This place matters

This place matters

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From back in the day

I wrote this a long time ago, back when I wrote things that were raw and meant things. I was looking for something else, but I thought this was an interesting of a snapshot of a life that used to be mine. I wrote this after the head shop before the group home. The group home they weren't animals and I wasn't safely behind anything. It wasn't a joke anymore, and it's not a joke now. But this is where I was then.
Be warned, here there be f-bombs.

Working at that headshop, it was lot like being at the zoo. They come in, and they do their crazy junkie act, and we watched casually from the other side of the glass. Awww, look what the crackhead is doing now. It was a joke, when they'd come in and ask "do you got any Pry-rex?" It's not a joke. It's a fucking tragedy.
I started working there because it was a life I knew nothing about. I mean, I've known a thousand and one potheads, and a handfull of coke heads, and some dealers, and nothing about that life was attractive to me. Heads, junkies, addicts, they used to make me so sad. And then they were just funny.
Not that we didn't understand the gravity of the situation. Not that we didn't care. But how do you react when there's a methhead bouncing all over your store, just certain if she uses the right codeword, we'll open up the world of unbreakable glass pipes that she knows we have, hiding somewhere. And meanwhile she gets more and more jumpy and you're more and more terrified, and you just want her to be a joke. Look what the meth head will try to get high.
We had a lady one day, she'd just done a ten year sentence for crack. The first thing she does is come to the head shop. She starts out calm, but we keep telling her no, we don't carry that. And she gets more and more terrified with the realization that she won't score (or, more likely, she will, but she'll burn her lips off trying to smoke a rock out of a car antenna). Look at the crackhead. Maybe she'll do some tricks.
It's a fucking tragedy.
And in the name of experiencing life, I watched them like monkies in cages. Look at the cokehead dance.
Please do not cross the yellow safety line.
Do not stare directly into the eyes of the animals.
I thought it would be kids buying bongs. I thought it would be old hippies buying papers. And it was, most of the time. But I stayed for the crackheads. It was all material.
I thought I was experiencing life. I was watching death from safely behind the glass.  

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