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The executive editor of the monthly men's magazine has read excerpts from the 55-year-old homeless man's journals and described his work as "extremely raw and pretty extraordinary.""I think he's got talent as a writer," said Mark Warren. "So I hope to read more of his writing and who knows, maybe someday if it's the right piece and the right fit and the right time, maybe we'll see it in the magazine."Cadillac has been writing a book about his life on the streets for the past three years, filling a half dozen spiral notebooks with meticulous cursive handwriting. It's part biography and part homeless survival guide. In buoyant and natural prose, he describes how he ended up outdoors and gives readers tips on finding a safe place to crash and how to make the most money panhandling.The book is peopled with wild characters named Irish, Chocolate Milk, and Penny. He talks about the women he's loved and lost. Most of the people are dead, he said. He describes witnessing one of them jump in front of a speeding subway train. "Let's be honest, out here most people want to forget their situations," Cadillac said. "Not me. I want them to learn from it."Here's an excerpt from the more than 3,000 pages he has written:"If you want to survive out here, you should have several houses. Scope out the area, check them for signs of life. Bottles, cigarette butts and bedding mean someone is living there and that means no trespassing. It may be booby trapped. I oughtta know, I do it too to discourage new tenants from moving in. The more desolate the area the better. A boarded up factory is a palace: lots of nooks and crannies to hide and sometimes running water. Always set up an escape route just in case of fire, Five-oh and predators. Secure the area if you can, don't use new locks and chains - that attracts attention. Dirty them, wet them to get that rusty look. Scatter debris about, making it look like nobody's been there in some time. And most important, DO NOT take a house where you find discarded needles, cause that means a crack house and that means junkies and that means trouble. And I hate junkies with a passion. Some may look pitiful, some dangerous with predator eyes. Bottom line: never, never trust any of them. But that's another story to be told later ...My Taj is an abandoned taxi garage with a steel door entrance, an overhead folding door and a trap door rooftop that I booby trapped. Nobody can look in. The windows are glass blocked, meaning if you (look in) all you see is darkness. You would need a lot of time and muscle to gain entrance." Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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