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Michael awoke to the rumbling noise of an engine downshifting, at first he thought he was still dreaming. Coming out of his sound slumber he was startled when he turned and realized his surroundings. The bus that he was in was more than half full and the only friendly faces that he recognized were his two friends Dave and Jess. Dave smiled and said " did you get some sleep? you were snoring hard, man! " " No I wasn't, was I really? " Michael replied. Being embarrassed by the thought of the other passengers listening to him snore. Michael leaned forward and looked at the other seat where his other friend Jess was fast asleep himself. He had a slight smile on his face like what ever he was dreaming about must have made him feel good. It had that sort of look on his face like “ I don't have a worry in the world smile" which would have been usual for Jess. Turning back to Dave, Michael asked him. "where the hell are we ? “ We've just gotten in to Phoenix, he replied. "Wow ! check it out ! He blurted. " It's a different world, for sure".
Michael turned and looked out the window and gazed at the different sizes of the palm trees that grew along the street. This must be one of the main streets in this city he thought. There were many boarded up buildings that were interspersed with convenience stores and small banks. The streets were dotted with people here and there, going about their humdrum lives. How in the Hell did I get here? Michael questioned himself trying to understand if he had made the right decision. Only one week ago he thought that things had started to go in his favor.
After having gone through a stretch of bad decisions that included a drug deal to an undercover detective, which caused him to lose his good paying job. Michael blamed himself for making this bad decision. Even knowing that Jess had introduced him to the detective didn't seem to bother him. Although Jess was a childhood friend Michael could not blame him. Later in his life, Michael would realize not to trust someone just because they called you a friend. But when you are going around smoking pot and thinking that you have it made, you will make mistakes in judgment. This was a lesson learned, and it was a hard lesson.
That's what the game of dealing drugs was all about on the streets, a cat and mouse game where the novice dealer must learn the two rules of the game. Make one mistake and you will change your life, but what the police don't realize is that there are many other desperate people on the street who will take your place. Most of these desperate people will turn you in in order to take your place thinking that they then will have it made. That was rule number one you learn on the streets; trust no one! And as the old joke says rule number two is, see rule number one. Now he had no job, had a criminal record and was going to be on probation for five years. Not only realizing that it was very hard to find a job, Michael realized it was now almost impossible to find a job with a criminal record.
Michael was now trying to turn his life around, he had met a nice girl who he thought was a keeper. Then his friend Dave had met this character, who had offered a job to him and to any of his friends that needed work. The only catch was this so called work was in Yuma, Arizona. They later found out that this job was picking peaches, but that wasn't the bad part. The bad part as they found out before boarding the bus late Friday night in Pueblo, was that they needed workers because the regular workers were on strike. Michael then realized that this sounded bad, very bad, he would be called a scab, but he was desperate for work and he needed a change. He had never been out of the state before and thinking of this as an adventure he figured what the hell, let's do it!