“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…
“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.
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…
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’