Detroit has been under martial law for the past six years, ever since the gang violencewas so bad it escalated into an all out war in early 2006. It ended quickly when the armysent troops in to “maintain peace and order.” They sure as hell haven’t made it peaceful,and as far as order is concerned, crack is more abundant than gasoline. Soldiers patrol thestreets by jeep, rarely on foot, and even then do little to help anyone but themselves andthose on their ‘list.’ The army is based in the old armory center, lead by the corrupt andsadistic Lieutenant Carl Verges. It is common knowledge that he receives payoffs fromthe factory owners and drug lords alike in exchange for their protection. In Detroit, thearmy acts eerily similar to the mob. Which of course pisses off the real mob.Vinnie Tortelli, the boss of Detroit’s mob, moved in shortly after the gang wars. He sawthe lawless streets as the perfect opportunity to sell drugs and rip off the factories. Hetook his crew to the top of the organization and united all of Detroit’s crime families. Ioften see them clashing in the street, the goons of the mob trying to steal from slavedriving factory owners or gang drug lords and the soldiers being paid to protect them. Ionce worked for them, as a hit man, hired to kill who ever the boss desired. I quit, andhad to fake my own death in order to do so. Once your in with Vinnie “The Ratchet”Tortelli, your in for life. Or, in my case, death. It’s easy to fake an auto accident when noone cares enough to check.A light snow begins to fall as night comes creeping upon me and I hurry to get indoors.Stopping to talk to a few people on my way, I reach my tenement with two things: a bagof heroin and a hooker named Melissa. I open the door for the former and toss the latter on the table. “This is where I live. You like it?” I ask.I don’t believe I’m asking a hooker to judge where I live. Still, its something I wouldonly bring a hooker back to. There is very little furniture, only a table in the center withone chair, and a small bed, low to the floor, stuffed in the corner opposite the door. Asmall fridge sits to the right, and a stove and sink are built into a countertop aroundcorner from that. It is a very small place, eight feet by twelve feet, lit by a small lamphanging from the ceiling above the table. During the daytime it is lit by two largewindows above the bed.“Honey, I love wherever you bring me,” she answers.I smile at her. “Of course you do.” She smiles back and I rip open the bag of my drug.A few hours later Melissa and I sit on the floor letting the drug run through our systems.This is my favorite part about hookers: they make the best listeners. The overwhelmingeuphoric effect of it always acts like a truth serum for me and I end up spilling my guts.Melissa was lying on her stomach, one leg bent at the knee extended into the air, the other one stretched out behind her on the ground, her short white skirt riding down on her,exposing the small of her back. Her curly blond hair falls around her face as she rests her head in her hands and listens to my life story intently.