Tom, 2012.


Audio Transcript:

Alright, Hi, my name’s Tom. I uh, I uh, spent a lot of time down Kensington using drugs off and on and um… Since last time I saw this guy- he interviewed me and my buddy when we were really into doing drugs but uh lately I’ve been um, I’ve been trying to keep myself together, I’ve been messing up, I’m on probation and all and I uh, I’ve been, I’ve been doing alright getting some clean time with Suboxones but I uh, I have been re-lapsing here and there, using uh, all different drugs but um, uh, I don’t know, things, things get good for a month and then you know you have some time on your hand, you get a couple bucks and you come down here and you get high, its like you just can’t seem to get ahold of it. Um, then when you get high you instantly regret it. You feel stupid for doing it, you wish you didn’t do it, but then soon as you as you get clean again you forget how bad it is getting high so you go and get high and its just the same vicious cycle. But um, yeah I don’t know it’s, it’s, it sucks really and it’s no fun in it, the fun was gone a long time ago but for some reason I keep falling into it. Uh, I just had a job that only lasted a couple months till I lost it because I would go to work sick, soon as I would get a couple bucks I would leave right away to go get high and my boss wasn’t happy about that so he had to let me go, now I’m trying to find another job and it ain’t working, I don’t know, um, yeah I just, I just can’t seem to get a grip on staying clean. Every time I try, I just mess up but yeah, hopefully, hopefully soon, I can end up getting ahold of it and then when I’m clean remembering that when I get high, instantly I regret it, so I’ll be able to keep myself clean.

See also: Kevin and Tom, 2010


Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Untitled_on_K_and_AUntitled, Kensington and Allegheny, 2011.


Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Star-01Star, Kensington and B Street, 2013.

Audio Transcript

JS: I was just asking if you lived around here.

Star: Yeah, I live on Hazzard Street in an abandoned house. Um. Sometimes… hold on a second, cause that’s loud [train passes]. Sometimes I go and sleep on the street, um, on Boston Street, and I just put, you know. I got a little mattress back there, put that. Cause the cops don’t bother you, there’s a couple of us back there and uh, just sleep on that next to the building. It’s pretty nice out now, y’know, so…

JS: And how long have you been out?

Star: Like two weeks.

JS: And have you been out here before?

Star: Yeah I was out here, um, a couple years ago, but then I went to jail, got out, went back to jail. Y’know. So, I only been out a jail for like three weeks. So I was out for a week, came right down here

Star: When you get arrested for prostitution, y’know you go bail, you gotta go see the judge, and usually they set a bail for you. Prostitution you just get ROR. And they just let you go.

JS: What’s ROR?

Star: Uh, release on your own recognizance.

JS: Right-

Star: Like you don’t gotta pay no- no money. Y’know? So…

Star: Um… well I had my son 2005. They- I got Percocets in the hospital. Took them for a little while. Um. Starting buying Oxycontins after that and then by 2006 I was shootin’ dope and… ended up here. And now I shoot dope, coke, y’know, anything that goes in a needle, basically… so… I just- I love the high… I love the high.

Star: I’m high right now [laughs]. I’m not gonna lie, y’know? So…

JS: So you’re okay- so it’s like uh, I mean, are you content with your life right now? You’re content with the way things are?

Star: I mean, I don’t… I don’t like it, but at the same time I love getting high, y’know? So it’s kinda like you can’t have your cake and eat it too and that’s what I want. But I love getting high more- more than anything so, I mean I’m willing… to… I guess suffer the consequences of living outside, starvin, y’know. Not taking a shower, not brushing my teeth, fucking people for money… y’know? I mean that’s because of the game, y’know?

JS: Can you describe to me why- why you love getting high so much? What it is about it?

Star: The feeling. I don’t gotta deal with nothing. Nothing bothers me. I’m the nicest person in the world. I don’t think about anything. Y’know?

Star: It’s um… I don’t know, I guess uh, sense of security- I don’t- I don’t feel alone. I feel… I don’t, um, I don’t know. It’s just it’s, it’s a feeling that I’ve never had before with anything else, especially with shootin heroin. I just feel like, like I don’t cry about shit, I’m not so sensitive. I’m- I still think about shit, yeah. But at the same time, I don’t- I don’t know. It’s so hard to describe.

JS: Well what- could you try to describe what it’s like when you’re not high?

Star: Um… yeah, it’s- I guess it’s just uh… the whole thing is responsibilities and shit. I gotta big problem with that so… um. I mean, I been doing this since 2006 and honestly sometimes I feel like this is the only thing I really know, y’know? Like I’m comfortable. For the most part. For the most part. Y’know? Um… I mean when I’m not high y’know you gotta pay for rent, worry bout a job, worry bout this and that, y’know? And uh… I just don’t feel like dealing with it all. I mean I know this is the pussy way of doing things- running, but… y’know, it’s the easy way out.

JS: Wow, I would say the opposite. I would say it’s the harder way out.

Star: You think?

Star: I guess it’s like a f- and out here, it’s like a fast life. Everything is so unpredictable. You never know what’s gonna happen the next minute y’know? And uh, honestly I’m attracted to that. I really am. Y’know?

Star: Uh, even when I was in jail, after months and months of being clean, I- I would sit there and think like damn. I just wanna come back down here just to see what’s going on, you know what I mean? Because there’s always something going on down here. So, I mean, not even with intentions of getting high. I just wanted to see what was going on. Then I would come down, see people I knew, like see who was all out here. New people and shit. And y’know, I would- I would get high. And then it’s like, this is… honestly, I call… I call Kensington the Bermuda Triangle. Because it’s like once you come here, you get stuck, y’know? And- and you can’t go back. Like I came down here… um, a couple weeks ago… I came down here a couple weeks ago with the intentions… a couple wee- a couple uh… a couple weeks ago… I came here a couple weeks ago with fifty dollars with intentions of- of buying the drugs and going back home. I bought the drugs. Got stuck. The next day I just started trickin to get money. So I was gonna go home, but then I wanted a bag. So I got- I, it’s, y’know. And then I just gave up on the fact of fucking even trying to go home. Y’know? So…

JS: Damn.

Star: Like me, me and my- my friend right over there, we were just shootin up in the alley and somebody just started shootin. Shootin. We just dropped on the ground. Just shot up a speed ball. Dropped on the ground and just crawled and got out, because, you can’t really run as soon as you shoot coke and dope, y’know? So, I mean, as soon as we could get out of there we did, but it’s always something going on. It’s, I don’t- I don’t know.

JS: You mean to tell me you- you were shootin in an alleyway and you heard gunshots go off?

Star: Yeah! Somebody was back there shootin, I don’t know were they shootin, at us, or who they shootin at. But we just dropped and got out real quick.

JS: But that and the fact that there were those gunshots, like, it didn’t scare you at all? Are you like, are you kinda, you kinda just associate that with the lifestyle you’re attracted to?

Star: Yeah, I mean. Yeah it did scare me a little bit, but at the end of the day that’s the shit that goes on down here, y’know? So… I guess, I- I don’t know it’s part of the game and it’s a little bit of a rush, y’know, that that happened. It’s a little bit of sick thinking, but [laughs], y’know. It’s how I think.

JS: Do you have family that you see at all?

Star: Nah. Um every once in a while I’ll call my Grandmom or my uncle. Um. he lives in Bucks County. My Grandmom lives in North Carolina. But other than that, like I have a son. He lives with his dad. I- I’m not allowed around him. So that’s part of the reason I try to cover shit up too. Y’know, so I don’t think about him. Honestly half the time I even forget I have a son. Y’know, it makes it easier.

Jeffrey_Stockbridge_Star-02Star, Kensington and B Street, 2013.





03 001Nancy, 2012.

Matt and Carissa

Matt_and_Carissa Matt_Carissa_Journal_HighResMatt and Carissa, 2011.


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