Filed under: JUNKe life
Round about a decade ago things were pretty rough for us for awhile. One Spring I was evicted from my bachelor pad by the Sheriff because I hadn’t paid rent for some time. You can imagine where every penny had been going. I remember being on welfare and my cash was direct deposited into my bank account. I’d be at the bank just after midnight on the day the funds were released, and I’d withdraw the entire amount the instant my account updated from $0 to around $600. With cash in hand, I’d head straight over over the purveyers of my dope of choice at the time, and within a couple hours of the new month starting I’d be totally broke again.
But I would have enough dope to stay good and high for a few days at least. And then when it ran out, the junkie grind would start again. But at least I had a holiday from hustling and stealing for a couple days at the start of each month. Back then I had a reasonable down habit, and I was also doing two or three good whacks of speed everyday. And I’d been going like that for half a year or so.
We were living in a tent in a city park along side the river. The only other people living in the park were other crazies like ourselves. That was kind of a double edged thing because it made for some semblance of community, however you really had to watch that you didn’t get ripped off big time more-or-less everytime you left your camping area. And some folks also had a bad habit of really attracting the heat, which meant we’d also get rousted from time to time, since the cops weren’t going to waste the opportunity to bug us too since they’d made the treck out of their way down to the park and they might not be bothered getting there any time soon again.
Well, along came sweetie’s birthday. I’d been visiting one morphine dealer every day for months, dropping around $100 on every visit, so in my speed twisted head I figured that dealer might want to acknowledge her birthday with a gift of sorts, i.e. a minor front so we could just take the day off and not have to get out and scramble our butts off on her special day. Mind you, he was the sort of dealer who previously had said such shit as “see me when you get 3 more dollars” when he knew I’d have to go out shoplifting again in a big hurry, rather than carry over that 3 bucks owed until tomorrow. And believe me, he knew I saw him every tomorrow.
Anyhow, I figured he’d want to make things nice for her birthday. So I headed off on foot the three mile hike to his place. He wasn’t home. I tried his old lady (who I knew was holding) and she said some shit about how he’d told her to give no fronts. I talked her into calling him (he had our old cell phone, btw, which we’d traded for a couple pills previously when we were a bit desperate). He of course said “no can do” regarding a birthday front, despite my humiliating pleas.
Now I started getting pissed. I’d done so much extra shit for that dealer over the years, helped him out, etc. etc. and I was getting fed up to the max with his petty power tripping. He knew (absolutely knew) I was good for any front. So when he wouldn’t even help us out on her birthday, I reached the end of my rope. I can take a lot of shit because that’s part and parcel with being the lowly junky on the dope hierarchy. As Burroughs’ put it in Junky:
The pyramid of junk, one level eating the level below (it is no accident that junk higher-ups are always fat and the addict in the street is always thin) right up to the top or tops since there are many junk pyramids feeding on peoples of the world and all built on basic principles of monopoly:
- Never give anything away for nothing.
- Never give more than you have to give (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait).
- Always take everything back if you possibly can.
The Pusher always gets it all back. The addict needs more and more junk to maintain a human form…
But I’d truly had enough of his b.s. My remaining spark of humanity felt overwhelmed with humiliation at having done the dance so much without the merest acknowledgment of appreciation. Feeling very angry, I put my fist around the all-purpose knife tool in my pocket, and turned around and headed back towards that bastard’s place. I knew the fucker would have to come home sometime.
I was pacing back and forth on the sidewalk in front of his apartment building when I saw a city bus pull up at a stop just down the hill and out stepped the dealer. He had a jaunty step and a cocky way about him that I detested at the best of times, but seeing it now I surely hated it. I yelled, and started moving towards him with bee-line purpose. I could see him going “whoa!” when he perceived that I was not my usual docile please-sir-can-i-have-some-more lackey. But I doubt he really understood that he was a dead man if he did the wrong thing.
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