The Journal of History     Fall 2002 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Drug SubCulture 101
A Day in the Life of a Child...


By  Crystal Cartier

"Their lives are not of value to anyone but, themselves
Their admission into this world was through the Gates of Hell."

Good morning World!  How are you doing?
Who me?  Oh, I guess...I'll be fine...
I've really got to get up & get going
Mama's shooting up her breakfast...
Now, I've got to go out & find mine
Damn!  Mama's in the bathroom... tweakin' again
There's nothing left in the house to sell
Soon, we'll be going to another Foster Home..
While mama goes off to jail
I guess I won't be going to school today
'Cause last night mama sold my shoes to help pay
for another fix of dope to get high
I wish I'd never been born.... Sometimes, I wish... that mama had died
I'm tired of stealing junk food
just to keep from eating out of someone else's trash
But, I have to shoplift to survive
'cause Mama sells our foodstamps at half price for cash
The sun is coming up... I guess I'll have to go outside to pee
Careful now... mustn't draw any attention
to this condemned or vacant property's illegal occupancy
There's four androgynous strangers passed out in the living room...
on a ratty filthy, old sofa...
mentally running away but physically rotting from the Blues
Various paraphernelia is lying carelessly spread all around
Pipes for smoking crack, tourniquets & needles for getting 'down'
Some strange man is bleeding & cussing from Mama's bed
Actually, it's a mattress on the floor
Good... He finally stopped screaming... Gee... I hope he's not dead
Me... I sleep in a closet.  There's three other kids in my room
Three feet wide & six feet long... A coffin sized closet of gloom
We sleep on rags piled upon the floor.
My sister Jeannie is seven & Cousin Dante is going on four
The baby's name is Ricky... He's my cousin & my nephew, you see
I don't know how.... I can't really explain it
But, I guess... you know what I mean
My Aunt Marie lives in the other bedroom with Tom, Dick or Uncle Harry
Sometimes they share with Wanda & Rick
Mama has lots of boyfriends...Most of them beat her...
They really make me angry & sick!
In the kitchen even the roaches are leaving because there's nothing to eat
in the piles of left over fast food cartons
& empty cigarette packs crunching under my feet
Our toys are empty Old English 800 40 oz. beer bottles
I recycle Colt 45 aluminum cans....
Sometimes it's fun watching the wino's squabble
over who has the dirtiest hands
It's not as if, I really have a choice about the way that I live my life
Everyone I know lives pretty much like me
There's no viable escape from the harsh reality
of my  existence.   In school I try to improve my mind.
But, my living environment breeds resistance
I'm fighting a losing battle most of the time
I tried to do my homework by a flash light in the closet that I call my room
But, people were fighting in the kitchen
Someone else was making love outside my door in the bedroom
There's usually no heat or electricity
No running water or sometimes rusted pipes
My baby sister died from lead poisoning
There's nothing to do after school in my community... but  fight
My fifteen year old sister was shot in the head last week
She was shot in a drive by of  a rival dealer from down the street
While sitting on the porch... holding her baby
Selling crack at the crack of dawn.
She was filling in for my mother's boyfriend
Now her blood is all over the front lawn
The boyfriend was in jail & Mama was pulling tricks in the back
Boy... we had to pack up & clear out of there
Before the welfare office could gather all of the facts
Now, once again we're struggling at the bottom
Sooner or later the System will reel one of us in
Then they'll pretend to care for us
While Mama goes through Detox... again
They already took Chucky, Charlotte & Tamesha away
They went for a visit & decided to stay
with Grandma... Too bad there wasn't room for us all
We're cruisin' for a bruisin' with nowhere to fall
Yet.. I try to smile through the struggle... I have to hustle to survive
I feel like the loneliest of loners..Hate eats deeply away at my insides
Do you think that I am incapable of love?
An unbonded poor at-risk-youth?
A child without a conscious?...
Do you really want to know the Truth?
Sometimes, I love too deeply...I know you question my concept of Love
In my world...everyone is supposed to be temporary & expendable
A fact of life that I learned early  is that Life ends in Death & Blood.
Sometime's I have to laugh to keep from crying
Seems like every time I turn around...
someone else that I know is dying
My uncle was killed by his girlfriend
My mother's best friend was found dead by the road
There is a certain Code of Honor among criminals,
the poor, dope dealers, hookers & rogues
If you don't belong to a gang, you don't have any protection
You can get beat up or killed
by anyone wanting to improve his reputation
It's open season on snitches & wimps...
My role models are dope dealers, whores & pimps
My big brother got shot dead by the Crips
He was a 14 yr old high ranking warrior of the Bloods
The gang is really like the family that most of us has never had
They're the high rollin' thugs dealing Beamers & drugs
Give me a break!  Can you actually try to imagine
someone from my house trying to 'say no to drugs!'?
The cops make regular stops here but, rarely bother to arrest us
It wouldn't do any good, anyway.
Everyone here is gonna self destruct someday
But, I'm going to try to get out of here or die trying to find a better life.
I don't know how I'll get through it...But, somehow I've got to do it
A fantasy family with two kids, a dog, a home & one wife
I've got to live long enough to graduate.
If it means selling my very Soul
I once saw on TV... a beautiful family.... & thought...
Life shouldn't be so hard on a boy that's only nine years old.


The Journal of History - Fall 2002 Copyright © 2002 by News Source, Inc.