An Ode to a Frenemy of Mine

Tom Deriggi and I came from completely different backgrounds, but, as the universe would have it, our paths intertwined. He was a heavyset guy with bright red flushed cheeks that seemed to accentuate his greyish blue eyes. Politically, we were on two opposite spectrums: Tom on the far right, arms folded, chest out; me onContinue reading “An Ode to a Frenemy of Mine”

Our Own Sort of Fun

Drugs. Violence. Police brutality. Hate. Love. Love. Love.  In 1995, if you would have read about the Robert Taylor projects, the news report would probably have headlined something like this:  “17 Men Arrested in Drug Sting at Robert Taylor Homes.”  But inside those forsaken buildings where no one but those who lived there would haveContinue reading “Our Own Sort of Fun”

Inspiration Comes from Everywhere

As you’ll find if you read my blog thoroughly enough, I grew up in the Robert Taylor Projects on the Southside of Chicago. If you do any research, you’ll find it was not the ideal place to grow up, being overwhelmed with drugs and gang activity. But it is where I am from, and IContinue reading “Inspiration Comes from Everywhere”

How to Write a Book

Recently, I have been working my ass off, writing, finishing my MFA and going to school while also helping to raise my three daughters. The question I am constantly asked is, “How do you find time to write?” I don’t find time. I make time. That’s the difference. Life will give you a million reasonsContinue reading “How to Write a Book”

Near Death Experience

One of my most devastating moments occurred when I was just twelve years old when I was hit by a car. I hardly ever talk about this, and I don’t know why. What I do know is that since that moment, I have always been aware of how life can change within just a matterContinue reading “Near Death Experience”

Millennium Park Seduction

Quetta and I became acquainted rather oddly. Before she was my high school sweetheart, we lived our lives parallel, our paths never really crossing even though we had many of the same classes.  Back then, I was just a scrawny kid with gaps between every one of my teeth. Everyone knew me as “smart,” butContinue reading “Millennium Park Seduction”

I Am a Drug Dealer, Not So Much

One of my most vivid memories of my life in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Projects is my friend Travis and me walking through a grassy field and finding a huge ZipLoc bag of crack cocaine. There had to be at least 300 rocks in there.  Up until this point, I had seen plenty of crack transactions.Continue reading “I Am a Drug Dealer, Not So Much”

I Hit a Girl

Since I could remember, I’ve had an affinity for cats. My love for them lies in their mysteriousness. They are quiet, gentle and affectionate. If a person rubs them the wrong way, cats can be pure buttholes. It seems they have a sense for who they should and should not trust. As I’ve said, IContinue reading “I Hit a Girl”