The Methodist Survival Field Guide



Pages from the life and times of one man's journey through the fires of sex, addiction, insanity, and the impossible mission of being human.

Chapter 1


The asphalt street was strewn with soggy clumps of wet leaves made slick by the chilly October drizzle. Derrick's sneaker slid throwing off him off balance and careening him face first toward the three concrete risers leading from the overgrown walkway upward to the dingy, white house at the end of the sidewalk. The heel of his hand catching the rough corner of the top step kept him from taking a tooth shattering knock on the chin but cost a nickel-sized abrasion which stung and abruptly began to ooze blood.

"Shit!" Derrick cursed wiping blood and slimy leaf muck off onto his jeans as he picked himself up. As the stranger ahead of him continued up the wooden porch stairs to the house seemingly unconcerned.

"Be cool man." The stranger hissed looking over his shoulder continuing his march up the porch steps to the front door.

"Yeah, be cool alright." Derrick though to himself as he eyed his questionable companion warily. There was a  part of his brain which had began chanting over and over again "This is a bad idea . . . this is a bad idea," but somewhere else in Derrick's mind the thrill and exhilaration of what he was about to pull off succeeded in overriding any sense of reticence or caution.

The man ahead of him had reached the aluminum storm door at the front of the house and stood shifting his weight from one leg to the other as Derrick picked himself up and came up the front walk. His companion signaled for him to come forward and Derrick wondered again just what he was getting himself into. The man was old enough to be Derrick's father, hell maybe even grandfather and was not the kind of guy Derrick found even remotely attractive. Derrick liked handsome, clean-cut guys with meat on their bones, broad chests, long legs and narrow waists. This guy was gaunt with a scraggly goatee, a receding black and grey hairline which swept back into a thin, greasy pony-tail. His eyes it seemed to Derrick were black and as lifeless as shark's eyes and sat deep inside the man's brow framed with thick dark eyebrows. He wore an over-sized black leather biker jacket, white t-shirt, black denim jeans and a roughed-up pair of black combat boots. From the moment Derrick had seen him standing in the drizzle outside the beat-up burgundy El-Camino, he knew this guy would know where to get the stuff Derrick wanted . . . or at least thought he wanted.

Somewhere inside the house Derrick heard a male voice call out and his companion answered: "Hey it's Marco . . . you got a minute? I need somethin' and I have company with me . . . he's cool."

Marco opened the door and bid Derrick inside. Derrick's heart was pounding. he had never been in a drug house before and this one seemed to be straight from the pages of his darkest fears and overactive imagination. Marco reached his hand out to Derrick as he shut the front door and latched the deadbolt and said "Give me that twenty." 

Derrick slid his hand into the front pocket of his blue jeans with some difficulty and pulled out a $20.00 bill handing it to Marco.

"Okay," Marco said, taking the money. "You stay right here and don't say anything to nobody. You got that? I'm going to go get the shit and I'll be right back, just be cool."

"I'm cool," Derrick replied as Marco strode off through the foyer and rounded the corner of site.




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