Cocaine's Son: A Memoir by Dave Itzkoff

By Dave Itzkoff

With sharp wit, self-deprecating humor, and penetrating honesty, New York Times journalist Dave Itzkoff turns a willing eye on his existence with the mysterious, maddening, much-loved guy of whom he writes, "for the 1st 8 years of my existence I appear to have believed he was once the made of my imagination."

Itzkoff's father used to be the fellow who lumbered domestic at evening and spent hours murmuring to his small son approximately his desires and hopes for the boy's destiny, and the fears and screw ups of his personal prior. He was once the hard-nosed manhattan fur service provider with an without notice emotional soul; a purveyor of well-worn anecdotes and bittersweet lifestyles classes; a depended on best friend in youth revolts opposed to motherly self-discipline and Hebrew college drudgery; a chum, consultant, and confidant. He was once additionally a junkie. In Cocaine's Son, Itzkoff chronicles his coming of age within the disjointed shadow of his father's double life--struggling to reconcile his love for the garrulous protector and supplier, and his loathing for the pitiful addict.

Through his adolescent and teenage years Itzkoff is haunted via the spectacle of his father's drug-fueled depressions and disappearances. In university, Itzkoff plunges into his personal doubtless fated bout with substance abuse. And later, an emotional remedy consultation leads to the serious sure bet that he'll by no means triumph over an analogous demons that experience pushed the older guy. but if his father eventually will get fresh, a protracted "morning after" starts off for them either. And on a highway journey around the state and again into reminiscence, looking for clues and revelations, jointly they notice that there is extra binding them than ever separated them.

Unsparing and heartbreaking, mordantly humorous and powerfully felt, Cocaine's Son clears a spot for Dave Itzkoff within the leading edge of up to date memoirists.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Some professions can’t be gone into half-assed. Some require being called to them, like giving your life to the church or the throne or the mob. To be successful at those jobs, it should be something you feel in your bones is the thing you have to do, or someone has to catch you at a young age and groom you into it. Being a cop should be the same way, but that’s not exactly how it was for my mother. It was the man who’d stalked Ma that convinced her to become a cop in the first place. She’d been working a combination of part-time jobs that barely paid the rent, kept the lights on, and filled our stomachs—usually as a bookkeeper or an apartment-leasing agent.

The last time he was seen he’d gone to pay a bill for his mother at a bank two miles from home. I’d completed similar grown-folk’s tasks for Ma, usually dropping off a payment at a branch downtown before I changed buses between school and home. The bike he’d borrowed from a friend to run the errand had been found behind a tree in some woods along the route between his home and the bank. The bank said he’d completed the transaction, so someone got him on his way back home. The police 28 No Place Safe Kim Reid didn’t think he’d run away.

I didn’t say anything, only thought how different it was at my school, where the football game was everything, where the team ran the show because they had a tradition of going to the state finals every year since dirt was created. The band had no soul and I was certain no one at the school had ever seen a step show, much less knew what one was. In my head, I kept hearing, Who brought disco? ” It was an attempt to keep the conversation from returning to her not going to the game. Or she may have asked because she was like an old person that way, bringing up the news or talking about the weather the way old people do when there’s nothing else to say.

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