164 • pearls around the neck
our eyes wide open, real wide. It’s called gigging. You would get super paranoid, like the ultimate rush
of adrenaline. All your endorphins are released, your dopamine and it tells you “feed me more, and
feed me more” ‘cause the brain can’t follow up. The after crash is hard so I softened it by smoking weed.
Puff is gaining control over the crack but I’m loosing it. I’m not working any more. I’m high the night
I’m going into labor! And that’s how I go into the delivery room…the third one is a boy: “little Puff”.
And the following years are all the same. He gets a job… I get a job… we lose our jobs for not showing
up. We have a place to stay, we are kicked out for not paying the rent as we are smoking it up; we live
from food stamps, we go to Motels, we get high with the other crowd in those crack motels, we live
with Puff’s family, we are kicked out. It’s just a cycle. The kids follow us.
Puff gets more control over the crack. He works. I have more free time and I’m really into the drug: the
disease kicks in.
I’m not stopping until all the money is gone. And I’m binging: I’ll go out for 6 days or more, in houses
or places where they are all like me and do it for days and nights till I’m almost dead. And then I go to a
detox centre, ‘cause I’m so tired, I’m exhausted.
Puff and the kids don’t know where I am: I could have been dead. When I’m back home, he’s mad and
punishes me. I don’t care any more; I don’t even fight back. But social services call on me.
Now I’m going from home to home, where the drugs are. I sell the food stamps. I am into prostitution;
I have my regulars. I keep myself afloat. I start “turning tricks”, like sexual tricks, sucking dicks for my
next fix. Two or three years of this.
The family pushes me into rehab, a treatment house, severe and strictly controlled. It is a program
called a therapeutic community: you have to work to pay for your treatment.
Puff is in charge of the kids. He has a stable job as a painter. From there on, he will raise the kids ‘cause
my story is not finished! I’ll be forbidden to see them. Puff is actually happy that I’m OUT of his life.
When I’m clean, I get a job as an addiction counselor, and I live outside but I still have to go the
meetings. Then I meet this man, Brandy. He’s just out of prison after 6 months, he was charged for two
years (drug dealing) but ‘cause of good work he got out earlier.
It’s the love of my life. I leave it all, my job, my place and the treatment program. We are living in a
trailer, with another woman, Corry to share the bills.
Brandy relapses and it creates a domino effect. When Brandy is high he is very sexual… and things
become wild… the three of us. It’s dirty, and I’m jealous, I’m gonna kill that Corry girl! We are kicked
out of the trailer.
And then come the years of addiction again, falling down into drugs, into the misery of human
destruction. The decline… and the self-abasement…
Brandy is a barber. When he pays for his chair 4, he can make good money, sometimes even $400 on a
Saturday. Addiction makes him lose it all, his license, and his dignity.