Only Bones by Daniel Vlasaty

The main character in Daniel Vlasaty‘s Only Bones (All Due Respect Books) has only three things that drive him: snorting amphetamines, thinking about where his next batch of pills, and riding his bike through the streets of Chicago.

Daniel, the protagonist of Only Bones, is a bike messenger and is running out of pills to pop, so he heads over to his dealer’s apartment with only a few dollars in his pocket and a larger amount fronted — the dealer’s hook, the junkie’s lifeline. His dealer, Lawrence, is his only friend or as close to a friend that any junkie can have. Daniel starts working off his debt by delivering and picking up packages for his dealer. First stop a drug dealer named Elf.

My spit nothing but a thick paste. Dry and clumpy.

I try to work up some saliva in my mouth to wash away the dry-mouth taste. But I’ve got nothing.

All these pills for all these days have left me shriveled and crispy.

They’ve dried me out from the inside.

For a second I’m able to forget that I have an envelope full of cash in my bag.

Right on my back.

No idea how much cash is in it. Never thought to ask.

I don’t even know what I’m buying. What or how much.

I’m just the delivery man. I don’t need to know all the details.

But the cash in this envelope is definitely more than I’ve ever had in my possession.

If you add up all the money I’ve ever had or made in my entire life it’s still probably less than what I have in my bag right now.

It’s a lot of money.

A lot of money that Lawrence has trusted me with.

We’re either better friends than I thought we were or Lawrence is the stupidest motherfucker to ever do business in this city.

Why would anyone trust some junked-out asshole like me with probably thousands and thousands of dollars?

Vlasaty writes in a stream-of-conscious Ode to Speed. Whether he writes about the rush of the amphetamines hitting a junkie’s blood stream or the drool of a drug addict’s body shutting down or the shit that Daniel and Lawrence get into with Elf, Only Bones makes for some fast-paced good reading.

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