Monday, December 11

Do What You Gotta Do

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I never thought drug dealing as a professional type of occupation. Illegal, yes.

One day I had and eye opener. My friend Myra asked me to give her boyfriend, John, a ride to Los Angeles. Neither one had a car, so I said “sure. ” They agreed to put gas in the car plus a little extra. At the time I was a little naive.

We jumped into the car pool lane on Highway 10 to Los Angeles. I drove over the speed limit, unknown to me…”with an unregistered vehicle.” I always had a lead foot. I guess the Angels were watching over me once again. We drove into the hood of Los Angeles, one of those typical gang infested neighborhoods, with the 1930 houses on small lots. We pulled up to a faded blue house, where an old man sat at a table with Domino’s. A pregnant girl and a young black fellow were seated in old wooden chairs located on the porch.

I looked at Myra, wondering if she felt uncomfortable, because everyone was black, and she was Hispanic. I guess she had been here before. Joe gets on the cell phone, and is holding down a conversation as we get out of the car. He sits down in the chair near the old man, greeting him and starts playing Domino’s. Myra and I sat on the porch steps. It was a nice sunny day; I listened to the sounds of the Domino’s hitting the table, and the old man and Joe laughing.

The cell phone rings, and Joe answers the phone. It was then I realized this casual conversation was a “negotiation.” I felt a light bulb come on inside my head, and looked at him in a different way. When I look at Joe I think “hustler.” In the movies you see someone driving up waving a rolled up twenty out the window, someone grabs it and gives the person back a package. Maybe that was done in the ’80s, but now? It occurred to me, before the drugs can get on the street, someone would need to package the drugs first. A broker.

Being a broker was a job. The term “Professional Drug Dealer” flashed in my mind in neon lights. It was illegal, but looking at the way Joe operated; it had the under currents of a business, and I was right smack in the middle of it! Joe had been in and out of jail, had this been a legal enterprise this guy may have been another Bill Gates.

He knew how to negotiate
He had patience ( went to jail came back out started his business,again)
He knew who to talk to (Business Contacts)
He knew where to sell (Customers)

This had never entered my mind before! Imagine! After Joe hangs up the Cell phone, he tells us to sit tight, because he had to take care of some business, but would be right back. Myra and I continued to sit on the porch steps. It was such a beautiful day. I glanced at the old man sitting in the chair, and decided to join him and pass some time. I mixed the Domino’s up and we started to play. I quickly realized the old man had Alzheimer Disease but he loved dominos and had been playing it for years. In the middle of one of our games, Joe returns from his “business trip,” and we continued to wait some more.

This whole negotiation process took hours. This was hard to digest. What was so complicated about drugs? We get back into the car, and drive through various streets into another neighborhood. We stop in front of a vacant lot, down the street from the house of interest. I was told that they “never” park in front of the house. That would be stupid. That was news to me. Someone comes out of the house and crosses the street and sneakily hands Joe a package. He opens one of the packages in a small sandwich bag, which was filled with some type of pasty yellow powder. I asked a friend later what was this stuff, and was told probably crystal. Up to this point, I really did not know what was going on. I do not consider myself stupid just not informed about the “underworld.”

It got me thinking about the Joe’s of the world; it would be hard to find a 9-5 job when you were a lifetime felon. Especially, if being a drug dealer was more lucrative. It got me thinking about Myra and her state assistance check. She got pedicure and manicure, and rinses, and cash to go see a movie every now and then. I could not afford it. Then I thought about all the other girlfriends, and baby momma’s, and wives of these felons driving around in SUV and BMW’s. I would see these vehicles parked in front of the food stamp office. I felt as if a fast one was being pulled over me, because they were living the high life. What about me? After twenty years at a job I hated, that was a world of crap!

All that secondary incomes from the drug dealer, which Uncle Sam had not manage to get his grubby hands on. Unreported and virtually unknown due to it being a cash basis business. It put a whole new spin on things. Myra, would always tell me “ Do What You Gotta Do.” She would bob her head up and down as she said it and roll her eyes. That term can mean many thing, and I will leave that to your imagination. We struggle trying to get what we can from the good state of California after working over twenty years, and people like this find ways to get over it. By my estimated the Myra’s of this underworld, could easily pull in an extra $300 or more a month with the right hand man.

Professional Drug Dealer. The state of California made marijuana legal for medical reason, why stop there? Make PDD a legal profession for people who cannot find a job and/or refuse to work.

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