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!