Thursday, September 08, 2005


“Ms. Haffner’s work is like second hand smoke to me, and there is no Surgeon General’s warning. It gives me a contact high every time.”
--ROBERT SOGG (Film maker)

“I wasn’t bored. It held my interest all the way through. Like looking through a keyhole.
The ending is hilarious. 5 stars!”
--ART POSEY (Songwriter)

“In a world that is increasingly sane,
this just keeps getting crazier and crazier/”

--The Editors


new wind press

Theresa Haffner

new wind press

New Wind Books NW-005
Copyright © 2005 by Theresa Haffner All Rights Reserved.

This work has been fictionalized. Similarities between events or actual persons living or dead are coincidental and not intended as a representation of fact.

Except as part of a review or for educational purposes, no portion of this work may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced for distribution except by written consent of the author.

First Printing, August 2005. Price $10.00

NEW WIND PRESS, 1626 N. Wilcox Ave. #368,
Hollywood, Calif. 90028


Suddenly she was afraid of police. It was not what she expected. But there it was. Irrational. Incontrovertible. And backed up by a month’s unprecedented events.

She had not been paranoid before. But then she had not had any drugs in her possession before. Now was the first of the month. Everybody’s disability checks had come in, and in addition to paying the rent she had purchased a sixteenth of speed. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride. About a hundred dollars worth of a brown powder known as ‘hydro’ compressed into the form of a single rock. It was very potent, very powerful.

This was nothing unusual. It was what she had done every month for more years than she cared to remember. It was the only time during the month she would be able to get high as much as she wanted to. After the SSI check had come and before the money ran out.

She had never been afraid before. But last month the police had been to the apartment five times. Shaking everybody down. Even Womack, the notorious head of Hollywood Vice/Narcotics had raided the place twice.

“If I was Womack,” she thought, “and I was the No. 1 Narcotics Officer in a large city like Los Angeles, and I wanted to bust an apartment of people who use speed who are ‘disabled’ and live on a fixed income, I wouldn’t waste my time coming before the end of the month, when nobody had any money and probably nobody had any drugs.

“I would use my head,” she thought, “and wait until the first of the month, when everybody’s checks came, and when Common Sense said everybody would be holding. Then I would go over there and shake them down.

“If I wanted to bust anybody, that is,” she thought.

Her name was Black Star. But she was not black. She was a Caucasian transgenderal in her late 30’s early 40’s who lived and dressed as a female.

She was diagnosed a transsexual ( pre-op) (male to female) but somewhere along the way the sex change surgery had been abandoned due to lack of money or possibly disillusionment. She was not promiscuous. Her common law significant other of many years was a career criminal and was doing one of his periodic parole violations in the state penitentiary.

She was not a hustler or a prostitute. Or a criminal, for that matter. But she was a speed freak and had earned a reputation years before as a high profile speed dealer. But not any more. Now she wanted to write poetry. She was trying to publish a little poetry magazine with her friend David Behrens, who under the pen name “Bill Bored” had been famous as the music critic for a well-known porno magazine called the L.A. Star.

She was white, but the people she lived with were predominantly African American. She shared the rent with Ninas, an African American who was also a speed freak who was also receiving SSI. She had the bedroom, Ninas had the front room, they shared the kitchen and bathroom, and the walk-in closet was inhabited by Jimbo, an ex-biker who was dealing speed.

Although neither she nor Ninas were dealing professionally, the apartment actually served as what could accurately be termed a ‘shooting gallery’. A place where drugs could be procured, either directly, on the premises, or from someone who would know where to go get them. And where, if you scored, if you turned somebody on, i.e. ‘kicked down”, you could expect to shoot up there. And after you got high, spend some quality time -- socializing -- in a controlled environment where you were off of the street and reasonably secure that you would not be robbed or busted.

It had become the focal point of the soft underbelly of speed freaks, dope addicts, prostitutes, hustlers, homosexuals, and petty criminals that formed the ‘speed’ or ‘counterculture’ community in Central Hollywood. About two blocks from Hollywood Blvd. and Vine Street. About a block away from the Capitol Records Building.

Although she and Ninas kept their finances separately, Ninas had started letting dealers stay there and deal out of there in return for kicking down speed for his drug habit. And although she didn’t have a direct arrangement with them, by living there, she benefited from occasional kick downs and by being able to purchase speed on credit through the middle of the month and pay the tab on the first.

She was collaborating with David Behrens (a.k.a Bill Bored) on a little underground poetry magazine called Aftershock. They had begun work on it promisingly enough, but had to put it on hold because David got picked up and had to do time on an outstanding warrant for under the influence. He was a heroin addict.

Ninas’ first live-in house guest about 30 days before was ‘Mouse’.

Mouse was a small, nondescript light skinned black person whose sunglasses and hand held ghetto blaster tuned to KNAC, the heavy metal station, made a fashion statement. Though he listened to heavy metal, his following was mostly among young white punk rockers who made him their leader and followed him devotedly.

Mouse, despite his diminutive stature, was an intimidator. He loved to get high and masturbate. So he would barricade the front room. If anybody knocked on the door, he would verbally threaten them. If anyone tried to enter, he would physically assault them.

He kept trying to incite Black Star to initiate violence with him. He would insult her, taunt her, make threats against her, but he would not strike her unless she struck him first.

“Take your best shot,” he would say to her. pointing to his outstretched chin.

If she succumbed to hitting him, he would feel justified in retaliating with full force. So she would never engage him. She would always back down and chide him for being so argumentative.

Then Ninas said to expect the police. He was suspected of being an accomplice in a burglary. He was staying away, laying low. And told them to clean up. That the police would be there.

About three days later they came. They wanted to talk to Ninas. He wasn’t there. They were very calm and reassuring. They checked I.D.’s. Mouse’s and Black Star’s. Mouse still had his parole ID. Black Star had a Medi-Cal card. Neither had any warrants.

The detective and a female officer looked around the apartment at what belongings were supposed to be Ninas’. Then the detective came into Black Star’s bedroom, which she padlocked and kept separate from the rest of the house.

She was working at her computer. An Apple SE that she was using to lay out the magazine.

The Detective said, “Look, I could run you in.”

“I don’t think you will. All I’m trying to do is work on my poetry. I’m not trying to do anything wrong.”

“Look, this is your hit dish,” he said, indicating the shot glass where she regularly dissolved her speed and drew it up in a hypodermic syringe.

‘Yes, but there isn’t anything in it,” she said.

The detective acquiesced. He gave her his business card. He said to have Ninas call him, or if she got any information to contact him.

They had been so polite, so reassuring.

That was the first time.

Mouse was becoming a problem. He was being too intimidating. He had virtually taken over the apartment without anybody’s permission and he was running it to suit his purposes without any consideration for anybody else.

Visitors were turned away at the door and told not to come back. He wouldn’t let Bill Bored walk through the living room on his way to see Black Star in the back bedroom without trying to hit him. So they couldn’t work on their magazine. He was threatening Ninas, so that Ninas came by more and more infrequently.

Black Star stayed in her bedroom, emerging only at meal times to cook her rice. Mouse would harangue and threaten her the whole time, coming closer and closer to actually hitting her before she disappeared once again behind her bedroom door.

The atmosphere in the apartment was gray and desolate. KNAC, the heavy metal station, played 24 hours a day from the corner of the front room, but the mood was oppressive.

The situation was not good. Something would have to be done. The questions were what and by whom?

She and Mouse were alone when they came the second time. She was in the bedroom with the door closed. Mouse was in the front room. KNAC played a barely audible layer of heavy metal like a subtext of anxiety from the shelf in the corner.

This time they were still calm. They were still polite. But they were not as reassuring. They didn’t break any doors down. There was no loud yelling. They gained entrance merely by knocking on the door. Mouse let them right in. At first she couldn’t be sure it was the police. A woman’s voice said, “Are you surprised to see us? You knew we would be coming, didn’t you?”

Then a man’s voice said, “Possession of hypodermic syringes is a violation of parole. You’re under arrest.”

Black Star’s ear was pressed to the door and her heart pumped in her throat. After Mouse was handcuffed, it was harder to hear what was going on. There was a sense of several people, muffled voices, an aura of officiality. No dope was found, but neither did they search for any. Barely fifteen minutes passed before they left with their prisoner. They never did look in the back bedroom.

An overwhelming stillness announced that they had gone. Another ten minutes passed before Black Star got courage enough to open the bedroom door and go out into the front room. Everything was the same as it had been but the room was empty. The front door was left standing open and the radio was still playing.

She closed and locked the front door. Then she secured it as best she could from unwanted entry by sliding furniture in front of it. Then she turned off all the lights and all electronics first in the front room, then in the kitchen, then the bathroom, then and the walk-in closet. By the time was able to reenter her own bedroom, she hoped it would give the impression that there was no one in the apartment. No one knew but her that Mouse had been busted. It would still be some time before people started coming there, because no one would dare try to come in the apartment if they thought Mouse was still there. This gave her a small window of opportunity, but she still had to hurry if she hoped to finish on time. She closed locked and dead bolted her own bedroom door and slid a pillow in front of the crack at the bottom of the door to thwart unwanted observation.

She continued working swiftly, not thinking, but responding to impulses from a deeper center, an unknown space. She cleared an area in the center of the room large enough for her to lay down full length in any direction and remain symmetrical with the room’s measurements. She put down a blanket, fashioned a makeshift altar, and placed a drawing of an equilateral triangle on it.

Before she lowered the room lights, she put the rest of the speed she had in the hit dish. She drew it up and injected it.

With hot lava rushing through her veins she took off all of her clothes, lowered the room light, and lit the candle. Kneeling before the altar gazing at the equilateral triangle. With her own finger she traced a similar triangle on her forehead.

Then she masturbated.

The first visitor she had after she finished was the neighbor three doors down who had a phone with a message from Mouse. The message was that his punk rock friends were going to come to get his stuff to keep it for him and to just let them have it.

“Fine,” she said. He had most of his stuff packed up in a huge army surplus duffle bag.

“That’s his?” he asked.


“Well aren’t you going to go through it?”

“I hadn’t planned on it.”

“You’ve got to. You can’t let him get away with that. He could have anything packed up in there.”

At last she consented to the search, conducted by her neighbor. To his credit, Mouse had only two items in his duffle bag that Black Star recognized as hers. One was a dildo that came up missing when he first arrived. (He hated homosexuals,) The other was a book about Witchcraft and Black Magic. (He hated witches.)

When Ninas came back several hours later, she told him that Mouse was in jail.

“Oh, go-oo-ood!!!” was Ninas’ reply.

Ninas replaced Mouse with J.T. J.T. fit the profile of a traditional Black Pimp. The Department of Corrections kept him on a very short leash. He had just gotten out and was already absconding. He was abusive to women, but women were drawn to him. His complexion was dark. He was older. He had a pretty nice personality, but violence smoldered just below the surface.

He was dealing a pretty good quantity. He had three girl friends on a regular basis, a regular harem. All of them white. Georgina, Laurie, and Little Laurie. All three knew about the others and seemed compatible with the situation. It was a first wife/second wife/ and third wife situation.

Black Star had once been in a first wife/second wife situation. Her opinion of polygamous relationships: She was all for them as long as she was the first wife.

Add to this J.T. also cultivated a brief but star crossed relationship with Katrina, once Jimmy Stone’s old lady, a high level speed dealer, and consummate car thief. She was driving a Ryder moving van that was not hot, because it had not been stolen, but it was not cool, either, because it had never been taken back after it was rented.

It was a Saturday Night. Bill Bored, Black Star’s partner, had just gotten out of jail and had come over. They were beginning to work on their magazine once again.

It was because of the Ryder Truck. But it was also because of the suspicion on Ninas about the possible burglary that they came to the apartment. Also there were a lot of people there, a lot of unexplained traffic.

They came to the door, (women officers and men officers and I suppose the inevitable plainclothes detectives).

They were very polite and very calm. They asked everybody to come out into the hall.

This took quite awhile and there was plenty of time to ditch or hide any contraband if anybody had any.

Black Star and Bill Bored were alone in her bedroom, which was clear at the other end of the apartment from the front door.

“Well, I guess we had better go out,” she said after about 10 minutes.
They made everybody stand facing the wall with their hands touching the wall above their heads. Assuming the position.

Ninas was there. He was taken to a private location and interrogated. Then he was returned to the group.

(Katrina was questioned as well. But most people were not hassled too badly.)

The only one who didn’t come back after the police had left was Bill Bored. Police ran a make and found a warrant that had not turned up when he was released.

So he was rearrested the same day he was released and had to go back to jail for another 2 months.

Things deteriorated. J.T. started dealing more quantity. He was selling to Black Star on credit. He purchased a rifle and cut down the stock or handles to make a pistol grip. He sawed off the barrel to shorten it. A “sawed off” shotgun with a pistol grip is one of the most notorious weapons it is possible to possess, at least from the point of view of the police. This was a “sawed off” rifle.

He “kicked down” speed to her for letting him stash the rifle underneath her bed.

He was getting more and more paranoid. He wouldn’t let her play music or listen to the radio. He wouldn’t let her close or lock her bedroom door.
He stayed inside the bathroom, listening out the bathroom window.

J.T. kept saying they were coming. They were on their way. They would be there soon.

Her bedroom was a shambles. A mess. Everything all over the place. Good things in with the bad things. Valuables mixed with trash. Her bed was covered with clothes, cassette tapes, books, papers, dirty dishes, art supplies, computer equipment, plastic bags, empty soft drink bottles, wastepaper.

Seeing that the room was so disorganized, she reasoned that the most important thing was to not have any contraband on her person. She had about ¼ gram J.T. had given her for stashing the rifle under her bed. And about 7 or 8 pharmaceutical Dexedrine tablets that Ninas gave her.

If the drugs were not on her person it would be hard to prove that they belonged to her at all. Knowing a little about police, she knew they despised a mess, pack rat conditions, etc. So she just put the tiny plastic zip-lock baggie on the bed and mixed it in with the bedclothes and empty plastic bags and let the Dexedrine hearts loose on the bed with vitamin tablets and aspirin.

The shadows were long and tense by nine o’clock p.m. There was only J.T., Jimbo, and Black Star.

She was in the bathroom when they came. The door was kicked open with a slam. The cops secured the premises within seconds. She didn’t even have time to flush the toilet.

The cops were not playing around.

Apparently they had gotten a report about somebody with a gun. J.T. had been brandishing the gun to visitors and customers. Perhaps he had frightened somebody unduly and they had called.

Perhaps not.

They weren’t uniformed police, and they weren’t polite. They were vice. Plainclothes. About eight to ten of them.

They were under the command of Detective Womack, the most famous, well known, and feared high profile narcotics detective in Hollywood. He was responsible for busting more high profile dealers than Moore and Davis.

They did not mess around. They searched the apartment very thoroughly. They tossed the apartment, emptying all the drawers and closets, overturning the furniture, strewing the trash – effectively and very professionally—upturning everything in the apartment.

One of the detectives found a plastic baggie—about ¼ oz.—of a packing material used for dehydration. Like it was a joke.

Ninas was not there. He was supposed to be at the library. Womack went to the library to find him. He didn’t find him.

They found the gun and confiscated it.

But they didn’t find any drugs. They expected to find at least ¼ oz.

When Womack came back, he came in. He was in plain clothes. He had long hair. He wore a baseball cap turned backward on his head. He looked like a Mexican gang member. He looked indistinguishable from any other dope addict.

There was joking and joviality. Womack asked the other cops if they wanted to fix anything to eat. Fry some eggs on the stove in the kitchen.

They had the gun. They were going to take J.T. They handcuffed him and took him out.

Womack elected Jimbo to stay behind and keep the house safe and secure.

Then he had Black Star handcuffed and told her he was taking her downtown. As an accessory. And because they had found paraphernalia.

She was handcuffed and forced to walk out of the apartment and down the hall.

She knew that without drugs or other contraband it would be unlikely that charges would be filed. It would be a D.A. reject.

When they were part way across the parking lot, Womack turned to her and spoke to her privately.

“Look,” he said, “you’re not really the one we want here. All you have to do is tell us where he gets his drugs and we’ll let you go.”

“I couldn’t do that even if I knew anything. I have to live here with these people, and if I informed on them, it would be dangerous to my life.”

“Well where does he keep his drugs?”

“He probably has them on him. That is if he has anything. There’s a good chance that he doesn’t have any. That’s what he said. He might be out.”

“Okay, look. I’m gonna do you a favor. We could take you but we’re not gonna. We’re gonna let you go. You owe us one!”

So he left her in the parking lot. Unhandcuffed. She made her way back to the tossed apartment.

In her room everything was upside down. The only thing in place was a pharmaceutical bottle of 500 Dexedrine hearts that Ninas had prescribed for him for narcolepsy.

She removed the drawers and upside chairs from her bed.

She locked the bedroom door and searched on her bed. She found the tiny zip lock baggie of speed and the tablets Ninas had given her.

She put the tablets back in the bottle. She took the speed.

Outside the window the silence was deep. Oppressive. Deep night. About two hours and she heard voices. It sounded like somebody trying to buy something. Then a short police siren and shouting voices yelling at someone to not move, to drop what was in their hands.

Apparently someone had been called to make a delivery, had shown up, and found it was a set-up. And the police—Womack & Co.---had busted him.

Around midnight Ninas came home. Black Star stayed locked in her bedroom. He hadn’t been back for more than a few minutes when she heard the front door kicked in again.

It was Womack. This time with only one other cop. All he wanted to do was talk to Ninas about something.

They talked for a few minutes and left. Black Star couldn’t hear what they talked about. They didn’t come back to her bedroom or knock on her door.

Then it was the end of the month. Nobody had money. Nobody had drugs. Nobody was doing anything.

Then it was the first.

Ninas got his check. Black Star got her check. Jimbo scored and started selling $20 bags. There were a lot of people. Traffic. Shooting gallery clientele. Usual first of the month stuff.

Black Star scored a sixteenth of speed. One and ¾ grams of brown hydrochloride in the form of a single rock.

It was early in the day. She turned on a couple of people. Art Posey. Kicked somebody down for getting it for her.

Everybody was very polite and well behaved. In good spirits.

She got high herself. She was too paranoid to shoot it, so she swallowed some.

She couldn’t stop thinking, “If I were Womack and I was that powerful a narcotics detective, I would be well informed about the people I wanted to bust. I would observe and learn and ask questions, and I wouldn’t be a fool about it. I would be smart. I would be understanding.

“Especially if I had tried to bust someplace a week before. I wouldn’t want to make another dry run. That is, if I wanted to bust somebody.”

It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if two people in the apartment got SSI checks on the first, they would buy drugs then, too. For their own use. To sell. That if there was an ideal time to come it would be on the first in the afternoon or evening.

It wouldn’t take that much research to figure it out. Ask the landlord. Call Social Security. Stake out the apartment. Easy.

Five times in the last month the police had come. They had never found any drugs (or any stolen merchandise.)

The irrational fear began to take hold of her.

There were people she didn’t know coming to visit Jimbo in the walk-in closet. She heard people knock on the front door. She heard people in the kitchen.

The paranoia getting to her, she closed her bedroom door.

Her bedroom door had a deadbolt that had to be locked with a key from outside, but could be locked with a latch from inside.

She locked the door.

She had heard the police come very politely. Even cheerfully. There was no reason why they would have to be loud or violent. They knew most of the people. They could come just like friends—or customers.

They could be (or would be) both female officers and male officers.

Even Womack acted like he knew everybody.

She had taken the rock of speed out of the plastic baggie and put it in a brown plastic pharmacy bottle.

Following her strategy of before she took the rock out of the pharmacy bottle and placed it loose on the bed among the plastic bags, cola cans, empty cassette cases, books, trash.

She had done this before locking her door. She couldn’t have anybody in the room because they might find it. She had misplaced it loose on the bed.

Now with the door locked she heard a female voice in the kitchen.

“Hello. How are you? You aren’t surprised to see us, are you? You knew we would be coming.”

Then it got unusually quiet in the front room behind her locked door.

“Come on out here.” It sounded like they had called everybody out of the kitchen and bathroom area to the front room. Like they could be handcuffing them and searching them.

She didn’t dare make any noise. If it was the police, and if they didn’t know she was in the bedroom, the door being locked, she reasoned there might be legal reasons (no search warrant) for not going into the room without probable cause.

The speed must have been working because her imagination was working overtime.

At one point somebody asked Jimbo where she was. Was she in the bedroom? He didn’t know. He hadn’t seen her. They knocked politely. “Maybe she’s asleep,” said Jimbo.

She was too paranoid to see anybody. Whoever it was—Ronnie maybe—banged on the door—BLAM BLAM BLAM—as loud as he could.

Maybe she wasn’t there.

There were empty plastic bags and paper—trash—everywhere. She was sitting on a chair in the middle of the room.

She couldn’t move in any direction because that would rustle the paper and could be detected.

It was getting dark outside.

Speed was working pretty good.

Paranoia. She began to feel heat—and light—like the room was being scanned from outside on the street by infrared night vision sensors.

The apartment outside was silent. Door closed. Voices. Like handcuffed prisoners being led out.

Finally desperation overcame her fear. She lunged to the bed. Reaching the bed she surreptitiously and quietly as possible searched for the rock of hydro.

She had only used ½ gram or so of it. There was at least a gram or more—1-¼ grams—left.

At last she found it.

Desperate to get rid of the evidence, she swallowed the whole thing.

She lay still on the bed. It began to come on.

She got so high she began shaking convulsively.

She was so high she couldn’t even masturbate.

At last around midnight or two in the morning she fell into a kind of spasmodic sleep.

At last it was morning. When she came to the apartment was absolutely quiet.

At last she gained courage to see what had happened.

She opened the bedroom door.

The apartment was deserted. Jimbo’s closet door was standing wide open, as if he had been unexpectedly taken away.

The kitchen was deserted. Desolate. Empty. There were items of clothing strewn about the floor.

She looked into the front room.

The front door was standing open.

The room was empty except for Ninas. He looked like he was picking up stuff that had been strewn around in a police raid.

It looked for everyhing like the police had busted the place and had taken everybody in but Ninas. (And Black Star.)

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Where is everybody?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did anything happen last night?”

“Nothing,” he said.

“You mean the police didn’t come?”

“No,” he said, “the police didn’t come. Whatever gave you that idea?”



Charon ferried the Souls of the Dead across the River Acheron but only for a price. Those who could not afford it were denied passge and condemned wander 100 years without a resting place.




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“Poetry is breath. If you are a poet you must sometimes have to write to continue breathing.” –Theresa Haffner (Different Drum)
Exciting new poetry by one of today’s best modern poets!

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THREADBARE Literary Journal VOL I & 2
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(with David Behrens AKA Bill Bored) $20.00

surface of the land (1992) (concrete poetry) $15.00

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