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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN
Los Angeles CA
February 24, 2021
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I watch him from the window, that same skinny dude marching back and forth in front of
the dumpster. He's lost his limp and his laceless shoes, and his bare feet have been slapping
the asphalt all afternoon. I know he's talking because I can see his mouth moving. He's fried.
Or mental. Those are the only possible explanations.
I should be working. My computer is warmed up and ready for me to slave over it. My
online business. I buy and sell Mexican and Central American crafts. When you're in a
wheelchair it's easier to sit at home and work. That's one good thing about the computer
age. I have customers from all over the world without stepping outside my door. It's
actually pretty cool.
But I can't tear myself away from the window and that wasted specter eroding a trench
down there in the alley. His head sags as if he were carrying the weight of the world on his
back and his lips flap.
When dusk blankets everything but the light bulbs over the alley doors I go back to my
computer. Is he going to keep this up all night? Will he still be there in the morning,
forcing those tattered feet to run a marathon in front of the dumpster?
Around midnight I go to bed. I'm out as soon as my head hits the pillow, but visions of
him twirling, skipping, hopping get tangled in my sleep. He sails up to heaven, sprouts
wings, sings. Plays a harp. I gasp myself awake. Why am I dreaming he's an angel? He is
rude, filthy, aggressive and probably violent.
As soon as dawn whispers into my bedroom I roll back to the kitchen window. He's still
there but now his feet, powerful as the hind legs of an irate mule, are kicking dents in the
dumpster. I can hear his screams through my closed window.
I have to stop him. Someone will call the cops. Or someone will jump him and I doubt
he could fight them off. After pacing all night he has to be ready to keel over, even if he is
kicking the shit out of the dumpster.
2017 HUMAN RELATIONS INDIE
BOOK AWARDS GOLD WINNER
"A dark tale of love and addiction. Linda Naseem displays exceptional talent in describing extremelypowerful
emotions. Eye opening!" ---A. N., Colorado Springs, CO
"Enjoying your book. Really like your style of writing! Nice rhythm and pace! Great use of combined clauses.
Easy to understand how the book received an award."
---C.J.S., Dothan, AL
"Really good book, way to go...! But I always did wonder about the cover."
--L. L., Siguatepeque, Honduras
Author's comment: The cover picture is actually a scene in the book.
"...what an incredible mixture of fear, anger, forgiveness, sweetness, friendliness, craziness beyond
control, hatred, solitude, mercy, salvation, self-absorption, realizations, gratitude, seeking-for-God,
arrogance, sadness beyond help, helpfulness, just plain love, and especially faith..."
--G. H., Maple Falls, WA
"I found the book very raw, gritty, getting knots in my stomach at times...I was emotionally drained by
the end...you write really well---and I definitely was affected, touched, involved--whatever---you got
to me! Powerful!"
---R. S., Seaside, CA
"Author Linda very smartly and skillfully educates her readers through her literary fiction about some of the reasons why people
become addicts, why they stop using Meth and sometimes why they don't.
This very touching and engrossing read deserves to be widely read for its sheer beauty of showcasing the very truths of life of &
after addiction. Highly recommended!"
enasreviews.com April 25, 2016
"Nothing by Linda Naseem is, as the author says herself "unfortunately, inspired by experience". It tells the "fictional" story of
Annie, who discovers her husband is a drug addict. It was a very interesting story highlighting the affects on a relationship due
to drug abuse. Some of the writing was convoluted and hard to get through but nonetheless worth the effort. A raw story filled
with tragedy, violence and hope. These kind of stories stir up just about every emotion possible. So thank you Linda for sharing
a story that many of us are not strong enough to even articulate aloud."
Lady Sara's Book Blog, December 5, 2015
"This narrative promises an unflinching look at a drug addict's world--and it absolutely does not flinch. It's a paradox of
addiction--when under the control of a substance--an addict feels most powerful and potent at the time when he is powerless
and lost. Thus we go inside, and then outside, the minds of addicts whose lives are being burned away, and those who are
sometimes burned, standing at the edge of the fire. If this book was just about hurt then it would be unbearable. There is no
"Hollywood ending". But there are moments enough of honesty, redemption, and reconciliation to make this book worth a
recommendation. It is not entertaining, per se. But it is re-assuring, in a way, and a compelling read."
---Nate Briggs, Author, for the Kindle Book Review
"...Naseem's harrowing novel pulseswith the pain of betrayal and the dire consequences of substanceabuse. Sensitive readers
may beoverwhelmed by the edgy, expletive-dense narrative, but for those who don't mind its murky premise, the novel hums
with raw humanity.
"A riveting, intense portrait of substance abuse and the havoc it can wreak on family and friends."---kirkusreviews.com