Archive for crack addicts

Post #83 – Danny’s tightrope…

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

Happy New Year, everyone! Now that my head has cleared after my Blog of the Year nomination :), I have an update on my younger brother, Danny. For those just tuning in to my matinee of madness, Danny is an addict, who stole more than $50K from my Grandmother and dumped her in a low-rent nursing home the Christmas of 2010. The 411 on that particular brand of chaos, begins at:

Unfortunately, Danny fell in love with drugs in junior high. He’s tried to quit three times in the last ten years, and after tumbling off the sobriety wagon, he, like many addicts, cried for help via suicide attempts. I’ve blogged about those events, which are not in order chronologically, but reside at:

and –

Anyway, that said, at this point in this life, Danny has chosen to, once again, embark upon that tightrope existence known as being sober. My friend, Jack (Danny’s friend also), called on New Year’s Day to give me the news.

“Where’s he living?” I asked.

“In a halfway house owned by some church. It’s affiliated with a really HUGE church in Columbus.”

“Oh, which one?” I asked, since, of course, I live in a suburb of Columbus (Ohio).

“World Harvest,” Jack replied.

“Really? That’ s over on the East side. You know, Ashe* built that church.”

“He did?”

“Yeah, back in ’96 or ’97, he lived here in Columbus, and he was a Project Manager for American Church Builders. They built World Harvest’s church. I went over there to drop Max off to see Ashe a couple of times. And somewhere there’s a picture of Max, when he was 4 or 5 sitting on a bulldozer, happy as a clam, on that construction site. Ashe and his second wife actually went to World Harvest, on occasion as well.”

“Huh, well, that’s a monstrous church, like 4,000 people or something.”

“Yeah, I know,” I answered. “I hope Danny’s serious this time, for his own sake.”

“Me too, but who knows.  He’d been staying with some guy he’d been working with last time I talked to him in October. And he was going to bartending school, and now he’s going to church and trying to get straight. Kind of a quick transition if you ask me,” Jack explained. “I’ll bet he just got kicked out of his buddy’s house and had nowhere else to go, ya know?”

“Yeah, could be, or maybe, he’s finally decided to kick the habit.”

“I’m afraid, he’s just staying there until something better comes along, but I hope I’m wrong.”

“Me too. We know how this song and dance usually ends up. He starts out doing really well, then ends up white-knuckling it the closer it gets to May when Mom died, and that anniversary always nixes his abstinence.”

“Yeah. He also got baptized the other night.”

“What? Why? We were all baptized when we were babies like everyone else in the Catholic Church.”

“Well, this particular church is Pentecostal, and-”

“That’s the church that Nana grew up in, and I won’t go there. We’ve gone to the Presbyterian church and a couple nondenominational Christian Churches, but the Pentecostal church is too out there for me. I remember going to Nana’s church in Georgia in grade school, and some woman started speaking in tongues, scared the pee out of me,” I said, chuckling.

Jack laughed. “Yeah, I can see that.”

“Nothing against the Pentecostal church, but I never went back. It’s just not for me. It’s too different from the formality of the Catholic church that I grew up in.”

“Yeah. Danny said getting baptized changed his life.”

“That’s what he said after watching Joel Osteen with Nana a few years ago when he said he was allegedly going to AA, but in reality, he was impersonating Dad and fraudulently requesting checks over the phone to pay his bills out of Dad’s account and taking out credit cards in Dad’s name.”

“Yeah, I don’t know how anyone can do that to their own family.”

“Me, neither. Dad gave me a card on his SuperAmerica Visa, and I never used it for anything but gas when it was like a buck a gallon, or sometimes I bought prescriptions for the boys when I was a single Mom back when Ashe lived here, and I didn’t have any health insurance. But I always called Dad first, and I would NEVER have opened an account in Dad’s name.”

“Yeah, I know. Wasn’t that card one of them that Danny ran up?”

“Yep. Jacked it up to around $4,000, and Dad had to close the account.”

Jack and I talked for a few more minutes about the Arnold Classic he was coming to town to attend in March. I invited him to stop by for dinner or lunch or something, and we said our goodbyes.

So, there you have it, ladies, and gents, the latest on the enigma otherwise known as my brother, Danny. Even though we haven’t spoken in two years, and I honestly don’t care whether I ever see him again because the thought is just too painful, I do hope this recent endeavor to break up with drugs and alcohol forever is legitimate.  However, every time I see Jack’s name/number on the caller i.d., I fear it’s that call…the one punctuated by Danny wearing a toe tag in some morgue somewhere in South Carolina, but I continue to pray every night that such won’t happen, that a miracle will occur, and Danny will finally be drug free.

For an amusing post about Jack, check out: Post #29 – The Prick, the proctologist and Pigin English found at this URL:

And that’s all I have to say about that –

Over and out from Crazytown…

TenaciousBitch and company…

*Ashe was my second husband/my son Max’s father who died in 2005. He’s mentioned in several posts including:  Post #58 Ashe, the sex god parked upon this URL:

and #75 – About Ashe’s logic at:


Post #53 – The Second Attempt…

Posted in family battles, memoir, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

My heart wrangled wildly hearing Danny’s belligerent threats and his fists pummeling my door at the Red Roof Inn*. I turned on the bedside lamp and studied the dresser I’d shoved in front of the door earlier. I feared he’d barge right through the barrier because he’s always been as strong as a damned ox.

I heaved a huge sigh of relief, seeing that the steel door and the dresser were holding steadfastly under the stress of his attack.

I called the hotel office while Danny continued to rage and shout. “You fucking bitch, open this fucking door! You’re not getting away with this!”

Getting away with what?

“This is Kennedy Smith in 209. My brother is here again,” I stammered to Gladys, the hotel manager, over Danny’s violent bullshit.

“I know you’re in there!” Danny yelled. “Open up!” The noise of his blustering and banging was starting to give me a headache.

“Oh, my God, is that him in the background?” Gladys asked.

“Yes, but I’m okay, and-”

“Let me in, Kennedy, right fucking now, or I’ll knock this door off the fucking hinges!” Danny screamed, followed by more explosive thrashing against the door, but the furniture blockade didn’t budge. “We need to talk! You don’t know what’s going on!”

“I’ll be right there,” Gladys said.

I hung up and started to call the police, but, then, I thought, perhaps…not. I rushed over to the door and took a deep breath. “I called the cops, Danny,” I said as loudly and as calmly as I could, given the circumstances. “You need to go! I don’t think you wanna go to jail-!”

“If you don’t open this door, I’ve gotta screwdriver, and-” he sputtered, finally giving my door a rest. “I’m not afraid to use it!”

“Danny, did you hear me?” I hollered as loud as I could over his blathering of threats.


Thank God, he finally stopped yammering for a second. “I called the cops. You need to go,” I said angrily with the same stern demeanor as with my boys when they were younger and definitely NEEDED to go to their rooms before things got REALLY ugly…

I knew by his silence, he’d fallen for it. I sighed thinking maybe, just maybe…I’d get back to sleep before 8 a.m. if I didn’t have to deal with the local P.D.

“I just wanted to talk,” Danny barked. “You didn’t have to call the cops. You’ve got-”

“Excuse me, are you a guest here?” A man called out in the distance. I assumed it was Jeff, the manager’s son.

“What’re doing there?” Gladys shouted.

No response from Danny, and then, in that controlled but infuriated tone I’ve heard him use so many times when he’s trying to intimidate someone, “This isn’t over, bitch.”

I heard the sound of several footfalls on the asphalt parking lot.

“Unless you’re a guest-” the man said tersely, his voice nearer now. “You need to leave the property, right now.”

“What’s your name? What’re you doing here?” Gladys hollered at Danny, but her inquiry was answered by the echo of Danny’s slow gait moving away from my room.

“Don’t worry, I’m leaving,” Danny said politely in the practiced manner of a used car salesman. “Nothing to see here.”

Yeah, okay, I had to smile at the irony of that statement as my heart rate started to decline from volcanic to uneasy. And I had to wonder considering Danny’s last comment if this was all just an elaborate and never-ending shell game to hide his crimes.

I looked out the window, and I saw Danny getting into his crappy-assed Malibu.

He slammed the door and started his car. His eyes flickered in my direction. Seeing me at the window, he flashed his middle finger, a gesture I returned.

“Fucking prick,” I mumbled to myself as I heaved the dresser out of the way.

A gentle knock at the door. “Miss Smith, are you okay?” Gladys asked through the door.

I watched Danny drive away before I opened the door. Though I did feel a little shaky, I said, “I’m fine,” to Gladys, who looked a little pale, and her son, Jeff, the hulking maintenance man.

“I thought I’s gonna have to clobber that asshole,” Jeff said laughing.

“Next time, go right ahead,” I said, smiling.

“Redecorating are we?” Gladys asked with a faint smile, gesturing at the cock-eyed dresser.

“Yes, I thought it looked better reinforcing the entranceway.”

They both laughed.

“Did you call the police?” Gladys asked.

“No, I knew all I had to do was threaten to call Barboursville’s finest, and Danny would be gone.”

She nodded.

“Thanks for showing up so quickly.”

“No problem. What’s his story anyway?” Jeff asked. “Not that it’s really any of my business, but-”

“He’s a drug addict, and I’m about to expose all his lies and misdeeds,” I said with a grin. “Most people just let him do whatever he wants because they’re afraid of him, but I drew a line in the sand after our mom died, and I’ll walk through fire to make sure he doesn’t cross it, if I can.”

“Good for you,” Gladys said.

“And Danny always SAYS he’s gonna kill people or, you know, beat them up, but he hasn’t done anything like that since a bar fight more than 20 years ago, that I know of, anyway.”

Gladys nodded.

After all the chaotic milieu ended, I flopped onto the bed again and finally drifted off to sleep sometime after 6 a.m. I was supposed to leave around 8:00 to drive Dad’s BMW to Georgia for him, but I knew I’d never make it up that early. I re-set the alarm on my phone for 9:00. Dad knew I wasn’t an early riser, so he wouldn’t be concerned if I called him when I got up.

However, I wasn’t given the opportunity to sleep that late. At 8:30, the phone rang and woke me up. It was Nana. “Your brother tried to kill himself again**,” she said, matter-of-factly as if rattling off a grocery list. “He took some of your dad’s epilepsy pills and some of my heart pills. He’s out cold in the basement.”

Resentment stifled the concern I should’ve felt. I shook my head, trying to shake off the fogginess from lack of sleep. “Did you call an ambulance?”

“No, your dad was afraid to, afraid they’d put him in jail.”

“In jail? For what?” I asked wondering if they had somehow gotten wind of Danny’s antics at the hotel in the wee hours.

“I don’t know. Taking someone else’s pills, I guess.”

“They don’t put you in jail for that – unless you get caught driving.”

“Oh,” Nana said. “Well, he didn’t know that.”

“He should still call.”

“I’ll tell him,” Nana replied, seemingly unfazed by the morning’s events.

“I’ll be over in a little while.”

I dragged myself out of bed, hastily ate a granola bar, took a shower and arrived at Dad’s about an hour later. Dad still hadn’t called for an EMT.

“How much did he take?” I asked, sitting down across from Dad at the kitchen table where he had been reading the paper.

“He took at least 3 of my Mysoline. I don’t know how many of Maude’s pills he took.”

“Quite a few. I’d just filled that bottle,” Nana said, pouring herself a cup of coffee and sitting down next to me.”

“Have you checked to make sure he’s still breathing?”

“Yeah, he was about an hour ago before Monica got here. That’s her Jeep out front.”

“Monica? How’d she know about this?”

“I called her,” Nana said. “Found her number on a slip of paper on his desk. They’ve been going out again. She was just here a couple of nights ago.”

I nodded. Monica was an ex-girlfriend of Danny’s from high school. “I thought she lived in Maryland?”

“She did until she lost her job. I always liked her, smart girl. She does something with computers, doesn’t she?” Nana asked.

“Yeah, I saw her at the mall last Christmas, and she mentioned working as a computer programmer, I think. She was still in Maryland then.”

Nana nodded. I went downstairs, and there was Danny lying face down on the couch in the cold basement. Monica, a tall, dark-haired beauty in her late 30s, sat beside him, tears in her eyes.

“How’s he doing?” I asked.

“He’s pretty out of it. He woke up and smiled at me and asked me why I was here, why anyone would care. What happened? Why did he-?” Monica asked.

“You’ll have to ask Danny about that,” I said.  “It’s not my business to say.”

I gave Monica my business card with my cell number and email address and asked her to keep me posted about Danny’s condition, and I headed out for Georgia shortly after.

Dad and Nana flew to Georgia later that afternoon, and Monica stayed with Danny that night and most of the next day.

That night, I returned Monica’s voicemail from a hotel in North Carolina. She said he’d been awake long enough to eat a cheeseburger she’d brought him from McDonald’s, then immediately slipped back into slumber. He slept pretty much nonstop for almost two days, but he fully recovered to blaze yet another trail of chaos upon the world and everyone’s sanity within 1,000 mile radius and then some.

And, that, my friend’s, is the saga of Danny’s second endeavor to punch out early…and/or permanently.

The sad thing is the best emotion I could rally at the time was ambivalence, and I have difficulty feeling bad about that. If that makes me a bad person, so be it…

Over and out from SHE who shan’t be crossed… 🙂


*See the previous Post #52 – The Red Roof Incident for the WHOLE story as to WHY my brother Danny had shown up at my hotel room.

**The first attempt was when Danny was 20ish. This is the second attempt, hence the name of the post, and his third attempt is the subject of Post #5 – The Dreaded Call at Midnight”…

P.S. DISCLAIMER: This story is a combination of TWO different events, which happened at different times…but it’s all true, save for a few altered details to protect the innocent and those who do not wish to be mentioned in my blog or my memoir.

# 7 – What about those bank statements?

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, siblings, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

The next day, I was sitting at Danny’s desk at my Grandmother’s, editing a manuscript, when the phone rang. The caller i.d. said – NEW HORIZONS REHAB. My heart began grinding rapidly against my chest.

Nana Maude had an old answering machine with a micro cassette, so I could hear him leaving a message. Man, was he PISSED! 🙂

“I heard you were trying to sell my car. And that’s not gonna happen! Dad wanted me to have it, and you’ve got no fucking right to sell it! I know what I did to Grandma was wrong, but I’ll pay Nana back*. I’ve gotta have a car to get to work.” Followed by a steely CLICK and the dial tone…

My heavy heartbeat seemed to punctuate the silence. Taking a huge GULP of oxygen, I tried to calm my breathing to a less than catastrophic rate.

Aside from paying Nana’s utilities, I had already amassed more than $1,000 in credit card  debt at this point, and I’d already spent my last check, so she and I both really NEEDED the money because she didn’t have a dime until her next Social Security check in 2 weeks or so.

AND when I drove the BMW down to Georgia last year, he never gave me a cent for gas, etc. So, that’s $500 I hadn’t been reimbursed for…

But none of that mattered to Danny, so things were gonna GET UGLY…

Later that day, I signed Nana out of New Haven, and we went over to her house, so she could get some more of her clothes.

When we arrived, I noticed the front door was not only unlocked, but it was WIDE open. You could see right into the front hallway. At which point, Nana mumbled, “Oh, God, I hope your brother’s not here.”

“He’s in rehab, Nana, remember? It’s only been a couple of days.”

“I know, but still…”

Once inside, I locked the door, and we found Connie in the kitchen in the same dirty shorts as the previous day. A moment later, a tall, rather heavy-set brunette in overalls walked with a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. She smiled pleasantly at me, and Connie introduced her as Vicky (I think).

“Hi, Maude, so good to see you,” Connie said, giving Nana a big hug.

My stomach curdled.  I know I shouldn’t assume just because Danny is walking on the crack side, that ALL of his friends are too. But I just had a really bad feeling about this girl from the GET GO.

I immediately noticed that neither of them were wearing gloves. “Didn’t Danny tell you he has MRSA? You should be-”

“Oh, my God. No, he didn’t,” Connie replied.  They both were flat-eyed with SHOCK.

Nana Maude apologized and said, “There are some plastic gloves out yonder in the laundry room.”

Connie moved her fast ass in that direction right quick. I felt bad that I hadn’t mentioned it the previous day, but I was a little unsettled when I met her.

It seemed very ODD that Connie had come back a second day to clean because Nana’s house is only 1200 square feet, AND I discovered later that they hadn’t cleaned Danny’s bathroom at all. So were they gargling the toilet bowl cleaner or what? And the kitchen floor was STICKY… didn’t even wanna know why.

As we were leaving, Connie had the NERVE to ask Nana if she could borrow the BMW to take Danny some clothes at rehab. And before I could object, Nana blurted out, “Sure, go right ahead.”

“You’ll bring it back tomorrow, right?” Nana asked.

“Of course,” Connie replied, smiling.

But I knew she wouldn’t.

The next day, I was, once again, at Danny’s desk working when the phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number. Thinking it might be Everett, the man who wanted to buy the BMW, I answered it.

“Hey, sis, how ya doin’?” Danny’s voice hit me like a 50-pound slab of frozen meat.

“Fine. You?” I asked in a rather staccato tone.

“I’m outta rehab. I’m going to do outpatient therapy.”

Yeah, heard that before, but somehow sobriety seems to allude him every time.

“So, what’s this about you selling MY car?” He asked in a venomous voice.

“The car is still owned by Dad’s Estate,” I replied.

“That don’t matter,” he replied going on and on about what a bitch I am..bla, bla, bla.

So, that’s why Connie and Vicky were really here. They came to usurp Dad’s car, which, btw, Connie hadn’t returned as promised.

“So, where’s the title to the BMW?”

“I don’t have any idea where the title is, Danny.” I said calmly, knowing God would forgive me the lie, given the circumstances, especially considering they were about to shut off Nana’s electric. I couldn’t even afford her plane ticket to Ohio if we didn’t sell Dad’s car. My credit card was almost maxed.

Danny exploded, of course, knowing he’d left the title on the dining room table, which was now in my purse. I set the receiver down and sat there shaking my head as he continued a blue streak of rage and profanity until he said, “I’m coming home.”

I snatched up the receiver. “No, Danny, you’re not. Nana doesn’t want you here.”

“That is just as much MY house as Nana’s! You can’t kick me out. I know the law. I’m a RESIDENT!” He bellowed.

“You have NO legal right to this house. Nana changed her Will. She gave me Power of Attorney. I’m now her sole beneficiary. It’s not YOURS any more.” In the previous, 47th revision of Nana’s Will, Danny had been designated to inherit her house, which I knew Danny would take to mean he was half owner despite the fact that Nana was still very much alive.

During his rage-stoked monologue he blurted out, “You’ll have to evict me”… to-wit, I replied, “Whatever, Danny, I’m trying to work.” And I SLAMMED the phone so hard, a tiny shard of plastic broke off the 20-year-old receiver and embedded itself in my arm. I was such a wreck, I didn’t even notice. I dialed 911 and tried to explain the situation, knowing that Danny was probably en route to Nana’s at breakneck speed.

The 911 dispatcher had a kind and soothing voice, and she told me that a Deputy was on the way. And did I want to stay on the line until he got there? “Yes, please so that there will be a recording of my death should Danny arrive first.”

“Are you serious, miss?” asked the 911 dispatcher.

“I don’t know,” I said wondering why there was a rapid trickle of blood drooling down my arm and onto my jeans. I grabbed a napkin from Dominoes in the top drawer of Danny’s desk and held it against my now-throbbing arm.

“He hates me,” I replied to the 911 Dispatcher, “And he’s a drug addict, so anything’s possible especially if he’s high.”

Luckily, the deputy arrived a few minutes later. He confirmed my worst fears that because Danny had lived with Nana for almost a year, and since he was getting his mail there, he was considered a resident. And that we would have to evict him if he did elect to stay there. Awesome. Can you hand me a couple more nails for my coffin?

Danny showed up not 20 minutes after I called 911. He was very polite to the officer and stated that he was only there to get some clothes and such.

“So, where do you plan to stay, Mr. Smith?” the deputy asked.

“A halfway house. The social worker at the hospital recommended it.”

I nodded, knowing there was NO WAY in hell that Danny would live somewhere like that. He would be bunking with his drug buddies, either Connie and her boyfriend… or someone of her ilk. The doubt on the deputy’s face was a reflection of my obvious disbelief.

“Which one? Huckleberry House over in Mt. Sterling?” the deputy asked.

Danny stumbled, “Uh, no, it’s over in Henderson.”

The deputy nodded.  “I see,” he said flatly.

Then, as he was leaving, Danny took an envelope out of his jacket pocket and tossed it on the kitchen counter. The Citibank logo was evident on the envelope even from across the room. And very nonchalantly, he said, “I made copies of those statements for my taxes.”

So as not to PRICKLE Danny’s easily rankled temper, I just nodded and feigned  acceptance of his stupid and RIDICULOUS notion that he had EVER deposited any money in Nana’s account to warrant making copies of said bank records for his tax return.

Instead, I couldn’t help myself, and I said, “So, you’re actually filing this year, then?” Danny had recently told his ex-wife, Belinda, that he hadn’t done his taxes since they split up in 2006, and that info trickled down to me via the Facebook grapevine because there’s no such thing as a secret below the Mason-Dixon line…

Danny sputtered a weak-sounding, “Of course,” with a scoffing laugh for emphasis. “Gotta file… yer taxes.”

I smiled when he walked out, relieved that I could resume my regular pattern of pumping oxygen in and out of my lungs. I glanced out the window. Danny was leaving in this old shabby-looking green truck. He was hiding the beamer, God knows where, probably at Connie’s.

“There’s no halfway house in Henderson, that I know of, at least not one funded by the state.”

“I figured. Deputy Wilson, could you possibly locate someone for me?” I asked the young officer.

“I’m not a private detective, Miss Smith.” At that point, I wondered why everyone kept calling me MISS Smith… I’m wearing a 2-karat diamond AND a wedding ring… the South, go figure…

“I know. I just…” and I explained how Connie had procured Dad’s car.

“Well, if she doesn’t return it tomorrow, go down to the Sheriff’s Office out on Route 40 and report it stolen.”

With a feeling of trepidation,  I watched the deputy drive off. After removing the black sliver of plastic (from the phone) from my arm and applying a band-aid, I headed out to the garage to find Dad’s golf clubs. From that moment on, I slept with a golf club beside my bed even AFTER changing the locks.

More later, boys and girls, as my brain and my carpel tunnel need to rest… 🙂

Peace out from the bat cave!

~Kennedy Smith

* Please note as of the date of this revision (which I did to make it SHORTER) on 2/09/13, Danny has yet to give Nana one RED CENT to pay her back for all of the money he stole.