Stray Dog: Notes from the Underground, is the true story of Elias Christopher growing up in the Inwood section of Manhattan during the 1970’s. This poetically written story is about a teen that walks a road to perdition and finding himself on side streets of sex, drugs, thieving and brutal acts of violence. This is no cautionary tale but a triumph of a soul that rises from the dirty ashes of the streets.
When life has no more avenues of escape Elias reluctantly enters rehab but does not find success. He is thrown out the second day only to face the streets one more time. A final run on the street does not last long. Elias accepts his fate and willingly enters Daytop Village a drug program that at times is seems more like a cult.
Excerpt: Night descends quickly on Times Square a dark stranglehold takes place. The buildings shine with a seventies glow of cheap neon lights. These lights are the uncertainties of the real bright lights of Broadway; they are its brother Cain who has taken lives in the form of depravity. In the dark the breed comes out, the animals are unleashed from the zoo, and they ooze via the brick walls that held them captive during daylight. Junkies, pimps, hustlers and whores all rule, they are they tainted royalty on the fallen streets.
I met Johnny Adams early on my runs, a thick plank of a Brooklyn brother recently released from Riker’s Island; he claimed he was captain of the tier. Johnny was guilty of it all, armed robbery, making dust heads, hoeing girls from Kansas and anything else he could do to turn a dime. Crime was his life and his life was the streets.
Johnny sported the cleanest wife beaters, black jeans with dozens of pockets, ultra British Walkers and a huge gold medallion with the initials EC, for Eldridge Cleaver. He was the first one I ever saw who had a tattoo burned into his arm, that of a raised scar.
Excerpt: Daytop Village, Millbrook, NY: Steve Tally was running the interview; he still had the look of junky that has seen too many nights of heroin. To each side of Steve were other members but their names flee me, it’s been so many years since I stepped foot into rehab.
Daytop was located somewhere upstate New York, too far from the Bronx border. I arrived in the night and seated on a bench in a large foyer. Kids of all ages and color passed me by. It was a strange fucking place some kids had shaved heads some signs that read odd things. The girls were plain, no make up a few had hair caps to mimic shaved heads. I would soon discover that these were called learning experiences.
I was alone in this strange place and the only thoughts in my head was how the fuck did I get here. It’s May 20th 1980. The Beastie boys were burning air with Fight for Your Right to Party, Huey Lewis wanted a new drug, The Ramones wanted to be sedated and the Dead Kennedy’s were too drunk to fuck. It felt like everyone involved in the eighties was all about feeding the head.
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