Do you recall the first day going to school? What adventures await and how awesome it will be to learn, read and write, add and subtract, and make friends! Mom and Dad are sending you off into the world to become a student of academics!
When the kids were getting ready to go to school I asked them a question; Do you wish to go to school? If so it is a 5-year commitment and I will ask again when you are 10. For a 5-year-old what is 5 years and does the mind or can it calculate that amount of time?
I have been here for 5 years but feels like 2 because for some reason before 3 I cannot recall anything…at least that’s what I experienced except I wasn’t asked if I care to go to school but it didn’t matter having two older sisters already there I was all in! Every day they would come home with homework and I would be soaking up as much as I possibly can!
Before going to school, I had a basic reading, writing, and math level that made whatever I was learning easy, and often be the first to complete whatever assignment that was given. Every test 100! Occasionally the 98 or even 95 would annoy me cause I knew I could get 100 and Mom would definitely remind me that when getting home and tell me of all the possible trades and professions, you know lawyer, doctor, or astronaut that I can do.
I was well on my way to being successful!
At 8 years old things changed and after a few tragic events there was a shift in my desire for school and the streets became very attractive.
Being outside was awesome and stuck in an apartment was not. Having an abundance of energy to play, explore and see how the electric sockets and light bulb holder worked was fun though, taking everything apart and not really putting it back together was fun until Mom saw what was destroyed, and then it was not.
Dreams were awesome too and often saw a version of me as a superhero taking out all sorts of characters and flying around, scaling buildings, and waking up sometimes right before one of those things tried to take me out.
As I watched the elders on the block and listened intently to the war stories and crimes and prison experiences, the guy who returned from 4 years of college had nowhere near the amount of respect as the one who returned from a year up north. I started to see a gangster life as more appealing than some ivy league graduate and started my criminal escapade escaping from school at 9 and was on the run!
Started stealing, trespassing, breaking into abandoned buildings, and loved taking paint to write graffiti and spending time in the freight train yard and following the older guys getting high and getting up. Got my first arrest at 9 and boy was I proud the respect from the other kids was intoxicating! I did whatever I wanted and had no fear that I was aware of at the time.
Where was mom you may ask? Working supporting three kids on her own and in a state of illusion when the school called or police brought me home “Not my angel” she couldn’t imagine that any of those things they were telling her were true. Looking at this little 9-year-old innocent face, it was tough for her to accept he had gone mad. The school had recommended drugs to control this behavior a year earlier but after taking them she immediately threw them in the trash. She took a smaller dose of what they were giving me and could barely work and focus on her job and felt that it’d be best if I didn’t take them anymore.
At nine was the first time getting hold of a blunt (marijuana in a cigar wrapped nice and tight) and the drug experience began. By the time I was 13 I had not only smoked weed on a regular basis but also experienced what it was like to trip on acid, ecstasy, shrooms, angel dust, get high on cocaine, and drunk of course plus a few pills here and there that usually in most cases led to me laying in a pile of vomit on a park bench, staircase, rooftop or basement sobering up before going home…if I went home.
Running away was also one of the things that I would often do and ended up in Spofford juvenile detention center a couple of times and Elmhurst psychiatric ward b-9 if my memory still serves me.
13 was the year! a boy to man in some cultures and usually the beginning of puberty but I was off to an 18-month sentence for robbing a cop’s house with two older ‘friends’ and that squeaky voice was gonna stick around for a bit longer.
There were fights and daily physical training and walking around and sleeping with a sharpened toothbrush or pencil in my sleeve just in case someone tried to press me. There was a certain allure to the animal side of me and the constant awareness of everything that was going on.
What was crazy is that some kids were in there for stealing a candy bar and another had murdered his parents. In the process of going through these centers, there were many stories shared with me of the way my brothers had been treated at home and the trauma and pain that was inflicted upon them was terrifying. I thought my life was the worst because of the experiences I had but quickly realized it wasn’t as bad as it could be.
The day I was getting discharged a call came in for me and I was in tears.
“Why you cryin for fable? You goin home, what you gonna miss us?”
“Nah man my boy just got shot”
So the day I was leaving to go back home I was also getting a call that someone who saved my life from getting hit by a train one night bombing (graffiti term for painting) the J line out of Sutphin tunnel was going to be buried.
There were many other brothers I looked up to and admired in their street life that were also departing the world, either by way of drugs, ‘strange accidents’, or ending up in prison for long terms.
15 Now the street life was not looking so appealing and I was still alive! When me and my blood brother were 9 smoking that blunt cutting from school chillin on a rooftop we talked about mortality and how lucky we would be to still be alive after 15 and a sense of achievement and pride was noticeable in every step I took walking through the neighborhoods.
The girl I was dating at the time, her mother, read cards and did a reading for me, and told me about a crossroads and a choice that would be made that would determine two very different paths. The mystical world was always present for me, angels, demons energy-sucking vampires and parasites, goblins, witches, trolls, fairy sorcerers warlocks and we can go on and on…my imagination was awesome… but there were things that I experienced that I knew weren’t just my imagination.
The doctors would have had me as a Schitzo and the many other labels from ADHD and bipolar, depression, and whatever they said and tried to label me that I always felt was bullshit! They had no idea of the spiritual world and it became clear that these things I should keep to myself like the many hours of saying what I see in the inkblots became ever clear to me.
I self-medicated with whatever I could get my hands on but never picked a perfect poison or walked straight and mastered my high as one of the O.G. ‘s attempted to school me on. You could say I was an adventure seeker and also threw in some extreme sports flying off ramps with BMX bikes and rollerblading grinding rails and having all sorts of fun.
18 now and still seeing friends and loved ones departing the world, looking into books over the past few years on religions, philosophies, secret occult practices, politics, and plans for world domination from some of you out there I was looking for the answers to my questions and seeking the truth.
How am I still alive?
There were so many close calls and even a few where I felt I had left the world either from a crazy concoction of drugs, falling off a building, or moving train with head injuries getting hit by cars; there were quite a few of those.
At the closest to death of this body, I felt the most alive!
I started to write my story and met the woman of my dreams and finally got my life in order. I was on my way back home. I knew by sharing my story I could inspire those around me that there was another way and it was originally written in the form of a play with the working title “BUSHWICK TO BROADWAY”. A program for kids out of foster care awarded me “The Big Dreamer award” and a scholarship for a 3-day film school and everything was coming together.
Lawyers from a non-profit organization were helping me with a management contract and helping me see what ideas can or cannot be patented and what were some of the processes to realize these big dreams I have.
An old friend from the block returned from HOLLYWOOD for a family funeral and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. He was a genius in my eyes, taking apart computers and putting them back together before his 10th birthday and editing for major well-known artists, music videos, and entertainment companies. I shared my ideas with him and asked for his assistance. He shared his idea of a graffiti museum called MUSEUM OF GRAFFITI ART (MOGA) and it was awesome! Not just for displaying art but interactive centers for kids like us to go and have a venue to achieve something great and give us a better chance at succeeding in life by doing the things we loved.
Hip-Hop was at its core and the idea I had was perfectly attuned with his. I called up the lawyers and changed focus to build the MOGA!