Ezekel Alan

This blog is about: cotton candy, cold milo, midgets, mangoes, sex, aged rum – everything but writing my next book

Archive for the tag “Jamaica”

A reader’s perspective

English: Amazon Kindle e-book reader being hel...

I finished your book (Disposable People) on the train home last evening (then started Pao). I had lots of laughs throughout your book as well as despair and disgust. The treatment of dogs even shocked me. A good deal of your story does help me understand the root of Jamaican attitude toward sexual relationships and life in general.

Of course there are exceptions to any generalization. I know three loving men and fathers who raised their children alone when the birthmothers took off to the States. They are terrific fathers. I know an old fellow who pass a few years ago. He was married to the same woman for over 50 years. They never had children and he never had any elsewhere. He worshiped his loving Birdie (as he called her). Franklin was his name and he worked at the resort I frequent since it was built in the early 70’s. He was in his late 70’s when he died. I miss him and his stories. That is where I first heard of many Duppy stories and learned the proper way to roast a breadfruit.

Very strange fruit (Bread Fruit)

Over all I enjoyed reading your book. One thing the books lacked was answers. Damn man I need some answers. How the heck you get out of that horrible place? What takes you around the world? What kind of consulting? What happened when you did meet your father? Why semicolon? Look forward to your next books. I found your book while looking for historical novels about Jamaica on Amazon…seems to be a shortage of them.

– Anita



Cheating – in athletics, not relationships or politics

List of Major League Baseball players suspende...

At the end of my chain-smoking day, I put aside my weed, and I sometimes pray;

I say to the Lord, “I have never been gay, but I would like gays to be treated in a proper way.”

There are all kinds of things that come to my mind at the end of each day. These days my thoughts often turn to the Republican party in the US, and what could happen to American society if they were to come to power. I have heard some words and seen some deeds that have caused more than a small amount of consternation in me, a black man. I sometimes wonder what I would be thinking if I were a woman, or gay.

I read a New York Times article the other day that spoke of the dark (in deeds, not colour) road to the White House that some folks seem to be taking, and the devious means being pursued. (See article here.)

But that’s not what this blog today is about.

Neither is it about whether Jamaican men cheat in relationships, which is a subject that draws an awful lot of visitors to this website.

The question for today’s blog is ‘Do Jamaican men cheat in athletics?’

Or is it the question?

Carl Lewis rubbed me mighty wrong before, during and after the Olympics with his less than sincere concerns about the standards of drug testing in Jamaica, and his blatantly nasty insinuations about Usain Bolt’s performance. He wanted the world to take a good look at drug testing standards and facilities in our little, poor, backward, third world nation, because to him, it is unthinkable that we could produce athletes that could not only beat but humble his countrymen.

At the end of my chain-smoking day I started to reflect on the fact that no prominent Jamaican athlete has ever been tested positive for drugs in any international event. So, let us assume that we evaded detection at home, and made it to the world stage where drug-testing facilities are better. Nothing. (Not yet, and I hope not ever.)

The US, on the other hand, has had a long string of domestic and international drug-testing scandals. In fact, I don’t think there is any other country that has reported as many prominent cases of doping.

I found on the internet a list of the top ten sports figures whose careers have been tarnished by allegations or evidence of doping:

10. Shawne Merriman, NFL, San Diego Chargers – USA

9. Jose Canseco, MLB  – USA

8. Rafael Palmeiro, MLB – USA

7. Ben Johnson, Olympic Sprinter – Canada

6. Floyd Landis, American Cyclist – USA

5. Kostas Kenteris & Ekaterini Thanou, Olympians – Greece
4. Barry Bonds, MLB  – USA

3. Alex Rodriguez, MLB – USA

2. Marion Jones, Olympian – USA

1. Roger Clemens, MLB  – USA

(Read more at http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-sports-figures-steroids.php#oSZ8XXj5GYCp8svm.99)

Let’s forget about the unspoken suspicions around a whole generation of runners in the Flo Jo era, and get to BALCO, Marion Jones and a sub-industry producing drugged up athletes. Should we then move to Barry Bonds?

English: Marion Jones - September 30th, 2000 a...

Marion Jones – September 30th, 2000 at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, let us instead look at this Lance Armstrong case – which is interesting for the fact that we are not talking about one person, but a whole network of cyclists who are confessing to the fact that there was some kind of ‘operation’ going on.

I don’t know if Lance is guilty or innocent, and a part of me wants him to be innocent, partly because I want to believe there is some good in us, but mostly because of his fight with cancer, and the fact that I hate to see someone’s reputation and life ruined and destroyed without solid evidence.

English: Cyclist Lance Armstrong at the 2008 T...

Cyclist Lance Armstrong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What I find also really interesting is that the great World Anti-Doping Agency and the US anti-doping bodies could have been testing this man for over 7 years and now need to rely on witnesses to testify that he was taking drugs. I really wonder what Carl Lewis and the whole lot of them have to contribute to this issue of the caliber of these first world drug testing bodies.

Is Usain Bolt the greatest athlete of all time?

Usain Bolt after his victory and world record ...

Usain Bolt after his victory and world record in the 100m at the bird’s nest, during 2008 Beijing olympics, august 16th (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since his famous and electrifying victory in the London Olympics 200 meters race and his comment that he’s the greatest athlete ever, Usain Bolt has stirred up considerable debate in the media and across social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

After the race Bolt also made the comment that he’s now a living legend. He said it without caramel, honey or sugar-coating, and as a result his comment hasn’t gone down well with many folks who seem to be choking on it.

The first quick reaction came from a familiar source, IOC chairman Jacques Rogge, who was less critical than in 2008 but equally clear in his views – not so fast young man, he says, you have to prove yourself over a career and not only over two Olympics. Rogge was quoted as saying, “The career of Usain Bolt has to be judged when he has retired,”  noting that Carl Lewis amassed medals over 4 Olympics and therefore has a greater claim to the title of being greatest.

Jacques Rogge

Jacques Rogge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carl Lewis, for his part, has commented that Bolt’s times were essentially nothing special. His views were echoed in some parts of American media, where commentators have been saying that because timing equipment were not that good in bygone decades, then no one knows how fast people have run before. Lewis has, on more than one occasion, also hinted at the possibility of drugs being the reason for Bolt’s exceptional performances. Other commentators online have said that as soon as Bolt’s world records are broken then Bolt will be forgotten.

While others have gone even further to say that Bolt may be the best Sprinter but he’s not the best Athlete, often citing Michael Phelps and his 18 gold medals as another candidate for the title ‘best athlete’.

These are those who have been choking on Bolt’s comments. On the other side of the fence we have not only Bolt and thousands of Jamaicans, but people such as Lord Sebastian Coe, who have said that what Bolt has done in pulling off back to back Olympic victories in both the 100 and 200 meter events makes him a legend. (See Coe’s comments here.)

What should we consider to be the truth? First, let us say that as a general rule athletes should let the world be their judge rather than try to be the judge of their own greatness. I don’t think it was necessary for Bolt to make those comments about himself, and would agree that it was lacking in taste and good judgement.

Second, we can also safely say that Carl Lewis, as always, appears to hate the fact that the world’s attention is centered on someone other than himself. He was a great athlete but has never been truly likeable to the rest of the world, and we can see why again. All his statements hinting at drugs point to Jamaica – yet he was never the one to make allegations against Marion Jones, Flo Jo, or any American sprinter. There is nothing honourable in his comments, they are inspired by petty malicious jealousies, and should be seen for what they are.

Carl Lewis at the "green carpet" for...

Carl Lewis (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Likeable?

These aside, we should also recognise that:

  •  We view excellence from the perspective of the point in time in which we live

As human beings we tend to bestow the title “greatest ever” on those athletes that live in our own time. This is why, for instance, if you do a casual browse of different websites which rate best footballers of all time, the greats of years gone by tend to fade in the lists, and get replaced by the Lionel Messis and Zidanes etc. It is simply harder for someone who knows little about Eusebio (Portugal, 1957-79) to see him as a better football player than Messi who they might have watched play, without even looking at goal scoring stats. This is also why just about every decade the lists of the 7 Wonders of the World change and bring in more contemporary Wonders.  We give a value of 100 to our time, and we undervalue both the past and the future. This is simply how humans are conditioned to behave.

  • We view excellence based on our connection with the personality

It is also likely that we will see the “best player’ as someone we can relate to, as opposed to someone we find arrogant and offensive. Here I am not even making a comparison between Carl Lewis and Bolt, but rather a general observation. Cristian Ronaldo is a magnificent footballer, and scores as many goals as Messi, but Messi gets rated above him on virtually all lists of the best. People simply like Messi more, and almost all judgements made about who is ‘the best’ are subjective and based on a majority perspective.

  • We view excellence based on our connection with the sport

Then there is also our connection with the sport and its universal appeal. There are no doubt amazing athletes in baseball, cricket, swimming (Phelps, etc), but these sports do not have the appeal of football or of the 100 meters track and field race. Few people in the world will care about or know who broke what baseball record, or the 50m butterfly. Even if we read about it, it simply does not stick in our collective memory.

What does this all tell us? Simply, that this is Bolt’s moment, his time; that the world likes him an awful lot more than either Phelps, or Lewis; and millions of people regard the 100 and 200 meter Olympic finals as the pinnacle athletic events. He is therefore being celebrated for being a great athlete of our time, and possibly longer. His memories will fade in time, make no mistake about it, for this is the fate of all great athletes.  But for those of us who have lived to see him, whether on t.v. or in person, there is no doubt in our minds that he’s something extraordinary.

Jamaica – the tiny olympic sprint machine

Like all Jamaicans, I’ve also been glued to my television screen since the athletics part of the Olympics start. It’s not that I don’t watch the other events, but there is a special place in my heart for Athletics. Part of the problem is that I can’t watch badminton for 10 straight days, I feel something is wrong with that (when oh when will this constant badminton end?) I also feel that certain sports that already have globally prestigious championships shouldn’t be in the Olympics – I include in this list Football. What more does anyone need than the World Cup? I am happy for Serena Williams, but do we really need two Wimbledon finals almost back to back? And must we have the Tour de France and then watch almost the same riders hustling along another 240 kilometers of lush green countryside 1 week later?

The trampoline looks like it requires athleticism, but I get giddy if I try to watch all that spinning and turning for long. I am constantly expecting one of the athletes to go dizzy and faint or puke.

Beach football also seems to me something you play with friends and then drink beer and party after. I just can’t think of it as an Olympic sport. Worse Handball – it’s as though someone said, “since we have foot-ball we can have hand-ball,” and so it was. It all strikes me as a waste of time.

But that could just be because I am Jamaican as I said before, and I love to watch people running. There is something very exciting about this –  almost like bringing me back to my childhood watching cow thieves running from farmers, or gun-men running from police.

Our athletes have gotten off to an excellent start – Shelly-Ann taking gold in the 100m women, and Veronica coming in with the bronze. Like all true Jamaicans I want more. I am far from content with being a tiny island winning gold and bronze at the big Olympics. I want much more! Call it greed, call it ungratefulness, but my belly is not yet full.

Tonight the big men step out onto the track – Bolt, Blake, Powell. A part of me doesn’t care which of them wins as long as one of them wins, but a part of me is behind Bolt. Last night’s 1-3 results board didn’t look bad, but tonight I am hoping to see 1-2-3. Our women have done it before…

My first conversation with a prostitute

In a life full of ordinary things, I rarely have conversations with unusual or extraordinary people. There is a dreadful predictability about daily conversations which often lead me to drift off into my own thoughts and world. But recently I had a chat with a prostitute. Let me explain.

In one of my earlier blogs I noted that when I walk certain streets in Bangkok and prostitutes call to me I do not go to them because prostitutes are not my calling. I feel my life is to be lived with greater significance than what shadows and seedy side-streets can offer. You may therefore wonder why I recently went to Pat-pong, one of the most famous red-light districts in Bangkok.

For those of you who’ve never visited the area, the street-side food is marvelous and cheap, the night market bustles, and the clubs and restaurants buzz and throb with vitality and excitement.

Thai Food with LoVE..LOvE... for you..."G...

Thai Food Green Papaya Salad. Photo credit: Thai Jasmine. (I like it hot!)

I like good food, and I also like to observe people. I get both energy and inspiration from certain environments, and often bring my laptop in busy places to write, while observing the world as it goes by.

After eating dinner from a street vendor’s stall, I went into one of the gentlemen’s club to look around and have a beer, which is often reasonably priced.

I was sitting alone on a stool by a counter which wrapped around a pole. I ordered a beer from a passing waitress.

She came before my beer arrived.

“Hi honey, how are you tonight?”

Though English wasn’t her first language, the way she spoke suggested that she had learnt much more than what was necessary to communicate with her clients. She eased up to me, coming close enough for me to smell a cheap but subtle and flowery perfume. There wasn’t any empty stools, so she stood, shifting her weight every now and then between her feet. She was wearing stiletto-like heels, which I was sure she would use as a weapon if she ever got into trouble with a client. They were too high, however, and she wasn’t comfortable walking in them. I thought of nudging her and shouting “Timber!” as she fell. I often get these thoughts when I see women in high heels, sometimes I think of cow-tipping.

I told her I was fine, and reciprocated, “How about you?”

“I’m good honey, I’m very very good. But I can be bad if you like.” She said this with enough authenticity that I didn’t feel any urge to laugh.

“You on business here? looking for some action, honey?”

Always direct. The nature of the business was to earn, which required a certain level of turnover. This meant investing a minimum to assess prospects and, once identified, investing the extra to close the deal. If there was no prospect here, she wouldn’t share a drink, nor much more of her perfume.

I told her I was just taking it easy and having a drink. I said it politely, but in a manner I thought would be clear enough.

“You know the girls in here don’t like going with Africans, but me, I don’t mind, I have seen it all. I don’t mind.”

African? Four years in the region and it still hits me hard whenever someone assumes I am from Africa. I thought of telling her I was a bona-fide Usain-Bolt, Bob-Marley, Blue-Mountain-Coffee, Reggae-Music Jamaican, but I didn’t, as I figured it wouldn’t have mattered.

Sprinting legend Usain Bolt pictured in Brunel...

Usain Bolt (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Would she have seen this lightening pose?

Instead I told her I wasn’t looking for any action, just to make it a little clearer.

A stool was vacated a few meters from us and she slipped away and grabbed it, bringing it back and planting herself beside me. I wasn’t sure why.

When she sat, I understood why – her feet were tired. Then she slouched ever so slightly on the stool, and I understood that her tiredness went much further.

She couldn’t afford to slouch too much as she was on the job, and being constantly watched. She was giving the impression that I was a real prospective client, so she could stay there a while and rest.

“So what’s your name honey? You work here?”

We chit-chatted for a little, I told her I was with a consulting firm doing some work with the government. She had gone for the Marilyn Munroe blond curly look, nicely blended with a white tank top and an airy skirt. Some women are pluses, some minuses, but she was definitely a plus, and I could only imagine how beautiful she had been years before she moved into the shadows. Her face seemed pale, but not as though she was bleaching, more as though her skin was losing the brightness of her youthful dreams. Amidst all the make-up and artificial accompaniments (which included implants, hair, eyelashes, eye-color, and ‘gold’ bracelet), her eyes were the only things that hinted at the real person she was, or once was. There was a certain glint and softness in her eyes which, to me, looked like the thing you would find if you looked at a human long enough to see what separated us from the rest of animals. That thing, that soul-gene that makes us cry sometimes when we watch a sad movie. That soul-gene that makes a child let go of her mother’s hand to run back and give her candy to an old beggar on the street. There was that something in her eyes.

“I don’t mind Africans you know,” she continued, but in a manner that wasn’t pushy or insistent. I got more of a sense that she simply wanted me to take her away to someplace where she wouldn’t be watched, and where she wouldn’t have to stand, and where she would be fine giving me her body so she could have a minute with her soul.

“I been with Europeans, Africans, Americans, all these men are bigger than the Chinese and Japanese that come here. The local girls they don’t like the foreigners, they prefer the Asian men.” I understood from this that Chinese and Japanese were not ‘foreigners’ in the same way the rest of us were.

“I go with the big men who work with the oil companies,” she was mostly speaking to herself, but with her face angled towards me to give the impression that she was working a client. “There is a pastor as well, he’s from out-of-town, but he comes here whenever he’s in Bangkok. He doesn’t know that I know he’s a pastor. I’ve been with a Prime Minister with a group of girls. Lawyers, doctors, engineers…”

“So it was in the beginning, and so shall it be in the end,” was the thought that came to me, and I might have said it if I thought she knew who Bob Marley was and could understand the reference. Instead I took another sip of my beer, and nodded as though I was acknowledging what she was saying, which was really for the benefit of her watchers. I wanted her to rest.

“But they all don’t see me.” When she said it I paused. I had by then realized that her English was quite good, and she was articulate. I had, however, not thought of her as someone who quite likely had come from a very poor background and had invested in her own education.

“They sometimes give me big tips, or come to me when they are in town. They’ll say sweet things sometimes, or tell me how if they didn’t have a wife they’d take me away and marry me. But it’s just a role they play, and this is all just a game. They don’t see me.”

When she said this it hit me quite hard, because the truth is, up to that point, I hadn’t seen her either. We had just been two bodies in a bar being watched by people who wanted us to perform so they could earn.

“My name is Ezekel, but my friends call me Kenny.”

“My name is Rita.”

And like this we started to talk.

The influence of short stories on my writing

Small sugar cane field on Madeira

Small sugar cane field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love telling stories. I grew up on sugar cane, mangoes, curried crabs, marbles, and stories. They were an essential part of everyday life. Every night on our veranda, with my brother and cousins, we would be telling stories – about ghosts (duppies), Anancy the spider, Big Boy, Obeah (voodoo), and all kinds of things. I listened to them, I told them, and I wet my bed at nights sometimes because I was too afraid to go outside and pee after hearing them. (By the way, when the canes rustled at night evil spirits were often roaming…)

When I was growing up it was very hard to tell the difference between stories and reality. For example, all the things you heard in stories about wicked duppies (evil spirits) doing harm to people, you also heard about in real life. As soon as Mr So and So became sick and started losing weight you would hear even the adults talking about what kind of duppy was ‘riding’ him and sucking him dry.

I think this is the reason so many of my childhood stories stuck with me – they were part of my fears and superstitions. Just the way today I have cousins abroad who go back to Jamaica once per year to have an Obeahman (voodoo man) give them a special ‘bath of protection’, and return to their jobs in metropolitan London and New York, so too I carry with me the stories and superstitions of my youth.

I also still love listening to stories. Indeed, one of the greatest sources of inspiration for me are the New York Times short story podcasts. They are short, intense, and packed with delights. Not only are they specially selected from the works of some of the best story-tellers of our time, but they are also read by famous writers. One of my all-time favourites is a short story by Junot Diaz titled “How to date a brown girl, black girl, white girl…” (There is an extract in the video below, but do sign up for the podcasts – see link below also – and listen to the full story.)

If you know another source of good short stories, whether audio/podcasts or written short stories available online, please feel free to suggest.

Sign up for the NY Times Short Story podcasts here:


Is your country today better than when you were a child?

This is purely for my curiosity. I would like to know how Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans feel about their country, and whether they think things are now  better or worse than when they were children.

Poll for Jamaicans:

Poll for non-Jamaicans:

Usain Bolt


(A poem about choosing between going home to Jamaica or continuing to live abroad.)

Can I go back? Is there nothing to lose?
Does it really matter which way I choose?
Between living life on a cosmic scale,
Or holding on to the tip of its tail?
Ethnic oceans, seas dead and red –
Or women washing rags in the Rio Minho bed?
The world at your doorstep, galaxies of light,
New York in your backyard, Times Square bright –
Or the universe shrunk planetarium tight,
And a solitary star in the clear midnight?
To that fabled life, pure and true,
Mangoes and bananas and the morning dew,
To cawfee roasting and clothes on the line,
In my little village with not one street sign –
New York New York all left behind?
After being in Paris, Athens and Rome?
After seeing in Tripoli the ancient Hyperdrome?
After Thailand and Guatemala with such wondrous feasts,
And the African plains running with the Wildebeests?
After once or twice visiting the Middle East?
Will I indeed find
That peace of mind
With my barefoot planted on God’s own ground,
Can I call this place my resting home?
Times Square at night
Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. How do you feel about the place you call home?

I saw a black man kill a black man, and I watched, like it was t.v.

I need to be honest with you from the start. I like the plain beauty of the naked truth, but I much prefer the delicious sweetness of a big fat lie. Fat lies, like fat people, have often gotten the raw end of the deal, but not from me, I really like fat lies. The chubbier the better!

Anyway, I am telling you this so you know that I have not always been honest.

Today I will be. Honest.

Today I will tell you something that is 99% true.

This is 99% true: in October 1980 a black man wearing an orange shirt killed a black man wearing a green shirt in a yellow bus in front of me, and I watched while standing beside my brother. Seeing that event did not f–k me up any at all.

Let me break this up a bit for you so that you can understand which parts are true, and the 1% that isn’t.

October 1980 – General Elections were being held in Jamaica. True.

The only people wearing orange shirts were Socialists (PNP); the only people wearing green shirts were f—king assholes (JLP), according to my old man. True.

socialist latte

We were Socialists. True then, and still is.

I had a dog named Ruffy at the time. True then, no longer.

I could only watch the killing because I was a child of 11 years old and wasn’t old enough to do anything about it. True.

If I could have done something about it I would have helped the first man kill the second man. True then, but no longer.

My father, my brother, my mother, my unborn sister, my dog, my toilet, my mango tree, my cousins, my uncles, my aunts, my right and left toes, my gungo peas plants, my everything, were all Socialists. True then, not as much now.

If my cousins could have helped the first man kill the second they would have. True, and they did.

If my brother could have helped the first man kill the second one he would have. Here I must be honest, I genuinely do not know, as I have never asked my brother his real thoughts. Moreover, I know from watching Law and Order that the mere fact that my brother was shouting “Kill him! Kill him raasclaat! Kill de dutty raasclaat Labourite!” is only circumstantial. He could, in a court of law, contend that he only behaved in that manner to fit in with his environment and that he did, secretly, support and vote for the Jamaica Labour Party. Who knows?

The second man was on a bus that was full of Socialists coming from a political rally. True, but I still wonder how the hell a Labourite found himself on a bus full of Socialists during Jamaica’s most violent general elections.

Me and my brother were standing on the roadside watching the motorcade driving through our ghetto. True.

When the bus in question was driving by where we were standing, I saw the second man struggling with all his might, and with panic in his eyes, to escape through a window of the slow-moving bus. True.

While the loudspeakers on top of the lead car in the motorcade were blaring “We a go lick dem with JAMAL! We a go lick dem wid de Free Education!” everyone at the back of the bus was shouting “Hold him! No mek de bomboclaat Labourite get way! Hold him!!” True, I found myself shouting this too.

My cousin, Cookie, who was close to me, looked like she wanted to pee based on the way she was jumping from foot to foot with excitement. True.

While the second man was trying desperately to squeeze himself out of the window, the first one was on his back stabbing him over and over again with an ice pick. False! Liar, liar, pants on fire! I had to throw that lie in there, just for fun. The person stabbing the second man with the ice pick was actually a third man, he was also wearing an orange shirt.

The first man, who we have just established was not the one with the ice pick, was somehow beneath the second man, with a rachet knife, slicing his belly open. True.

It was the cutting open of the belly, and not the stabbing with the ice pick, or the punching, or the kicking, or the stones, or the hits with the pieces of wood, that killed the second man. Uncertain!! Right here is where I have told myself a big fat lie for over thirty years! I have always told myself that it was the cutting open of the belly, and the falling out of the intestines through the window, in front of me, that was the cause of death. But, from watching CSI and NCIS, I realise that sometimes what you think is the obvious cause of death, isn’t. The man might simply have been scared to death, like one of those CSI victims I saw once. Or it could have been the kicking and punching. I really do not know what, or who was the cause of death.

Seeing this event did not cause me any psychological problems later in life. True. I think the things that screw you up are the ones that shocked you when they happened. This didn’t. At 11 years old I already knew how the world worked. And killings weren’t unusual or shocking in my world. Its like going into a strip club – you know the girls there will spend more time at the table with the Japanese men, and less time at the table with the African men. This is just life. Prejudice, killings, stealing, adultery, etc. were all part of everyday life. They caused me no nightmares.

So, there you have it, the real version of what happened. I am deeply thankful to Law and Order, NCIS and CSI Miami for helping me to analyse those events.

English: Titlecard for Law and Order: Special ...

Image via Wikipedia

Note: if you are interested in the things that really screwed me up, please check out my novel, Disposable People, which is inspired by true events.

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