She walked through the door with one of my regular customers, and all eyes locked on to her. She knew it too. As she moved I watched her walk, tall, beautiful, swaying slowly. Her eyes dropped into mine. Little did I know, Heather was going to play a major part in my life, and then take me down.
Before she came along, I really thought I was doing well. Not like light cream but close to half and half. Supporting my two kids after Debbie, their mother, took off with the drummer of the band that had played at my summer party. I should have known she was going his way when he ate the light bulb on stage.
Really. A fucking light bulb. Little streams of blood ran down his chin; some of my guests just stood and stared. Their eyes were glued to him. I asked him later how he did that. He said, “You just have to chew real good. Glass is just sand anyway.” But Debbie left with him and told me to “keep the fuckin’ kids. I never wanted them anyway.”
Dealing pot was a great way to support the family. I got to stay home with the kids most of the time except when I had to make a pick-up. On the weekends, when it got really busy, I’d hire a babysitter. I’d still be home, but there’d be a line of people waiting. If I didn’t live in the country, I never could have pulled it off.
People thought I had it made. There were stone walls all over the area, and I would stash bundles of bills in different areas. I kept the weed in a special compartment in my pigpen. Who would think that the stash was in the pigpen? They ate anything. I also fed them meat from local restaurants. I drove up in my pick-up truck and loaded the barrels of food they scraped off people’s plates. The pigs went wild.
It took me about five minutes just to get into the pen. I had to pet the biggest pig, scratch its back until it rolled over and then rub its belly before I dared climb in. Pigs aren’t as friendly as one might think. Only then could I go through the latches on the double doors on the floor of the pen to get to the weed.
My assistant would entertain the guests, passing a joint around the waiting room until I returned with the amount of reefer necessary.
I kept the small stuff right in the house, but, when other dealers came, I had to go to the stash. They thought my stash was deep in the woods because it took about 10 to 15 minutes to get it, but it was just behind the barn.
The mother of my children (Debbie) wasn’t my femme fatale. That was the woman who walked in the door with my customer. Heather. My customer made the first mistake. He sent the femme fatale down to my weight room where I prepared the amount to be sold. He was too interested in the joint going around the room.
While I weighed everything up, I asked her if she was dating my customer. She said she was, but would I like her to get rid of him and come back? I should have known the penalty flags were down, but I told her she would be welcome.
The next day she came back. We got high, we made love, she moved in. The first penalty flag was when I laid out lines of cocaine. Heather looked at me and said, “I hope you don’t mind,” as she took a hypodermic out of her pocketbook. I smiled at her and went into my bedroom and got mine.
How it begins, so it ends. After two years of running wild with Heather and a major bust in Worcester with 15 pounds of weed, we fled to Oregon and took up dealing there, both of us living as fugitives. But when you are in the life, the life has a way of coming back at you. Both of us were dropped by the police in McMinnville, Oregon.
I took the weight of the charges because I was so in love. Heather was so in love that, as soon as she got out, she moved in with one of my friends who had a thing for armed robbery. Heather always had a yen for guns, both the hypodermic type and the snub-nose 38’s.
My first residence in Massachusetts was the Worcester County House of Correction, which I always thought was a misnomer. I came out worse than I went in. While I was there, Heather and her new beau took a heavy rap, and she called me and asked whether she should throw the weight on him. Because I had no love for him, and no more for her either, I just told her to do what her conscience told her to do.
That was a joke because her conscience didn’t exist. Heather had him set up going to his stash of guns. He was out on parole looking at another 15 years for violation. My time was almost up when Heather got out, so I stayed away from her. Her new beau went down for the 15 years.
From that point on, I realized the only woman I could trust was named junk, a.k.a., heroin. I went on a long slide into the streets and found myself holding a cup in Porter Square, Cambridge. I saw someone selling Spare Change News, asked them about the paper and went and signed up as a vendor.
It was March 1993 when I started working my first honest job in over a decade. It’s 2016 now, and I’m drug-free and a member of the board of the paper with a regular column. Happily married too! If someone had told me about the journey I was going to make, I would not have believed them. It’s been a long road, and I left out quite a bit of the story.
One day I’ll tell it and change the names to protect the innocent. But first, I’d have to figure out who they would be.