I’ve been working on the project for almost a year. It’s a love story.
Jason Andrades spends most of his time on a street corner on the border of Williamsburg and Bushwick. He grew up there hustling drugs, although he’s spent about half of his life in jail.
At the height of their dealings, Jay and Mikey used to sell thousands of dollars of drugs a day. Everything from heroin to crack to cocaine to ecstasy would pass through their hands. These days the only legit work they can get offers a mere fraction of what they used to make.
Around the same time Jay started dealing, he also started using. He first tried hard drugs because he heard it would make sex better. Now he’s been addicted to heroin for about 15 years. He’s maintained a healthy appearance because he would snort it rather than shoot it.
After years of working the corner, Jay knows just about everyone in the neighborhood. He jokes with the young kids and helps out the older folks.
Jay smokes a tobacco laced with PCP. He has cravings but tries his best to stay away from heroin.
Gladys is Jay’s savior. They fell in love two years ago and it changed Jay’s life. He lives with her in her project apartment. However, Gladys is well-educated and empowered. Though they have very different moral backgrounds, they balance each other well.
For the first time in his life, Jay sought out treatment for his heroin addiction. He goes to a methadone clinic everyday and receives 100mg.
On warm days, Jay opens the fire hydrant on his block and washes cars for $10 each. He doesn’t mind hard work but he’s never really had a regular job.
Jay sings to Gladys on one knee. Jaheim is his favorite singer because Jaheim was also in prison.
Nevaeh is Gladys’s granddaughter and Jay has taken on the role as the primary male figure in her life.
Jay often tells Gladys that if she were ever to leave this earth, he would leave with her.
Please watch the audio slideshow of Jay telling his story. He says so much more than I ever could.