It was around midnight when I ran into Takeesha, who was high. The police were out in force; Princess was arrested earlier in the day. Takeesha thanked me for the first picture and wanted to talk about her past:
She said her mother was a prostitute and an addict, whose pimp put Takeesha out on the streets at twelve. Takeesha had her first child at 13, the result of being raped. "I had a lot of bad experiences. I used to be with pimps. I got cigarette burns on my body. (They) beat me with hangers. They used to punish me, put me in closets with rats."
She came to Hunts Point in 1988, and that's when she started using heroin. She used to be on methadone, but she got kicked off Medicaid, the result of some missed paper work. When I asked her why she didn't walk to Mott Haven and fix it she said, with tears in her eyes "This place is so bad and evil. It's like so simple to walk across the bridge, but it's like you can't go across, you understand? This place is evil. It's possessed. It's evil. I been here a long time. There are bad spirits here...I have seen good people. I have seen people that have family, jobs, and they come here and they get dug in, and two weeks later they living in a cardboard box."
I post people's stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist. I don't try to verify, just listen.
More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction