Category Archives: Young

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This blog has, recently, become less specifically ‘drugs’ and more ‘whatever idea or soundbyte sort of makes sense and somewhat justifies my existence at this point in time or justifies from a moment in the past my existence now’.

And I remember. Buzzing about Manhattan. Between Job #1 and Job #2 [which were technically the same job in different locations] or Job #1 and School… or Job #1.5 and the crack shack [home]. This time that exists in between… that one has to ‘kill’ we spent in the Barnes and Noble on 6th Avenue. The Barnes and Noble that doesn’t exist anymore. Shooting up in the bathroom, then finding a calm but buzzing about internally.

See, I was still a writer then… and as I writer, I read. I DEVOURED books. And in the air-conditioning, in the Barnes and Noble on 23rd Street and 6th Avenue,  I killed the time that actual life wasn’t fit to kill. Walking amongst the stacks, opening the books, on a quest to find something that was good enough to be read… but really, on a quest to find something, anything [like now] that either makes sense or somewhat justifies my existence.

In so doing, I came upon, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. I felt above it or just like, ‘no’, somehow. I think it was written by a 13 year-old or something and it was probably really meta-. A young would-be writer writing about writing with words in a book that he’s written. I opted instead for “Well” by Matthew McIntosh. A novel told in a stream of consciousness manner about the sadness of the pacific northwest [one or two pages stained with a mixture of a squirt of blood/saline/some drug]. Anyway, I probably really just felt angry and resentful that this sort of thing (“Perks…”) could be on the shelf all popular and shit. …that this sort of watered-down bullshit could pass these days as meaningful. But mostly, I probably was jealous.

Anyway, so now, it’s a film. A thousand years later.

And so a million years later. And Ezra Miller is my boy… Logan Lerman & a short-haired Emma Watson, not bad, either. It reminds me of “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” in tone [the book, not the movie]. …yes, there was a film.

And well, I can never not fall in love with a coming-of-age story.

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The Crackcident

Because this sort of accident is always welcome at 23rd Street:

but, really, not oops ….because its awesome!

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The Words

nope.

I was once a writer. I am sure of this fact.

I, unequivocally, believed that beyond “artist”, I AM A WRITER.

Now what?

…because its different now.

And admittedly, the following quote is from a two and a half minute trailer for a movie that I haven’t seen, but that doesn’t make it any less the summation of my entire existence for the past 7 years:

“I’m not who I thought I was… and I’m terrified that I never will be”.  -The Words

Out of context, it seems a bit melodramatic. But here at 23rd Street, we have context for it. In addition, the folks at 23rd Street tend to confuse melodrama for passion.

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unsustainable

Not like sustainable fuckin’ local ass food.

I mean, I’m all for it actually, but that’s not what this is.

This will be short and to the point. One thing has become clear to your author:

We, at 23rd Street, have been living an unsustainable existence. We can’t keep on going on like this. Nothing (we wouldn’t say good) but productive will come from it.

Most of these posts are the same. Touch on the same concepts and fears and blahblahblah-rapateta. They blur. They sometimes illuminate. But it’s repetition… repetitive. The same thing over and over and over again.

And sometimes… just sometimes… in a minute fragment or a secret-hidden sentence, a point is made that we, at 23rd can actually say is insightful. Whether we listen or choose to act on it or not, is another story.

Because, you see, this isn’t about you or a “community” of drug users that are in recovery or not. This is the most selfish of endeavors.

…and with that, maybe we’ve alienated the 1 1/2 individuals that actually read this.

But we, at 23rd Street, are trying, somehow, to save ourselves.

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still staring at the hexagons

It was a Wednesday. Mid-week. I am best, theoretically-speaking, mid-week. I have a couple of hours to kill, so I decide to do what I’d always done when I find that I need to kill time. I walk approximately 30 blocks down Madison Avenue toward 23rd street, stopping by a Starbucks here and there to end up at Madison Square Park. I sit on the bench. And stare at the hexagons on the ground.

It all sounds very easy.

I had done this a million times before. Different parks. Usually, it was Union Square Park. Yes, so I had done this a million times before… until it was second nature… but this is now. I hadn’t killed time in this manner in what seems like a million years.

And, I am buzzing.

Not drug-buzzing (though, there is a part of this that we will get to later). The natural internal buzzing. The inability to ‘just be…’, to blend in with what surrounds one and give way to time. That buzzing of years past. I’d include the poem here, but this author is too protective of random things that keep the world in place.

Anyway, that buzzing. The buzzing of indecision and uncertainty.

Somehow, I go with it. Sit on the bench… initially stare at the hexagons… look toward the hexagons almost for some semblance or answer or something. I think cerebral thoughts. I remember that I sort of cherished this sort of moment. My brain crazy with stories. Currently, though, I am blank. Just stare… blankly outward. And I wonder, god, what have I done?

Catastrophizing as your author does.

It isn’t a catastrophe, however. I take the uncomfortable-to-write-in moleskin notebook that is small enough to carry places out of my bag. I write, “so, I don’t know what the middle-ground is. Maybe there is no middle-ground”.

deep.

At this point, though shifting, I am still primarily in cerebral territory.

Yes, I acknowledge the buzzing. This misguided sort of energy. I also acknowledge the blankness in my head. Then, I think of the ADD drugs. The speed in a pill. And this is what I speak of when I say, “middleground”.

I, for the most part, in the broadest of definitions, finally got what I want… what I once thought that I need. …in a legal way that is regulated, even.

And now?

Now, I write, “I can’t do it without the drug… I can’t do it with the drug, either, maybe [as evidenced by today]. By “it”, I mean, “life”.”

Eventually though, I shift (or rather, my cerebral found some cerebral spinal fluid to float within), and as always, it is time that has determined everything. Time. Don’t misunderstand, I didn’t again become the bursting-at-the-seems, artist-writer, of years past. This would be impossible. I can never go back. And though, I could barely wrap my head around how it is I am how I am now or how this version of me has evolved from that one, I recognized the fact and had to light a candle for it’s death.

Metaphorically, speaking.

Kind of like when people die in dreams or whatever. The whole representation of a death of a part of one and the resulting opening of a door. It’s always sad.

But, I guess… “deal with it… because this is just how it is now.”

So, as I sit, wait, stare at the hexagons and increasingly become more a part of my surroundings; I wonder how I could possibly proceed from here.

This [post] would possibly be more interesting if it were more ‘multimedia’. And we do have something.* But… this is a writer’s post. And thus, you get words.

*update (04 Jul 2011): Okay, fine… at 23rd Street, we are a glutton for multimedia:

Just another parable from the folks at 23rd Street.

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Reindeerspotting: escape from santaland

junkies, snow & the arctic circle

This is kind of amazing:

reindeerspotting: escape from santaland

Well, not really amazing… more topically delectable.

Like kick-ass NY Italian Ices (which I’ve had many times before because its awesome) eaten with a palate altered due to the current acid trip that it’s on… mild… very, very mild acid trip. But altered non-the-less.

What can I say? I love drugs. Even the most familiar story and events rendered exciting with a change of scenery, language and addition of the arctic circle.

…and reindeer, apparently.

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the truth in the lie

“There comes a time when every kid peeks behind the curtain and sees she’s not the only one putting on a show. Fathers, mothers, cops and robbers… every member of the PTA, all playing dress-up… all in their masks: The constant Halloween. That first peek behind the curtain… the lifting of the mask, it’s a disorienting moment. The solid ground beneath you slips away to quicksand. Along with all you thought you knew. But you realize, as days and nights go by, that there’s a kind of truth in the lie… that the mask is often more revealing than the face that lies beneath… that because the person that you pretended to be (the mother, the father, the sister, the cop) became, somehow, the person that you are.” -In Plain Sight

It’s not that straight-forward… it’s not as discontinuous as a mask can provide. But it applies. I remember being obsessed with the notion that no one could ever really know any one else. …that no one could ever see all sides of another person and that the lens used to view would always have a neutral density subjective filter placed upon it. In fact, I wrote my first screenplay based on moments witnessed… pieces of the puzzle of who a person may or may not be. Put it together… figure it out. Or not.

I’m sure this isn’t a unique experience by any means, but at that time (and for years following), I felt the invincibility of my person. But more importantly, no obligation to “be something”. It is personal freedom to the highest caliber. Left with no burden to even exist at all. I can’t be sure why I felt so safe sticking needles with stimulants in my veins. But that’s not true, either. I guess that I believed nothing certain about myself except for my invincibility. My ability to, for lack of a better term, stand outside of all experience and observe. Rendering all of my actions, merely actions. Needles and coke and meth and ecstacy and dilaudid… anything, by this definition became things that couldn’t touch me because it was impossible.

And somehow, everyone else was so subjective that everything that they did affected them. They were fully-formed human beings with very strong views on character and people. …fully-formed human beings, unchangeable but affect-able.

And in this manner, as well, I was not a drug addict. I was a person that performed an action. Buying and doing drugs is the same as going to Rite Aid for eyeliner and walking across 23rd Street to work. Even, level… the same.

This is why I hold this time in such high regard. I created a way in which I could do anything. And I did. The error in this manner of thinking is that one is not invincible. And though it makes it completely possible to do everything and chalk it up to an “action”; though there may be no burden to exist or be something, every action will and does affect the person that you are. As under-developed it is or as much as one has created a mechanism wherein they can deny the existence of it at all. Everything affects one… you… something, because, like the rest of the human race, you are a person.

I didn’t think of myself a drug addict for a very long time. And then, I secretly (or not) reveled in the idea that I might be one. And then, I held onto the definition for dear life as one of the most important components of who I, as a person, am. Basically, I accepted a certain version of day-to-day reality. Age, evolution and the fact that to “be something” is now an obligation. And though it took that “decade under the influence” and longer, even… it feels more like a swift, half pirouette. Where my head has snapped, more quickly than the eye could detect, to a position exactly opposite of where it was half a second ago.

And though I’ve always been able to hide it well… I felt that I was internally, somehow (and inconsistent with everything I’ve said here) inherently, a drug user. Furthermore, I was a person… subject to all the personal consequences of action and experience.

And there you go.

Now what?

This is the grey zone. Because I was always a functional this or that and because I didn’t technically make a statement to the effect of “I’m not doing drugs anymore”… because I’m not in recovery… because I still drink; I felt things hadn’t changed enough. Fuck, who even knew that I was a heavy drug user to begin with to know that I stopped using drugs at all?

Furthermore, I didn’t make this decision.

In a way, you could say that my actions made the decision and I carried-out my actions. But, it’s not that simple. Even a month or so prior to this time, if my dealer had up-and-disappeared (as was the case), I would have gone scouring Los Angeles for meth. And I would have found some. I had, I believe 5 separate meth dealers as detailed in The Bus Ramblings… in Los Angeles in roughly 2 years. Only Frank in NY (and he wasn’t just meth… and that spanned atleast double the aforementioned time). But this time, in LA, I was just over it, somehow. But also, I can probably also attribute maybe 75% of the “just over it” to the quality of crap-ass meth that I was getting.

None of this matters, of course. And though I finally felt a pathetic-ness of being a drug addict, there was a HUGE-ass part of me that reveled in drug culture, drug experience, drug everything. I was just now aware of just how much I couldn’t talk about it. And without the drugs to make me forget about this whole thing, felt exceedingly stifled. And not only this… but because I had krazy-glued this notion of myself as a drug person into my fiber… I felt like a fraud; a liar. …and a bit digressively, empty.*

*to be addressed in a future post.

But this is where the quote comes in, one might see themselves as a definitive thing and thereby fraudulent by acting in seemingly unnatural ways… I suppose this would be the mask they speak of, but:

“…you realize, as days and nights go by, that there’s a kind of truth in the lie… that the mask is often more revealing than the face that lies beneath… that because the person that you pretended to be… became, somehow, the person that you are.”

It feels unbelievable… incorrect, even. But time… small increments of moments and then; the whole thing… I mean, if you stick around long enough… it sounds retarded, I know, but it starts to feel possible. …And sometimes, when one takes stock… if one’s privy to that sort of thing, one realizes that, in one’s own continuous manner, it’s been happening the whole time, maybe? Slowly; molasses-ass slowly, but happening none-the-less. I don’t fuckin’ know. I just know that I’m different now than when I started this whole thing (when I thought that I’d never really be able to do the adult thing; do the responsible-thing… I’m a great actor. I could pretend tremedously, but would also only ever be excited by what I really am: a drug addict)… I just know that it is possible to change while still remaining the same… if that makes any sense to anyone. And I do believe all of this rests on time… the passage of time.

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Hollywood ASST

So, again, the author here is going crazy posting semi-off-topic things. I am not trying to alienate. But, to be honest, roughly one-third of my time I was tweaked and wined-calm was on a desk of a Hollywood exec. Which, now, that I think about it is not that uncommon in Hollywood. Maybe a bit uncommon for an assistant. But my most mild, ‘controlled’ and last hurrah was on a desk talking to a client of one of three bosses I had at the time on Mid-Wilshire. Lest we not forget the long ago and faraway “…this took a bit more planning” (which incidentally has been updated with a small time and space thing and makes it a total !must-read!). Well, then, there was that interim thing that I had shortly after.

Why am I telling you any of this? Well, it’s possible to carry-on as a functional human being… furthermore, excel at the human being/efficiency stuff while on meth and 2 buck chuck at 8AM in the morning. And long hours, man. You gotta love what you are doing. Tweaked and balanced-down, I was happy as a clam. Also, gregarious-enough and insightful and able to bring it back around to the parts of the business that related to the parts of art in film. And because I’m going to post this video. You see, even though I am once again, in the city that never sleeps, I will always miss my years in the city that never cares. It was quite serendipitous.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/3265420]

This is a relatively old video, but the folks at 23rd Street love the occasional reminiscing. We promise that we will get back on track with the self-loathing after-drug stuff soon.

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American Idiot (the musical) and me (the liar)

YaY!

There It Is!

Well, first thing’s first. It’s been a while, but the ‘forever liar’ thing that comes alongside drug addiction has reintroduced itself into my, now, faraway (ish) existence. During this sort of transitional period, limbo, etc… I’ve been able to throw it into my layered mix as a person in a subtextual manner while creating this cocktail of my person that is, say: the author v 2.0. The crude sort of ‘I’m no longer a hardcore drug user’ goal/endpoint was to become a normal, functional person… then it was to become adult.

Ahhhh, for such a believer in the continuous to think in such a retarded discontinuous manner.

And, now, I find myself here. Relatively functional (on prescription medication)… much more confident… and having my biggest asset to anyone being that I am young and hip and cool and intelligent. Privy to all the blinking lights that is this new communicative sphere of technology while maintaining my cute techno-geek humanity, and furthermore, making older people wet with my generationally-genetic makeup of pieces of three or four mini flares of generations and how that translates into $$ that they understand can only happen moving forward.

All of this meaning that, in time, I have… grown up a bit (not enough, some say), remained focused on the reason for the (now, prescription) drug usage (to remain a functional human being), and capitalized off of the movie “The Social Network”… redefining the word ‘adult’ in a monetary/business sense.

Great.

So, one can now be young and immature but a feasible money machine… an employee… a business-person. But it’s still not really socially acceptable to be a drug addict. Thus, this returning loathing feeling of having to lie (at least in omission) for the remainder of my life.

Rewind:

Dated: 24 Jan 2002

Secrets & Lies

Sitting in physical therapy today, with my hand warming from the heat pad, I felt that my life was full of secrets and lies. Why am I in physical therapy? I injured my wrist. How? I got an infection. Oh, in your wrist? Yeah, it got septic and I had to undergo five weeks of IV antibiotics. How did you get the infection? Um…that’s where I have to start lying to people. Well, I don’t know. These things sometimes happen spontaneously. Um, I was drunk and I fell. So, no one really knows the whole truth. Then, there’s the doctor. I have a doctor’s appointment. ‘doctor’. Meaning psychiatrist. I’m on this ‘medicine’ that I’m not supposed to drink or do drugs on. I’m just going to be lying forever to everyone. That can’t be good for my karma, huh? But I guess when it comes to psychiatric assistance and intravenous drug use, it’s more efficient for me to lie. I mean, I gotta do what I gotta do, right?

This could be a million years ago, as far as I am concerned. Shortly after the IV coke and well-before the IV meth. This was a specific lie of times past. But the feeling, now, is still similar.

See, I’ve sort of stumbled upon a business ‘mentor’ of sorts whom thinks that I am the bee’s fuckin’ knees. Apparently, I have integrity and there are three things he hates… one of them being lying. But if I really were to be truthful… this would never go down, you see.

So, there’s that. Kids, if you do drugs, to this capacity and make it an integral part of ‘you’ as ‘you’, even 8+ years down the line, there will still be times that creep up on you where you feel like you… as ‘you’, again have sort of condemned (not in a god-way) yourself a liar forever.

So, that sucks.

Okay, so… Finally!!! American Idiot!!!!

ummm…. strobe-y.

I have a million things to say about the show. I fuckin’ love Green Day. And I appreciate them the most for being one of the only artists to create art reflecting the transitional generation that exists between X & Y…. the suburban ennui… and the fact that I can play songs with three chords on the guitar.

But for current 23rd Street purposes (drugs and all), the author, here will focus on 3 things.

1. It is a musical, so it’s on a stage. I don’t have to tell anyone that everything needs to be larger, bigger in breadth than say, a film. Details are conveyed in different ways in these two media. Though, American Idiot plays with this notion as well. The blinking boxes and the media. So, Johnny, becomes a bit of a junkie after leaving suburbia. A needle-type junkie. All good. Whatever. Our seats were pretty fuckin’ good, though. But still. But the theatre prop needle is there, as is the prop spoon and tourniquet. And the actor mimes shooting up. And all the televisions built into the backdrop project an extreme close up of sizzling powder in a metal spoon. It was what it was… but still, it gets me. My thighs, oddly enough, tingle. And possibly because I knew how much of a prop everything is, I watch closely at Johnny and his tourniquet and his needle with laser-focus intent. There’s no need to say that I love it and I hate it and I knew this was the most safe kindergarten version of the act… so, it was safe for me to stare.

2. I once had a tryst with Mr. “Leaving West Hollywood”. He liked the song “Give me Novacaine”. (That’s how it’s spelled). This was… still is, the one song that makes me feel a bit sick. Possibly because I’ve coined Mr. “Leaving West Hollywood” as his moniker in reference to the grudgingly sad alcoholism of “Leaving Las Vegas”…. which aforementioned tryst was. Marinating our livers in alcohol in an apartment in West Hollywood… I cannot really even think of it to this day without feeling bad. “Give me Novacaine” is a number in the show. I thought about Mr LWH while watching it. It makes me feel a bit sick. It also makes me, for seconds, miss him. He is a good guy. …and he is now fine, it seems. As fine as any of us can be, anyway.

3. Lastly, for now, the show has this same youth/adult discontinuous gloom as I did. Somewhere toward the end, the punk kids from the beginning come back, dress-shirts and ties… power suits… some still un-grown punks… a young amputee war veteran. Like these things are the only options. I realize then, that I used to think this, too. Youth… Adult… and never the twain shall meet.

How adorably naive was I?

And now, I give you 2 options:

option #1:

Pros: is comprehensively the better of the two.

Cons: very strobe-lighty (which affects the viewing quality quite a bit) & has stuff  (faggot, fuck, etc.)*bleeeped* (ghey).

Pro or Con: a bunch of Billie Joe talking in the beginning. But if you believe this to be a con, and don’t know how to “fast-forward”, you are retarded.

option #2:

Pros: Exactly as you would see it in the show (curtain and all) & strobe doesn’t affect viewing quality at all.

Cons: Camera person is high. Focusing on all the wrong things.

& just because its my favorite:


In the end, if you can, go see it.

PS. I don’t like AFI (the band) all that much at all really, but I just found out that Davey Havok played St Jimmy (drug dealer) in the cast that I saw. eh. No Billie Joe to say the least, but atleast it wasn’t Melissa Etheridge.

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PharmaChildren

PharmaChildren.

 

Awesome

 

 

Just another random thing found while stumbling around the internet from the folks at 23rd Street.

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