What can YOU say in six sentences?
Chili's story was all of their stories, write large, so to speak.
Take Glen, hard-muscled, pug-nosed, with a drawl straight from grits. Twenty years of chasing the bag in all western states, with three bits in Huntsville, hard fucking time, to show for it all. Glad he no longer had to wake up every day and plan what to steal to stave off the sickness.
Nice, quiet Jeanie, silver-haired, never said much, a lovely, shy smile--and back in the day she'd driven the getaway cars for drugstore and bank heists. She'd never done time, but they'd found her rolled in a rug in an alley one time near the end of her 30-year run.
Hell, Joanie--out in the life she'd run her own crew, mostly dudes, stealing copper for resale at scrap yards. You might have seen her that time on Eyewitness News, or rather gaped at the shots of those copters chasing her van down the freeway--like O.J.'s fandango, but jacked up on speed. She wound up queen of the cellblock at County and missed the joint by a hair.
Today, you wouldn't have known Joanie'd geezed, because she is one tough, strong, proud lady. See, junkies are shame-driven, man, regardless of whatever blowhard facade they've got on, and most of the women out there have got to turn tricks to stay well, either that or boost Nordstrom's like Mandrake...
But Joanie'd run crews, and she'd kick a man's ass if she had to, and so, what was the thing that had got Joanie loaded?
Maybe this: as we've all been told by the preachers and pushers and pimps and police who rule in God's country, strong women are not what women should be. Women are supposed to look pretty, have kids, cook and clean--and shut the fuck up in the meantime. That's been the message forever.
And yeah, the last 40 years, and Hillary Clinton, and all that good jazz--but look how the nazis and Limbaughs took out after her.
And with Joanie, somewhere way early, something inside her--her sense of herself as a female, a person--got stomped on and kicked, though it didn't kill her the way it kills some. It curdled a lot of the good things inside her, however--her openness, humor, and strength--and made her angry and mean for a long fucking time, and angry, mean people get to the dope to try and smooth out the days.