In between the bending over and praying to the God of Porcelain, every 10 to 20 minutes at this point in time, that its not my kidneys threatening to buckle and disolve into raw bleeding nerves of pain and disease once again, and the screaming, bitching, crying of the ragged remains of what once upon a time I called with gleaming pride 'my Family'
I've been reading a book called CRANK by Ellen Hopkins.
This book is a giant mind fuck.
It's taken me an hour and a half
to read 200 pages.
That's something relatively unheard of for me. When I read I usually do it in a particular way. I eat large chunks of information, be in fiction or non, and process it slowly, digesting it, simplifying it, applying it to myself. It might be a life skill, or it might just be my disease eaten mind.
But the way the book is written.
It has this strange, enthralling pull that screams and claws at the back of my eyes. It tells me “You already know this story don't you? Well let's see what happens.”
I grew up around drugs.
In fact, drugs are so inextricably synonymous with my very existence there's no doubt in my mind that it was their abuse that led to my conception.
I know what the bleary, disgusting world of drugs is.
It's eating McDonald's every night. Grandma pays for it because no one knows where mommy's money is going.
It's being woke up in the middle of the night and shoved into the car, driving off to places you don't know and being told to lie down and not say anything, we can leave as soon as Keith turns up with the smack.
It's having Steve Irwin as your baby sitter, because the TV will keep you shut-the-fuck-up long enough for mom to come down off her high.
It's parties late into the night.
Fighting and cussing.
It's peeing into a bucket at one o'clock in the morning. Mommy's friend's can't afford running water after all.
It's learning to cook for yourself. Microwaves become your best friend.
It's spending lots of time at grandma's house, wondering when the next time you might see your mother is.
Days? Weeks? Who knows?
And sometimes it's magical.
It's mom's friend Kay Lynn, who's come over to do a line, to smoke a blunt.
And she tells funny stories about beating up bikers,
and her husband.
So she gets to sleep over tonight!
And we stay up till one in the morning, watching cartoons.
Laughing, drinking. They're drinking. Not me.
Kay Lynn teaches me how to break someone's nose with one well positioned strike. It's a skill I still use today.
Sometimes instead we go to Joe's house. He's got two son's just my age, so I have something to do while they fly.
Football, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball.
The food is good, though it all tastes vaguely of alcohol.
Tying things to firecrackers and watching them explode.
Crawling through the junkyard just a block away. Just watch out for the rusted out station wagon, there's a bunch of racoons that live in it, and I think they've got rabies.
Playing all kinds of neat games we can think of.
Looking at porn. Drinking beer.
The dugs make magic happen sometimes.
Like suddenly the world make sense on the drugs.
You have a strange, 3AM epiphany about life, love, and purpose.
Sure, its all imagined, and you'll forget when you come down.
But it's worth waking up the kids, telling them about the magic and wonders of a world they don't yet know that's not beyond their reach.
It's hope and magic.
It's despair and horror.
There's nothing more beautiful, more vile, more awful, more terrible, more worshiped, more reviled, more sought, or more avoided:
I'm not praising them, don't get me wrong. I'm merely rinsing off some old nostalgia that I'd buried in the ground long ago, along with memories of my mother when I did love her, the time before I had to be 'the man of the house', before I had a sister, before I knew who I'd become.
There's a certain kind of...beauty, that lies within destroying yourself.
If you didn't grow up in the lifestyle that I did, you wouldn't understand what I just said.
It's horrible and beautiful to watch. To see someone destroy themselves is painful, because the pain is there and real for you. But to be the one to make your end, the pain is removed, dull, numbed, turned into a sens of self, intelligence, power, and perspective. When you kill yourself, you become god. When the numbness takes a hold of you, you're never more confident, more assured, less afraid of anything, especially to die.
There's something beautiful about destroying yourself. Once upon a time it was more evident to me. I still listen to the CDs my mother gave me, songs about morphine and how much smarter it makes you, even though its really a blatant lie. But to me its hard not to romanticize, at least in some ways.
The idea of floating on caramel sweet—eternal bliss without contingency or feeling. Life becomes something apart. Something you are unaware of, and yet understand wholly.
None of this makes sense to those that haven't lived it.
The child of a drug user.
Who loved their mom
Who despises their mom.
Who had a fond childhood
Filled with terror and dread
With so many unique experiences
Who witnessed so many crimes
Who will stay,
Altogether and unfathomably
Incomplete and broken
This is my life. This series of strange contradictions, moments of great philosophy, lows of epic proportions. Darkness and dread, all flavored not with fear but adoration.
I blame, and thank, my mother for what I have become.
Never stronger, nor weaker. Tempered. Nobel. Unafraid. Just. Pitiless even so.
Firm. Still. Calm. Quiet.
Thinking. Perceiving. Knowing: when and when not to speak, what to say, what to do.
Mature, to say the least.
Even. Mixed and melded into a fine shade of gray in that the lines of morals and ethics are so blurry and yet never so well defined in any book of faith.
But more than anything, living in the home, under the semi-neglectful care, of a crank-whore taught me one major important life lesson that has more than anything else helped me in life:
Always read the expiration date on food.