In my last post I mentioned my friend Craig the paranoid-schizophrenic-alcoholic-legalist and curiously enough, some of you have asked about him. Go figure! I met my friend Craig the summer after my sixth grade year. He is a year older than me, but was being transferred to my school the next year to repeat the seventh grade, so we would be classmates. Our parents thought it would be a good idea to send us to a summer camp in New Mexico for two weeks so that Craig would have a friend when he started at his new school.
I had never met anyone quite like him. He and his parents arrived to pick me up for our drive to Love Field where we would fly to Amarillo before taking a bus to New Mexico. He had a burr haircut. I think I was sporting a mullet with a punked, spiked look on the top at the time. He wore red, white and blue framed, mirrored sun glasses and he carried a back pack with treasures inside. On the plane he reached into his bag of tricks and produced fake dog poop that he set in the middle of the aisle for our flight attendant to find. He didn't say anything to me about it. He just did it for his own amusement or maybe because in his world, that is simply what you do on a plane.
We did become friends during those two weeks and remained friends through Junior High before he was kicked out of school our Freshman year. He'd been put on probation so many times they finally had to quit threatening and actually expel him. It was a sad day. The beginning of the end really. Craig was crazy, but he never really crossed the line into the danger zone. He dipped, he skipped a few classes, he smarted off to authorities. I smoked my first and only cigarette with him. He was funny and smart and a good athlete. He was the life of the party without the aid of drugs or alcohol. He had tons of potential.
Anyway, he went back to his old school and his old friends and before long he had crossed that line. He was soon selling drugs and then using them on a regular basis. Long story short, that road led to a few stints in jail and then to a life on the streets.
Over the last twenty years I have tried to keep in touch with Craig. But it is difficult to communicate with people who live on the streets. Whenever he was in jail we would correspond through mail, but when he got out I would lose track of him again, sometimes for months at a time. Then I'd run into his parents and find out how to contact him and we'd start up again. This last connection was the result of seeing his mom at the grocery store. She said he was living in a house, but had no phone. She gave me the address and I showed up at his door. That's when I met Brian (see previous post). That was ten months ago.
Craig is a Christian. He grew up going to church and was baptized as a kid. He believes in God and the Bible, but he is very confused. He has been diagnosed with paranoid-schizophrenia. He is an alcoholic, but we are praying for him as he approaches 90 days sober after over twenty years of drug and alcohol abuse. It's sad, after all he's been through he is one of the most legalistic people I've ever met when it comes to religion. Because of that, he has a difficult time accepting God's grace for himself. In his mind, he's doomed. Please pray for my old friend Craig. He has a lot to overcome, but he is on his way and I believe he's going to make it. I believe he still
has tons of potential.
And when you get to heaven, look him up. He'll be the life of the party.