To be fair, we must point out that this isn’t like a ‘beyond the grave’-experience that proves that angels exist or something. We don’t want to be misleading as it is the holiday season. People get crazy inspired by things that they would mostly otherwise ignore, if it were, say, just another Tuesday in April or something. Dead Phil was very much alive when he saved my life. Additionally, the act of saving my life did not kill Dead Phil. These are mutually exclusive events that happened like years apart. Lastly, Dead Phil most likely saved my life more than once (actually, I’m almost sure of the fact). Unfortunately, this is the only time that your author can remember glimpses of. And so we go, on our way of trying to piece it all together…
When the cocaine usage expired and the methamphetamine usage started up, much of the writing stopped as well. It is what it is. So, for the really good stuff, we cannot flip back to some sort of scrawled page somewhere. The really good stuff is stored in half-captured memories in your author’s drug-addled brain… most likely held together with the glue of fondness, misattribution and inability to see anything that happened during this time as ultimately… sad or destructive or just non-rock star.
On with the story…
It is humid. Like. fuckin’. Humid. Hot. Oppression. Even the most minute action (like moving one’s arm from the keyboard to the desk just beneath it) causes one to sweat. With no end in sight. It is the time of the East Coast rolling brown out. What is a rolling brown out? No idea. How is it any different from a black out… which it very much seems to feel like? I don’t fuckin’ know. Regardless, the first thing I think is if I am able to contact frank. That is the anxiety of the first half day. The humidity oppressive and truly uncomfortable, yes. The inability to get frank/meth… not oppressive nor truly uncomfortable, rather some sort of ultimate anxiety leading to death. In a way, this sort of obsessive fight/flight thinking make me somewhat impervious to the oppressive heat. (It was also about to get alot hotter). This imperviousness to said oppressive heat is partially what really allows your author to stare down death with half closed eyes and wonder (as the sun goes down and day light goes away) what ‘that thing is that stands right in front of me’? Eh, who cares? Gotta feel out a vein in the absolute pitch black of the bar bathroom (door closed). Hey man, I’m absolutely up for the challenge. But this comes later…
It must be the first full-day of the rolling brown-out’s arrival in Manhattan. And it really has turned Manhattan (with it’s air and it’s non-solid aspects) into one solidly squishy being. Walking down the street feels like pushing oneself thru some sort of still-ass sauna. Nothing moves. All atmosphere has ceased to flow around one as they truck down the street. Google leads me to believe that it is somewhere around the middle of August. Google is probably fuckin’ right.
As an aside, I must say that we are assuming that our reader knows what a black-out/rolling brown-out is. And of course we would. You are not retarded. But I must say, for the retarded audience (that doesn’t exist)… the reason why it is soooo unbearably hot is because electricity does not work. Air conditioners… really small fans, even. So, it’s not really ideal to have electricity not work at the most humid time of the year.
In any event, with my worry of not being able to reach frank in my time of need squelched the day before. Yay! …And, really, I must say… wow, man… he is amazing. Anyway, meth in pocket or sock or wherever I carry it now, I walk across 23rd Street to the restaurant that I call home. As I approach the Flatiron Building, I see that even the traffic light no longer works. Civilians (trying to be heros) direct traffic. But, you know what? That intersection is fucked up, man. There are like 4 inter-crossing streets all like, weirded-out. So, that sort of creates a bit of an impression. And if your author is doing the math correctly, it’s not even 2 years after that 9/11 thing, so New Yorkers do still feel a jolt of togetherness and the need to help. And the world at large has yet to find everything ironic.
Park Avenue South. And there I am. My boss and co-workers stand outside of the restaurant selling whatever they can to the passerby on the street. No breeze. Nothing. This somehow seems illegal. Eh… Things are spoiling in the refrigerator, and its like a line of business people walking the street to get where ever they would have taken a taxi and/or subway to after work. Oh yeah, the subways no longer work, either. I hear stories of one or two lines that cease to move mid track… people have to be pulled up and out of the cars somehow. It seems like it would suck. Black ash sticking to human sweat so salty. Though I must say that it was probably interesting for the mole people. Because, you know, the mole people don’t get this sort of action to watch ever.
So, we continue to sell our dying goods from the front of the store. Somehow, sometime later, I find myself in a deli around the corner. I’m not sure if I’m buying more things to sell or if I’m just in a deli around the corner. I’m almost positive, however, that I’ve fixed in the restaurant bathroom and/or am concerned about finding a bathroom to fix in. (I never use the term fix). Also, I remember a grave concern as to the night’s activities. And possibly buzzing a bit too hard, a grave concern as to when we (I) were to being drinking. What I wasn’t really thinking about was that with every shot of meth, my core body temperature spiked quickly and intensely. We were selling the beverages with the salesman exploit of “you must keep hydrated”. I wasn’t so much doing that… like, at all.
So, like, this is where it gets to the point where we have to start piecing together the 2 or 3 remained flashes of half-memories I have.
To my delight, we (can’t tell you who, beside me) end up at Dead Phil’s bar around the corner from the restaurant. At this point, day light is fading and there exists no residual artificial light from inside stores. Anyway, in the bar… still soooo hot. The atmosphere soooo still. No free-moving air. Just heat and stillness. And dark. Dark, dark, dark. As the sun ultimately disappears, it is just candles, a vague outline of a bar and the knowledge that the bathroom is in the back of the bar. Oh, and probably many many many shots and things. Probably what a medical professional (and not-so-professional) would call an aggressive version of the opposite of hydrating.
The rest goes like this: I remember being in the bathroom of the bar. And of course, it was pitch black. And of course I was over-heating… as everyone was. I was trying to feel out a vein. Not sure if I did. Somehow, Dead Phil and one of his 2 partners that own the bar, find me passed-out in the bathroom. I don’t recall how they found me (needle in arm or not… gear strewn about…) but it was really dark. Then, the vague recollection that there was a bit of a ruckus of getting me outside to get some air. I, of course, am probably atleast a bit belligerent (because you know how I do… “I’m fine… I can do it myself… don’t worry”).
Then, fleeting half-memories of Dead Phil taking me around the corner, walking me to his apartment and taking care of me so that I don’t die. I must have woken the next day because I’m here now.
And, you know, it occurs now that it is written down, that your author may be a little melodramatic by using the term ‘save’ and ‘life’ and ‘my’ in this title. I don’t have the conscious memory to really speak to the fact that I may have died if Dead Phil and the other bar guy weren’t there that night. And I believe it is a tribute to just the type of person Phil was that I undeniably believe that it went down this way.