The other night, upon returning home from Easter in Sioux Falls, I had yet another encounter with the neighborhood drug dealer.
He asked, “You smoke?”
I told him I don’t.
The neighborhood drug dealer asks me if I smoke at least once per week, usually when I’m in the yard letting Olive out. He wears a puffy green coat and tip-toes up and down the block, stopping at times to stand on the corner adjacent to ours.
Nevermind the police station two blocks away or the police who regularly drive by and never take notice. While I admire his audacity, I want to snitch.
Maybe I shouldn’t be bothered by the neighborhood drug dealer. He seems mostly peaceful. Clearly, he’s not selling to purchase lavish goods, because he’s worn the same coat and shoes since we moved here last July. Once, I saw him hiding behind a neighbors fence because he’d seen two men walking a pitbull, and when I spotted him from the across the block, he bashfully asked, “They gone?”
Maybe the neighborhood drug dealer has mouths to feed. Maybe he works the third shift at General Mills or he has a learning disability and our corner is the only place he can make a buck. These things cross my mind every time I consider calling the police. No one wants a drug dealer in their neighborhood, especially with young children to consider.
I don’t support the legalization of marijuana, but I do think it’s the only way to get rid of neighborhood drug dealers. While the policemen who drive by are busy sleuthing for speeders, I have to wonder what the this guy’s hiding under his puffy jacket. I have to wonder what it would mean if his customers could purchase a safer product at a drug store or clinic, the tax for which being funneled back into the state. I don’t support legalizing another vice, but clearly, there’s enough people who flout the law, anyway.
You know why I don’t call the cops? Because I expect another neighbor will eventually. Maybe the gentleman down the block who called the police in the teenagers who were firing B.B. guns at dogs. He seems like a voice of reason. He seems like he wants a safe neighborhood. But, then again, maybe he’s a customer.
I’m afraid to call because maybe he’ll know it was the shaky-voiced guy who always looked a little panicked when approached. He might be removed from the corner, but who knows who he’s working for. Maybe our neighborhood is a lucrative one, and my snitching might mean some kingpin is missing out on his keep.
I should spend less time watching The Wire.