silk road

For every time that I actually purchase something from Pinkman, we tend to have about half a dozen failed attempts at successfully planning and executing a rendezvous. Despite my slyly casual questioning (I'm intensely curious - blame Breaking Bad and Freakanomics), I know very little about his role in the operation, and how he comes into possession of salable inventory. I only know that I'm 100% at his mercy; when he stocks up, I either have to jump on it immediately or miss out and wait for the next shipment.

I don't mind being ready on a moment's notice. I just think of it like an extremely exclusive Gilt Groupe sale. She who hesitates parties sober. The problem is that communicating with Pinkman is a bit like talking to a tenth grader who forgot to take his Adderall. I can't screenshot our texts because I need to edit out (the more) incriminating details, but here's a typical month spread:

Him: Super party favors for the weekend!

Me: Yeah? What've you got?

Him: Mush, white, malls

Me: Def interested, can you meet tonight?

Him: How much

Me: {redacted}

....half an hour later....

Me: So should I come by?

Him: Wait a little I'll let you know

Me: Okay


Him: Yo

Me: Hey!


Him: Two kinds. One is lighter than the other.

Me: ...k? What exactly, and how much?


Him: Sup

Me: Hi! I'm actually near your place, heading to a show at {redacted}.  Are you around?

Him: Can you pay for an Uber to come get me? I'll take it off the total.

Me: Ummm where are you?

Him: My boys place

Me: Where's that?


Him: I work for {redacted} Eyewear now. Let me know if you or your friends need any sort of luxury eyewear for half off or more of retail!!

Me: .....


Him: Today

Me: Yeah? No prob, I can come right now...

Him What

Me: I can come today.


Him: Hey hey

Me: Hey there. 

Him: Got what you want

Me: Awesome, when and where?

Him: Can you come to my gf's house

Me: Maybe. Where is it?

Him: Glendale

You get the idea. He'll ping me, I'll answer - and then he'll just disappear. Poof. Gone. I don't know why, or what happens, and I don't want to annoy him by asking. I really like his featured designers, and I don't want to get cut out of the mailing list.

Incidentally, his girlfriend? She's a geologist, currently backpacking her way across Asia. Graduated in three years, bragged Pinkman, from an extremely reputable private university. I ended up meeting her that night, and she does seem very bright. I worry about them both, because to be honest, despite the flakiness and random, spammy sales pitches, Pinkman's really sweet, too. A few days ago he told me that his higher up was recently busted in a pretty big sting. I found this out when I asked what his Independence Day plans were; he told me that he and "some of the guys" were holding a fundraiser for the higher up's legal fees. I won't lie: I was impressed to hear of such solidarity.

I asked Pinkman whether this makes him nervous, whether it feels like the cops are closing in on him. But he says that since he only sells to me and a couple of good friends, he isn't really concerned. I don't know why I got grandfathered in before he quit selling large-scale, and I'm not going to ask. I try to curb my curiosity about Pinkman and Co., because I've found that the less I say, the less stupid I seem. Case in point, a snippet of our conversation last week:

Him: You're really lucky. This shit is the bomb. Straight from Amsterdam.

Me: Yeah? 

Him: Yeah. You know Silk Road?

Me:, the ancient trade route through China..?

Him: No, the website. 

Me: (bluffing) Oh! Right! Yeah, yeah. Silk Road dot com. 

Him: Well this is the last of what my boy got through it, before they shut it down.

We had this conversation in the subway, by the way. I'd gone to meet him at our usual place in Hollywood, but we had to hop back on the train to go a few stops down to his new source. I was none too thrilled about that, but like I say, Pinkman's merchandise is nonpareil, even if Pinkman himself is sometimes more Pink Panther than Pablo Escabar. (When he purchased a TAP card for the metro fare, he was so high on weed he accidentally bought a monthly pass.) 

Something tells me the geologist girlfriend knows more about both Silk Roads than me. I just hope Pinkman answers her texts a little more promptly than he answers mine.