This was a particularly strange time in my life. After landing in Florida, I quickly realized how different life was away from the city. I was in the middle of nowhere, with absolutely no music scene in sight. It was a far cry from my previous Miami trips, and still dealing with the church, word from sent from New York to Lakeland about my arrival, so that church representatives, people I never before met in my life, could keep tabs on me. I had my guitars with me, which brought me some sense of comfort, and I recorded this video, “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson, soon after settling in. But it took a lifetime to find my place back home, so figuring out my place in Florida seemed nearly impossible. This is when things got really sticky, and I used alcohol as an escape. My entire stay in Lakeland lasted only a month, but getting drunk during the early hours of the day quickly became a pastime of mine. Not knowing any better, I attended a church-based dinner that, unbeknownst to those who attended, included several glasses of juice spiked with Devil’s Springs. How many exactly? Based on the fact that I was carried out, and spent the next two days with my head in a toilet, I’d say it was enough. The days that followed were absolute hell, and when I tried attending church, I puked the moment I stepped foot inside. Another badge of honor on my growing record within the organization. I sat at a Starbucks in the middle of a highway, and wondered if I should go back home to New York City. In that moment, I would receive a call with news about my dad. Things were taking a turn for the worse, and that was the sign I needed. I jumped on a plane, and headed back to Brooklyn.

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