I cook it up and shoot it up and make an attempt to live it up, but fighting death gets tiring. So I suck it up and turn it up and make an attempt to sing it up, but screaming lyrics gets old. And so I turn around and look around and make an attempt to live this down, but stereotypes are stronger than I am. So I fuck it up and shake things up and make an attempt to change it up, but wasted days just bleed into wasted nights and form endless wasted years.
I sit beneath the streetlight for hours before I look up and see only
darkness, some kind of metaphor for the reality of my mode of living.
The truth does battle with my self-convinced mind full of lies, and up
sure looks like down these days. Black looks white and darkness is
blinding, and I know I have become the embodiment of urban blight.
Self-imposed isolation is the hardest kind to overcome, when only
shattered glass and missed cues keep me company. If you ask me to lie,
I'll always tell the truth, but ask me for the truth and it's bound to
be a lie.
This lifestyle weakens me physically and hardens me mentally and tears
away my ability to trust the human race, because I've seen the
desperation of various human conditions that have no place in this
world. I've seen the aftermath of a cold shoulder, the loss of hope that
dulls the eyes and steals away all light. I've seen 15-year-old kids
who held more pain and weariness and distrust within their souls than
prisoners of war, than battered police brutality victims, than New
Yorkers on 9/11. I've stared down the barrel of a dealer's gun with no
fear, only a longing for whatever rides on the butt of the bullet. I've
felt cold, sharp steel against my back and felt no regret, only longing
for whatever hangs on the dull side of the blade. I've felt violent
hands around my throat and felt no need for air, only longing for
whatever floats on the other side of the darkness. I've seen the impact
incoming and stood to face it because really, what could be worse than
what I've already seen?
Frostbite steals skin off my toes I won't miss, and I steal stereos and
moments of euphoria, knowing always I'm only ripping off myself. Leaving
smashed car windows and crushed hearts in my wake, destruction and
blatant criminal acts only mask my fear of what's around the bend. If
you look me in the eye I'll always look away, because to face you would
mean facing myself. I run from confrontation and always crack under
pressure. I'll spill guts to the masses from the tallest buildings and
spill blood into empty streets and desolate alleyways, fighting with
staggering violence against all that I am, all that I have become. And
every time I look over my shoulder I see less and less of who I used to
be, as the dust grows thicker, as the lights grow dimmer, as the
wreckage piles higher. And every time I look ahead the path is
drastically shorter, as I further batter my body, as the pains in my liver grow sharper, as the hours I spend asleep grow longer and longer
while my body gives out. I know how it feels when my mind is no longer
mine, when loss of control is so complete it leaves me questioning
whether control ever existed to begin with.
I dream the dreams of the dying, so starkly clear, those that don't fade
a bit after I wake. I'm dancing life's razor's edge, pushing the limits
of even this addict's endurance, feeling pieces slip away as the walls
close in. I don't just take chances, I take major risks, putting my life
at stake by constantly seeking that once-in-a-lifetime high, shooting
as much at once as I can fit into the syringe, regardless of whether
it's heroin, coke, or whatever else I've decided to use to blot out my
thoughts. And even when I scramble and get up on my feet for brief
periods, my body still lives with the aftermath, constant physical pain
and weakness that doesn't fade anymore. After I've been running the
streets for months seeking dope, I finally become so sick that I sleep
solid 72 hour periods as my body tries desperately to heal. To rest for
the next week's inevitable torment. And yet, I just can't stop.
So I spend my life searching, while my wasted days bleed into wasted
nights and form endless wasted years. And I spend most hours face down on
the pavement, cursing the moon and stars while I grasp at straws that
only get shorter and shorter. There's interference in the clouds and my
satellite dish fails to pick up transmissions from the future, and the
static is the perfect place to stage an ambush.
And as the edges blur and the sun becomes reluctant to rise, I grow
tired of waiting for the storm to pass and make another attempt at
learning to dance in the rain, water rolling off my shoulders, washing
away a decade's worth of dried blood and city dust. And though I dance
alone these days, my neck is gaining strength, almost powerful enough to
lift my head again to salute the world as it passes me by, our parades
marching opposite directions on the same crowded street. And in these
moments, if you tell me the end is near I'll just laugh and live on
forever, with flames always lapping at my heels, the hounds of hell bounding circles all around me, rain pounding my back
and elusive hope slipping in and out of my grasp.
(Written by me in 2008. Still had five years of living in hell left ahead of me. And elusive hope was a lie- I had no hope left.)