In the first entry of The Basketball Diaries, a thirteen-year-old Carroll uses a fake birth certificate from his coach, Lefty, to get into a twelve-andunder basketball league. Carroll and his friends sniff cleaning fluid to get high, steal purses, and steal from another basketball team. On Halloween, they attack the neighborhood girls with flour-filled socks then get drunk and use rock-filled socks to break windows. Lefty catches some of his players sniffing glue, but Carroll dumps his before getting caught. Carroll and his family move into their new apartment in the tip of Manhattan. Carroll and the gang get drunk, but one of them drinks too much and has to get his stomach pumped.
Carroll, a non-Catholic, is forced to go to confession at his new Catholic school. He attends a funeral for one of his friends who dies in a gluesniffing accident. Carroll scores high on a test but is punished for lack of effort. He describes his first experience with heroin, which he believes is nonaddictive. He steals clothes from a department store and smokes marijuana with one of the older guys in his new neighborhood. A priest in Carroll’s school spanks a student’s naked buttocks behind closed doors and is sent away after the student’s brother labels the priest a homosexual. Carroll’s mother finds and destroys a bag of Carroll’s marijuana.
Spring & Summer 1964
Carroll talks about...
(The entire section is 1353 words.)
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