“Sometimes, it really pisses me off,” he continues. “Once I saw this Mexican lady with a kid sitting on the bench waiting for the bus, and four hours later, she was still there. I just don’t get it.”

Suddenly, Racer X’s GPS device interrupts his rant. “Recalculating,” it says. “Recalculating. . . . Recalculating.”

Racer X has missed his left turn. “You have got to be kidding me,” he says. “How the fuck do I make a U-turn?”

Nathan Santistevan
Nathan Santistevan

*     *     *

At first glance, the Serial Killer looks like any other young Orange County skate punk, except he’s wearing mirrored sunglasses inside his tiny, cramped apartment. The glasses, combined with his wool hat and leering smile, make him look like Richard Ramirez, the infamous Night Stalker. The only thing scarier than him is his dog, which is about twice his size. The animal looks like the kind of Belgian attack dog the South African police might have used to terrify anti-apartheid protesters at the height of the township rebellions; it’s trying to push down a sliding patio door and eat Racer X.

This is Racer X’s second delivery to the Serial Killer in just two weeks—that’s when the Serial Killer moved to this unit—and he’s already buying another five-eighths of an ounce of weed. Today’s transaction takes less than a minute. “Thanks,” the Serial Killer says. “I won’t be here next time, just so you know. I’m moving.” A few minutes later, Racer X gets a call from the Big Kahuna, who tells him that several more orders have just come in. “We’re going to head back and do a pick-up-and-fly-by,” Racer X tells me.

We drive back to the Big Kahuna’s house. He walks out to the truck and hands over several manila envelopes.

Seconds later, we’re on our way to meet the next customer, a friendly but serious young man who lives in a surreal-looking neighborhood of Huntington Beach where all the houses resemble blown-up versions of structures you’d find at a miniature-golf course, minus the windmills. He says he works for a surgical-supply company and smokes medical marijuana to soothe his tension headaches, which he’d been diagnosed with as a teenager. He buys an eighth of an ounce of weed. “I’ve had these headaches since high school,” he says. “I’ve taken Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs, but I really don’t like them. I smoke this a couple of times a month,” he adds, pointing at the just-purchased marijuana. “I mean, this will last me quite a long time, quite frankly.”

The following customer is Racer X’s favorite client. As we drive to meet her, he regales me with tales of her physical attributes. “She’s, like, 6-3, 6-4, big-boned and beautiful, like a Nordic Amazon warrior,” he enthuses. “She says she has a boyfriend, but she’s really friendly.”

We pull up to a luxury condominium complex where the Nordic Princess lives. A few minutes later, she bounds down the street. As it turns out, the Nordic Princess is more like 5-foot-6 and more endearingly curvaceous than statuesque. She marches up to the truck with a happy grin on her face and leans in the driver’s window. “Hiya!” she says.

Racer X is in love.

During a brief interview, the Nordic Princess freely acknowledges that her diagnosed medical condition—anxiety—is just a ruse to get high without breaking the law. She explains that she grew up on the East Coast and recounts horror stories about trying to find weed. “I remember the hunts we used to go on back home,” she says. “It would be hours and hours and 20 or 30 phone calls before you’d get lucky. Hmmm: yeah, anxiety,” she adds, laughing at the memories. “Not anymore!”

*     *     *

The final delivery of the day takes place in a parking lot near a PetCo. For some reason, this customer always insists on meeting at that lot, something that troubles Racer X. “This guy kind of freaks me out,” Racer X explains. “When I meet him, he’s always bobbing his head around and making it look like a drug deal.” A few moments after we pull into the lot, Racer X calls the customer, a tall middle-aged man in a tank top and shorts who is actually waiting just a few yards away. He walks up, putting his cell phone away.

“I can give you 200 bucks if you don’t mind, or would you rather I give you what I owe you?” the man asks nervously.

“Your total is $140,” Racer X says. “I can give you a fiver. Here you go.”

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