The Basketball Diaries – Jim Carroll

“Fall 1963. It was the warmest Oct. day out that I ever saw today, so we skipped practice (Tony and Yogi and I) and we decided to take a little ride down to the ferry and over to Staten Island. After polishing off a hero at LUCY’S we hopped on the back fender of the 2nd Ave. bus and rode down to the ferry basin. Once I fell off a bus like that on a sharp turn and almost got my balls crushed under the back wheel but this ride was smooth enough and we got off and deposited our nickels in the turnstiles and were off. Just as the boat is pulling out of the dock, Tony takes out a bottle of CARBONA cleaning fluid and a few rags and suggests that we do a little sniffing to get high. I was up for this idea because Carbona is one of the finest cheap highs you can get, even stronger than model glue. We slipped up to the top deck of the ship and wet our rags and raised them to our faces. After about four deep whiffs we were sailing someplace else, bells ringing through my ears and little lights flashing through my eyes. I pictured myself paddling across a river with black water, only the canoe was going backwards instead of forwards, with clouds that were faces laughing spooky fun house laughs which wouldn’t stop echoing. More sniffs and more freaky visions, the ringing bell sound always getting louder the more I breathe the stuff into my lungs. I kept it up for about ten minutes, but by then I was getting too dizzy to handle it and I had to fling down the rag and make it to the side rail, sick as possible. I began puking wildly. My eyes felt like bowling balls and they were watering like mad. Tony and Yogi had done themselves in too and they ran over to join in the ceremony. Then we recovered enough to hear shouts coming from the bottom deck and wiping off our eyes we realized that we had zeroed in over the head of some dude. More unfortunate was the fact that the guy was fantastically huge, and man, did he look pissed off. We wasted no time in making it to the nearest hiding spot, knowing that guy would be up after us any second. …”
The Paris Review
The Paris Review: Jim Carroll
YouTube: People Who Died w/ Jim Carroll – 9/25/1984 – Capitol Theatre (Lou Reed – Vocals, Guitar, Robert Quine – Guitar, Fernando Saunders – Bass, etc.)
1960s: Days of Rage – Here’s How They Got Teens Off Drugs in 1960s Greenwich Village

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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