Sunday, March 24, 2013
Review: Closet Full of Coke: A Diary of a Teenage Drug Queen
"Mesc: A misnomer for tiny, hallucinogenic, purple pills. Mesc is short for the word mescaline, a reference to peyote cactus. The pills do not contain peyote. They are made from low-potency LSD and fillers.
Upon release, she had opportunity to start over. Her father provided her with a job sifting through dirt, testing it for a construction project. She says that this job "humiliated" her. When she was actively a drug dealer, her nails were manicured, but now they are filled with dirt. I was surprised that she was so humiliated over working a legitimate job, especially after having come out of prison in which she experienced what one would think was a greater degree of embarrassment.
Buy: A wholesale purchase of drugs by a drug dealer." (Page 1)
This is only page one of Closet Full of Coke by Indra Sena. Right away the readers see they are about to be witness to a world that they may find disturbing. It is about a child who is also a drug lord surrounded by pimps, teenage prostitutes, and drug users, one of which is her own father. In many ways, she was a typical teenage who liked to get dressed up, have fun with friends, and fall in love; however, she is also the equivalent of a Street CEO in that she runs her own lucrative drug cartel. Indra for me was like a cross between Bella and Scarface.
Almost every chapter begins with a definition of a word relating to drug slang which further underscores the fact that this book is about a world that would appall most people and a child is directly in the center of it.
Indra hooks the reader instantly and maintains this pace throughout the book. I can say there was not one page when I was bored or disinterested which made it a quick read for me.
There are moments I actually became frustrated with Indra.
For example, being in jail was tougher for her than living the life of a drug dealer, even though she feared for her life on the "outside" on a daily basis. She takes the reader through her misery and embarrassment while imprisoned.
“Excuse me, officer,” I called out, “I’m having my period, and I need a tampon.” “Yeah, right,” she called back". (Page 209) Indra sat there for at least 6 hours with her underwear wet with blood.
It seems dirt in her nails would be a welcome change. There are times I thought, "why why don't you listen or take this way out?" The reader witnesses as she ignores her instincts, ignores good advice from those who do care about her, and throws away an opportunity at a second chance when she got out of jail.
You then realize this is a diary and her journey is going to take place no matter how much you want to jump through the pages and shake sense into her. Indra simply tells her story stating what happened without any filter, regret,or any judgment upon herself.
Overall, I did feel a great deal of sympathy for her, especially considering how she was treated by her parents. For instance, her mother left Indra and her younger sister to live by themselves so that she can live with her boyfriend who does not like children. Indra then describes her father's unconventional reaction when she reveals she is a drug dealer. "I laid lines out on my kitchen table with a razor and handed him the straw. My father’s face remained solemn. He simply took the metal straw from me, his slanted eyes oblique. 'You’re selling this now?' He snorted the line, 'how much?' (page 58)
My heart breaks for her at how her parents were not a source of strength and guidance which clearly led her on this destructive path in life.
My main criticism of the book is that it is really in need of an epilogue. An update on the characters in her diary and especially on Indra would have made the book more complete. The author does have an update on her web site of some of the characters in the book, which did provide me with the closure I needed from her story.
Bookshelf. "Closet Full of Coke" is a fascinating, brutally honest story of being a teenage drug dealer in the 1980's. It was so honest and uncensored, I felt as if I was looking through a neighbor's window but couldn't look away.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.