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▶  More from Harm City Guest Authors Tao of Tony Rooster
On Being Reborn
Tao of Tony Rooster [The Best Autobiographical Short James Has Read in Some Time]

I was born and raised in North Seattle. I was 8 years old the first time I successfully ran from a police officer. Kicked out of every school I ever went to. I remember a 3rd grade field trip as the bus drove past the State Prison, the principal pointed to it and said "that's where people like you go when you grow up, Tony."

I was a very unruly youth and always had a problem with authority.

I got kicked out of my Ma's house at 16 and never looked back. I was an only child with an unknown father, an alcoholic mother, and the one person who I loved, my grandfather, had recently died. I blamed no one but myself for my station in life. Just the way it was.

I did drugs. Sold drugs. Drank. Was a thief. Rode freight trains all over the west. Lived off the land, as it were. This was in the 90's when Bill Clinton was putting more and more cops on the streets. A petty criminal living in Seattle in those days had his work cut out for him. The old phrase "come on vacation, leave on probation" was coined in Seattle, I'm sure of it.

When I was 19, I got convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to 180 days. By that time I already had a long rap sheet. I had 10 years worth of suspended sentences hanging over my head. When the judge sentenced me, he said ominously, "I'm doing you a favor and revoking your suspended sentences. I won't be seeing you for awhile, will I?"

10 years. I couldn't believe it. I was through.

A few month in, I wind up in solitary confinement. On my 56th day in the hole, I get a visitor. Some young public defender said he was gonna get me out of jail before lunch.

What about the 10 years? Well, apparently, I never bothered to look up what the word "revoke" meant. Ignorance and poverty, ya know? So I go down to court and plead guilty to some theft charge and, wow, I'm out of jail. I woke up in solitary that morning thinking I had 10 years left, now I'm out.

What do I do? The dumbest thing possible. I go to where I know some friends, a real shitty government subsidized apartment complex known as "The Jungle". I drink some malt liquor, smoke a little pot, and end up taking some very strong LSD. It's all a bit much, and I decide to go take a walk, get some fresh air.

I walk about a hundred feet and...."FREEZE MOTHERFUCKER!!! ON THE GROUND!!! DON'T FUCKING MOVE!!!!"

A very excited cop has his gun on me and the next thing I know I'm in the back of his car. And the acid starts to really hit me.

"Where's the gun? Why did you shoot him? You know, he's dead, right? That's murder you're looking at."

What a roller coaster day. Ten year prison sentence, unexpected freedom, and now arrested for murder.

I was so fried on acid, I could barely string two words together. I knew enough to dummy up and be silent. I was sweating profusely and to say I was looking nervous and guilty as hell would be an understatement. It was over for me. I hated the cops, knew them to be corrupt and lazy, now here I am, just another piece of meat being fed into the belly of the beast.

After what seemed like about a thousand years in the backseat of that cop car, I was released. Someone who looked like me had shot and killed a guy in the parking lot there less than an hour before, I was told. The only reason they cut me loose was they caught the guy with the gun around the block.

Something strange happened to me. I felt like I had died and been reborn. I could never explain what I felt that day walking away from that cop car, but I knew somehow that the experience had fundamentally shifted my consciousness.

Years later, I read that various mystical schools employed death and rebirth rituals, (the 3rd degree Masonic ceremony being a good example of that), and I came to believe that the experience I had was a positive one, and gave me a certain perspective I wouldn't have otherwise.

Dawn in Dindustan

Conducting the Moral Autopsy 0f a Nation

Narco Night Train Kindle Edition

Add Comment
Tony RoosterNovember 18, 2017 9:15 AM UTC

Not much of a story behind the name Rooster. Mr.LaFond asked me if I wanted to remain anonymous, and since my last name is Cox, I just changed "Cocks" to Roosters. Thinking about it now though, it seems silly to hide behind a fake name.
BobOctober 8, 2017 1:49 AM UTC

I think the "Rooster" handle requires a story.
BobOctober 7, 2017 11:12 PM UTC

The Pulp Fiction Transformative Epiphany.