I was 15 and on a mission. A premature exposure to Dipset, D-Block, G-Unit, and DNA strands embedded with acid trips fueled by the The Dead, Pink Floyd and The Doors had created an immature stoner, with the hair of Kramer, itching at the opportunity to flip every nickle and dime I got my hands on. That phrase is outdated, no one is, or shouldn’t, be flipping nickles anymore. The first time I heard the phrase nicklebag was from my 5th grade health teacher, so it has to be false.
Grams turned into ounces and the amount of ounces started multiplying. Money started coming in, Mom was wondering why I wasn’t asking for money, and kids were lining up in my alley way to cop. A sly “I have to take the trash out” and I’d be out in the alley as well. Exchange complete, money earned. Making more than enough money for any 15-year-old. McDonald’s meals, shoes, and bongs were plentiful. So were video games. It’s safe to say 60% of my time revolved around packing bongs and playing “Skate” while the the stylus on my record player made a consistent bump sound playing static at the end of my 36 Chambers vinyl.
This lifestyle went on for a while; connect was steady, clients were coming, I was living. But as everyone in any business knows, when your supply gets disrupted, things get sketch. At this time I was fresh off of bumming rides or taking trains once a month to Brooklyn, two hours from Philly (with traffic). It was worth it. The weed was great, the price was right, and I had the opportunity to lurk around the city for the day. As usually common with herbalist, I got lazy. Product was selling faster than school warranted me to take the trip and there was one day in particular, coming off a week long drought, where I just needed a re-up stat.
I called an old friend. Most friends were old at that point. That friend had a friend. He gave me his number. Of course, the friend of a friend situation is never ideal, and should always be taken with caution – but I knew this kid. Like, we used to take plywood and milk crates that we’d steal from Wawa and make kicker ramps to skate after hour-long sections of watching “Rocket Power.”
I called the referred kid, he seemed chill. He tells me his dad lives by my mom’s crib and that he’ll be there in an hour or two. I pass the time by scraping res out of my glock-shaped bowl. Fuck what they say. If you smoke enough of that shit, it’ll get you high… or at least light headed.
The friend of a friend calls me, he’ll pick me up down the block. He’ll be there in a minute. After I drop either the McDonald’s or trash excuse to my madre, I came down the alley to the cross street and waited until the pre-described black Camry pulls up. Have you ever had a gut feeling, in a foreign situation? It’s not like a voice in your head telling you something’s up – I’ve always felt that the voice in your head theory was folklore. I’m talking about the wrench in your stomach theory. Like, your mind is allowing you to step inside the situation, but your insides are in pain from the tension around you?
Greeted by the driver and two passengers, all easily exceeding me by three years in age, I was not in my comfort zone, but I tried to play it cool. “Can I see the weed?” “Do you have the money?” I’m in the backseat of the car, my money’s in my hand. His boy sees it in my hand. I tell him that. “Well the weeds in the trunk.” About now was that wrench turned for the last time and caused a pain that shot to my senses and kicked in an animal instinct. Shit was an old fashion set up. It was a set up, boys.
The Camry began speeding up. They felt the vibe to. They knew that I knew. They knew I wasn’t falling for it. Driver told my back seat buddy “Show him what you got.” I didn’t stick around long enough to see. The Camry hit a turn, and floored it. Simultaneously, I gripped the door handle and slid for home. $1,200 cash in hand.
From the moment grabbing the door handle til I grabbed my shoe off the ground 15 feet from where I landed, I can really say I blacked out. With the sound of tires peeling around the far corner of the block, it wasn’t time to count my blessings. I limped my dumb ass through the nearest alley way and hid while the car passed. It did, and I continued limping my ass back home. The left leg of my jeans torn from the bottom to the thigh. My back raw as steak tartare.
MORAL OF THE STORY: There’s no need for a 15-year-old to be smoking weed, let alone selling it. For one, if marijuana was legally regulated, it would be extremely more difficult for a 15-year-old to get his hands on a quarter pound of weed. Remember how hard it was to solicit a six pack or two? No kid is soliciting four ounces outside of a Weed Shop (is that what we’re calling them?) and even if they did, I’m sure the exchange wouldn’t end up with him jumping out of a moving vehicle.