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a month old article that was hacked to bits for the school paper...

We were drinking red wine at a small yellow restaurant and discussing the finer points of art and literature, or perhaps an odor, until we walked in a stupor down the road to the finest bar in town. A central location and lakeshore hotel kept the clients high grade. The music hutch was two blocks from the bar on the water, but they seemed worlds apart. There was a lot of money in the latter, and a lot of cocaine.

It would be safe to assume the drugs tonight had been provided by a group of three Red and Whites. I remember the three of them as loud, powerful and hate filled. The drinks were flowing and there was a pile of cash on the table. I remember a small man of large stature with beady eyes and a broken nose becoming very upset as three women left his table. The leader of their pack swung down upon my friend and I and offered her a drink. She politely declined, on account of my reservations about their personalities, which led to an angry burst from the man’s nose as he stormed away.

A few minutes later I was relieving myself in the men’s room the beady-eyed man stormed in on me, smiled and punched me. This leads to a small confrontation of words, in which I somehow managed to outwit the monster. He raises his fist again and smiled as I washed my hands in the sink. He mumbled something about how I was about to “get it” and storms out before I do. I follow behind him and join my friend, who is chatting up some real estate agent.

The large man stomps over and sternly invites me to join his table, and I obliged. My new best friend sat me down and showed a large stack of money he was very proud of to have. The bouncer is near by as his friend shouted, about the money, his car, his gang banging lifestyle and how “he don’t need to drug a hoe’s drink,” due to the money. My pal from the restroom has a white rock on his left nose hair, but I didn’t mention it. He finishes his part of the conversation with a fist swinging towards my head, which I narrowly escaped.

I begin to speak and one of the men tries to call the bouncer over, but he stands in one place. The man on the far left appears sad in the deep of his blue eyes, but holds the money tight and interrupts me. He asks if that’s my girlfriend, and I answer no, and the large man asks “The why did you send back our drink?” I did not know the correct answer to this question. He again mentions the thirty thousand dollars on the table and his yellow Corvette.

I apologized for disrespected their way of life, and excuse myself for a cigarette. I am on the patio and it is mid winter, the waves are crashing but the heaters are on and a small man, like a young boy walks up to me and we begin talking. He explains he has my back, which eventually spins into “They are not allowed to be here.”

This was my first taste of organized crime. I knew it existed, I knew there were bad people in my neighborhood, but I did not know the extent of the crime. It seems years of preaching non-violence and D.A.R.E. kid campaigns have created an underbelly of twenty something’s that are elevated in the drug trafficking world. A contempt for others and racism only paralleled by their own hard drug use.
I remember when crystal meth took over this town. I remember the zombies, lost in their own delusions and the 30 year old drug dealers they looked up to. These speed addicts eventually become dealers and the money, prestige and power turn young boys in drug-addicted buffoons, with minds as narrow as their eyes. I suppose you would always be happy if you continued to do the things you enjoy. This theory makes sense logically, but I saw a very different story coming from the shallow blue eyes of the youngest of the three.

It is said that humans only hate others if they threaten them. I think this may go back to our primal territorial instincts and it is apparent nearly everywhere. I was sitting in a smoking room at a different club on a very different night, when a friend and I were served free drinks, I suppose because the bartender thought we were someone else. Offended by our presence and the women who were impressed by us, a twenty-one year old skinhead was set off, screaming and knocking tables over asking if we had a problem “here.” His territory was apparently the smoke room in this particular dive and he did not need two hippies stealing “his” women. I was told the next day the man had taken out whatever drug-filled rage was building inside him on a native man at about four in the morning, sending the man to the hospital.

This is the type of man who becomes a successful drug-dealer. It is a business built on intimidation and the suffering of others. These are the men that fill our high schools with wannabe gangsters and fill East Vancouver lunatic drug fiends. The person, who starts buying cocaine in eleventh grade to be the king of the smoke pit is the same man stumbling down the street at noon, pale, cut, bruised, hurt and only a fraction of who he could have been. The men who thrive on this pain are sitting in the best hotel in town on a pile of cash with the bouncers at their command.

On Sunday night my neighbor was kidnapped. A skinny white man, who stayed in the shadows, drove his obtrusive black truck behind my building and calmly took both people who lived there away. He had the help of a sedan who stayed in the lot across the alley. Whatever transpired, new people have replaced my neighbors. I have seen one wheeling around in my neighbors’ wheelchair as I pulled into my parking spot, but they quickly ran inside. It has been three days as I write this. I knew my neighbor had, at the very least, a drug problem, but I was unaware of the extent.

These things happen every day, and we can blame anything we want to. Their parents were not around. The TV and video games teach children this behavior is great. I enjoy blaming the “gangsta rap” music, the 50 Cent’s of the world, exposing how excellent the gangbanging, drug dealing, bitch slapping life is for everyone involved. But I know that Nancy may have lost her fingers, if not her life. She has a family. She had people who cared about her. She had peaceful eyes. But I suppose none of that matters if she owes you a few dollars. All this type of thinking is so primal, so thoughtless and so disturbing.

Dealers do hard drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and speed. The world is their oyster, the speech impediments are real and the nights never end. It is a way of life, something I will never understand. The dive bars and abandoned factories used by these men have a certain stigma attached to them, through movies such as “Analyze This.” I believe this is why the underworld always intrigued me. I used to want to live in abandoned factories on large pillows with grassy fields outside. I’ve always wanted to be a hobo, riding the train cars through the mountains and over borders. The real world has turned my view upon this seedy underworld somewhat grimmer.

Families in our town get torn apart for a game of power and influence. It is similar to the board game Risk. Another man dies of gunfire in this town, the body is never found and the family does not hear for months. When money and drugs come together, death becomes involved. It is a blessing on the surface and that is how one is dragged in to the world. It is an attempt to be tough and respected, to have power over millions and women at hand, just because you have the needs for their night.

There is a bigger issue here than the personal need to self-indulge. Those who use are searching for something unattainable. I have worked at a large rave for the past two summers, and see about 10 000 seekers, dealers and very few decent, reasonable people. The grown men and women at this event eat and drink as much as they possibly can and dance all week. The peaceful ones stare blankly at black light stencils of religion and let their eyes play tricks on them. It is a wonderful time every year, with the right soul. But a failed seeker is the one that looks to PCP or MDMA for enlightenment. Not even Hunter S. Thompson felt the door to enlightenment could be found in drug use. An addict, he wrote extensively about the failed generation that was the sixties. To paraphrase him, one cannot sit around and just talk about change, in order to change the world one must act, and the only thing drug use truly does is make one inert. I digress.

The dealer is the man who sells heroin. This is the man bringing the ten-inch hunting knife and seven-inch diving knife “camping” at a music festival. This is the man doing large lines off toilets at 50. He is the man selling a starving father crack-cocaine. The youth get tied up in the image and the bad attitude to steal from the world. The flower turns into just a lower back tattoo or a green pill. I doubt these people are happy. Does the man smile righteously as he pulls away in his minivan?

I understand that there will always be crime. As long as heroin is illegal and junkies are willing to pay top dollar for their apathy, there will be increasing numbers of vigilante businessmen who sell the drugs to their welcoming users. I do feel that the police may waste far too much time arresting Rastafari for growing personal pot, and letting the true criminals free on bail. There should be nobody above the law and no man should have the right to destroy families, minds and respectable people.

I have seen the effects of drug addiction in my short life. I have many former friends who have been wrapped up in the high life of crime. I have a very good friend who has battled with crack-cocaine for 2 years, going to Narcotics Anonymous weekly and only finding that it was a great place to get his next hook-up. I have sat in a room with another man who was unable to buy crack and who punched me in the face, head butted me, attempted to stab me and finally held the small knife to my throat. By kicking the wall I was able to wake our mutual friend’s roommate who helped me escape.

Drug addiction leads to mental collapse. The delusions of power I experienced at the Barking Parrot that strange Tuesday night are a common thread throughout all heavy drug use. This is something I’ve always thought interesting, but have never been able to submit myself into being a part of. It is a thread of dreaming lucidly, never sleeping in order to achieve steady waking REM states. These lead to horrible delusions, which are acted upon. Megalomania and delusions of grandeur are common. Yet these men are above the law of whatever scale they exist at. Whether it is the bouncer slipped a gram of coke as an entrance fee or the politician paid off due to the current depression and war in the country growing the raw product, these men have complete power and control over a situation. It is what the men lust for. It is what the women lust after. If you had the opportunity do make yourself that man, would you?

Take a long deep breathe and look at the small guy in the room, jibteking in a corner while his ex-wife is screaming obscenities about how he should be killed and their daughter is in a crack head’s care. I never have, and never will feel the need to be responsible for this. The men are responsible for these scenes and that is a horrid shame. The money is made on making people feel miserable, whatever the cost. I know this article will most likely not change people’s minds about this issue. People will always want to do this; the fantasy of wearing the most expensive suit in a palace with a thousand friends and women will always be there. The mentalities of human beings will never change, but things will always be better than before.

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