Ohhhh, vice.com, how much do we love you?
How to Sell Drugs (vice.com)[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvN7fKmCoXA&feature=player_embedded%5D
There may be a correlation between the amount of writing done here on 23rd Street recently (none) and the degree to which we feel that we are ‘out of the woods’ as it were (the woods of substance abuse and drug addiction). This is, of course interpretive, based on denial and fueled by the expansion of time (i.e. distance from relative cessation of the hardcore substance abuse) and sealed into a pretty little envelope by the fact that we have come to believe that we are finally ‘normal’.
Then, all of the sudden, Craig Ferguson comes around to remind us that, you know, “remember the time when you were high all the time?” Nothing against Craig Ferguson at all. I’ve actually become acutely addicted to the non-sequitur slinging, late-late night Scotch-American. He’s awesome. In addition, there is nothing aggressively drugged-out about him, either. But, once in a while, he will regale the audience with a half-tale of his version of the 1980’s or just make known the fact that he has been sober 20 years or something. Then, back to regular shenanigans.
So, that is all good & fine. right?
Well, see now, part of my absolute affinity toward Mr. Ferguson is the fact that he was once a hardcore, falling-down hedonistic drunk person. Why?
I mean, one could probably easily connect the proverbial dots (as this is a sort of “addiction” blog-ish operation that we have going on here). But the answer to the aforementioned is much messier and possibly a lot different than the easy page of connect the dots would have one believe. In addition, just because ‘affinity’ is a positive affectation, doesn’t mean that everything that it manifests is positive.
The easy version of connect the dots would draw a picture of identification, I suppose. And this would be true.
I’ve never had “drug-friends”, even whilst doing drugs. And after it all, since I’ve never been in recovery… I’ve never had to sit in a place with chairs and people that tell stories of ‘rock-bottom’ and such. I’ve never viewed the recovery process or have any real concept of it, especially as it applies to an actual person, in real life. It could be all ‘unicorns and plastic chairs and little paper cups with withdrawal pills’ for all I know. Everyone has a minute concept of AA or whatever. I am no different. But my concept of it is exactly that: minute. Books and television. For a once hardcore long-term drug user, I have no more an accurate picture of recovery than a person that can use a remote control.
As such, it is identification.
The more detailed version (the messier version) involves the reminder. The reminder of, “remember that decade when you were high every day?”. Because it is a reminder… because you forget. Again, believing that we are finally ‘normal’ and have been normal for a long time. Its about the fact that recovery (or whatever we are doing at 23rd Street) really requires a shaving away or dulling down. Things, once turned up to 11 have to be dialed down to some volume and frequency that creates a sustainable way of life. So, one doesn’t, like… die. The thing is: this sucks. Its a horrible notion and even more horrible practice. Especially in the beginning. This exceedingly grey-ness of life. This grey-ness that one has to practice… until one forgets that they are doing anything at all…. until one forgets that grey-ness sucks.
And that is all well-and-good. …Actually, as mentioned before, it sucks. But it is what it is. We could stop there, but the fact is, there is more going on beside this uncomfortably antithetical forced changing of behaviour. With the voluntary-ish behaviour change that brings upon this grey-ness… conscious of it or not, at least in our experience, we are killing something. Something is dying. That part of one’s life or certain beliefs or that part of one’s person. Most likely, some cocktail of all of these things. I would be surprised if most people didn’t do it this way. Thinking about it, now, lets say …5+ years after the fact, it just seems easier to dial that shit down if some part of you allows certain things to “die” and accepts the fact. And long after one feels a bit physically in a different place, there exists this period of mourning for that thing that one consciously still has no clue one has killed.
I mean, that’s how death (however, metaphorical) works, I think, no? However it does work, apparently, no one ever really gets over a death of something they believed in so whole-heartedly & loved. This sounds trivial but I loved meth. I suppose I can’t say it that way because I still love meth. The fact that I haven’t done it in forever doesn’t change the fact. The fact that I was able to dial it down to a semi-sustainable level and ‘forgot’ about it in a visceral manner doesn’t change the fact, either.
I guess on some level, I knew this. And so, the object was to forget. With the increasing passage of time, this sort of thing becomes easier and easier until it becomes more of a cognitive thing. The fact that you know that you love meth. The fact that you were a hardcore meth user. But the drug has been removed from any sort of visceral feeling.
Until that is some random late late show host reminds one of the visceral.
Its strange, this was the first time, possibly ever, that I felt the visceral excitement of being an addict since I’ve stopped the drug. I felt like one of those people in cocaine studies that are shown pictures of paraphernalia as their dopaminergic centers or where ever light up in their brain as if they were high.
This is where it gets a bit messy. This pseudo-high (as pseudo as it may be) is a pleasurable feeling. And all of these things that I thought that I killed (that haven’t been felt for years) come flooding back in a lovely saturated sweet tangerine segment burst in your mouth.
And it has nothing to do with being afraid of becoming a junkie again or anything. I have absolutely no fear of that happening. Its just… with this reminder comes this anticlimactic notion of, “so, here we are”.
Here we are, because, really, where can we be but here? But what is ‘here’?
In addition, it reaffirms the notion that you are different… not normal. And only certain people will be able to understand this part of you. This is no longer catastrophic as you’ve been able to detach meth and meth-life and needles from your personality. You’ve been able to detach the degree of passion and positiveness and importance as it applies to you, inherently.
I suppose this may be a good thing. Well, neither specifically good nor bad. Rather time’s affect on objective introspection?
And so it goes.
-just another extremely sloppily written post from the folks at 23rd Street
For Part I, please see Why the Simple *snap* Hairclip is a Drug Addict’s Best Friend.
Innocuous, inexpensive, but mostly multi-functional is what the silver hair clip is. And such a serendipitous discovery, at that.
You see, not all cotton-candy pink wigs are created equally. Actually, though this may be true, what will carry us eventually to the point is that not all cotton-candy pink wig-wearers are created equally.
What does this mean? It means aforementioned gamine finds a way to make even wig-wearing a comfortingly repetitive entailed procedure. And one that somehow eventually becomes, for a while, atleast, absolutely neccesary, at that. To explain, for whatever reason an action is carried-out the first time, at this time, said action (this first time) is merely an action. The 2nd and 3rd times, even… one can consider said action merely an action. Conversely, at this time, it may already have developed into a sort of “habit”, if you will. “Whatever reason” may no longer be “whatever”, rather “whatever-though-deliberately-carried-out”.
It’s difficult to know exactly when said wig-wearing started to become so necessary to the heroine of this story, but the folks at 23rd Street know that the individual actions to adorn said wig was increasingly becoming rigid, procedural & much, much too routine. Part of the ever-increasing routine’s rigidity involved the silver hair clip. Though, to be fair, the simple clip had been in heavy rotation in general, both before & after any wig-wearing took place.
An extremely simple piece of equipment it is. Even before the crystalline connection, so simple but in a pinch, so useful.
It’s a hair thing.
But we digress.
Around the same time the wig-wearing becomes a routine, aforementioned young gamine had (by our account) already been an experienced self-administrating IV user for years. Though specific dates & specific substances are still in question (laying in the hands of 23rd Street’s research department), we can generally say that wig-wearing started somewhere around 2003. The IV Cocaine entered it’s preliminary out-phase in early 2002 (due to a septic infection & subsequent drug-testing, but that is another story). While the IV coke (and any coke for that matter) fizzles-out, more-or-less, the IV meth entered it’s in-phase approximately late autumn of 2002. …meaning the IV meth usage & wig-wearing did meet each other in time and space but were not necessarily connected. Rather, they were more-or-less mutually exclusive co-occurring “habits”, if you will. Furthermore, the IV meth usage will continue for a long long time after the wig-wearing will stop.
Okay, hair clip.
One day, as aforementioned young moppet takes a break from serving salad to patrons & employees of the 30 Rock building and enters the Rockefeller Center concourse level bathroom, she discovers, to her dismay, that though she has all her “gear” with her, she had nothing in particular to scoop the crystals from the bag onto the spoon. Not a huge deal, of course. One can always tap, tap the baggie on the spoon as the crystalline wonder falls on the waiting spoon. But then, a thought. The hair clip that secured the cotton-candy pink wig to the left side of her head had the perfect slight curve and small size to function as a measuring device as well as a scooper from a small illicit drug baggie. And it was metal thus easily sanitized by a quick isopropyl swipe.
The rest, as they say, is history. A perfect little scoop from a perfectly innocuous device created to keep hair in place.
Though this is not exactly “Why the Simple Hair Clip is a Drug Addict’s Best Friend”.
For this, we need to fast-forward around 2 years to 2006-ish. A little older and possibly a little wiser (and off-the-needle), your aforementioned gamine, now bopping about the streets of Los Angeles (sans wig) has, from a sabbatical of approximately 2 years, taken up her once crystalline best friend. Nose-candy is what it is now. A finely balanced mix of white wine and meth. As kinda chronicled in This took a bit more planning… This is also where the sub-title “aka getting high at work or in generally public places with discretion” comes into play.
You see at this time, the irresponsibly reckless junkie psychonaut lifestyle was now replaced with a version of the former that seemed, at the time, like a more responsible one. Let’s say this one was more a hurlyburly Hollywood executive (irresponsibly reckless) pseudo-professional lifestyle. As such, there was a striving for a certain degree of professionalism. Now, the little baggie, crystals pre-crushed in a pill crusher from CVS and rationed, is sealed, folded just under the seal and clipped with eponymous hair clip. A small self-contained package of fun that slipped easily into the pocket or stayed put against a tight-fitting pair of panty-hose.
(1) enter any sort of private public area
(2) click open hair clip
(3) unfold and unseal bag
(4) scoop a bump from bag
(5) place under nostril
(7) refold bag
(8) clip hair clip closed atop bag
(9) slide back into pocket
This took no more than one minute to complete beginning to end.
It was almost too easy.
And this is why The Simple *snap* Hair Clip is a Drug Addict’s Best Friend.
Those Drugs? They Came From the Police (NYTimes.com)
Yeah, the folks at 23rd Street have once again become periodically inconsistent link-bitches.
Too much thinking about menial bullshit coupled with not enough time to actualize aforementioned menial bullshit in a meaningful (or merely authentic) manner via written language. Your author, here, is fuckin tired (physically). And in a Joseph Heller manner, in a Catch 22, as it were. I mean, is there any other manner to be in a Catch 22? Probably not.
And so it goes…
You know, just because:
The folks at 23rd Street have decided to change things up a bit (for this post, anyway).
You know, mixing up the way the 1 1/2 people who actually read this… we’d like to think, “Best Underground Blog about Drugs by an Author on Drugs”, receive information. We are all media, all the time.
Yes, words are nice when read… but they may be just as nice when listened to after being stripped from the actual ‘picture’ that they were once attached to, manipulated for optimal quality and placed nicely on a single unread post on a single unread page on the vast interweb that, like a pre-pubescent boy, grows increasingly at an ever increasing and incontrollable rate. The 90 degree palm tree bends backward to a place that… awkward… to a place that is only millimeters from where it is comfortable. But even the slightest of backbends sends the vestibular into chaos. Disoriented and uncomfortable but with the 90 degree angle in it’s sight all the time. Teasing. Or atleast, that’s the, sort of, social experiment going on here… if anybody were to ask. Yes, in addition to media, we, at 23rd Street, are all social experimentation, all the time… and no one is immune. Even you, dear inconsistent reader(s).
Wait… don’t go away…
It (sound bite) is from “In Plain Sight”. Yeah, I’ve quoted that show more than once before. I must like it, huh? hmmm, nope. I cannot, in good conscience ever say that I like the show. The lead is a completely unlikable, self-righteously sarcastic (unendearingly so), twist-the-knife-mean, unredeemable crack-bitch!!! But then, I cannot, in good conscience ever say that I’m not obsessed with it either. The writing and the premise… And though a certain professor, in what seems to be a completely different time, once said that narration in film [and tv] can be a cop-out… I’ve always had a soft-spot for narration done well. I also had a special place in my heart for said professor (read: huge-ass crush). The important part being, that is what the writers do on this show: kick-ass narration. Also, they had me at “a suitcase full of meth”.
So, there’s that internal struggle voiced in the written word.
Digressive justification aside, grand evolutionary modification is sometimes required on-the-fly… leaving one displaced in a sort of non-religious purgatory or more self-referentially, in limbo. Letting go. And though the sound bite above mentions old friends and things generally external… letting go of a general concept of who you think you are is, evolutionarily-speaking, more traumatic.
Because, then, now what?
Maybe that’s why we [you know, drug addicts] relapse into drug-addicted drug users once again. For those who don’t have an idea, things might be easier… calming, even, if they did have a general idea of who they think they are. …even if it is a crack-ass junkie. …better than not knowing what one may be at all. Definitely better than, suddenly, not being anything. And infinitely better than all the bad things that, overtime have been drilled into their developing brain, that they have, over a lifetime started to believe about themselves. These things that drugs might keep at bay. This is all conjecture, of course, but it makes sense that habitual users of anything would like certainty (in whatever form it may come in). And for this, I defer to wikipedia (I know, I know… but I think it gets a bad rap):
1. perfect knowledge that has total security from error, or
I adore certainty. I am just lucky that my sense of self didn’t rest entirely on being a junkie. I was always functional. Without meth, there came that fear that I’d no longer be able to communicate at the level that I had attained while high… but there was always something there beside meth. And unlike other drugs, methamphetamine wasn’t recreational for me. I used it as a tool. Like, I didn’t take K (ketamine) so that I could be a better verbal communicator at my job. I took K to get fucked up! Everything… name it, I did it, in spades… but only with the “fucked up” endgame in mind. In the beginning, though, I did try to use coke in the same manner I eventually started to use meth in… but nope! Though both stimulants, I cannot tell you how different these two substances are. But I suppose I’ve written about this before.
Point being, my entire sense of self wasn’t entirely crushed and dissolved when I stopped being a junkie. I was still acutely obsessed with everything drug, of course. But that passes with time, fades a bit into the background. Still there. Always there. But much much more diluted.
Which brings me to Steve-O. That “Jackass” guy that did retarded shit on that retarded show. He writes an article on The Huffington Post: The Dangerous Business of Celebrity Memoir Writing. Apparentally, he has written a memoir called “Professional Idiot”. The article could have just as well been called “The Dangerous Business of Memoir Writing”. Not because I don’t consider him a ‘celebrity’. I mean, the definition of that word has been and continues to be completely sodomized in the worst possible of ways. It could be on “Law & Order: SVU”. I suppose that the title was apropo because it was in the Entertainment section of the Huffington Post or whatever.
All this aside, however, and similar to what Jerry Stahl has written regarding his plunge into writing “Permanent Midnight”; Mr. O writes:
This is not an original sentiment, but it is true.
To bring it back around again, one can say that to evolve, one must let go. But as an expert, there is denial or suppression. One can just not think about things. And maybe the way one can tell that one has really evolved is that one has the ability to look back without destroying themselves.
So, there you go. As Eddie Vedder once said, “Its evolution, baby!” That is what we have for you today at 23rd Street.