Living… somewhere between heaven and West Baltimore. Bubbles has tried to kick his heroin habit many times, but the cravings are too strong, the high too blissful. And so he squats in vacant brownstones and garages with his trusty sidekick and fellow junkie Johnny Weeks, plotting how to score some drugs.
Profession… street hustler. Bubbles does whatever it takes to survive and get his next fix: stealing scrap metal from a construction site, hawking T-shirts out of a shopping cart, counterfeiting bills, conning painters. After some dealers badly beat his friend Johnny, Bubbles – for a fee – becomes a regular police informant and soon befriends police detectives Kima Greggs and Jimmy McNulty.
Interests… shooting heroin. Everything Bubbles does revolves around the drug.
Relationship Status… none.Bubbles is too busy looking out for number one to pursue a female friend. He devotes much of his energy to “schooling” the much younger Johnny in the ways of the streets and the ways of life. Bubbles also has a strained family situation. His son Keyshawn lives with his mother, and his sister allows him to stay in her basement with great reluctance.
Challenge… getting clean. Bubbles asks Kima, “How y'all do what y'all do every day and not wanna get high?” He meets an ex-addict named Walon, who persists in trying to convince him to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. “Look, forgiveness from other folks is good, but ain't nothin' but words comin' at you from outside,” Walon tells Bubbles. “You want to kick this, you got to forgive your own self. Love yourself some, brother. And then drag your sorry [butt] to some meetings.” It’s good advice, but hard to put into practice given the hold that drugs have on Bubbles.
Personality… articulate, polite, and charming. Bubbles replaces “thank you” with an “obliged” and a tip of the cap. He may be an addict who rarely succeeds in kicking his destructive habit for long, but Bubbles is one of the most likeable people in the neighborhood. He is proof that we are all creatures of dark and light.
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