Ozzie Ausband



Dusk. It was just him and Smitty. They drove around in the San Fernando Valley. Nervous energy. Meth-infused. It had been a brain-burner all day and it wasn’t from the weather, even though it would be above one-hundred degrees all weekend. Suffering. Smitty had ridden his motorcycle over from Phoenix and set them up for a few weeks. They needed to weigh, cut and package the meth…  but it was too fucking hot at the house. Smitty mumbled and pointed to a 7-11 on the right. “Pull in over here Magoo. Need smokes.”  He eased the car to the curb and within minutes they were back cruising on Devonshire. Making it back to his house, a few friends were waiting. There was little he could do about that. He had to lock up his stash and scale. Some of the guys from the bike club had brought a couple of cuties along. The night crawled into the morning and he found himself bleary-eyed and still awake at dawn. The house was quiet as the partying had stopped around 3:00 am. His balls itched and he needed a shower. He hoped that the girl he was with last night didn’t give him the heebie jeebies. Magoo set out his scale, baggies and stash. “Might as well get started”  he thought. The big man shrugged his shoulders and turned towards the refrigerator. He pulled out a beer, paused for a second, then removed another. He set both bottles down on the kitchen table next to the scale and the ashtray. He leaned over, peered outside and closed the blinds.



He flicked on the stereo and kept the volume down. Ted Nugent growled from the stereo speakers. “Well looky here, you sweet young thing, the magic’s in my hands, when in doubt I whip it out, I got me a rock ‘n’ roll band, It’s a free-for-all…” Magoo sat down and lit a cigarette. He heard snoring from the other room. That was Smitty and he was out. They had partied hard into the morning hours. The meth had kept the throttle wide open. Smitty finally passed out on the couch. He’d been up for a few days. It was how he did it.  Reaching for the clear plastic baggies and chunks of white powder on the table, he started cutting and packaging the meth to sell later. Hours ticked by. Cigarette smoke hung above his head like a question mark. His head felt fuzzy. The meth spread out in front of him. A chemical landscape of long-lasting pain. Another package broke apart, another batch of bindles readied, another line cut and snorted. Meth stomped across his brain in big black boots. It tugged at his spine… the mirror told the same hollow story. “More… you deserve it.” He felt lethal. Amphetamine armor.


So it went… On and on into the hot afternoon. The phone rang late in the day. Magoo answered it. His speech was pressured, as if the words couldn’t wait to get out of his mouth. It was a guy named ‘Picc’. His name was Steve Picciolo but everyone just called him ‘Picc’. He was a skateboarder… “Yeah man. Come by. Just keep it short. We got some bro’s coming over tonight to party and shit.” He hung up the phone as Smitty appeared in the kitchen, cracked a beer and did a bump from the mirror. Breakfast. “Who’s coming by?” He asked, pointing toward the phone. “This dude I know. He drains the crap out of the pool and smokes out with us… He rides his skateboard in there.”  Smitty nodded. “That’s cool.” An hour later, Smitty was sitting on the back porch and he heard a car stop out front. “Hey…” A voice called out from the side fence. Smitty opened the gate and let two young guys in. They both had skateboards. “I’m ‘Picc’ and this is Arthur. I called earlier. Is it cool if we skate a bit?” Magoo stepped out onto the porch. “Picc… what’s going on man?” Picc and Arthur smiled. “We’re stoked to skate the pool. Thanks for letting us come by…”  Magoo pointed towards the side yard. ”You know where it is.”

Steve Picciolo

Steve Picciolo

Arthur Viecco

Arthur Viecco

Picc and Arthur knew from the looks of things that the pool wouldn’t last. They rarely did. Picc had told Arthur that he also saw some seriously sketchy people at the house sometimes. Whatever they were doing inside, he didn’t want to know. Arthur looked around. There were old cars rusting and sun-bleached in the yard. There were motorcycle parts, beer cans and trash. It was dirty, hot and rundown. Life in this hothouse was one lived while dying. The dirty chemical existence they led was the end of the line…  they both knew enough to get what they could, while they could. The pool offered up possibilities. They wasted no time… Thank you to William Sharp for the image. Skate- Ozzie

There will be more on Magoo’s and other pools like Gonzales, DogBowl, Fishbowl and more in the upcoming William Sharp Book ‘Back In The Day’