When I was getting high I was never a ‘tough guy.’ I never ‘ran the streets.’ I never ‘ran shit’ in Camden, New Jersey. I had foster homes for abused children. I had a needle in my arm the whole time and it got so bad I would occasionally steal their Adderal and snort it in the bathroom just to stay awake – and possibly alive. I speak to a lot of these foster kids still. I still help them a lot when I can – I love these men and women and love that they are still in my life to a degree. I love you Kavlier Luke and I’m sorry I can’t be what you need me to be right now.
I worked for a database that sold regulated internet to public schools and worked with them on keeping kids away from predators of any sort on the internet – I had a needle in my arm or I snorted 240mgs a day of OxyContin and always had a minimum of 3-4 Xanax a day. But I was never a tough guy – some fights on the basketball court, a bar fight here and there, and just some regular old run ins that I suppose men get into rightly or wrongly. I’ve had my ass whooped plenty; just look at my nose, lol.
The first time I had a gun pulled on me from someone working ‘in the treatment industry,’ was by a man named Mark Smithson. It was at Patty’s house. She used to hold amazing AA meetings at midnight, with tiki torches and homemade brownies and cookies…I’m still not sure if she ever really understood how much that meant to our AA community. However, if she ever reads this – I want you to know it meant the world to a lot of us and you are so appreciated…good people always their guys, like Sean Pocker, Jarrett Slaff, just good, solid AA guys. So many other people who attended those meetings are dead now – Roy Rock, who committed suicide just a few days before he was supposed to come to my house in Indiana and work the steps; Andy Foreman and Carlos, man fucking Carlos was just a beautiful and good person that couldn’t stop shooting dope.
I saw the gun clearly – a black Glock. I saw Smithson’s face and he was a big guy, 6’3″ maybe. He had rage in him. I know rage all too well – I’ve experienced some myself. His was different though. I saw it in his face and he was smooth Mark Smithson man, if that makes any sense at all – smooth rage.
Me? I was scared. I didn’t know what I’d done but I knew by the look in his eyes that I was his target. I was so God-damned scared. He looked me dead in the face from his Bentley and raised that Glock, the gun-metal shining off his dashboard. “If you ever steal a client from me again I will blow your mother fuckin’ guts out, nigga,” he said as he started to get out the car, he had his gun in hand and I was frozen…just paralyzed really, by sudden shock.
I believe it was Ivan Baker who stepped in front of that gun as he then looked at me, dead in the eye, telling me, “Go to the meeting!” Craig was going, who was also right behind Bake, to stand in front of that gun. I’m ten feet away from Smithson and now he is yelling shit about me waving a gun, a fucking gun at an AA meeting; Delray was changing and changing for the worse.
So y’all know and don’t fool yourselves, Bake is one of the most intelligent, loyal and good-hearted people I’ve ever met. As much as me and Ivan’s relationship gets unsteady sometimes he’s still my brother – that man has always been there for me and me for him. He will always be my brother. I listened to Bake somehow and just turned around and walked, and at this point I’m praying to God – don’t let him shoot Bake. I remember that prayer: please just keep my brother alive.
I got to the back yard meeting and it was maybe just 25 yards from Smithson. I see Roy Rock and I tell him what’s going on and Roy, fuckin’ Roy looks at me and says, “I’m going to kill him,” as he promptly walks to where the men are. Thank God though Smithson was gone because if anyone could escalate a situation it was Roy Rock. Good Lord do I miss him, man.
Fuck. I’m crying as I write this – taking a writing break. Then I will post about the second time I had a gun pulled on me by people in the recovery industry. This gun was held to my temple…