Heroin Voting Day


Cassie Huxley took the deal. Dollar a bag heroin. Just before election time.

Cassie didn’t know that the smaller the voter turnout, the better it went for the silent man who gave the nod for heroin to cost a dollar a bag on the west side of Chicago, just before election day.

Cassie stayed on the west side of Chicago. She stayed wherever it was warm. She kept moving. Pushing her cart.

She knew nothing about how the new price of heroin was reported on by the Chicago News Cooperative. Nothing about how State Senator Rickey Hendon–a man they called “Hollywood” had told James Warren, perhaps Chicago’s best reporter, that suddenly now, just before the election, the new price of heroin was $1.00 a bag.

Cassie knew cold was coming. She could smell it in the golden November light that cut down through the elevated tracks and made the criss cross shadows on the street that she rumbled over with her cart.

She knew nothing about another Huxley. Long ago. Man wrote a book about something called “soma.” Man said soma had ‘all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol and none of their defects.”

She knew where to get coffee. She knew the food pantries. The churches. Knew enough to stay out of the shelters. Didn’t care where the dollar bag came from. Only cared that it was a dollar. She never read Mr. Huxley and his book “Brave New World” when he wrote ‘ Soma distribution! In good order please. Hurry up there!

Cassie had an address. Never stayed there. But it was an address. And that meant she could vote.

And this was an election when every vote counted.

But Cassie didn’t know that. And it’s awful hard to remember to vote when you walk the streets strung out, so strung out that you can’t smell the cold coming, can’t smell nothing at all.

Cassie didn’t know that the smaller the voter turnout, the better it went for the silent man who gave the nod for heroin to cost a dollar a bag on the west side of Chicago, just before election day.

So Cassie bought her bag. She forgot about voting.

All she remembered, like a lady, sad, sad, lady sang somewhere, sometime, was to get it while you can.

One Response to “Heroin Voting Day”

  1. Tom Simeone Says:

    Perhaps, sometimes, the reason the good man does nothing is because he can’t possibly conceive of the lengths to which the evil man will go. Thanks for pulling back the curtain, CG.

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