Scott Magri has a hearty laugh, a bellow from his belly and big beaming smile that masks years of pain.
“Life is like a house. In my attic, you couldn’t close the door and now I’ve finally put it on paper. Now I’m finally free,” says Magri, a Pitt Meadows man who has chronicled his crazy past in a book titled Lessons: Crime, Games and Pain.
Lessons is a year-by-year log of Magri’s 44 years on planet Earth and takes readers on a roller coaster ride from his early days as a kid with a lazy eye who was bullied in school to his life as a drug dealing thug and eventual triumph over an addiction to the opiate Oxycontin.
Magri pulls no punches in telling his story, particularly when it comes to his own failings. He knows he was someone who was loathed by many, a barbarian who knocked out many teeth.
“When I made the decision to write this book, I was going to dig down deep and tell every single thing in hopes that it would help other people,” says Magri.
“If I told only half of it, it wouldn’t do what it’s supposed to do.”
Magri decided to start writing after his third suicide attempt.
“I felt my body was somewhere else. There was a message there,” he says.
Magri bought a computer and began typing the next day.
As soon as he started writing, he got chills and goosebumps. It was the start of his catharsis.
Magri soon used began using words as a way to deal with his demons bought on by years of drug abuse, criminal activity, broken relationships and aggression.
A lot of the book was written under the influence of Oxycontin, typed in a haze with two fingers.
Magri hopes reader see progress in his plummet into addiction and eventually ascension out of a horrible hell. Although he hasn’t read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, Magri has been told Lessons resembles it.
Magri knowns many of the stories he details in the book will make people close to him shudder. He’s changed names but insists all the stories are true.
“I had to put everything in there from start to finish. You have to tell it all,” says Magri, who has had a successful and long career with Canadian Pacific Railway, despite his battle with addictions.
“I know some people are going to look at me differently.” His work colleagues have already exclaimed “we had no idea you had this crazy life.”
For Magri, everything in his life happened for a reason. There were people, both good and bad, who came into his life to teach him.
There were successes and failures, love and love lost. He has learned hurting people was his way of getting the attention he desperately wanted and his way of making people pay for his pain.
If it was all a smooth, paved road, life would be extremely boring, he says, philosophically.
There are other lessons Magri has learned. He’s learned to look at money with a jaundiced eye.
“I had learned to value things that matter,” he says.
Money and possessions are fleeting.
“When you get to rock bottom like I did, it really opens up your eyes.”
Magri has also learned how important it is to have a purpose. He wants to clean up his favourite fishing hole in Pitt Meadows – the Katzie Slough. People who’ve read his story thus far have already told him how much its changed their lives. He’d like to change a few more.
“I don’t preach to anyone unless they ask for it,” says Magri.
“I had to go through all this to help other people.”
Or as the tag line in the last chapter says: We all have to learn to live through hell before we can live in heaven.
Lessons: Crime, Games and Pain is available on Amazon.com. You can also pick up a copy at Black Bond Books. Doobie D, a hip hop artist from Mission, has written a song based on one of Magri’s poems about Oxycontin.
<a href=”http://doobied.bandcamp.com/track/lessons” _mce_href=”http://doobied.bandcamp.com/track/lessons”>Lessons by Doobie D – Status Krew</a>