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Shelley: Hunts Point Bronx | by Chris Arnade
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Shelley: Hunts Point Bronx

It was well after midnight when I ran into Michael, dressed this time as Shelley. The last time we spoke it was before he had changed and was still simply Michael.


The police were out in large numbers, vans rounding up prostitutes, addicts, and dealers. Shelley told me it was not surprising as it was the "first of the month. They want to make quota." He himself was not arrested, although he has been "156 times, and I am counting." Prostitution makes up the bulk of his arrests, although he has also been in for drugs, possession of paraphernalia, and credit card fraud.


If he can clear thirty bucks in a night then he gets himself a room; more than that, a room and some heroin. One shot for the morning, two for the night. Otherwise he will stay out all night and sleep wherever he can.


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


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Taken on February 4, 2012