words from Amerika
Dalton Vrij "Thought Criminal"email@example.com
And, so, reduced by cybernetic manifestations too convoluted for description, I have been trapped into circumstances reminiscent of Lao Tzu at the border. forced to write of something. I dont think the powers that be,that were,that will always be,went to such extremes as removing his active desktop or his online access ,but they did mine, so beforce I will write on.
Seattle, like any city, is a collection of neighborhoods. Each with its distinctive flavor.American cities, tend to germinate, at the waters edge, and spread outwards, ease of access, the paramout concern. Thus a break with the european tradition, modeled on defensibility.
Athens, high upon a hill, looks down onto its port at piraius, the expendable suburb. Nice selected for its dramatic, castle heigths, uniqueley supplied with its own spring. Rome, Paris ,Mocow and Madrid, all up river, far from the coast Downtown Seattle sits smugly on Elliot Bay, facing Puget Sound having long ago repulsed attacks from its only threat,mere skirmishes with the primitive indigenous inhabitants who left chiefly their names and motifs.
Dope Central downtown, at 2nd and Pike is wedged between the touristy Pike Street Market and the fashionable shopping area that starts up on 4th.
Visitors to the city caught walking between the market with its thrills of fresh salmon pitched by jovial vendors and the dubious delights of F.A.O. Schwartz and Nike town up on 4th transverse this area at their aesthetic peril.Those even marginally percreptive, can register the miasma of decrepit depression, reading if they choose, the occular manifestation, of bored resignation, the opaque eye of the terminally situated.This is a place where people end up, spread out against a backdrop, featuring ,porn and pawn shops, a little grocery catering, to the needs of the indigent.Indviduals will of course be recycled, jails, hospitals, some urge to travel elsewhere to the same place, insure a shifting cast of characters, the types remain the same.
For years Dalton Vrij, has resisted copping down there, though there were plenty of sightings in the early nineties, back when the Mexican influx,was in its fresh bloom. When the corner at 1st and pike on a warm summer night felt and looked as if it could have been lifted en masse out of Guadelahara or Mexico City.
20 or so sweet faced, languid slingers fanned out on the corner,suddenly a car pulls up and stays double parked, the passenger out in a flash, stands tall serving his runners from an ounce bag of coke, in two minutes,he's back in the car they're gone,around the corner like a Fleche Roha bus driver taking a blind mountain turn in Michoacan, protected only by a genuflection.
Entering the new millenium the fiesta is over getting busted for the Vaycaros no longer equals a free trip home to re-up, Mexican honesty and free trade tactics have driven the price of chiva,black tar herion, down from $175 a gram,to $100 an 8 ball.
The fact that the Mexican logic of weights and measurements, has reduced the 1/8 ounce score from 3 1/2 grams to 3 is slight compensation for a commodity price drop reminiscent of the Hunt brothers play in silver, back in the early 80s.
Dalton Vrij, commenced his dance with smack in June 1970 on San Franciscos Haight street. Three months of brutal depression melted away by an 8 dollar bag.
The previous March, he had been maimed through self imolation, while in police custody, in Tacoma Washington.
The hand that had graced the necks of his various instruments, those last few years, was a distorted simacrulum of its former self. The permanent manifestation, of a moment of horror, frozen in time.
Dalton Vrij, entered that jail from the right hand path, a boy with spiritual aspirations, a psycedelic point of veiw, embarked upon some vague carreer in classical Indian music.He walked out, on the left hand path, a man, a junkie and a thought criminal. Such is the crucible of fire.
For three days and nights, handcuffed to the bars. naked and alone, unable to stand, he was forced to look within.
He spent the first night, with both hands chained to the bars. It would seem, that his warders did not appreciate his mummy costume, formed from toilet paper,much less the incessant yelling, his banging on the door. They distained the pleas to contact his superiors at interpol, a symbolic transliteration of the Nova Police.
Morning brought little issues of cereal, and the release of his right hand. The next morning, armed with a turd containg, rice crispies box, he froze three pigs against the wall.
Having recovered from a delibrate near miss, the jailers responded rapidly, the one closest to the trailing trustee, grabbed his mop bucket, whirled and spewed its contents, on the laughing prisoner, still relishing the terified looks, of the recent moment, arm cocked, checking off each potential victim in turn. A memory had popped up on Daltons screen. A quote from an old school California state trooper.
"I kinda like hippies, but anybody throws shit on me, i'll kill em." referencing some recent tactics employed against the police in the chicago riots.
Dalton Vrij chose life and a spot midway between the heads of pigs one and two
Soon enough, he also chose naked over, wet, and thus he remained, for the duration.The next morning, hearing the advancing clatter of the breakfast crew, he feigned sleep, jammed up, close to the bars, through a slitted eye, he observed cop shoes, halting at their nearest approach
He sprang, but the steching fingers, the sweeping right arm, caught only a hint of cloth. as the intended victim recoiled, stumbling backwards, toward the wall, the metal tray crashing to the floor, cold toast, some egg concotion, scattered out of reach.
That following night, his meditation still unbroken by sleep, Dalton Vrij, had some company. A young indian, sober, quiet, shared with him a welcome smoke. They sat in the half light.
"Its just us", Quoted Dalton, from the carving etched deeply in the floor before them. "JusTus" had been his focus for time out of mind, some previous tenant, must have, snagged a spoon, and spent days on this project, the J and the T were a good four inches tall, a half inch wide, a quarter inch deep, the lower case, us us were proportionate.
It was just us, justice in the u. s. ,,,, u. s. a.
It was the question at the crossroad. The J or the T, the hook or the cross.
"I'd rather by strung out, than strung up", Dalton, informed his indian companion. His thinking was either,or. The reality was, both,and.
"There's a guy in this cell thats invisible, hes got a long white beard and a lightning bolt, he calls himself "Jehova" he's a jealous god, I don't even like jealous people, jealous gods can go fuck themselves. If I piss him off, too much, he can, leave off, counting fallen sparrows for a while, and, and fuck with me."
They came for the indian soon enough, standing to leave he looked Dalton deeply in the eyes, before slipping him a book of matches. As the door banged shut, he looked down, at the head of Porky Pig wearing a little Sailor hat, encircled by a life preserver. Unknowingly he held his ticket to freedom, had he known the fare, he would have tossed those matches through the bars.
The last morning featured a visit from the doctor, who asked amongst other things, what was meant by the statement.
"A rolling stone gathers no moss."
Dalton replied along the lines, that Mick, and Keith Richards had better ways to spend their time, better things to smoke.
The doctor left for a long liquid lunch leaving assurances of imminant liberation.
The minutes grew to hours, the hours to centuries, the promises to dust.
At some point Dalton noticed that the wad of coveralls, that had replaced his hand, was now dry, presenting a blue target of opportunity, police property vulnerable to the match. As for the hand wrapped within.What hand? It was out of sight, out of mind, all the way,the blindness of total focus.
Back then, the strikers on matchbooks were still located conveniently, on the front. The one handed snap for a light, a practiced move since high school.
It took a little while to get the fire going, but once it caught, it took off.
Satisfaction turned to terror, in a heartbeat, the realization of being totally fucked,didn't last much longer, transformed to a scream.
The cops were, by now immured to the sporadic ravings of a voice grown hoarse through insult, but the sound that hit them now, penetrated to the core, and brought them running, the smell along the way insured that they had water when they got there.
Once the fire was quenched, and the hancuffs removed, Dalton stood and felt no pain, it was good to be on his feet again, with his back straight, he looked at his hand. black and swollen,and then over towards the open door, he could almost see the long white beard, the cruel and jealous eyes. His inner voice spoke clear.
"With this strike you have acknowledged me, but it is not over."
Dalton Vrij walked unrestrained through the open door, his hand held high down the corridor, through the intake area, rode with his escort, the elevator to the ground floor. They emerged into bright March sunshine, a police cruiser waited curbside, ready to speed him to his dope shot, over at Puget Sound General.
The dawning of the true millenium 2001, found him copping up on Broadway.
He liked the action up there, the mix.
Pike street, after transecting downtown continued east, crossing the I-5 freeway, it climbed, Capital Hill, the ridge that overlooked downtown.About a mile from 1st Anenue downtown it crossed Broadway, the main stroll.
The area of intrest, for Dalton Vrij, lay as if between bookends. From the QFC super mkt. at Pike to the Safeway, about seven blocks north, along this corridor, surged the myriad cultures, mixing, blacks
hispanics and asians with its predomionant whites, it was the center of gay and lebian culture in the city, dope flowed like a river 24/7. By day, and into the evening, herion and powder cocaine were cheap and abundant, the $15 smack quarters, were fatter than the downtown 20,s, all night long the flailers, could pick up on whacks of speed.
Wheels within wheels, towns in a city, currents in a river, arbitary delineations. Births deaths, weddings and funerals, the picking up and laying down of the spoon, such are the moments we use to create form.
The Vrij style, of cleaning up his hand, has always been, of the sudden school . Some sublimated internal dialogue ,finds summation through an incident, there comes a particular moment ,when the existential simplicity of the spoon grows too complex, an internal unconscious mechanism simply boots him.
From a retrospective point of veiw the symbolic precursors stand clearly delineated.There is nothing like a salient momentary outcome to connect the dots.
Dalton Vrijs final little flail, featured a classic incident of the genre.After sitting around his crib for a week, while his vehicle was having its ignition replaced, other little details, coming down but no thought of kicking, he was at last, on his way to the spoon. in the Summer rush hour heat of a friday afternoon,spent mostly copping a plea on the months old "Home Depot Caper". He had just cashed a big enough check from Mom, sans I.D. at the Money Tree , when he was dealt, what seemed a viscious curve ball, by reality.
He was on the "East Side" an appellation in Seattle land far different than say New York.This particular Eastside is the antithesis of gritty,,,,,,its Plasticville run amok. In San Francisco terms its the East Bay without the funk of Oakland or the style of Berkley.Seattle like S.F. is symbolically at least a peninsula.Lake Washington running North South its toney
shore creating the Eastern border,functions
much as San Francisco Bay, creating various sattelite cities and suburbs accross the water.The penisular aspect is rendered to the abstract,comparing the drama of the Golden Gate with the artficially enhanced
linkage of Lake Washington through what became the huge fresh water inner harbor of Lake Union through the Ballard locks to
Puget Sound.Instead of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County and Sausilito, Seattle gets five northern bridges, and the neighboorhoods of Ballard, Fremont , Wallingford and The University District spreading from Shilshoe bay in the west over to lake washington and the ship canal.
Dalton Vrij an approximate C-note in hand is cutting into flows of S.U.V.s and other mini vans Battling back toward I 405 the connecting North South artery of the Eastside strip.Breaking clear,on approaching the final traffic signal between him and freeway to the spoon, noting a switch to yellow and ,hitting the gas,from 30 feet away,he is suddenly in a dumb struck endless brake lock skid,as he transforms what turns out to be a brand new Suzuki Forester into a hockey puck, he is simulteneously impressed with the length of the shot and totally outraged at the dumbfuck driver for shutting down in his lane on the merest hint of the yellow.
Alighting from his Plymouth Voyager LE he rued its substitution for the similiar aged Voyager SE just recently retired.
The SE had been special enough, a foot and half shorter, way quicker off the line,gladly he would have traded the excess
luxury of power windows and seats for avoidance of this dubious predelection to play bumper cars,in the sun.
Approaching his victim,a natural concern over injury was rapidly switched,to a mild disdain upon being confronted by a snarly bourgesies dweeb brandishing his cell phone calling the pigs, unconstrained by any apperant disability.Ordered to the side of the road by a man useing athourity no doubt gennerally reserved for unruly little leagers or to break up shenanigans around the water cooler ,Dalton pulled off considering and then rejecting the option of just burning out,after all he had insurance,as well as a cellphone of his own.
The ensuing dance featuring cell phone calls to his insurance company and interactions with a couple of Bluecoats from the Kirkland Police Dept. was a bit sticky due to lack of paperwork,drivers liscence, proof of insurance, registration all dust in the wind, Coppers demanding something with his name on it finally get his medical coupon, not his very fresh court papers.
These townie cops have a virtual sort of abstract veneer they dont seem to register that the insurance company is playing along, they choose not to ask verifying questions to butress computer generatred data.Towards the end one cop tells Dalton that venturing out sans I.D. is simply henious.Inwawrdly he remarks that "Haben Sie deinen papieren!" has reached it zenith in Kirkland he hungers to be across the lake where no I.D. is a way of life and henious meets an entireley different standard.
Rolling on he is focused on the potentially excaberated traffic jam awaiting him on the 520 bridge,clueless that his string is running short ,taking the incident in isolation as just another near miss walk.
Even 20 20 hindsight struggles to differentiate between a fat strike or the first leg in an inning ending double play.
Topographically I 405 runs along sort of a ridge or plateau parelleling the 10 or twelve miles of lake Washington its southern and northern extremities continuing on to link with to I-5 ,Main Street from L.A. to Vancouver.
Just north and south of Bellvue,
the Eastsides principal city, lie alternative opportunities to access Seattle, both feature bridges supported by massive concrete pontoons floating upon the placid waters of Lake Washington.The Northerley bridge is officially designated as a memorium to former Govenor, Albert D. Rosellini,which may indicate a strategey for insuring that a name never comes up in conversation.Upon completion around 1963 co-evolving with the brutal push through Seattle neighboorhoods of I-5, it was known either as the New floating bridge or at least for a while the toll bridge, both terms to differentiate it from the more southerley route the current I-90,formerley known as "The floating bridge."
That bridge reramped, revamped, and relamped, features revetments, sculpted with sufficient elan to please even the jaded eye of Dalton Vrij whose former concrete kudos had been reserved for Hitlers Atlantic Wall,and selected examples seen in turn of the century American coastal gunnery emplacements.As for Rossellini good luck finding more than one in a hundred in Western Washington with any memory for his balding Italianate pork barrel face.
The exit from I-405 to the 520 corridor follows from a long, straight, gradual descent,indicating that its placement was long ago determined by some alluvial nuance some glacial determination passed through Civil engineers to Albert D.s Piasano construction cronies.They all followed the water.
520 drops away pretty rapidly to the east terminating in the very virtual burg of Redmond,the plain little town,of the 50s in a wide valley,bordered by a very flat and boring golf course ,survives now as the rather indeterminate central core of a megamaze conglomerate pastiche of business parks, strip malls,and apartment complexes.Everything seemingly named with the aid of some yet to be revealed software program still held tightly to Bill Gates bosom.If Redmond is a company town the wizard does not seem to want to be found,after a while windows become the view.
Dalton goes right instead, west toward seattle and the spoon, his car had been down for a week,in the hands of automotive technicians who had sucked up a fat wad of Moms money reinstalling the ignition,torn out a month before after 4 keyless days in Seattle half a block off Broadway a rigs throw from the needle exchange,had it been his own money Dalton would have resented time squandered pulling the gas tank as a technique for determining its emptiness , a little gas and a fuse for the guage replacing the assumptive attempt to switch out the internally tank mounted fuel pump.
Of course junkie economics ruled out that sort frustration any lump sums subsumed in a kinetic blur straight into the spoon,any frustration lying in whatever impediments lay in the path of that tansformation.The Junkie way is ironically one of non materalism though money flows like a river through everthing, what remains for economic descisions is mereley chump change, a typical day spent transfering a hundred or two to the Mexicans features a lot of choices between say rolling tobacco,vrs a burger, money generated in increments above 15 or 20 dollars are destined for the dope man.
Relative success is measured in the quality of the high.Longer term , many are essentially handicapped in racing terms by the size of their habits.The effort of say Skin Head Pat, to be nodding out every night around 10:00,is huge compared to the efforts required by some weasel just popped out of jail all clean and sassy, nodding and itching on a good 15 dollar quarter.
Pat and Weasel boy share an existential non attachment to the concept of purchasing any non dope item costing more than six or seven dollars.Freedoms just another word for nothing left to spend.
Dalton started feeling dope sick passing through the Tax shelter territories of Rose Hill and Medina little faux towns over looking the lake whose only purpose was to keep taxes given up to bellvue restricted to the sales variety.Traffic was on the move,his stomach knew that dope was really on the way,he remembered a description given by a woman he knew who used to roll down from interior Massachusetts to cop in New York City.
"Man o man when I hit that Holland tunnel I was sick."Without wondering how sick he might have felt sitting in a log jam, Dalton broke across the bridge in sunshine. Grabbing the first exit, Seattle side,he wound his way through the Arboritum a low key Zoo for trees,an adjunct to the UW campus just across the ship canal to the North,driving along he registered various anonomys little pull in parking areas, personally signifigant as locations of memerable dope shots. Cruising past the walls of the Japanese Tea Garden he once again registered his regret at not ever being able to justify the three dollar investment neccessary to go in there for a blast that would leave it registered upon his neurally nostalgic little map of times and places.
Trying to come out on Madison, Daltom paid a little homage to rush hour ,bunched with 20 cars enduring an extra cycle of the light ,,,buzzes down the windows,,,,sucks down the last of 16 oz apple juice,,,,pops in a ciggie,,,,,,,, spanky box of Winston !00s.
It had been four or or five days of the
regular fare,puffing through red forty gram bags of Jester.Red was about right for this product,as it didnt really hold up to the blue standard set back in the mother country by such stalwart products as Samson or Drum.
Jester was definiteley Cordon Rouge,but also 13 dollars for a box of six 40 gram bags.Sometimes living out a little ways from the urban center generates unexpected compensations.The jester man,had made inroads.The gas and convenient stores that litter the nearby corners switched out of Drum for the "Jester".Within a mile either direction coming down off the ridge from the home place, in the stores that service their respective hiways, the logofied personas of the diminuative Jester and his larger more centralised accompniast,masked and looking rather fey, are all that stand between the finacially challenged smoker, and the bottom line American bum smoke "TOP".Which though saying POT to the mirror,states clearly to the smoker that his shit is ragged,from the packaging design guarenteed to spill bits every time,through the cheesy, unfolded, loose, thick papers,to the actual product,a crude nasty thick domestic commodity that is not improved by the consistant achievement of total dryness.Top speaks a clear message you have failed this is the bottom.
Buying TOP in the urban enviroment typicaly follows a tour of bumming for smokes, its a drop out maneuver.
Freedoms just another word for smoking shit that no one wants to bum.
The Jester glows mighty proud down at the corner stores.Exotic Dutch quality
at $5.15 a pop.Five miles south however.at the strip mall Tobbaco shop,run by very friendly Koreans its singles for $2.99
though Dalton bought the six packs noted previously.
Lake Wahington Blvd. after meandering through the Arboreteum, terminated there at the Southern entrance.
Drivers Angling right on four lanes of Madison Dalton got a few block veiw of the Madison Park neighborhood,could observe the shopping choices of the truly bank.
Soon he was climbing Madison up the back side of Capital hill toward Broadway.This side of the hill as it rose was all black,Madison being a Commercial street,was dotted with gagles of black men doing one assumed their little rock thang.
Daltons stomach was really rumbling and grumbling now,clearing the top of the hill he angled down pine until he hit Broadway pulled over into a parking spot and hit, "Carlos" on his cell phone.
The dissapointment was palpable,as the prerecorded message happily blurted "OLA" followed by some yada yada in spanish way to fast even try to decipher,as if it mattered anyway,somewhat at a loss he considered just cruising up Broadway to the Jack in the Box corner to deal with the usual suspects, and then remembered that the very whacked out Deanna had also given him the number for Carlos's brother, and though he could not remember his name was pretty sure of knowing which single letter appellation led there off his speed dial.
"Whose dis" answered the unknown brother,When Dalton explained that Carlos wasn't answering his phone ,and that he wanted two blacks and a white, he was told, 12th and Jackson 20 minutes.
Scooting over there he parked a couple of blocks up 12th from the corner and walked over.From his point of veiw this was a pretty fucked up corner to hook up with some unknown Mexican as it was the junction of Ranier Ave with like four other streets,it was rush hour, hot, and he had to pick from several possibilities of a spot to wait.Picking the Southeast corner where,Jackson angled at 90 degrees and Ranier turned more or less into 12th, he called to explain his choice, Dalton just got a snarly "20 minutes".Suffice it to say that about an hour later,Carlos rolled up dropped two grams of chiva, a gram of coke, and the new cell phone number.
Dalton made quick and happy steps toward his minivan, the time spent languishing in the sun waiting for the man,if not forgotten certainly tranformed into just part of the appetite about to be satisfied.
Settling into the drivers seat he threw the six half gram bags onto the passengers seat, and reached back for the box that currently contained his rigs, spoons and water,having selected from those he contemplated his score spread out, in balloons, across the seat.Four blue and two reds that would make the blues Chiva so he bit into one of those first,after a mini struggle to find the teeth that still met up ,he bit down on the little knot that tied it off ,and tore down until it snapped.
Balloons were nostalgic for him, as they were standard issue back in the day.In the late 60's early 70's their appeal lay in their swallowability street dealers could carry them in their mouths, a quick swallow might keep you out of jail,or failing that say in the case of having warrents ,having come down sufficiently to take a dump,caca would yield treasure.
Dalton remembered one time in "70" up on the Ave seeing two undercover cops taking down a dealer,in a very rapid move one copped floored their quarry with a forearm around the throat ,while the other used one hand to wrench down on the nerves at the back of the jaw while the other hand went fishing in his mouth,at the time he wondered if that cop still had all of his fingers.In these more laid back times ,a simple clear plastic wrap twisted and melted by lighter was usually deemed sufficient,and anyway people nowadays wanted to see what they were buying.
Dalton tore through the sometimes difficult to negotate inner wrap with relative ease, broke the half gram chunk roughly in half,and popped it into his spoon, he squirted on plenty of water and put a lighter to it.Within 20 seconds,his little concotion was bubbling away, the chiva chunk about a 1/4 inch square was melting down fast,turning the liquid a dark brown.
He was sitting in the drivers seat with his hands, low between his legs, he could watch his smack go into solution, through the gap in his steering wheel. Occasionally he would glance up to check any action possibly developing on the street.
Daltons usual practice was to fix, wherever he happened to be parked, a technique that had served him well. He was always irritated when some all knowing 22 year old dope fiend demanded removal to some more secluded spot.
"I have been shooting dope in my car for 30 fucking years and have never been hassled, why do I think that its not going to happen today?" This line of logic generally failed to impress whichever junkie, leading to sorties of various durations depending on the personal paranoia of the instigator.
Dalton kinda figured that this behavior grew out of a generalized feeling of guilt, that formed a lot of the psycological underpinning of the typical Junkie.As for himself, this was the sacred ritual of the blessed sacrement, and there were times he would not be moved.
"Fuck that,we aint goin anywhere." he might say, as he tore into his shit.
"Any fucking cop dumb enough to come within 50 yards would be melted into a puddle."
After all would Shiva sit back idley while some automaton trooper, messed with his Avatars chiva.Not bloody likeley.
As simmering liquid grew darker and the dope chunk grew smaller,Dalton tilted the spoon a little and swirled it,judging it small enough to be mixed in, he pulled the plunger out of a 1 cc insulin syringe, and rubbed it into total solution with the rubber end.For a while now he had been luxuriating in the aroma. The smell of black tar herion as it cooked was a unique blend of the sweetness of Opium and the astringent vinagerous bite he assumed to be a product of the acetic anhydride said to be used in the process of turning morphine base into herion.
No other dope that he had sampled could rival the Mexican product for its rich aromatic charm, translated in the high into a unique down home funky warmth,that radiated from the gut.Of course china white,or the strong grey dope he had scored in Istambul had way more legs, as well as, especially the china white, a more refined and elegant high,neither of which could replace being cooked and ready to go in his hand.
With care Dalton rubbed the bottom of the spoon across the floor rug to remove some of the blackened residue left by the open flame butane lighter, and set it on the level edge of the seat between his now spreading knees.After opening one of the coke balloons and biting a hole in the plastic inner bag ,he sprinkled the yellowish mealy powder into his hit, rolling the bag between thumb and forefinger he estimated the product dissapearing into the mix vrs what he could feel left in the bag to about half and proceeded to mix the unassimilated cocaine with the plunger.
If herion, was time then cocaine was space, with smack, time is always the issue,good times bad times, time to get loaded,once a habit creeped on board it was like having an internal clock,always slowly running down,you could plan your day around it.A monocroping herion addict tends to an almost ritualized existance,eats every day sleeps every night, assuming the getting of his fix.He has some well established technique for for generating a wake up hit, which is either under his pillow or waiting out there in the form of some familiar little crime, or some set of deals.
He knows to the minute when his connections start up in the morning, and shut down at night, who can be pushed and who is unreliable.
Adding cola to the mix, adds a dimension of space.Its a rush drug, pure and simple, any time any where,a speedball junkie can find a place for a coke hit.Time doesnt come into it whereas the whole point of getting a smack hit is buying the good time spread out in front of it.The coke fix is complete unto itself,when it works it transcends concepts like time or space or personality for that matter,it is a bubble of intense bliss,seperated from earthly cares and concerns, for those with the vocabulary, it is samahdi in a spoon, a glimpse of nirvana, a taste of the goddess.
In the rational of Dalton Vrij it was the aspect of his yoga that in lifetimes past, when the world was a simpler more rational place he had spent years refining and practicing.Now however the Dojo was on fire.It was the Kali Yuga, the time of transition through destruction.Being on a mission from Shiva, his path was Karma Yoga, a time for action in the world, presumably his previous work spent tuning his higher centers was suffuicient to allow for the substitution of various plant engendered substances, which though rather crude allowed him to make the neccessary conections.
It was a comprimise, perhaps a calculated risk, or an experiment, but given the limitations of incarnation, the time investment required to integrate a fresh bodily vehicle, did not seem appropriate, especially given the other caveats of the mission, north american birth ect.
Not only that but the Tantric path to world liberation seemed to wind through the maze of so called drugs.Wheras in Sankaras commentaries on the Yoga sutras of Patunjali such techniques merited only the scantest mention, in these debased times, the predominant mass of those beings concerned ,however unconciously with altered states, made their way through the auspicious of the Devas.
Opium, cocaine, gange, various cacti, and mushrooms, the yage vine, these were all the earthly manifestations of beings that in other realms might be percieved as light or sound.
The age of the Kali Yuga viewed from ancient times, looked to be a dark prospect, its destructive dance unappreciated by those unable to imagine the unpleasant ramifications devolving from an artificial seperation of man and nature.Who could of imagined a time when the stratifications of property engendered by the unleashing of technology, would make virtual slaves of the mass of humanity, or the rampant starvation and disease, endemic amongst people formerly integrated with their enviroment.
Dalton Vrij had done his homework read his Joseph Campbell, his Robert Graves, made contact with some of the ancient texts, the I Ching ,the Tibetan Book of the Dead,in his hippie youth, prior to being shunted to the left hand path, he had waded through the Yoga Sutras of Patunjali, had found inspiration within the non dualist Upanishads of Sankara.
Clearly it was time for a new mythology, mankind stood at the crossroads.As John Barth put it in "Giles Goat Boy" it was pass all or fail all, there was no way that some direct divine intervention was going to resolve mankinds dillema.Only those born of woman would be allowed to manifest in physicality, the unseen forces with their myriad agendas could work only through the auspicous of man, and no one could predict the outcome.
Dalton Vrij looked down for the nth time upon his issue, no way that he could know that it was the first in a series that would become his last for a good long time.
To him it just looked mighty thick,and so was not particularily suprised that, after dropping a pretty fat cotton on in its center, it refused to draw up through his point.Once again he rued the short sighted descision made by the needle exchange to hand out ,insulin syringes, unlike their counterpart in Holland that kicked down real rigs to their people.
Dalton had first seen the now ubiquitous tubular unit in his crib on Waller Street down in Sanfrancisco in 72, being wielded by a big black dude, that blew through one time for a smack fix.
He had wondered for a moment why this guy was drawing up through the point, and then registered the unibody construction, how the point was simply the termination of a long skinny tube.
The dope in play at that time was far from thick, and was sucked up easily, through a cotton, by the 29 gauge BD ultrafine point.
Dalton proceded to draw up his own hit directley into the barrel of a 2 cc outfit, selected his trusty 25 guage point twisted its blue plastic base firmly in place and fired away.Glancing up he caught a view of dude ,popping his skinny tube into a mainline, about the size of a lightcord,with the casual flick of a finger, followed immediateley, by a rapid two finger pullback of the plunger, it traveled back signifigantly further than was possible on a fatter conventional syringe. For a moment the the long air gap just hung there and then filled in a heartbeat with a mixture of dope and blood, then it was bang, down the hatch.
At the time, Daltons points were his ticket to the spoon ,California rules, put having a set of works at a premium, it was a far cry from Seattle where one could drop into selected drug stores and pick up a "party pack" the current version of 30 day insulin kit, containg a glass syringe with a plastic plunger and thirty brown 26s each in their own plastic and paper wrap, each with its own point cover.
The California attitude, from Govenor Ronald Raygun down through to his piggy minions was "Fuck You Junkie,,, you can't buy no stinking rigs. and we'll throw your ass in jail just for having one." Shit, they were known to bust people just for fucking tracks.
In the midst of some welfare medical shakedown, Dalton had been left unattended in an examination room.As soon as the nurse left, he started pulling drawers, quickly snagging, a 2cc rig with a 25 point. He had been back in town for a couple of months and was pretty tired of having to fix with sombody elses stuff.
As this score coincided with a move up to the Haight from the Mission and its usual suspects, it was doubly serendipitous, and set the style for his whole return tour up there. It had been six years since he had lived in the Haight, and like him, the neighborhood was making a comeback.
Dalton Vrijs first tour was in "66" arriving in January, with his people from Seattle,it was still quiet then out on the street.The Haight Ashbury was just another pretty San Francisco neighborhood mostly inhabited by working class white folks, with a sprinkling of various bohemian types. The beatnik thing, had run its course way over in North Beach, bearded guys in sweatshirts, and blonds in tight black turtle necks, had gone the way of the Hula Hoop.Long passe, having withered under Camelot, until more or less forgotten by the Great Society. There remained islands of survival for the culturely ignored ,"City Lights" bookstore, "Coffee and Confusion", "Vesuvios" served its vestigal remnants over in North Beach.Near the Haight over on Hayes street, a couple of blocks north of the natural border formed by the "Pan handle" was the "Blue Unicorn".Dalton and his friends had made it over there, the evening of their first full day in the city.Micheal VanNuis, a poet from New Bedford Mass. was their guide, he had been part of the Seattle scene, had relocated to S.F. well before Dalton had made his appearence.
Sitting back in the smokey underlit coffee house, he noticed a woman leaning against the wall,eyes at half mast, undulating in unison with the bluesy sax riffs, quietly oozing a few feet away, Micheal noticing his gaze, cracked a sardonic little grin, after checking her out for himself, he looked back toward Dalton, catching his eye, he quietly uttered "Smack".
"Ahh" thought Dalton to himself,
"So thats what it looks like, from the outside",just a thought among many to be quietley filed away.
Earlier that day, revelling in the warm January sun,cruising along Haight, they had gone into the first and only outpost of hip on the street.
The psycedelic bookshop was in a generic contemporary store front a large rectangular space, spare and modern, books facing outwards from walls or laid out on tables, there was insence ,and bells, he got his first look at the Karma Sutra Calender,and a plethora of exotic European ciggarette papers, unseen in Seattle where they made do with Zig Zags.Dalton threw down for Ouspenskys "In Search Of The Miraculous", they moved on.
Heading west toward Golden Gate park they passed a myriad of little straight retail businesses,shoe shop hardware ,apperal, whatever, up near Schrader they got Piroshkis, another Vrij first, served by older Russian Woemen, left over from the White Russian emigres, that had found safe haven there in the 20's, some after as serious hike through siberia.
By the middle of that summer Haight street had been transformed, becoming a huge magnet for thousands. There was something about LSD that motivated people to share it, with the people they cared about. All across the land the newly initiated began to hear of a place where people were gathering to manifest the new vision. It was a gold rush of the mind. A psycedelic boom town that mushroomed over night. A business Bonanza for the comercial landlords of Haight Street. An entrepeneourial spirit was blended from the beginning, with the Cosmic Consciousness, it being obvious that there was money to be made serviceing the needs and desires of the tribe.
Some became the Candy Man slinging weed and acid, others a little older perhaps and better set up got store fronts, selling clothes with color ,books food, all the accoutrement of the life style. On the music front, bands like "Jefferson Airplane", and the "Greatful Dead" filled Cavernous Halls, and sold records by the millions all across the land. It was the "Summer of Love".
In retrospect it was pretty obvious that this Golden moment could not last. What had begun, sponteneuosly, in scattered enclaves, amongst people, growing dissatisfied with the cultural, status quo, people with enough personal awareness, to question the values being promoted, was altered, as it gained momentum.
As the ranks were filled with recent converts. Plucked variously from their pre-existant, gestalts, the rolling growing snowball of hip, picked up, plenty of psycological and cultural debris. Those at the core, through a more organic proccess, had found reasons to walk away from the mainstream. The civil rights movement, the folk, folk rock revival, the incipient anti-war movement, were arenas that attracted independant minds. The pscycedelic wave that rolled across America in 1966 swept up the masses. Including the un-intelligensia.
There were disturbing signs, that perhaps the psycedelic immersion, created mereley a veneer, masking baser human elements.
That summer, a black dealer, known as Super Spade, was found dead in a ditch, somewhere out in Marin county. He had ventured out to buy kilos of weed, his money in a brief case handcuffed to his wrist. His arm was never located.
Dalton tried with another rig to draw up his speedball ,still to no avail, rather than water down his coke rush with extra
added water he reverted to plan b and drew it up in a 1/2 cc rig that had been tranformed to a cotton rinser by having its point pulled off. For some inexplicable reason, these smaller syringes, offered that option.
The very thick issue , drew right up into the free breathing 1/2 cc, filled it up,
Dalton pulled the plunger on a 1 cc, and squirted it right down the back end, there are some who favor a more delicate approach to this maneuver, as there is a moment in the more common style, that is slightly dicey, with he dope siting down at the business end of the rig, reinserting the plunger presents a slight challenge, the move, is to hold the plunger over the open end and flip it, there is a moment where the dope hit hangs suspended, premature insertion would cause spilling of precious fluids, one must be patient, when the dope finally flows down there are a couple of seconds of top to bottom transfer, where fumblng fingers can spell disaster, one time
Dalton having kicked down, probably a flail hit to some nameless trooper, was treated to he minor spectacle of having him dump his whole hit into his lap, Dalton having been up a few days, and well into the zone of complete humor, could only laugh out loud.
"Well, guess you didn't need that one."
Knowing full well there wasn't gonna be another.
Having flipped his hit and blown off the excess air ,hesitated for a moment in that unique space that comes right before a fix, especially after some days without one, when a dope fiend wihout a trace within is real glad of having chosen this path, the pale miasma of waiting is gone ,there is strenghth around the heart, perhaps a slight pity for thse that never figured it out.
Just then two black chicks and a dude, walked by the car, having glanced up he spotted them and dropped, his rig containing hand between his legs, out of form rather than fear, Dalton treated most security matters from an, as if, point of view, say for instance someone came up on him for conversation, through the car window, if he was on some dope stroll he would tell them pretty rapidly to either get in or get lost, feeling not fear but a disdain for those that would bring heat upon him.
As the sheeple ambled on past, too wrapped up their own little concerns, to pay any mind to some anonymous junkie dong his thing, Dalton pushed up his right sleeve with the hand that held the hit. His veins were fresh after week off and he felt like getting by without a tye.
Looking down at the crook of his arm whre his mainline split passing as the Ganges and the Nile he wavered in his choice knowing he had one more river to cross. A speedball like any other coke issue is the ultimate crossroads of the hit or miss.
With herion, you could eat it, smoke it, muscle shoot it or stick it up your ass, in he final analysis as long as that dope got in your system and there was enough ,it was going to work. Au Contraire, for cocaine failing to get it all in he vein was a fucking disaster, far better to throw it on the floor than that heart throbbing realization that you have just laid, missed, fucked off your hit, the missed coke hit especially a real big one, can put one into a deadly spiral. More than once Dalton Vrij off by himself with a big pile of coke has found himself pumping in miss after miss from a hand long grown too shaky to stay in a vein even when he found one.A condition he termed "going ratattack" in refference to the labortory experiment in wich rodentious coke fiends, ordered up issue after issue with their sensitive little noses until they keeled over, in death. This was in contrast to their luckier brethern who were getting smack, they got calibrated to a certain dose at certain times.
After a couple of unsuccesful stabs on the riverfront, Dalton pulled off his belt and lashed it around the steering wheel, had he been out the car it would have been around his right leg, he was going for the wrist hit a definite tie off move. Having anchored the belt on the steering wheel he wrapped it once around his forearm and pulled it tight in his teeth. One of the things that really bothered him about kids today was their pathetic approach to tying off. Of course most of them favored the dinky rubber ties handed out at the needle exhange, too short to be easily tied with one hand. Those that did use a belt or other non stretchable item invariably just cinched and wrapped it around their arms.
Of course the was just the beggining of his disdain for what passed for technique amongst then young. What really bugged him was the pushing probing way they had with their points. Dalton had broken into doing dope in the era when the "Binky" was still the rig of choice, the eye dropper barrel with the standard rubber part replaced by a baby pacifier for extra liquid leverage, the adherence of the removeable point was assured by either a dollar collar made with a thin strip cut from a bill and wrapped around the tapering slippery glass end, or for the more refined and elegant a thread collar, which tended to last a lot longer.
The natural application for the binky is he tap, as liguids are only expelled upon squeezing the rubber, what could be more natural than lining it up on a vein, holding it between the thumb and the middle two fingers, leaving the forefinger free for a pop right on the end, having done this one mereley waited for the next clever feature of this devise to kick in, the automatic register, the binky having no plunger, to block the free flow, allowed for the blood to just flow up and into the barrell, once flagged one simply squeezed the binky and down she went, to reregister just stop squeezing and back came the blood, effort less needlefreaking.No chance of pushing the whole rig down and through, very easy to do with a plunger.
VRIJ Paredon my polemic
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