Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Wilderness Years - Cargo

 September of 95, the week of my 25th birthday, i drove back from Ocean City in a rented Crown Vic coming down off a smack, Jagermeister and weed bender that left fuzzy gaps in a memory already filled with fuzzy gaps. Landing at the 759, within days i had scored my first quarter pound and hit the ground running in the weed business. Then came that list of colorful suppliers, all of whom served their purpose but who fell by the wayside leaving me to persevere out of stubbornness or stupidity. Now in the new millennia, at 29 and approaching 30, i had outlasted them all to be standing at the precipice of hoodrat weed dealing king. An endless supply of gear, an ever growing list of customers both large and small, money flowing like water, the balls were getting bigger and brassier with every passing day... and let me just say the days were long and lived hard. The hustle was non-stop and if truth be told i loved every minute of it. 

The average weekday (barring Wednesday, my day off to be spent with a girl some may have heard of) went something like this... get up at 6AM and get ready for work, shake off the hangover and get stoned, make a lunch, bag up any weed to be sold at work, drive my $400 car across town to the warehouse in No Man's Land, a few times on the way there i'd be forced to pull over and puke out the driver side door, a few occasions i made it to work only to sit in my car and pass out only to be awakened by my co-worker knocking on my car window, punch in and toss boxes all day, at lunch or second break i'd play basketball at a hoop we'd set up on a pallet that we'd put on a forklift, being an ex- hot shit hoops player i used to school my coworkers, actually beating every team in a two on two tournament with my teammate being the worst player in the warehouse (and walking away with the money bet). Finish work at 3:30, shirk OT, drive home and start taking calls. The first order would be getting any weight taken care of, that crew being the ones allowed to show up at my place in order to count money and get their shit. I had now made a rule where after 5 customers to the apartment everything else was moved to the pub. Stack up the small orders and tell them to meet me at one of two bars, bag and weigh shit, handle more weight, eat a bit of dinner, take the final orders, bag and weigh a few extra sacks just in case and then head to the bar between 7-8PM. Hit the bar and do business which would usually be wrapped up between 9-11PM with the odd straggler hitting me late. The rules were you got me between 4-10PM on the weekdays, this wasn't the coke business so if you wanted your weed you acted like a human and got me during working hours, after 10 you were pushing it cuz by then i liked to relax and hang at the bar or make my way to what was becoming my second home, Anthony's Lounge. 

How did i carry all this you ask? Well let me explain. I'm almost convinced that in the back room of the low budget fashion world some stoner started pushing cargo pants and while they've been maligned by those hip kids and fashionistas i will say unequivocally that they are the best thing to ever happen to the drug trade. I owned a few pairs of them because i used the pockets as a system. One side would all be quarter ounces with the occasional ounce packed in but usually the ounces were left in the car. When needed i could run out and grab one and this being the city no one really took notice of a guy running out to his car from the bar a couple times a night. The other pocket would be half ounces and eighths. Divided this way to make sure that no one got the wrong bag and that both customer and dealer were happy. While i can't remember the brand, these particular pants had an extra pocket below  the left cargo pocket that was also good for stashing an ounce or a few eighths or the extra quarters. I'd have all the orders packed into these pockets while the emergency extra sacks would be tucked into the secret pocket. There were times a quarter pound or more were stuffed into those pockets. In the winter the famous Carhatt immortalized in it's own post years ago would also be stuffed with bags of weed which usually meant that i smelled like a drug dogs wet dream.

Now if the weight crew couldn't meet me at my place i'd have them meet me at the bar as well. I'd put the pounds or half pounds into the trunk, wrap them in grocery bags and be off, handing the bags to my crew right there on the side street next to the bar. It was getting to the point that on some nights i'd sell a pound or two of weed while sitting at the bar on top of the small stuff. All the while i'd have to keep track of the money flowing in and the gear flowing out, all of which was done mentally while imbibing copious amounts of booze, burning a joint or two on the bars back porch, the occasional sweetie of Xanax or Valium and yet somehow i kept it all straight. Not once did i fuck up the money though sometimes it might take me a few minutes when i got home to get it all figured out, but then i'd do the books, take my cut and head to bed. 

Once i was off the clock i'd hang until whenever i dragged my ass home but i usually didn't get home until after midnight when i'd gobble down a drunken snack, pass out, then get up and do it all over again. Friday nights were reserved for foosball and Playstation FIFA with the boys and if you were lucky enough to get an audience and score you'd better come correct and not act like a fuck-up. For the most part i had an excellent clientele who knew the rules and understood the roles. That being said there were always the odd pain in the ass or fucking moron who'd run afoul of the King of North Oakland, a faux pas that could get them exiled from the kingdom though not many ended up on that ship. Of course there were always a few fuck-ups but that's the cost of doing business in this business. 


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Sounds like you long for those more exciting days. I just wonder what could match that excitement. Being a dad is boring as balls sometimes. I must admit. I'm trying to recapture my more exciting times too, and my times don't sound anywhere nears as bad ass as yours.

Kono said...

Dr. Noisewater- Actually, i don't long for them at all. i'm just telling the story because i think it's an interesting tale and i don't see many accounts of the people who actually did it and better yet got away with it, these days i'm more than happy being the world's hairiest soccer mom and doing dad shit. My analogy to being in the game is this, it's akin to being a professional athlete, you only have a finite amount of time before you get stupid, get caught or get dead... but yeah, i had a good fucking time while it lasted lol!