when the lights in the rooms were on.

Last night was exhausting, first pinching back larger plants, then spraying babies with Neem for mites, then fertilizing. Feeding the plants was a bear, as Mike’s notes were always sketchy and each set of plants had different requirements at various stages.

Nick stuck the pH tester into the runoff water in the drain dish under the more mature ladies and checked the meter. “Six-point-eight, time for vinegar,” he whispered to himself.

There were at least 15 gallon jugs of fertilizers to choose from in Mike’s garage and he used them all – Tiger Bloom, Big Bloom, Open Sesame, Beastie Bloom, Bio Bud, Bio Weed, you name it. He was always amazed at the amount of stuff needed to get a few pounds out of this small, two-room grow.

The money was good at a hundred bucks a day, but his better side felt guilty about the waste, the runoff and the energy consumed.

Outside, a car door slammed and Buster began to bark. Nick inched the curtain away from the blinds covering the window and held his breath.

Next week: Eureka – a note from Homeboy

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