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My Appointment With the Devil by Mark Anthony Given


We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, 
but we can at least respect his talents. -Mark Twain
           MID-THIRTIES I found myself alone at a lonely interstate rest area in Florida in the middle of the night, having driven from  New Orleans for the last several days, I went from rest area to rest area withdrawing from Methadone, starving but couldn't eat.  Dying of thirst, but couldn't drink.  Throwing up, diarrhea, high temperature and worst of all, I couldn't sleep.  Beg for sleep for three or four hours and sleep for ten minutes and start all over again.  I was at probably the lowest point of my life.  And I still had an appointment with the devil.    And he's going to be here in a minute.....
         THE DEVIL IS REAL.  I met him.  Twice.  I know you're not going to believe this but I don't care.  I ain't got a reason to lie to you.  I didn't charge you to read this.  I'm getting nothing out of it.  Shaking my money maker ain't never made me a dime. -Miranda Lambert.  As soon as I start getting paid for this I will have to start making stuff up.  But like ninety-nine percent of what I write (nearly half a million views on my blogs) is true.  Every time I try to make stuff up, I get stuck.  The truth it seems is a bottomless resource....
         BESIDES A SLOW DEATH in the front seat of my eight-nine baby blue white landau top Cutlass Supreme, two giant men's hands had my intestines and twisting like rinsing out an old rag, squeezed every last drop of that pernicious pink liquid back....  There was no need going to a doctor, I knew what was wrong with me, I was dope sick.   You just got to tough it out.  Payback time for all the good times loaded on narcotics; I loved to cruise the New Orleans French Quarter at night looking for misadventure.  In my early thirties, I had already lived on the streets and been in jails all over the country.  No sex crimes, no violence, no serious drug offenses.  My FBI Rap Sheet is posted here on this blog and testifies to that fact.  Do you know where you were on Friday at ten thirty at night on September 3, 1973?  I know exactly where I was...

          I HAD ALWAYS heard how bad Methadone was to kick.  Ten times harder than Heroin because it lasts so long.  When my doctor got me hooked on pain pills and cut me off I was sick for two weeks, I felt like my brain was vibrating.  I jumped off the clinic twice at about six weeks and two months, and it provoked exactly the transcendent spiritual awakening I was looking for....  I needed something real I could hold on too, not just words in a book or someone's description, I got to know....  Sure enough, the devil showed up personally and The Angels had to come rescue me, but only after a thorough examination of my Soul.  Both times, explicitly, I understood that I could make all the suffering go away if only I would curse Gog.  I'm not even going to spell it correctly because I can never put the words together, and I never did....   In a lot of ways, I wish this were a fairy tale or a ghost story so I could get a good laugh out of it, but I can assure you, this was serious business.  I'm going to tell you something else I never mentioned to anyone before that happened both times I kicked Methadone.  Besides a personal encounter with the devil himself, The Angels coming to rescue me, but the entire time, for days and even weeks, my breath felt like a blow dryer set on max every time I exhaled.  The absolutely weirdest thing, I felt like I could set the curtains on fire with my breath.  I understood it as my body's way of excreting the "Pernicious Pink."   That's the color of this little cup of liquid they give you when you're on the clinic.  I loved the taste.  Tasted like something pink with the ground up bones of all your ancestors in it..... Something you shouldn't be drinking...

The king of terrors. Job, XVIII. 14

    WHEN I WAS a small-time career criminal (retired) in and around New Orleans, my worst fear was to get thrown in the infamous dungeon, the Orleans Parish Prison at Tulane and Broad Street and have to go thru withdraws in Hell on Earth.  This too came to pass.  Fortunately, I got bailed out in three days..... Me and two young black street thugs/crack dealers in a small cell with two bunks.  They stayed talking to each other constantly, not a moment of reflection, so he stayed on the floor and gave me the top bunk.  ESPN Sports Center on day and night from out in the day room on full volume.  They only let us out to eat because we kept getting locked down because one person did something or another....  When I got arrested I gave the police a prominent Jewish name.  My one phone call I called Gerome Stein who's office directly across the street.  I happened to be working as a chef for a famous restaurant in the French Quarter.  He knew the owners, I promised him the Sun and the Moon and with a phone call, he had me released.  Come to find out they had my last name screwed up, and they are so lazy there if you get bonded out at ten am you will be released at ten pm....  All of them overweight hauling in bags of greasy food and set on their ass all day figuring out a way to do the least amount of work as possible.  I could describe the getting out of there to second hand on the clock on the wall and walk into the New Orleans balmy night, I needed some more balm...

 That's the back of it what it used to look like back in the eighties and nineties.  
That whole area back there is known for places to score Heroin. 

          WHEN THE KING OF TERROR'S showed up I was at a crescendo like where the salesman asks to leave the room a minute a suddenly comes right back with The Closer.  The guy with the juice to make this a go:  Will they throw in the Leather seats or no?  The build-up, the hours and hours of begging for sleep, that seemed to be what I wanted more than anything.  Just let me rest.... PLEASE! Sleep deprivation to some people is a slow poisoning.  I was willing to do anything, but I won't do that.  Curse Gog,  I had tried to read The Book of Job for years but it is so difficult to comprehend.  But I did know the story or thought I did.  I kept wondering what the poor bastard did to deserve all that, he didn't seem to know.  But it is in the Talmud.  When Pharaoh asked for adviser concerning the Hebrews, Lot advised exterminating or increasing their workload, one or the other or both.  And this was his punishment.... The reason I bring this up is that it seems a little too convenient that the devil wanted the exact same thing.  Curse Gog.  Wow!  And I'll tell you what.  Just like it says in James:

   Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
        James, IV. 7


After he and his henchmen gave me a thorough thrashing, I mean I nearly broke, but somehow I was able to remember all them Fire and Brimstone sermons I heard when I was a kid being forced to go to church and Sunday School.  No kidding.  Apparently, he seen I wasn't going to break, and he left, I was kinda OK again.  the Angel's didn't show up until the devil left.  The second time I wrote about in Dope Sick Angel, the Angels actually came and saved me, after I battled with the demon....  that just now occurred to me....
        LIKE GETTING ROBBED in a doorway on a busy street in New York with the whole world passing by completely indifferent to someone suddenly all over you, smashed against the wall in a small place with a sharp knife pointed right at your heart.  Negotiations are over.  You are going to do exactly what you are ordered too, to keep from bleeding to death on a busy street with people pausing only long enough to snap your photograph and or, record your pleas for life,  after taking your last selfie with them and hurrying on...
    THAT'S WHAT it felt like when the devil appeared, a total mugging.  Face up so close to yours you can't see them but the smell of danger and death and menace and bad intentions with razor sharp knife twinkling near your heart...

    HAVE YOU EVER heard of someone who knows they have had an encounter with Angels?  Twice?  The more I looked into this subject the more I realized how exceedingly rare it is.  Now I just feel honored.  I had a good friend one time and we had the same first name, about the same age and he was the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club in Oklahoma.  We were the same height except he was built like a tank, completely sleeved with prison ink, had red hair and smiled every time he saw me.  He looked like if he hit you, it would hurt real bad...   One day he told me I could never be in his club or anybody else motorcycle club.  Out of curiosity, I asked him why.  He knew I would duke it out with him, there was no question about that.  I was all jacked up too from pumping iron and running track, I was thirty years old when I was in the federal correctional facility in Texarkana, Texas, where we met.  He was doing fifteen years for RICO or organized crime.  He didn't want to tell me and I saw him staring around at things in his cell like he was looking for something and taking his time because he really didn't know how to tell me....
"You're not crude enough...."

And you know, the more I was around him and his circle of friends I realized that just like some time's 'Love just ain't enough," being tough ain't enough either.... you gotta be crude, and being raised the only boy in a houseful of wayward girls, I really wasn't very crude and I knew it...
    I LAUGHED right in his face like that was the most preposterous thing I ever heard but after a moment and we had a good laugh, I looked him right in his eyes and told him, "I know it."
     I'M NOT SURE exactly what that has to do with Angel's of Mercy rescuing me after being tormented by the devil... but I wonder if maybe it does....

     I REMEMBER thinking the whole time about him that he had red hair.  I had just read in a Mario Puzo's The Gambler that an Italian proverb held that Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ had red hair and that red-headed people inherently must not be trusted.  I thought back to the three or four red-headed people I had known throughout my life and every damn one of them screwed me over.....
To be continued....
11:43 AM 11/14/2015

Dope Sick Angel by Mark Anthony Given

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COPYRIGHT 2015 by Mark Anthony Given
All Rights Reserved 28 USC 1746  Public Law: Pub. L. 94-553 (Oct. 19, 1976)
U.S. Statutes at Large: 90 Stat. 2541
7:24 AM 11/1/2015

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