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Age 18

Just left Mexico, and got escorted back up to Northern Idaho. Two weeks before my 18th birthday, before I became an adult. I was still a minor and was not able to choose where the next destination was going to be. Things started to change when I turned 18. Now, when I was 17, everything was basically the same, I had known these people if you remember before Mexico, I was living with them for three weeks, they also had another kid living with them at the same time.

The first couple of weeks, he (the other kid) was going to high school in the little town. Before I turned 18, the two of us hung out. We were the same age and he introduced me to the people around town. He enjoyed the same kind of things I did like smoking some weed, playing basketball and hanging out. I made some new friends and then I turned 18.

Without any knowledge of me, I got a couple phone calls. Well, I had to sign some paperwork while in Mexico, but there were no numbers on any of the paperwork. Everyone kept it a secret, everything in my life has been a secret nobody tells me anything. Remember I was kicked out of Mexico two weeks before my birthday, in order for paperwork to go through about a month before my birthday, I had to start signing paperwork. So one of my uncles, remember, the one in control of my money, he kept sending me papers to sign. I turned 18 and two very large things happened, over $300,000 was now in my name.

The other major thing is I got a phone call. I got a phone call from Chicago from a bank. And they told me that I had another, $300,000, and sent me the trust paperwork. I read it, I understood it. I could comprehend it, but I didn’t quite grasp what it meant. There was a clause I didn’t quite get, it said, “How has he been able to show he’s responsible with the money that he has?” There’s a reason why I say that and explain why in just a second. So as an 18 year old, who has, never seen money before because I went to boarding schools and institutions at 12. To give an example of how foreign the regular World was, the first trip I took to California, my friend’s mom let me use her car. I almost ran out of gas because I couldn’t figure out how to pump gas at the station, I was at the gas station watching other people to learn and understand the process of pumping gas.

Like every other normal kid, I knew Christmas gifts and I knew the concept of money, but I did not know how hard it was to obtain money. I didn’t understand the working class. I had been in programs, food was provided for me, shelter was provided for me. I didn’t know I was paying for it, I found out when I turned 18 years old. Everything I’ve just explained to you, I paid for. So I got to pay for Cascade, I paid for CEDU, I paid for this, I paid for that. I got mental handicaps a little bit right now and hey, I paid for it.

You can imagine I was not the happiest camper. I don’t think any of you guys would be very happy either if you found out that all the misery you just went through, you paid for it. So I was not happy, but I was free. And I just had a lot of money, but I didn’t know it was a lot of money and I wasn’t really aware of my surroundings. I had no idea that $300,000 was a lot of money to people who had no money.

I met one of their sons (the family I was living with). We were the same age, I was 18, he might’ve been 19. We became friends because the person I was living with was still in school. What was I going to do for eight hours while he was at school, and I had a pocket full of money? First car that I bought was a 2001 Yukon, that was the everyday car. Then I went to Montana and decided that I wanted a Camaro. So I bought a Camaro, 1967 Camaro drop top. Beautiful, wish I had it, bought it for $15,000 and it’s worth $60,000 now. So it was one of the best investments I ever made if I would have kept it and I didn’t sell it for free. 

18 happened really fast. It turned out miserable, but let’s start the rollercoaster. At this point in time, I had a Camaro and a Yukon. I was bored and saw a Mustang drop top. The Camaro kept stalling on me. So I decided a logical thing to do was buy a Mustang, during this time, not very many people were reeling me in. The family I was at, they told me, yeah do you want to talk to this person, invest in stocks, but I never made it that far. I found this lovely thing called alcohol. Before I went to programs in ninth grade, like I said, I had maybe drank a couple of times. Now I had a pocket full of money. I wanted to invest, I wanted to become rich and famous.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t want to live in Northern Idaho. I met another friend of their son, who was 21. So he was our designated alcohol buyer. when I was in programs in magazines, there were alcohol commercials, what are they doing? They’re partying, they’re having a good time. To me, if I wanted to have a good time, then let’s go get some Captain Morgan’s or let’s go, I heard it in the songs since I was little, let’s go get some Hennessy or let’s go get some gin and juice. I didn’t know any better and I just started drinking and drinking and drinking.

I ended up meeting somebody, it seems like everyone’s from California when you’re on the West coast, at least they’ve lived in California at one point in time. So yes, the son of the family I was living with, he was from California, but he was more like a do boy. I can’t say a negative thing about him. We just went our separate ways, after the story you might understand why. He was a perfect assistant for my craziness.

If we needed to make phone calls, he’d be on the phone making the phone calls. If we needed to get airplane tickets, he got the airplane tickets. The friend I made had more of a hustler’s mentality. He was selling some weed. He was always trying to make some money. The swagger that he had was completely different. You have a do boy that’s like, yes, yes, yes. And then you got my other friend, which was, “Man, come on man, let’s make some money together, let’s make this money.” So with the two of them together, I had the perfect match for disaster. Everything was going great, it really was.

Again, I didn’t know what I was doing. So any idea sounded like an amazing idea. Now, this one buddy, I was introduced to, he had an idea of opening up a store. The idea was amazing, if I didn’t spend as much money on trying to get it started,with a whole bunch of rubbish. if it was managed better, it would still be open to this day, 20 years later. The idea of the store was the embodiment of hip hop. We had the clothes, we had the vinyl. We had an in-store DJ section, so you could practice your DJing skills in the store.we also had an in-store studio. It wasn’t the greatest studio, but it was a recording booth. So you could record. We also had a mobile DJ. We sold vinyl, we sold clothes, like I said, and DJing paraphernalia. So the idea was fantastic. If then was the world today, we’d have so many different avenues to generate revenue, especially with the internet. But at that point in time in 2002, I didn’t know what I was doing. Having all the gizmos and gadgets was more important than making money. I had a lot of fun and I felt really important when I was flying around or driving around buying by the end of it, we had two Suburbans.

We hadn’t even opened yet, but we had two different Suburbans for mobile deejaying. Why? We had both of them done. Again, why? I was spending money left and right. What made it worse is that I wanted to live in California. If I had just stayed in the Northwest, Idaho, Spokane area, things might’ve been a little different, but I didn’t want to live there. I wanted to live in California because in my mind I was rich, and no one told me I wasn’t. I thought the money was going to last forever. No one in my family, absolutely not a single person in my family gave me shit for advice. So I was kind of like, “18 years old, got money, let’s go.”

So I moved to California and rented an apartment and I moved the three of us, me the son of the people I was living with and my buddy, we had an apartment in California and then I decided to open a store in Washington, so if you can grasp that concept. all of us were back and forth, back and forth. I have driven from California to Northern Idaho numerous times in this short time span, it was ridiculous. of course with my cars, I had to have everything. The screens were new and fashionable. They came out of your dash.

We’d watch movies during the 12 hour drive (We had a lot of close encounters of having accidents but never had an accident, which is amazing since whoever was driving the car would also be watching the movie). So we wake up in the morning, by the end of the day, we’re in California. Or if we wanted to fly, we had that like clockwork. We knew exactly when to leave the house to make it to the Oakland airport. We knew exactly coming down from Idaho at the Spokane airport. The weed was cheaper in idaho. So we figured out how to bring the weed from Idaho to California through the airplane. We had practiced so many times and we knew every flight like clockwork, man. It was so easy just in sandwich bags.

We had the art down, we’re bringing a quarter pound a piece. Two friends walking through the airport casually with a half a pound of weed on us. Nowadays there’s no way in the world I would do that. I would be scared shitless, but 18 I didn’t think, it was normal. What are we going to smoke? Obviously we got to bring the weed. It didn’t dawn just to buy it when you’re down there, but it was more expensive. And the flavors in Northern Idaho, they had better flavors. In California, a shift happened. It was like this; the son moved back up North to help me with the store. And my buddy, he stayed in California.

So let’s paint the dynamics. Before I got sent to programs, the high school I was playing football for and taken off the team for academic probation, there were a couple other black kids. Remember? I said all the other minorities were able to drop physics, but I wasn’t. There was this one rich white kid that also went to the school we had known each other from playing basketball tournaments, when I was younger and going to camps. When I got out of programs, he was the one person I knew, we were from the same side of the freeway, which was the rich part (Atherton C.A).

Now the other black person was from the other side of the freeway, which was the more violent, the more street part (East Palo Alto). When I got out and went to California, I met my buddy from the same side of the freeway, this is before I even met my friends in Idaho. Sorry about that flash back I have to explain, how did I know these people in California. Well, two days one the white side and my wealthy friend had been in arguments with his family. He wasn’t staying at home. a different friend I knew from the programs. The neighborhood’s really small, it’s all just really, really rich families and their kids. All the kids went to three or four different public high schools or private high schools. It was huge, but just because people had huge estates, but the wealth was very concentrated. So I was able to stay at my friend’s mom’s house, even though my friend wasn’t there. She gave me a car to drive (a brand new Cadillac Escalade) and my friend, the rich friend, stayed with me for a couple of days until his father convinced him to come home. Then he was escorted and he was gone. Now I didn’t really know anybody. Well, my rich friend reintroduced me to a couple of the black students I went to school with. I had known their names but not much more, when I turned 18.

But when I came back with my friends from Idaho, he was the only person that I knew
(The kid from East Palo Alto). So I gravitated to him. I was a very easy mark, very easy. The program’s did not equip us to deal with normal everyday people for the past 2 years. I was always in trouble for deceiving people or telling lies. Now when I was in the real world deception and lies were a common thing. In Northern Idaho, it was a very tiny area, slow, you could maximize the amount of money you can spend really fast. I already had the cars, I was already flashy. The next thing was maybe a house, that’s why I wanted out of that area, it wasn’t big enough for me. California was large enough, but when I moved to California, I met a lot of people that weren’t financially responsible. I was a very easy target to swindle because I didn’t have any family.

Did I have family that lived across the freeway? Did I have a lot of people that at any moment they could have just been like, yes, we’re coming to get you and save you. Yes, but in their eyes, they had already saved me and now I was on my own. Mind you, I had been accepted into the University Of Seton Hall. The goal was to stay in Idaho at that family’s house until I went to the university. My family had paid this family $20,000 for the family in Idaho to mentor me until school started.

Moving down to California, everything really went faster. So I had a store in the Spokane Washington mall, which was $2,000 a month. And God knows how much money I put into the two Suburbans, the signs, the inventory, the music booth, the computers, (everyone had to have a computer). I had to have three because of new technology, the studio equipment or the DJ equipment, we’re talking about the radio advertisement. I was literally thinking the first day, I’m a billionaire. It didn’t quite grasp how much a million dollars was at the time or how hard it would be to get it. 

I was on the news as a young entrepreneur which just led into my ego even more, instead of someone being like, do you even know what you’re doing? Looking back, I was an idiot, iwas just spending money. But at the time, I was a young inspiring man. That was just ahead of my time because I thought differently, but I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, that was the attitude in Northern Idaho,

In California, I was the kid that had a lot of money. And I was now on the more of the urban street side of the world, opposed to where I was from. This is part of the reason I had no concept for money. The friend that I was telling you about, who was escorted, the neighborhood we grew up in, was one of the richest zip codes in the world.

Around any of those kids, there is no concept of money, money does not exist. I grew up in an environment where money doesn’t exist, money only exists if you don’t have it. But when you’re in the world of the 1%, money has no value, it doesn’t exist. They can buy whatever they want, it doesn’t matter. Seven miles on the other side of the freeway, there is no money, at the public school, these kids would mix. At the private schools, they would go and find black and other minorities to make it seem like they’re a diverse school. Even though it’s like 90% white and a couple minorities.

forgot about that all. So for example I had a bowl, like a bowl of weed at the house. Around my rich friends, they take what they want to roll a blunt, pack a bowl or whatever. And they’re not trying to steal it because they have their own, they have their own money, they don’t need mine. However, the other side, they had no money. So when they see a bowl of weed, and they know they can’t afford any, it just makes common sense that they’re going to hoard yours and steal from you as much as they can. When they go home, they can’t buy any, the rich kids, they can go home and they can buy it. But when you mix a rich kid with poor kids, then the rich kids is like, “Yeah, I’m going to just steal too.”

And then that’s what happens with rich kids. They adapt to the mentality of the poor kid. And then they become really grimy and steal. But if you have no concept of desperation, and  have abundance. You have no need for stealing. You already have everything, there’s no point. I don’t know if that makes any sense. So what would happen is, in Idaho, my business partner sold weed. So literally we’d have a bowl of weed anywhere we went, it was just a bowl for him to drop an ounce in the bowl would have been nothing. We just shared. But then in California, when I was reintroduced to the minority kid I went to highschool with, his family was not a family of abundance. They were a family of desperation. They would take everything or convince me to spend more money than I needed to,YOLO attitude. That’s what happened, towards the end, it got grimy on both ends (Idaho and California) greed always sets in. If a person feels like they can take advantage of you and you don’t know, at first, they feel bad about it. But then towards the end, it becomes so common that when you find out about it, they get mad at you about it. 

The Grand Opening of my store (Lyrical Graffiti), the people from California, the Bay Area, my entourage all the rappers on TV had an entourage. I thought I was a big shot, so I had to have an entourage. I didn’t know that they were robbing me blind the whole time. (Remember we had a recording booth inside the store, at that time in history everyone aspired to make their riches through the music industry, I was no different. My entourage from California included my recording artist) So I had my entourage from California, then I had my Idaho entourage. The grand opening was probably the worst, at that point in time, day of my life.

like, wow, everything you’ve been through and that’s the worst day? Yeah, I would have to say so. I was going broke, I was expecting we were going to make like $20,000. That’s why I was spending so much I was like, “Man, it’s all going to come back, don’t worry.” I had my “rap” artist and was giving him money to do nothing because he didn’t make it anywhere. This is before TikTok and Facebook.

Remember I had a DJ station in the store as well, I wanted to have a record label, Mobil DJing I wanted to do and be a part of everything. My artist was milking me dry. He was overcharging me to go to the studio (in California), I wasn’t there, I was back and forth. Remember I would be four days in California, three days in Idaho or four days in Idaho, three days in California. It is really easy to put on a front for a couple of days when you know the person’s leaving. Anytime I was in town in either direction, everyone would just blow smoke at my ass and treat me like I was king. Then when I was gone, they’d go back to doing whatever it was they were doing before. They were living a careless life they didn’t have to pay for anything. When I was there, there was more responsibility, but when I was gone it was let’s just use him for everything he got. No comradery, no loyalty, no friendship, just let’s use him for everything he has. they really had no reason to care. They didn’t know who I was and they were broke, so I was their paycheck for a while.

The first day of the store, that first night I rented the penthouse, and the second nicest room in the nicest hotel in Spokane Washington, I did it big, I probably spent $30,000 that day on stupidness. On the first day we made like $1000. So it wasn’t even remotely close to be able to help me.

I had overextended, I went broke. I had overextended on our first day thinking we’re going to at least make like $10,000. I didn’t have any money, my beautiful 67 Camaro, I had to sell for $3,500 just to finish paying for the first night. So I was broke. So that first night besides the fact I went broke, there were police called, there was a gun drawn, it was the biggest nightmare that possibly I could think of. And then the next morning I wake up and I’m completely broke.

It’s all kind of fuzzy what happened next. I ended up back in California and made a deal with the devil when you go broke, everything’s your fault. It didn’t not matter that everyone was living a fancy life on my money. 

So what to do? There wasn’t much I could do. This was around August/September, school was supposed to start, My family asked, “Well, why didn’t you go to school?” Arrogant and stupid, I kind of yelled back, I was in a horrible situation, and they’re worrying me about school, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I know now 20 years later the bank could have sent me to Orange, New Jersey and helped me into school. Communication has never been strong in my family, but particularly at that time it was non-existent. 

My birthday’s in February, August is six months and I was broke by August. So six months I had blown through $300,000. With absolutely nothing to show for it but numerous bad decisions and consequences, so what happened? 

My black family (Same family who helped me spend all my money) they were “my family” now. They were going to help me get my stuff. One member of my new family had an entrepreneurial mind, so he financed the trip to retrieve all the belongings from my store. By this time my white buddy was transporting drugs from California to Idaho. He was more than willing to tag along and help drive one of my vehicles from my store in Spokane back to California.

One of my Suburbans was already in California, so we were bringing the more expensive suburban and a U-Haul full of stuff. Most of all the fixtures from the store fit in the U-Haul, the plan was to bring all the vital merchandise in the Suburban. I wanted to have all the expensive things with me because this was my lifeline, this was all I had left. Now my buddy had been working since early in the morning. Remember it is a 12 to 16 hour drive. One person has to sleep while the other one’s driving just to regenerate it’s a long drive by yourself.

So we had been talking, having a good old time and it was time for me to sleep, We pulled over and I told him it was his time to drive, he looked at me with a stunned look and said I can’t drive.  We debated for a brief moment and agreed he would drive for about an hour so I could close my eyes and rest. I couldn’t have been asleep for very long, but he also fell asleep at the wheel. We were right outside of Bend, Oregon they have lava rock on the side of the freeway. The freeway is higher than the side, the highway is up off the ground a little bit. So when we hit the bank, we flipped and we rolled about three times. I woke up during that, of course I was not wearing my seatbelt. So I woke up being tossed all over the car, all over the front seat. I didn’t know what was happening, if I had known, I probably would not be alive today. The only thing that saved me is I was asleep and I was a ragdoll.

Not a single muscle in my body moved. I was woken up by me tossing all over the place. It happened so fast I didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t completely coherent. When I woke up, my head was on the seat. I was where your feet go. The side was crunched all the way down. This is why I’m saying if I was wearing my seatbelt and flinched I would have been crushed. How we both ended up without dying, God was with us that night. There’s nothing that you can say to convince me otherwise. We both had bangs and scratches, but we were both able to walk away from that accident without a single person knowing what happened.

the U-Haul in front of us, told me the story they got to watch live the way he explained it, He said, “Man, I knew for a fact, there’s no way you guys lived that.” So he drove back to see if we were alive, and there I am, screaming, “Help,” I couldn’t get out of the car, it was crushed.

we left everything, we weren’t waiting for the police. Once they realized we weren’t dead, we climbed into the U-Haul and were gone. All my money, I could have sold the Suburban, I could’ve sold everything, all the expensive stuff was in the suburban. All my money gone, don’t forget, I had to pay the people that were helping me move.

Down to California, we dropped my buddy off Then finalize the business of moving my stuff from Washington to California, in the end I was just as broke before I got my stuff as I was after I got my stuff.  I was dropped off at my apartment. It was sad two weeks prior, I had an apartment full of people. Now I was broke and alone. One of my friends from Cascade, he was on crystal meth bad, but he came and stayed with me for a little bit. He was a unique character to say the least when he was high on crystal. But thank God he was around. I would not have been able to survive if it wasn’t for him. He showed me how to survive, how to steal to eat. We would get sandwiches then walk around the grocery store, eat our sandwich and talk, that would be our lunch as long as we looked like we were shopping. They never asked if we paid for the sandwich.

The Safeway became our food cabinet, whenever we were hungry, we’d go to Safeway and figure out how to steal food to eat. What you realize is alcohol like beer has yeast in it and it fills your stomach up. So when I was in survival mode I was getting drunk. It sounds counter productive but getting drunk and smoking. Not weed, because it makes you extra hungry, but smoking a black and mild suppresses your hunger a little bit, smoking a cigarette and then also drinking, it fills you up. So my diet became really unhealthy if it wasn’t already unhealthy by this time my partying had really gotten out of control too.

There had been more than one occasion where I would throw up. You could take a cup and catch my throw up and drink it because it was straight vodka. For a while after I couldn’t drink orange juice I had drank so much vodka & orange juice, even regular orange juice tasted like vodka. I was drinking and I was drunk every single day. My alcoholism didn’t stop then either, it just went from hard alcohol to beer, more like malt liquor to fill my stomach up. 

“My rapper” crew and I went down to Los Angeles For a meeting with a larger record label. My crew had tried to leverage a more profitable deal for themselves by using my name and that I was rich, when I first met the executive from Los Angeles, he still thought I was rich, I told him I was broke, but you’d be amazed how one’s imagination will not listen to reason. LA is full of shysters. Through meetings he had with my group he found out I had another trust in my name, with this information his focus changed from the group to trying to secure a deal with me. 

When you don’t have a single person you can trust it’s very easy for people to take advantage of you. After all the vultures took what they could for me I was left with a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette that was barely running. Back at my apartment with my friend from Cascade we decided to go on a drive to  discuss our future. while we were on this drive we were pulled over. By the grace of God they did not find the Satchel I had on me which was full of bagged up weed. But they did however give my friend from Cascade a ticket and a summons to court. When the police officers were going to search the car he stood up out of the passenger seat and his crack pipe fell out of his lap and shattered on the ground alerting the police causing him to obtain a criminal case. When we got back to the house we decided going to L.A was the best decision, so we packed up the small Corvette and headed down to L.A. The executive from Los Angeles assured me that all I needed to do was get to LA with him and everything would be fine. 

He was like, “Man, just come down. I got you.” So we drove down with the last little bit of money that I had. It was maybe like $500 and we took this piece of shit Corvette, neither one of us have a license and we drive down to LA. My buddy had a sister in L.A so that was his backup. The first night we sleep, two grown people sleep in a Corvette together, which is extremely small. His feet were in my face and my feet were in his face. We also had luggage with us. After we arrived in La I realized the situation with just as bad as it was in California. The executive did not have a hotel room and was going to be bumming a room with me.

He was just living off of people, living off of “investors”. A swindler. So the first couple of nights I ended up having to pay for us to have a place to sleep. So my buddy after day number two, he was like, fuck this and fuck him, so he called his sister and he was gone. Now, I’m stuck with this person. I have nowhere to go, I don’t have a sister that I could just disappear to. So I have to basically figure out what’s going on. Well the person in LA ran out of money because he thought I had money. He thought that I had money. Even though I told him explicitly I was broke. 

Where do we go? We go to South San Francisco. How do we get there, how do you get there with no money? Little did I know at least at this time, if you go to the airport and you say that you’re stranded, the airline can… I don’t know if they do it now because I’m 37, but at least when I was 18, the airline… He came up with some elaborate thing that he was helping me out and blah, blah, blah. we only had the money for his ticket and blah, blah, blah. So the airline bought the lie and we flew up to the North and his investor, this Filipino came and picked us up, drove us to his house in South San Francisco.

Now I’m stuck in his room. He was on the bed and I was on the floor for two months. Now, it sounds crazy but in those two months I learned a lot. I was his slave from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, he had different assignments for me to do all day long. And then there’s also reading a book, if I wasn’t reading the book fast enough, read it faster. He was like “if you want to get into this business, this is what you need to know and I don’t have time to teach you. So you’re going to have to learn on your own and I need you to do all this and I need you to type papers and I need you to do this”.

It was nonstop for two months. every minute of the day I was doing something whatever it was, it had to be whatever he wanted. The Filipino, he fed us for two months. During this time the Filipino was running out of money. The executive could see this, the Filipino was working to keep us fed and to invest. He had the big dream that one day he was going to make it big. He had spent all of his money on the executive thinking that was going to be his ticket to success. He was a sad, old, Filipino. He told me he had a wife, one of the things that stuck with me he said, “there’s no happiness when there’s hunger”. He had gotten a divorce, she left him for someone who had more money. He said, at one point in time, he was making good money but then something happened and the wife left him because they went broke. And so when there’s hunger, when you’re starving, there’s no love. That stuck with me for a long time because I understood what he was talking about and it was coming from somebody who it happened to. It’s different when someone gives you great philosophy and they’ve never lived the philosophy, but this philosophy he was living it and he was a sad man. He was believing in the person executive to bring him back to glory and I guess maybe, hopefully get his wife back or whatever, his fantasy was. So he was desperate and willing to do anything. 

The executive he was on this Filipino, he was on him hard about, you need to give me more money. The Filipino didn’t have any, but the executive did not care. “You promised and you need to sell this house to come up with investment money.” But this is what happened, the executive introduced him to a broker to sell the house. (The executive and the broker knew each other, they might’ve done this before.) What they ended up doing was putting so much pressure on the Filipino and being really mentally being abusive.

The Filipino didn’t know what to do. Then they played good cop, bad cop. The broker we’ll call him the Nigerian because he was Nigerian. The Nigerian was befriending the Filipino and being the good cop, don’t worry, you can trust everything you can trust me. The Filipino feared that the executive was going to rip him off. The Nigerian convinced the Filipino to trust him and sign his house over, to the Nigerian. Then they robbed him blind. The second the ink was dry and the paperwork had gone through, The Nigerian called the police and told the Filipino that he needed to leave the property, it was no longer his house.

To make matters worse, the executive got mad at the Filipino and blamed him. So the Filipino still had to give the executive money to invest, but just lost his house to the Nigerian. The executive was still riding him, wanting every penny he had, The executive was about to go back to LA and probably laugh with the Nigerian about how stupid the Filipino was. So what was going to happen to me? During this entire time it was two months, he’s trying his hardest to get my trust.

But my uncle told him, my uncle’s a lawyer and he’s a co-trustee. He was like, this is not his money, I don’t care what he signed, what he told you, he didn’t have the ability to do that, and you can do whatever you want, it’s not going to work. Once The executive found out I was worthless to him, I became a liability. So he basically told me, and I remember this morning, it was Christmas Eve, Banks were open, thank God. So I’m talking about first thing in the morning, I’m on the phone. He was trying to screen everything, he was trying to leave me high and dry.

I had all my shit from my apartment, everything. I had a whole car full of stuff. I had no phone. My uncle and the bank knew this was coming. I’m telling them daily, man, this is getting bad. So I made a deal, to get me out of the situation, I made a deal with the bank. And the deal was, they pulled strings, the bank is headquartered in Chicago, my uncle was in LA, I’m in the Bay Area. There was another branch about 45 minutes away. I had no bank account, no way of collecting the money. It was an emergency right before Christmas something had to happen immediately or I was going to be on the streets, for Christmas.

They called someone from 45 minutes away and two ladies, about an hour after I got dropped off by the executive and the Filipino, two ladies came in they were so sweet. They’re like, “Here you go, Mr. Johnson, we were told that we need to give you this in cash.” Not only did they find me, they brought me money, they literally drove and went out of their way. Took care of me, got me into the hotel. It was for three nights Christmas Eve, Christmas night and one more. 

My first Christmas out of programs, I am alone, broke in a hotel in Redwood city. I called one of my uncles because I never wanted to call aunts, I never wanted to because you got to remember, they always told me I was a master manipulator. So I didn’t want to manipulate my situation by calling a female because a female is more emotional than a male by nature. A mother’s more nurturing, if a mom hears I’m on the street, then she’d be more susceptible to let me in than a dad. So I called my uncle, I didn’t want to call my aunt. I knew they were out of town but I called him and said, “Is there any way that I could sleep in the garage? I’ll sleep with the dogs. I have nowhere else to go.” And he was like, “Erik, I’m sorry, I can’t help you. You’re on your own.”

That was really tough. It was hard because he could have solved everything with the snap of a finger. He could have flown me to where he was, because again, this was on the wealthy side, Atherton. So it would have been a drop in the bucket when it comes to money, but he didn’t. Part of the reason I called him and not my aunt is because it was Christmas and I didn’t want… maybe I wanted it to be hard, I don’t know. So the first Christmas I was by myself in a hotel room with barely any money.

After Christmas, the bank and my uncle decided I had seven days, to have a job if not, do not call, do not ask for another penny. So I had one week, I didn’t know anything about filling applications and it was right after Christmas, I didn’t know what to do. I think I filled out one application at Target, didn’t really know what I was doing, but then my artist, he had called me, I was still halfway in contact, and he was like, “Man, come over just hang out.” So I ended up spending the night. I think it was maybe two nights or something like that with his family. It’s weird, the grandmother which later became moms. She was like, “I feel so bad for what my family did. You always have a place you can sleep”

Now it was a completely different environment than I’d ever been around, but I had a house. Well, around the same time, my buddy, from Cascade, we had reconnected, he was going to be in Redwood city, which is the same place I was, to go to court, for that crystal meth pipe case. So he was like, man, don’t worry about it. Come with me. I was like, what about your family? He’s like, don’t worry just meet me there. He told his dad “he’s coming with us”. So filled his truck up and an hour later, maybe an hour and a half we’re in the North Bay. So after everything that I’ve just told you, I ended up at my buddy’s mom and dad’s house. Every morning, we’d wake up, walk outside and see the Bay, the water right across the street. We were in Sausalito, California on Bridgeway.

So I went from being alone for Christmas to now looking at a beautiful view, but I had no job. I had to go to Palo Alto to go to a bank for something. I had a little bit of money in there, I have no idea what ended up happening to that bank account. But when I was down there, I ended up seeing the person who had helped me move my stuff from Washington to California, which he was another member of the family of my artist. I didn’t know how he was going to feel towards me, but he was open and he’s like, if you ever need a job, just let me know.

I went back to the North Bay and I called him, he was like, “Yeah, you can detail cars.” So I’d spend the week detailing cars and then the weekend I go home to the North Bay. I was back and forth. And we did that all the way up to my birthday, my 19th birthday. I turned 19 at my buddy’s house in Sausalito. His birthday is February 19th so we kind of had a party for both of us together. In the next chapter, we’re going to discuss how going back and forth from Sausalito to Palo Alto landed me in Kentucky.

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