Interview with a drug pusher
Welcome to Detroit, Michigan. We are America’s automotive capital, the birthplace of American techno music, possibly the murder capital of the world. The economy sucks and jobs are far and few between. Despite the bleak outlook , I found that by immersing myself in the underground, I can stay sane and make a few extra bucks.
When I say ‘underground’, I’m talking about ‘the game’. I am a student by day and a drug pusher by night. My situation is a weird and most unlikely one. After all, I am a 23 year old white woman. My height is vertically challenged, and my body so thin that if I turned sideways I would disappear. I am a vegan, and alcohol and tobacco disgust me. I have lived in Berlin, Germany and have even been married and divorced. Why would someone with so much opportunity sitting before them turn to pushing, selling, and transporting drugs from the ghetto to the suburbs?
The world of illegal drugs is a silent and yet fascinating one. No race, gender, or social class is immune to drug addiction. I am certainly not immune to it either. Upon divorcing my husband, I landed into some serious debt and lost my job.
To my luck, I landed a new job at a nearby store. The crew working there was a shady bunch, but quickly became my friends. Within months I was introduced to the club scene deep in the darkest neighborhoods in Detroit. Because my closest friend was a homosexual guy, I spent many late nights in gay clubs and had quickly learned about the flourishing world of drug use inside many of these places. This was the beginning of my addiction to cocaine.
I cannot even really remember the exact night I was introduced to coke, or ecstacy for that matter. Every night was another party or rave somewhere. Coincidently, a young man who frequented my work introduced himself as a techno D.J. and could get us great ecstacy pills when we wanted. It took one night of him hanging out with us and getting f*cked up for me to fall madly in love with him. This DJ was calling me everyday and getting me drugs whenever I wanted.
One night late night, DJ-man and I were both arrested for possession of narcotics – he had marijuana and I had a ‘bullet’ with cocaine residue. Although we were looking at either years of probation or jail time, did either of us stop? Hell no! We used cocaine more than ever! Onyx met a bottom at a gas station somewhere down in the slums, and from there we got into the real game. This one bottom quickly became our friend and gave us access to all the local drug dealers.
The best part about buying drugs in Detroit is that the dealers understand the rule of supply and demand. The prices are kept low and the quality high because there are 20 more dealers just like you in the immediate area. It takes a while to earn their trust, but once you are in, you are set. My DJ-man and I earned the dealers’ trust by bringing possibilities to the table. We would find the white junkies back in the suburbs, bring their money, and the dealers would make out like bandits. I had become a middle-man of sorts… a pusher.
I know at least 5 dealers right now and can get just about anything. Marijuana, mushrooms, ecstacy, cocaine, heroin, crack, meth, xanax, oxycontin… you name it and I can probably find it. People call me to place an order. I get their money and make my drive to dealers. The customers don’t even have to go south of 8 Mile Road if they don’t feel like it. Meanwhile I get a nice tip for my journey.
Back in March my boyfriend and I purchased a jar of ecstacy pills for about $300. The math would have the pills priced at about $6 each, but we sold them for $10 each in the suburbs. That was still considered cheap to the rich kids and we got away with a $4 profit per pill. I still can’t forget the text messages asking me if I had any ‘skittles’ for sale. We had a Dance-Safe MDMA test kit at the house, so we could prove that our pills were not bullshit either.
While my ecstacy dealing days are on hold, my delivery service is going stronger than ever. I am still a good girl at heart, but until college is done, I have to work extra hard to pay the bills. Some may ask if I ever get scared or how I could be so stupid.
Do I ever get scared of being caught? Sure I do. I do my best to follow all traffic laws so if I am riding dirty; I won’t give the police any reason to hassle me. Do I ever get fearful of the neighborhoods or being killed? No, not really. Here is what people need to understand about Detroit and drugs: it has nothing to do with race. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, if you want to buy drugs, they will sell. You don’t have to be black to be a drug dealer. Just because you go to the ghetto doesn’t mean you will be mugged and murdered. I was robbed at gunpoint at work in a white neighborhood, by a white man! I do not fear being killed by dealers because I do not give them a reason to kill me. If one doesn’t try to rip them off or turn them in to authorities, they have no reason to hurt me.
How could I ever be so stupid to get involved with the underground world of drugs? It is very simple. My addiction makes my decisions for me. I am a functioning cocaine addict. I need it so I can work long hours, drive a long commute, succeed in class, deal with my watching mother suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, deal with anorexia, and deal with my boyfriend’s problems. Cocaine keeps me from keeling over dead from physical and mental exhaustion. While I am out buying my supply of happiness, I might as well help out a few other junkies while I am at it. And if I should die buying drugs or using them, so be it. When it is your time to go, it is your time to go.
Will I ever seek help? Yes, someday maybe. DJ-man and I still dream of marrying and having a child. One cannot do that as a drug addict. But for now, rehabilitation is out of the question. I have too much stress in my life and no medical insurance to cover any costs. My biggest fear is not an inability to beat addiction. My fear is breaking bones, or being in a massive car accident, or getting more kidney stones. I cannot afford those trips to the emergency room.
These are the few little things that a stupid white student like me has in common with women in the ghetto. My life as a drug pusher is hardly as dramatic as it is for other women involved in the game. I have met too many women hawking crack rocks and walking 8 Mile so they can feed their kids. Forget about having fashionable clothes, a nice car, heat when it is cold, or medical help when you are sick. When hopelessness and boredom sets in, getting high helps get you through the day. The world looks a lot less painful when you are numb. That is why I do not judge those people.
The laws against illegal drugs in Michigan are harsh. The more people I meet, the more it seems like everyone is on drugs. Everyone has been arrested, some lucky enough to complete probation, others already having done their time in prison. I only saw 3 days in jail, still a truly humbling experience. Yet, despite overcrowding our prisons with non-violent addicts like me, Michigan doesn’t want to help anyone beat addiction. It is well-known that police officers steal drugs seized during arrests for themselves or to sell for money. Many people in Detroit feel more protected by drug dealers than police officers. Give respect to the dealers, and they won’t let others mess with you. Ask a police officer for help, and you will have your body molested by that pervert abusing his authority. F*ck that sh*t.
Despite all the unsavory things I may see here in Detroit, I love this city. This place is my home and my heritage. I am the granddaughter immigrants, the daughter of shop-rats, and proud of my blue-collar life. The techno music scene and the hope of a better tomorrow has me wanting to never leave Detroit