There is no happy place outside my window today. The sun was burning hot. It felt way warmer than the 73 degrees it is meant to be out there today. Blazing golden light threw all the shit and the destruction, the dirt and the excreta into sharp relief. I kept the curtains shut all day. Curtains shut and the lights off, the door bolted. No one bothered me today, and that is my definition of happiness. I live not to be bothered by people. Since Billy’s death I have not been able to handle people. I can’t talk to them, can’t look at them, can’t interact with them. No one seems to understand why. I am left with the dark side of the moon, the sharp end of the knife, the shitty end of the stick. I am left feeling like a monster for ignoring him at the end, when I could not bare to listen to it any longer. He was always dying in that last year. I simply thought he would be there again the next day. I offered to call him an ambulance if he needed one. He refused and said he didn’t. I asked him where he was camped, he wouldn’t tell me. I got too sad and too upset to continue the conversation and that was that. Oh to know it was my last shot at saving him. I had tried for years to save him. I thought I would get another shot at it.
I haven’t had a drink since he passed. Not a toke. Not a line. Not a pill. Not a hit. Not an anything at all. Not even a bump or a trip or a fall. In fact apart from the weed, which I took a break from when I moved into the apartment, I have not done anything other than marijuana in years. I last had a drink in July 2018. 4th July 2018 to be exact. Trauma of an extreme kind, combined with pressure of the worst sort, and my drinking, which was daily, but kind of controlled (as in I would wait till sundown to drink and didn’t shake too much if I didn’t get my booze), turned nuclear. We had a tiny camping spot, and some redneck types threw a beanbag against my camper wall for hours. I tried to go to bed and ignore the partying and lay there in my misery and loss and desolation, but the regular thwack thud would not let me. Let ’em have it their way. If they were gonna party, we were gonna party, I thought to my crazed with sadness self.
I took the emergency bottle of Bacardi 151 (yes…like Jeff Foxworthy and the ‘you might be a redneck if….you might be an alcoholic if you have an emergency bottle of 151), and didn’t even go through the pretense of a glass, I sat on the bed, turned up Lou loud on the stereo, and tipped the bottle up. My last shot. To be fair I don’t remember my last shot. I don’t even remember my penultimate shot. I suppose I remember the first, second, third, fourth and fifth (appropriate) hits off the bottle. I remember screaming along to Lou and Soko and PJ Harvey. I remember partying with some mountain dwelling scarily hillbilly types, drinking them under the table until they gave up and went to bed. I remember berating them for giving up like the bunch of pussies that they were. Making noise then just giving up on me and the whole lets drink and be loud gig. I was angry drinking. The worst kind. Mad, bad and a little dangerous to know.
Apparently I passed out, came to and drank some more about 1am. Allegedly Billy tried to remove my bottle that I had liberated from the hillbillies. That didn’t go down too well. I remember vomiting. I remember the hangover from Hades. Too much. Waaaay too much. Hands shaking. Couldn’t sit up without passing out.
It was the Boy sadly looking at me and telling me he loved me and to carry on because he was still with me that did it. I never had another drink. Not another shot. It was my last shot. How much do I fucking want to have remembered it!
I remember my last pill. Not quite Lou’s shooting a vein in his neck and coughing up a quaalude. How much do I wish I had a quaalude! I wonder if they even make those fairytale beauties any more! They were the dreamiest, chillest, floaty-est stuff ever. Makes Xannies and Diazepam look like a paracetamol and a B12. No, it was a last oxy, the last one in the bottle. I miss it more than the booze. I drank because it was easy. I drank when I was angry. I never really loved alcohol. I know I can’t ever drink again. Heck, I am not one of these cool girls that pretends I can be around booze. Not one of these alcoholics that pretends they are cool with others drinking around them. Any one around me has to accept if they want to be around me they can’t drink. Yeah…I am a bunch of fun at parties. Good job that covid has destroyed any chance of partying anyway…
My last ‘shot’ was some opiate concoction. I remember it way too well. But how I wish I knew it was going to be my last shot. I fear I am similar to Lou in so far as when I ‘quit I quit’, and I make the decision out of the blue. I sneak up on it and go for it, hell for leather. Do or die. Shake rattle like an old sick dog, and roll with it.
I won’t pretend I don’t need to get high. Fuck do I need to get high. I won’t pretend I don’t need a drink and haven’t thought about it about 10 times in the last two hours. I won’t pretend if someone put the works and the bag in front of me right now that I wouldn’t roll up my sleeve for it and ventilate myself. There is no point. That is how the danger gets in. I know I want it. The universe knows I do….and I do my best to dodge the shot.
..if I don’t then I don’t have a shot at anything left at all: not helping the Boy get to a safe happy adult life, not leaving this world with any self respect, not the success that I crave, nor the justification I desire. If I don’t dodge the shots then I will go down as a failure on all counts. A coulda shoulda woulda. I will burn out like Billy did, and I loved him way more than I ever loved myself, and hated him too, and wouldn’t wish that on either of us. It is too late for him, but not too late for me. The idea of the Boy hating me like I hate Billy right now is too much to bear. Trust me. I know now that it is true, go out like that and everyone, including you, hates you more than anyone ever thought possible.
Love is the law. Love under will. I just want to be loved by someone and to give that love back. I want someone to say, hand on heart, that I wasn’t so bad after all, and the price of that is not knowing when my last shot was. So be it.
….but my mouth is watering thinking about it….even if somewhere at the bottom of a lake is a bottle and a U100 with my name on em, and they call for my demise, just like it took out almost everyone I cared for apart from my Boy…
If you want me, I will be in my eternal happy place with Lou Reed at the Capitol Theater.
Alas…there is no time travel…just the moments we have today and tomorrow to share…enjoy the moment.
Thank you, slpmartin. Alas, indeed….