I don’t know when my prodromal symptoms started but I was a crazy teenager to say the least. I was a punk rocker on drugs and at the age of 18 I decided to fly to New York and try my hand at theater…
I was born and raised in California and knew nobody there but my high school drama teacher convinced me I was a natural for stage theater, so ran with that. I went on one audition and forgot my singing lines because I was stoned ha ha! Didn’t get the part.
I had 800 dollars from a car accident so went with that and hope to get “discovered”. But the thralls of the punk rock scene, drugs, sex and anything outrageous appealed to me so off I went with a one way ticket to La Guardia airport.
This is not fiction. I arrived at night and ended up staying at the apartment of the cab driver who was very nice but wanted more for him allowing me to spend the night so I was out of there. I did not believe in God but looking back I see how much God protected me during this very insane time of my life.
I found a cheap hotel, Hotel 17, in lower side east Manhattan. And from there I set up camp. I panhandled for money and did what I had to do to survive but ended up on the streets in a squat (an abandoned condemned apartment building) with fellow punk rockers. We were a tribe and did everything together, well mostly.
We had fun getting high and living off the kindness of others, whether it was to take a shower or to receive a meal. We panhandled for drugs or a slice of pizza and I used a Swedish accent to feign the need for help which was real. I looked for a few jobs and would rotate between the cheesey hotel and the squat.
But then tragedy struck…
part two tomorrow