An Excerpt from In My Hood
IN MY 'HOOD
The loud banging on the door startled Desiree from her deep sleep. She sat up on the mattress that graced the dirty hard wood floor.
Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she stood to go retrieve the door.
"Who the hell is it?" She shouted irritated.
"It’s Roc, Bilal in there?" He shouted back.
"Y’all kill me coming over here all times of the day and night!" She shouted as she opened the door.
"Rae its one o'clock in the afternoon. Y’all still in the bed?"
"What chu' think?" She said sarcastically looking him up and down.
Roc stepped into the tiny one bedroom apartment and he looked around.
There was paper, bottles and cans, lying on the floor.
"When y’all gonna clean this shit up?"
"As much as your ass is up in here getting your head right. I don't see you offering to help clean this shit up!" She spat.
"What eva'. Where is Bilal?" He waved her off.
Desiree stormed back into the bedroom and kicked Bilal's foot that was resting on the floor.
"Bunchy!" She shouted.
Bunchy is the nick name most people called Bilal.
"Bunchy!" She shouted as she once again kicked the bottom of his foot but harder this time. He grunted and tried to lift his head. He was resting comfortably on his stomach and he rolled over onto his back.
"What Rae!" He shouted irritated for the interruption.
"Roc out there for you, get up!"
"Damn!" He got up off the mattress at the speed of a turtle.
He stumbled dizzily as he walked out of the room with his hands shoved down the front of his dingy shorts. Bilal stood about 6”0, he was very lean. He had rounded shoulders and a hunched back. His face was graced with a full scruffy beard. His eyes were bloodshot and he wore a tattered Afro, not by choice.
"Damn, y’all ma’ fucker's are lazy ‘round here," said Roc.
"Fuck you! What chu' want?" Bilal said as he plopped down onto the dirty stained sofa laying his head back and closing his eyes. He was sick. Before Bilal could even think about starting his day, he needed a bag to wake him up. Without his morning dose of dope he would be of no use to anyone, let alone himself.
Roc stood about 6”2, weighed 240 pounds, solid as a rock-that’s how he got his name. He used to weight about 370 pounds before he ventured into the dark life of a dope fiend. Some called it P-Funk or Diesel. Back in the day he was a big baler. But of course he quickly fell victim to getting high on his own supply.
He was a functioning Heroine addict with no shame to his game. He enjoyed the high and the places Heroine took him.
Although he chooses the life of an addict, he is still very respected by all on the streets.
Rumor has it that his hands are lethal weapons and has taken another’s life a time or two. He has also acquired the reputation for being the best stick up man there is. He also can steal anything that is not cemented to the floor. With that being his now acquired hustle and Heroine his choice of drug; he’s feared by the streets even more.
"You want to make some money?" Roc asked not looking at Bilal but out of the window instead.
He watched the heavy activity down on the busy 15th Ave. corners, one of the most drug-infested areas. Roc watched as the Heroine and Cocaine seekers purchased their packages and then rushed off to use.
He looked over at Bilal, he knew he was sick and needed a hit to start his day. He too went through the same ritual every morning.
Bilal's eye's lit up, chills went through his body. Just the mere mention of money brought on the possibility of him getting his eye awakening fix.
"Hell yeah man! What's up?" He shouted leaning forward on the sofa.
There was a knock at the door interrupting their conversation.
"Who is it?" Bilal yelled.
"It's Tracey, is Rae-Rae there?" The female voice asked from the other side of the door.
"Yeah wait a minute!"
He got up off the sofa and walked into the room. Roc walked around the living room stepping over garbage looking for a clean space to stand. Not having any luck, he decided to stand back in the spot in front of the window kicking cans and bottles to the side clearing a space. Bilal returned from the room and walked over to the door.
"She said what chu' want?" He opened the door.
Obvious to the eye, Tracey was once an attractive woman. Her hair was cut short and jelled back close to her head. She wore a big green shirt, which was covered with dirty spots and black leggings. Her eyes were hazel and her complexion light but blotchy, which came from lack of nutrition. Her collarbone stuck out from the lack of skin that covered her narrow body.
"Tell her I got a hit for her," Tracey said shifting from one leg to the other like she needed to use the bathroom bad.
"A'ight come in," he instructed.
She walked briskly over to the sofa stopping in her tracks when she saw Roc standing by the window.
"He’s cool sit down I'll get Rae for you," Bilal stated.
The woman lowered her head and sat down on the sofa as she rocked back and forth looking around nervously. The anticipation for a hit was over whelming.
“Roc man, you ain’t got nothing on you now, do you?” Bilal whispered to him.
“Yeah, I got a bag that I can split with you. But I need a shape up first,” Roc replied.
“Aight, hold up a minute, let me get my clippers and tell Rae that Tracey is here for her,” he disappeared into the bedroom.
Seconds later Bunchy and Desiree both exited from the bedroom. Desiree motioned for Tracey to come into the kitchenette.
Bilal drug a chair over to the window where Roc stood. Roc reached into his cigarette pack and turned it upside down shaking it. A small paper baggie fell from the box into the palm of his baseball mitt size hands. Bunchy looked at the baggie and swallowed hard. Roc began to unfold the baggie open and exposed the small pile of Heroine. He skillfully scooped a portion of the substance onto the pinky nail of his right finger and snorted it into his nostril. He did the same with the other nostril before passing the remaining contents to Bilal. Bilal did the same and commenced to lick the remaining residue from the baggie.
While Bilal gave Roc a hair cut, Roc briefly explained to him about his plans to rob the local bowling alley. He wanted him to meet the owner and show him how his plan would work.
“Hey gurl,” said Tracey as she practically ran into the kitchenette. She sat down and rocked back and forth. Her hands shook while she retrieved the package from her pocket.
“What’s up? What chu got?” Desiree asked looking desperate.
Her stomach was doing flip-flops and she felt like she had to shit.
Most free-basers felt this type of adrenaline anticipating the drug entry, causing them to get the runs, almost getting high before they actually took the hit. Once the drug entered the body, all feeling of bowel movement goes away. It is said that’s why a crack addict loses so much weight in a short period. The drug suppresses any desire to eat, therefore no food substance is entering into the body for sometimes days. While body wastes leaves the body because of the urge of the drugs entry.
“I got two dimes,” Tracey said pulling two capsules from her pocket and set them onto the table.
She poured the contents of the capsules onto the table. Meantime Desiree reached into the kitchen drawer and two roaches scurried out of the drawer fleeing the light. She pulled out a rolled up paper towel. She sat down and unraveled the paper towel as it contents where exposed. Inside the paper towel contained 2 glass tubes also known as pipes or stems.
Desiree handed Tracey a stem as she passed Desiree a rock from her small pile of crack cocaine. Almost instantly the women dropped the rock at the end of the stem in which it contained the screens. Both women put the stem to their lips as they tilted their heads back almost at the same time. Tracey flicked her lighter as Desiree lit her small butane torch. They touched the end of the stem containing the rock Cocaine with the fire. The sizzles were heard simultaneously. The smoke bellowed its way down the stem and into their mouths, passing down into their lungs. After they took their hits, Desiree sat shaking her leg and enjoyed the feeling she had from the first hit of the day as she blew the smoke from her lungs.
Tracey jumped to her feet and ran to the kitchen window while smoke escape through her nose. She peered out of the window ducking, bobbing and weaving as if searching for someone.
“Tray sit yo’ crazy ass down!” Yelled Desiree
“Come here! Come here!” Tracey yelled waving franticly.
“What?! I aint comin’ over there! Ain’t nothing out there! Sit yo ass down!”
“No for real Rae-Rae come here!” She pleaded.
Desiree got up from her chair and walked over to the window.
“What Tray?” Desiree stood over her.
“See over there by that garbage can. Ain’t that the police squattin’ down over there?” Tracey said ducking down as if not to be spotted by whom ever she was hiding from.
Desiree looked by the garbage can only to see nothing but garbage.
“You know what? You a stupid bitch! You need to leave this shit alone!” She yelled walking away from the window. “See that’s why I don’t be wantin’ to get high wit’ yo’ silly ass! Every time you come over here, you pull ‘dat same shit!” She rolled her eyes.
Desiree looked over at Tracey squatting down on the floor peaking over the top of the window sill ledge. Desiree reached over and scooped up two more rocks slipping one her into mouth and the other in her pipe to smoke.
Bilal went into the bedroom to change his clothes. Swatting at flies, Roc walked into the kitchenette where the women sat.
“Damn y’all be fiend’n sucking on that glass dick,” he laughed.
“Shut up Roc!” Desiree shouted.
Tracey was still sitting underneath the windowsill on the floor and did not respond to the insulting comment Roc made. She had retrieved the last rock from the table and was now smoking it as she sat there on the floor. Because of paranoia, she was none the wiser to Desiree pulling a fiend move on her. At that time Desiree slipped the rock from her mouth and put it into the stem and smoked it.
“Damn! Look at this bitch! Looking like a skeleton on crack!” He continued to laugh at his own humor pointing at Tracey crawling around on the floor.
Tracey never acknowledged his presence. After taking her blast she crawled around on her hands and knees picking up anything that resembles the crack Cocaine and put it to her tongue tasting it.
“Tray! Get up off the floor you ain’t drop shit down there! This bitch blows my high every time,” she told Roc shaking her head. “You better get up before you put some of that rat poison in your mouth that the landlord put down yesterday!” Desiree spat.
But Tracey was tweaking and wanted more crack. Her mind was playing tricks on her telling her that she dropped some.
“What the fuh!” Desiree and Roc said at the same time. Bilal ran from the room with his shirt open, jeans on and one sneaker in his hand.
“What the hell is going on!” He announced.
Again went the sound of something very heavy hitting against the front door. Everyone jumped. Tracey was now alert and aware of what was going on and she stood to her feet.
"See I told you, it's the cops," Tracey said as she twisted her lips back and forth.
"Shh! Shut up! Yo' ass is skeeted!" Roc whispered.
Bunchy and Roc looked at each other and approached the door together cautiously. Just as they were close to the door, it flew open of its hinges, knocking Bunchy to the floor. Four men ran into the apartment, the first man hit Roc with the butt end of the double barrel shot gun he was carrying. Blood squirted everywhere decorating the already filthy walls adding red streaks. Roc fell to the floor like a 10-pound bag of potatoes.
“Timber!!!” One of the gunmen yelled.
Tracey began to scream.
“Shut up you dirty bitch!” Yelled another one of the gunman aiming his glock at her.
They all wore black hooded pull over sweat shirts, with black ski masks and all sported gloves as well.
Desiree ran to Bilal’s side to try to remove the door that had fallen on top of him. Another masked gunman grabbed her by the back of her neck squeezing hard and pulling her to her feet. Tracey continued to scream and the rifle-toting gunman opened fire on her and blew off her right arm and half her face.
“Now if you don’t want none of that, then you need to keep your anorexian ass quiet! You feel me?” The gunman said into Desiree's ear while still squeezing the back of her neck.
He appeared to be the leader giving instructions to the others. His breath was warm and smelled of fresh violets. He threw Desiree onto the couch. Two of the gunman lifted the door and place it shut in the doorway. Bilal rolled over onto his side balling into the fetal position. Desiree got down on the floor with him and held his head in her arms. The head gunman with the violet breath grabbed Roc and tried to turn him on his back.
“Damn! This mafucka is heavy as hell! Come turn his big ass over!” He instructed.
The double barrel shotgun holder stood watch over Desiree and Bilal, while the other two gunmen turned Roc over.
“Wake his ass up!” The head gunmen instructed.
One of the gunmen unzipped his jeans, pulled out his tool and pissed on Roc’s face.
A few seconds went by and Roc regained his consciousness and he began to cough. With his back turned to Bunchy and Desiree the head gunman pulled his ski mask up exposing his face. Once Roc got a look at his face, his eyes grew as big as saucer’s. The head gunman smiled and pulled the ski mask back over his face and Roc began to struggle to get up. Because of Roc’s size, the head gunman instructed two members to hold him down. One grabbed Roc’s arms while the other held both his feet. But Roc wasn’t giving up so easily and the men struggled to hold him steady.
“Don’t move!” The head gunman yelled.
He pulled out a 45. that was shoved down the front of his jeans and aimed it at his forehead.
Roc looked down the barrel of the big gun and laid still. The two men holding him stood to their feet satisfied that Roc wouldn’t dare try to move. Sweat poured from Roc’s forehead like a leaky faucet. You could here the whimpers from Desiree and the grunting from a hurt Bunchy.
The head gunman cocked the gun and tightened his grip, but before pulling the trigger he said, “You done robbed the wrong muthafucka! See you in hell baby!”
The only thing that Desiree remembers is the loud pop and the burning smell, before she blacked out.
And this was the beginning to the end.