Tag Archives: jerry stahl

evolution & the unavoidable nostalgia

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

2.  the mental state of being without doubt

Objectively defined, certainty is total continuity and validity of all foundational inquiry, to the highest degree of precision. Something is certain only if no skepticism can occur.

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:

“…recounting my worst behavior with brutal honesty presented some problems. First off, I’ve often found that there is no greater trigger to make me feel like getting loaded again than telling stories about getting loaded. I couldn’t be more grateful about the fact that I haven’t had a drink or touched a drug stronger than Advil in more than three years, but let’s face it — up until drugs and alcohol start ruining your life, they can be a lot of fun. As I recalled the sort of amazing, ridiculous, reckless, insane shit I got up to while I was wasted, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic for those bad old days. Strangely, even retelling stories of me at my lowest made me yearn for exactly the things that put me there in the first place. I guess that’s why I’m an addict.”

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.

It's Evolution, Baby!

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Drugs (Land Of Mind)

Hmm… all of these “negatives” are fun. I mean, where’s the drama?… how would Jerry Stahl, Hollywood, Mafias, Narcotic divisions of Law Enforcement, etc, etc and so forth… make a living without these negatives? What would Republicans complain about?

My 2 cents: if one cannot get drugs (in this day and age), one isn’t trying hard enough. And if one isn’t trying hard enough… one shouldn’t deserve and/or actually get to do them.

Just another reactionary post written while completely sober (I know, right!?) by the folks at 23rd street.

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Quotes from the Other Side

“It’s not like I was an alkie or anything. Alcohol is for cleaning needles…”
Jerry Stahl

Thank you, drive thru.

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The Real Deal

“Just promise me, you won’t be too hard on yourself”.

Nursing a post cocaine headache/massive hangover, Patron vapors oozing out of my pores, I stand in the mid-morning east coast autumn as the Atlantic runs adjacently behind me …the morning, I am, incidentally, to head West… forever.

…and this is what I’m given.

I stand facing Peter K. A very very recent ex-boss, around 35 years my senior… with whom I just had sex with… or something, the night before (after feeding me… not unwillingly, line after line of decent to lovely cocaine… this, after pouring ice-cold Patron from his refrigerator slowly down my throat). But that’s another story.

For right now…. my head fuzzy and a bit spin-ny, standing outside of his house… this is what he gives me.

“don’t be too hard on yourself.”

I don’t get what he’s saying… the concept never really permeates my skull, but for some reason, it hits hard. Somewhere. He hits me with such a conceptual brick of IV something that I can really only feel it’s stringency & truth (all blind-sided-like). But, for all of this, I don’t possess the proper skill to think on my feet fast enough to translate it into a language my brain can understand. Plus, I’m fuzzy, at half-capacity, maybe and half-drunk.

…oh, then there’s this whole cross-country drive into a western abyss that has to happen immediately following…

“I’ll try”

“Don’t try, just do.”

…and now, I’m completely distracted and stepped off of topic. “Don’t try, just do” is something my father would say/a slogan for new media companies and athletes. And very indicative of Peter K. ugh. But now, as I know I’m distracted, I don’t agree to “just do” as I can’t agree to something I don’t understand.

Peter K mentored me after the needle. Kind of.

I mean, I guess he was just there.

Mentor, who knows? He was my own version of Jerry Stahl… complete with broken relationships and young daughter. Smarter than his surroundings could indicate, he had stories… and so did I. And like Jerry Stahl, he understands the ugliness of it all. And though he’d gone through recovery a million years ago (unlike me… to this day), like me… still managed to balance the dabble. …as it were.

The real deal.

Unlike this stupid town (Los Angeles) where everyone has their “awesome as fuck, kick-ass drug stories” ….let’s all pull our dicks out and measure them to see which is the biggest-style. Everyone in this town is a bullshit, name-dropping ass-fuck impressed by their own stories and the sounds of their voices.

But I digress.

Literally, PK has really been the only real drug addict I’ve ever known. Like me. It sounds strange. I mean, drug addicts know drug addicts. It seems reasonable enough.

Not me.

I guess I’m defining “the real deal” as where it gets to a point that you become ashamed of the stories. I mean, you do drugs… you’re bound to have fun, funny, awesome stories. It’s just how it goes. But there comes a point, where there are certain stories you don’t tell. …lest it be a warning for the kids. And every “fun” story told is always tinged with a sort of sadness and pathetic-ness that only the teller can really feel. I worshiped Peter K in a strange way. …He was all I had, really.

So, I kind of paid attention to things that he said. And he said things like they were just for me… in this fantasy-world wherein only he, I and Jerry Stahl really understood the sheer pain of living… ha!

And so now…

“promise me, you won’t be too hard on yourself”.

Only now, does any part of this statement even try to permeate my skull cap. I guess, after almost five years, the space between my skull and the internal skin of my scalp gets to become a boring place to exist. What else could there be?


It’s awesome that it takes my brain five years to even begin processing information, though. …this information, anyway. I may sound very passive about the whole thing, as I “wait for my brain” to do things, blah. I admit, I could have actively tried to figure this thing out. But, it’s not really something to figure out. One fixates on something, one tends to miss the point. …in certain instances.

But here you go… my initial reaction to the request made me years ago as I stood on the sidewalk in the mid-morning east coast autumn as the Atlantic Ocean runs adjacently behind me…

As much as I worship Peter K… as much as it may have been the right thing for him to say to me, in that moment… but mostly…

…as much as it may be, for me, the right thing to do…

It’s not.

Not now.

This is a very lightly thought-out assessment, but, and I guess this all hinges on however one defines “hard on oneself”, but I have to be hard on myself.

I have to be hard on myself to get shit done. I don’t have the tools nor have I yet cultivated the tools to be any other way.

So, it’s easy to say. And it compliments the party to whom its being said in a weird “tell me you care about me”/atleast you believe that my life is worth being examined enough to know that I’d respond to this-way-way…

But as deep as it may run or as enamoured as I could be… this is how I’ve learned to function.

That’s all I’m sayin’


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“names have been changed to protect the innocent…” aka drop the fuckin’ filter

08 Sept 2009

Aforementioned title would be appropriate, if I were, in fact, innocent. But this doesn’t mean anything. I mean, I am innocent. Though innocence or guilt presupposes charges and I haven’t been charged with anything, so it really doesn’t apply. In any event, this whole thing… this blaahhh-g… this clackclackclack of the keyboard would be much more interesting if your author here…


Filtered already (through my own subjectivity) I pass it through yet again… sieve allowing only so much sand with every pass… the xerox copy less detailed, less accurate; more and more a version of the original. or something. Just like this. Metaphors and metaphors and bullshit and theory and…

What I’m saying is that we’re basically left with partially interesting theoretically feasible half-thoughts.

The reasons?

I would lie if I say that I am not practicing discretion when I bring “my friend T’s” and “Car Guy”‘s to the table. Despite discretion being discretion, I want people to read this. In fact, I’d love a following of any sort… underground… above ground… whatever. And the odd acquaintance… friend… collegue that stumbles upon and stays for a second, reads and then does a double-take… I love it! And I would own it. If they find it, then see it…

…as being me. Fuckin’ awesome!

But, why not just, drop the filter all together? (“drop the leash! we are young!”)

Sorry, I digress.

See, it’s become apparent to me that as a reader of autobiographical accounts, reading this blog, might be extremely annoying.

I want specific detail. I want to go to the specific bridge downtown where Anthony Kiedis and Flea and the gang “gave their life away”… never to own the Angeleno moniker, I still appreciate, on second go around, to know exactly where the cop stopped Jerry Stahl on Sunset by Western when the needle rolled out from under the baby seat (with the baby in the seat)… and of course, I was Chelsea, the crack shack, 23rd street, during my period of obsessive inhalation of information on Edie alongside my obsessive inhalation of whatever powder or smoke or… you can dig what I’m saying, right?

So, what to do?


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