Category Archives: A White Boy in Downtown

Tales, woes, and world-shattering shards of my experiences as a white boy in downtown Fresno, California. I spent two months (January to February) passing back and forth from the worst parts of Fresno’s crime-ridden Downtown to my home in semi-suburban Clovis, CA in 2012. Then, in early 2013, the draw of that lifestyle and the cravings I was having for crack-cocaine lured me back in for four more months or so. Read on to see the stories that tore my world apart yet enriched it in the end. From addiction to recovery, this is a young addict’s odyssey.

You’ll Notice some changes around here

Ok, so, you may be noticing some changes to the blog soon if you haven’t already.

  1. I have gone to a “private” setting so I can better mod things on here. (People seem to think I’m a “dbag” and an “ahole.” (My gut response is to say **** you haters, but…well, I’m trying to make money here, lol.)

  2. If you like the changes, let me know.
  3. If you don’t…let me know. *grits teeth*
  4. I have all the things linked. If a link is broken, TELL ME!
  5. If anything at all doesn’t work (a video, a stream, a telekinetically thrown goat, etc. etc. etc.)… LET ME KNOW!
  6. Don’t be a dbag to me or others on here.
  7. I have the final say in who is a douche and who isn’t…MWHAHAHAHA. This isn’t a democracy, this isn’t a “cheerocracy” (as Chuck Wendig put it *wink wink nudge nudge*), this is a Pagan Republic.
  8. All that being said…
  9. HAVE FUN.
  10. BE SAFE.

Halloween Games on

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A White Boy in Downtown – Part 2: At the Trashcan Fire That First Night

I drove my 2001 Chevy Cavalier with the hanging passengerside headlight bulb and smashed bumper to downtown Fresno for the first time (other than for Jury Duty) in late January of 2012.

Why? You might ask. Why would a relatively affluent male WASP (white, anglo saxon, protestant) suddenly decide to go into such a dangerous, impoverished, and crime-ridden area?

Well, I suppose the root cause, dear reader, stretches back deterministically all the way to my childhood. So, because a life-story isn’t really necessary in this context, let’s just leave it at this: I wanted to try LSD or some other kind of “mind-expanding” drug in order to increase my creative and spiritual abilities.

What did I find in Downtown? Well, let’s find out together as I cast myself back in memory and time.

After an initial unsuccessful sojourn yesterday I know pretty much how to find free parking in the heart of Downtown. Passing the drab, dark stature of the Fresno Superior Courthouse and jails, streetlights play beautifully off the white paint of my Cavalier’s butt-imprinted hood. Occupy Fresno tents and signs lay, seemingly abandoned, to my right on the sidewalk of the Courthouse park.

I continue on smoothly thanking the Gods traffic isn’t horrific this time of night in Fresno. Sure, other cars pass by, but I’m so excited and anxious about attempting to buy an illicit substance from a genuine drug dealer for the first time that I just smile and crank the radio.

Brighter lights burst off the windshield and I squint a little before my eyes adjust. “CLUB ONE,” screams the casino sign on the corner of Tulare and old Van Ness. I smile more widely as the Chevy glides past into the relative darkness of Fulton Mall.

Once to H Street, I turn right. Finding an empty parking space is easy in Chinatown. No one really wants to be there other than bangers, hustlers, patrons, residents, and the owners of the shops and restaurants it seems.

I greet and pass by the few that are out in the area at this time. On my way down toward the deep dark of the industrial park on the North I begin to feel even more excited. I walk faster, both to stave off the chill of the night and the jitters of slight fear. Eventually I come across an old black gentleman.

I mention I am looking for LSD and he waves for me to come along. We walk toward the “Pov,” the Poverello House for the homeless and jobless, and I continue to make conversation. The man claims it is only about twenty for the tab of acid and I will have to stop. He succeeds in scaring me into staying away from the Poverello house.

I wait for half an hour just around the corner, hiding in the shadows of houses and trees lining the grungy, trash-heaped sidewalks. When I realize I’ve been played, I decide to venture around the corner.

Passing around the bend in the road to the left I am greeted by a dark street with what appears to be several squat encampments. Closest to me are clearly Mexican and Chicanos. I walk down the street toward the end of the Poverello house and its gates. I am hailed by a large, tall black man who I can’t see properly in the light of a washer-tub fireplace.

Apparently wearing a black leather jacket was a poor choice.

“You a cop white boy?” the man demands in a deep, booming voice.

“Fuck no, man. I’m just trying to score some acid,” I say.

I am invited to join the huddled people around the fire. Subjected to questions and scrutiny I am shortly asked to snort a tiny bump of coke from a key to prove that I am no police officer.

The coke is somewhat gross because of the drip, but it isn’t as repulsive as I heard it was.

After taking the little hit of cocaine, Teardrop, as I now know the first tall man to be, insists that even an undercover cop might snort coke. He demands I try crack. Perhaps it was the cocaine beginning to hit, but I feel very good and invincible. Shrugging, I take the pipe and follow his instructions.

I hold the lighter a little bit from the end of the “horn” and begin to inhale. It doesn’t taste bad at all. Except for a chemical flavor there isn’t much taste at all aside from an afterglow of butteriness.

It hits immediately and I understand why people enjoy the feeling, but the hit was no where near my best of the beginning days of my travels into Downtown. I feel faster, more intelligent, and elated. This is a form of flying.

I spend a few hours with Teardrop, just driving around to various hoods and to the motels. I am not offered another hit of crack the rest of that first night. Teardrop seems to want to keep me off the stuff when he realizes I truly had never tried the junk before.

After around 2 in the morning I announce it is time to go home. Teardrop demands I drop him back off at his particle board shanty and I do so before hitting the freeways to go home.

A Question for You All!

Fairly self explanatory. I just want to know if anyone is even interested to hear my stories in the vein of “A White Boy in Downtown.” Telling my own stories and writing fiction are my ways of venting and getting things off my chest. So, let me know if you even care to see these types of posts. I can always make them private if no one likes to see them.


A White Boy in Downtown – Part 1: The Rock

NOTE: This piece of short “fiction” depicts graphic drug use. If you are a recovering addict and are easily triggered, DO NOT read this. If you are trapped in addiction and want to quit (whatever the substance, including alcohol or tobacco) you can check here, or here, or here (this is the program I happened to use when I got sober), or here, or you can just Google search “addiction recovery” or something similar. All links open in new tabs/windows.

This is the beginning of a catalog of my own experiences in Downtown Fresno. I don’t know why I started it in the middle like this, but I did. Though the exact events and occurrences are not necessarily true, these scenes are accurate to what my life became while addicted to crack cocaine. Some of the scenes are jumbled in my mind, so the specific flow is not strictly correct. However, these events, in one way or another, did happen to and around me.

If you are an addict, I hope to hear from you and see what you think. Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances are, thanks for reading. May  you at least find this interesting.

The man stands there staring at the ground as his girl screams at him. I avert my eyes. This shit is sick. Poor guy has no balls at all. Sure, feminism is great, but that isn’t equality. I can’t stand seeing men just laying down like that. Still, I guess it’s better than laying into the harpy.

As I round the corner onto G I wonder if the man will ever get off the dope. Apparently his habit sparked the explosion of vitriol. I am finding it vaguely amusing that an obvious crackwhore is screaming at her “man” for using too much.

Pushing the scene out of my mind I press on through the chilling wind. It rarely gets really cold in Fresno. Still, February is bitter enough for us California raisins. Probably about 43 degrees out and everyone is bundled up for the day.

I check my phone and curse. It’s already 9:45 A.M. The boys expected me half an hour ago. Quickening my pace, I begin to puff. On the upside, I’ll be warm when I get there.

Looking down Florence St. I see that white Ford Explorer brooding in the dirt lot across from the Gables. The Gables Motel is a hovel. As I turn the corner I confirm the identity of the “Exploder.” It’s definitely Rose’s sugar daddy. No seeing Rose for a while.

Blue, that scandalous bitch, waves from the other end of Florence just past the motel. I dismiss her with a slight wave and flit through the open gate in the chainlink. Doomee says “hey” and I smile.

“Doomee, bro, how ya doin?”

I shake his hand. One of those slide-pound deals where there is no actual shaking involved.

“Not bad, not bad, white boy,” he grunts.

Frowning a bit, “aw, come on now, man. I’m just white boy still? I been ’round for three months now.”

Chuckling and shaking his head, Doomee says, “N’aw, dog, I just can’t ever remember your name.”

Even I laugh at that.

“You like ‘White Chocolate,’ though, yea? I could call ya that,” he adds.

Nodding and forcing away the guffaws I try to get a little more serious. D is a good enough guy as far as Bloods go. More laid back than most of the younger crowd, he looks out for me some. Still, the guy must be only in his early thirties. Short and built like an iron worker Doomee sure looks like bad news. His skin is so dark it’s almost purple.

“Yea, that’s fine. I do like White Chocolate,” I say, “but, names aren’t that important. I got somethin’ for you.”

Doomee’s face goes straight. He turns and waves me into the corner apartment reserved for the manager. In the shadows of the covered hallway between the L shaped buildings, the only part of the motel with shade, we pass through the metal screen.

Once inside, D turns to me and grins.

“Alrigh’, dawg, you got my money then?”

“Aw, shit,” I say, smiling widely, “alright, alright, how much is it again?”

We both know I remember exactly how much I owe.

“Bitch, don’t gimme that shit, its forty an’ you know it!” Doomee says.

I snicker and slap two twenties into his hand.

“Chill, bro, chill. I got you, you know I always got you.”

He laughs a little and turns to the kitchen.

“So whatchu want? I know you ain’t comin’ down here just to pay up,” he said, back turned.

My pulse begins to race again. It always does this when it knows I’m about to score.

“Oh, I dunno, man. What you got? Same as last time?” I say, crinkling my face up slightly.

D turns back around after a tiny scraping noise. He’s holding out his hand. Four shining white rocks sit in the pink of his palm. I lick my lips.

Inside, I’m writhing. Every bit of my body is screaming “BUY IT ALL!” The small part of my rational brain that’s left, is whispering a saner refrain. “No, this is bad for all of us. Don’t waste your money. Get off this stuff.”

As I always do, I punch that tiny voice in the face and pull my wallet out.

“Shit, dog. That looks like good shit this time. Last twenty you gave me on that credit was whack,” I say, smiling.

My voice is still calm, but a little strained. This is the voice I hate to hear coming out of my mouth. It’s the addict’s voice. The drop of adrenalin pumping through me says it doesn’t matter. Still, I know that voice. Every dope fiend has it and every dealer knows it.

“Yea, dawg. Waddn’t no good that day. Don’ matter though, this is some cream. I watched Rob cook it, no soda at all,” D says.

I nod. Its bullshit, all crack has some baking soda, but probably not much in this case. Doomee usually gives it to me straight. Besides, I’ve been buying rock long enough to know that the little air holes in this stuff means it’s some good.

“Sick, man. What you askin’ for all of it?”

Doomee looks down and fingers a couple of the pieces. Rolling them over and feeling the weight he looks back up.

“This is dry and its real, White Chocolate. Gimme sixty, its worth eighty, but you always come through,” he says.

I smile, swipe the bills out of my deteriorating wallet, and shake his unoccupied hand with them. D tilts his hand and pours the big rocks into a plastic baggy.

“Thanks, D. This looks awesome. It alright if I step next door with Uncle Armin and hit this shit?”

I always ask. Sometimes Rob doesn’t like me hanging around too much. He’s the boss man ’round the Gables. Doomee shakes his head to show its alright if I stay for now. The younger guys all like me a lot. I guess Rob isn’t too fond of me for some reason. Probably doesn’t want a white boy standing around lookin’ stupid with no money. That’s what I was a couple of times.

After we shake hands and say our goodbyes I slide out the screen door. A breeze frisks me down as I round the corner in the shorter side of the L.

“Hey, Uncle! You there?” I say through the door as I knock on the red, peeling paint.

I hear shuffling from inside and the door pulls open.

“Oh, its you. Yea, I’m here, White Chocolate. Come on in!”

I walk into the little motel room. Armin gestures to the couch and I sit. The thin crescent around his shining dome always makes me smile. This guy is older than most of the people here at the Gables. He sits down in a chair to my left and looks at me then at the table.

Following his gaze, I see a pipe and some crumbs in a clean ash tray. With that little look of his, he’s asking if I brought some favors. I pull a rock out of my pocket and twist the bag back up without revealing how much I have left.

Uncle’s eyes widen a bit and he smiles.

“Damn, son, you got some cream there, huh?” he asks.

Chuckling, I say, “only the best, Uncle. Got a razor? Oh, nevermind, it’s here.”

I pull my own, clean pipe out and set it next to the cracked, blacked one on the table. Cutting four pieces off the large hunk of dope, I pass one to Armin. He loads his pipe and looks around for a Bic.

The lighter flashes into my hand from my jacket pocket and I pass it. Loading my own rock onto the brillo in the pipe, I breathe in relief and get another lighter.

Holding the pipes up toward the ceiling we nod to each other. Our lighters flick on and we begin to melt the pieces into the brass puffs of brillo. That familiar sizzling noise greets me and I wink at Uncle. Thin, tiny wisps of smoke waft up from the two pipes. We both turn the horns to get an even melt.

When that’s done we lift the pipes to our lips. They stick out, horizontal now, and we flick the Bics again. The tip of the flame hovers slightly below and forward of the barely quivering pipe-tip.

I begin to inhale through the pipe. Smooth and deep and the flame is sucked onto the brillo inside my piece. That crackle starts immediately and pure white smoke shoots into my mouth. I take a big hit. After about ten seconds of twisting the pipe and moving the flame to varying distances from the pipe I stop.

This is the best part for me. Holding the smoke in until I see spots and that ringing starts in my ears. It will hit hard when I breath out, for now I just sit back on the couch and look to Uncle. He’s already breathing out a thin cloud of smoke. I nod and he gives me an approving look. That buttery taste hangs in my throat.

My breath explodes with dopesmoke and I am rocketed skyward as the ringing begins in my ears.

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