Life On the Westside

near_west I told my father that i wanted to stop using, that i would check myself into a detox center in Chicago. i really just needed a ride to the city. as soon as i hugged his neck and told him good bye and that i would call when i was done and ready to be picked up, he left, and as soon as he turned the corner up the street, i was gone. on foot. in the blistering cold. with a suitcase in tail, on wheels. headed for the west side of Chicago. Ohio street and Homan ave is where i ended up, and after burning through the ” necessities” fund my dad gave me in one day, i was back to hustling, and begging for money to get dope. to find a rock. strung out and drifting, i staggered down homan ave toward Chicago ave as the sounds of car horns, buses, and gun shots provided the soundtrack to my meaningless existence.”HEY WHITEBOY!” someone yells. “hey we doin a pass out at 930, over on trumbull, dubs of that pink panther.” ( a pass out is something that street level dealers will do in order to draw new customers, in an overly congested drug market. they will give away free bags of heroin, crack, or pcp in hopes that you’ll return to their corner and shop with them) I was so sick, i thought that this was God helping me out. So i went. After standing around and waiting for the dope man to show up, and then rushing him, so i made sure i got mine ( there were about 50 junkies lined up along side this apartment building) i put my bag in between my cheeks and made my way for this abandoned apartment i knew, right up the street. i shot the dope and faded. i start to come to, being shook and searched, feeling my pockets being emptied. 2 dope fiends were stripping the copper out of the house i fell out in, and found me, thought i was dead and were attempting to steal my shit. they were just gonna take what i had, and then just leave me to die. i wasn’t about to let them steal my only fix left. so i confronted them, got them to stop, and they left. but i had pissed my pants. so now i was really nasty, but, “thank god”, i thought, that they didn’t find my bag. this was some of the worst times.

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