Back in 2003 when I graduated (pronounced gra-jee-ated) college and began my downward depressing descent into the real world, I moved into an old bungalow house in a cute little neighborhood in town. It was a lovely neighborhood with nice homes and friendly neighbors, but it was also located near a sketchy part of town. While this neighborhood was for the most part safe (aside from a few registered sex offenders sprinkled here and there), every so often some stragglers would wander in from the hood down the street. And lucky for me and my roommates, one of those stragglers was a crackhead. She was a little sprite of a black lady who frenzily did the crackhead shuffle around our neighborhood. Every so often she would knock on our door and ask for the time. We’d just yell through the door, “11:30!” and she’d say, “God bless you!” and be on her way. A polite crackhead. Not intrusive, just wanted to know the time. You know, cause bitch got places to go.
Nowadays, whenever someone tells me I’m a crackhead, which happens a lot, I always think of that little spastic lady knocking on our door. Not everyone fits the crackhead description, but apparently I somehow do (and another Bourbon Girl I know). Just today I was told that my purse looked like a crackhead purse. Crackhead purse to you maybe, but to me it’s a magical wonderland where old grocery lists and crumpled receipts dance an exotic tango among a swirling sea of cigarette tobacco, broken lipstick chunks, bobby pins and business cards of the “best friends” I made at the bar the night before. I know people use the slang term “crackhead” to describe someone who basically doesn’t have their shit together, which is me in a nutshell, but I like to imagine it is because I am like an actual crackhead. I do have a flare for the schizophrenic, like to push a grocery cart around sometimes, beg and steal, enjoy the occasional dumpster dive and love me an impromptu dance sesh. Some might take being called a crackhead as an insult, but I’ve always found crackheads mysterious and intriguing. Their instability, dare I say, excites me? Sure, addiction to the rock is a serious problem and not a laughing matter at all. I mean, crack truly is whack. But I’m gonna go ahead and say it: crackheads are fun. Who doesn’t stop in their tracks to get a load of a crazy crackhead walking down the street? Sometimes I drive by one and roll down the window and stick my ear out to see what kind of crazy shit they’re saying to their dead Aunt Pearl or about that motherfucker “Dirty Jerry” that jacked them out of five dollars, a 7/11 slurpee and a blowjob. And who can resist the competitive rush of playing the “See Who Can Count All Of Their Teeth First” game? The New York City subway system is like my Disney World. You wanna harass me for money for your pretend starving children? Go right ahead. Take this dollar to McDonald’s cause I’m Lovin’ It, girlfriend. Crackheads are the unintentional entertainers of our generation, just like the jesters, carnies and fire-eating midgets that came before them. Crackheads have even provided inspiration for pop culture as we know it today. You can’t tell me the whole zombie craze going on right now wasn’t inspired by crackheads. They are the original zombies, except instead of brains they eat Lean Cuisine boxes and dryer lint. Shoot, even American Idol got on the crackhead bandwagon. If that doesn’t say that crackheads have “made it” then I don’t know what does.
Crackheads get a bad rap in today’s society, but how are they any worse than the local drunk or the pill popper next door? They’re just poor people trying to have a good time. I actually take the crackhead insult with a sense of pride. You’re darn tootin’ I’m a crackhead (working on a bumper sticker that says this as we speak), and a fun-ass one. So go ahead, call me a crackhead. Just don’t call me a methhead ’cause that shit ain’t cool, man.