Beckett Gladney

"Hey mom. What's crack?"

"Hey mom. What's crack?"

“Hey mom, what’s crack?”
“Um… What?”
“You know, Crack. It’s a drug, right?”
“How do you use it?”
“What? You mean how do you take it?”
“Yeah, what is it?”
“I think it’s a form of Cocaine, a powder or rock-like form of cocaine.”
“Rock-like? What’s it look like? How do you use it?”
“Um, I’m not really sure, I’ve never used it. It looks like little rocks, I think; sometimes they melt it and then smoke it, but I’m not actually sure…”
“Why do people use it?”
“Well, why does anybody use drugs? Usually they want a feeling really different from their ordinary life, to escape, to feel good for a while. But it’s really addictive and really hard on your body.”

“Whitney Houston used crack.”
“I think I heard that too.”
“I don’t think she died from a drug overdose, but everybody says she used crack.”
“Why would she want to use crack?”
“Maybe somebody offered it to her and she tried it. I think it’s easy to get caught in a downward spiral with drugs like that. Maybe you’re just feeling blah and then you try it and it makes you feel different, great, for a short while, and then it wears off and you feel incredibly lousy, worse than before. So maybe then you take more to get back that high feeling and after you feel even more lousy and it just leads you into this downward spiral. I don’t know really. Maybe she was unhappy in her life. Seems like everyone is saying she was really unhappy in the last few years.”
“But why would she be unhappy? Look at her life—she was famous and rich and she had everything a person could want.”

“Well you know even rich people have their problems, right? Just because they have all sorts of money and things doesn’t mean they’re happy.”
“Okay, yeah, I know, but it’d make everything easier, right? I mean, she had all that money. What did she have to be unhappy about?”
“Different people have different problems, Ri. She may have had a really rough childhood; we don’t know.”
“Well you had a rough childhood and you don’t go around talking about how mean your dad was all the time and letting it make you so unhappy you’d use drugs, you went ahead and made a nice life for yourself, right?”
“Aww, thanks, Ri, that’s really a sweet thing to say. But everybody has a different story. We don’t know what happened to her and what she had to overcome.”

“Sometimes it’s not so easy to just put it all behind you and get over it. And I think it could be incredibly hard to be really famous.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, think about it. If you’re super famous, say like Tom Cruise or Whitney Houston, and everybody on the planet pretty much knows your face, what do you think would happen if you just went down to the grocery store?”
“… Hmm. I guess they might get a big mob around them. And maybe they’d get attacked or something.”
“Yeah. How would that be? To never be able to just walk down the street without people pulling at you, following you, bugging you, wanting things from you?”
“But some people really want to be really famous.”
“True, and they might really, really like all that attention. But then what happens if they stop being as famous and nobody pays attention to them anymore?”
“They might miss all that attention and feel like a total loser... It might make them really upset. They’d be all sad and angry.”
“Maybe that was happening to Whitney Houston.”

“But Whitney Houston was all smiling and happy looking when she was singing the National Anthem. She looks really happy.”
“I think that was from a few years back, Riley. I’m sure she was really happy right when she was singing, that sort of thing is one of those high points, a great moment sort of thing in a life, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, and she did lots of performing and stuff so she must have felt that way a lot, right? That sounds like a pretty happy life, doesn’t it?”
“Well, what happens then when she wasn’t as famous and didn’t get to do as many big performances and just had to live in the everyday world more?”
“Do you think somebody like that maybe just can’t live a regular boring life?”
“Maybe; I think some famous people really live for those big moments and it’s maybe just not possible to live high like that all of your life; everybody has to live through the mundane stuff too. Like all the everyday chores and all. Don’t you think?”

“Maybe once you’ve tasted that high from all that attention and applause it’s really hard to go home and do all your laundry. Maybe you try drugs to see if they can make you feel that high like you did when you were performing.”
“I bet she didn’t have to do her own laundry. She could afford anything.”
“Well, but you know what I mean, right?”
“I guess. It’d feel really stupid and depressing to have go home after a big concert and then have to wash the dishes or clean the cat box.”
“Somehow I doubt she had to clean a cat box. I wonder if she had any cats or pets.”
“She shoulda had a mom to take care of all that stuff.”
“Huh. Not everybody’s mom is willing to clean the stupid cat box, Riley.”
“Okay, but maybe if she did she’d have been happier. Maybe she really needed a cat, too.”
“Yeah, maybe. Maybe she needed a stuffed anteater and a kitty in her bed at night. You think that might have made her feel better about her life?”
“Better than crack, I bet.”