Lookin' For Something: a life worth living is based on real life events and chronicles his 20 year battle with addiction to crack cocaine and sex. If you or someone you know have been effected by the disease of addiction, this book is a must read! This literary work is both prolific and raw; intelligent and insightful; heartbreaking and hopeful. Never before have we been given an opportunity to delve into the realm of crack addiction with such an up-close and personal view of the desperation and despair that comes with it. Riveting, fast-paced reading that ranks with the best in it's category.
"Looking' for Something" is the story of one man's journey to hell and back---'back' being the operative word. It is an important read for many people who need to know there IS hope after addiction. Graphic depictions of a life on crack are often disturbing, yet ultimately helpful to those who have not been there. It describes just how extreme behavior can become when one loses all control to get the next high. This book should be mandatory reading for professionals who wish to work with addicts, and it should be on every recovering addict's bookshelf, right next to their Daily Affirmation book.
It is a very emotional and inspirational read. It serves to inspire those who are dealing with addiction by letting them know that there is still HOPE for recovery. It does an excellent job of taking the reader on a compelling journey through his neglectful childhood and into his adult years while dealing with issues that surrounded his addiction. This is a "bible" for those who are fighting for their lives; as well as their loved ones, who are experiencing the pain of loving someone who is addicted.
“AS FAR AWAY AS I COULD GET”
“Nazareth! Can any good thing come from there?” Nathaniel asked.
Growing up in Baltimore had left a bitter taste in my mouth as a result
of too much violence, too many disappointments, too vast an open air drug
market and having one too many guns stuck in my face by desperate black men
who didn’t know they had other options.
I was tired of running through alleys filled with slimy sewer rats and even
slimier niggas. The dope game had gotten extremely vicious and I had seen
too many people die behind a controlled substance that no one seemed to be
able to control.
It was Sunday April 14, 1996 when I decided to make my exodus. I had
spent yet another night in a dirty crack house and I prayed that it would be my
last. The dealer I had crossed paths with that night was a brotha that had killed
several people and by the end of the night he hated me because I refused to give
him a pair of Adidas I had stolen from Mondawmin Mall earlier that day.
This brotha had begun to get high on his own supply and earlier that
evening he showed up at the spot where I was and threw a handful of vials
on the table and commenced to smoking, so being the dope fi end that I was,
I joined in.
Later in the evening when all the dope was gone and we were just sitting
around like dope fiends do when there’s no more dope, the homicidal drug
dealer with the closet addiction said to me, “What’s in da bag Yo?”
“Man!” I thought to myself, “Dis nigga done peeped dis bag and now he’s
gon want dese sneakers.”
“Aint dis bout nuthin”, I said to myself out loud. I reached inside the bag
that had sitting between my feet on the floor and pulled out the box with the
black and white shell-head Adidas because I figured he was going to want to
see them any way. I made sure not to hand them to him, but it didn’t matter
because the next thing out of his mouth was, “What size are dey Yo?”
“10 ˝” I said as the threat of impending doom began to set in.
“Dat’s my size nigga”; can I git those?”
“Naw nigga, I’m sellin dese.”
Well, needless to say what happened next was fairly predictable. He went
into this diatribe about how I helped smoke all of his crack, but when he asked
me for something I tell him no, and how that made him feel like I’m trying to
This was just the situation I had gone out of my way to avoid in the past.
The last thing I wanted was to get into a confrontation with a nigga that had
killed several people including a friend of mine. Frankie was a lesbian and she
and I had been running buddies since I first started smoking crack on a regular
basis. This dude shot her one night because she bought crack from someone
else instead of him.
Unfortunately for Frankie, 21st and Boone was one of those blocks were
the ambulance shows up after they think all the people with the guns are either
gone or dead.
That evening she bled to death in the street like a dog. Now it looked like
it was about to be my turn. I dared not pray and ask God to get me out of
this one because I knew I shouldn’t have been there anyway. I also knew there
would be no reasoning with this cat, but I had to stall while I considered my
other options. I hadn’t been in a fight in more than a few years because I had
been busy smoking crack, and while it is true that I can take a punch, this was
not the day for that.
Somehow, I was able to convince this killer that I meant him no disrespect;
it was just that I didn’t want it to look like he was trying to punk me in front of
those folks in the spot. I sold him some garbage about how I would’ve offered
him the sneakers, but he didn’t give me a chance because I was planning on
waiting until we got outside so I didn’t come off lookin like a trick. He bought
it and in the end I gave him the bag in exchange for my life.
When I returned to the spot where I had almost gotten killed over the
pair of stolen tennis shoes, the woman whose house it was started crying when
she stuck her head out the third floor window and saw that it was I ringing
“Do you know how many people he’s killed?” she asked. “We just knew
you were dead!”
That night she invited me to stay there and I did. It wasn’t like I had
somewhere to be. To show my gratitude, the next morning when I awakened
I left with the last two cigarettes in the house and the only working lighter.
Lookin’ For Something
I made my way to a local church in the neighborhood that I had been to
once before. It was a typical Black Baptist church in that they didn’t mind
praying for the drug addicts but they didn’t necessarily want them in the
church because they knew addicts would steal from God’s house just as fast as
they will steal from a stranger’s house.
There was a young man that appeared to be in his early twenties standing
at the door greeting folks as they entered and I waited across the street until
everyone else had gone inside before I made my approach. I knew my clothes
weren’t exactly clean after having slept on that filthy floor in the crack house
but I tried to compose myself.
The greeter and I made eye contact and his smile vanished as he positioned
himself in the doorway in such a way as to make it perfectly clear that he had
no intention of letting me go inside. I asked if I could get something to eat and
he said I would have to come back on Tuesday when the food bank was open. I
took his hint because the last thing I wanted or needed was to have this uppity
nigga call the police on me. I thought to myself, “Man, you know you’ve gone
too far now; you aint even welcome in God’s house no more.”
I walked towards downtown and as I approached the Inner Harbor area I
began seeing people gathering for an early game at Camden Yards. For a brief
moment I thought about trying to get some money from one of the baseball
patrons out there but downtown Baltimore already had such a bad reputation
for panhandling, especially around Pratt and Light streets and I just wasn’t
up for being told no. Besides, I would rather steal what I wanted than beg for
it. Personally, I thought those dudes that stood out there with signs were just
degrading themselves because as far as I was concerned, real men didn’t beg.
I headed toward the on-ramp of I-95 South and did the one thing that
my mother and grandmother had always told me never to do that I actually
listened to and had not done yet. I stuck my thumb out and began hitchhiking.
After having beer cans thrown at me by a group of skinheads in a truck, a
Maryland State Trooper pulled me over.
“Dag, a nigga can’t even get outta Baltimore without getting harassed!” I
said to the trooper.
“Where are you going?” he inquired.
“D.C.”, I responded, all the while feeling more than a little nervous.
“Do you know how dangerous it is to be walking on an on-ramp?” he
“Do you how dangerous it is to be a Black man in America?” I rebutted.
He seemed to ponder my response for a brief moment and then asked to
see my I.D. I told him my story leaving nothing out and when I was done he
radioed his dispatcher and said he was transporting a civilian. He took me as
far as his jurisdiction would allow which was just North of D.C. and when he
let me out; he gave me five dollars and wished me luck.
“That was a first!” I said to myself. “I got in and out of the back of a police
car without being cuff ed.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but God had his people in place and He was
lining things up for His own purpose.
I spent the night walking back and forth between the D.C. Amtrak station
and the Greyhound bus station because the police wouldn’t let me sleep in
either one without a ticket. Early the next morning I called one of my former
sugar mommas. She was a married woman in her early fifties and she managed
a program that was funded through the Mayor’s office to help ex-off enders such
as myself get back on their feet and obtain employment.
In the past, she and I would meet every Saturday morning at seven o’clock
in the parking garage across the street from her office building downtown and
we would have sex in her supervisor’s office, usually on the desk, because she
hated her much younger supervisor yet relished the thought of coming to work
each Monday morning with her dirty little secret in tact.
Afterwards, she would pay me and drop me off at the subway station near
John’s Hopkins on her way to do whatever it is that lonely, married women do
on a Saturday morning after cheating on their husbands.
I told her my story and she sent me five-hundred dollars via Western-
Union and by the time the money arrived I had befriended one of the older
women behind the ticket counter at the Greyhound station so she gave me the
military dependant’s discount rate on a one-way ticket to Portland, Oregon.
I bought my ticket, a pack of Newport’s and some food from McDonald’s
and then I found a seat and waited for my bus. At the rate I had been going it
was almost certain I would be dead within a year if I stayed in Baltimore. I had
the pulse of those dirty streets running through my veins and no matter how
hard I tried I couldn’t seem to tell myself no and actually mean it.
Things had not been going my way at all. I had been prayed for, prayed
with and prayed over, both with and without holy oil in the hopes that it would
relieve me of my overwhelming compulsion to self-destruct, but thus far it had
all proven to be ineffective and I was on my way to hell in a hand basket as my
grandma would say.
I was almost at the point of believing in my ever hardening heart that God
was finished giving me chances because I had taken things too far in terms of
the horrific acts I had committed against both self and society, but I couldn’t
give up on me.
I had been committing suicide in slow motion on a daily basis for years now
by smoking crack, chasing down women and living a criminal lifestyle...
Compelling Testimonial, July 1, 2009
Never before have I read such a raw and in-depth testimonial into the life of a crack addict. The author manages to give a very graphic and powerful glimpse of his journey to "hell and back". LOOKING FOR SOMETHING: A LIFE WORTH LIVING is a very emotional and inspirational read. It serves to inspire those who are dealing with addiction by letting them know that there is still HOPE for recovery. The author does an excellent job of taking the reader on a compelling journey through his neglectful childhood and into his adult years while dealing with issues that surrounded his addiction. This is a "bible" for those who are fighting for their lives; as well as their loved ones, who are experiencing the pain of loving someone who is addicted. BRAVO!
An important book for professionals, people in recovery and others wanting to understand the experience of addiction, June 7, 2009
"Looking' for Something" is the story of one man's journey to hell and back---'back' being the operative word. It is an important read for many people who need to know there IS hope after addiction. Graphic depictions of a life on crack are often disturbing, yet ultimately helpful to those who have not been there. It describes just how extreme behavior can become when one loses all control to get the next high. This book should be mandatory reading for professionals who wish to work with addicts, and it should be on every recovering addict's bookshelf, right next to their Daily Affirmation book. I have recommended it to my colleagues and clients for the lessons and the hope it holds.
The shocking truth of addiction, September 10, 2008
Malik tells his tragic, yet hopeful life story in a way that educates the reader to the blatant reality of addiction. Sex, drugs, crime, manipulation....this book is a tell all. At times, I couldn't believe that anyone could actually live like this and survive. His descriptions of sex and it's intoxicating affects will make anyone squirm. Knowing Malik personally, it's hard to imagine he led this past life. I sat across from him having conversations not knowing a thing about what he had done in the past and continued to do while I had contact with him. He was an expert at hiding it. Reading through the pages I had to contain my curiosity to sneak ahead to learn the outcome. It's clear it's by the Grace of God Malik is where he is today; alive and ready to tell the entire world that if he can beat addiction, so can anyone else.
I would recommend this book to professionals in the field who are working with clients with addiction issues and to family members who pray for their addicted relatives every day. Thank you Malik for proving there is hope.