Living in Vein : Part 5a

PREVIOUSLY: Some of the drug addicts turned abandoned buildings into “abandominiums.” They knew how to hook up heat, water, and electricity. It was just like condominiums, but no one had to pay. As the bouncer, I had my own bedroom and a gun. We had to keep the place clean, because with all the shooting up, it would otherwise smell like stale blood. In addition to selling pills, I went back to forging checks. Also, I knew how to write prescriptions—all I had to do was steal a prescription pad from the doctor’s office. I could spend all the money I made, because I knew how to make more…

Abandominium life went on for a couple of years, until one day the police bust in and raided us. The popo threw everybody on the floor while they ransacked the place.

Everyone received multiple charges, including stolen goods, stolen prescription pads, possession of heroin, syringes . . . well, just about everything. They also charged us with illegal use of firearms.

One popo threw me on the floor, put his foot on my back, and then bent over and started to choke me. I gurgled, “What’s wrong with you?!”

Back then I had a bad temper. I turned abruptly and swung at his leg and he fell. I just kept hitting him. That’s when three or four of the other popo jumped on me and started hitting me.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in a hospital bed. My eyes were completely closed shut and my lip was busted—they had to put stitches in it.

I stayed in the hospital for about a week. Afterwards they took me right from the hospital to the court. The judge ordered me held without bond.

Instead of going to trial, I took a plea bargain. When it all was said and done, I ended up getting two to six years in Olderson Federal Prison in West Virginia.

In federal prison, you had your own room with a key. You could paint your room and you had wooden dressers for putting your clothes away. We could even wear our own clothes, so a friend sent me a clothing box with my stuff.

I didn’t bother my family, because I had put myself in this predicament. My family didn’t even know I had been arrested. I hadn’t been in touch before and I wasn’t in touch now. In our family, no news was good news.

(to be continued)

information about New Signature, a Washington DC tech solutions and consulting firm


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.