A portion of the memoir thingamajig I’m working on…think Hunter S. Thompson meets the Tasmanian Devil on acid and they go on a road trip…I have no idea how bum alive….
Me at 17…
The first time I had ever warn (my Santa Hat) it off season was in 9th grade….I didn’t want to fall into any of the socially nebulous categories that everyone knows of in high school. I was a rock climber, I was smart, I was weird, and I wanted to do drugs. A Santa Claus hat during the end of Summer into the Fall seemed lie a sufficiently bizarre calling card to elicit the kind of attention that I was hoping to draw.
Turns out I was right, and years later, when I wanted to recall some memory from those individuals who remembered my reputation for dropping acid before school and freaking out in the commons, getting the entire science glass tanked on ethyl chloride while the teacher gave a presentation, robbing the gym locker room, getting suspended and expelled for very mysterious reasons and then disappearing for a year and a half – all I had to do was put it back on. It became my calling card, my cape, and my identity. If I needed to become the villainous madman ready to do anything at any cost – burn the world to the ground for just one more $20 – let’s bring in Santa! It was stupid and youthful….but I thought I looked fucking good.
Realistically, I was a skeleton. Nearing vaporization. At one point I0 was standing 6’2” tall and weighing in at a staggeringly huge 135lbs. of skin and bones. I’m pretty sure if you looked close enough you could see the molasses my thickening blood had morphed into trying desperately to move beneath the paper disguising itself as my outer layers. The hollowed out chunks in what was my skull were no longer recognizable as anything describable as attractive windows to a soul – just aching cut outs to coals of frustration, mindless chattering banter between myself and the seas of demons that I was tormented by constantly by my own actions which invited them in to travel between my buzzing ears. There’s a tattoo that is perched forever on my left shoulder these days. It started during the final days of the longest spin I ever got spun on. It highlights the image of me face in all its weirdly grotesque glory going into the 300+ hour awake mark.
At that point there’s nothing real left in the world. The fabric of existence has been ripped to pieces, and resewn by crystalline fingers into a tapestry of madness that drifts between the cosmos. Ethereal, haunting, overwhelming when it chooses to present a new scene for the viewer to be engulfed in with neither option nor control over their role to play. One moment they may be a super star drug tyrant overseeing the peasant users around them – fools to touch such tools as these that they cannot hope to understand…..the next, huddled underneath the glovebox with a permanent marker jotting down the next sequence of license plate numbers and their related car descriptions (particular attention to be noted to the gold Volvo which is always third in line at each intersection) which form the state wide task force that has been deployed to hunt you down after the systematically arrest each of your friends and turn them against you.
The tattoo shows the lewd, cheek partially raised, only one sided grin that became a permanent fixture on my face for several weeks. There was something that was both somewhat charming – think everyone’s favorite super villain from Batman – and terribly off putting. There was no rhyme or reason to why I was “smiling”. Nothing phased me, or it. The situations that were plaguing my now nearly homeless existence; the impending and quickly approaching doom that I seemed determined to drive myself to by ingesting enormous quantities of ice all at once – to that extend that even when the dealers or our funds would dry up for a day or two, I could ride the high for the intervening time without coming down even a touch. Even when I was passed along right after the initial outline was laid in by the artist (also a middle man to my dealer who was trying to knock me out with sleeping pills unsuccessfully to get me out of my psychosis since I was freaking people out) to a black man who worked at Starbucks with less polite sexual intentions towards my nubile young body….couldn’t let the smile waver.
I really can’t even remember that much of what happened, nor if something did. Though I have to assume since I’d been awake for well over the 450+ hour mark by the time I got to the basement with its strange purple feathery covered couch and mood lighting and all I had eyes for was the pipe – who knows what I would have been willing to do. I can recall dancing for him with no shirt on. Many, many, many plants upstairs. Lining the kitchen counters. And he had a fascination, bordering on obsession, with ensuring that I only used the blue part of the lighter flame to hit the pipe. It had something to do with it being the neutral part – but it doesn’t make sense to me in retrospect. Didn’t matter then, I just know he had almost a ball of some truly superb crystal, and even typing about it now I can feel my heart accelerating and my eyes start to cross dreamily.
How oddly sick isn’t it? In a recollection of potentially being raped over drugs by someone I didn’t know in their basement – where I believe I can account for being locked for nearly 3-days since I didn’t make it to detox until the 28th day of being awake, which I went to almost directly from there. But that aside – despite the fact of what is happening during the recollection – it actually inspires a desire in me to go get high on the exact same substance precipitated the event in the first place.
Being an addict sucks, it really does. You want the things that kill you worse than the things that save you. It’s like the survival instinct we’re supposed to be born with was installed backwards and then given some extra juice.
“We fucked up the orientation Ted, may as well make it run fast and aggressive eh?”
Love to hear your thoughts!