|Photo Nuno Oliveira|
"The drive downtown is an experience unto itself. You're controlled by this dark energy that's about to take your to a place where you know you don't belong at ths stage in your life. You get on the 101 Freeway and it's night and it's cool outside. It's a pretty drive and your heart is racing, your blood is flowing through your veins, and it's kind of dangerous, because the people dealing are cut-throat, and there are cops everywhere. It's not your neck on the woods anymore, now you're coming from a nice house in the hills, driving a convertible Camaro. So you get off at Alvarado and make the right. Now your senses go into this hyper-alert radar situation. Your mission is to buy these drugs, and you don't want anything interfering with that, it's like being in a battle where your life is going to depend on seeing everything around you, the guy on the corner, the undercover cops, the black-and-whites. You don't want to commit any obvious traffic infractions, so you signal and make your left onto Third Street, cognizant the whole time of any cars behind you. Then you go two blocks and you're passing Mexican families and a couple of motels and a corner store and there's a grocery store at the left, which was the scene of many incidents in your life with Jennyfer when you used to shoot up in the car and start throwing up out the window. All these memories are flooding back at you, and the minute you make the right onto Bonnie Brae, half a block up on the left, you see groupings of dealers. They're incredibly agressive, and they watch every car that comes around that corner to see if it's a car there to buy stuff. You either pull straight up on Bonnie Brae or you make a left onto the next side street, and they come swanping down upon you. They're in your passenger window, they're in your back window, and you have to choose which madman you're going to buy from.
The dealers are used to people buying twenty dollars' worth, or fifty or maybe sixty, but you pull out a wad of hundreds and tell them you want five hundred dollars' worth. They can't even keep five hundred dollars' worth of crack in their mouths, which is where they store it, just like the balloons of heroin, under ther tongues, so they start hustling and pooling their resources and come to you with a handful of saliva-covered crack. You make the deal and then you ask these guys. "Who's got the Chiva ?," and they point. Chiva is the dope. Then you go to another block and buy three, four, or five balloons, the whole while trying to make it happen quick, because the cops could be there any second. By now you know where to get pipes, and you're buying the little Brilo pads to use as screen in the pipe, all the techniques that you picked up from the street dealers. Then you go home and get high."
Anthony Kiedis, Scar Tissue, Life Warner Books, p. 323
|Photo Ross Reyer|