Antwoin was scrawny – above all was a businessman. His business was selling drugs and he was extraordinarily good at it. I learned a wild chapter in his life. I was mesmerized and he knew it. He had me at heroin. Black gangsta’ ghetto thug, former drug lord autobiography. Shocking the nice, white social worker who was happy to listen.

Antwoin worked his way into the upper echelons of the Blackstone Rangers. He controlled turf, gang bangers reported to him, he counted the cash, was respected and feared. He made pots of money, what is sometimes called, “fuck you money.”  The cash bought him power and prestige. He was pimping big-time. Shaft. Girlfriends, ho’s, pro’s, baby mamas, addicted desperate drug fucks, back seat crack bangs, sexing any woman he wanted. Driving Caddies, buying large homes with cash (fuck banks and monthly mortgages), clothes, jewelry, Crown Royal, Courvoisier, shooting the best dope and shooting guns. Super Fly. Having fun.The good life! 

He supported his mutha, fahva, sistahs, bruthas, anties, uncles, baby mamas and kids.

Antwoin had been shot, stabbed, beaten by bricks, bats, fists and left for dead many times over the gangster decades. He said he owed his life to the County ER.

He preferred to settle gang and commercial disagreements with calm discussion, not by gun clapping. It was, after all, just business. But he admitted that wasn’t always possible, thus the need for regular, emergency medical care.

He told me about being held captive by a crazy, jealous girlfriend. They spent a drug-fueled night together shooting heroin, drinking and having sex. Antwoin eventually passed out. When he woke up he was tied naked and spread-eagled to the bed. The woman was obsessively in love with him and demanded he profess his love for her only. Antwoin wouldn’t. The woman accused him of killing another man she was having sex with. He smiled and snickered when he told me this.   

Antwoin had a problem with love. At a young age he saw how his sisters treated men: they lied, cheated, played mind games, broke hearts and put male “black asses out on the streets.” Antwoin swore he would never let a woman get close to him or fall in love. Better and safer to be a ghetto enigma. But there was one woman he loved and she rejected him.  She had recently died and that triggered a massive drug binge he was trying desperately to end.

So there he was, tied to the bed. I asked how he urinated and defecated. The woman put a bed pan under his buttocks and his flacid penis in the neck of a bottle. She cleaned his genitals daily. The girlfriend went to work during the day and when she returned, attended to his every need. Food, booze, music and sex. Bondage party time. She performed oral sex on him, sat on his face and they had intercourse. Every night. I said, “Antwoin, she raped you,”and he gave me a confused look. It had never occurred to him that it was rape. That he was violated. Antwoin thought the sex was hot. But he would not be bowed, broken or sexed into saying the magic words that could free him.

The iron discipline he used in the drug trade got him through each day.   

Finally after 5 days someone came into the apartment – the door was left unlocked – and found him. Once untied, murder was on his mind but Antwoin said it was more difficult to kill a woman; and he reasoned, because the girlfriend loved him, she imprisoned him out of love.

                                             ********   

The empire crumbled and all that was left were the addictions and stories of the glory days.

Antwoin was 40, homeless, penniless and wearing green paper pants given to him two days earlier in the ER.

Just another rags to riches, to back to rags prohibition era life.

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