The creator of The Wire remembers a young man whose life as a 15-year-old drug dealer in Baltimore was depicted in his book The Corner:
At first, he was content with the book we wrote about his world. By the time The Corner was published it was something of an epitaph for people who were already casualties. Not just DeAndre’s father, but Boo, Bread, Fat Curt, his cousin Dinky, Miss Ella from the rec center. The book was an argument that these lives were not without meaning, that they, too, were complete human beings in the balance. He liked that someone — anyone — thought the people of Fayette Street mattered.
In time, though, he confessed to hating the last line of the narrative, the one in which he is defined as a street dealer and addict at the moment after taking his first adult charge in a raid on a stash house on South Gilmor Street. There was a burden in that, and he grew tired of its weight.
‘That isn’t the end of the story,’ he complained to me years later. ’You don’t know that the story ends that way.’
This passage makes me think of this song: