The personal story of one man's fall from success into the dark deadly world of crack cocaine use, his recovery, redemption, cure and ascension to spiritual truth.
When you think of a crack-head, what kind of picture comes to mind? A stupid teenager, with little, or no education? A prostitute? A smack-talking, ghetto-born African-American? Or, maybe, a misfit Caucasion dropout, from a broken home, with an alcoholic, abusive, absentee father? Crack-heads are street-walking, panhandling, hustling, poorly dressed, teeth missing, gaunt, thin, useless, and dangerous looking kinds of people, that you'd never invite over to dinner, right?
Well, guess again, because the author of these memoirs is an educated, articulate and thoughtful, formerly successful family and businessman, a grandfather, who owns expensive suits, always knows how to appear well groomed, and knows which fork is used when, at the gourmet banquets of the upper middle class. "I Romanced the Stone" observes, discusses, and exposes fundamental tendencies of addiction in our society, and weaves these general themes throughout the personal story of the author's journey.
The reader comes to understand that drug addiction is not some exclusive disease of the poor, or the uneducated, or the social castaways of our world; it is an insatiable and insidious ghost, shadowing anyone, of any walk of life, from any economic or social environment. It can appear as a false god, "the good life", and then devour you as "the grim reaper" is revealed bewilderingly to you, as your new slave master. The book tells how the author was rehabilitated, cured, and had his life and soul spared, through love and help from family, and most significantly, through a powerful spiritual experience. It is an inspiring, yet fearsomely awesome story, sending a message of hope, and advisement.
From Chapter One: "Getting My Work on the Way to Work"
Already late for my job, I run into a local seedy party store, rush up to the counter, and impatiently get in line behind a slender blonde I’ve seen prostituting around the area. I suspect she’s a junkie, as I observe her fidgeting, scratching at her neck, face, and arms, and pulling nervously at her stringy, unwashed hair. She gets her pop and smokes, and staggers out toward the front door, chanting some unintelligible hip-hop song. I step up, telling the young clerk, “Give me ‘the works,’ dog.” He gives me this knowing look and proceeds to fill a small paper bag with a “rose stem” (thin glass tube), “char” (a “Chore Boy” copper scouring pad) and several cigarette lighters. “That’s six bucks, homes,” the boyish-looking Chicano says, handing the bag to me. I pay him, walk out the back door, scanning the parking lot for any heat, hop in my car, and head around the corner, where I’ve got my pick-up all set.
I pull into the parking lot of a project complex. There’s litter everywhere and a rankling bouquet of garbage, stale beer, and urine wafting through the air, emanating from the overflowing dumpster enclosure at the far end. It’s a warm, smelly, sunny day, here in the ghetto, and in the center of the courtyard there’s a pickup game of hoops going on, a bunch of gangsta-looking street-ballers, talking smack and showboating. I see my dealer, a tall, heavily built African American, with deep-set black eyes, standing there in a Michael Jordan jumpsuit, waiting on me. Our eyes contact; he makes a subtle hand motion, indicating the best parking spot for me to take. I turn the car around and back into the space, so I can watch for any unwanted characters approaching my vehicle. He glances side to side, then saunters toward the car. Opening the side door, he sits down, and says, “Half a buck, right?” I reply, “Yep,” and he drops a small plastic bag in my hand. I give him the fifty dollars; he gets out, suggesting, “If you need me later, I’ll be around here all day.” “Holla atcha this afternoon, dog,” I shout at him,