Tag Archives: drugs

High and Dry

You know why they call it a hot mess?
Because that shit storm is so fucking
sexy.  I get that tingle
just hearing about the OD.  That needle
dives through skin without a ripple,
slow push and quick release.  I’m clean
but seeing that gets me high
every time.  While that pulse slows
in black and blue veins, my bones
turn to Guinness foam, tingling smooth
so damn smooth, it’s hard
not to pour another glass.  Shiver and shake
through the DT’s, my spine will curl
with delight.  Self-hate in bender number
whatever, I think I’m gonna bust.  Find God,
I’ll change the channel.  Call me fucked up,
but it’s safer to live
vicariously.

The Winning Ticket

Sharon kept her sunglasses on and paused to straighten out her dress, a white knee-high covered in blue and yellow flowers that she had originally bought to wear to church one Easter Sunday. Walter, her husband, told her it was too short. When she protested that it fell below the knees, he told her again, and made her buy a brand new dress that better matched the swollen bruise on her upper left cheek. Shaking the memory from her body, she clutched her purse tightly to her chest and walked through the metal detector. “Follow me,” a guard said, and she did, walking as slowly as possible with her shoulders straight and her stiletto shoes stepping one foot in front of the other, trying hard to maintain the appearance of confidence and delay her destination for as long as possible.

As they entered the Visitor’s Center, Sharon turned her nose up towards the ceiling and pretended not to notice the man on the other side of the glass holding the receiver up to his ear and forcing a smile through his crooked, toothy snarl. The skin on his face looked more worn and leathery than usual, the pockets in his flesh accentuated by the accumulated prison grime.

Sharon thanked her escort as she took a seat across the man. The prison guard stepped back, but remained in the room, hovering nearby. The man across from her began screaming into his end of the receiver before she even had a chance to pick hers up. She waited until he was finished, and then picked up her own receiver with clammy, sweaty hands, and slowly pressed it to the side of her face.

“Good afternoon, Walter,” she said. Her face read no emotion.

“Fuck you, you fucking whore. I saw the fucking news. Where’s my god damn money?”

Sharon took a deep breathe and tried to steady the shaking hand that held the phone receiver. She spoke after a pause: “I just came by — I thought I should tell you in person, that I’m not giving you anything. I’m not splitting the money.”

“Wrong again, ya stupid bitch,” he growled, leaning into the glass that divided them. “You think I don’t got time to read in here? I’m still your husband, means I’m still entitled to half. Besides — it was my numbers that won. You still play ’em, and it’s my fuckin’ numbers that hit.”

Pause. He waited for Sharon to respond, but she said nothing.

“Maybe if ya hadn’t been in such a rush to throw yer man in jail, you woulda thought’a that first. Even if we got a divorce now — and baby, I’m okay with that, just so you know — I’d still get half a’what you got. And what’s half of, uh…”

“Forty-five million.” Sharon swallowed hard and placed her free hand in her lap so that he couldn’t see it shaking. “Forty-five million dollars.”

Sharon took another breathe, dropped the telephone receiver, and for the first time in her life, she stood up and walked away. She was certain that Walter was screaming at her through the phone, telling her what a useless whore she was, and detailing all of the terrible things he was going to and all the drugs he would buy with her money.

But this time, she didn’t have to hear him.

Ghosting

It was just like getting drunk, at least the way he’d told his wife. Maybe more like getting high. Either way, not the strongest leading argument for an alcoholic, but when the woman you’ve spent 20 years with finds you in bed with another man, with no memory of how you got there, you’ll try anything to get yourself off the hook.

Not that any of that mattered to Juliet. She was gone, and the only thing left to work out was the divorce settlement. How was Sam ever going to explain his side of the story to their kids? No doubt Juliet had turned them both against him by now, filled their little minds with propaganda of all the horrible things he’d done.

But Sam was a man possessed. That’s what they called it in the Dark Ages, anyway. The new name on the streets was ‘ghosting.’ It was the latest thing — like a drug, but with greater thrills and half the risk, not to mention plenty of willing souls. The trick, of course, was in finding the right one.

There are plenty of spirits out there, searching or waiting for some kind of closure. Purest energy; ethereal ectoplasm. Sublimated lifeforce. The trade was fair and simple — you give your body up to the ghost for the night, and he or she takes it on a test ride. The ghost feels alive again. Better than alive, corporeal, with the freedom to indulge in all the pleasures of the flesh. In turn, you get to get loose and go along for the ride, right in your very own body, with all the joy of losing control.

You know that feeling you get at the apex of a roller coaster? The thrill of near death. Imagine that sensation, but prolonged. For an hour, maybe two. Maybe even a full day. Adrenal glands pumping through your desperate, terrified body as you literally straddle the line between life and death. Like heroin, but without the risk of overdose. Maybe even higher — ghosting has the potential to bring you right up to the very gates of Heaven, before it brings you down again.

But Sam had no idea how it felt for the ghosts. How could he? Even undercover, all he could know was the quiver and kick of being at once both dead and alive. Was it an upper or a downer for them? No one had successfully figured out the cartography of the afterlife. Not yet, anyway — but it was certainly an up and coming field. The whole craze was built on two things: symbioses and trust. But like any good rush, someone always finds a way to monetize it. But how do you regulate an industry where the product and the profit are both warm beating hearts?

Sam was determined to find out. After Juliet, he’d become little more than a living ghost, so there was nothing left for him to lose.

Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones

Growing up I remember running through my father’s records looking for anything your average classic rock loving 5th grader would recognize. Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, anything the local rock radio station was playing. Although it took me time to truly understand the greatness of The Rolling Stones, I still stopped to look at the Sticky Fingers album during every perusal. The album-art was a close up shot of a tight-jeaned man covered from all angles, when you removed the liner notes from within the record the man was in cotton briefs, as if he had just removed his pants. Andy Warhol conceived the cover design and conducted the photo sessions. Many speculate that the cover model was the eccentric artist’s boyfriend at the time, others claim Warhol used a variety of models during the session and secretly chose the shots without crediting any of the men. The reason I stopped at this record was not the album art or the music, it was the fact that the album itself featured a working zipper on the front, something that set it apart from everything else in the mass of musty cardboard and dirty plastic sleeves. Little did I know that more than a decade after first recognition I would drunkenly battle Beatles fans in dark bars stating that The Rolling Stones are a better band. My weapon? Sticky Fingers

This record is dark, written with drug addiction, alcoholism, money and fame washing over Mick and Keith like a Pacific tsunami. The meter of the music was the only thing keeping an even keel. From rock, to blues and country, they weren’t afraid to test the limits. I equate Brown Sugar to a one night stand. Drunk, steady and dangerous, this is still an 8pm barroom staple. Wild Horses is a country song through and through right down to the crawl of the rhythm and cry of the pedal steel. Many artists would write about heroin, alcohol, sex and money, but The Stones didn’t have time to dress up their songs in pretty words disguising drugs as women, women as nature, nature as religion. They were raw. Sister Morphine (drugs), Brown Sugar (sex), Dead Flowers (social seclusion and heroin use) all told stories of pain and pleasure that could be understood blatantly and unmistakably across the board.

“Well, when you’re sitting back
In your rose pink Cadillac
Making bets on Kentucky derby day
Ill be in my basement room
With a needle and a spoon
And another girl to take my pain away”

I love the Beatles, but when it comes to experimenting with sound or lyrics, The Stones will always win.

Bad Rainbow

She bled black like bad rainbow
Skinny wrist cut skinny still
Ink colored back slash black back pack stuffed pack
Pretty pills make her pretty still
She dance none but one more bad rainbow made her black
She cut ink pen on skin like steel spike just right
Just wrong just off but not off center off kilter
Light filtered through broken glass painted black made bad rainbow but not quite
Dead tree bleeds black leaves
Weep willow weep leaves black leaves tears leave black smears on a notebook page
Like balled fist rage like animal caught cage like older without age
And still she’s so still
She smiles dark sky almost black eye liner with finer lines traced countless times
Colored wrist map like skinny waist covered skinny belt buckle 
Skinny like sideways head cracked wide
Bleed out slow like bad rainbow blood
Good comes from nothing for nothing but bad rainbow stains like always
Roots rot quick like hollow trunk thick
Burrow home hurry back bury one in the sack
Like your bag brim stuffed with pretty pills give tiny thrills make giants ills never pretty still
She painted black on grey white yellow paper typed strong word like flutter hard fast night bird
But dark star heart broke black and shattered bleak again
So black sky moon shines bad rainbow on the roof
And still she’s so still because pretty pills make her pretty ill

I loved her from the moment I met her, but I can’t contain her bad rainbow and I don’t know what else to do.