I am 73 years old and your well written narrative is interesting and full of resonance to me. I could very easily have ended up in a very similar path and experience as yours. When young, I lived in Orange County (still oranges and lemons then; I doubt now) in Brea. I got in some trouble, spent some time in jail; ending up having a lot of experiences with crime and criminals, but mostly on the correct side of the law in the long run. I am glad that you seem to be on a better path, though having lots of experience with the world you speak of I know how easy it is to fool and be fooled so I take everything you say with tons of salt.
I will soap box a bit now so feel free to skip away with ennui. I think humans are kind of addictive in our very nature because all Homo sapiens suffer from what is sometimes called the
Of all animals we know of (at least on this planet) only Homo sapiens has full awareness of our mortality. As far as I can tell, religious belief is complete nonsense. Not only do many humans (and essentially no other animals) commit suicide as individuals, we are close to doing so as a species.
A lesson and implication I draw from your three part tale (that you may not intend) is that it is very easy to make children when we just want to fuck because human evolution (and all evolution) provides two prime directives
Survive and Pass on Genes.
You barely survived. My ancestors were all Eastern European Jews, people who had unpleasant experiences not just with individual criminals such as drug dealers but mass murderers on an unimaginable scale, people such as Hitler and Stalin.
On the Macro level there are now 7.5 billion humans on planet earth. Humans now have nuclear weapons, the ability to bio-engineer plagues far worse than the worst natural plagues in human history. We are now boiling our earth to the point that famine and flooding to the point of wiping our major cities is not just dystopian science fiction but a very likely future for our species.
To read an annotated version of this article, complete with interviews with scientists and links to further reading…nymag.com
On the Micro level perhaps more relevant to your story and perhaps offensive to you, I think people should fuck as much as they want within basic ethics (consenting adults, protect self and others against STDS, etc.) but avoid making babies unless really wanted and able to care for them and at the very most not more than 2 children.
End of soap box.