Sometimes in my very depressive moods, I would wonder what motivated me too fall into the dregs of society knowing perfectly well that by doing so, I was fighting a stone wall?
Justifications came easy to me, poverty, police suppression, unemployment, and racial discrimination. But I knew that I was only bullshitting myself when I tried to blame conditions and others for the stupid mistakes I’ve made throughout my life. Raised in the deplorable conditions of the Chicano barrios doesn’t justify ones usage of narcotics or “ripping off’1 everything of value that wasn’t nailed down, as I know many of my brothers and sisters that I grew up with never once saw the inside of a jail. Some, in fact, were members of The Little First Street Wildcats, a gang I was affiliated with, but still managed to raise themselves out of the depths of poverty they were raised in.
I’d lye awake at night in my cell, a cell that I was afraid to go into until it was absolutely necessary. Knowing that once I was double-locked in my tiny cubicle, I would lye awake for hours on end and think about what my life would’ve been, if….
It was frustrating trying to drown out the prison sounds,and,1 try to fantasize that I was lying in bed with my woman waiting for the inevitable to happen when you’re suddenly brought back to reality by your cell partners crude and tremendous fart!
Waking up in prison was the worst part of doing time for me. The familiar sounds of a thousand men cell block is not something easy one can forget. Buzzer’s buzzing, birds chirping, toilets flushing, come soaked socks and other miscellaneous objects flying over the tiers, old men coughing, farting, sneezing, and just about every imaginal sound there is.
Once the bar is pulled, a thousand men, black, white and brom shuffle their way into the Pine Sol smelling mess—hall to devour the tasteless shit that the State of California provides with your hard earned tax dollars.
Walking the “big—yard” kicking myself in the ass and swearing to God and on my dear Mother’s grave that once the parole board see’s fit to turn me loose into the free society I’ll never again stick another needle in my arm and if I do, I hope He strikes me dead!
But as soon as I get my parole papers, I nail them to the nearest wall and slither into the ghetto’s or barrio’s looking to score a taste of that “magic woman t” Once the shit is coursing through my veins, scratching and nodding, I once again commence to denounce myself for being such a weak sonofabitch I But it’s too late then, I tell myself, so fuck it, I’m off and running again.
I felt great going into familiar territory, walking the streets of East Los Angeles, and having the dope-fiend dudes and broads patting me on the back and telling me how great I looked and when did I get out. I felt welcomed and respected by the dregs of society which I never experienced from the “squares” except for my sisters. I idenified with these people, and even though I knew, but wouldn’t admit, that we were’nt worth two dead flies. I accepted the role that was to lead me to prison on four different occassions.
Deep in my heart I knew that dope-fiends can’t be trusted and will rip you off the minute you turn your back to then. Dip into your share of heroin whenever they felt they could get away with it. Break into your pad when they know for sure you and your family are not. at home. Steal your children’s 10 speed’s or tricycles just for a taste to get that fucking “gorilla” off their backs.
Take you to score and then leave you stranded on an unfamiliar neighborhood street, sick, and no bread to ride the bus back. Then when you see the dude that “burned” you, he’ll swear that he was burned or that he saw the pigs and couldn’t get in touch until it was too late. And even though you know the dude is jiving, you let him slide ‘cause you’ve done the same damn shit yourself.
Some people take it as a personal insult if you burn them. Some will even go as far as to “off” you the moment they catch up to you. Some just get cut up a taste, but a few slashes on the ass doesn’t seem to cure them from burning people.
Shit like this would creep in and out of my consciousness whenever I’d tell myself that I had to find another direction in life. I was aware of the consequences that I faced everyday using heroin. Aware that someone would sell me bad dope, or dope that wasn’t “stepped” on too much and would kill a horse if fixed. The chance of getting ripped—off everytime I went into the different ghetto’s, barrio’s, and elite neighborhood’s to score. Being stopped by the pigs and getting busted for “marks,” possession, or having some hot merchandise in my car, any number of things, but still I kept it up.
I was even afraid of walking a block to the neighborhood store in fear that I just might be stopped and checked over. Whenever the occassion arose and I had to go to the store, I’d round up a few of the neighborhood kids and take them with me. Even though it cost me an extra dollar or two for ice cream and sodas, it was worth not getting stopped and getting my ass royally thrilled by the pigs.
Steady on the go, twenty—four hours a day it seemed. No peace of mind, rest or any kind of social life. Existing, not living.
Going hungry and sleeping in sleazy hotel’s with funky, lice infected wino’s. Sometimes sleeping in one room with five or six different people. The odor of unwashed bodies, halitosis emanating from the mouths of wino’s and dope—fiends alike. Needle—scarred sores on the arms of the lowest of whores, oozing with pus and blood laying on their funky asses with nothing on but their come stained panties talking shit.
Broke, hungry and sick, you make your way to the blood bank on skid-row with two, three dudes or broads to sell a pint of your blood for five dollars If all three of you are lucky enough to be accepted by the so—called doctor, fifteen bucks ain’t going to be enough to score that precious spoon of shit too satisfy that “gorilla” hanging on your back with the “jones” you and your partners are supporting, there’s only one thing to do. Rip something off And, baby, thebe’s where the argument begins Who’s going to do the ripping 7 Not me, man, it was my idea to sell blood I Fuck it, answers number two, it’s my ride! Fuck both of you, intones the third, I got the fit!
What happens, is that all three end up ripping something off, and if they’re lucky, they’ll score their precious spoon and start all over the following day.
I would think about the times that I did have plenty of dope and was dealing like if heroin was going out of style. A fine pad, foxy bitch, car, and plenty of money.
Was all that shit worth staying in the pad not going anywhere in fear of getting busted or someone burglarize my pad I Sleeping with a fox every- night but not being able to satisfy my sexual fantasies because that powdery substance coursing through my veins wouldn’t let that thing between my legs come too life!
Sitting in front of the TV sipping Kool ade hours on end. Watching antique movies and listening to rock’n roll music gets to be too fucking much after awhile.
Everytime you hear a knock on your door your heart jumps a beat t You’re steady jumping out of chairs and beds to peek out of shade drawn windows and peep holes.
Nothing in this world could ever make me forget the agonizing, and excruciating pains that I experienced everytwo or three weeks when I had to relieve my bowels I would down every conceivable laxative known to man, and even improvise with a few, but nothing would make me shit until my bowels were good and ready to release all that crap I had accumulated in my system in the past two or three weeks.
Whenever it was ready to leave the confines of my asshole, I never went into the shitter without a jar of Dixie Peach Pomade Sitting on the stool, my ass in the air, carefully smearing it with pomade, my face almost touching the floor, I’d grunt, and try to force for that monstrous “turd” that I knew would take awhile before it came loose!
“Yenshi baby,” is what the dope—fiends call that monster, and now I know how a woman feels when she’s having a baby.
I would strain, and grunt so hard and loud, that at times I’d get a nose bleed! It felt like every vein and muscle in my face and head would burst from straining so goddamn hard!
When I felt the turd finally making it’s way into the crapper, the pain was so excruciating that I’d have to stop my grunting for a few minutes and take five. But that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
A foot long turd, six inches in diameter, hard as Chinese arithmetic, half in the shitter, and the other half up your ass! Wow, too fucking much!
Once that monster is out, smeared with blood, your ass feeling like a ten— foot pole was extracted from it, you have to take a clothes hanger to it or else the fucking thing won’t flush! Whooosh!
Was I a born loser? No, I’ve never believed in that fallacy. Did I want to destroy myself without realizing what I was doing? Suicide has entered my mind, as it does to most narcotic users. But I’m neither crazy or strong enough to take my own life.
They say it takes a weak person to “off” themselves, but this is one dude that feels that in order to take your own life you have to be very, very brave, or crazy enough not too know what the fuck you’re doing!
I look back on the thirty years that I lived in total darkness, not being aware of the natural beauty of our beaches and mountains, the green grass, birds siiiging, blue skies, rain or sunshine, totally blind to reality.
A junkie walking through a haze, reaching and seeking for something I wasn’t aware of. Running and thieving trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Almost making it, but not quite.
Thirty years of running and stumbling in a dark vacuum praying and hoping for that light of freedom at the end of the tunnel. Finally, after all these frustrating years trying to knock down the prison walls, poisoning my body with deadly drugs, I had the guts to stare back at the dude I was afraid to face everytime I looked in a mirror. And for the first time in my life, I stood firmly before that dude, and verbally abused him viciously for being the weakling that he was!
Satisfied, I turned around, wiped the tear that was slowly trickling down my cheek, and stumbled into the darkness toward the faint light that was waiting f or me at the end of the tunnel.