Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let The Day Begin

She was a nice girl from a close, loving family,
a cheerleader and National Merit Scholar in high school.
At nineteen, she managed a local grocery store and by 23,
all the stores in the area.

Happy, successful, popular and positive
she had a wonderful life right up to the day
that some asshole introduced her to cocaine.

For her, like so many,
coke was a siren song that could not be ignored.
Overnight, life changed from dream to nightmare.
She lost her job in a little over a year
but being resourceful business woman
she knew she could sell coke
and maintain a lifestyle and a habit.

She was not the kind of girl to be
satisfied just stocking the produce aisle, so to speak
she was more interested in wholesale volumes.
This is when, as a narcotics Detective in
the local drug task force, she came onto my radar.
The smallest thing she slung was an ounce;
she could be counted on right up to kilo weight,
with consistent and impressive quality.

We caught her in a roll up from street level.
Once we knew what we had, we took our time
made several buys from her, had things well sewn up
before we smashed through her front door
and put things to an end for the time being.

She was polite, friendly, honest and still had a sense of humor
although she had segued to shooting the shit
into her veins to get her required dose.
Of course, it didn’t get her high any more
it just kept her from feeling as shitty as she would
if she tried to stop.

She understood that we’d be taking her house
and her car and that she would be going to jail.
She was a perfect adversary; smart, accepting of the risk
willing to take responsibility for her actions.

She was out in something less than two years,
on good behavior, of course.
I became aware of her again when all of a sudden,
familiar patterns of sales and weight and players
reestablished themselves.
I knocked on her apartment door one day
she was genuinely glad to see me, still friendly and cordial.
We spoke honestly, and I told her I’d be after her again.
She smiled and nodded and gently patted my arm,
saying “I know what you have to do.”

I asked her why two years hadn’t cleaned her up
and she blushed and shook her head, saying
“Because I know it’s still there…”
I left my card, and feeling really badly, left.
The shit was killing her quicker than either of us knew.

After that, she paged me now and again, and we talked.
I told her how dangerous the business was.
She agreed and explained that this was why she always
kept a “Coke Boy” around; a non-aggressive young man
almost equally addicted, whom she got stoned in exchange
for company and tacit protection.

She now had a bald spot on the top of her head
from her tearing her own hair out
in frustration and pain when she could not
raise a vein to poke. The last time we spoke,
I told her I was afraid someone was going to kill her.

About a week later, we overheard a call for patrol,
a Trouble With a Guest report at a local hotel,
that prompted the well experienced Officer
to call for the Sergeant shortly after his arrival,
with a tone of voice that chilled us to the bone.
With cop sixth sense, I looked at my partner
and said “Oh shit, it’s her.”

It was: Someone had bashed her brains out
with a champagne bottle and left her in the room
taking her money and her coke. Of course,
it ended up being her little coke boy
that we eventually arrested for murder.

The night we found her, I searched her apartment
feeling angry and sick and responsible.
Sixth sense sent me to the stereo.
I opened the CD player and found a disc by The Call.

The first song was called Let the Day Begin.
I punched it up and listened to the chorus;
Here’s to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin.
Here’s to you my little loves, with blessings from above
now let the day begin, let the day begin. let the day start.

I took the damn disc, put it right in my pocket.
I own it still, that exact same disc.
I still feel chills down my spine when I play the song.

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