Addiction is a Beast

To highlight the feeling of insanity that comes from active addiction.
Feels about right.

A sense of calm resignation is starting to settle in. So often shunted aside still for madcap panic and desperate flailing as this faltering shell of a body which carries an acidic sonofabitch that wants out while refusing to take pleas, no’s, or prayers as a hint to get lost. It’s there on the outskirts as the magnitude, the absolute fucking magnitude of how colossally I’ve screwed the lives of those around me up, while trying to ruin my own existence..

It always sat there just on the outskirts, even when it should have been blatant. The self concocted cocoon of ignorant bliss I had woven around myself to keep the realities of life and the need for growing up at bay made sure that even if I was looking at it head on, I wouldn’t see. I’d spin it internally, sometimes to deflect the judgement and actions needed, sometimes to punish myself further and feel so amply deserving of it while begging confusion to those closest to me.

God help me. I sat there blind to love, affection, nurturing, opportunity, friendships, my children, the actuality of LIFE itself. 

All in favor of an endless repetition of the same monotonous actions. Awake, chase, get high, drink, crash, rinse and repeat ad infinitum, The same rhythm that most humans are going through their awake, cabinet, coffee, drink, functional, productive, competent portions of their day to day.

What has it cost? 

I’m sitting in the mountains which are my peaceful place, body too exhausted to hike or sleep. Dimly aware that I’ve imploded yet another beautiful person’s life, tucked mine into an 18’ trailer, and spiraled into oblivion while desperately fighting a battle that can’t be won on my terms. Beginning to come around the edges of what that actually means–to be so viral, so toxic and caustic in someone’s life that you can literally see it reshape their entire being from what they were prior–knowing that even if it wasn’t intended, that’s what happened. 

To know that the fiber of your being is so saturated in selfish self-hatred that it closes you off to the possibility of trusting and believing that anyone could actually love you for a person you don’t even know any longer, yourself? Knowing that sounds like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and digging around to see if there’s ways to be less of a screaming manchild asshole only to find that if it’s really the case, there ain’t shit to be done?

To realize that I don’t even fucking know what things I actually enjoy in life? To have focused so many countless hours on a single destructive course that it has literally obliterated all remnants of understanding about what joy means. How love is shown. What fun is. How to treat others or myself in any sort of a humane way laced starkly with the deep confusion of always being at odds with myself to begin with. That I have erased inborn gifts, destroyed my mind, poisoned my body wildly–that I will die younger than I had to and may never have the chance to see my children again. That my children have been growing up without their father.

Being aware now of the wreckage and turbulence behind my passing from those unlucky enough to have had me walk into their life “chaos incarnate” as I used to joke. To not even be able to apologize in any sort of a meaningful way yet because time and action is all that really will matter, could matter at this point. To not be able to say thank you sufficiently where I mean it within such limited scopes as I’m tooled to have the capacity for. The endless dreams that have died in lieu of one more hit, one more drink.The beautiful dreams that staggered onward beneath the weight only to have the carpet ripped out from under them again. The smashed hopes that held them aloft for so long.

It is seriously time for a change. So for the first time in YEARS, I’m throwing in the towel, surrendering, and just going with it. I have a bed at a program starting in a few days, a kennel for the dog, a storage spot for the trailer/home, and a hiatus from school while I straighten myself out and make some so critically needed changes. Peter Pan with a crack pipe and a 100u shot–fuck it’s old. 

The next time I write will be on the back end the next 30+ days probably, so until then, thanks for everything and all the kind words, help, camaraderie, and digital awesomeness that is everyone else out there. Addiction’s a beast. Mental illness is a beast. But neither gives any permission to keep perpetuating that cycle endlessly or to inflict them on those around you.

Time to give up the fight and go back to the drawing board, starting fresh all over again.

Gigi

Dogs love grass.
Friends until the end.

Crazy dog on a leash nipping the beak of an Alpaca,
a little bundle of terror–so damn happy.
She’s out on four paws in the noonday shade,
fucking with a goat-kid we saved from the grave.
Throws herself carefree in the still biting grass,
rolls until she can finally hit that perfect spot in need of a scratch.
No shame in her game as those jowls go flapping,
smiling like the devil inside,
bounds off into the hills,
roaming free now,
ignoring all but her truest calling.
Glinting light off one scarred eye,
covers up the mysteries of whats come to pass,
it’s always in the past,
and we’ll know not why.

Regrets on Repeat During a Rabid Quarantine Contemplation

1000th Album from Out of Line Records
Album cover from German band Signal Aout 42

Give me back the good ole’ days,
when I didn’t know I had been a dick,
before my eyes got opened wide
when I didn’t know I was supposed to think that I was slick.
’cause now there’s nowhere left to run,
the drugs aren’t making new connections,
copper wire all stripped bare and caked in black,
who knew that feeling guilty wouldn’t be so fun.
When disassociation was best friend,
wide-eyed ignorance was true enough
shame comes boiling on
like napalm from
the surface of a once forgiving sun.
So self-important in critique
that I’m burying the good parts inside the shit
convinced that its still black and white
and regardless of the truth,
I deserve to be punished.
for the right, the wrong, the sick,
that stupid mindless babble
even my well-intentioned songs.
Keep it all so serious now,
that panic seems always at the door,
instead of basking in the freedom from
that monster inside that damaged so much the world.
Enjoy the chance to roll again,
spin through ridiculously insane normalcy,
let feet hit a brand new road and leave behind insecurities, all fallacies–

—start the insurrection.

Fragile Bully

Tongue twisting
word misted
lofty ethics
suddenly shifted.
Verbiage awry
crooked context,
sand quickens
sickens the truth
with maddening lies.
Bullheaded bully
vacuum packed
morals gone dead
done right
presented cleanly
above suspicion
heartless lips
soulless head.
Accusations flutter
steer recklessly
fly rashly
land poorly
eventually die.
Miserable life
distorted denial
avoids change
ever always en garde
tromping a perilously pointless
and petulant hike.
Existence’s trials
trails marching for miles
dust caked grins always grimy
shiver obscenely
spit softly back at ’em
–shake the fear off and smile.

I’ve been on both ends of the stick I suppose at different points, something that I’m not proud of, but can admit readily enough. Whether it was spawned from fear, trauma, etc, doesn’t quite qualify as an excuse for how I behaved at points during my life, it was my responsibility to “not be an asshole”. Feeling someone play out their own internal sickness in the same way towards me is an eye opener.

Tattered, tired, and angry though someone may be, it has to be an echo of some truly painful and unresolved issues to advise an individual dealing with a mental illness that they are despised and everyone is in the eaves waiting for them to die. Shitty and deeply manipulative behavior, knowing that the recipient can literally do nothing other than just sit with themselves, absent means to defend themselves without seeming more culpable as a perpetrator of something justifying such vicious and cutthroat suggestions. There is no power in the words themselves other than what the recipient gives them.

Maybe though, in some ways, it might just be how a person deals with their particular brand of sadness and pain–the only way they know how, lash out. Go for the throat. God knows I’ve done it before more times than I care to think if not totally in that literal context. A whipcord reaction to hurt those that hurt you, even if it is based on incorrect judgement calls and assumptions.

Everyone heals in their own way, and while that doesn’t make it right, finally, I can put myself in the other pair of shoes and understand the feelings behind the words. Temper my own frustration and resentment at the unnecessary cruelty with patience and accept that it is what it is, and life will continue to move on. It’s not worth giving though or dwelling on someone’s words when they are bent on hating or hurting you, let ’em go by the side and don’t look back.

Someone once told me, if someone’s an asshole and lies or treats you poorly, at the end of the day, they’re the asshole, not you. I’ve been an asshole plenty across my life, and that makes a lot of sense.

We have only ourselves and our actions to control–for better or for worse.


10 Grams of Meth in a Toilet

I know a man who threw away 10g of meth. Down a toilet. Intentionally, during a moment of lucidity. He woke up from his dream. He didn’t do it for the posturing or the bragging, he did it because he had a fucking moment and things added up.

He saw his future was his past and all that was going to come again. The regrets. The broken relationships. The self-hatred. The loneliness and the pain. The body count and the desperation. The stagnation. The missed joy and thrill of life. The empty smile and the personal failings. The prayer for death unanswered.

It hit that water in the toilet and didn’t even stain the water with some indication of all the soil and grime that its brand had left over the years. All the marks on his morals. His appreciation of life. His awareness and understanding of the world and himself. His inability to connect and always be “other” – not in a way he was proud of, but in a way that left him sullied and greasy where it would always be felt most.

He wasn’t going to revisit and replay what had come before. He was learning gratitude for all the experiences, painful or pleasant, and that meant realizing that the pain had only needed to happen once. He didn’t need to put his hand back into the fire like always. it was still fucking hot and he was worth more than scorched flesh. He wanted to, could, and will become more. He’ll evolve, be seen in the mirror as true to himself, a good friend, an honest and genuine man, and as a survivor not an unchanging Peter Pan chemical fiend. Wreckage for decades as his only gift to the world, a Lost Boy playing pirate to his own loot.

He had learned, was learning, would continue to learn. He would grow.

I know a man that threw away 10g of meth. Finally took a dive and emptied a bag, got back on the horse, and welcomed in a change for once.

Stay that road fucker, I miss you.

I Was a Stigma to Myself

All credit to Emotive Brand for the image.
So often I would sit and wail about "why"?
The frustration unending,
the obsession ongoing,
a gut wrenching demand to understand
that in itself
kept me from the knowledge,
the peace I sought.

Sick in the head druggie,
psychopath,
crazy as a shit house rat,
lunatic,
insane,
addict,
"something's wrong with that kid" -

Drug user stigma phrases shown on an image with a haloed syringe from the words.
All credit to Stonetree Harm Reduction for the image.

I tried to own those labels
make them something to be proud of.
I tried doing that,
by doing all the things
I imagined people with those labels would do.
I followed that up,
by demanding that I not be persecuted,
not be judged,
not be looked at differently,
though I had just behaved in a way that demanded all those things happen.

Now I come to terms,
sit with the idea of peace,
find pride not in my actions
but in the understanding
that awareness and acceptance bring.
To know that I am not an actor playing out roles,
that I lost myself,
but I am a survivor,
no longer needing to play the role
of victim or perpetrator anymore.

It's a small thing,
Which means so much to me.
To be able to introduce myself,
engage in a conversation,
with confidence.
Know that I accept who I am as a being,
that I no longer let labels
define who I choose to see myself as,
act as a script for my identity,
or be my scapegoats when I screw up.

That like so many others,
I am the hero
and the villain,
of my own story.
That my abnormal mental states,
my addictions,
all the resulting experiences,
are gifts to allow me opportunities,
to shine my brightest
against the backdrop of adversity,
and decide just how much of it there would be.

To know that there are others out there gleaming,
and if we encounter each other
it could be in the form of respect and love,
admiration for the battles fought,
no matter whether they were felt won or lost,
an opportunity to compare notes and grow.

I'm not ashamed of who I am,
or where I am today,
I am disappointed in many of my choices
but they have been mine to make,
and they were made.
I used to have a vision of the perfect person,
someone that I would measure myself to
and inevitably fall short.

Today I am me,
released on the world
perfectly defective,
beautifully abnormal,
gifted with challenge and capacity for growth.

All of it,
so that I have a chance to become
an oh so slowly evolving,
human being.




F*ck Sunshine

I’ve found playful meaning

in the sharpest strands of daylight

while they bleached my night tan

into a wholesome red and brown.

been stripped clean of the unwholesome.

The rasping, the choking, the decaying

scent of another moon laced night

spent chasing dragons down the streets.

In the silver kissed necklace of shadows

that roll menacingly beneath the stars

as a slipshod grasp on tenuous reality

falls away, fast as a bat, never to be caught.

Crawled out dusty and beaten by self

into the unwelcome openness of daytime

Where people have jobs and families

go do things and have fun of their choosing.

There’s always a sick, nasty bitterness

surrounding the way I’d look at the crowds.

In those moments when shame carries

the day and bitterness over the injustice,

of wounds septic and worsening, a brain

melting beneath the heat of inquisition.

A Cadillac of contempt would sit, shining

In the corneas of each purple smudged eye.

Letting the self-loathing and concern go awry,

masking envy as hate and desire as disgust,

riding panic and fear out as arrogance and disdain.

Patronizing seconds as the world creaks,

moans its way out of the decadence of night,

quickens into the tittering joy of form alive.

There’s no surface to touch and manipulate

no interface that allows for a connection across

to that other world imbued with shiny smiles

and unbroken teeth not doing unspeakable acts.

In those moments when the sickness begins,

wafting out of your skin to notify and alert

anyone caring to notice of your diseased being,

your lesser than status, your unworthiness.

Those are the defining moments that show

the defying strength and fortitude you want,

when you have the opportunity tell the world

“get fucked, piss off, I make the next choice.”

or reaffirm the skepticism pandering to your

apathetic acceptance of what life has become.

Those are the moments when the shear grit

required to simply gut out the next series

of bad decisions, knowing how much it will hurt

but owning it, owning that the deeper down

you crawl the higher it will feel at baseline.

When you finally disconnect from the grime

Long enough to breathe untainted air

Purified in the radiance of sunbeams

And the wealth of happiness that soaks

Summer days beneath the blue painted sky,

there is a startling awareness, an epiphany,

a closure to doubt and a recognition,

that sobering up is just getting high in a new way.

Barefoot Lottery Winner Injects Crack Cocaine

An ex-girlfriend stole my shoes once. By breaking in through the floor level hotel room window I was in while I was preoccupied with injecting another fifty units of liquefied crack and vinegar. I even came out when I heard the noise. All I was capable of doing however, was to stare blankly while trembling under the pressures of the locomotive that was my heart careening off the rails inside my head. Didn’t even say anything, just stared.

              It was a bizarre occurrence to be sure. I could only fuzzily sketch out how I had l had hefted her bodily not 30 minutes previously–out into the hallway following what was a reasonable argument taking on unreasonable levels. Now she was snaking out the window to my room dragging behind a pair of black and white Nikes that happened to be my only pair of shoes I had brought.

              Earlier that day I had seen my children for the first time in more than a year. At a supervision center I had ridden the buses and trains for eight hours to get to. Just one hour that I paid for out of pocket. They looked beautiful, he was handsome, she was angelic.

              Far more than I could take

              My ex-wife had structured things so as to ensure I would have to return to my old stomping grounds of New Bedford, MA and this dingy facility if I wanted any access to the kids at all. It was the same city I had desperately sought to get away from during my attempts to get sober. Aside from my children, there was nothing there but the grime and filth and needle strewn streets and shit memories and traumas and fuckups and locations and people I didn’t want or need anything to do with.

                 I had won $10,000 on a scratch it a few weeks before, something that I never thought would happen though I had kept gambling on them periodically for most of my adult life. I had started a new job a few months previously as well. I was living in a halfway house and had been there for nearly 6-months, longer than I had stayed anywhere in several years now. Things were upbeat with many reasons for optimism and putting nose to grindstone while enjoying some happiness for once.

                After seeing the kids I broke down. I knew how much of their absence in my life was my fault, both before and the recent inability to clean up my act.

                I checked into a hotel and managed to track down my ex-girlfriend.

                She was doing amazing, clean, signed up for school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor—she was really putting the pieces of her life back together again.

                I don’t know if I showed up with the drugs to the hotel and met her, or ordered them after we got there. I do remember using the inside of a hardened blue glasses case as my mixing surface for the rocks. It was good stuff, probably should have just been smoking it, but once you progress to the needle it’s something of an end all be all.

                You mix crack with vinegar or another highly acidic agent to break it back down to water soluble form. I used Braggs Apple Cider with “The Mother” because it was rich in amino acids and somehow in my addled puddle of a brain that meant it was better to use for these particular purposes. That and it reminded me of making salad dressing at the home I had once owned.

                Shot after shot after shot, ringer after ringer after ringer. All she wanted to do was cuddle up and maybe read some of the book she was studying from with me.                

                Rock, vinegar, mix, pull-up, vein, red flash, push plunger, go lightheaded, gasp, nearly orgasm, fall slowly when short gulping air, wind up sitting on the edge of the bathtub shaking head to clear the spots from vision and WHUMWHUM from my ears, rubbing quickly inflating arms to try and minimize the swelling.

                Lost in and to a ritual, there was no mind being paid to anything else but the same rinse and repeat exercise as had just played.

                I realized things had escalated rather dramatically when the chocolate cake was flew past my head, She came at me with those sharpened nails of hers, tried to grab the drugs and throw them in the toilet. Failing that, my ears and face were a good enough post to thud into.. Holding her up against the wall so she would stop ripping at my face, getting spit in my eye before throwing her out into the hallway. I was callous and cruel and willfully ignoring the pointed reality of what I had been doing and how it must have felt to watch me self-destruct so viciously.

                Then she stole my shoes.

                I had smashed my cellphone earlier that evening in some bizarre fit of rage over something seemingly trivial. Thrown it so hard against the wall the mental housing of the iPhone had crumpled as the screen shattered.

                I used the hotel’s lobby phone to call a taxi who took me to get a pair of flip flops at a pharmacy and take me to the hospital for the cuts on my face. The idea of just grabbing some first aid for myself at the pharmacy never even crossed my mind. For quite some time I had become accustomed to just going to the hospital when things had gotten to be too much and I was dehydrated, or crazy from lack of sleep, or desperate for another rehab. It was second nature.

                They thought I was there for chest pains after taking my pulse rate. The EKG came back okay and they let it slide though.

                Eventually I made it back to the hotel.

                The wall in the bathroom was covered in chocolate cake, towels were laying all over the floor. I knew “it” was going to fall apart again with a twisting certainty in my gut born of seeing the same thing happen over and over. Different implosions, different actions at least—but the same result no matter what. Isolated, lonely, confused, ashamed and embarrassed, it never seemed to change.

                When I kept shooting coke for the next two days and had to resign my position I was barely even surprised.

Homeless Idols

House the Homeless - from Council to Homeless Persons
Truth.

Dystopian cartwheels in the caterwauling life we lead
staring constantly at the satisfaction all around.
Bitching occasionally to satisfy unmet desires
that we struggle to attain even at unreasonable cost.
The hunt for happiness overwhelms the basics
and sometimes its worth it whatever the price.
Disciples of a daily rut where we stay stuck and mired
deeply in the mud of a situation not planned for.
In the moments of joy where our desire for completion
coincides with our faithful love and devotion,
we find a peace despite the discord that is without compare.
In the moments where we falter under the weight
surviving as only survivors can and are willing to do,
we have to remember the strength we share to stumble on.
Nothing becomes the norm and requests for aid
cut as a degrading act that dehumanizes us further.
Outlasting the shame of each failure and the disgust it brings
resolutely waking each morning to the grim gray of sameness.
As upper class homeless we are on the outskirts,
enjoying luxuries like cold running water and a toilet,
that the rest of goddamn society imagines are god given.
Fear that the envy of our possessions will lead to thievery
leads us to close the door and have knives on hand.
Eating another can of soup in mid-summer heat
because the soup kitchens provide cans and bread regularly
and its too goddamn expensive to purchase a real meal.
Endlessly pretending that things will just fix themselves
because the reality of work necessary to get out of this situation
is beyond daunting, it’s easier to capitulate and get high.
Holding tight to special items because they are memories
encapsulated in the fur of a stuffed animal or favorite shirt.
When you’ve lost it all so many times before
the littlest things can have such an enormous significance
you might even indulge in a treasure box for safe keeping.
Solid week long stretches without bathing
because the $7 per person to shower at the truck stop can’t be found.
People look at you with mixed contempt and confusion
because if you dress nicely and present well
it defies logic that you should be in such a predicament.
Putting on makeup diligently just to feel pretty for a moment
scrape the grunge of sweat stained skin stickily from your body.
Oh yes, there is freedom to be found if you chose to indulge
and let the wash of illicit and irregular activities become your home.
A beer and some vodka to wash down the weather and heat
along with the anxious discord of stress over the unknown of tomorrow.
A shot or a bowl of glass to provide focused determination
the confidence to strive for success into the oncoming crush
or an opportunity to zone out and lose days at a time without emotion.
Some black tar to sleep peacefully and stay dazed
no thought and no fear, no nothing at all because you’ve gone dead inside.
Its a slide down into a pit of needles and loss
where the bottom can always fall out and take you lower,
lower than you ever imagined possible in such insidious ways.
Bravo to those that soldier their way out of the muck
find themselves a spot of sanity and personal identity
allow themselves the grace of overcoming through grit.
Fucking monsters of life having been torn through the gutter
when they stand proud and defiant despite their obstacles
applaud those hard mother fuckers that didn’t give in,
defied all the odds and managed to rejoin the world on their own terms.












Seeing with Aspie Eyes

Adult Female Asperger's Syndrome Traits
I have been falling far short of making the appropriate connection with my wife over a life defining realization that she has gone her life as an undiagnosed Aspie (high functioning autistic). There are odd layers of parallels to which there is a natural affinity, but there is something that I have been missing. This is my first attempt to look at the world through her eyes as I am best able to express and am hoping with guidance to be better able to straddle the world as she experiences it in contrast to my mental quirks like schizoaffective.

A screaming madhouse of trumpets blaring,
Drummers on speedballs layering the double bass,
Wavering certainty,
Confidence on the rise, but just barely,
The world is too bright,
The looks of strangers is just strange,
Maniacally plotting,
To a joke that you don’t know,
So tell them these interesting passion facts that they won’t know.
Smile while you cry,
Laugh at the wrong gasping sigh,
These rules and constraints are making breathing unfair.
Choke down and recite,
I’m okay and this is all right,
Till the next bad sound,
Bad brush of a fabric,
Discomfort from all around,
Can’t they see the connections?
Feel the motion of energy,
Don’t they understand this quality?
The world is askew,
Words like love and care,
Confused and tried over long rounds with intensity crackling the air.
There’s a kaleidoscopic cacophony of feels,
An incredible world beyond what we’re so painfully pound,
Just a look,
Just a taste,
“How can I be such a waste?”
So little understood,
All my earnest wishes are to call you now true friend,
This awkwardness leaves me bashful and confused,
They all leave anyways in the end.
How much do I accomplish just by opening a door,
Welcome in the miasma of fear that would leave a neurotypical floored,
Scent the wind,
Gather reserves,
By the time I’ve left my bed I’ve confronted an onslought of nerves,
Nevermind the staccato blasts of sanity on swerve.
If you listen and watch,
Appreciate the stimming and don’t consider this to be “my loss,”
You’ll know I am gloriously fragile,
Toweringly glassine,
A ravenous angel of knowledge and love,
Set to task and to pace,
Hurtled forward by God with a shove,
So be patient,
See that for what you may fear,
I’m sublimely sweet,
Easy to wound deep,
Each day the scars rip,
And for all of my toil and grit,
A reluctant soldier of survival all legit.
Penance is my smile for a crime that set me a glow,
Step into my world,
There is so much that I’ve been dying to show.