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It’s funny to think back to a time before weed became so widely available. I remember when you could make an entire city jump if you had a bag. Me, being the hood entrepreneur that I am, found it a convenient form of currency. I could get anything; especially bitches, bitches will do anything to smoke. I was lucky enough to meet my connect at the right time. Before everything went to hell…
One unfortunate truth of living in the hood is that when you start doing better than the next, there will be haters; friends, family, EVERYONE will hate you and want to be you. You know mockery is the greatest form of flattery but flattery can easily become obsession.
I’ve been smoking since I was young, some say too young but what the hell? Can’t undo what’s done. It wasn’t uncommon to find me on my front porch surrounded by any number of people, smoking, drinking, living a ghetto fairy tale.
“You need weed? I know a guy.”
Everyone one knows a guy. But not like this guy. Jay was a lanky framed man in his thirties though his voice told a different story. His warm gap tooth smile was the first thing that I noticed as I walked to his van. As I got into the Astro Van, he stared at me with a cheeky smirk on his face.
“So you need weed? What you want?” Jay opened a small backpack with a large bag of weed and a scale stuffed inside.
“Ummm just a dime, I gu-”
“Nah I don’t do dimes. This is kush. It’s $25 a gram.”
KUSH?! I was used to smoking chronic at best. Though I’m heavy smoker, kush had eluded me.
“Oh, well give me 5.”
As he packed up my order, his grayish blue eyes peered up at me, his surroundings, then back to the mound of green gold in his lap.
“Ay! You want to buy some fireworks?”
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Jay was always there when I needed him. He went from weed man to confidant. There was no male figure in my life so anytime a older man paid me attention, I held on. He was there when my ghost of a father came home from a 5 year long “work trip” with more baggage than he left with. The night he returned my mother broke the space heater on his head.
I knew if my mother was standing up to the man that was so quick to strike her down, I had to run. I ran until my legs were no longer attached to my body. The wind splatter the tears on my face like rain on a windshield. As I ran past the liquor store on the corner of my block, a familiar voice stopped me in my tracks.
“My boy Charlie, where you goin’ in such a hurry?”
He wrapped his arms around my shoulder, guiding me to his van. We got in. Jay grabbed his portable DVD player and popped in the latest bootlegged film. The opening credits began to roll as I explained my troubles.
“I can solve all of your problems, but you have to be down. Don’t get yourself into something that can’t get out out of.”
My thoughts bounced between my dead beat dad, being poor and everything in between. I couldn’t afford to sell drugs but I couldn’t afford not to either.
“Look ma boy, I can’t help you with your issues with your pops. But I can help you bring in some extra cash. Want to sell for me?”
“Hell yeah Jay! I’ll sell for you!”
“Look lil nigga, this is big money involved. I don’t want to have to hurt you over this weed. If you think this is too much for you, it’s best for you to quit while you ahead.”
Jay reached behind my seat, handing me a black backpack. I didn’t need to look inside to know what was up. I was a drug dealer now.
Once word got around the neighborhood that I was selling weed, a sudden wave of popularity over came me; all of my friends loved me, I had more girls over in a week than I could count. I was the man! But soon, it became a “thing”. Meaning, everyone wanted to sell weed for Jay. Luckily, he knew better.
Not everyone was so smart. One of my closest frienemies, Jaime, found someone dumb enough to trust him with waaay too much product. Looking back on it, I was a small time dealer in comparison. Jaime went from the guy that always needed to borrow five bucks to having the flyest car on the block. Rumors were that he was working with some guys from Mexico with major connections. Nobody wanted to get involved because if there was anything we all knew about Jaime, he was trouble.
Everything thing was great. I had my clientele, as did Jaime. I wasn’t trying to make it rich from selling weed but he was. Jay was allowing me to make a huge profit; he only want $300 every Sunday. I made double that in a good week. It was a JOB: Just Above Broke.
“Yeah, he’s letting me do the pick up Monday. A kilo, dawg! You ain’t never seen that much weed in yo life!” Jaime boasted as he walked back and forth across my front porch.
It was mid August but it felt like the early days of summer. Guys on the block took the opportunity to walk around, no shirt only tattoos, bullet wounds, and prison battle scars.
All of my closest were packed onto my front porch, drinking and smoking. Our all day ritual.
“Nigga…you still gotta give most of that money to your guy. Stop boasting on someone else’s money.” Eddie, the oldest in the group spoke firmly. His chubby fingers rolled the best blunt in the city.
You could see the thoughts racing through Jaime’s mind as he mustered up a come back.
“Nigga, I’ll take the whole shit! What the fuck you think?! I ain’t got no dick and balls?!”
The porch fell silent; no one endorsed that idea. Jaime stopped in his steps. He didn’t even believe what he had said.
“Maaaan sit yo dumbass down!” Eddie waved him off, sparked the blunt and changed the subject. He started shadow boxing. His short arms moved as fast as the could, mimicking the professionals.