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O D City by Mark Anthony Given

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Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. #PSALM19
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       HEROIN EPIDEMIC NATIONWIDE and around the world, their dropping like flies.  OD City #ODCITY from town to town and all across the plains from brown to white fueled by a twenty billion dollar a year hydrocodone business.  Lock up your sons and daughters in the little world they grew up in where they got a trophy for everything they did and told how special they are.  They get out on their own and see there are no free trophies just for being you.  And oh by the way?  There's nothing special about you whatsoever. 

       I USED TO COP from a guy across the street who went across New Orleans to Washington and North Claiborne Avenue where an old man on the raggediest old bicycle you ever saw hanging around the Burger King.  He would park across the street until the old guy seen him and make his way across historic Highway 90.  Give him the money and longest twenty minutes of your life he'd come back, hang around stopping here and there like he was the Mayor and finally swing buy the car, reach in for a cigarette and drop the little stomped on, beat and down tin foils of White Heroin. 


    I COULD WAIT at home but it was a long wait and if I didn't go with him he would always short me a bag or two and blame it on the other guy... I never did more than one bag but not before I sterilized everything and always used new fits.  Not these idiots.  Never less than four or five bags, I could get high with the stuff he left in the spoon if I didn't have any money.  Never rinse, wash, sterilize, nothing.  Nearly every idiot I shot dope with couldn't give a fuck one way or another.  They saw me keeping everything sterile like I was from another planet...
    I THINK I WAS FIFTEEN living on the streets in New York in the middle of yet another "Heroin Epidemic," of the early nineteen seventies...the first time I did Heroin.  I don't want to say the first time I did it I shot it, but I think I did.  I don't fuck around.  Make your knees buckle surrounded by a warm eternal sensuous feeling emanating right from between your legs, the Fire Down Below is like easing in to best hot pussy you ever had, and the only thing in this big wide world you think you will care about again, run through walls and ten foot flames, is nearly always right at hand.

        STICKING A NEEDLE in my arm felt absolutely wrong and crossed a path of no return but a direct route to whatever was wrong with me.  'Bang on as the British are fond of saying, hit the fucking the spot' we say in America.  If you put your finger on the stove and it's how you learn not to do that.  How about if we just hold it around the edges...?
          I O.D'd ONE TIME.  #KNOCKEDOUTLOADED  about eight o'clock at night on a Monday night in late fall of 2000, sitting at a red light in light traffic on the widest main street in America.  Canal Street or main street anywhere else right at Barone facing the river in the middle lane in a 1989 Ford Taurus baby blue inside and out with crushed valor interior and the radio playing, seemed like a great place to take a nap at the time...



         IF YOUR NOT FROM NEW ORLEANS you probably don't know that the best music, the best food, best jukebox's and cheapest prices are located in the places that if you do not know where to look, you will never find.  Clematis Bar a block or two away from Allen Toussaint 's Sea Saint Recording Studio on a back street in the Gentilly section, half way between the French Quarter and the Lakefront Arena two long blocks off Franklin Avenue, drinks so cheap you can get knee walking drunk for five bucks.  There's a place a side street behind the third oldest racetrack in America The Fairgrounds Race Course," where they have the New Orleans Jazz Festival, every year right after Mardi Gra.  Has real Cajun food and chip lanolin tables and too many plants.  But on this jukebox, you will find Allen Toussaint's MID CITY BOP and my Junky marching orders.

          SHERIFF'S FLASHLIGHT right in my eyes after getting rudely waking with him banging on the window interrupting my moonlight serenade ain't no way to get woke up.  My very first thought after I realized where I was, was how much money do I have on me to make bail and get my car out of the pound?  I wasn't worried about him finding the bags of heroin I had smashed into a small balloon like we did in the joint.  Wrapped in a little tissue and a wad of nasty Beechnut chewing tobacco for good measure, at the bottom of my spit cup half full of a day's momentary dispensations that even a ten thousand dollar Belgium Police Dog ain't gonna stick his nose in..

         WHEN YOU OVERDOSE on cocaine injection it's like that red bell alarm that goes off in school hallways indicating DEF CON FIVE EMERGENCY, except it's inside your head and there's no desk to jump under and then the lights go out...

        IN NINETEEN SEVENTY I turned thirteen years old smack in the middle of a cultural revolution my torn jeans, long hair and Mickey Mouse t shirt the apartment building in New York I lived in, like every other apartment building in New York reeked of Indian food and Saffron and smelled so unusual you didn't know if it was bad or good.  There's not an apartment building of any size anywhere in the world that does not have at least one pot dealer and mine lived right across the hall.  My parents had an apartment downstairs and rented a one bedroom on the second floor for me. Brand new Black Sabbath album Paranoid blasting on stolen KLH Speakers and a Marantz Stereo.  Music was the only constant. Attica riots on the nightly news people wondering how thirty people got shot and only the police have guns?  Publicity hound Rockefeller flamed the fire for television coverage.  I saw a placard in protest that read,


"When I die bury me face down so Rockefeller can kiss my ass!"  

I SEE "KISS," at the fair grounds about Seventy Four at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in a place the size of a concession stand where they play now.  I was right up front grinding some teenage girls ass from the suburbs pretending to listen.  But I heard it alright.  I thought I would be deaf for the rest of my life they were so loud.  Nixon up and quit when he got his lip caught in his own zipper.  "War on Drugs," turned out to be a public policy to demonize pot heads and black people.  


Copyright 2016 by Mark Anthony Given 
All Rights Reserved 
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