Here in KC, we live right near a pedestrian bridge that leads to the shore of the Missouri River. It’s cool for a lot of reasons, but my favorite aspect is that it gives Jez and I access to good walking grounds. The only catch is that any outdoor “public” space near a city or town is bound to attract the attention of teenagers seeking a place to hide out and do shady, teenager things.
Last night Jez and I ran into a couple who fit the profile perfectly—a skinny guy in baggy clothes and a polite girl dressed in Urban Outfitter’s latest offering. To my surprise, they were friendly and even made small talk as we passed by. I didn’t think too much of the situation until the young man asked me a question.
“Hey man, you like K2?”
My mind scrambled. K2? K too? Kay Two? Clearly the kid was referring to something in code and he expected me to understand. Jez took off before I could answer his question, but I continued trying to decode the slang. As the dog ran in circles, my mind was racing for an answer.
On the way back, we saw the kids again. There was a somewhat familiar odor in the air that took me back to my days as a shady teenager. The kids smiled at Jez and I. I noticed a bag of Sunflower seeds and other junk food tucked in their laps. I still had no idea what “K2” was, but I had a pretty good feeling the kids weren’t smoking cigarettes.
A few minutes later Jez and I were home. I considered the fact that rather than running away and hiding from me as an adult authority figure, the kids judged me as a potential friend. At 32, bogged down with mortgages, car payments and a fair amount of job-related stress, I felt mildly flattered that the shady youth of American still recognize me as a cohort and not the enemy.
So, a little Google research reveals that “K2” might be a little more serious that I previously thought: http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ketamine/