The following is a composition I wrote for a writing class in September 1997. The events took place New Years Eve 1993. I am editing today as I transcribe from the paper I turned in…SOME SITUATIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS ARE DISTURBING AND FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE
Happy New Year?
The air was thick and still. A fog had settled onto West Capital Boulevard. Across the Sacramento River from the capital city of California, it was in another county, another world. Two thousand motel rooms line the next two miles of road, which I affectionately referred to as, West Crack and Smack.
The year was 1993, New Years Eve. The mighty Jester of the cosmos had guided my path into severe addiction. I was, at that time, a crack cocaine addict, and was selling heroine to help support my habit. I sold my wares, late at night to prostitutes and others on the strip. My supplier handled the demand during the day. Everyone on the street goes by an alias, mine was Pollo, “Chicken” in Spanish. Cavaillo, was my supplier and “mentor”. Little did I know, at that time, that there had been many just like me, to arrive on the scene, then to disappear without a trace, beaten, broke and used. The street takes it’s toll, Cavaillo and the others knew what was happening, I was headed to “the curb”.
Tonight, I was on my way to a room at the Pacific Motel for a celebration of sorts. Crystal, one of the old-timers on the street had invited me to a small gathering. She had been trying to get close to me ever since I arrived two months prior to the evening’s festivities. Victoria, was the girl who introduced me to Cavaillo and was very careful, before tonight, to keep me clear of other girls on the street. Vicky and I had a falling out, due to my discovering that she had been stealing from me. I caused a commotion, that led to me being arrested for possession of paraphernalia, and Vicky high tailed it away just before the cops showed up. That was Christmas Eve. Vicky knew all the crack dealers and she kept me away from them so I couldn’t score without her. She used Crack and was addicted to heroine. Tonight, however I was free to do as I pleased, I chose to hang out with Crystal and her friends.
The mood was dark and somber. Another year had passed, we were all still stuck “On Stupid”. Next year would be better, maybe. We were lonely people, doing our best to fill the void by surrounding ourselves with others of our kind. I sensed a phony attitude of optimism about the future, but that was probably just me. I arrived fairly early, only Crystal and a man named Bill were there, when I got there. Bill was a tall man with a medium build. He wore a cowboy hat, so I naturally kind of looked up to him, due to my background on the ranch. He was very polite and friendly. I assumed that he was one of Crystal’s regular customers. Crystal was wearing something flimsy. One could see the lines of experience on her face. She had dirty blonde hair, cut fairly short, and with a dated style. The was an aura of independent wisdom about her. She was resourceful, confident and had a cynical sense of humor. Crystal greeted me and made me comfortable.
The room had two beds, a small table a dresser and a TV. Small talk ensued before the arrival of more participants in our modest celebration. A quiet knock on the door interrupted our conversation. Crystal got up and let them in. Larry and Rex were introduced. These two were meth addicts, the looked virtually the same. They were emaciated, wearing torn faded jeans, grayish white tee shirts and old sneakers. their hair was dirty and stringy. They were in constant fidget mode. I thought that they would jump right out of their skin at any moment. They were talking about how someone had done them wrong and the revenge they would get. I thought to myself that they were doing the easy part, talking about it.
Just then, came another knock on the door. It was Brian, he appeared normal enough, wearing a Polo shirt and khaki slacks. It turns out Brian was only there for service by Crystal. They politely excused themselves to the bathroom. I remember being surprised at how quickly the “deed” was done. Then Brian was out the door as quickly as he had arrived.
The conversation was dwindling, as we all really didn’t have anything of substance to talk about. My pager went off, time to go to work. I dialed the number on the display. It was Beth; she was new, only for me as she had recently gotten out of jail. We made arrangements for a rendezvous. The addicts love me. I sold Cavaillo’s dope, the best on the street, but I also answered and delivered quickly. This is vital, when a junky is dope-sick from the onset of withdraw. I did well selling heroine, as long as I did not smoke up my bas capital for another batch. It was time to go though, Beth would be waiting, just a few blocks down the road. I rode a bicycle, I found that this attracted less attention than a car, or in my case and small truck. I found Beth, and the transaction went smoothly.
I was on my way back, when the lights of a police car, came on behind me. Fear clenched my heart and sent a spike into my gut. I was carrying about $900 worth of dope, prepared into packages for sale, and $600 in cash. Cavaillo had coached me well for times such as these. The dope was stashed, none, too comfortably, in my crotch. The money was folded neatly in the palm of my hand, under my riding glove. I stopped and waited patiently for the officer to get to where I was. It was not far but everything was now, moving in slow-motion, or at least it seemed so. He asked to see my I.D. and said seen me talking to Beth. He inquired about my knowledge of her history. I played stupid. He commenced to pat me down, while asking if I had any weapons. He told me that Beth was a known prostitute; “really?” lol 😀 He put the handcuffs on me and had me sit down while he went back to the squad to check for any warrants on me. After what seemed like half an hour, he came back and took the cuffs of and told me that I was in the system but there were no warrants. “Get a light on that bike, and go straight home” he told me. “Yes sir” I responded, and off I went into the fog.
What the hell am I doing here? I thought to myself. The next thing I thought about was getting a nice big hit of cocaine smoke into me and I could forget everything while the rush hit me. It was all that really mattered to me. Escape from reality. That is exactly what I did. The party was still going on when I got back. I told everyone about my encounter with the police, and how clever I had been to travel light with nowhere really to search. We all laughed and carried on; I would get a lot of mileage out of that story and still am lol 😀 We all went out to eat breakfast and I went to bed.
I remember this night as a reflection of my state of mind at that time. To some it may be disturbing. Maybe sick, twisted, even immoral. To me nothing else mattered but getting high and keeping the ways and means intact to continue. I was running away from how I felt. Quite an exercise in futility, at least doing it in that way.. It was, however, very necessary, as I look back on it today. I have grown to have a deep appreciation for life and no longer have a need to escape how I feel. I am looking for, (pilgrimage), and finding ways to make a contribution to life instead of demanding life contribute to me. I have embarked on a path to improve my life, with it’s incumbent fits and starts, and to connect with others. I am immensely grateful for my new found attitude, and am willing to share my discoveries with anyone who cares to listen. We are here, I believe, to love, learn and all laugh at the joke that the mighty jester shows us.