Living in Baltimore, Fighting Zombies — Quietly.
It’s probably obvious by now but on the four year anniversary of my site, thatguysonheroin.com, I decided to officially stop posting. When my wife and I started this site and enlisted a few friends to throw in occasional posts we were young, childless, and in love with our city. Four years later the only thing that remains is our undying love for Baltimore, and my inability to admit my age even though I’ve thrown out my back more times than I can count by lifting small children.
My wife, friends and colleagues have been endlessly supportive of the site, which has run as a four year long Public Service Announcement about the ills of doing hard drugs to both the users and the communities they shoot up in. That being said, I was finding it difficult to find new and innovative approaches to a one-dimensional topic.
Yes, drugs are bad. Yes, shooting up and then letting your pants drop in the middle of MLK because you’re too fucked up to pick them up makes you look retarded. Yes, the lack of respect for their own life is both mind-boggling and pitiful. Now what?
I know there are a number of individuals who the site reached who were either one-time users, or current users who saw the site and used it as inspiration to get off drugs (some of whom saw themselves or loved ones on the page). No, I won’t give names, but I believe I posted one personal message where the author gave consent in 2013.
Those messages are the reason I kept this site going after multiple attempts by Facebook to take the content down. I was constantly creating fake aliases to take over administrative ownership of the page (my favorite was A. Jackoff) and transferring between them once every few weeks, and it was a game I could probably have kept up forever if I felt like it, but it was getting exhausting and as my children grew it was becoming a lower priority in my life. I hate to sound selfish, but helping strangers on the Internet realize just how far they have fallen vs teaching my son the alphabet was a no-brainer and so the posts became less frequent.
The next phase in the life of a piss-and-vinegar guerrilla blogger is a lot ballsier than the last: Navigating the schools system in Baltimore City while living in a downtown rowhouse. That’s right, in between posts of passed out addicts in McDonald’s bathrooms with needles sticking out of their arms, I was touring elementary schools and learning about charter school lottos.
The thought of starting a blog on this topic has crossed my mind more than once. The craziest part of the process we’ve encountered so far is just how damn easy it is to find great schooling options for kids in downtown Baltimore, and just how few parents know about them.
But this all material for a different blog, under a different name, and unfortunately these two will never intertwine. Because while I make it a point to show my children the ills of drugs and the stark reality of what that “just try it once” decision leads to for thousands of promising youth every year, I just simply don’t have the time to continue doing it for your children as well.
I love you Baltimore. More specifically, I AM you Baltimore, and will continue to be for generations and generations to come.