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The Elite Men's magazine of Hip-hop Culture

"The Keystone Sober Living House."

Their rooms are dusty. Their beds are lumpy. Two recovering addicts sharing a small room. Except for Joseph Lindwall, the house manager. He has his own room. By 7 a.m. he's practicing preaching. Throughout the day he'll throw away residents' stuff, kick someone out on the fly, force his words of God on anyone near him, and eat something disgusting. He was headed to an asylum. Kay, of Saddleback Church in Anaheim, made him house manager.

By Anonymous

Keystone Sober Living House at 1518 W. Oak St, Fullerton, CA

The Keystone Sober Living house at 1518 W. Oak St., Fullerton, CA, 92832, is part of the establishment that holds us back. They don’t do anything for your sobriety, but they do a lot so you’ll relapse and be homeless. For one, they let you move in so easily you’d know it was a trap. Secondly, the house, and people in it, are managed by Joseph Lindwall, a two-time loser and neurotic preacher who was intercepted from an asylum and spoiled with managing The Keystone. Joseph and the house’s owner, Kay, will throw you out on the spot. They kicked me out one Sunday afternoon.

I responded to their craigslist ad. A guy answered. I judged him by his voice and diction. He was white, poorly educated and addicted to drugs. I met him the next day. I was right. We met at the Keystone. Joseph was 5’10”, white with a beard and hairstyle that made him look like Jesus Christ. But Joseph was dusty, had fanged teeth, and his face was haggard. His eyes were cold. He was cold-blooded like ice water in his veins.

I sat at a dining-room table accross from Joseph. He resembled an evil version of Jesus. He talked about himself. He was a recovered drug addict and alcoholic. He served two prison sentences. He had a daughter but lost his parental rights. The courts told him to move into an asylum but someone asked him to manage this sober living house.

I let my guard down. He was, at times, discriminated against, like black people. Next, he watched me pee into a clear cup. He made jokes about the color of my urine. Joseph was gleeful and happy - it seemed - to be in a bathroom with a guy. A guy whose penis hovered their toilet. A guy who passed him piss.

“These tests are from the forensics lab,” Joseph said. “They catch everything.” He checked for: Alcohol, Spice (synthetic marijuana), THC, Cocaine, PCP and everything in between. He detected THC in my urine.

I said I hadn’t smoked in weeks and I wanted to get away from tokers. I gave him $60. He gave me a key to the front door.

The day after I moved in I met Kay, the owner. She was a blonde white woman whose face was starting to wrinkle. She was frail, in my opinion. And she had a high-pitched voice. I sensed she was “prejudice.” But my fear sensors weren’t activated.

Kay was curious about me. First, she slept in the garage, in a Mini-van with the sliding door open. I walked into the garage for a recycle bin. She groaned loudly. I glanced her way and saw her close her legs. She driveled sentences. She had me caught up. I broke her chatter by walking off. She put herself in a position to get raped.

Next, she watched me sleep. My eyelids batted open. I saw her sprint away. She returned clenching a pillow to her chest. The pillow ended at her waistline. She walked close to me and her camel-toe hovered my face. She wore pink tights. I inhaled through my nose; thankfully there wasn’t an oder.

I factored in my mind, in a flash, that she was testing me. Guys wake up with an erect penis. Why else would she have her vagina close to me while I was waking up?

“Do you want a pillow?” she asked. Then she propped a big and stiff pillow under my head.

Kay’s next trick was to act afraid of me. She’d hang out in the garage, I’d walk in and she’d run around looking frightened. Once she froze as if from fear. Then she said to me: “You look safe. Non-threatening.”

I thanked her and wondered how curious did she get? Racist curious? But she was satisfied. Joseph wasn’t. He was a narcissist.

When he’d meet someone, he’d tell them how a judge took his parental rights. The judge asked Joseph to write an argumentative essay. Joseph didn't. He doesn't have that skill. But he tells everyone what he wrote for the first paragraph:

“Your Honor,” Joseph starts off, “there are tens of thousands of laws in the law book. You can’t possibly expect me to know all of them. There were some I didn’t know and I broke them. But…”

I watched Joseph to determine if I could take his side in his parental rights case. I was willing to write his argumentative essay and publish an article about his case. He was thankful but couldn’t talk about anything other than himself and Christianity. I sensed a judge knew what he was doing with Joseph.

I stopped offering. I just watched. Joseph lost his job by arguing with his boss. I think joseph still uses drugs. Once I saw him in the living room wearing sunglasses and a flannel sweater buttoned to his neck, transfixed to the television. I said hi. He ignored me. He usually responds with a goofy hello and then checks if I’m interested in listening to him.

On another occasion, in our Friday church support group, I couldn’t look at him. He had a big puss-filled blister on his top lip, and his lips and gums were swollen. He still preached. Always about how God delivered him from misery. At the end he was ready to hug us. There were five guys. I ran away.

By now I’m trying to stay clear of him. He caught me up the following week. I fell into the end of a Friday meeting. He wailed for a group hug. Then reached for me as I stood to leave.

I hated him touching me. He was dusty, musty and ugly. He used to throw my stuff away. Toiletries and food go into garbage around Joseph. Once, I dozed off. I left a new and clean bottle of Spaghetti sauce on the dining table. Joseph threw my sauce into the kitchen’s garbage can! After I asked him for the sauce, he dug it out of the trashcan. Then he tried to rinse it off. Then he chastised me for leaving food out.

Joseph will throw your food and property away, fuss about dishes that aren’t put away, complain about chores – even when yours is finished, and make up reasons for you to shift your luggage so he can look for contraband.

My final draw was the final Friday in August. Joseph said I had to pack and move my things into another room. He needed to paint my floor.

I was used to my roommate, Joshua English. He was mixed with black and white. He was courteous and polite. He snored violently but I was able to study and sleep. I wasn’t moving into the room with Ricky, a gay black man who talked too much. And I wasn’t moving into the room with Henry, A fat Hispanic covered with tattoos and talks too much.

After talking to Joseph, I fell into a depression. I woke up Saturday morning hungry for privacy and thirsty for freedom. I hurried out the Keystone and bought a motel room for $115. Joseph hadn’t drug tested anyone since I moved in. I assumed he wouldn’t test me. I bought a gram of marijuana from a dispensary.

Joseph said overnight passes were ok, just call him and let him know. Around 8 p.m. I called him. “Joseph, I’m going to spend a night out. I’m sleeping at a friend’s.”

“Uhm? Ok?”

“Thanks man!”