Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scared straight?

If you read my book Beneath the Neon, you may remember Gary. I interviewed him in Chapter 7 – the Flood Drain – and he had some interesting things to say about being a meth cook, ghosts in the drains and the afterlife. He was also part of the panel discussion at the Arts Factory in July 2008, in affiliation with Brian Paco Alvarez’s exhibit based on the book.

Anyway, a few months after the panel discussion, Gary was caught stealing and sent to prison. He spent a year and a half in the joint and was released about a month ago. Back on the streets – and, once again, considering camping in the drains – he had a heart attack and was taken to UMC, where he had quintuple bypass surgery. Then he was released … with nowhere to go.

I picked up Gary outside of UMC and took him to his friend’s apartment, where he crashed on the couch for a few days. Then HELP of Southern Nevada, once again, came to the rescue. Currently, Gary is living in an apartment in south central Vegas, where he’s resting, recovering and showing signs that he wants to change his lifestyle. (Maybe the heart attack scared him straight?) He’s also getting food stamps, has registered as a felon and has proper ID. (A prison ID doesn’t get you far on the outside.)

So, besides prison, a heart attack, and quintuple bypass surgery, Gary is doing all right. Seriously, we’re hoping he can stay off the streets and the drugs and that he has a speedy recovery.

I’ll keep you updated.

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