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July 21, 2008 / chrisisgross

David Carr

Yesterday, as I was reading my Sunday New York Times(one of my favorite luxuries) I noticed a very interesting book excerpt, entitled Me and My Girls, in the Magazine. It was the true story of former crack addict taking care of his newborn twins who is now a successful journalist(not so coincedentally for the New York TImes).

Here is the opening of the piece. The book is available on Amazon.

Where does a junkie’s time go? Mostly in 15-minute increments, like a bug-eyed Tarzan, swinging from hit to hit. For months on end in 1988, I sat inside a house in north Minneapolis, doing coke and listening to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” and finding my own pathetic resonance in the lyrics. “Any place is better,” she sang. “Starting from zero, got nothing to lose.”

After shooting or smoking a large dose, there would be the tweaking and a vigil at the front window, pulling up the corner of the blinds to look for the squads I was always convinced were on their way. All day. All night. A frantic kind of boring. End-stage addiction is mostly about waiting for the police, or someone, to come and bury you in your shame.

After a while I noticed that the blinds on the upper duplex kitty-corner from the house were doing the same thing. The light would leak through a corner and disappear. I began to think of the rise and fall of their blinds and mine as a kind of Morse code, sent back and forth across the street in winking increments that said the same thing over and over.

W-e a-r-e g-e-t-t-i-n-g h-i-g-h t-o-o.”

The prose is scintillating and Carr does not dwell in the hype of memoir instead he uses his journalistic skills to research his past life. Rather than putting together the idealized view that memoir takes he goes back and interviews those that were a part of that portion of his life. He gets the truth from them rather than his imagined truth.

Personally, I am looking foward to reading this book once the library has the book.

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