TALES FROM THE GERONIMO: My Seduction by Junk and Desert Dreams by Scott Frank

TALES FROM THE GERONIMO: My Seduction by Junk and Desert Dreams

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A writer and musician from Tucson recalls his brief addiction to drugs, two decades after the fact and without any evident point. Frank spent nearly a year in the mid-'70s shooting heroin and living with the junkies, alcoholics, and pensioners who populated Tucson's decrepit Geronimo Hotel. The book sketches Frank's small-time career dealing marijuana and his progression from intermittent, casual heroin use to full-fledged addiction. Unfortunately for the reader, not a lot happened to Frank during this period aside from the fluctuations in his body chemistry. In the triple-digit heat of an Arizona summer, he whiled away his time lounging either in bed, on a third-floor balcony, or flat on his back on the hotel's lawn at night. Now and then he worked for friends who were dealers on a large scale, packing pot into boxes and driving it across town in exchange for money and drugs. Frank describes in enthralling detail the mechanics of cooking up and injecting junk. Although a spark of deadpan humor sometimes brightens the prose, his descriptions of being high (a tough test of any writer's mettle) are soporific, and he paints colorless portraits of such unsavory acquaintances as Nazi Paul, a skeletal addict who occasionally emitted some garbled praise of G"ring, and Stegman, an apparently sober old man perpetually working on geometry calculations in a tower room at the Geronimo. Frank's mother killed herself during his residency at the hotel, but he is curiously impersonal about this event and about his adversarial relationship with his father, a psychiatric social worker to whom he finally turned for help in getting into a treatment program. The author provides as many helpful tips on successful withdrawal as he does on shooting up. An entirely unnecessary guidebook to misery.

Pub Date: June 13th, 1995
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Grove