My life is the best it has ever been.
I’ve never been someone who can claim to be able to visualize a reality I have yet to see. There’s limitations to my truth. There are these inevitable thoughts that keep things from ever being fully disclosed. The vagueness and errors of the mind always make it necessary for me to build a world based on what I already know. As a kid I used to fear this fact. Fear that because I couldn’t visualize myself being better, greater, being something – I would build a reality based on my own cognizant ignorance and deficiencies.
Ego run riot?
My father used to say, “No one knows you’re stupid if you don’t say anything.” All along I’ve felt like I was faking it.
I was dyslexic and ambidextrous as a kid. So was my grandfather. We also share some wavy hair and a keen love for liquor. As a result, I was a shit reader in school and shame made me work hardest at becoming completely invisible rather than seeking out a solution. Instead of understanding the words and letters, I just memorized their shapes and the order in which they most often occurred.
When I was older in school, I just did blow all day.
Grocery stores have always been very overwhelming for me. I try to make lists, tactfully check things off and stick to the plan. Think of things like protein, remind myself that food actually grows on things so you might want to traipse through the aisle that looks like a tiny diorama of a rain forest with fluorescent lighting. Usually I find myself in 30 minutes at the self check out holding hairspray, cigarettes and diet coke.
I don’t feel handicapped. At least not in this millisecond of the present. But I’ve never lived with the idea that, “things will get better.” I’ve always lived with the idea that you might want to duck and cover and whatever you do – never let your feet stop moving.
When talking about my days as a coke head, friends have asked, “Didn’t you know you had a problem?” Well yeah, of course. I was a child. And I was fairly confident that my peers were actually taking a piss each time they went to the bathroom instead blowing coke up their nose. I knew I was entirely dependent upon it. I knew that there was nothing I could do. I knew I had to figure out a way to get a shit load of money because I was leading a pretty expensive life and I had decades more to finance. I remember being surprised I had turned out to be a crack head. I remember thinking, “Huh… I did not see that coming.” I would wonder about what my life would look like, ‘I’ll probably sleep on the street, hook up with a local dealer, carry all I need on my back…unfortunate and slightly disappointing, but I’m up for it.’
This last time I sobered up, I had a job where I was working outside every day. Riding my bike all over Brooklyn. That first week sober clocked some of the strongest winds we had seen all year. I spent 7 straight days riding my bike up hill, against the wind, pushing my feet forward while getting blown backwards. In some moments, the wind being so strong that I was literally stuck in place.
It’s a funny thing when something positive happens and people ardently say “Well that’s great mate! You deserve it.” The concept of “deserving” has always baffled me. I’ve had the shit beaten out of me. Did I deserve that? I’ve been dragged across carpets with my tiny chapped, ghostly pale, knee-caps scratching across yards of synthetic fibers. Dark hunter green. Deserved? I’m a drug addict, I will literally trade a life in order to blow some shit up my nose. How do I repent from whatever got me to deserve that?
At what moment is it most true to claim responsibility for a happening? I’ve always thought: Shit Happens. It’s all too alluring to preach an idea that you can govern this thing if you think hard enough. If you build boards with magazine cut outs that give your dreams images of consumerism. Or wake up on your knees praying to a guy for a privileged graciousness that he might grant if you believe hard enough.
My bigger picture of the world is that this shit is crazy. And it can be so dark for so long. Talking to strangers, the morning cigarette, fountain soda, puppies – that’s the ceiling for most days. Dancing in some horrible LES dive while a bar band plays What If God Was One of Us – that’s all we have. Ps. god is one of us.
I never believed it would get this good and then it did. Shit happens.
A drawing of ‘confession’ – 8 yrs old.