so, that happened.
oh, you know, the whole coke thing. I mean, I really had no real desire to do or not do it. And, by this time I was pretty fucked up, over-over-over the limit drunk. …I believe. Yes, I was.
I only did 2 lines. But it was nice, a nice little “Hello, 2011!”.
Apparently, there were drugs all over this bitch, though. I guess I was just so distracted and unaware. Or maybe it was more like, “try to keep the drugs away from the drug addict“. Eh, either way, it’s probably better. Because really, it’s probably actually better to “keep the drugs away from the drug addict”. It was a small party… and everyone is pretty aware of the extent of the needle-wielding junkie that was I. So, I guess it’s nice.
Anyway, the last time I did coke, I believe was in 2004. Barring any parties or any other incidental times that may have slipped my mind. But I was pretty much self-conditioned in my unintentional Pavlovian shooting so much coke that I needed to drink warm straight vodka from a coffee cup. So, I don’t believe that there were any incidental times in Los Angeles. Ironic… or something, huh? Eh, I guess just leave Los Angeles for a softer, more controlled version of my discontinous though long and hearty dance with my meth. So, it’s nice.
I don’t know why I continue to write, “so, it’s nice”. But I guess, it’s nice because I’ve finally stopped my DT’s and sweating cocaethalyne (the oh so lovely bastard child of coke’s dance with alcohol) out of every pore of my body. And finally feel a bit stable-ish. Now, it’s just the dehydrated exhaustion. And this can be fixed with a little klonopin followed by sleep.
Anyway, that’s how it went down (minor details, here and there thrown to the wind every time I may have exhaled my physically sweet and physiologically toxic breath this night in question)… I must say I get very self-righteous when properly wasted. Having random though strong opinions about things then having the balls (…or synaptic connectivity) to express said things with a conviction that I rarely ever have if not for the ethanol.
Everyone else went down, but my little friend and I were on the elevator when the ball-dropped. …and no, my ‘little friend’ is not a line of something or a drink in hand… it was an actual friend… like human. And so, out the doors on 46th and 8th. We missed it by a second. …Like we cared. It actually feel it makes me superior… like, really, do I need to see the ball drop, no. But could I have given very little effort? yes. See, I’m not a ‘privileged’ person, in certain ways… so, sometimes, I relish the privilege card.
I’ve resumed my quest (and it, at this point, has indeed become more or less a mysterious puzzle/quest) in trying to figure out which four days in 2001 I had called St Vincent’s my extended purgatory.
St Vincent’s… the hospital… NY, NY 1-0-0-something-something (1-3, maybe).
It began as mere curiosity. (had always been a lingering detail in the back of my head which my organizational slice of brain fed just enough to keep on a special sort of life-support… it sort of screamed, “I want the paperwork… the details, etc” in that sort of scream that one screams in their sleep wherein no sound is made and everything around one closes in.)
And for a long time this mere curiosity is all it could ever be, as I flailed around for the next 6 1/2 years or so, in one epic fog followed by another.
…my own version of the epic fog-thing, anyway. One in which complete detail-oriented-focus fogged the long-term consequential stuff…. you know, life in general and all.
Meaning, my intense micro-micro clarity was the tool used to obliterate any macro clarity or concept thereof that I might be able to grasp. Consequence-based future. Meth is strange like that. Strange and lovely.
And so, it was always there, the desire to obtain and read said paperwork… notes… anything… everything. There is a part of me that is a scientist by nature. As I flail in my epic fogs, I record the findings or, at the very least, random observations, if there is no theory to record findings from. I fancy myself a psychonaut writer. And I believe my ideas fascinating and possibly insightful. Awww.
But the thing is, I was (psychonaut writer). And they may have been (ideas, fascinating and possibly insightful).
And it all started out very very detailed. I mean, if you can dig that. It was all very adorable… I isolate and number each drug experience and categorize by type of drug, class of drug, location of ingestion, amount of ingestion, activity, combination, etc… Record all of the aforementioned into my little spreadsheet that I create and entitle: ADU (approximate drug usage). I mean, atleast, for approximately 3 1/2 years… before the very detailed specifics became a bit more muddled.
In so saying, even all these years post- …that, it’s easy to understand my overwhelming desire to get my hands on actual medical data that pertains to recreational drug use. MY recreational drug use. This sort of thing excites me.
Secondly, and just as importantly, I feel that it will validate my existence as a person that is, or at one point, atleast, had been, alive, on this planet. It gives me weight somehow. Prevents me from drifting off and evaporating into the atmosphere. *poof*
What the fuck is right. Why would I need my existence validated? And furthermore, how, would records of a hospital stay due to intravenous drug usage that led to a septic infection do this for me? A stay that I adamantly fought against…. didn’t think that I needed… ultimately, didn’t acknowledge.
Well, there you go… there it is… I just didn’t get it. The whole thing. The entire… whole… thing. That whole, I’m-in-a-hospital-because-I-use-needles-to-shoot-drugs-I-buy-from-the-guy-in-the-car-thing.
…wait, not the the guy in the car yet. It would have still been Washington Heights-guy, I suppose.
…I mean, but this whole thing… that’s another story.
This is my semi-catch phrase. “that’s another story”. Stolen, I’m sure… I don’t care. I use it frequently… so, catch-phrase it is. However, unlike when I’ve said this any time in the past, this is a particular story that I have not yet traipsed the fields of. Or even really considered (the weight… the validation… my need for these particular things). I might be lying… but I don’t feel like I am. My usual “that’s another story” presupposes a mischievous glint in the eye and railroad-track smile that work as a dam or fence, preventing “the other story” from gushing out and side-tracking the whole thing.
A digression prevention device, if you will. That’s how it functions for me. Just this time, my clenched teeth hold nothing back and there exists no knowing glint behind my eye. The Chesire Cat has long left me. … I mean, atleast as this particular story goes.
And so, it is what is. And for whatever reason these things feel to me as if they would fulfill certain questions or validate certain existences… I am now, again, on the hunt. With my newly cleared-head, in the very early part of this year, 2009… I feel that I am ready.
And with this, it would seem easy enough…
The following is a short tale written [in terrible form… passive constructs, inconsistency, all the jazz of a young writer with the widest eyes and the most slender skill set] circa… I don’t know. Sometime after I popped my virgin veins by shooting coke, stopped, hitched back, stopped, hitched waaay back, intranasally back, 9/11, the hospital, the pick-line directly into my vein, then stopped. Before any meth. This happened… or I wrote this sometime within this aforementioned time-line… somewhere… something like a…
Hey, man… nice shot.
I mean, the crimson cloud! It’s important. This was then. A thousand years ago, but still holds true. And describes it in better terms than I believe that I can right now.
Without further adeiu:
ALL THE FALLEN CAPS
a short story
… forth… back…
back… half-way under the bed again, it hides, then rolls back to reveal itself, then back again…
A small cylindrical orange cap, an uneven section of carpet in a hotel room, and a wide-eyed, dark-haired, sweet girl sitting Indian-style on the firm bed, unaware…no, unconcerned by what possibly might be occurring just a foot’s length or two beneath her: the momentum of the cap slowing with each roll; the distance closing in on itself.
She often dropped the caps. On this moment’s surface, down it would go, a slight sway, perhaps, before it slowed to a still. After the split second of her always-careless released grip, she missed the orange cylinder suicide lemming as it took the plunge like all of it’s brothers that came before.
Never slowing to a still, its continued roll was brought to an end with a grand, inaudible plunge to the unfamiliar ground below.
Though for all of its efforts, its impact with the ground was as inaudible as its fall to it. No poof, or smack, or crash. Upon impact, it did nothing but relapse into the repetitive groove of ‘back and forth’.
And in this way, for the past few days, the bright orange would scream its existence in this unseen tiny dance against the sea of pastel blue carpet upon which it fell.
But for Sedge, there were more important things to attend to.
The room was nice. Nice. What is nice?
This, this was nice.
Most importantly, anonymous.
Yes, the infamous impersonally warm hotel room ambiance.
A scent, just a scent. Sedge boiled it down to the complimentary anti-bacterial soap cake in the bathroom. These days, it was all about ‘boiling-it-down’. This ambiance, though comforting, was not immune.
The television flashed off her face. Across from her, an alterna-grunge, mid-nineties, Chris Cornell somehow found itself on the screen. Though muted, she knew what it was. It was impossible for the matching voice to his moving lips not to reverberate somewhere in the back of her head. blowupthe Other than this (and the cap, of course) however, everything was achingly still.
She used to wonder if she existed at all at times like this. Though she learned to love her un-detectibility on the radar.
She wanted to be still for just one second more and breathe the untainted air, before she was to make herself the defining characteristic of the room, undetected still, but now rendered detectable. Rendering herself detectable.
Actor-guy was gone. Working. On a set. In a trailer? Waiting? Memorizing lines. Refreshing his acute awareness of what he looked like, and therefore, what he was supposed to be. And, of course, how he was supposed to let others know this by making an even larger outward caricature of things he genuinely once was. Actor-guy was an actor…in the literal sense.
And so there were these days in the deafening silence of the huge room. Sedge, not responsible and unconnected to anything in this hotel room, to anything in this town, somewhere in the vast unnamed mid-west, where this person she felt somehow equally unconnected to, invited her, while he was working. And the cap rolled somewhere between the bed and herself and the carpet and dresser and…
Now it was time for protocol, procedure, exacting steps carried out in perfect succession. It was time for that.
Exiting the bathroom after a thorough scrubbing of the hands with anti-bacterial soap that seemed to pervade every public and private restroom these days. “C-fold” paper towels went down on the surface of the now empty room-service cart. Followed by a bottle of 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Then, saline solution. Cotton Balls. Q-tip. All ordered, exact, and in it’s place. Then…
…a spoon and slick, aerodynamic Zippo… flame. As important as any one of these components were, it was the next which stood most essential and intriguing…her extensive, intensely obsessive knowledge of phlebotomy, anatomy, and general medical procedure.
And the stage was set: all the characters in their place, all the pieces aligned correctly on the chessboard… and Bobby Fischer at its helm. Though this wasn’t true. Bobby Fischer she was not. A man who went deeper than anyone else before him and found art at the core of what seemed an impersonal game of strategy. Numbers, math, combinations, logic. Sedge was the anti-Bobby Fischer; trading choice and fear for certainty and structure. And her opening move involved rubbing alcohol that bled into a piece of cotton that she would use to clean the spoon.
She continued like this, step after step in perfect succession, as impersonal and robotic as medicine can be; as medicine had to be. And it was something about this… no, it was this that was comforting.
One last item… a sterile syringe.
And POP, placed on the room-service cart, rolled the orange cap and fell into the vast sea of the carpet beneath.
In a few seconds, a distended vein would arise, followed by a stringently comforting cool alcohol swipe, and gentle prick. And then… ultimate confirmation. Confirmation that all these steps were carried out successfully; that she did the things that she had to do. The confirmation that upon the slight tug backwards of the plunger, a flood of rich, maroon liquid would cloud into the otherwise clear, thin solution still in the body of the barrel.
The crimson cloud.
Literally, just confirmation that she was in the vein, but, somewhere in the distance, behind the bells ringing in her ears, she could hear, “good girl”.
It was about order, routine, the feeling of success when these tasks where carried out. Certainty, consistency… trust. It was the way there had to be half a pack of splenda in her six ounces of iced green tea at eleven AM, everyday. It was about her antiquated eighth grade social studies teacher and his ‘system’ of clothing… alternating colors on alternating days. “green on wednesdays”. It was the customer who came into the restaurant who insisted on the ‘ritual’ of certain combinations of food.
It was the fact that if nothing else, if no one else, it would be there when she needed it.
Of course, one could witness the release of unconsciously held muscles as her jaw dropped slightly. Of course she could have told you the effects of the drug itself was certainty enough as back she fell, all of the indecision focused for just minutes to…
Blowuptheoutsideblowuptheoutsideblowuptheoutside… releasing the mute button, the song came from outside her now, the single sound that engulfed her. As a short while later, the Actor-guy, burst in unexpectently on her laying on the bed, commenting on the sweat on her brow. This, to which she justified with an afternoon jog and a nap; she, an actor in the figurative sense (a liar in the literal).
She could have told you about the semantics of an iridescent, flaky, purple-white, powder-esque mass. Commonly referred to in many parts of the world as… cocaine hydrochloride. Or for the lazy of tongue, coke. And the paranoid of mind, blow.
She could have told you any of this. But mostly she would just smile a lot and nod while somebody else spoke about something else. She was happy enough with her letter of confirmation, her successful operation.
But for right now, all she needed was what she had: a place in which she could disappear on the radar to find certainty and forget for a while about the rolling orange cap she dropped.”
Hopefully, this clears up a bit of what the crimson cloud actually is.
Now, on with the story….