This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
For many people in their 20s, a not-exactly-small part of their lives revolve around hurried interactions with a variety of faceless and seriously paranoid dudes (and they are nearly always dudes) who live on the other end of a phone. Don't expect to be able to reach them before noon, ever, or your plans will likely be totally shot. But when they do come through, these people are the harbingers of either joy or a near death experience. They are the sentinels of party life. You owe it all to them.
Dealers. Here are the kinds you'll run into in your 20s before you settle down and find the perfect deal-mate.
You're at a friend's place after work, planning the weekend's debauchery. You have a hankering for some bath salts, BUT WHERE TO FIND? In strides Ronnie, your best friend's sister's brother's cousin, and it just so happens he is a dealer. My friend Rana recounts a recent experience like this: "They were just chilling, doing blow or whatever. They were really nice people, salt of the earth, you know. They had a nice house! Anyway, he just happened to be a dealer. I was like 'Do you mind if I get a 40 off of you....he was like, 'Oh no, this is what I do!'"
Blessed serendipity, really. You will meet The Angel once, maybe thrice, in your life. Use wisely.
The Career Stoner
This person lives in their pajamas, glued to their couch, and surrounded by a healthy debris of Ruffles crumbs and empty milk cartons. You've never been in the same room with them without World of Warcraft or Call of Duty being on a screen. You've been warned their mom might be home so use the back door. They strictly do not deliver. They sell only enough to re-up again, and they smoke the rest.
The Casual Student
This guy sports the requisite curly mustache and "vintage" shades. He studies engineering or philosophy at McGill, but he's taking the summer off to smoke weed. He'll have at least five different strains of both indica and sativa at any given time, but he'll only deliver between 3 and 5 PM.
This guy is a member of a complex delivery system. He prefers to traverse the town by bicycle. The operation is run with an entrepreneurial spirit, and they sell carefully labeled bags of Rollex OG Kush or Dragon Berry Cheddar. They tailor to your personality, and it's usually reflected in the price. If they will deliver to you at midnight while you are on a crowded streetside bar patio, lock this relationship up. He's the one.
The Corporate Hustler
This person lives only to make it rain, and very little adds to their baller status like a readily available stash of drugs. They work some kind of 9-to-5 in your city's equivalent of the financial district, where they are slowly trudging up the ladder that will help them lead all of the other rats. Be aware that this person is a soulless douchenug, especially if they wear a suit, and that once their career progresses, they will quit dealing for fear of being caught. If this is your guy, I would find a new hookup right now if I were you. They will just never love you.
At home, he hawks his wares at you as you innocently troddle down the street to pick up your morning pineapple. Abroad, he marks you as a tourist while you're strolling through a city square. Jail or (in the latter case) maybe death awaits if you succumb to temptation here. You want to avoid at all costs.
You know their (ostensible) name, but they insist on being called "Charlie" (British for coke). They make you feel about 15 times more jittery than you really need to bother feeling for ordering a few grams of something. Literally everyone else is doing the same thing as you, and no one gives an F. But this particular brand of party overlord inflates his own self-importance. As my friend says about this one particular dude: "If you establish a relationship, he's like Charlie from Charlie's Angels. A voice, an entity. You would know he was there, but you never see him."
The High-Maintenance Dealer
You know this person. You need to refer to the goods by pseudo-cryptic nomenclature usually involving the substance's color, because cops really are so obtuse they won't pick up on your custom lingo. "White" or "green," anybody? You've never actually seen this person—they work in operations—but their minions are usually pretty prompt if you play by the rules.
The One Your Mom Warned You About
You are pretty wasted at a house party and you've decided the sketchiest friend of a friend you have is the Bestest, Funniest Person Ever. You are kinda attracted to them and you can feel the spark of them being a Potential Fuck Friend. They mention blow and it seems like a sexy idea even though that's not really your thing. You have a drunken makeout in the back of a cab to a part of town you don't often visit. You pay for the cab. Then you are in a messy living room with a bunch of older guys smoking hash and they are very loud and very happy to see you. You feel cool as fuck. Potential Fuck Friend is talking to the smallest of the older guys quietly in the corner. They are talking a lot more heatedly and you feel a weird pang of jealousy toward them. Suddenly they are shouting, well mostly the older guy is shouting and you get the sudden desire to get the fuck out of there. You say, "Great night, gotta get going," and ask Potential Fuck Friend if they wanna go. "Sit the fuck down," one of the guys says, "I'm owed $500 and no one is going anywhere." For the first time, you notice that big knife on the kitchen counter doesn't look like it belongs in the kitchen. You squeak out, "I don't want to cause any trouble," and you watch Potential Fuck Friend turn into Not in a Million Years Friend. You have never been more sober in your life. You have $60 in your wallet and you give it to Not in a Million Years Friend and mumble something. Next thing you know, you are outside the house by yourself. You wait for 30 minutes and Not in a Million Years Friend walks out with a big smile on their face. "Let's head back to that party!" they say. You promise yourself you're going to make some changes. Tomorrow.
The Reluctant Opportunist
Technically, they only sell M and coke. They have green hair (and had it before it was a super-trend), and they always dress like they're on their way to a rave, even when they're just picking up some frozen pizzas on a Tuesday. They are totally nocturnal and can't see during the day, like at all. But in the event that all your other dealers have passed out or are off the clock, this person also has weed and will sell you a nug if you beg. You have to needle and weedle, and in the beginning, they're all about the denial game.
The Tourist Trapper
You're in a foreign city (but one that's a two-hour flight from home) for a party weekend with the squad, and at the end of the night you find yourself separated from them and thinking about how good a walk and bake would be. You're at the edge of the city's entertainment district and you see a big guy standing by himself at a street corner and he looks approachable. You make some small talk after asking to bum a smoke, and he doesn't tell you to fuck off, so eventually you ask if he knows where to get some weed. He says "Yeah, man, I can help you out. My buddy is around the corner but he's not cheap." You don't care about overspending a bit and say, "I got $40, will that work?" He hems and haws and says, "Sure, you seem like a chill dude. I'll be back in ten minutes." You wait ten minutes and he's not back and by that point, you see one of your friends doing the bar-to-hotel stumble. 'What are you doing here?' your friend asks. You tell him you are waiting for drugs from some guy on a street corner and they start laughing at you. You realize you may need to cut back on the drinking a tad bit because it makes you far too trusting.
This person is terribly exclusive. Maybe they think they have something better to do, maybe they have an anxiety disorder, but regardless, this person has trust issues, and they will only deliver to you if you're with that friend who knows them. If that connect isn't present, you're SOL, and if one more person than previously stipulated is present, they just may fuck you over and leave in a huff without giving you shit. (This person also only delivers within a certain area.)
The Superstar Planner and Accidental Dealer
Friday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday) has finally rolled around, and this person is stacked. They stock up with M for the climb up, blow to keep it going, weed for the comedown, and maybe some K or something for good measure. They always have at least an eight ball or an ounce, or whatever measurement applies to their substance of choice. They approach this like a squirrel gearing up for its long cold winter, or a soccer mom with a van full of growing mongrels. They can't face the thought of running out—it means life or death—and they're also always high, so you can usually just throw down some cash and partake in their stash.
The Wannabe MC
This person has internalized one too many hip-hop videos and now thinks he might actually be Jay-Z circa 1995. He may or may not have a nine on him, and he may or may not be a white boy with dreads. Either way, your job is to obey, and avoid making too fast a move.