Hustling - FamilyEducation

Hustling

November 17,2009
Talia's Blog
Talia Rivera

Talia Rivera is a 33-year-old mother of two. As Executive Director of Villages without Walls, she works with high-risk gang members in Boston. [Read more]

Shizz had a customer. He spit a crack rock into his hand. I sat nearby, in the playground. A police cruiser stopped. I wanted to walk away. I had crack rocks in my mouth, underneath my tongue. And I had a ten-pack of crack rocks hidden in the bushes behind me. But I stayed because it was my crack that Shizz was selling. One of the officers questioned Shizz. The other came into the playground. "Stand up," he ordered. I stood up. He circled around me looking on the ground (cold), underneath the bench (still cold), through the grass (warm). Then he shook the bushes (hot). He saw the ten-pack and picked it up. He cuffed me, asking, "Why are you selling crack in the park where kids play?" I didn’t answer. I began to swallow the crack rocks I had in my mouth, one by one. After I was booked I phoned Kendra. "Kendra, tell my mother I got arrested. Tell her where my stash is. Tell her to sell the ten-packs for fifty dollars and come and get me." The officers handcuffed me to a chair. My belongings sat in a plastic bag on a desk. My beeper vibrated. The officer asked me if it was a crack head. "Maybe," I said sarcastically. I had just bought my first half ounce of coke. Over a thousand dollars worth of product, gone. I had to start from scratch. I didn’t have any money. As soon as I was bailed I went to Cameron. Cameron was this big fat black dude that sold weight. "Cameron, I just got arrested. I lost my product. Can I borrow three eight balls? I’ll pay you back." He reached into his pants, and from his crotch pulled out three eight balls. I ran home. I cut up the crack, bagged it, and went back outside to sell it. I hustled. I made Cameron’s money back within hours. I was back on my feet. I went home to bed. I had to be at the courthouse at nine the next morning.