Raccoons, Crack Cocaine and the FBI…San Francisco in the late 90’s


Over the previous three or four days i had been having problems with intruders in my apartment. These weren’t just any intruders, they were the FBI, they were staking me out and they were doing it from the inside of my room mate’s mattress…

My room mate’s name was Jeff, a mild-mannered and thoroughly lovely guy from Queens, New York whom i had met when he came to pick me up in his Taxi some months earlier.  We had negotiated a price for the room i had to rent during the journey, he had come to look at it the next day and he was all moved in by the end of that week.

I lived on Fulton Street at Baker in the Panhandle district of San Francisco, just below the Upper Haight.  I had originally moved in there with my wife but she was now but a distant memory along with several pieces of furniture and anything that might reasonably been described as mental health.

I had always had a penchant for high-end chemicals and anything which might separate me from my monkey-chatter head, but since my wife’s departure things had got waaaaay out of hand and i was vacuuming up heroin and crack in such large quantities my dealer was actually starting to show genuine concern.

A few months after Jeff had moved in and it had been established that mine was a house of considerable chemical disrepute, i was alone one evening as he was working the graveyard.  We had established something of a routine, with me procuring and using crack and heroin all night until he came home, had a little himself, a brief chat and then amiably wandered off to bed.

This was something i never seemed to master, the art of saying “right then, that’s enough crack for me, i’m orf for a nap”. I was up all night, every night and only ever left the house to engage with my day job, which i miraculously clung to only as a means to a hideously narcotic end.

I had recently been inconvenienced by whispering voices and shadowy figures in the apartment, which i had decided were the FBI staking me out, but which, when i straightened out, were clearly the side-effects of smoking rock but, i must say, did seem rather real at the time .

On this particular night, i had decided to check all the cupboards and hidey-holes to make absolutely sure that no-one was there BEFORE i started using but THE SECOND i lit the pipe the sound of police radios were clearly audible despite my earlier reassurances, and i once more landed slap bang in the middle of another heroic psychotic episode.

After several hours of wandering round the apartment with a huge kitchen knife, determined to root out the intruders, i had come to the conclusion that they must be lying side by side inside Jeff’s mattress, radioing information to the heavily armed team stationed outside the front door.

The French doors which separated Jeff’s room from the living room were open, so issuing a war-like cry of rage and fear i ran from one room to the other, jumped onto the mattress and began leaping up and down, admonishing the mattress-dwellers for being such lily-livered cowards and demanded that they come out and confront me like real men.

Naturally, and of course, i was naked and my diminished member flapped up and down as i jumped, looking like the last turkey in the shop.

By now, i was sweating like a member of Parliament entering an expenses claim, and my shoulder length hair was sticking to my face like spaghetti.  I became tired of trying to get the bastards to reveal themselves and was, by now, distracted by a noise coming from Jeff’s walk-in closet across the hall.  “Not more bloody police”, i thought to myself but decided against this possibility due to this being a more sporadic scratching sound.

“Of course, it’s a fucking Raccoon, it has to be, this is America right?” i announced out loud as i sprung across the room to tackle the swine.

Upon opening the closet door i was confronted with a mountain of clothes and no immediate sign of the rodent, so slowly and methodically i began to remove Jeff’s clothes piece by piece, checking each for signs of foul play and then placed them carefully on the floor, on the couch, on the coffee table until finally the closet was empty and the garments were neatly, but strikingly, scattered around the living room and hallway.

Of course, this was the moment that Jeff came home from work, dreaming of a quick pipe, a nice cup of tea and a good night’s sleep…

“What the fuck are you doing?” he quite reasonably asked.

“Ssshhh, i’m looking for the Raccoon” i countered through my hair.

“Why are you buck-fucking naked?” he, again quite reasonably, asked.

“I’ve got to be, i can’t smoke crack in clothing, how can i smoke crack in clothing?” i replied, now getting rather irritated.

Having had time to weigh-up the situation he must have decided that humour was the only way forward.

“Well, have you tried looking for the Raccoon in the bedroom?”

“Duh, NO you Muppet” i grunted, now getting properly annoyed

“The police are in the bastard bedroom”

Jeff made tea…swiftly… went into his room and closed the door.

I phoned my mother, the dealer and the hospital, ate an orange, wondered where i had left my pipe and reached for a moist wipe…

although not

necessarily in

that

order….

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2 Responses to “Raccoons, Crack Cocaine and the FBI…San Francisco in the late 90’s”

  1. Great!, love it, and well, by accident the name of your book is in there
    “the last turkey in the shop”

    perfect :}

  2. Like the blog m8 keep them coming.

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