Home Pop Culture Observations of a Crack House.

Observations of a Crack House.


The first thing a crack cocaine user will tell you is that this is their last hit. This in essence is the irony of crack or any or other addiction, as much as you want it to be the last time ever, something inside of you propels you to continue chasing that magic elixir. This is the conundrum facing the people downstairs who are buzzing on Popeye’s door.

Popeye, for all intensive purposes is a crack dealer, not just an ordinary crack dealer but something akin to religious undertones. On some perverse level he is the savior and gatherer of a vacuous lot, the deliverer of sustenance and at the same time the perpetrator of these people’s descent to self decimation. Yet like all things in life his relationship with the people coming and going in the room is a symbiotic one. As much as they are addicted to his product (and on some level him as well) he is equally addicted to the ‘hustle’ and particular culture that this crack house breeds. All I can do in the meantime is watch and observe and hope that the gun sitting in Popeye’s inside vest doesn’t get used anytime tonight…

The door buzzes one more time before Popeye puts down the blunt he’s been rolling and moves closer to look at the video camera he’s set up against the window to see who it is exactly that is vying for his attention. In a sense it is amazing, already 2 am in the morning, the door downstairs must have had at least 7 different people buzz in the last half hour. How this hasn’t aroused suspicion amongst the neighbors can only make one wonder, of course one also gets a sense that half the clientele coming and going also live in or around the building as well. After all Popeye is just the local parlor man where one comes to acquire those things one can’t buy in the bodega down the street. In any respect this is sheer bravado and one can’t help sense that Popeye knows it and secretly enjoys it.

Satisfied, Popeye now motions to the young sentry standing guard (if eating fried chicken and busily involved in a heated discussion over the phone with what appears to be a disgruntled girlfriend passes off as guard…) to buzz the people downstairs in. As soon as Popeye has motioned to D he now once again turns his attention back to me and once again goes back to describing the secret of how to cook the perfect fried chicken. “It’s all in the batter, my friend,” he tells me.

It’s completely ironic because three feet away from us sitting on a plate is a white brick of just recently cooked up crack cocaine, with a ‘guestimate’ street value of $12 000 currently cooling off before being parceled into the tiny $20 bags that Popeye keeps in the drawer by the kitchen stove. All I can do is smile and nod my head appreciatively as Popeye momentarily reflects on one momentous meal he made for a bunch of cousins, aunts and uncles this Christmas past…