Shortly after I decided to give up my cocaine addiction, I realized that my life was completely going to fall apart. See, cocaine for me acted as the glue that held my life together, not much unlike a person's addiction to television, shopping or sex. It's a way of relieving the stress and tension. All day you are building up anxiety and pain, whether it's from interacting with people or from a job or school. We release all this built up energy as the sun sets, allowing us to feel truly free for some time before we have to shovel shit again in this clearly god-forsaken world. Pain is pain, but in our society, all pain premeditates its release through self-destructive channels. It always seems that a release of our day-to-day pain can only come about when we engage in acts that mutilate our body and mind. Television? It keeps people sedate and docile; it is the true opium of the masses. Shopping? It's the same thing. Cocaine, though? Hell. Fucking. Yeah. So, I became a cokehead. It may have been the most thoughtful thing I've ever done.
So, I had my own problems in life, like any other ordinary member of society. But my habits did not draw me to the bar. My style of living did not drag me to liquor or cigarettes. I was not pulled through malls, places of shopping, miniature golf courses, parks with rosy-cheeked girls, or Elks Lodge meetings. No, I decided to become a cocaine fiend. I'd like to consider myself a sophisticated person. My choices in life, my decisions, my carefully calculated habits, everything was made on thought and consideration. Sophisticated people do not sport beer bellies, so that cancelled out television and the bar scene as my means of self-destruction. I could never picture myself as a socialite in a society of men who behave more like sheep than people, so it was clear that I'd stay away from all public areas of assembly, where someone might come up and actually talk to me. All of this considered, I made a decision for my method of emotional release: cocaine.
Of course, there is an enormous world full of drugs and half-assed escape attempts from reality. There is the drug of enlightenment, the psychedelics and hallucinogens, the world of the mushroom and the colorful blotter. Those people who entertain the idea of "mind-expansion" through chemicals like LSD and psilocybin, well, I'm pretty convinced that they would have done better in their pursuits of they were born in ancient Athens, in a society that appreciated art, loved emotion, and cherished virtue. Today, they are just the crust on a civilization that seems to worship bombs and the gross national product. Timothy Leary would have been accepted by the Pagans and the early Christians. But today, he can only be regarded as the untimely hero of an underground movement of crime. Alcohol simply made me sick. There may have been a fleeting sense of socialibility and pleasure, but as I indicated, it passes quickly. I'll leave the cheap, union-made beer and malt liquor to the bums and punks. The expensive cocktails and after-hours parties can be claimed by housewives and CEOs alike for all that I care. Besides, their friends are all cokeheads who know what a real after-hours party entails. I tried heroin once. The high itself was incredible, but it resembled alcohol too much; not just the intoxication, but also the sickness. I mean, what's the point of getting high, if you spend all your time "feeling truly free" hugging the toilet as you rabidly scratch yourself?
Marijuana seemed to be a high slightly more noticeable than Tobacco (though I've heard extremely different stories of Europe's product). And Methamphetamine? Well, next time I have to stay up for four days (with the potential of psychotic breaks, of course), I'll definitely look up this drug again. But when I am interested in relaxing, in getting off after a long and hard day of swimming through society, I'll stick to cocaine. The high is quick, fast, and to the point. I can feel the nerves in my body melting away, as I have what can best be described as an encounter with god. In a few, quick minutes, all of the damage that has been racked up all day disappears, and I enter a new world where my memories fade and all pain ceases. The next day, I feel rejuvenated and ready to fulfill my responsibility again.
You can see how my life would fall apart completely if I gave up my cocaine addiction. Before I get in to that, I should probably elaborate on the situation that led to me giving up my addiction. In no way, I must stress, did I willingly abandon my habit. It was a change in my lifestyle that was forced upon me from outside influence. Honestly, I was quite satisfied with my life as a cocaine addict. I understand that I would have nothing to show for it, no masterpieces or accomplishments, no wonderful and unique experiences. I was very satisfied with this lifestyle regardless of what I had to show for it. You can call me hedonistic or too willing to compromise my human instincts for my desires. I don't care. One day, I will be dead just like everyone else. Whether I'm buried in a shallow grave or underneath the biggest headstone, it won't change the happiness I had during the life I chose to lead. I may be honored for a thousand years. The memory people have of me might fade or completely disappear. What's important to me is to live my life today as I want. That entails cocaine addiction. Unfortunately, a series of events has come across my life to disrupt my natural inclinations.
Needless to say, all of these things considered, I have to say this: every part of my life that was stable or somewhat stable, fell to crumbles once I gave up my drug habit. Like many other sad stories that end in tragedy, this one begins with the following sentence: it all started with a girl. It's hard to say how it all really started actually. It seemed to me that everything was going along perfectly. I was satisfying my hunger and besides that, avoiding trouble in general. I suppose it might be accurate to say that I was open to the idea of traditional relationships with a girl. You know, sexual activity with a female that I at least get along with somewhat. Walks in the park, nights out to movies, stenciling public bathrooms, all that jazz, coupled with the satisfaction of my sexual appetite. Between my cocaine and my job, I really did not have any yearnings, any aspirations, any goals or ends I hoped to achieve. I was open to new experiences, though, sort of as an insurance policy against god telling me, "I gave you a chance to do something good and amazing with your life, and you passed it by." I really set myself up for what shitty experiences I was about to endure.
Her name was Sherri. At my first sight of her, the beauty I saw could have inspired me to paint a masterpiece, or compose elegant and practical poetry. She had a particular grace about her that made you think everyone wanted to be with her, but that she was uncorrupted and honest; she only sought out those who she thinks would help her stay strong in the face of all adversity. I'm a post-modern Hedonist. I've seen so many women seek out men who appeared great, strong, fearful, and dominant in social life. To their surprise, and my ever-growing sense of bitter irony, in a relationships, these men were only strong in their ability to be cruel and to strike fear in to others. Sherry reminded me of a reincarnated friar, who in his transference to a new life has forgotten all of the man-made doctrines of Christianity, but still remembered the tenderness of genuine affection. I was hanging out at a bar with my coke dealers and their friends. There were a few tye-dye soldiers of the psychedelic underground in the area at the time. Apparently this was one of those "well, I know a friend of a friend who can get that," meetings. New contacts. New faces. New suspicions. As far as I learned from the interested parties, there was going to be an exchange of Ibogaine for cash; another "friend of a friend of a friend" needed it for heroin withdrawals.
This was the atmosphere I was in when I met Sherri. I had come to the bar as an associate of the cocaine dealers. She arrived as an associate of the friends of Timothy Leary. There was a clearly drawn line between our social groups and us. It was almost as though the circumstances of the time had created an environment not socially different than high school. The advanced and sophisticated people who lead a nation find a reason to despise the top leaders of other nations based on the differences of religion, skin-color, and political beliefs. But the sophisticated fellow citizens of a nation find different ways of expressing our naturally exclusionist policy: fashion, drugs, politics. I had studied her behavior and I was very convinced that she was born of a wealthy industrialist, who was ignorant enough to think that alternative schooling would make her fierce and aggressive. Or maybe, she grew up in a garage, the child of a single, unwed mother, who made her money by selling paintings on the sidewalks to tourists and yuppies; and it was probably by sitting on the sidewalk with her that she learned, that all people of every walk of the life takes interest in beautiful things. But, then again, I'm an intellectual philosophe, and that means that I'm probably reading too much into this.
From what I could tell about her from studying her nature, I figured that if she had interest in me, she would show it. All attempts by me to impress or amaze her would only make me look stupid. My only task at hand was to let her known that I was also interested in her as well, should she walk over and talk to me. Sure, you might look at this method and say that I'm a bohemian man without the hope and with all the cynicism of a failed labor union leader. But, before anyone wants to stand toe-to-toe with my philosophy and my socially fucked up understanding of people, get this: it worked. I made myself available for social interaction: I was leaning back, relaxing, not bothered by conversation of a friend or the noisy hum of a pair of headphones. She walked over. "Hey, do you think when they built this bar that they were aiming to create something resembling a Satanic ceremony?" I looked up. "The lights are low, the bartender is gloomy, the paint is chipped and faded, and I'm pretty sure I saw a cockroach in the ashtray over there, so yeah, it obviously was someone's master plan." She smiled. "That's a more clever response than I was expecting," she said, probably alluding to the association I had kept. "Right," I replied, "Well, if someone asks a provocative, thoughtful question, you should reply the same." One. Two. Three... Three seconds. And she smiled. I wonder what the old, ancient monks of early Christianity would say, if they were asked to describe the feeling that rushes in to your body at the moment a person has met their soul mate.
Those dreams that come to you in the day, those little, active imaginations of your hopes and desires, the happy moments you play with in mind, and all of these things considered as far as a lover goes, all of these things were realized. I had discovered a beautiful girl, who lived her life according to the tide and ebb of her heart. So many girls in society, like so many men, allow themselves to become addicted to lifestyles that are no good to themselves or anyone else. Habits and pastimes commonly adopted by people are simply self-destructive, cruel, and debased. I had finally met someone who I could throw witty quips at and then could fuck her brains out afterwards. It's a very unique combination of these two traits that makes for a very long lasting relationship. I was receptive at first, but eventually I did introduce the fact that I was a very satisfied cocaine user. I guess love can make you do some crazy things, like confessing a dope addiction to someone you care about. At first, I thought it would be accepted, as a part of me, the way she enjoys marijuana and magic mushrooms. And for a while, she did accept it. Or, at least, I thought she did. Every now and then, she would drop signs that she was displeased with my addiction. She'd speak some prose about life while drunk as fuck, and then say something like, "Things are so perfect... if only my boyfriend didn't use cocaine." She'd roll off and half-pass-out. There is something equally poetic as much as it pisses me off, about someone drunk criticizing a drug habit that, most of all, I was not even indulging in at the moment. But, for the most part, I felt that she was particularly accepting of my lifestyle. I mean, she used illegal drugs as much as me. It was really just a matter of what struck our fancy. I mean, what the fuck am I supposed to think if a marijuana-smoker narcs out a cocaine user?
Everything was going fine, I guess you could say. But, then I overdosed. The excuses of anyone who binges and overdoses on hard drugs that they've used for years is typically the same: "I'm usually smart. I'm usually careful. I always surround myself with good, responsible friends who know how to deal with a hard drug overdose. I make sure that I satisfy all of these thing, that I am capable of dragging my as to call a friend or 911 in the worst case scenario, but still, I fucked up this time." What excuse could I further offer that would validate the idea that I'm sorry about what I did, but never am I sorry enough that I want to quit. The incident of the cocaine binge and overdose did involve Sherri. My whole plan was: "See? I can use cocaine the way you use marijuana: casually and without any otherwise criminal activity." From now on, never am I going to release my plan information to the people I am trying to influence. It was also a bit of poetic justice that I would have my first cocaine overdose after five years of steady addiction, and then the viper bites me right after a speech I gave about how casual and safe my behavior is. Fortunately, the police were never introduced to the incident. The people on hand were smart enough to know how to deal with this situation.
True, it is a good thing that the people were not involved. Several unhealthy things were avoided: criminal record, getting booked, charges by the district attorney, strip search, maybe a back-room beating or two. But, then again, if I desperately wanted to keep the incident secret from my friends, instead of calling for their help, I could have submitted to the painful molestation of the state. The cruelty of the agents of modern society makes me think that all citizens of civilized nations suffer deep-seated, traumatic psychological issues stemming from brutal, childhood memories. It seems that people are so easily moved towards rage, sadism, masochism, and other little facets of personality that are motivated by psychological illness and satisfied only by filling the role of either party in a victim-victimizer relationship.
My big dirty secret spilled out in to the open public, like a 14-year-old breaking out in acne, like an albatross plane evading DEA authorities, dumping pound after pound of uncut heroin. My mother, my father, my brother, my sister, everyone became aware of the terrible damage I was willingly inflicting on my mind and body. But, the most meddling of people was Sherri. It's sort of an unforgiving truth that the ones you love hurt you the most. Well, then again, maybe her arguments had merit: "I knew you were using cocaine. I knew for a very long time. You even let me know, and I did nothing. I let you fuck up your life little by little, line by line. It's really my fault, because my eyes were open but I wasn't looking. I failed myself and what is ultimately worse, I failed you. I have to do this. If you keep using cocaine, I will refuse to see you." That is the moment when my divine perception of her crumbled. That beautiful glow of optimism, affection, and acceptance that seemed to be carried with her spirit, all of it simply vanished. At that moment, the girl I fell in love with became another ordinary, vagina-endowed specimen of god. I was pissed off. I had to sit and wait through an entire conversation of her telling me how I fucked up my life, how I fell victim to some snare left out unattended in society, that I became addicted and failed on some primal level of being human. It sucked. It was one of those conversations you know you'll just get scolded for interrupting, and you would have to listen to another diatribe on, "See, this is exactly what I mean! You try to stop me from talking." She was a fiercely independent woman, and she was fiercely independent about leaving me if I didn't give up blow.
As can obviously be deducted, I let her go. There was this phone conversation I had with her. I remember there being some silence, a few barely audible words, and me saying something like, "I don't think I'm gonna quite." I remember hearing her trying to say with a few tears and maybe a whimper, "Well, you know what that means, right?" It almost felt as though she was being strong and independent for her own sake, as though her boycott of sex and conversation with me was a great demonstration of her inner will power and her immense strength, not just a ploy to control my habits, no matter how anti-social and unhealthy they may be. And before I allowed myself to ponder that question of life, on why we decide to get involved in relationships that only seem cruel and unfit for all of us, before I let these thoughts stream in to my head and take control of my consciousness, I got really fucking high. The white rivers of Babylon started to flow, and it felt like a most beautiful and religious experience. I don't care much to let my mind wander and play with new ideas when I'm under the influence of drugs, no matter what the drug is. But that moment when I was high on really good, uncut coke, I let myself become free. My dealer welcomed my return and gave me double bags for the buy, just for one night. Good thing I picked up $120 worth.
It's probably important to tell you what happened after I overdosed. I mean, the overdose itself was a sick, traumatic experience, but there were ripples going through the systems of family, society, and politics. There was in our community, almost the loss of a life of a citizen. It's such a serious issue that it attracts the attention of everyone, making it an issue. It's something that the neighbors and the corner-of-the-sidewalk soccer moms club discuss. Several hundred years ago, parents would warn their children about bear traps in the forest; they would warn them about wandering too far from home without proper clothing or rations. One millennium ago, or in some parts less than fifty years ago, parents were warning their children about the danger and looming threats of the untangled claws of fate. "If only we could somehow have dominion over the world," the pastors told their flocks, when mourning the death of a boy killed by a grizzly bear. But today, we have dominion over nature. Somewhere in history, the painters, the writers, the inventors, and the innovators of human thought and wisdom all made a deal with the ruling class: you cane have what we make, but please, just provide for us to live in moderate comfort, so we can live by doing what we love. The poor, downtrodden artists, thrown away in the gutter of society, thought that he could make a deal with the god Moloch, and pull himself up. Well, there was a loophole in the contract that allows for exploitation and massive poverty. The ideas of the world's geniuses, and the meaning and purpose of the art, have started to flow in the same stream as the world's wealth. Just as the ideas can give some honor to the wealth, so can the money deteriorate the purity, the purpose, and the meaning of the ideas of the our culture's contributors.
Today, parents don't have to warn their children about grizzly bears or the dangers of the wilderness. Mankind has subverted the powerful, independent spirit of the wild. We warn our children of car accidents, of exposure to dangerous chemicals, of plane crashes, of drunken fighting, and drug overdoses. All of the dangers that seriously threaten the youth of our world are man-made. (I've noticed that I have no problem walking through groups of people herding together for recreation, but I have a moral dilemma when I am approaching a flock of inner-city pigeons feeding on crumbs.) And I, as a member of this social order, of this particularly group of people huddle together on this one part of the world -- I have to become the pinnacle of their shame. "Yes," they modestly say with some reservation, "This one particular human being is one part of the whole. We have to take some blame for him. We have to absorb some of the responsibility of his recent addiction and overdose. We are sorry that such a man could ever be engaging in such self-destructive behavior. We always tried to raise our children to respect and love good things, but some of them fall through the cracks. To look at them is to remember our failure; we afford them our sympathies and prayers, but not our company."
The known junkie of a community is given their pity. It is easier for them this way; you need to hold court and trial for sentencing someone to jail, treatment, or community service. There never needs to be a jury, or prosecutor, or public defender, or judge for a social unit of family and friends to ostracize one of their own. Parents and friends will meet, and speak your name in a hushed voice. They ask questions like, "Is he doing well?" or "Is he getting by?" The conversation on the family member is quiet, almost like there is this dark, cruel side of the people that is struggling to escape and take the role of a robber and murderer. Everyone must be on guard. And whenever they talk to you, it's like they are talking to a child with a terminal disease: it's the only thing on their mind, but they never bring it up. The only thing on the tip of their mind is the fact that you're a failed human being who also happens to be some sort of relative. Just like the child with a terminally ill disease, the questions are simple, never prying. I think people just don't want to know.
But fuck them. Fuck them and all of their stomach turning, Fascist, disgusting view of friends and family. I am going to keep using cocaine. I'll try to be safer. I'll try to use safer methods of intoxication. There is no doubt that I'll be sticking to cocaine and the idea of getting really fucking high on it each night. But fuck these people and their fucking sick idea of pity. What my family and friends did to me after my overdose was typical of any kind of drug overdose. This reconfirms my very early conviction I've had, that cocaine is now and always has been my best friend through the ordeals of life that have tried to destroy me as a person. Of course I still think about Sherri. I think about the awkward roads our conversations have driven down. I think about the wonderful few moments we shared a bottle of vodka on a stroll down the sidewalk. I think about the great, crazy sex marathons we would have over the weekends. I think about her smile, the gentle way about her, the things that constantly reminded me of love, poetry, and my own mortality. But fuck those ideas and fuck those people. They can't accept the way I have decided to live my life. The family, the small group of snobby liberal friends I have, all of these have been intolerant of my lifestyle. And now, the one person, the one girl who I actually gave a flying fuck about, will have nothing to do with me. Like my family, she never tried to understand me or "my problem" or where I'm coming from, so all of their attempts to help me have always been harmful. They've always tried to undermine me and my efforts. Suddenly, everything I do has become suspect. For these people of my social unit in this great, big organization of civilization, I have fallen from grace. But, I don't quite think my time is best spent in the company of people who allow their prejudices to turn into pity and disappointment. So, I became even more withdrawn from the people who said "never will we shun you from our home." So much to promises, and so much to old friends.
So things generally continued along the same line in my life. I kept going to work, I kept blowing all of my cash on cocaine, and I kept keeping a fair food and rent budget. I'm not going to let myself waste time on people, friends or family, whose idea of compassion is to isolate, ostracize, and alienate the individuals they claim to love. Two weeks had passed, and things in my life generally returned to normal. But, then one day, something that would interrupt this process of day-to-day existence. One day, as I was getting off f work and looking forward to a big, fat bag of cocaine, someone approached me with an offer I couldn't refuse. I remember my feeling of relief turning in to a feeling of dread. There was a rather exotically dressed punk standing in the elevator. I recognized him immediately. He was a very close friend of Sherri. I knew he wasn't there to see how I was doing or to turn in an application at my place of employment. I went in to the elevator and stood next to him very discreetly. He pressed the button for the first floor. "What do you want?" I asked without meeting him eye-to-eye. "Sherri's really upset," he said, "She wishes you would quit destroying your body so that she can love you again." None of this phased me, and I was still refusing to make eye contact with this prick. "It's nice to feel appreciated," I said, "I know that I'm a lucky catch."
He cleared his throat; I'm glad that he could tell that it was an insult. "She's in tears," he started. The elevator doors opened and we started for the door. He kept talking. "One the one hand, she's sad that you've chosen long-term death over her love, and on the other hand, she tells me how much she misses being with you. She calls me every night. Her problem has become my problem." We made it out the front door and he stuck by my side as I made it down the sidewalk, still chewing my ear off about Sherri. He was like a psychic parasite, no telling me go, sucking my energy through my side. "So?" I asked." "You need to stop using cocaine and you have to get back together with Sherri."
I stopped walking and turned to face him. The biggest incentive I have to work is buying snow with the hard-earned money I make. The cocaine I use is my release; it is the air I must breath in order to live. The fact that I'm looking forward to this type of emotional release could motivate me to kill this punk-rocker, even if he is a foot and a half taller than me -- that is to say, if he threatened me with physical violence in order to get me to quit my personal addiction, I would rip his head off right there in public. "I'm going to make this perfectly clear," I said to him as he patiently listened, "I'm not going to give up my recreational use of any drug I want. I'm never going to give it up for anyone." There was a brief moment of silence. I saw that his expression of patience didn't change. One second. Two seconds. My facial expression becomes gaunt as I start to suspect something. He remains calm and collected. He pulled out an envelope from his studded, leather jacket, handing it to me. I took it and opened it, although I could already guess what was inside. Photographs of me using cocaine. Maybe I was too high and wasn't smart about where I was using -- no maybe. I'm definitely up there. I sighed. So what's the deal?"
He spoke clearly and frankly. "You stop using cocaine immediately. You get back together with Sherri." I asked, "...or?" He gave me an excepted answer: "Or copies of these and other photos will be submitted to your family members, your job, and the local police department." I breathed in deep, looked away from his face, exhaled slowly, and turned back to him. "Does Sherri know about this?" I asked. "No, of course not," he said, "You know Sherri. She would never have any part of this." There was a moment of silence, where my subconscience tried to find and execute an escape plan of this situation, to no avail. "Can I have one last night of using?" I asked. I was at his mercy. More silence, as strangers passed this small consortium of two people that have nothing in common and don't want to share anything. "No," he said, as his remark made him image come to mind every time I thought of the definition of the word douchebag. "I am not going to give you the opportunity to fuck up your life again," he ended. I nodded, trying not to let him know by my facial expression that I was going to use again, just a little bit, just that night.... I still wanted to scream and kill. "Are we through here?" I asked. "Only if you are, chief," he smiled, laugh, and walked passed me. Douchebag: An obvious fan of the Clash who would have studs in his own skin if it were available at tattoo shops; fond of fucking people over, destroying lives, and putting safety pins through his eyebrows.
To tell you the truth, after this little interaction I had with Sid Vicious Jr., there were moments where I wished I had said, "Go ahead and send those photos, Mr. lead singer of The Tuesday Project. I've already sent similar photos to Erowid, Narcotics Anonymous, and High Times. You go ahead and try to fuck up my life. I'll see you in hell." And maybe after I said that, I could laugh, turn around, and walk away. The temptation to throw away what you've built looks you in the eye everyday; but rarely does it come in the form of your average fashion revolutionary. The best response you could ever give to these conflicts comes with the solitude of thought -- not being able to sleep in your own bed at 3:30 A.M., because you couldn't get your fix for the night and some fuckface "non-conformist" is hold your testicles in a meat grinder. These are the kinds of thoughts that come to mind when you're alone and can hear the echo of your own conscience: what would be the best way to respond to those people who are the enemies of your own happiness? It seems that with each passing minute of being alone, your responses become more cruel, your image of your enemy becomes more oppressive and threatening, the bubble of rage pops, and you're left with an enormous sense of apathy, and the taste of hate lingers in your belly. I took some more sleeping pills. About three times the recommended dose. I still couldn't sleep.
That one thing in my life that has kept me going this far, beautiful and wonderful cocaine, has been taken away. Make whatever insults you want -- barrage me with your hate. In this society, it isn't enough to be not addicted to the conveniences of technology. Shopping doesn't give me an erection. Television doesn't soothe my nerves. Radio really only pisses me off. In this new wave of culture, I find myself alone and isolated in my extreme dislike of this new order -- I find myself with no means of genuine expression. Maybe it's a curse and maybe it's a blessing. The only thing I like is considered a creation of the devil (i.e. human ingenuity coupled with the desire to profit). I never was given a choice by god to be in love with kittens, hotrods, the American dream, or cocaine. I was simply born with these predisposed desires, wants, and loves. I really don't think I should be punished or incarcerated for satisfying my wants any more than a man should be punished or harassed for believing his religion. Here I am right now, pacing back and forth in my room at 4:45 A.M. with these thoughts and ideas. I really wish I could make people listen to these thoughts. I wish I could make them know how I feel. But I can't. And now it's already 5:03 A.M., and I still can't sleep. On top of that, the icon of revolution, clad in patches of the British flag and the Anarchist symbol, is holding my addiction hostage.
I got a half hour of sleep. Sure, thoughts crossed my head, like "Well he know if I use it again?" Various schemes and scams have been concocted. Dressing differently when I enter the bar I buy coke at, wearing a wig, and then acting all offended and pissed off when he accuses me, all "I give up one thing I need more than oxygen, so I could love Sherri, and you pull this bullshit?" But no... My enthusiasm for this plan is quickly waning, especially when I think of my ability to lie -- at least, lie to people who have pictures of me snorting cocaine.
I went in to work looking like shit. My eyelids kept finding a way of shutting on me, and bringing me to that place that is not quite sleep, but certainly not awake. I remember waking up from a black out period in the copy room. I was laying on the ground when a supervisor tapped me on the should, said, "Napping, eh?" and laughed. "Well, the line for the copy machine is gone, so go head and use it." I looked out from the little security ball I had curled up in; I said, "Yeah, okay," and she left. It took me about 10 seconds to realize who I was, 20 seconds to realize where I was, and 26 seconds to realize what I was doing. I wasn't quite sure how I got there or how long I was out for. Some brain tissue that we humans have received from our Reptilian ancestors must have been in operation. "Seek shelter. Rehabilitate. Prepare for the nearing fight-or-flight response." My brain simply turned off and started to operate on pure instinct. No memories. No recollection. Just this hazy feeling after I was awakened by the supervisor. I should have seen this black out period in the making. As I walked through the office, I looked to the males strangely, as aggressive, violent competitors to my reproductive instinct. I looked to females as possible carriers of my genetic code. And, finally, upon discovering weakness, my appetite would grow. One of my overweight coworkers was coughing on a chocolate doughnut, and I swore I could taste blood in my mouth. Yes, I was going straight out of my fucking mind. On a normal day, one where I was satisfied with life after a night of enormous cocaine binging, I might look at this situation with a sociological/anthropological eye, and give room for my conscience to speak. "Unable to consume chocolate and sugar foods fast enough to satisfy hunger? Definitely not a pro-survival trait."
The blocking out and returning to primal behavior I putt off on sleep deprivation and all those sleeping pills I took. I took 3 recommended doses when I want to sleep. I took two more after a few hours of rolling around. I think I took one or two more pills later that night. And then I took 4 at 6:30 A.M., totally forgetting that I had to get up in two hours to get ready to go to work. I think I just fell asleep like two seconds before the alarm clock went off. I think I was asleep for only five to fifteen minutes. (Actually, I know I got at least 40 minutes of wet-dream-potential time. Maybe even an hour. But, still I'd like to think it was only two minutes... it justifies me in believing I just left purgatory based solely on my misery.)
My manager walked in to my office twice to find me nodding out. It was a fucking act of god that I was not sent home early. When I got home, I laid down, started to cry, and allowed the warm embrace of death's brother. Maybe I should have puzzled over the situation, letting the sleeplessness and the over the counter chemicals to act as an aid to tantric meditation, and maybe induce some thoughtful, peaceful, almost serene idea, that somehow will make me feel validated as a creature of earth that lives and dies like everyone else. All I know right now is that I don't feel good; I feel like someone has been poking the pain receptors in my brain any time I am forced to do anything or talk to anyone out of social necessity or etiquette. I feel like every step I've taken today was on hot coals. I feel like my blood has been pumping bleach and chlorine all day. Someone's stepped on my fingers 1,000 times. And I feel like Mr. PunkerThanThou kicked me in the throat with his spiked boot. I know one thing right now, as I slip away in to unconscious on the couch in my living room, and I don't feel very good. All I know is that aaa... gggg.... uuuu.... uuuuuuu.....
4:16 A.M.. That's the time I woke up. 4:16 A.M.. I hate that shit. My body feels like it just emerged from the experimentation labs of doctor Frankenstein. I miss the electric glow that would flow through your body with a pleasant amount of cocaine.
So I'm stuck with this shitty mental addiction withdrawal. In the day, I treated it with advil, tylenol, and aspirin. At night, I treated it with every other brand of sleeping pill, herbal sleep aids, benzodiazepines, and even alcohol, in order to fall asleep. Two weeks. Two weeks of that fucking shitty withdrawal. And then...
"You haven't called her," I hear in my ear. I rolled over in my bed for what must have been the most restful nap in three weeks. I held the phone closer to my ear. "Who is this?" I asked without waking up. "Well, let's just say I'm an anonymous friend, heh," he said. I pulled the phone away from my hear and held it in the air, so I could look at myself and see just exactly what I was doing. I hung up and rolled back around in bed... Ring... Ring... "Hello?"
A voice comes out of the phone. "This is your friend calling..." I waited. I gave him a chance to elaborate. "Who may I say is calling?" He spoke, "It's Sherri's friend." I know my eyes opened wide, but I'm also suspecting that my pupils also dilated when I connected the voice to an image. "What do you want?" I asked. "You didn't go through on your end of the deal," he said. My eyebrows rolled and tightened, as a natural reaction, even though I know he cannot see me. "The fuck are you talking about?" I screamed in to the phone, "I fucking gave up coke, you fucker!" I stopped myself from keep talking, realizing that this argument isn't going to make it easy to go back to sleep. I could hear myself breathing heavily on the other end. "Oh, I know you've done that," he replied in a calm, unaffected tone, "I know that. But you haven't called Sherri." A few seconds and I got even more irritated before responding. "The fuck are you talking about?" I rolled around in the covers some more sot hat I could get in a comfortable position and still talk on the phone. "The deal was you give up cocaine and you get back together with Sherri." Right now my sub-conscience's sub-conscience is giving me images of people burning alive, screaming for mercy for their pains, begging and pleading. The screams of little children wailing and crying, the flames engulfing old men and women who crawl up in to balls on the floor, seeking relief and only laughed at by their traitor god. My flesh is being ripped apart by the unconditional response of daemons stabbing, pulling, poking, bludgeoning, and right about as blood starts to fill my eyes and blind me, I can see -- "Are you fucking serious?"
Oh, he definitely was. For some reason, it would never be enough for him to just gave me give up cocaine. I actually have to spend loving, affectionate time with the one girl I know whose existence is the reason I'm living in Hell. Wait a minute; I know exactly how that conversation would go. Her: "Wow, the sun sure is beautiful today." Me: "Not as beautiful as your face cut up after your body has been left in some back alley graveyard, you fucking cunt!"... I'm very emotionally stressed right now. God must be putting me through some endurance test as a part of the application process for being a broad-axe-wielding soldier in the army of god.
"Hi, how's it going?" I say, rekindling a relationship that should remain dead and actively rotting on the side of the road. I swear, I've gone by that corpse a dozen times, and each time I dump sugar on it so that the fruit flies keep breeding and implanting eggs in to the collapsing veins. "Hi," she said, as I felt her happiness quietly soar, "Things are good... did you quit, because that's what I heard." I let out a sigh, trying to pretend desperately that I was actually a secret agent for god's army, trying to infiltrate the inner sanctum of earth's sin cult, and not some guy calling up his old girlfriend who is a bitch he fucking hates. That's right. I'm definitely not doing the second one. "Why did you call me?" she asks, blowing steam off her cappuccino, which was probably made by Mexican slave laborers who didn't expect for products to be used by American intellectuals; no, I don't know that's true, but I like believing it because I fucking hate, hate, hate her! "I called because I changed and I knew that's what you want," I replied. I'd do excellent if Soviet and Nazi interrogators were both torturing me for secrets that would let them conquer the world. We went out to eat and she was in love with my wit again. Benedict Arnold would be proud. Afterwards, we fucked, and that was all right. I'm still very positively negative about the whole experience.
We went out to a bar the next night. I fell asleep three times before my fifth beer. She complained several times about how it didn't as exciting before, making several references with words like change and adapt and overcome personal obstacles. She wanted a horse that has been dead and implanted with fruit fly maggots to stand up, race, and feed. I knew that this outing would go nowhere. My schedule for the rest of tonight involves making holes in walls and randomly blacking out while standing up with a large kitchen knife in one hand. Work is falling apart. I'm falling asleep at my desk, waking up in weird places with no memory, getting warned by supervisors routinely, sleeping in and missing work, among other things. It's none o'clock right now and I'm letting a cool breeze in to my apartment. I signed a form with work, letting them know that I understand, that if I am late again, I will lose my job. I'm drinking tea, feeling the cool air, and trying to calm down. I don't want to lose my job. And no matter what happens with Sherri, I already know that I lost her.
This is where my journey ends. No doubt there is more trial and pain in my future. My story may not be done, but it is for today. What am I expecting to happen to me? I imagine I'll lose my job, maybe not tomorrow, but definitely eventually. Whatever happens with me and Sherri, and Sherri's punk-rock robot, I imagine the best case scenario will involve several police departments and over 100 state troopers in what the New York Times will call "the largest body hunt in the past half-century." My "family and friends," they've always been dead to me, so psychotic rampage isn't a preferable option for them. Where am I going to go? What am I going to do? I ask myself these questions again every moment. Sometimes they sound like "Can I ever love Sherri again?" or "Where does Clash boy live?" I told my story here as best as I could. No, this is not a tomb of sacred truths or a library of god's knowledge. It is one man's personal struggle to conquer his misery... it's the truly social experience.