Friday, February 26, 2010

Are you tired of the color white?

That is a common problem for many who live in this part of the world. Especially this time of the year. It's been 2 or 3 months of snow and it looks like another month to go before we get a reprieve.

I almost didn't crawl out of my hole today. There are 5 to 6 fresh inches of white on the ground with another 5 promised for today and tonight. Then it will taper off to 2 or 3 inches tomorrow. All that snow isn't exactly a great incentive to get me out of the door.

Things needed to be done though. First order of business was to get some medications that were prescribed by my doc. Next was to get quarters for laundry. I have a library book that is almost due. Since I haven't scratched the surface of the book, that will get renewed.

But the fact of the matter is that I had to get out and among people today. Yesterday and a good part of Wednesday was spent inside frying my brains out. I had to get out to put the brakes on things. I had to make sure that everything that had to be paid, had to be bought or had to be hidden away was taken care of.

So, I renew the book. Then I'll do an online transfer of funds to my sister. After that I'll hop onto the trolley bus and head back up the hill and after getting off, walk the few blocks to my house. Then it'll be hot chocolate and cookies, then time for a nap.

Seriously, hot chocolate and oatmeal cookies.

Sometimes it's just a simple thing like that that goes a long way towards making me feel normal.

Well, nearly normal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I hope that is spelled correctly. Spell check doesn't work on the title.

But the inability to be flexible just gives me an excuse to get high. It seems that if there is any variation from my plan everything seems to go haywire.

Things started going in the wrong direction at the post office yesterday. For some weird reason my debit card was declined when I tried to purchase money orders for my rent and electric bill. I was thinking the worst. Some nasty credit collection agency wiped my account out. Another thought rolling around in my head was that maybe the IRS froze my account. Then I was thinking that the government really didn't think I was disabled.

I tried calling the bank and was continually disconnected when I tried to speak to a representative. After several tries, I went the automated route to check balance and transactions. It said there was a balance in the account, so I tried to withdraw money from an ATM. (For you folks in Erie, that's a MAC machine.) The machine said that there was insufficient funds for that transaction.

I called the bank again to recheck the balance. After assuring myself that indeed there were sufficient funds in the account, I again tried to withdraw funds from the machine.


Unfortunately the first attempt was shown as a pending transaction and that meant that my daily limit for funds and purchases was exceeded. So I was unable to get the money orders for my rent and utilities. And I had way too much cash in my pocket.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, I did get ripped and spent more money than was intended. The plus side is that I didn't spend as much as I could have and did manage to get rent and electric bills taken care off.

The lessen in all this is that I have to formulate a contingency plan for times like these. Will I figure out another way to foul things up as time goes by? Probably, but every mistake and misstep has to be followed by corrective measures.

I am building a better mouse trap as time goes by. The problem with that is the mousetrap designer is also the mouse.

I could just turn all of my funds over to someone to handle for me. That would solve a lot of problems. There is something that prevents me from doing that though.

Pride and lack of trust are wicked evil things.

Monday, February 22, 2010


If I can't at the very least be honest in posts to this blog, what sense does writing it at all make?

Lies through omission are a biggy for me.

A good example is not mentioning last week that I got fried on Tuesday night. That was one more reason that I decided to stay in Wednesday.

Hiding my using, at least for a little while, is a specialty of mine. Nobody, at least from my point of view, knows that I'm getting high on the sly. A twenty piece here, and couple of hits there and before I know it, it's off to the races for me.

That kind of behavior starts out innocently enough. If there is such a thing as innocently sneaking a hit or so.

Well, let's continue to be honest.

There is nothing innocent about crack.

So inevitably it turn into a 4 or 5 day, few thousand dollar binge. Some people are worried, some people are scared and others are just plain pissed off. After a while nobody gives a shit anymore.

This is what got me into the situation I currently enjoy.

While I'm not homeless at the moment, one missed rent payment will certainly get me back on the street. I may or may not be able to go back to the Mission. I will probably lose what few possessions I own. I would probably be fairly broke until my next check came, and that may be worsened by the fact that there is no safe place to hide out until that next check came.

While there seems to be a lessening in my usage, I really don't want to come across as Mr. Straight Arrow and Clean and Sober. That phony baloney image that some of the 12 Steppers portray just turns my stomach. A big reason is that is a role I played. Another reason it makes me sick is that I've seem too many playing that role who have fallen from grace and did themselves in.

I just didn't want to leave any doubt in any one's head that I was a crackhead. There were a few people who thought that the goal was to do myself in. And while that wasn't my goal, I may have gotten close to "suicide by street thug."

So if I'm getting high, I'm talking about it here.

By the way, tomorrow is money day. Things will be done to try to get the budget carried through. I also have a doctor appointment. But the thing is that I'm probably going to hit a pipe at some time tomorrow.

I'll let you know who it all goes down on my next visit here.

Friday, February 19, 2010



Today is indeed Friday.

Not that it makes one bit of difference one way or another to me in the major scheme of things. It's just another day.

Not really though. Friday is the start of the weekend for me and everyone else. My schedule does indeed change to some extent as businesses and services are diminished to a degree on the weekends. Staying in rather than traveling about is the norm as my social life does indeed revolve around what is available for free.

Some changes may be in the offing though. I have already mentioned about having a budget. If followed there should be sufficient funds to do "things." It's been forever since I've been to a movie. Given the fact that going to the movies will mean a long bus ride, it is still something that is long overdue in my life.

It's also Lent and that means fish fry. Fried fish probably should have a warning from the surgeon general on it, but it still has to be healthier than hitting a crack pipe.

I hope this isn't some sort of set-up being arranged for myself by myself.

No worries though, the worst that can happen is SNAFU.

I know how to deal with that.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Making a Budget

Yep! That's what I'm doing!

Making a budget.

Sticking to it is an entirely different matter.

Happily, this month my account is not severely overdrawn. That's a first in a very long time. The last time that occured may have been last July or August. So, no starting out with an automatic deduction from my check for $250.00 to $300.00.

I also only owe $160.00 to friends. Past months have seen me repaying over $500.00 back for loans of various kinds. Cigarette money, a few groceries and a bit of cash for a blast now and again adds up quickly. While not perfect, things are getting better.

And no money is owed any drug dealer. That is a very good thing.

With that in mind there should be an opportunity to get more of my stuff sent up from Dallas. I'll also be able to make a contribution to the Mission. Giving some money to the Mission is only fair. They have fed me 4 or 5 meals a week for the past few months.

One thing does need to be mentioned.

Buying and/or preparing my own lunch is within my means. Going to the Mission gets me out of my apartment and lets me be around people. That is something that is very important to me. Those lunches keep me active and social.

Hiding out is not a healthy activity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Someone who does nice things for others is not looking for something in return. There are people like that in the world. At times I look at them with suspicion. There are those people who do what they do for the shear joy of being nice to others.

Mike was one of those people.

I have been dwelling on subjects lately that have been downers. Death and all that stuff is a part of life, so I have to address the subject again.

Mike passed away over the weekend. He was one of those guys who knew everyone. At least that's the way it seemed to me. No matter where he was or who he was with he was running into someone he knew.

There was a time in my "past life" when we walked into a bar we had never been to before. It was in part of town neither of us lived in or frequented and we stopped to check the place out.

We were no sooner sitting on stools at the bar when from behind us came the call "Hey Mike, what are you doing here?" The fellow hadn't seen Mike in a very long time, but was glad he ran into him. This fellow wanted to thank Mike for doing some sort of favor for his brother a week or so before.

Anyway, we ended up not having to buy a single beer during our stay at that bar. Instances like that were not unusual from conversations I've had with others who knew Mike. As a matter of fact, I don't think I have ever heard a bad word ever uttered about this guy.

I also don't remember Mike ever having to buy a beer.

My ex-wife didn't think very highly about him when they first met, but even her attitude towards him changed considerably as the years went by. Being in her good graces took no small feat. Trust me on that one.

She was the one who called me about his passing.

Anyway, he was one of the few people who would holler HI! at me when we ran into each other. That was even when I was in the depths of my crack addiction and few people would even acknowledge my existence. That was the way Mike was though, friend to crooks and cops, beggars and the wealthy as well as sinners and saints.

This is funny in a way.

Strange funny, not HAHA funny.

This past Sunday, I talked with my sister in Dallas. I mentioned that I would be sending more money down to her. Part is for safekeeping and part of the money is to ship more of my belongings up here to Erie.

I asked that she take my suit to a cleaners and then ship it here. I said that no one had died yet, but you never know when the suit would be needed.

The people passing I had in mind were elderly relatives. Not that I wished it or anything like that. After the call ended I was thinking, "I hope no one dies on me now."

The suit will not be here in time for the funeral. That's not going to stop me from paying my last respects to him. He wouldn't care what I wore when I came to see him anyway.

He'll be happy to see all his friends stop by to say HI!

Well, in this case, BYE!

Bye, Mike!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I feel so bad...

For those poor folks in Dallas that recieved 12" of snow last night and today.

Well, not really.

I was listening to the radio when I woke up this morning and recieved that news. It's about time those folks down south got a little taste of what winter is really all about.

The news story also got me wondering what progress there was on the legal proceedings against the scum that broke into my apartment. From what I can tell from the county court's website, the trial has been moved back to may.

This is probably so one side or the other can properly prepare their respective cases for the court. Hopefully it will also give the district attorney time to get his paperwork in order so I can get down there to testify against this guy.

Did I ever tell you folks that it isn't a good idea to allow drug dealers to camp out in your home. It's not a good idea at all in the very least in any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully you get the point.

Here's why.

The thugs will start making assumtions that could be harmful to you, your friends and any others who might occasionally visit your abobe. They will think that the few crumbs thrown to you is sufficient rent. They may start bringing in friends to "just chill" for a minute or two.

Sometimes that minute or two stretches into the night or a whole day.

Your schedule is not their problem. Your needs are not their problem. Your lack of privacy or quiet isn't their problem either. Should you try to get them out of your place the reaction is that they have paid you for the right to hang out. If that logic doesn't work they will then throw a piece your way to try to extend their stay.

Of course having a drug dealer in your home poses other problems. Increased traffic from customers stopping by to score is a part of that problem. Also there are the times when the slinger's dealer stops by to re-up them. They will also tell you who is and is not welcome in you home.

Add to that the fact that sometimes someone sees something they like that belongs to you. Pretty soon it's a case of that item belonging to someone else. You don't find out something missing until it's too late. No one ever knows who took what, when or where. Added to that you don't even get a chance to pick who steals your property.

Then there are those cases when one of your dealers becomes his own best customer. The problem is that he needs you to finance his bad habit. That is a big part of why I will be going to Texas in a couple of months for that guys jury trial.

So if you must buy this poison, do yourself a favor.

Unless absolutely necessary, do not invite your guy into your home.

Be suspicious of any favors he does for you, because there is always a payback.

If you find out your dealer is tasting the product, find a new source. It may end up costing you more than a bit being shaved off of a 20 Dollar piece.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's snowed yesterday

But that's not why I didn't get to the library.

You gotta' do laundry once in awhile.

I also did get a bit of a buzz on Tuesday night as well. Just a couple of hits and then it was all gone. Funny how that always seems to happen with that crap.

Yesterday was not spent moping about because I spent money that could have been put to better use. I did things that had been put off for a little too long. Clean clothes is a big item with me. Clean skivvies and shirts that aren't spotted with yesterdays lunch from the mission make a body feel better.

The kitchen recieved a good scrubbinbg as well. Dishes were washed, counters were wiped down and floors were mopped. Garbage was bagged and rugs were shaken out. Things that didn't need to be out were put up and things that needed to be out were dusted and straightened.

Sometimes we act like we're nearly normal.

That part of why so many people act surprised when they find out what my drug of choice is. Yep, we crackheads as a whole tend to scrub up pretty good.

Looking good on the outside but Oh So! messed up on the inside.

Or sumtin' like that...

OH...the are NO movie theaters within the city limits of Erie, PA.


View Larger Map,+PA&ei=I1Z0S7XOAYLS8Qa9-KivCg&ved=0CF8QtgMwAw&ll=42.096439,-80.120201&spn=0.11311,0.21595&z=12

For you that are unfamiliar with Erie, none of the theaters shown are inside the city.

Too bad, so sad.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Staying in the background.

I don't try to draw attention to myself. Staying in the background is more comfortable and is less risky than being the center of attention.

There are people who thrive on the spotlight, however dim and regardless of situation or circumstances. This is something that is a mystery to me, as making yourself stand out is also a recipe for trouble.

At least that is what experience has taught me.

Sometimes people have things in their background that are used against them. When they try to achieve some goal, regardless of the difficulty, there is always someone there who pulls skeletons out of the closet. The focus then is diverted from whatever good is trying to be achieved, or indeed has been achieved to other unrelated short comings.

Which brings me to my problem.

I am the Erie Crackhead. While I have been extolling the virtues of my hometown to those who follow this blog, I have come upon surmountable problems as well. Surmountable problems in that the solutions to ills in Erie are so evident that you would have to be blind to see them. yet, there must be a great many blinders being worn in this town.

I have run into this before. You see, when you're a crackhead your mind is certainly too fried to be able to understand the problem. So it stands to reason that you're most certainly incapable to develop a satisfactory solution to the situation.

I am not advocating that the problems of my hometown be turned over to crackheads, although there is a certain part of me that thinks that may be the present case. But when you look at the violence that has recently permeated this community, you have to wonder what is missing.

There is a vacuum here that has allowed certain negative elements to fill that void.

OK...I'm off of my soapbox.

Crackheads aren't allowed to get worked up over this type of stuff. If I even dared to mention a problem or a solution the first reply would be, "What does that wasted old crackhead know." I have encountered this before.

OH! I am going to ask an unrelated (sorta') question:
How many commercial movie theaters operate within the city limits (pop. approx 102,000) of Erie, PA.

I'll give you the answer in my next post.

Monday, February 8, 2010


The Super Bowl jarred loose a flood of memories of a dear friend who passed away.

Jerry, who I referred to in Saturday's post was a rabid Colts fan. Where ever he is he probably isn't a happy camper today because of that loss the Colts suffered at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. He died way too young of heart disease. He was in his mid-forties and was close to the same age his father was when his dad died from a heart attack.

Anyway, my first ex-wife stopped by yesterday with enough cigarettes to get me through to check time. She also brought some goodies for me to enjoy during the game. As we talked for a brief while before she left to watch the game Jerry's name came up in the conversation.

I mentioned my prediction that was written in this blog (Which she will hopefully never find.). We talked about things we remembered about him, his darling wife, wonderful kids and sweet mother.

Jerry and I were close friends from our mid teens onward. We got into trouble together, partied, had adventures, chased girls and did the things normal for young men our ages. We each married our respective sweethearts and started families. We kept in touch fairly regularly, but as time passed contact dropped off. Family, work, living in different cities and other interests conspired against us.

I remember my last phone conversation with Jerry. He seemed annoyed and disinterested in what was being said. I later found out that may well have been because of his drinking problems. He was living in an apartment away from his family when he died.

He did go to rehab for his problem and had accumulated some sober time before his death. Living away from his family was probably one of those things that the rehab and or AA jerkoffs recommend so that one can "concentrate on their recovery."

That was almost 15 years ago and for some reason I still feel bad about that whole thing. I really don't know why I still harbor that negative feeling surrounding his passing. Chances are that he still would have gone had he been home with his wife and kids.

Maybe not having woken up dead, surrounded by his wife and kids was for the best. He was found in bed by his wife though. They were working on getting back together and after she hadn't heard from him, went to check up.

Anyway the Super Bowl brought back happy memories of the time we spent with him. Also of his mother who taught us clumsy "No Good Bums" as she used to call us, how to do the Polka.She also pleaded with the C-O-P-S not to confiscate our fireworks on one July 4Th celebration.

She was a WWII war bride from Poland who showed us much about the joys of life. I think she probably saw more than enough of life's misery before she came to Erie.

Anyway, I had to get this stuff written out someplace.

Or are those things better left rolling around in our minds.

Naw, it felt good talking about Jerry yesterday. It feels good writing about him today.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It didn't happen.

I didn't get high yesterday, though the thoughts of doing so were in the forefront of my mind most of the day. I used my "Harm Reduction" technique of being broke. This isn't in the HAMS handbook, but there really isn't a handbook to follow.

No money is coming my way in the foreseeable future either. That means that the wiring of my brain will be untwisted for a reasonable period of time. Only good things can come of that, but there will be money coming before the end of this month.

Keeping in the positive I have managed to get a few more packs of smokes. That should keep me in nicotine until this time next week. One less monkey on my back to contend with.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. With the weather as it is right now, staying in may be the best bet. The wind was howling so fiercely that it almost knocked me on my ass. Considering my size that makes for some mighty powerful gusts.

Anyway the Super Bowl will be a close game. New Orleans will prevail against the Colts 31 - 28.

Sorry Jerry, where ever you are.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Yep, I have an itch that can't be scratched.

I have all the food needed to get through the month. I have a bus pass, so almost anyplace in the city is accessible to me. There may be a shortage of cigarettes but that is something that has been gotten around in the past.

But a my phone rang this morning and there is nothing I can do to stop the ringing.

The actual ringing actually stopped when I answered the phone this morning. To be certain though there is a little ding, ding, ding that is still ringing away in my head. There is also a tiny twinge in the pit of my stomach. My fingers and hands are trembling a bit more today as well.

My Dude called this morning.

He was just doing what any good salesperson does. He was letting me know that he would be in my neighborhood in a little while. I told him that I couldn't do anything today. "No problem!" says Dude.

He knows what he is doing. He knows that the chances of me calling later in the day are much increased. He planted a seed that I wish he hadn't. I'll be spending a bit of mental energy trying to figure out a way to acquire $20.00.


Just when I thought I was going to have a good day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gangs, Guns and Violence

Someday it could happen to you.

It's happened to me twice. It is not a pleasant experience and I would not wish this to happen to anyone.

What happened?

I found myself looking into a barrel of a gun. That freakin' thing looked like a pipe on the Alaskan Pipeline.

Once the gun was held by a cop and once the gun was held by a young gangbanger. I didn't feel any better about who was on the other side of the weapon. Anything could have happened when a humans finger is wrapped around that trigger. Accidents can happen as well, whether they are accidental or intentional accidents.

Think about that one for a minute.

Anyway, there seems to a spike of gun violence in my hometown. Nothing good can come from the false bravado that carrying those tools of death infuses into those kids. People will be hurt who are miles from where a shooting takes place.

Getting back to the theme of this blog. If you're buying crack, whether from your regular guy or maybe some dude on the street, chances are better than even they're carryin' heat. And even if they're not carryin', their competition may be cruisin' the block.

What better way to increase market share?

The problems start when you get between the gun and the target.

It happens.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lemme' See

I think the last post here was last Wednesday.

Since then I've bought enough food to cover me for a few weeks. That's if getting out at all is impossible. Part of it is also crackhead thinking. Get what you can, while you can before you can't.

Laundry also had to be done while there was money. There's only so many times you can turn your skivvies inside out and back again. So it was about twenty trips up and down stairs to feed the washer and dryer clothes and quarters. At least two extra trips were taken because the damned money was left behind.

As you can see I'm out and about again.

It wasn't just the weather or laundry that kept me in the past few days. Smoking crack had me locked up for two of those days.

Maybe it was three days.

It could have been four days.

As it turns out I didn't spend nearly as much money on drugs this month. But there wasn't as much available for recreational purposes either.

A couple of days I just couldn't get myself to get dressed to go outside.

You might say that it was depression. It could have been a down phase of my bi-polarness. It could also have been because of the letdown from smoking crack. I usually spring back pretty quickly but for some reason this time was harder.

Maybe it was the combination of the crack and a depressed phase.

I did have to push myself to get outside today. I'm glad I did get out. It was good to see some old friends at the mission for lunch. It was also good to see some familiar faces at the library today.

Who knows I may come outside tomorrow.

Even if it's just to see my shadow.