Epidemic- Chapter 6
Oh God, a moving van! I check the time on the cordless phone and discover it is close to 2:30 am. How do they think they are going to get away with this, so late at night? I see a female and another male walk towards the huddle from the van. My mind is thinking so much information at such an accelerated speed I cannot process any of it.
I clutch the phone and contemplate calling the police. Snitch or not, this is my father’s house. He doesn’t occupy it but has allowed my sister and me to. The deal was because I am a single mother and was going to college full time, in addition to working full time, that I could stay there. Of course, this was back when I was popping Percoset and fully functioning.
Now I am a pathetic tweaking junkie, who is watching the house with all of my daughter’s belongings in it about to be robbed. Why isn’t my sister home? It is not like her to not be home. I am so thankful that she has obviously stayed somewhere else for the night. What if she comes home late? What if she was at a party and shows up any minute? What will these people do to her? I can’t call the police. I am so high. My jaw is at a near constant clench. I have to remind myself every two minutes to open my mouth and release the clench, or I know that when I do finally sleep in the next couple days, I will wake up with my face in excruciating pain and discomfort. Provided I don’t die tonight. I watch two members of the group walk around the back of the house. Oh God, they are going to break in through the back door!
The rain is beginning to pour now. It drums the gutters around the building. I need a nice shot of heroin right now to calm this tweak state down. I have none. I am going to die tonight and I won’t even get to shoot up my best friend one last time. Still clutching the phone, I decide I will call the police the minute I see the front door open and the rest of the herd makes their way into the house. I will call anonymously and run to my car that is parked in the very back of the apartments and wait until I hear the sirens settle out front before I drive away.
If I stick to this plan, then I can save my father’s house, my sister’s belongings and I won’t have to give the police a statement. Once it is on paper, you’re a snitch and I can’t be one, I won’t. I hear voices approaching from behind me! I have been so focused on the group in front of me, I let my guard down and now there are two male voices getting closer. I panic and crawl under the ramp into the dark.
The ramp is a wheelchair ramp and the rain is soaking me through the wooden slats. I am on my hands and knees, both trembling and shivering in the mud. My back is to the voices that are approaching and I am terrified. I cannot turn around without giving my location away. It is a tight squeeze under the ramp. In order to rotate my body, I would have to partially come out from underneath. Besides, if I turned around, my back would be turned to the other group of thieves! I freeze. The guys behind me have stopped and I can hear their words clearly. One is going to check up the ramp while the other stands guard watching the traffic to make sure cops don’t spot them snooping around a business at night. My heart is pounding so rapidly I can hear it beating through my chest. Suddenly every part of my body is alive with its pulse.
He walks slowly up the ramp. With each footstep, I bite my lip harder, in an attempt to control my breathing. I am completely frozen. I don’t dare make any movement, as his feet continue to taunt me with each delayed step. The rain is dripping from my hair, soaking my face and forcing my eyes to blink frantically. Suddenly a flashlight is searching the ground beside me! Oh my God, his partner is searching the area with a flashlight! If he shines the light on me, I am dead! I curl my body up as slowly and quietly as possible. The beam of the flashlight is zig-zagging back and forth on the ground beside me until I feel its glow light up my body. I am shivering and cannot control my bodies chatter. The light stays on me for what feels like forever but is really only a few seconds before it shuts off and I hear the whistle.
A Juggalo whistle. I recognize the sound that is further confirmed with a whispered, whoop whoop. That is the juggalo call to get the other juggalos attention. Now there is no doubt. I have been spotted and they are alerting the group, who I now know are juggalos, to my whereabouts. Juggalos are a group of people who love the Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and other music from psychopathic records. There is debate about them being a gang and fucking crazy. Whether they are a gang or not, I know this set, runs and acts like a gang. I also know, they carry hatchets like the juggalo hatchet man symbol carries.
I know Red and Chris are behind this. Chris lied to me. My old rehab buddy Clarissa and her boyfriend Jason are undoubtedly a part of this as well. I know Chris and Jason carry little hatchets around with them and they obsess over being juggalos. Jason drew me a picture of the hatchet woman once and labeled it juggalette (female juggalo) and told me I was a real juggalette and not like the rest of these fakers. He tried to explain to me what that meant and even elaborated that Chris was a faker. He said I heard the music differently and because I didn’t go out and kill and steal that I was real. I really never understood what he was trying to say.
Jason always stared at me and encouraged my conversation. It was like he was always watching me and he is the only one in the group that insisted I never be involved in the crime aspect of their syndicate. In fact, at one point I contemplated going out with them into the darkness one night and he screamed at me, instructing me to stay true to who I really was. He insisted he never knew anyone with a heart like mine and that my heart’s unwillingness to look past the good in people to see the true evil in them would eventually get me into trouble. Oh my God, he was warning me even then of his pure wickedness! This has to be them! They are the only people who know where this house is. I heard Red solicit Julie and Ty and now this is it. I am angry. I am fucking heated. Why am I so stupid? How have I survived these streets being so ridiculously naive and vulnerable? How much longer will I survive now that I have been spotted, crouching under this ramp? Soaked, cold and terrified?
The footsteps above me turn and descend back to the ground behind me. The whoop whoop calls are echoing around me, as I watch the group in front of me walk closer to where I am at. I can’t make out anyone’s faces. I see a hatchet hanging from one of the group members hip. I am going to be hatched up into pieces! My mind’s constant chatter ceases, as I think about my beautiful, precious daughter. How could I do this to her? How could I get myself into this situation? She is four years old and her father is not involved at all and now she will have to live without her mother forever. Tears begin to steam down my face as my fear turns from the fate of my demise, to the pain my daughter will be in for the rest of her life because I was so weak. Too weak to overcome my demons. I have loved my heroin so much that I have forgotten how to love her. For the first time in months, I feel that love for her again. Burning a hole in my heart and soaking my face with it’s tears.
As the group draws nearer, I make out the face of the female. It is not Clarissa. It is not Red. It is Chelsea! Chelsea and her boyfriend Kyle, live in Cali’s trailer where I first encountered these Hondas! They are known for robbing people and I have never associated with them. I have smoked a few times with them but we have never ran in the same circle. I hear Chelsea say that there is a bitch under the ramp and they all look in my direction. Why didn’t she identify me by name? They have spotted me but they don’t realize who they have spotted! How am I going to get out from under this ramp? I slowly maneuver myself towards the side of the ramp. The ramp runs alongside the office and has a space between it and the building that is just wide enough for me to squeeze out and run if I have to. I am afraid to move. I can see the entire clan has now grouped in the parking lot in front of me and there are eyes in my direction. I decide I have to call the police. Snitch or no snitch, this is my life. Am I going to stay true to the rules of the street game at the expense of losing my fucking life? NO! I can’t. I have a daughter. I cannot surrender my will.
I tremble as I pull the phone out from between my breasts. The phone has an orange glow and makes a beeping sound with every button you push to dial out. I am worried they will hear me dialing but decide I have to try and get out of this. I hit the call button and discover the phone is fucking dead! I cannot call anyone! I have been out here so long, that the battery is dead. The reality sinks in that I am likely dead now as well. I hear the group arguing about what to do next. Some of the people are angry and feel like they are being set up. Chelsea insists that they are not being set up and she thinks they should pull me out by my hair and take care of it. To her, this is too big of a come-up to walk away from. They continue to argue and four of them walk in the direction of their vehicles. The rest of the group turns to face them, calling after them to come back.
Now is my chance. Their eyes are all pointed away from me now. I slowly inch out and roll my body away from the ramp, three times to get behind the dumpster bin. The wet bark scrapes my skin beneath me. Shit! Shit! Shit! Why didn’t I go out the other way? I cannot get out on this side without them seeing me. There is a line of bushes that are tall like a fence on this side of the building. However if I go through the bushes I will be right out on the street facing my house. If I had gone the other way, I could have at least ran into a a back yard and had a fighting chance. I have just trapped myself, again! I hear Chelsea draw attention to the fact I am not under the ramp anymore. At the same time, the Honda’s exhaust revs and I stand to my feet and squeeze my body between the thick bushes. My back is to the street but I can hear the Honda’s speed by and turn towards the freeway. With both arms at my side I am completely concealed by the bushes, provided they do not shine their flashlights. Oh God! Help me!
I see the others scrambling around in the darkness in front of me. I cannot make out their faces. One of them is walking alongside the bush line and spreading the bushes! My knees are buckling. I have been cramped down under that ramp for God knows how long and now I can hardly stand. My thighs are throbbing and aching to re-position my body but I cannot move an inch. My eyes are so focused on the person spreading the bushes to the right of me that I do not realize there is another person spreading the bushes to the left of me until the bushes I am standing in our opened swiftly! I feel my sweatshirt rip as the hand that has grabbed it pulls me towards him. His face is painted. He is wearing juggalo paint and I can’t tell who it is and I don’t have to. His expression contorts from anger to shock and I realize, he recognizes me! Without warning he lets go of my shirt and pushes me gently back into the bushes, through them and out to the sidewalk behind me. He calls out a whoop whoop and as I run for my life, across the street and over a fence, I hear him tell the group I am long gone by now and they need to get out of here immediately. Who was that guy? Whoever that guy was, he just saved my life.
Luke 5:31, 32
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.