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I'm a Comedian who loves to write blogs about my past experiences, no matter what they are.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Street Survivor

                            Whats happening beautiful people? I know, I know, but between the Banana bread and other writing commitments sometimes I tend to neglect one of the things I enjoy the most, which is writing these things. Its an exercise for me but they mean the world to me because I just don't want to write something, I want to give you a piece of me in 6 minutes or less and sometimes its hard.
                           When I first moved to Givernaud Terrace back in 73', one of my first friends was Dominick Speciale. He was Sicilian, medium build, blond hair, blue eyes, he didn't look it, he looked like a surfer. He was funny and crazy so we got along. At first we did kid things like sports and light mischief. We lifted weights together and went to sports camps together, one in particular was, 'Offense, Defense Football camp". The host was Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, it was a blast. We both came backed changed kids.
                            By the time we were in the 8th grade, we were inseparable. Another passion we shared was music. We bought albums then traded them, it was great. We were getting older and curious so we would chip in from time to time and get booze. First "Boones Farm", then we moved on to beer, then hard booze. We went through the pukes together all that shit you go through when you first get into that world.
                         One day we decided to try marijuana. We had woods behind our house in those days which led you right to a poolhall-bowling alley. It was a dream come true. We would smoke then sit in the woods till you came down then we either went right to the bowling alley where they served chocolate milk or we'd walk down to Tonnelle Avenue diner and laugh at the waitress, thats how young we were.
                       Towards the end of the 8th grade, we had one of our own die towards the end of the school year. It pushed us in a way, I didn't know then but I know now. In those days there were no school psychologist on staff, in New Jersey? Please! We roughed it out on are own. That summer we started experimenting with some crazy shit. They called it THC Crystal. It was a powder that you snorted. They said that if you took the stems from weed and boiled it the powder was the end result. You bought it in 10$ packages. It would fuck you up.
                     At first, we would split a 10$ sack between 5 of us. The high lasted like 5 hours, We would get high and walk around till we came down. Then we started getting crazier. We would snort a sack between 3 of us, down from the 5 people in previous highs, and go into New York City and fuck around big time. We would start on 42nd Street and walk a while going into peep shows and trying to buy drugs from street hustlers then we'd take a train to the Village and smoke dope in the park with strangers and we'd go to Bleeker Street and buy music, we were 13 years old for Christ sake, a thousand things could have happened. We'd also take trains into Harlem to try to score "Chocolate Thai" weed. We had some close calls with people trying to beat us but in the end we'd always get home.
                     My parents were never home in those days so we'd end up at my house. We'd listen to the albums that we had just bought. I still remember listening to Zeppelin 2 and 3, Black Sabbath Paranoid, Rolling Stone's, "Get Your Ya-Ya's Out, The Beatles, "Rubber Soul", and "Help". But the album that sticks out the most, that blew our fucking mind, that just made my head want to blow the THC Crystal out of my ears was definately "Street Survivors" . That was a masterpiece! I just wanted to move to the South and get a cowboy hat and a gun and shoot people, thats a whole different story.
                   By this time we were in High School and we were trying to be athletes, so we kept our drug use to Sundays only. THC was being sold in our hood, we didn't have to go to Union City to get it. Some of the older guys that hung at 38th street park had it. I had started fucking around with acid also so it just wasn't the T as we called it.  The Summer going into sophmore year, I got a lung infection, I was in the hospital for 15 days. I asked the Doc if I could smoke, he told me nothing to affect my lungs. So I gave  reefer and the THC crystal a break and focused on acid for a while.
                  That November my Mom died and I went off the deep end after that. Dominic and I were still close but since we didn't live next to each other anymore so we hung in different circles. He started hanging out more and more at the poolhall with the older guys, the same guys that sold the THC. I was uptown doing blow and eating qualudes at this point.  On Sundays the guys from the poolhall would go to a lake. They would get some beers, some food, music and just do some old fashion partying. I went to a couple of them but I didn't like the idea of being stuck out there with a bunch of drunk guys so I stopped going, besides they were older and they treated us weird.
               By this point, I was still doing the T from time to time. But I found out this wasn't THC, it was a mixture with angel dust and horse tranquilizer, that really wasn't what I wanted to fuck with. It was Summer we were getting ready to become Juniors. One Monday morning I wake up to a phone call, Dominic had drowned. I wasn't there but I knew what had happened in my heart. When the smoke cleared I was right. He had done T and something went wrong. People started pointing fingers but who cared? He was gone.
              About 5 years ago, I was on Tom Leykus and we were taking calls and one of the guys points to me, I had a call. It was a woman with a Jersey accent, she said Coco you might not remember me but I'm Vita, Dominics little sister. Sure I remember you! We exchanged numbers and got together. It was amazing. She came to my wedding and since then she's become family. Shortly after we met, she told me she had a dream. It was about her brother, they were sitting eating and in the middle of taking a bite he looked at her and told her to tell Coco to write the book. She said she hadn't dreamt about him in a long time. That he looked how he would have looked today. I took the dream to heart and started writing, not a book but about everything.
               Till this day, I don't remember any of the details of his funeral. Not the wake, or were it was at, or wheres he's burried, nothing. I guess I was in so much pain at the time, it was like an emotional blackout. I have a picture of Dominic on a book shelf along with the other brothers I lost along the way and believe it or not, I honor them every Monday. I light a candle and sit there and think about what there lives would have been like if they lived. I also think about my life and how I have to make it mean something because of the things they could never accomplish or get to do, thats where I get my strength.
                The funny thing is, our favorite song on that album was, "That Smell" and the funnier thing is the name of the album is, "Street Survivor", exactly what I've become! Life works in mysterious ways!
Thank you for taking the time and have a Great week!
Most important.....................Stay Black!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


                                Hello beautiful people! Hope your 4th was tremendous and safe. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. I've been busy with other bullshit but now I'm ready so lets do this. Movies have always inspired me. People say that there just a form of entertainment but there are certain movies that just hit us a certain way.
                                I remember going to see "The Godfather" for the first time. I left that movie theatre floating. Not because of the killings or the Sicilian chics titties or Marlon Brando. It was the Wedding scene, when Michael and Kaye are sitting down and Tom Hagen walks over and Michael introduces them. When he leaves she asked Michael, if they were brothers why did they have different last names? Michael told him that one day Sonny found him on the street and he had no home and no family, so he brought him home. WOW! Can I do that?
                                I ran home and told my mother the story. I asked her if I could bring home a kid that didn't have a family? She told me yes! If I could find one. I was an only child that always wanted a brother, so the search was on. I was looking for a tough Irish kid. After a few months of asking around, I got nothing. I thought, fuck it! I'll just go for any nationality, whats the difference, I need a brother. By the time I was thirtenn, I gave up.
                               Something was going on around me though. I was becoming tight with different kids in the neighborhood. I was always at different homes eating, swimming and shooting hoops. My Mom did her thing and I did mine. Then one day my Mom dies. I'm fifteen. I really had no family and they were scattered. I had an Uncle in California, a Godfather in Miami and my Dad in Union City, but I was set in my ways. I had grown up in North Bergen and thats were I was staying. I considered just staying at my Moms house but my step Dad started with the who's going to pay for the mortgage bullshit. I had money but not that type of money.
                          I figured I'd deal with it after the funeral. The first family to approach me was The Avillo's. There Dad had just died. There were 3 boys and I got along with all of them, till today Steven is one of my tightest friends because of that. But I had issues. I had been on my own for so long that I didn't think I could stick to a curfew. I was an only child, I had everything in my room. An air conditioner, my own colored TV with cable. I had nice carpeting plus my own bed, plus I came and went when I pleased, who was going to deal with it? This other family asked also, the Garcia's, nice people, but I would have to share a room, I was holding out for a top draft pick. The Balzano's were the obvious choice. I had basically lived in there house. Years earlier there son had passed but I still remained close. They had a nice home and all but Carmine was strict. I told him I would get back to him.
                         There was this one family I was tight with also. They were, The Benders. The kid I hung out with was John. Years earlier he had beaten me up and after that we became friends. He was the first kid in the hood who had an underground pool. I had a pool but it was above ground. I would go over there everyday. Afterwards I would stick around and clean up a bit while everyone else would leave. I had a pool and knew how it was, people would come over and leave a mess. They way I looked at it, I could go over there when ever I wanted, why ruin that?
                       One day the Dad said something about it, how I would stay. Shortly after, we became friends. He would ask if I'd go to the track with him? I would ask, what about your other boys? He would tell me they didn't want to go. How weird? I didn't have a Father but if I did, I would go to the track everyday with him. I started going with him. He would give me dough and teach me how to cash winning tickets for people and get 10% of their earnings, Mr. Bender was very cool. He dug me but his wife hated me. I would go in and eat and it would drive her crazy. I'd fill up a big bowl of pasta with meatballs, and she would look at me and say, Good Country America! It bothered me but it didn't.
                   The last night of my Moms wake I'm standing there by the casket thinking to myself. I was thinking about my life and how I now was alone and of all the lessons she taught me to get me ready for this day. While I'm standing there ready to break down, someone whispers in my ear, I'm here for you Coco! I know people have been asking you to live with them, it would break my heart if you didn't come and live with us, as a family. It was Jimmy Bender aka Mr. Big.
                 Right there at that moment I remembered the scene from "The Godfather" and thought to myself, someone is bringing me home! Fucking Amazing! Thank you for reading. This is the story from my One Man Show. I hope you enjoyed it and got something out of it.

See you Tomorrow @ The Irvine Improv for Banana Bread Thursday @ 8PM........Much Love and Stay Black!!!!!!