On a rainy Thursday night Bc, formerly known as Suburban Friend, was driving me home (the other trick to not having a car, having friends with cars) when he turned the corner and I started being silly. “Are they there?” I asked meaning the friendly neighborhood drug dealers. “Are they there?” I repeated. “Yes, they are there,” I exclaimed upon seeing them, in the rain and the dark. “Well,” Bc remarked, “you can’t call them lazy.”
Now they have been there a lot more often then usual. It didn’t help that the chairs they dragged from somewhere didn’t move. When I was tempted early Sunday morning to remove the chairs, ’cause it’s on public property, one of them was out there, at 8AM. 8AM. Sunday! Who on earth buys crack at 8AM on Sunday? Actually I had seen them out there earlier and earlier and at times and weather conditions I did not expect to see them. Which makes me wonder if they are trying to meet some quota or something. Bc reminded me that they do work on commission.
Maybe I am forgetting their Summer patterns but they do seem to be out on the corner more often than usual. This does make me wonder if they are putting in longer hours because a change in the drug economy. That might be good news. If they are forced to make up for a shrinking client base then the economic conditions of the neighborhood should make the area less attractive for drug dealing because it means more work. Throw on the changes in the neighborhood that include fewer new clients, more police because of neighbors complaining, and possibly time lost in jail or avoiding cops, fewer houses they can seek cover in, and the racial changes that make blending in harder, then it is possible that the area becomes less attractive for drug dealing. However, it is not like they can move in to another area without some costs and headaches, so they might stay put until the costs of operating on that block, outweigh the benefits.
So my neighbors keep up the pressure. Call the cops. Make street furniture like those plastic chairs and milk crates “disappear”. Hang out on your alley side balconies, and wave “hi” to all who look up as they pass by. Walk your dog. Black people walk with pride. And white people, be white.