Stick Up

The ride home from Chicago that night was tense. Anger. Suspicion. Fear. I had just had a horrible experience with the Chicago P.D. And now my partner, my friend waiting at home and I were in for a very long night. Fear. Sweats. Bile. Anger. All the while trying to scheme something up so we could head back to the city as fast as possible. This was not good. Upon arrival home, I tried filling my friend in on what had happened, of course she didn’t believe me. There is very little to no trust in the heroin game. Even the people you use with are suspects. No one is a friend. They’re all either wolves or sheep. I believe it was around 8pm when we finally accepted what had just happened and settled in for an agonizing night with zero sleep. Dope sickness is the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Just laying, well trying to lay on something is hell. I had a big nice comfy bed and it felt like bricks. There is no rest. Smell is amplified ten fold. Smoking a cigarette is impossible. And you become very familiar with the frequent taste of your own bile. Hot citric acidity. I must have thrown up 100 gallons of the yellow stuff in my days as an active heroin addict. The bottom line is, this was bad. I spent the entire night trying to find someone to spend money in the city, I was now willing to drive all the way back out for one bag. Desperation had set in. Time seemingly slows down when I’m dope sick, and patience does not exist. After what seemed like 1000 calls, texts, and Facebook messages, I had found someone to spend some money, but she wasn’t going to have her dough until first thing in the morning. So we surrendered to the fact that we were going to have to just wait it out. The next twelve hours passed like a month. But finally, it was time to go. So off we went. Covered in goosebumps, sweating, and with pupils like saucers we piled into the blue chevy. We headed for Hammond. The anticipation of the fix coming makes the wait and the drive seem so much longer. But after throwing up in a plastic grocery bag, and out the window several times, we pulled into my friends driveway. My friend that i brought with me didn’t want to ride along, she was way too sick. So I made the call to my dealer’s boss, since my guy had gotten busted the day before. He told me to come on, and we sped out the door. From hammond to 59th street is a relatively short drive the way I speed. Nothing will slow me down when I need to get my dope. I must have been traveling at speeds of 100 MPH and above. In and out I would dart, I’d pass on the shoulder, and cut across all lanes to keep my momentum going. Needless to say, we made great timing. But soon, it wouldn’t matter.

I used my friend’s cell phone to let my guy know I was approaching the rendezvous, and to be watching for me. He had me go to a spot off of Racine, which was strange, and I let him know I was apprehensive because of the change. He insisted it was because the cops had just raided the spot in the old neighborhood. That made sense. The truth is, I would have met him across the street from the police station, it didn’t matter, I was that sick. I had been dope sick for almost 2 full days and would have driven to Wisconsin to get more heroin. So on toward Racine and 60-something I drove. I spotted my dealer up ahead waiting under an awning and pulled up along side him. He jumped in the back, I handed him the money and waited for my package. He handed me a ball of wadded up tissue paper, which was common, because many dealers will keep their stash in between their cheeks in case of a shakedown. But this package seemed light, empty. I tear the tissue apart and find nothing. With my guy still in the back seat, I turn and ask him “What the hell is up with this?!” And as I turn to look at him my eyes go directly to the massive hand cannon pointed right in my face. Instantly, my blood ran ice cold. My mouth went cotton and the dope sickness was gone. Only because I was staring a very feared man on the south side of Chicago in the eyes, and he was holding a VERY LARGE pistol inches away from my face. This gun would not be blowing my brain out, it would be cleaning my head off my shoulders. About 5 seconds went by without a sound, but it seemed like 10 minutes. “You po-leese ass mother fucker Steve! You set us up!” It took a second for what he said to register what he was even talking about. He was referring to yesterday when the cops hit his workers and shook us all down in the sting. “WHAT!?” Is all I could get out. “Dude, are you crazy?” “They hit me too! They got a bunch of us! Took all our money and beat our asses man!” His finger was on the trigger and I could see in his eyes he was actually considering pulling the trigger on this thing, and snuffing me out right here. “Give-me-your-phone!” He demanded, and I did as I was told. Without moving his finger or the gun, he scrolled through my friends phone, looking for signs that we had been in contact with the police. We had not. I hope he believed me. Even in this situation, in the front of my mind, all I could think was, ” I really hope he believes me, so we can get our dope.” Oh he believed me, but we would not be getting anything. He put the phone in his pocket, looked me in my eyes, and told me he never wanted to see me or any of my little honky dope fiend buddies again. He was serious. He opened the door, ignoring my pleas, of “cmon man”, and “at least let us get one bag a piece, man” “I swear to God we didn’t do that man!” We didn’t. I didn’t. He opened the back door, stepped up and placed his weapon in the waist band of his pants. He pulled his hoodie over his head and walked away from the car as casually as I’ve ever seen. And he disappeared around a corner. I looked at my friend with tears in my eyes, and said, “holy shit.” “you okay?” I had just been robbed at gun point twice in 26 hours, once by the cops and once by a dope dealer. Talk about a bad couple days. I started the car, cracked the window, and headed for the express way. Sick.

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