I grew up in a small town in Botetourt County, Virginia, and we lived off the main highway. My great grandmother had cousins who lived just up the hill behind our house. As a little girl, I always felt uncomfortable in their house but did not know why. They had a black clock that was about three feet high and whenever it chimed, chills would go down my spine. In 1969, this family moved in with relatives and built a brand new home in the same spot as their old one. It was beautiful to look at but still for me had that eerie feeling when I went inside.
In the spring of 2005, my oldest son was in his final year at Radford University. He had his own apartment, but often came home on the weekends. He always left to return to school at about 4 or 5 PM to make sure he got enough rest for Monday. On this one Sunday however, "Jr." was running late and I asked him to stay overnight. He said if he did, he might not wake up the next morning in time to make it to his first class. It was rainy and cool and I had that mother's intuition that something bad was going to happen, but I accepted by son's decision and prayed for him.
About five months ago I noticed that my bathroom commode was taking longer for everything to go down. A few days later it began backing up. Plunging helped, but the problem kept coming back. I plunged again, and this time, even though the system worked as it should, I heard a gurgling noise as the water went down after flushing, and when the bowl refilled, the water did not come up as high as usual.
The movie New Jack City and various television shows give a very vivid picture of a crack house. They depict an abandoned building in a run-down neighborhood where people are dirty and lying on the floor. It implies that those who smoke cocaine disappear for days and live inside the filthy walls of this undesirable situation in order to get high. While that may be true in some cases, it is absolutely not the norm.
You meet someone for the first time and your heart flutters. You find yourself drawn to them without knowing why. Perhaps you find that your feelings for a friend of a friend are growing, and it perplexes you. Instead of being free to explore your emotions, you hold back because the individual who is giving you butterflies is of a different race. You hesitate because you are not sure if he or she feels the same, or if family and friends will approve.
Cocaine, whether it is snorted, shot in the veins, or smoked from a pipe has a long lasting affects on the loved ones of addicts. I know a man who used to smoke crack, and he had a different ring tone for all of his buddies. When you were around him and certain ring tones went off, his demeanor changed. You could tell if it was a dealer, or a fellow addict trying to score. Years later after this man had cleaned himself up I would be in a store and hear a certain ring tone and recall his actions. I know a young woman who said that their cable was turned off many times when one of her parents was using cocaine. She was a teenager and would have to go to sleep listening to Mash on the local channel. Now decades later she says that whenever she hears the Mash theme song, those memories of not having cable TV come back, and the reason why.