snap, crack-le, pop
November 29, 2003 2:52 PM   Subscribe

The Girl Who Played Dead "Her name, like most of her life, is forgotten, but her one defining moment is carved into memory: She is the girl who played dead. That moment came in a South Dallas crack house, where she'd been hanging out with four other teen-agers 'in the game,' dabbling in the margins of the drug trade. Her survival was the closest thing to a miracle at a time when it seemed like we were witnessing a final surge into apocalyptic violence on the streets of Dallas."
posted by item (23 comments total)
[this is good] wow...
posted by gen at 5:55 PM on November 29, 2003

Great writing is always a welcome surprise. Thanks, item.
posted by squirrel at 6:06 PM on November 29, 2003

Agreed. Good stuff about really, really bad stuff.
posted by Cyrano at 6:28 PM on November 29, 2003

Good piece. At least the male survivor of the bathtub seems to have something that resembles a normal life, compared with the jail and homelessness that the other two have ended up in.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:07 PM on November 29, 2003

posted by madamjujujive at 8:50 PM on November 29, 2003

Never heard of it, and this occurred long before I dropped the TV from my roof.
posted by mischief at 9:33 PM on November 29, 2003

nice work item. it was a substantial piece, and well worth the time to read that harsh reality. we've a huge crack using community in vancouver that thankfully has no jamaican crazies with guns running it. the gangs seem to be south american and more into posturing and knives. i wonder, if guns were more accessible here in canada, would we have had a vancouver version of the same story...
posted by giantkicks at 9:35 PM on November 29, 2003

Good thing they finally won the War on Drugs.

Say what?
posted by spazzm at 11:12 PM on November 29, 2003

I never understood the allure of crack, but I never did cocaine in any form. Why spend a dollar a minute for a high when you could trip for a day on a hit of acid--If you wanted something that strong? I saw someone on crack once. He looked like he was having a panic attack. I thought maybe we'd walked in on him having a good wank.

Day was when someone would do some acid and change their life, very often for the better. Never heard of any such thing happening with coke or crack. Where was the enlightenment?

I was raised middleclass then experienced years of poverty and occasional homelessness. Poor was depressing but not terrifying. But then, no one in that time was in agony for want of $100 sneakers.

"The cause of all pain is desire" Sidhartha (Buddha)
posted by Goofyy at 12:31 AM on November 30, 2003

heres your medal for not taking crack.
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:11 AM on November 30, 2003

I would also like a medal.

Oh, that was just a snark? Fuck. I built me a crack-medal stand in woodshop for NUTHIN'.
posted by cortex at 8:21 AM on November 30, 2003

where is the enlightenment , cortex ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:07 AM on November 30, 2003

You can save my medal, sarge, because I tried crack a few times back in the early 90s. Up to that point, I had only snorted it once in a great while and I didn't know what all the fuss was about. Coke just made my teeth go numb and my pockets go inside-out. But crack was a different story. Really powerful all-over euphoria that lasted about fifteen minutes.

After two rounds, the group I was with started passing the hat for some more, and I was just coming down. I had just moved to that town and hadn't yet found a place to live or a job. I opened my wallet and looked at the $120 I had and spent a moment saying to myself "fuck it, you can borrow some money tomorrow." And then I snapped out of it, shut my wallet and took a pass on the next round. And every round since.

I'm with Goofyy: the cost-to-pleasure ratio of coke is not good. Even worse is the high-to-hangover ratio. Worse than tequila; almost as bad as speed, which is a dog.
posted by squirrel at 12:28 PM on November 30, 2003

Metafilter: here's your medal
posted by keli at 12:35 PM on November 30, 2003

Metafilter: where is the enlightenment?
posted by kindall at 1:32 PM on November 30, 2003

posted by ZachsMind at 1:52 PM on November 30, 2003

Good find Item.
posted by dejah420 at 2:18 PM on November 30, 2003

Yeah. It's definitely one of the better pieces on drugs that I've read in quite a while. I almost stopped reading when the author unnecessarily mentioned 'for 13 years, I've been a member of a South Dallas mission church that has built a ministry on the changed lives of a handful of former dope fiends and alcoholics.', but luckily she doesn't bring it up again and the rest of the article plays out as well as the beginning of it does. She presents facts without much of a bias in either direction, and the piece's level of subtle compassion had me nearly in tears.

As someone who's tried pretty much every drug under this sun (and possibly other suns), I'd have to rank crack a -10 out of +10. The high lasts maybe 20 seconds (its bang-for-the-buck ratio would be comparable to paying $20 for a mouthful of malt liquor), and as soon as it wears off you're scouring the room for more. This happens to every single person that tries it - see squirrel's comment above. It's simply instantly addicting and holds its users in an evil and terrible grip that no other drug matches.

I'm a temporary resident of Dallas - the green-lawned North Dallas that the author takes a jab at - and this is the first time I've read of the cause and effect of crack in my current place of living. I think Dallas' drug scene is often overlooked for other metro areas (LA. NYC, Houston), despite having the 5th highest crime rate in the country. When I'm in South Dallas, I definitely won't see it the same again.
posted by item at 4:44 PM on November 30, 2003

Wow. There is a whole world out there that most of us never even know exists. Stories like this should make us thankful for the lives that we have.
posted by dg at 5:06 PM on November 30, 2003

Whenever I'm abruptly thrown face to face with it, I'm amazed at the amount of living some people go through before they hit 18...more living than any human deserves, I think. An unmentioned sadness, the Jamaicans were only 19 or 20 - barely past teenagehood themselves! The whole thing is a fucking tragedy and it happens all the time, all over the world. We live in a fucked up place. No, scratch that. Our potential for fucked up-edness is boundless. We are the fuck ups and just spread it around as thin as it can go.

Good find, Item.
posted by ashbury at 5:07 PM on November 30, 2003


that bit with the "do not take with alcohol" label on the medication...ouch.
posted by juv3nal at 6:36 PM on November 30, 2003

i wonder, if guns were more accessible here in canada, would we have had a vancouver version of the same story...

Guns are quite available in Canada.
posted by The God Complex at 9:39 PM on November 30, 2003

Item: That same comment almost made me pass up reading the rest of the article, but I'm glad I didn't. This is the best post I've read here for ages.

There is a side link in the article to a companion story about one of the men found guilty of the shooting.
posted by davehat at 2:38 AM on December 1, 2003

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