My first husband, Ryan, was drunk and being an asshole and he was doing it in front of his friends. We were at this graduation party. I don’t remember now who the party was for, but I know it wasn’t any friend of mine. Plus, I had graduated the year before, and I didn’t know too many people in the classes under me. I remember the party was outside and as usual, Ryan and his friends were hanging on the outskirts.
He was an outskirt kid…an outsider, a stoner, alternative, pot-head, skater, whatever you want to call it. Ryan and his friends did skateboard before it was actually cool. My generation are the ones who came up with the slogan: “Skateboarding Is Not A Crime”….yeah…that was us. No, I didn’t skate, myself. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to skate, but more that my dad literally did not let me leave the perimeter of his yard, and there was no concrete in the perimeter. My dad wouldn’t have let me have a skateboard anyway, for fear I’d fall off and crack my head open and bleed to death or break my neck and become quadriplegic…not even a para…a quad. My dad had an irrational fear for everything.
So when Ryan threw a beer bottle at my head, I was done, I just wanted to leave. Usually, he would throw his beer in my face, but since a group was gathered and he had probably just downed it and was holding the empty bottle, he probably thought he would look cooler to the others if he threw the bottle at my head.
Ryan and I were still in the early phase of our relationship. We had been together for over a year but if you judge the stages of our relationship by the increasing violence and drug use, we were still newbies. When we were newbies, I didn’t fight back because I hadn’t yet learned that I could fight. I didn’t really know I was capable of anything good, at all.
If my father did nothing else (he deemed) right in raising his children besides keeping my sister and I clothed and sheltered, he made me believe inside my most innermost self that I was stupid, worthless, trash, no good…the list goes on ad-nauseam. He was very good at it too, because I didn’t start figuring out his trick until way too far into life. He was even cooler and proved himself an expert at psyche destruction when I realized more than half-way into my thirties that I still believed most of his cruel lies, on some level IN MY SOUL, otherwise my life wouldn’t be the shambles that it appeared to be and quite frankly, still remains. You understand?
I never knew I believed these lies. I know them now and I still believe them, and I don’t know how to stop.
I had Ryan’s keys in my pocket because I drove us to the stupid party because Ryan always made me drive everywhere. He was always fucked up, and I was, too, so that was fucked up. I was the one who always ate the charges in our marriage. I am still the only one still eating charges accrued in our marriage…charges that won’t simply digest. They keep getting thrown up. It’s all good. I ain’t trippin. Fuck em. So I finally had a reason to leave the party I never wanted to be at, in the first place. I left and had one thing on my mind.
A few months prior to this night I had become addicted to crack. It really was an “accident”…I really didn’t mean to become a crackhead. I was tricked. I was passed a primo, which I thought to be a regular joint. It was me, Ryan, and our friend, Emile. Me, Ryan and Emile rode around after school everyday and smoked regular joints. Ryan and I picked up Emile one day and he said, “I got a surprise”, then pulled out and lit what appeared to be a regular joint. He started smoking it and I was unimpressed. I smelled the weed first, but then I also smelled a different smell. It was a smell I had never smelled before that day. Ryan was driving (wow), I was in the middle and Emile was on my right, in Ryan’s little Chevy S-10. After Emile hit the joint, he passed it to me and I hit. It tasted like regular weed, but with a little twang, and I passed on to Ryan. By the time he started puffing, I noticed that my lips were numb. I couldn’t wait until it was my turn to hit it again. The second time I got the treasure joint in my hand, I hit it twice, too. On that third hit, my gums were numb and I became very talkative. Everything I was saying was brilliant and so was everything everyone else in the vehicle was saying.
I felt fucking AWESOME and EVERYONE WAS AWESOME and I WAS THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE and this was THE BEST DAMN WEED I HAD EVER FUCKING SMOKED.
Haha! I found out as soon as the joint was nothing but ashes that it contained crack-cocaine and it was known in street language as a “primo” or one could also call it a “cadillac”. A joint with crack crushed up in it. Seriously, that shit made me feel better than I had ever felt in my ENTIRE LIFE. I have always been depressed, ever since I was a small child….that’s all the fuck I knew…was sadness, hopelessness, despair, depression…NO’s.
I suppose I was addicted to cocaine the very second it entered my body. I honestly, had never felt so happy, ever….not even close.
*FAST FORWARD NOISE*
*BACK TO ME FEELING ALL ANGRY LEAVING GRADUATION PARTY IN RYAN’S TRUCK*
I wanted to to feel that happy feeling. That’s all I wanted; to feel that happy feeling. I had twenty dollars burning a hole in my pocket and I left. I don’t even think Ryan ever noticed it. I guess he got a ride home that night.
I went to the neighborhood. The streets were dark and I saw zero movement. Where were all the people who would usually come chase the car down? Nobody was waving or hollering…weird. Just then I saw a bicycle en route, coming directly toward me.
“Whew!”, I thought….
The guy on the bike came to my window, so I rolled it down. “Whatchoo want mayne?”, the guy on the bike said. He looked like he hadn’t showered in a while. He was missing a few teeth, and he was riding a bike. I hadn’t been in the dope game long, but I could definitely tell that this was no O.G., and at that time I didn’t even know what an O.G. was except for what I had learned from listening to N.W.A. I had done a lot of that during my high school years and according to the street slang of Niggaz Wit Attitudes, the guy I saw on the bike was a Strawberry with a dick.
Since another soul besides Mr. Strawberry was no where to be seen, I politely asked Mr. Strawberry where I could find a twenty of some of the finest crack their hood had to offer. As I reflect on this memory, I now wish that I really had asked the question using those exact words, and also spoken with the same accent Leonardo DiCaprio uses in “The Great Gatsby”, even following up my inquiry with an, “ole sport”.
Regrets…. that’s my only one.
Nevertheless, Mr. Strawberry then informed me that he was very much acquainted with just the man I needed! He also stated to me that under no circumstances would I be able to accompany him on the journey to see the Wizard of Crack. Instead, I should be obliged to leave dear Mr. Strawberry with my money and bid him godspeed on his quest, having unwavering doubt of his inherent return.
Instead I replied, “mayne, I ain’t giving you shit until the dope is in my hand”.
Mr. Strawberry acquiesced to make the trip without the aid of my twenty dollars and then said to me, “make the block”. I watched Mr. Strawberry ride off on his bicycle and then I turned and made the block. My hands were sweating as they gripped the steering wheel tightly, forming a more solid mold to the steering wheel callous on my left palm, which still resides with me today. I glanced in the rear view and looked vigilantly for any sign of the police. As far as police were concerned, this was a dead night. I rounded the corner and began driving the last street in the block I was making. Hopefully, I would get my dope just as soon as I turned the next corner and this adventure would conclude for the time being. My stomach was unsettled and my nerves was bad. I was ready to get my shit and gtfo of this neighborhood.
I made the last turn and saw nothing. My heart started to sink in a mixture of sadness with a tinge of desparation, when all of a sudden, I saw him, Mr. Strawberry. The streetlight sparkled on the spoke reflector and I was very relieved. I started making my way to Mr. Strawberry and began rolling down the S-10 window, manually.
Mr. Strawberry came directly to my window and asked me for the money. I flashed the twenty dollar bill quickly and asked about my dope. We made the exchange and Mr. Strawberry rode off quickly. I hurriedly started driving away, myself, to the exit. I also quickly examined the specimen of what I just purchased, and realized I had just paid twenty bucks for a piece of wax.
I just wanted to die. Kill me, please….omg….that was all of my money….I don’t have anymore money….Mr. Strawberry just jacked me.
I began to cry. I was sobbing and screaming and cussing as I drove down the street which led back to the main highway. I wiped my eyes and saw a man walking toward me on the side of the street, to the right. I slowed the truck, to let him know I “was looking”, in the hope that he might be a benevolent crack dealer who was looking to do a bit of charity work. The man waved and I stopped the truck. He came right over to the driver’s side and saw my tear-stricken face. The man asked me what was wrong. I babbled through a confusion of crying hysterics that I had just been jacked. He had a look in his eyes that conveyed real empathy and he asked me to drive him right up the street, to his auntie’s house, and he would help me out in my misfortune by giving me a little crack.
What a lovely soul!
I drove the S-10 slowly down the street, the tears had now stopped, and I was engaged in quite a jovial conversation with the kind stranger, who was helping me at my hour of need. He pointed ahead to the driveway in which I was to park. I pulled into the driveway and shifted to park. The man then told me to sit tight, he would be right back. Before, he stepped out, he asked me to kill the engine so it wouldn’t wake his sleeping family members. I quickly killed my engine, as he asked. The man then told me to sit tight, he would be right back.
Lessons are learned through experience.
He came back quickly, just as he said he would, and rejoined me in the cab of Ryan’s truck. I exchanged a few more pleasantries with this nice gentleman and then I inquired if he secured the crack. His answer was affirmative and I was very excited. The smile on my face was huge and my saliva glands were on full-throttle. But instead of giving me what I wanted, the man still wanted to talk. I was sure the nice stranger was hitting on me but I had no time for that, I wanted to get high. Plus, I had already explained to him that I was a very faithful girlfriend to my boyfriend, and even though we currently were not getting along so well, we were definitely still together so that would rule out any chance of hanky-panky with another man, because though I was a crackhead, I was a faithful one, by George!
The stranger and I went back and forth for several minutes and I honestly did not understand what he meant because at that stage in my addiction, I couldn’t have told you what a trick was, honestly. I had never done that, and I had never even considered it. Looking back now, I suppose he thought I was trying to play stupid.
Then the nice gentleman became tired of being nice. The nice gentleman reached and pulled a gun from somewhere in his pants, he then put it to my head and said, “Bitch, pull down those pants before I kill you”.
Well, since he was such a nice gentleman…I guess it wouldn’t be so bad….
Wait a minute…no…no….no I told him, “no, I’ve never cheated…please, don’t”…..
My request fell deaf on the kind gentleman’s ears and he went ahead and raped me. I held my hands over my face, just like the last time I had been raped, when I was fifteen, and I cried…and he fucked me….and I kept crying and he kept fucking me in that little brown S-10. I began crying harder and he stopped. He said, “I can’t do this”. I felt relieved. I pulled up my panties and my jeans as he sat in the passenger seat and buckled his trousers.
The kind gentleman then reached in the same place that he recently pulled out the gun and instead pulled out a medicine bottle. The nice man handed me a big rock, worth at least fifty bucks. I sat in that driveway with the kind stranger, who was also my rapist, for the next hour or two and we just talked. After we talked I went to my mom’s house and smoked the crack. I