Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest post SF Bay Area

CHAPTER: "Push Down and Turn"

"Life..its not meant to be easy and sometimes you may feel liked you are locked in the same everyday routine that never ends. There comes a time where you will have to "push" yourself a little harder, Take the things you normally do, with a firm grasp, grab ahold of your emotions and "twist" them in the opposite direction... and you will be surprised on how some doors open to reveal the "fix" you have been needing all along.

2:37 AM 
As I sit here getting high I stare at the top of the pill bottle. The white cap with the blue letters marked "PUSH DOWN AND TURN" stare back at me. I think back to the hundreds, if not thousands of pill bottles that have crossed my path. From the great ones like the original OC80's, the roxi's, the xanax bars....down to the norcos, the vicodins, somas,percocets,flexeril....then the tylenol 3 and 4's, neurontin, marinol....the list goes on. Then there are the pills that arent fun, but they are needed, mainly due to the psychiatric issues I have chosen to admit it.  My "issues" just didnt appear one day...I just was never willing to admit that my mind wasnt right, and chose to spill my guts to a doctor one day. Then comes the pharmacuetical version of musical chairs...the cocktail wheel of fortune...the trial and error method that doctors have to use to try and find tbe right mix to fix you. So on came Zoloft, then prozac, then wellbutrin. Xanax finally came to the party as well, my salvation and savior to 75% of my issues.

By no means did I have an easy childhood, I was exposed to way too much ...way too fast. I learned lessons in life as a child that are normally reserved for the years that would come much later in life.  Now I am not saying my life was worse than anyone else's growing up....every one of you has a story, this is just mine and it wasn't easy for me.  It could have been a lot worse, but it should have been a lot better.
So in a sense,  I will be a drug user until the day I die...and these pill bottles will be a constant companion and part of my life. Ive grown to accept this fate. Some of these drugs I should part ways with, while others are mandatory to keep me leveled out.  The bottles themselves will always be a reminder of my love for heroin..since these little bottles are what I use to turn my black tar heroin into powder..

The sound of .75 cents rattling in a pill bottle is as distinct of a sounds as a gunshot or police siren....like the sound of loose change to a panhandler..  No matter where I hear it, no matter how far away or faint the sound might be...I know exactly what it is. It soothes the evil baboon on my back like a lullaby to a sleepy baby. When hanging out with my other associates that use, if I hear that sound coming from their pocket. I know there is a good chance I wont be sober for long. The sound is part of my "ritual" when getting high...similar to the sound of a razor blade on a mirror chopping lines, or the sound of a drivers license crushing meth chards into dust..I'm sure you get my point. At the same time, my method of use is different from most heroin users, especially those in the east coast or anywhere else where that good powdered dope is common. Black tar heroin if definitely the shittiest form of such a wonderful drug, but at time I am glad that I have no access to ECP (east coast powder) because I wouldnt just have. a monkey on my back.

No, I would be a full blown fuckin crazed ape with an endless appetite for destruction...there would be none of the control I have now, and I only would be referred to in past tense where anyone would speak of me. I still fear dying from my usage, as I know it would disappoint anyone and everyone one that ever knew me...Knowing Id be remembered for being a secret junkie still hurts me inside. I know it broke my mothers heart when she went to wake him up that morning and his body was cold and unresponsive. It was my second day, just got off work at a new job and I called my brother to pick me up from BART and he wasnt answering his phone...I called one of my female friends for a ride and she said she would come get me...I asked her if she had seen my brother that day and the line went silent...I asked her again, "where's Tone at?".....and then I heard it

"wait....nobody told you ?...Tone's gone"

Im thinking his ass got arrested again ....he was always into something and it was pretty common.

Thats when the clock stopped, the atmosphere around me went completely silent...all I heard was 
" Im sorry baby, but Tone passed away, he died in his sleep last night"

It didnt hit me right then, it didnt seem possible...I was just with him less than 24 hours ago...it was 5pm, we had kicked it until almost midnight the night before..he was waiting to pick up one of his scripts for a shitload of Roxi 30's. He texted me at like1:30 in the morning with "i got those"...
When I left him he was sippin on a pint of hennessy, just chilling, we smoked a blunt or 2 and were just trading war stories. He gave me a few valium, and popped a few himself. I left and went to my sisters house, I was sleeping on her couch at the time.

When what she said hit me I fell to the ground, I couldnt breathe, I couldnt think...I just disconnected from reality. Then the tears came and they didnt stop...when she arrived to pick me up ...all I could do was cry and tell her to take me to the liquor store, and I bought the same bottle we were drinking together the night before, I drank it like water...I had no feelings in my body, I became numb to the world.

And I write this and relive the pain again from that day, I reach into my pocket and pulled out my old familiar friend, the orange bottle with the blue writing on the top.

That day ...I was pushed down harder and farther than I had been in a long time....and it turned me.

I pop the white cap off and dump a pile of brown sugar into it...and snort away the pain that his death brought.
Deep breathing is only relaxing when you have a pile of powder and a rolled up dollar bill to go with it.
When life hands you lemons....fuxk everything else and grab the Salt and Tequila

We've all been pushed down, and we all turn at some point...some just turn in different directions than. others...







Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life outside of plastic bags

I did not wake up one morning and have one year, two years, five years, a decade, or sixteen years clean. When I read literature, personal stories, and academic articles so much is left out of any description of the process of recovery. It is as if nothing after the first year exists. It is assumed if you can make it through the initial year, you are magically released of addictive thinking. This is simply not true.

Sometimes, whether you have four days or four years clean, you are going to feel like absolute shit. Addiction is like an abusive relationship. Despite the fact that you are clear this is no good for you, you still romanticize the memory of your time together. "Remember when me and you were cool, drugs? We could hang out all day and never get tired of each other? We did big things together ". But then those drugs beat your ass over and over and over. You FINALLY left but you can't forget them. 

When you get into recovery, everyone thinks you should be so motherfucking happy. Yay! Meetings! Yay! Pee in a Cup! Yay! Medication! Yay! The complete loss of freedom! It is 100% okay to admit you feel like shit. It is normal. In fact, when I got clean, I realized I was a person who experienced a lot of depression as part of my daily existence. 

In a life without drugs, things are not perfect. The reality is you will experience a broader spectrum of emotions. In the earlier months, the main emotion is pain. Anyone who does not acknowledge that is woefully misguided. It is as if you woke up from an extended nap only to realize you are broke, you have not spoken to your family in months, you have achieved very little of your potential, and you have little human interaction beyond people who support your dysfunction. But hey, that self awareness is a good start. Then, you start having appropriate boners again and pooping on a regular basis. You realize life is not as horrible as you imagined. 

Getting clean is hard and it is worth the struggle. I stick with feeling good with small things. I enjoy the ability to not degrade myself on a daily basis. I enjoy my work and feeling like I am accomplishing things. I enjoy not feeling sick every eight hours, eating food (some times with other people), having some one kiss my face. I get hugs from people and I realize they care about me. I feel it. I see changes working in my life. I cannot promise you a lifetime of happiness. But I can promise you something different. Maybe all you really need is a chance, a spark of life.  
I think of all my readers fondly. Whether you are clean or in the bag today, I love you. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If it wasn't for bad luck...

Addiction makes strange bedfellows. This statement is highly inaccurate because heroin takes away any desire I had to fuck anyone. Well, that is unless I was kicking. Kicking heroin is a cruel fucking set up. It is as if every fluid in your body chooses that exact moment to abandon the broken ship of your aching body at one time. Let's see- snot. Check. Runny eyes- check. Liquid ass- check and double check (your underwear). Puke- reporting for duty. The cruelest trick of all is that suddenly sneezing may make you have the first orgasm you have had in 8 or 9 months. I would full forget I had a pussy unless I was 1. storing dope in it or 2. trying to find someone to pay me an entrance fee. My period was long gone, were my tits. I used to really enjoy them too. Damn.

Anyway, that particular day I was sick out of my god damn mind. A female hustler has a tendency to gravitate towards hard luck cases. Deep inside, we wish we could care for pets or children, so we care for adult men with dope habits. In this case, I had picked a real winner. The man was a vet. I could not imagine it, but that was what he said to me. I imagine he was kicked out of the military for being a sissy. I don't just mean gay I mean he was a flaming queen yet so hideously ugly, "queen" does not seem the correct term. I imagine he wasn't sucking any random cock in his current condition. He had long unkempt hair that was a rusty red like ginger Jesus. He had long dirty finger nails and broken glasses. The worst part was his green teeth. I am not even sure how teeth got that color. I had never seen any thing like that in my life before or since.

 He used to tell me about how fine he was in his youth. I found that claim to be somewhat dubious. But then, I had to think about myself. How would I look with ten or fifteen more years on the street. I was relatively young at 24. I would see the progression as people came to the city. They got chewed up and spit out by the streets. The beautiful young men became shells of their former selves. Maybe he was telling the truth. Either way, I felt safer with someone then being alone in the world. We would sleep in the doorway at night reading books and dreaming of the great come up that was never going to happen for us.  My life was filled with characters that came in and out of my life. This one was a cross between a troll and leprechaun with a monkey on his back.

He irritated me but at least he made me feel safe. He wasn't going to rape me in my sleep, that is always a plus. He did give me a wicked case of body lice from sharing blankets with him. I liked him because I hated everyone else. Most of all, I hated myself. He would tolerate my suicide as long as I was willing to share a bag or two with him. Since he had no looks, no hustle, no charm- that was enough- to listen to me. Well, I guess he did have a hustle. He worked the shit out of me.

I was sick that day- so motherfucking sick. Most days I *tried* to save myself a wake-up. Try was the key word. I never was one of those "Let's do it all and fuck tomorrow people". Those people got on my nerves. Those people were poor planners. I was more of a heroin maintenance type. I wanted not to feel anything 24/7, not just feel numb a few hours a day. I needed this hit. I had taken me allllll day to hustle up money for a half gram.

We went behind the jack in the box. The Alley was a mixture of food garbage, broken crack pipes, socks that had been used to wipe dirty asses, and human waste. This was the closest place. I trusted my little troll friend to get my shot ready for me. He was generally quick. I also found it EXTREMELY irritating that he could find a vein in two seconds while I struggled in some door way with a shoe lace and my leg over my head trying to find a vein. Time and Tar had been cruel to my dope pathways. These bitches had shut the fuck down.

Then, the impossible happened. It really did. The trollmaster was gently swaying the lighter under the cooker when he screamed "OUCH" and dropped the fucking cooker into the ocean of filth that lie on the concrete. If you have never seen a junkie cry spontaneously, imagine the look when your hopes and dreams went into the gutter with your $50 and your chance to get well.

"WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. I am sure someone dropped their Jumbo Jack from the volume of my high pitched squeal. My God. The agony I felt that day. It took every ounce of strength not to beat his fucking ass. I had no strength. UGH. I turned to the side and dry heaved into the street. And then- you know what comes next- I picked the cooker out of the gutter to see if ANYTHING could be salvaged. One pathetic rinse was left. He had the nerve to ask me if I would share it. Fuck to the no. Kick rocks troll man.

That was the end to a great friendship. Ok, Ok, not really the end. He ripped me off for my last $19 on Thanksgiving. Walked off with my money went I sent him for a bag. If it wasn't for bad luck, i wouldn't have any at all. Just the daily grind of a heroin addict that rolled on for a few more years before I finally got clean.




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

guest post Flippy Germany

This is translated from a non English speaker. 

what we´ve got here is failure to communicate...

i was born in the middle of the seventies...raised up in the eighties...and my childhood was very protected.
adopted as a small baby I grew up in a large house with a huge garden...a big forest behind the the house...sand box in the garden...the lawn mowed accurate to 2cm ... maintained and just stuffy.
however..the beautiful times began to fall apart sometimes...i think it was when I am at the age of 9...
one day when I was walking home from school I saw my mother brought a big package in a block of flats...a few streets away from my idyllic home. that was not even unusual because my mother worked in a post office at that time. she offered me that she would bring the package to an older women in this flat...and in my childish naivety I believed her.
later on the same day my mother opened my father that she would leave him...and that she would take me with her..out of my lovely home and in the flat where I saw her a few hours ago.
what followed have probably already gone through several children ... torn between the parents decision ... ... in court to tell which parent you would want to ... subside in school ... new beginning in the family .. ..
after my father had moved out, we moved back into our old house ... but something was broken, gone ... and that was beyond repair.
at that time I somehow became a great hunger...hunger for freedom...hunger for liberty....sounds funny that my dream job was to be a truck driver somewhere in australia deep in the desert...where nobody can touch me...unassailable and free to sink into something endless and was a basic need ... this need-wanted to be breastfed.
a little later my mother met a new man...let´s call him hans...he purportedly studied anything about machines...he was a totally buddy guy...and something happened between hans and me..although adult...we share the same dream of freedom...why he has this dream I should learn a few years later....but at the time he was the dream of the new father...and a dreamer..he wants t sail the world in a self built boat...we bought an old camping van...we traveled through half of europe...from norway to spain...the camargue....all along the the mediterrainian coast...a dream.
my mother made a motorcycle license...hans was a confident motorcyclist...endless touring with the bikes were almost every weekend due..it was just a good time...like created for a child who wants to break free.
unfortunately tolerated the father of my mother .... my exaggerated correct grandpa and hans not very good ... and so my mother and I went on the search for a new home..and we found an ancient farmhouse in a tiny village in north hessen .... we moved now so to speak, for the third time around ... in about four years .... new school ... new friendcircle complete conversion of the former life ...not very bad ... but also not exactly conducive to a disoriented teen.
My educational services sagged more and more in the cellar ... I could concentrate on nothing great ... more neglected everything that had anything to do with duties ... dreamed prefer to continue my dream of freedom and an insatiable demand for something which to this day I still can not define ..
at this time also first tensions between hans and me came across...the former pals developed more and more overwhelmed with the quirks of the thin, slightly melancholy tinged teens at this time ... and I did not understand ... how can someone who is similar to feels like I change to a beat so ... the answer I should only get later ..... and they hit me with a balancing that I stayed away the breath ....
meantime hans also be studies had done ... my mother and he married ..... we drove a lot on market ..... by a job in sales for pans and pots my mother had arranged with the cheffin the company, they were showing off their on markets and sells ... again I was right in the middle in a pretty casual lifestyle ... showman ... sale ... buden flea market and carnival ... the next dream of my hungry youth for freedom....
at this time I was much alone at home ..... and had a lot to do with it, to hear me through the extensive collection of plates and cassettes of my stepfather ... which of a large part of the rock and rock'n roll 50s and 60s was ... I learned jim reev's, buddy holly, del shannon and johnny cash ... know and love .... rock ... rebell. liberty.. those were the things that me straight from the soul saying .... my music ... my life.
Unfortunately, the relationship between Hans and me visibly deteriorated ... he insisted on good services in the school ... I tried with sugar bread and educate whip ... and I mean that almost literally .... it was absolutely remarkable views his hand ..... he ran with the exhaust of my cheat behind me and wanted to beat me with it ... hit me for a discarded orange the bloody nose ... etc ... one day later I was with his military motorcycle with him drive over the forest paths ... it was a strange time ... again torn ... but this time between the two faces of a single person ...
in the meantime I had a new pal .... a guy from a central Hessian town ... a type of habit and with stretch jeans in the school came ... full of patches and scribbled with the names of relevant rock bands .... he had similar experiences with his parents as I ....
the chemistry fit ... this new buddy ...his name was rude ..... just hans no longer fit the chemistry and my development now....
to the time I started to drink very very much....first on party´s at the weekend...and then I began to drink under the week...rock´n roll booze...jack daniels was my favorite...after a short time I managed about 1-1,5 bottles alone. I had my first alcoholic fail between at the age between 11-12 years...and slowly I solidified my joy in noise by running the world in a comatose state of mind.
in this time a band hit in my life...a band that reflected my lifestyle...my fashion..a band that put my life in there words and there music...guns´n roses...appetite for destruction..and this appetite was mine...yeah..sex drugs and rock´n roll..let´s go.
i started to write funny things on my clothes..stuff like “fuck the world” and other funny things...started to grow my hair....and began to feel like a rock star...but I want something more...
then came a memorable holiday in france...party with some punks from marseille at the beach...the first joint...and a new pale from my germany..from a small city near by my hometown...it was by chance on a campsite met at hyeres..(it was one of the last holidays with hans in our mobile home)..
I met this guy..let´s call him martin...after this holiday for one or to times..and at least..a few years later I met him coincidence in my next hometowne frankenberg...with a guy called matze....at this point the circle that closed sometimes had started to form. this adventures and still a really monumental guns´n roses concert in manheim ...to witch I hitchhiked with rude...confirmed me more and more the fact that the only way to freedom goes through drugs and music.
in this time I moved even the school...i was only on a secondary school and I followed the plan to make a middle school graduation...that was possible in my old state of home..(westfalen) but in hessen the system was a little different...so I decided to go to a secondary school...a faculity of business and administration...big mistake.
the teaching there was to boring..and I preferred playing billiards in bars already in the morning and got drunk the whole day...i slept with my new girlfriend or live frome day to day with a buddy in the schooltown..korbach.....could hardly get home...and hung with the small town punks in the station or in the cityparks.
my testimony was the purest disaster...and hans responded with violence and pressure...the next escalation was that my parents were ordered to school..it was a fact that I not make the discolation..
that affected almost half the class did not matter...hans offered me that he would beat me up in front
of the whole class..only to show them that i´m just a fool and I would be worth nothing more than a peace of crap..
I ran away...on the way to school I leave the bus and hitchhiked directly to frankfurt...with my briefcase full of schoolbooks...one bread...and no penny in my pocket....i want to go a girl...a fleeting acquaintance from the trip to south france....
foolishly the escape took only the half of the day...at the evening my parents got out by a stupid random where I am...and so they stood in front of the door where I hope I can hide.
followed by endless debates with hans..the schooldirection and the class teacher...and I decided to make an effort...do the schoolyear again...and I could hardly believe it...my note average improved noticeably...my clothes were again somewhat civil...i closed compromises with my parents not to stay away from home for weeks...i drank only on the weekend...it was a very lying peacfull pancake time...but not very long.
at this time hans had a job at a company for installation of whatever...over the week he was not at home..on the weekend he came home and settled enlighten my mother the first thing about it if I had followed all the rules in the week...if not I got the enforcement still an the friday night...he was noisy...he hits me...he smashed the contents of my cupboards...my rock lp´s...my tapes...and with his stature...a big strong man...and with the full force of his big hand he injures me many times.
I would not let the school though grind ... but I started in my free time just crap build ... steal...even the money from my parents...for that I came back rare home....slept here and there...and again began to drink and smoke pot a lot....smoked two cartons of cigaretts a day..lived my old life again....and despite all this my first testimony was damn good...I had to improve myself in almost all compartments for almost two notes...what in which around it before a good performance ... which was unfortunately only with the question why it was not better by hans and the was had, anyway appreciated value. Asshole ...
a beautiful day ... I had decided once again at home to look over ... I found my mother ... stoned with herbal sedative stabs ... what else was not there for happiness ... and curled up on our couch. ..
 fortunately she understood my cynical question ... whether hans had have an accident ..and had also dont noticed my grin I put just could not ....
she told me that she had brought of the work by the cops...her first reaction to the cops was the question: what has screwed up my son ...... but it was not about me ..
 hans was accused with several other ca to have attacked 35 banks ... to have smuggled weapons, money and cars washed by corporate stolen for the raids ... to beat around the whole he was still of attempted murder accused cops.
he had arguably, an affair with another woman probably should have also in this raid series with penetrate hang with other ... a police special force all the troops had arrested the day before.
moreover she told me that the guy who treated me so bad for my sins of youth had already spent 17 years of his life in various prisons...i´m falling down...first before shock...then..in my room before laughing...what a fucking guy...what an absolute phenomenon this was hans ... crazy ...
staggered in my life this new turning point my faith in the company the absolute death shock...i almost went to school no longer...drank more and more...there was absolutly no matter for me what will be in my future...i just want to go out...out of this life..out of this society...out of this fucking shit.
I make it a non-dislocation-average yet to beat ... my girlfriend kicked me ... their parents wanted nothing to do with a family like mine... and I was right where I wanted to go ... the world could eat my ass ... what a feeling ... rock music and fuck you in the face...
in this summer i started a job training in a small town called frankenberg..60km away from my home...i moved into a small apartment in a nearby village....and then...a few weeks later...in a house near the hospital i met a very good friend...the queen of the night..kokain....
later that month i stumbled into a poolbilliard-pub...and i found accidentally a old friend from france...martin...he had a buddy in tow...called matze...we met every week...smoking pot...drinking and cocain was my major ingredient...our lifestyle...and then..a short time later matze just brought my new best friend and my greatest enemy in my life...everything changes...the friend of mine was heroin...and i feel i had arrived...no more pain..no more problems....a warm and wonderfull feeling was running to my soul...yeah..sex drugs rock ´n roll..that´s it...welcome to the jungle flippy...you´re gonna die !!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Guest Post JF from Bay Area

"Chip off the old Block"


See...drugs have been in my bloodline long before I was even a daydream. Both of my birth parents were addicts..."My mother was a vodka queen and my father was a rock star..
So I ended up rolling stoned in the back of a cop car"

From what little I really do know of my mother, she was from upstate  New York, and Im pretty sure thats where she met my father..they split when I was 2 years old. I remember the fights, I remembered seeing my father slap the shit out of my mother one day during an argument  and I think my mother had us stay in a hotel that night. Her nose was bleeding and I guess I found a band aid and gave it to her and it made her laugh and she hugged me...My father and mother both drank a d fought when drunk, it became a normal part of my childhood, the yelling and screaming...but by that time my young brain was already corrupted by the addictive genes passed to me.  My father told me that they would drink and smoke weed together and my mother like to huff glue..and she may have continued this while prenant.

This was around 82, maybe 83. My father moved out and I stayed with my mother for the beginning. I remember some happy times as a child, but the years of drugs and denial have made some harder to recall. My mother was always beautiful to me,and I remember the loving and caring she gave me when it was just us...this only lasted a year or two. My father would visit after we had moved into a new apartment. He came over drunk one night, I remember his brim hat and leather jacket...my dad was always Mr. Cool..He was what I wanted to be.

Anyways, I was sitting next to him on the couch while he argued with my mother...I dont rememeber about what but she wanted him to leave. My father laid back a little on the couch and put both hands into 
his jacket pockets.. and the pulled out two handguns and set them down on the table "Look I will come see my son whenever I want and nobody will stop me"
A silver .38 snubnose on the left, and a small black revolver on the right...I wanted to touch them, to play with them...I knew they were dangerous and I wanted them still.

I remember my father mentioning something about bringing a machete over when he comes over next...and I he told me I could help him cut vegetables up and we would make soup together. Looking back I now see the underlying threat that he probably made. I guess I was still somewhat innocent...
When he left I remember hearing my mother said she was going to put him "behind bars"...which confused me..I didnt understand why my father would have to work at a bar? I thought maybe it was punishment to be a bartender or something..I look back and laugh at these things.  Once people hear my stories they start to understand why I am the way I am..I never claimed to be sane, but maybe I should come with a warning label.

My father was a pimp in New York, sold drugs while there and also had a $200 a day heroin habit...these are from what I know when he would get drunk and start telling the stories. He had 3 hoes working for him and drove a Cadillac, this was sometime in the mid 70's I would imagine. My father was super fly..with a distict swagger to him, he walked so cool and could sell an eskimo ice at twice the price...There are definitely distinct features we share, I find myself feeling more like him. I dont think I really understood my father until he died and I had to clean out his apartment. The side to him that I always remember was his ability to be successful, he was a smart man that graduated high school at 16, went on to earn a Masters Degree and then went into the army for 10 years. I always saw my father in a suit, every day, suit and hat... or the fedora and the black leather 3/4 trench. Always drove a Cadillac, then a Riviera, a Chrysler Celebrity which I thought was the coolest car ever because it talked.

What I learned about him after he died was the other side, the hard core drug addict that struggled with depression and paranoia, and the struggle of raising a child by himself. My father was a lonely man that just wanted company. I realized all the opportunities I lost to bond with my father. We never really got to speak to each other as adults, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions because we never got to have a real man to man talk with him. When he died we were both strung out crack and chasing the next high instead of trying to repair our relationship.

It was the mid 80's and I was now living with my father near San Jose..he had a new girlfriend named Vicky and she had a son my age and a daughter a few years older than us. The crack epidemic hit and rocked the world. They began freebasing, this would change things forever and I was now exposed to the dark world of crack cocaine. My father would get high and paranoia and would have my crawling in the floor behind him because he thought people were to get us. He would set booby traps around the house to make sure nobody would break in..all the windows had these little jingle bells on them so if someone were to open on the bell would ring.  Some nights my father would swear he hear the bells ringing and rush to pulled me out of bed  and tell me to get on the floor. He had his shotgun with him and was loaded it. He would crawl throught the house peeking out of windows chasing shadows. The bells he heard ringing I would imagine were from the rocks he was smoking...a fat hit of some good dope is know to give you a "bell ringer"..an auditory hallucination that some of you know well.
My father would drive to Hunters Point to cop his dope in the 80's ...Vicky or one of his other women took him out there and put him up on the crack game. Where to cop from and when..back when H.P was serving dope on damn neear every corner, sometimes he would cop over from Fillmore..the crack era was taking over...I learned this from the cassette recodings I found my father had made telling his life story. I have since lost these gems.

Crack tore apart the relationship with Vicky, she started fuckin people for dope and got real strung out and was known for disappearing for days at a time, she'd holed up in a rockhouse fucking people for dope.  She moved out and my fathers paranoia continued to escalate. He boarded up all the windows to the house so the neighbors couldnt sneak in or see him smoking dope inside...I didnt understand it at the time but looking back I can see his habit got worse.  He was  still maintaining a 100% professional image and you would never guess this man was a crack addict, his gift of gab of astonishing.

His job in the past had us moving around a lot, I can recall living in more that 20 different states before turning 10. He was part of the team thag developed that Zip+4 Program for the postal service (FYI-those are the last 4 digits after your zip code that helps give a more definitive location  of your address)

We eventually would move to the the West Bay, just a few miles from Hunter Point, a 10 minute drive. This would have been around 86 or 87, Crack was public enemy number one on the streets. I look back at the struggles my father went through to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table
and I understand why he got high, why he drank, and why he taught me the things he did at such you age.
At 15 I smoked my first joint laced with crack, we called them chewies. You roll a joint and crush up and sprinkle the crack with it...after the first time I fell in love with it as well. I loved the taste, I loved the numb lips, I loved being so high that I just didnt think or feel anything. Any cash I could come up with at that age went towards chewies. Everyone would chip in  $5 each and we could get all we could. Sometimes there would be up to10 of us and we would just roll up as many as we could and just smoke all day...everyone would get silent as hell and just zone off  into their  own zone when we smoked.  I fell in love and started selling weed to support my new habit.... all the profit would go into the after school smoke sessions, then I would just start bringing the weed and supplying it for the session and they would bring the crack. I spent a whole summer doing that 5 days a week and my rock star adventure with crack was just beginning...

TO BE CONTINUED

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Burgundy Leggings

As I slide my back against the hot wall, I can feel the energy being sucked out of my body. Underneath my burgundy sweater and matching burgundy leggings lay the evidence of my plight. I am extremely malnourshed to the point that one can easily see all the ribs climbing up my back. I do eat- mostly a pint of ben and jerry's- when I am done working and can finally enjoy my fix. My legs are a serious of track marks and bruises therefore I am covered up on this hot day. I need to look shiny and new.

I am working the corner where the young girls stand. It is a few blocks down from the center for runaway youth. Men who drive up and down this street are looking for young girls; 14, 16, 18, but certainly not me. I am all washed up at the tender age of 22. But I still have a young face- especially when my eyes are pinned from heroin. Unfortunately, today is not that day. I had to pay rent on my room so I am sick, sick, sick. Usually, I would fix first and pay later but I was so far behind on rent that all my belongings would have ended up in the street. To get decent money as a hooker, you need a place to take the tricks. A quick blow job in the car may suffice for some of the customers. I preferred regulars. They were much less likely to kidnap me or cut my throat.

My friend had left this corner one day to do an outcall at a man's apartment. I had rules- I never went to their place, I never stayed the night, I never left the Tenderloin. Well, she smoked crack and was a little more desperate. She was young, blonde, beautiful, and 16 years old. She charged $35 for quick sex but this man was willing to pay much more for a home visit. When I saw her a few days later, she had just escaped from his apartment. It was, in fact, a torture chamber. He had got her to go inside where he raped and beat her while he smoked crack over her bloody body. She had scrapes and bruises from cramming her long body out a tiny bathroom window. Yet, here she was again.

"Are you alright Laura?" I asked naively. These things had never happened to me. At least, not yet.
She turned her face to the side so the passing traffic could not see the palm shaped bruise on her face.
"I am never going to get a date looking like this" she told me. "If you get money first, kick me down Tracey. I promise I will get you back".

I wasn't sure what to say to her. I knew why she did not go to the police. The humilation is not worth dealing with the reality that they were not going to do a fucking thing. Girls told each other of bad dates, of places to avoid, of how to survive. The outreach workers would come by and hand us condoms by the fist full. This was still the area of AIDS. I had heard stories of a girl with HIV working the streets with her oxygen tank. And men would still pick her up. The reality was many of these girls got HIV from their customers. You would hear of some giving out the virus as revenge for their condition.

I would never see Laura again. She was wrong. Someone did pick her up that day. She was part of the crowd of revolving faces that visited the corner in front of the Vietnamese Sandwich shop. I left a few months later. In the eyes of my peers, I had moved up in the world. I had found a sugar daddy- a 70 year old married man. He was willing to help me get off heroin as long as I accepted him as my sole client. I took him up on his offer. I stopped using heroin with a 21 day methadone detox and started using crystal meth a few days later.

There was no happy ending. There was no prince charming coming to save me from myself. I just switched from fucking stranger for money to attempting to fuck one man who could rarely get it up. It was safer for me. After a man tried to kill me down by some warehouses, I was ready for a break. My stint as a street prostitute was not a long one. A few months on the corner changed my life forever. I learned how to use sex to survive. I went from a 17 year old saving themselves for love to a drug addicted junkie covering their abscesses with burgundy leggings.