Category Archives: sean likes to curse and use italics

Busload Of Faith, or, "Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It"


This is just going to be a brief little update, followed by something that I had posted on my old site, back in August of 2006. I’m posting it, because I was reminded of it today when a couple of good friends of mine revealed that they were going through some really rough shit – and it immediately caused my mind to flash back to one of the lowest and most desperate times in my own life.

I’ve been having a rough time with some things lately as well. I’m holding fast to the health thing, and working really hard to maintain the emotionally healthy ideas I set for myself for 2010. The health thing has actually been way easier than I thought it would. Once I established the patterns of eating healthier, my body now craves that healthier food. I’m still chugging down lakes of water daily, and I have yet to have a single soda or a cup of coffee since I began doing this back in January.

Physically, I feel pretty fucking good.

Emotionally, on the other hand…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my sobriety, and about the effect it has on my relationships with people.

I stopped imbibing almost three years ago. It was something I had wanted to do for a while, and had tried to do many times in the past. In the past, I was usually only able to quit for a little while, but it was very hard to suppress my innermost Hank Chinaski (also referenced in the letter posted at the end of this here Ramble) – the allure of a dimly lit speakeasy (and the cast of characters commonly found within it) coupled with the tractor beam of a well-balanced glass of whiskey was a constant niggling, pulling me into those magical and darkened corners. Most of the time that I was in the process of quitting, I was choosing which vice would get to live on – if I was going to stop drinking – I kept on smoking pot and eating bars of Xanax like candy, or if I was planning on giving up the reefer – I would start drinking more red wine and popping Valiums. I was a fucking mess.

Obviously, this wasn’t a very good pattern for me – choosing between one vice or the other.

This time it was much easier, and very different. I didn’t seek anyone else’s help, I just made a decision and stopped. Everything. No more pills, booze, reefer. I gave it all up, and have honestly never looked at the road behind me – I just keep pushing forward. I do not question, at all, my choice to no longer “get fucked up.” If anything, it was a long time coming – and not just for the reasons that would seem easy enough for anyone to suss out.

It was just time.

In the beginning stages of cleaning myself up, I was very nervous about how my friends were going to take it – most of the time that we all spent together involved me drinking brutish volumes of liquor. I was the guy that someone could call at three in the morning and meet up for a drink. I just didn’t give a fuck. And now, here I was, cutting that part right the fuck on out of me. How were my friends going to take it? Were they going to shun me? I really was kind of terrified – I had just been through a lot of really heavy shit in a short period of time (which the letter below spells out), and the few friends I had – I really wanted to keep them, and keep them close.

They actually adjusted pretty well. In fact – quite a few of them confessed that they had hoped I was going to make such a change, because they were worried that I was going to drink myself to death.

In the rightfuckingnow, I’m definitely happy with my decision to clean my life up – I would never go back to being that Sean. But, and this is serious now, at times I feel as though new people that I meet figure out or find out that I am sober (it’s not like I walk around rocking a Youth Of Today shirt and talking about the evils of poisoning oneself with drugs and hooch), and they immediately get fucking weird. Am I an alcoholic? Yeah. Am I a junkie? Yeah. I’ll always be those things – it’s not like I can just erase the memory banks completely – all I have done is change my behaviors and made a decision to no longer “get fucked up.” I appreciate being clearheaded now, and I appreciate the fact that when there is a problem, my first instinct is no longer to drown my sorrows and try to erase the problem – I deal with shit now. For real.

Much like everything else – this might all be in my head – but sometimes it feels like people have a harder time with my sobriety than I do with their imbibing. When people get that wonky look in their eye and feel the need to ask for my permission to have a drink in my presence, that’s when I start to realize that I need to step back a bit, really look at that relationship, and try to figure out how much value there is in it. Is this judgmental of me? Yeah, a little bit. But that’s unfortunately how I have to do things. I’m not concerned with me suddenly changing my mind and running to the nearest liquor store and guzzling down a bottle of Maker’s Mark outside on the sidewalk – the decision to be sober has been made, and I am more than cool with it. What I’m not cool with, is when people who I am emotionally investing in (and let’s get on motherfucking Front Street, people – a friendship is an emotional investment) treat me like a fucking leper or a lesser-than because I’m not rolling the way they roll. If you’re in my presence, and feel self-conscious about your habits, then that is something broken inside of you, not me. Believe that.

ANYWAYS…

So – that’s what has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s funny in a way – there is a lot of truth to all of the koans written about the nature of water. One ripple creates so many more.

Below is this goddamn letter I keep on referencing. I wrote it, funnily enough, in an opiate/alcohol haze back in the summer of 2006. I got clean for good almost three years to the day from today – my last drink was on March 16, 2007 – a shot of Jameson’s for my old man. Not one drop has hit these lips since.

Take care of yourselves, and be good to each other. Life is too fucking short not to.

————————

Dear Universe,

I don’t really know how we’ve ended up in this predicament, but it seems as though we’re at an impasse in our relationship. I feel really awkward writing about our relationship out here on the interweb, but I’m not sure you’ve been hearing me in my attempts at daily commiseration with you.

It feels like this cry for help could be my last shot at some kind of open dialogue/reconciliation with you.

Lately it seems as though every time I reach for your hand, you pull away from me. I’m not sure what it is that I did to offend you, but it hurts. Our relationship used to be so much stronger than this, and I feel very disconnected. This feeling of disconnection from you is leading me into a deeper well of depression, and I am starting to become concerned that the damage is not only irreparable, but also permanently scarring.

My psyche is a wee bit too fragile for this shit from you, Universe, and I honestly expected a little bit more from you than this.

Maybe you think I’ve been taking our relationship for granted, or something along those lines? It seems so cliché, but that’s not about you, it’s about me. I certainly haven’t been blaming you for all of these trials and tribulations that have been tossed my way over the last 36 months or so, have I? I felt as though I was handling things pretty well, taking responsibility for my own complicity in the events that have transpired around me. For some otherworldly reason, I’ve yet to point my finger at you out of anger for the multitude of humbling and soul-shattering moments you’ve laid at my feet.

Is that what you want me to do?

If blaming you is what you want from me, I am going to have to disappoint you some more. I’m not in the blame business, and at this point in our relationship – you should already know that I have outgrown that kind of behavior. Hell…you taught me to love, not hate. So why would you want me to blame you, for things that were/are/will be beyond my control? I can’t do that, and you know it.

Fuck it. Hold up.

Okay. Fine. You know what, Universe? I am a little bit pissed off at you, okay? Maybe I do need to scream at you a bit; to get this shit out of my chest and out into the ether.

Why, oh Grand Universe, have you decided that consistently testing my ability to keep from becoming some fucking mess of a man is so important to you? Was it necessary to take both of my fucking parents from me, before I had the chance to ever feel as though I actually made them proud of me for anything other than mundane bullshit that any mouth-breather on this rock could pull off? Was it totally necessary to take from me a friend that I felt like I had known my entire life, and was motherfucking sure I would end up knowing for the rest of my time here on terra firma? Does it continue to be necessary to have The Holy Rollers judging me and fucking stealing from me what was left for me by my grandmother (whom you also took from me much too fucking quickly, you fucking sadist, you)? Do you think it’s fucking funny that my sister can’t return my calls? Why do I have to be so fucking tested all the time? Putting obstacles in my path seems to be your sick and twisted manner of showing me affection, Universe.

Right now I am screaming the safe word at you, yet you continue to flog away.

I’m not totally sure what it is that I have done to hurt you so deeply that you would act this way, but whatever it is I am sorry. It’s also unnecessary for you to continue to fuck with my friends as well. This isn’t high school – it’s life. My friends are for the most part all goodly people, and I think whatever it is that you have out for me is more than enough. Leave them alone, okay?

The only times I even feel remotely connected to you anymore are during the smallest hours. When I am walking and wandering in the night, headphones set to stun, with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. There are fleeting moments during these meanderings where it feels like old times; memories flooding into my subconscious mind like the connection is wide open again. Remembering my ability to rise above and overcome. Feeling invincible, yet remaining humble within your womb. During these moments, I am almost always close to tears, because I miss the intimacy and closeness of our relationship much more than you could ever realize.

This is having a major impact on my other relationships, Universe. Because we’re so distant, I cannot seem to allow myself to get close to anyone or anything lately. Maybe it’s the usual fear of abandonment shit I drag behind me like Linus (can you fucking blame me, after all the rugs that have been yanked out from under my feet?), I don’t know for sure. But I do know that it’s becoming more and more likely that I will turn into some drier and much more celibate version of Henry Chinaski if things keep rolling this way. Nobody wants to be friends, or “intimate”(do I need to spell that out for you?) with the guy who cannot connect. Nobody wants to hang out with the guy who can’t make any kind of commitment to anything other than the unknown.

I’m not sure if or even how we’re going to be able to reconcile this mess we’re in, Universe. I know that there’s a part of me that’s hollow now; a space that you used to occupy is empty and in need of filling. I used to believe in you without the smallest shadow of doubt, yet here I am writing you an open letter on the interweb like a jilted teenager. Placing not only blame at your feet, but also my disdain. You broke my fucking heart, and you continue to do so on an almost daily basis. You’ve taken away from me almost as much as you’ve given me over the years, and you’ve done it all very quickly and methodically.

This is me, throwing up my hands and begging you to slow your roll. Begging you to give me some room to breathe and recover who I am underneath all of this rubble. This is me asking you to maybe let up a little bit and allow me to find some answers before the next Big Letdown happens, so that the next one doesn’t push me over the edge into the well of insanity that I’ve been dancing on for a while now. This is me asking you from the tiniest portions of my broken fucking heart…for a reprieve.

After all we’ve been through Universe, it’s the least that you could do for me.

Sorry if there was some anger in this letter, but I can’t hold stuff in all the time – it’ll kill me. I don’t want to be some Emergency Room casualty because I kept all of my anger in until my heart bursts at the seams (that’s just not how this story is supposed to end). I’m also sorry if I gripe too much – I’ll work on that.

I hope this letter finds a good place in you, and we can figure out some way to work through and salvage our relationship, Universe. It’ll be worth it if we can. For both of us.

Be well,

Sean

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The United States Of Snark(A Nation Of Finks).

Not to steal one of my father’s Greatest Of All Motherfucking Time Riffs, but – this post is probably going to hurt me much more than it’s going to hurt you.

I know, I know – that’s a hell of a set-up. But the payoff will be worth it, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys being challenged. And by challenged, I mean possibly pulling your head out of your ass.

ANYWAYS…

When did we, as a culture, become so obsessed with mockery? When did pointing out the shortcomings of others become our daily bread? Why have we lost the true message of Jesus Allah Yaweh Buddha Shiva The Angry Owl God?

I mean, from a purely psychological point of view, it makes total sense. We’re all so brow-beaten and insecure because of the constant bombardment and sensory overload of mass media and pop culture. Watch one hour of television, and you’ll witness what I’m riffing on: every single commercial is geared toward pointing out some kind of personal and terrible malady, whether it’s erectile dysfunction, male-pattern baldness, being overweight, acne, debt consolidation, cluttered homes, underarm stubble, ad infinitum. And then the next batch of commercials are geared toward selling us alcohol(what would we do without our precious liquor/mind-numbing agent?). Beer commercials are driven by sex and the idea that drinking will either, A)Get you some sex, and usually from a member of the opposite sex who is sexy as fuck, or B)Help you to be more socially acceptable, and be welcomed into a crew of other people who are “cool,” and/or “just like you.”*

*”ALL OF WHICH, ARE AMERIKKKAN DREAMS!” – Zack de la Rocha

Ain’t that some shit?

Seriously, now. How do we expect to think about anyone other than ourselves when we have this shit carpet-bombing our souls 24/7? We truly live in the Age of Egomania, where everything always comes back around to you. Motherfuckers even tried to make the shit going down over in Iran all about themselves, what with all the magical green avatars on every social networking site known to mankind and all that. And now what? Are people even paying any attention anymore?

Nope. That shit got tossed aside almost as fast as The Pet Rock.

Let me break this riff down a wee bit now – you see, the masses – and by the masses, I mean the large swath of people in the 18-35 demographic – seem far more interested in the crack-like high of Celebrity News, or websites that were created to do nothing other than make fun of people for not being “cool,” or “hip.” It’s almost as if the depression we feel as victims of the sensory overload/”you suck” carpet-bombing has been turned outward, and we’re all pointing our collectively crooked finger at anyone who might be more downtrodden than us, just so that we can look ourselves in the eye in the mirror. To feel like we’re worth more than somebody.

Well, I hate to break it to you, you lovely motherfuckers – you just ain’t.

Unless you got you a colostomy bag, or you’re elderly/disabled or in some form of coma – we all gotta wipe our own filthy ass. And honestly, if any of those things apply to you, you’re probably fucking humbled enough by life to fucking know better at this point. Because that’s the truth of this riff right there: motherfuckers need to get themselves two heaping spoonfuls of humility, and they need to do it sooner rather than later – or else we’re just going to continue on this course and truly become The United States of Snark.

Ever cruise the comments section on a “popular” website? It’s nothing more than a cock measuring contest for the supposedly witty and terminally awesome members of the previously mentioned age demographic. Motherfuckers hide behind their little keyboards, running their fingers like that one weasel kid in the schoolyard used to do with his mouth back in the day. And lo and behold if someone comes rumbling through with a point that is somewhat valid, because they get blasted with 1,000 flamethrowers in a nanosecond, because everybody knows being on-point is no longer necessary or important. Hell – if you aren’t bringing the Snark, and bringing it HEAVY, you might as well go out and get a job or some shit. Oh – and be careful when you call one of those message board trolls out, because you’ll get blasted for that shit, too.

They definitely have that troop of monkeys/hive-mind mentality.

All that being said – your humble narrator sure as shit ain’t no angel his damn self. I like to laugh, and sometimes it does come at the expense of others. But I’d honestly like to think I spend far more of my energy trying to lift us all up, as opposed to the constant tearing down I see all over the place. Motherfuckers that are that sad that they have to sully people just to get their kicks are really kind of pathetic. And motherfuckers that make their living off of it? WELL…

Good luck to you. Karma’s a bitch, and she bites.

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The Paper Tiger.

I’ve been in a feisty/bordering-on-foul mood for a couple of days now.

It would be far too easy for me to blame my mood on this over-reacting bullshit in regard to Hamthrax/Snoutbreak/Aporkalypse Now, but I’m not going to lie and say it isn’t hilarious and maddening to see fucking losers riding the subway with their little “protective masks” on their mugs. I like to sidle right on up next to them and start coughing violently, just to elicit the cheap thrill and also for the adoration of the rest of the crowd that isn’t panic-stricken.

I know, I’m an easily amused doofus.

Stress-relieving amusements like this help a bit. My record streak is 11 Perps picked in a row. Maybe the former junkie in me still has that Magic Eye after all?

This is the part of this Ramble where I whine and bitch – so, if you’re not like, into that, stop now and go to the pretty picture at the bottom instead. You’ve been warned…

I’ve been reading a lot of sites lately. Trying to see what all this “freelance writer” bullshit is all about, and I have to tell you – it really just comes off like motherfuckers are getting paid to get their Nerd on. I’m all in favor of it, don’t get me wrong. If some music site decided they wanted to throw me a bone and have me review records, I’d be a gleeful little schoolgirl for the rest of my life. For real.

But I guess the part that boggles my noodle is that I read a lot of people who I know in MeatSpace, and they do not sound like themselves at all. As an avid observer of human behavior, I find that people who create “art” that differs from their everyday personae (definition 5, suckas) are usually people who are afraid to upset or offend people. And me? I think that’s just pointless bullshit, and I’ll tell you why –

Anyone can write. Anyone can pick up a guitar and write a song with four chords in it. Anyone can stick their hand in a jar of Skippy, smear that peanut butter goodness on their junk and take a camera phone picture of it, and call it pornography. Anyone can buy some spray-paint and tag up an empty wall. Anyone can learn how to program a geekbox. Anyone can bake a cake. Anyone can sit naked in a litterbox while blaring techno in a gallery and call it Performance Art.

Breathe…and Confess

Basically, I am a bitter and angry man lately. I get so chapped at the thought of not doing what I’ve always wanted to do, that I get pissed off that there are some people out there who are doing it. And that’s not necessarily a healthy way to deal with my issues. My issues are simple: I’m paralyzed whenever I get what it is that I want. Any time a band I was in got within sniffing distance of a record deal, I bailed. Any time someone wanted to take some of my writing and publish it, I’d either force them to publish it under a fake fucking name, or I’d bail. Hell – even back in High School I would bail on motherfuckers all the time, because I never wanted to disappoint anyone.

This is a pattern that needs to change, and change quickly. I do not want to be one of those old fucks who is on his fucking Death Bed, and whimpers out “I sure do wish I’d followed my *sniffle* heart.” Because I know that anyone who would be up in that room with me would fucking laugh their head off at me, for running my mouth nonstop about wanting to do something and not sacking-up enough to take that shot at it.

And I honestly wouldn’t blame them one fucking bit.

Although, I have yet to pass up any opportunity in this life to possibly offend someone. That is some shit I am goddamn qualified for. Here, I’ll prove it –

I am so fucking tired of trying to be cool to people in the hope that they’ll do me a solid and hook me up with the people they say they will when they stroke my flaccid cock and tell me I’m a “good writer,” and I should be getting paid to do so, all while I have nothing to show for it other than their half-hearted and equally flaccid accolades. Seriously.

I love all y’all, but let’s get on Front Street here, and admit that it’s High Time I put my money where my mouth is, and stop banking on people’s kindness. Basically, I’m telling y’all to stop stroking me and force me to make a move my damn self.

Anything less than that would be some fake “art” shit to me, anyway.

Here is that pretty picture I promised you:

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Touch Me, I’m Sick.

I’ve been far under the weather for the better part of a week now, and it is quite tiresome. This is some nasty flu-ish bug. Not only do my sinuses feel like there are rabid weasels trying to eat their way out of my skull, but I am constantly fatigued – I slept off and on for over 18 hours yesterday.

Hell, I even took the day off of work on Thursday, thinking a day of nothing but sleep would do me some good. But this motherfucker is still lingering.


I’ve been loading up on Emergen-C three times a day, and I have drank my weight in NyQuil the last few nights(which always lends to bad-ass dreams of an almost opiate-like nature). My right ear, as it is wont to do when I am ill, is completely out of commission – everything sounds like it is underwater, and I have no balance due to my lack of an equilibrium.


All of this, while the talking heads on the news are talking about Snowmageddon hitting NYC tonight. AWESOME.

ANYWAYS…

As someone who loves Chuck Palahniuk’s early works(specifically his initial run of stories – Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke, & Survivor), I hate to say it, but I was totally let down by the movie version of Choke. Even after reading interviews with Palahniuk where he says he dug the film, I still feel a little cheated. I know, I am an asshole.


Maybe this is a bigger issue with me than I want to believe.

I get this way about a lot of shit. Like – what the fuck happened to Chris Cornell? Motherfucker used to have the best pipes in rock and motherfucking roll. Soundgarden was a beast of a band, with even that last lumbering effort, Down On The Upside having a lasting impression on my musical mind. The riffs. The melodies. It was still a damn fine album – no motherfucking Badmotorfinger, but really, what could ever top that?

And then Cornell goes on to front the remnants of Rage Against The Machine, under the poorly chosen moniker of Audioslave? Goddamn. Someone shoot me in the dick already. Audioslave was some terrible shit, man. It was like listening to two cats fucking outside a window(this coming from someone who has a HUGE soft spot for not only cats, but also both of the bands fused together to make Audioslave).


And then, after the Audioslave debacle is finally buried when RATM gets back together to play some shows during our election season(as if they wouldn’t!), Cornell goes out and does the unfuckingthinkable, and records a song for a fucking James Bond film? That’s akin to telling all of your former fans that you’ve cut your sac open and fed what was left of your testicles to a neighbor’s dementia-suffering grandmother. Let’s see…Bond film songs…Tina Turner. Duran Duran. Shirley Bassey. a-Ha. Paul McCartney & Wings. Sheena “My Vaginal Walls Are Coated In Glucose” Easton. Madonna.

Chris Cornell – lounge singer. And then he records an album with…

…wait for it…

Timbaland.

This is the same Chris Cornell who would fucking storm stages across the globe, screeching his heart out about how we all need to “Face Pollution”, or how he was “gonna break out of my rusty cage and run”. I am sure that Kim Thayil, Soundgarden’s irrevocably amazing guitar slinger(and the guy who once said – “I love dropped D tuning because it makes my guitar sound like dragon’s breath”) is sitting in his basement, polishing bullets with Cornell’s likeness engraved in the tips. No Soundgarden reunion, but you’ll record an album with motherfucking Timbaland?


FUCKING HELL, MAN.

Back to how this ties in somehow to me not digging Choke as a film…

It just didn’t have the right greasy feel to it. And by greasy, I mean lewd. Sure – Sam Rockwell wasn’t necessarily a bad choice to play a sex-addicted social miscreant who may or may not have been a product of the Vatican getting involved with infertility treatment. And Anjelica Huston was fantastic as his institutionalized nutcase of a mother. Actually – I had no real issues with the casting at all. Nor did I have any issues with the performances.


I guess I am just a dick. I just did not feel the movie the way I had hoped to. And this happens a lot – because we all end up developing these deeply personal relationships with characters and ideas set before us in “art” – you know? I went into viewing the film with the hope that it would be as entertaining as the book, which is something I always warn others about. And in this case, I was an idiot who let my guard down and hoped for a much more fleshed out version of my own inner version of Choke.


Lesson re-learned.

This still does not let you off the hook, Chris Cornell.

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Let My People Go.

Dear Unbutu,

The Wife and I had a great time down on the Carolina Shore – our good good friends Jamie & Demian got hitched, and we made some new friends while we were there. The Wife did a fucking amazing job of making the already stunningly beautiful Miss Jamie even more stunningly beautiful, and Demian looked as handsome as can be in his seersucker suit. The weekend was flat-out gorgeous, and I am still in a sloppy sugar coma from all of that Southern Hospitality. I mean, c’mon – just look at the view we had:

There was a gang of tomfoolery going on over the course of the weekend, which of course tickled me to no end. I’m pretty damn sure that everyone I met had a sense of humor, since nobody hauled off and punched me in the chops for the shit that rolled off my tongue (and those of us in the know, well, we all know how easily that can happen!). It’s always a precarious situation for me, being in a social setting with people I have no clue about – it can be hit or miss as far as how I will behave and/or misbehave. The Wife seemed to be pretty proud of me, even commenting at one point – “You’re getting along with other boys!”

A young fella who goes by the name of Tad, made the mistake of making a passing comment about his former love affair with Jam Bands, which allowed me the freedom to unleash my relentless torrent of streaming hatred for the genre and it’s fans. He was a good sport, since every fucking time he opened his mouth I made him pay dearly by referencing his love for The Colonel. I think I might keep him as a friend, even though he lives in North Carolina, and kept on threatening to get me something called a “leather beard”. He didn’t even call out to warn me that I almost ran over a cop with his car, and I have a revoked license – which is a great way to start off a new friendship.

I met another fine gentleman, who refers to himself in semi-third person as Mike Kelly – which I found eerily similar to me referring to myself in the semi-Messianic third person as Fat Jesus. This cat is wicked smaht, and has a habit of dressing like a French Sailor because he felt like it was appropriate to do so, since he was already at the beach. Mr. Kelly and I seem to have quite a bit in common, which was a nice and welcome surprise – especially since I had no idea there were other people on the planet who take as much joy as I do in fucking with mouthbreathers. There was an incident where some oddball had me cornered, talking my motherfucking head off at one of the three hundred and nine pre-wedding parties of doom, and he commented about Mike Kelly looking a little bit like Buddy Holly. I couldn’t help myself, and set the rest of the evening’s lunacy in motion with one sentence:

You should go tell him that.

The rest of the festivites were a blur of Aquarium Rescue Unit/Phish/Jerry Garcia/Dirty Hippie jokes, coupled with Mike Kelly shaking his fist at me for sending “Trey” (the name Mike Kelly decided to call Mouthbreather Jones to throw him off for the rest of the weekend) into his personal space. Good times*.

*I’m pretty sure I was the only Jew in the entire state of North Carolina.

Getting home, on the other hand, was an absolute fucking nightmare of epic proportions.

Yes, your humble narrator wrote that review. And yes, your humble narrator has bombed The Interwebs with it. I am quite sure I have dropped it on every single travel site I can find, because I am a loud-mouthed Jew bastard from New York City. I have nothing left to say about the subject, and I am quite sure that The Wife and I will be flying First Class from now on, since this kind of shit doesn’t seem to happen to High Rollers.

MOVING ALONG NOW…

Things of interest:

1) The Championship Window for the Phoenix Suns seems to be closed, sadly. That being said, this is as brilliant a eulogy as you will ever read.

2) Rival Schools is going to tour and quite possibly release a new album. This makes me very happy on many levels, because Walter Schreifels is a bad mofo, and has yet to release ANYTHING that I didn’t like. Well, other than the fact that he ghostwrote the entire CIV album, and no matter how much I love me some NYHC, that album was not good.

3) Nick Cave has the creepiest ‘stache. Ever.

4) The New York Rangers have heart. A lot of it, actually. Jagr has manned-the-fuck-up in the playoffs, and if they can pull off another upset tomorrow in Pittsburgh, I’d have to say they have a shot at overtaking the Penguins.

5) My dog is fucking rad.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH:

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Something From My Past Life…

*This was originally on my other site – the one that I’m not sure will ever come back from the dead or not.

And The D Train Kept A’Rollin…

“…Even now the details – before, during, and after – make me want to pluck my eyes out and pound dirt in the sockets. There are stories you don’t want to tell, and there are stories that scald your brainpan right down to the tongue at the mere thought of uttering. But you can’t NOT. Even if you wait until your skull is nothing but a charred and smoking husk, the truth will still be in there, squirming. At this point, there’s nothing left to do but let it out.

– Jerry Stahl, Permanent Midnight

That’s pretty much how I feel ninety-nine percent of the time. Like I have no fucking choice in the matter. If I don’t let it out, I’m going to burn from the inside out. A massive conflagration of secrets, lies, deceptive nastiness and horror. Stahl might have been talking about being a junkie, addicted to that nasty tar he pumped into his body for the better part of a decade – but I know what the fuck he’s actually riffing on.

The fucking TRUTH.

You know it’s going to be a difficult period of time in your life when you can’t even look yourself in the eye for a few days. The current feeling in my gut is not one that I am comfortable with at all.

It’s been a long line of totally rough(but obviously necessary) shit, running concurrent with a fucking ton of emotional upheavals, and there really is no dividing wall in sight for me to yank the wheel and smash the car into. Not that I really want to smash anything, it’s just a fleeting thought that pops up from time to time. I think everyone has these moments – little sparkling pieces of despair and frustration come hurtling out of nowhere, and the instinct to destroy yourself kicks into high gear. Ah, destruction. The be all end all. It’s always there, humming it’s incessant little tune into the receiver in my mind, a melody that can be really fucking traitorous and unforgiving.

My self-destructive nature lets me know all sorts of shit way before anyone else is able to see what’s going on with me. I can attribute that to my years of practice at hiding whatever the fuck it is that’s eating away at me from anyone and everything – usually until it’s too late, and nothing anyone says or does will be able to give me anything resembling insight, because I’ve already convinced myself of what’s about to happen. I’m an egomaniacal bastard like that, and I’m not about to make any excuses for it. I am who/what I am, and I am, for the most part, quite okay with me at this moment in time. Yes, there are the usual issues that surround me like a halo of flies – depression, fear, insecurities galore, a precocious teetering on the perch of madness/genius*, and a smattering of delusions that need to be dealt with accordingly. But – sidled right up next to those feelings are a bunch of new and different emotional responses like hope, self-belief, emotional empowerment, and the doozy of all motherfucking doozies – actual patience.

Unfortunately for me, these new sets of feelings are still so new to me that they have a tendency to confound and confuse me when they appear. It’s wild, to tell you the truth – one minute I am eyeballing the D Train rumbling into the station right in front of me, thinking “here you go, son – you can just step right off the fucking platform into oblivion and be done with all this bullshit that’s tearing you the fuck apart inside“, and the next I’m pretty much smiling and taking a deep breath – knowing deep inside of myself that there is nothing in this world that I cannot handle – and handle well. I just wish I knew how to balance these things out, so that the feeling of the earth beneath my feet wasn’t so shocking when it’s there. Being grounded has been a goal for a long fucking time, and now that it is starting to take place on the regular I find myself second-guessing it’s validity more often than not. Actually, it’s more like I second-guess what I already know, because sometimes I just don’t want to believe that I know what the fuck is going on.

This is why I used to use cocaine.

Now – I am not in any way desiring to do such a thing. That kind of self-destruction is dead and buried. But – in previous incarnations of my life, I would already be burning up my mucus membranes with the magical powers of the GNP of most of South America. As bad as I currently feel about my state of affairs, getting high on blow is not a fucking option.

Writing about it, on the other hand, is certainly on today’s menu.

I think the first time I did a line I was around fourteen or fifteen years old. I was friends with this crazy Mormon kid named David, who had an older brother that was the biggest fucking stoner on Planet Earth at the time – Jimmy Williams. This bastard would just show up wherever we were, just to fuck with his little brother and make our lives fucking miserable. He would just randomly start throwing punches at whomever was closest to him, and once he had you on the ground he’d start digging through your pockets for money, smokes, and whatever else he could cold jack from you. Jimmy once took the entire contents of my backpack out on the sidewalk outside the mall, only to start laughing hysterically at me for keeping an extra pair of socks in my bag. Then he broke my nose.

He was the kind of older brother I was fucking thankful I never had.

Jimmy ended up getting locked down during the summer between our freshman and sophomore years of high school, for some attempted robbery thing. I figured he’d probably watched Bad Boys(the one with Sean Penn – not that fucking Fresh Prince/Martin bullshit) too much, and wanted to push the envelope a little further. Either way, we decided that once he was gone, we were totally going to fucking ransack his room. And we did. And then we found the Colombian Marching Powder, hidden away in a corner of his sock drawer, right next to his really shitty collection of porn and a Polaroid of some girl sucking him off. Jimmy Williams enlightened me on many levels, y’all.

That first line felt like I was being let inside of some secret club, the kind where you had to know not only the double-secret handshake, but the kind that only the fucking coolest kids were whispering about – let alone being let in the door. That first line still lingers on in my memory, like a lover that you can’t shake off and find yourself obsessively thinking about when you rub one out. It’s deeper than muscle memory. It’s like some kind of imprint in my body’s chemistry now – stored and hidden away in the fat cells, waiting to spring up at the oddest moment and remind me of the soulless motherfucker I turned into when I was using the shit. Cocaine would be some kind of constant for me, like a niggling feeling in the corners of my mind, for more than a decade.

It was a torrid affair that thankfully had an ending, and I’ve never wanted to get back together to try and rekindle the Sean/cocaine dynamic for one fucking second.

The affair ended about two years after my mother passed away, in July of 1998. I had been using more and more, trying so fucking hard to keep my habit under the radar. I was working my ass off running a restaurant, pulling upwards of seventy hours a week, way over my head but somehow enjoying the ride more than anything I ever had. The co-owners of the joint were both fucking massive cokeheads, and they were both glad-handing me pieces to keep the place running smoothly. It was awesome – neither one of them knew the other was taking care of my habit, so I was getting a lot of blow for free on an almost daily basis. My staff knew, because they were all using, too. We’d be placing bets on who would freak the fuck on out first during Friday night dinner rushes, baiting each other and talking shit the whole time. Taking turns running to the office to do a little blast of god to keep the party atmosphere flowing. Sometimes there would be five or six people crammed into my office, sprawled out and jockeying for position, trying to snort at the lines all over my desk like it was a really fucking bizarre game of Cocaine Twister.

While all of this was going down, one of the co-owners was jacking money left and right to support his(and I guess in a roundabout way – my own as well) habit. We had purveyors cutting us off left and right, and I was spending far too much time on the phone with accountants and at the bank trying to keep them from padlocking us out of the place. I was trying to keep my nasty little secret away from my then-girlfriend and our roommate, and I was pretty successful until the day I was standing in line at the bank with almost ten grand in my pocket.

I had been sent to the bank to make some kind of good-will gesture, to deposit money into the main account in hopes of appeasing the financial institution that wanted to shut us the fuck down. I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, and decided “this is a good time to dip my car key into my stash, and do just a little bump“, thinking that would calm my nerves enough for me not to freak out holding on to that much cash. So, I did my little bump, and wandered into the bank to take care of the business at hand.

Standing in line, I started to feel a little woozy all of a sudden, like when you get up too fast and see all of those little black spots floating around in your peripheral vision – the lack-of-oxygen blues. I must have made some kind of sound, because the woman in line in front of me turned around and made this horrible face at me, like she had seen me dry-humping a statue of Jesus or something. Before I could even smirk at her, the entire room shifted up on me. Everything started to get this hazy, amber-hued look to it, like right after a torrential rain. And less than a second after that, the entire left side of my body started to pound and vibrate. I could feel my balls shriveling up and crawling inside my body, turtling up to get as far away from the scene of the impending crime as testicularly possible. I felt something pop in my head, and then the next thing I knew I was on the floor, frantic and borderline foaming-at-the-mouth. Everyone around me was taking two or three steps away from me, clutching at their purses and wallets like I was suddenly going to spring up with a Glock and shake everyone down on the spot. Me? I was trying to not shit and piss all over myself in public, and gasping for breath and looking for any kind of sign that I was not in the middle of The Big One Fred Sanford was always crying about.

That’s right about the time I felt a hand reach down and grab me by the sleeve.

It was my goofball neighbor, Brian. This kid came out of nowhere to save the fucking day. He just happened to walk into the bank seconds before everything went haywire on me, and was already on his way toward me to see if he could cut in line. He started trying to pull me up off the ground, but it was like there was colostomy bag glue holding me there on the carpet. He gave me this look like “dude, you need to get the fuck up, now“, and that is exactly what I then did – I got the fuck on up and let him brace me a bit so I could right myself. He asked me if I needed to go to the hospital, and I just nodded real slow and tried not to fall down again.

He pretty much carried me to his car, this kid. He was as strong as an ox, a huge fleshy boy, but I was dead fucking weight. He finally asked/screamed at me “what the fuck are you on, man?” and I just immediately evened right out. I became calm and lucid, and told him that I had just done a little bump of blow and this kind of thing has never happened to me before. I told him that taking me to the hospital was of utmost importance, because part of me felt like I was having a fucking heart attack and I was certain death was coming for me. So, we jumped in his car and took off, running mad red lights with me screaming bloody fucking murder at him to get there faster(in retrospect, that kid was a fucking saint). It felt like I was in a really bad Afterschool Special – “Cocaine Will Fucking Kill You, Motherfucker” came to mind, as did “Potential Can Be Wiped The Fuck Out In One Quick Snort“.

I could see the Emergency Room entrance up ahead of us, and told Brian not to fucking stop – barrel on through and get me to the curb, basically. By the time he was twenty feet from the entrance, I was already opening the door to burst out and run inside to my salvation.

I ran up to the Charge/Triage Desk as fast as I could, and yammered at the woman behind the counter:

You have to fucking help me! I’m having a massive fucking heart attack, and I am not ready to die like this, I’m only 27!!!

It felt like ten whole minutes before she looked up from whatever the fuck she was doing. Eternity. I could feel my time slipping away as she slowly lifted her eyes into mine, with this look on her face that was a cross between “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” and “when you die(and you motherfucking will) I will rifle through your pockets for whatever drugs you have on you, stupid whiteboy“. When she finally did speak, she had this nasty condescending smirk on her grill, and said to me “You are NOT having a heart attack young man, because you would not be able to talk to me if you were. Calm down, take a seat, and we’ll help you in a minute“.

I just stood there, paralyzed, with sweat puddling up in my shoes, my mind bouncing all of this ridiculous drug-addled lunacy off the walls in my head…

How could she dismiss me so easily? Why was she so fucking mean and cruel? Why the fuck did I do that little bump? Why did that little bump set me off when I could sit and do an eightball in a night and be able to go to sleep ten fucking minutes after doing a huge rail? This shit has to be the purest cocaine I’ve ever done for a little bump to make my heart explode in my fucking chest! I’m gonna fucking die here, in this ghetto fucking hospital in a shitty part of Phoenix, Arizona, 27 years old and an entire lifetime ahead of me! I am going to fucking kill the motherfucker who gave me this piece! This is bullshit, and my girlfriend is going to leave me, and hire her mother’s ex-husband and his fucking greasy biker friends to kill me! I am so fucked.

Nurse Meanie McMeanerson saw me standing there freaking out, and came over and took me by the arm, leading me into an exam room. She calmly sat me on the edge of a gurney, and made me take off my shirt so she could slip the blood pressure cuff on my arm. All while this was going on, my mind is rattling around in my head like a cracked-out gerbil in one of those wheels, each thought slamming into the next like comets hitting the Sun. While she’s taking my pressure, she hands me a glass of water, along with three little white pills. I didn’t even need to ask her what the fuck they were, because I know Xanax when I see it.

You want to tell me what you took, because the doctors are going to need to know in case it interacts poorly with whatever they want to give you to calm you down. Your heart rate is 240, and you need to breathe, to relax“.

I told her everything. I told her that I had been using cocaine pretty heavily in the last few months, and that it seemed to somehow even everything out around me, The Great Equalizer – making me feel like I was not in any kind of pain. I told her that since my mother died, I had been hiding all sorts of shit from everyone in my life, from my father, my girlfriend, my boss, my friends, myself. I told her that when I couldn’t find cocaine, I would go out and do horrible and despicable things to procure it. I told her that I would go to gay bars and hustle unsuspecting motherfuckers, because everyone knows gay guys have the best cocaine. I told her that I thought about robbing dealers, because they couldn’t call the cops on me, right? I told her that I didn’t want to die, and that I knew when I was on the floor of the bank, doing The Flounder, that this was the last time I would ever use coke in my life, that my love affair with the little white powder that made everything better – was over.

And somehow, saying all of this shit out loud to some stranger – who ten minutes earlier I wanted to pummel to death – was calming me down. My heart rate was stabilizing. My eyesight seemed to come back into focus. My balls still throbbed, but they dropped back out of my body to their normal place of residence. I could feel the sweat drying all over my body, crystalline and salty. It was as if each confession I made released more of the pressure from my body, and I was freeing myself from whatever it was that had taken hold of me.

The whole time that I am emotionally throwing up all over this woman, there was a social worker standing in the shadows of the room, lurking and observing me. When I finally stopped for a second, grabbing at my temples and starting to let the tears come flowing out, she came out of the shadows. When she put her hand on my arm, I could feel that she knew – this was my fucking grief. This was what I was burying inside of me, and it decided that day to come clawing and crawling out of my psyche once and for all. The cocaine did what it was supposed to do for long enough. My mind could no longer be numbed by what I was putting into my body.

The fucking TRUTH was ready to come into the light.

I’ve never done another line of cocaine, nor have I even had a passing interest in it. For the first couple of years it was hard for me to even watch a movie with blow in it. But now, well, now I can be in a room with people who are doing it and not even have a wistful or lustful thought to join in on their fun. I don’t have any of that nostalgic longing for days gone by. Cocaine and I broke the fuck on up, and we’re both much better off for it. We had a good run, some laughs, and a bunch of fucking hilarious hijinks that would make for some interesting stories if I ever decide to commit myself to writing them. I’m pretty sure the sporadic panic attacks that I suffer are a direct result of the flood of chemicals cocaine used to cause in my brains chemistry, because I never had them before I used it.

I guess they are my souvenir T-Shirt. I Went Crazy On The Cocaine And All I Got Were These Lousy Panic Attacks.

Part of me knows, that writing is now my cocaine. My valve to release all of the shit that boils inside of me, to break loose the parts that won’t break free of their own accord, to pass them out of me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever really be a writer for real, but I am very sure that I’ll never be able to stop writing. Whenever my world starts to fall apart around me, my first instinct now is to write it out of me. To commit feeling to page/document file/server. To make sure that I cut the cadaver open and really examine what’s on the inside.

I’m glad I’m finally starting to realize that, because it sure beats staring down that D Train. Right?

*I’m not saying that I believe that I am some sort of genius in the realm of motherfuckers that create huge and sweeping changes in the path of humanity – I’m not a fucking blowhard moron(*cough* *cough*) that’s completely ruled by my own ego. I’m just saying that everyone is a genius in their own special way, and that is something that I have always believed. There are things that people in this world can do that blow my mind every time it happens, and the only word that comes to mind for me in that moment is genius. I suppose the word genius can be supplanted by unique or brilliant, but being the “150% or zero” kind of cat that I am – genius fits. A neurosurgeon is just as much of a genius as your mechanic, your pot dealer, your friendly neighborhood barista, the Asian massage parlor woman who doesn’t even ask before she stimulates your prostate, and maybe even your fucking shrink. They each do something that most people might not be able to do, and they (hopefully) do it better than anyone you know. To me – that’s pure fucking genius.

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