I remember looking at them, and thinking, I want to do that, man, you know? I want to be free like those guys.
And I then started doing heroin a few years later, so I couldn’t really get a bike. I couldn’t get toothpaste and shit, you know, let alone a $15,000 motorcycle.
When I was 18 my parents found me in the house, overdosed, almost dead. They took me to a hospital, and then they took me to a detox, and then to a rehab.
When I was in the rehab, I met Fran. She was a beautiful, beautiful girl. The first time I saw her, I was just, like, wow—amazed. And we became really close, and we went through the rehab. She had been there a long time before me, and she was finishing up, and then I finished, and we started dating.
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And life was pretty good, you know? It was hard to get off of heroin, but I was able to do it. I went to college, and Franny and I were together and dating and just having a good time.
One day she had a really bad fever. I took her to the hospital, and 12 hours later they said that she had pneumocystic pneumonia. I didn’t know what it was. They said it was from Aids. I didn’t know what to do. I loved her, and I wanted to be with her.
New York got her sick a lot. She’d cough a lot and had bronchitis all the time, so we moved to Florida. Like when old people move down there. We went down to retire. I figured that we would live as much as we could. I just wanted to make her life the greatest life.
We got married. We used to go out for dinners and stuff. She wanted to go out, I would take her out. She’d have her oxygen tank with her, and I’d take her to a restaurant, and I’d look around and I’d see another couple with the husband taking care of the wife. But they were 80, you know? We were 20.
I thought the warm air down there would help her heal and feel better, but it didn’t. She went into the hospital one night, and the next morning the doctor told me that she had pneumonia again, they couldn’t really cure it, and she might have a few weeks to live.
I was devastated, and she was devastated. They put her in hospice. But two weeks later, they sent her out of the hospice because she started to get better.
She was thrown out of hospice for not dying. Only she could have pulled that off.
She was a young Italian girl, and she was not interested in suffering and dying. Like, who is? But she was extra not fucking into it.
A few weeks later, she got sick again. I took her back to the hospital. They put her in.
Doctor told me the same thing: “A few weeks, and she’s gonna be gone.” So they put her back in hospice. A month and a half later, they sent her home again. Our families— my parents, her parents— were happy about it. Oh, she’s gonna be better.
But I knew how the story was gonna end.