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being sober in this city is a weird one. being sober in any city i suppose; as im quite certain if i wanted to get high in antarctica, i would. being an addict has its game in power play. this knowing that i can do whatever i want, anytime. because im an addict and i can make it happen. i can always get what i want. when i was a coke head, i would wake up w empty pockets, not knowing how id get the fix and in a few hours, id be rolling. because i can always get what i want. because there are no other options. paradoxically, they call this powerlessness. but what a power trip it is.

i watched bette midler in a film last night and i wondered what her day to day life looked like. how hard she worked? did she feel like her life was empty? was it? did she have days where she laid in bed watching film after film just to count the days hours down by two, instead of minute by minute. did she think the days had too many hours or not enough? I fantasize about these questions regarding any person of success. even amongst my peers i wonder what parts of their minds allow them to become who they are. when they were kids could they picture it? did their perception make it reality? i cant recall a time i pictured myself being anything other than a viewer.

as a kid i fell in love with performers. barbara streisand, bette midler, tina turner, judy garland, bernadette peters…any powerhouse woman. i would listen to every record put out, ideally in consecutive order. when i came across live albums, i would put my chair in the middle of my room, imagine myself amongst a sea of fans, and pretend that i was in the audience. sometimes i would dress for the occasion. specifically for the Live at Carnegie Hall albums. black tie. when the audience would clap, i would clap. when i imagined standing ovations, i would stand. clap, smile, cheer. cry if it called for it. these are literally some of my happiest moments. dressed for the theatre, eyes shut, alone, on a chair in the middle of my room with all the power to dictate my reality. total escapism. i didn’t want to be the performer i wanted to witness them. maybe if i was a successful photographer, all of this would be a cinderella story. some neat goddamn package. instead i have to question whether ive become a witness to my own life rather than a participant. i find it easiest to do the thing i dont want. to give up. to stake the claim “i didnt want to be successful anyway, so if i dont want it, i havent failed at it.” Im in Brooklyn, I’m working in a ridiculously useless field. getting high seems easy. it also seems like some kind of truth for me. as if, there is quite a bit of me thats suppose to be that person. when people get to their destined careers, do they have a feeling of ‘home’. ‘this is how its suppose to be’..? often i had that feeling when i was getting high. or drunk. this is who you are. this is how its suppose to be.

there have been these recent incidents by the subways where people are pushing each other off the platforms to their deaths on the tracks. I asked a friend the other day if she ever fears itll happen to her. she said no. she asked if i did. i said no. what i didnt say was, i fantasize about jumping.

-JT

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