As the day wore on, a young skater kid took the open seat next to Stefan. He said he was nervous because he had just swallowed two bags of heroin and a crack rock. Mr. Fitzgerald advised him, “You might throw up but you’re not going to die.”
Mr. Fitzgerald said he has dallied with every drug out there. For better or worse—he’s not sure which—none has ever gotten the better of him. He still likes to go out every other night of the week. Hit a bar downtown, maybe do some blow.
When they finally arrived at the precinct, a vice cop told Mr. Fitzgerald, “I’m gonna tell you straight up I don’t give a shit about weed.”
The officers put him and the skater kid in a holding cell. A friendly cop came by and offered them menthol cigarettes. When the cop left, the skater kid regurgitated a heroin packet. He packed it into the cigarette and they both got high.
“It’s not something I usually indulge in, but when you’re in jail, your whole paradigm shifts, you know,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “You’re like, ‘Whoa, cool, I’ll just nod off and go to sleep.’”
Three days later he was released. The judge gave him a $95 ticket for disorderly conduct, not even a misdemeanor, and sentenced him to a six-hour drug class.
His boss was pissed about the weed and the two grand but said he could work off the debt.
Mr. Fitzgerald chooses not to allow an unfortunate bend in the road to get him down.
“I tend to be a fatalistic optimist,” he said. “I expect the worst to happen, but I expect that when it happens, it won’t be so bad.”
He doesn’t wear a helmet, likes to feel the city against his face, let his brown locks flap in the wind. He’s had his bike stolen three times. No big deal. He’s not one of those delivery guys who goes in for the fancy single gear speed bikes and wears a silly racing hat.
Earlier this year he was reading magazines at the Virgin Megastore at Union Square, killing time. He finally got the call, but on his way out of the store one of those undercover “secret shoppers” got in his way.
“He was like, ‘Come to the back with me. Let’s not make a scene here,’” Mr. Fitzgerald recalled. “I was like, ‘Dude, I didn’t steal anything.’”
He agreed to follow the man into the back room to prove it. The guy searched his bag. A newish-looking copy of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski took his interest, but he was dismayed to find that Virgin didn’t have it in stock. The security guard did not search the brown paper bag within his backpack. Two cops showed up. They searched him and the backpack but neglected to check the brown sack. They zipped up his backpack and Mr. Fitzgerald began thanking his lucky stars.
“Then one of the cops was like, ‘I smell weed.’”
He was taken to jail in the Lower East Side this time. His cellmates were discussing politics, whether or not Obama was secretly a terrorist. When he was brought before the court, Mr. Fitzgerald received the same $95 slap on the wrist. He recently pared down his delivery work to two shifts a week. He’s got another gig transporting and installing artwork, which pays pretty well. He says delivering pot still keeps his interest because of the people he meets and the places it takes him. He’s got one regular who collects absinthe and likes to educate him on the subject. Sometimes he’ll get a call to go to a hotel and wind up getting high with a celebrity.
“You’d be surprised how many people get delivery at their offices,” he said. “Bankers, tech guys—I’ve been to The New York Times a few times. Viacom. I feel like I’m at Viacom every other day.”
It’s also stable work, he noted. “The weed bubble isn’t going to pop; if anything, it only gets bigger in hard times. More people are spending more time at home. They might cut back on other things, but they’re not going to cut back on pot.”