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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

High Definition

It's not like I have a choice to host the inexhaustible thoughts that bounce around inside my head.  It's been this way forever.  I must have left the gate open one night and now, they're here all the time.  I suspect a few of the bolder ones hopped the fence or maybe crawled underneath.  And I guess they told their friends that it was okay to come by.  That's how it starts, you know.

It is loud here.  There's color and action and music.  Even when I go to sleep, I can still hear the low murmur and see the party right beyond my eyelids.  But everybody needs to keep the noise down because I have to rest.  Believe it or not, we've reached an understanding.

I don't always dig it this busy, but I've gotta get on with shit.  What am I gonna do… Cry about a rich, full life?  That would make me an asshole.

I remember how it was when I was getting high.  My mind rolled right off the road, and I couldn't think straight again.  Between the speed and the coke, my best ideas didn't know if they were coming or going.  Neither did I.  Compulsion hangs out when everybody else goes home.  It lingers and makes trouble.

Misspent opportunity was just banging around inside my brain, like a box filled with broken lightbulbs.  I poured wine and beer all over it because the crunching sound freaked me out.

*******

I will be thirty soon.  Already, I feel ancient.  The basement that I rent is a shithole. I drag furniture in from the street and decorate things like I am twelve years old.  I have no idea how to be a grown-up.

Rusty doesn't love me anymore, and I'm not sure how I feel about him.  We fight all the time.  He came to New York to be an actor.  He works nights, bartending at the Coyote Grill in Manhattan.  I know he's sleeping with someone else.  It makes me sick inside.  Still, I am pregnant again.  I'm afraid that he will move out and take the TV set with him.  Kirin likes to watch cartoons when he sleeps over, and I have no money to buy the child a new television.  Besides, I hate being by myself.

We have two dogs, Clayton and Bob.  They are both strays.  They're hungry all the time, and they fight over food.  I bring bagels home from work, leftover muffins and cream cheese from meetings in the conference room.  That's their dinner.  Or Rusty may have scraps from the restaurant.  I might even eat part of a hamburger if it looks good.  Late at night, the dogs and I listen for his steps in the alley.  We wait for the door to push open.  Usually, he is drunk but so am I.  Sometimes, he falls asleep on the train and dudes steal his tips.  They cut the money right out of his pockets.  I talk down to my boyfriend like he's an idiot, but I don't want him to leave.

I wash my laundry with a bar of soap in the bathtub.  Sometimes I forget that I left things soaking overnight.  When I'm late for work (which is every morning) and need to take a shower, I drain the water and pile everything to one side.  I step on top of the wet shirts and pants.  It feels weird, like I'm standing in a polluted lake.

I drape my clothing on hangers that I hook over a skinny pipe in the boiler room. It takes two days for jeans to dry this way.  I could use the clothesline that belongs to the couple upstairs - they said it was okay.  But they have a Rottweiler, and he doesn't like Bob.  He chewed through my screen door so they could have it out.  My neighbor gave me twenty bucks to replace the mesh, but I don't know how to fix it. I spent the dough anyway.  Now, I just avoid him and his girlfriend.  It's all right.  I can wear my pants a little damp.  They dry quick once I get outside.

I need groceries, but it'll be dark soon.  I should have cereal and macaroni for when Kirin comes on Friday.  It takes me forever to gather my thoughts and leave the house.  They're pulling the gate down in front of the supermarket when I finally get there.  I pass the store and keep walking until I reach the apartment where I buy my dope.

I smoke crack for the first time that night.  It is incredible.  I hang out with my dealer and his wife for almost three days.  I miscarry while I am there.  I am relieved, but also sad because I have to go home.  When I get there, Rusty is gone. There's $250 on the counter.  I don't need the money for what it's intended, but I'm not gonna give it back.  I buy a small TV from some guy I know.  I never replace that broken screen.  My kid likes to jump through the hole without opening the door.  He is seven.  He thinks its hilarious.

*******

I like to think and write about my recovery.  I feel like it's essential to my own sobriety.  I can't imagine I'll ever grow weary of the phenomenon of getting clean and staying this way.  I want to give back and share what I know.  This feels like a good way.

I'm not just an addict.  Not anymore.
I used to be.  I convinced myself that I had lots of other stuff going on.  So it didn't seem that bad.  I had a place to live, a kid and a job.  But I also had no trouble pushing these interests aside.
To make more room for the drugs.  And the drinking.
That's all there was, really.  Those two things.

Oh, I'm still a junkie.  And a drunk.  I always will be.  These are facts, and I do not sugar-coat them.  But as long as I don't pick up, I'm good.  I have a better chance of managing this busy mind.  I can handle things like normal folks do.  I pray on it. I talk to other addicts.  I try and stay humble.  I do my best to not get in the way.

Some days are a piece of cake.  Some days, I don't even think about it - what I am. I just live my life.  I  need to remind myself where I came from.  I do it on purpose. Otherwise, I'm only one beer away from fucking everything up.

I hope my life is long.  I have lots of cool shit to do.
I'm not just an addict.  Not anymore.

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