Tag Archives: Writing

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.

Sometimes.

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…

Please:

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):

Certainty:

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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…One More Night in Hollywood…

I don’t write… ever.

anymore.

ev-er!

“and it’s one more day up in the canyon… and it’s one more night in Hollywood…”

i fucked everything up.

…i mean, it’s not all grandiose like that… but maybe it is. maybe people were hopeful that i could deal. but i didn’t even try.

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So, I lied

It happens.

I guess one gets a taste of pseudo- audience and it’s hard to do this any other way. Not impossible. Not even nearly impossible. But “break-the-routine” hard.

I could write this as I wrote everything (on my computer/in a random notebook) with a fantastical notion that, one day, it will be read. This blog thing is like crack. …without the stringent physical side-effects. And without the stringent physical side effects, it’s harder to categorize and learn from. It’s harder to deem something “harmful”. It’s harder to stop and resume everyday life.

Well, anyway, I’m writing half-thoughts on this thing right now. That’s what’s happening. Whatever. We’ll forgo the Phil is dead thing because there’s nothing really to write there.

 

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The St Vincent’s Investigation [pt I]

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*

WTF?

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.

Crackhead.

…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…

…hmm…

 

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The Bus Ramblings…

The following was written on 20 April 2009. Forced to take the bus to many disparate locations all around Los Angeles, I found myself a writer of sorts… again [for the shortest of seconds and all].

PART I

“Somehow it is peaceful… No one in the bus (except this person that, at last, I decided was a woman that got on the stop after me)… Like, for the most part, this bus was for me. Quiet, too. Then the people start slowly trickling on. I don’t feel drowned, though. The old woman in front of me smells like something very reminiscent that I cannot place my finger on. Pleasant but hauntingly reminiscent.

And I look up and she’s gone.

You see, if the past is any indication of the future, this may just be the calm before a flailing and defeatest storm. I must say that I feel different today… But after a while, people begin to learn things that they’d rather not learn and
therefore be ways that they’d rather not be. Guarded, you know? …so that the fall out doesn’t leave one as it has every other day… An open wound… Bleeding… Raw… Even before the bandaid can stick to the slick transparent
salmon pink surface that was once covered with its protective sheath… Commonly referred to as skin.

So, really, there is nothing to think. Beyond the logistics of it all… That I’ve taken care of as throughly as can be taken care of at this point… And I kind of like the surrender to the anonymous bus ride. You know, so that nothing specific can be in my brain and I can sort of just be for a second.

PART II

Its strange though, I can write these fleeting thoughts down… I do posses paper and pen and all. But I decide to use the notepad feature here. Probably a very small part of the blackberry using community use this feaure at all…
Don’t really know in what capacity to do so. I mean, I’m not even sure.

But I guess this works for me for now.

Its crazy, the bus has taken me to a part of town in which I don’t even really know where I am. Oh, I guess this is sort of Silverlake… Hipster city. Willamsburg, Brooklyn’s west coast counter part. East coast hipsters, I’d imagine, are more high strung.

Which is weird… I mean, maybe I’m the exception that proves the relative rule, but though I cannot say that I’ve never felt a desperation in NY, its only since I’ve been in CA that I’ve ever achieved a level of ‘high strung anxiety’ that I thought, due to my chemical makeup, very very unlikely to impossible for me.

But again, maybe that’s just me. And the time and place in which I exist. Too many drugs, not enough time/desire to cultivate my coping mechanisms for a ‘real world’ situation/crisis.

Like I’ve been left back 8 grades in the coping mechanism grammar school of life. I think its more instinctual… A bit, atleast, than learned. So, I’m confident that as much as I can catch up, it won’t take as long as it may seem.

On the loooong line outside of the traffic court. Scared. Trying to keep my cool. Not like an acid trip… I brought the Edie book for a reason… I guess I’ll read it now.

PART III

Step #1: Hill Street; no curveball… Yet.

PART IV

The home stretch baby. I hope….

I’ve come to appreciate hitch hiking culture with these long, wide streets and this heat and the impermiable still… Quiet… Save for a the few cars that periodically pass by. No doubt this town is a city… Strangely clean and widely
deserted however, I cannot think of it as anything but, The Stand somehow.

There’s a peace though… The peace that quiets the buzzing in my head. I mean, for a second… If all this extra external buzzing wasn’t already going on in my head and all.

Just that second of relative certainty I felt leaving the DMV this last time. Basking for a second underneath the bench looking down the long quiet road. And genuinely smiling for the first time in weeks. Though not ear-to-ear…

Ear-to-ear never again really… Unfortunately always cautiously so.”

And so it went… it was 105 degrees out that day… I ran around, flailingly, with a version of desperation that just might have just reminded me a bit of New York. I never really did feel the heat… but they tell me that it was hot out.

 

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