Wednesday, July 26, 2006


It was March of last year. He'd been trying to talk me into it for months, and I had obstinately refused, proclaiming that a chemically induced influx of Seratonin couldn't possibly be healthy. For months it had been a battle between me and the drugs and the Xbox and a cult of chicken fingers for his time. I realized, finally, that I couldn't compete, and so I would conform. If I wanted to spend time with him, I'd have to do what he was doing. I was desperate to save a relationship I could feel dying. And so I said I'd do it, and he smiled, and we went.

Next thing I know I'm in a pay-to-park lot in New Orleans, discreetly popping a pill into my mouth behind a pickup truck. I felt nervous and excited and open. We walked across the street to some dive bar, Polynesian Joe's or something like that, or maybe it wasn't a dive and I just thought it was because they were having some wannabe rave and there were pool tables and old raggedy couches and a courtyard with a volleyball court and it just all seemed very strange to me. And my buddy, my buddy Josh, Jesse's brother, was spinning, and for what seemed like forever but probably was only a few moments I stood in a trance and watched and swayed...but that was later.

Earlier, it took me forever to come up because it was my first time. And I was nineteen and out of my element and trying to relax, and David was aggravating the shit out of me because he was already up and wouldn't shut the fuck up about how much he loves us all and what do we really think of him and why do I think he doesn't have a girlfriend, and I didn't want to talk about it right then, or ever. And Bryan and I, we sat on the couch and talked, and as I came up we just started talking about all this shit, and when I realized I was up it was strange, I felt so open, and suddenly, apparently, this place felt very much like home. And I interrupted him midsentence to tell him, and he understood, and we went back to talking about why we fought and what we both really wanted and how much we really loved each other, and then everyone else came over, and it was like a little party in this little seating area, but we were so caught up in this conversation we knew we would never have sober that we just kept talking. And there was this sense of urgency, like we knew that morning would come and we would come down and back to the games and the pulling and the pretending, never really being honest with each other, hurting more and more with every day that we continued in this unhealthy pattern. Somewhere deep down under all that pain, we knew that we really loved each other, even though he had a big nose and I was codependent, and we found it somewhere that night through the drugs, through the seratonin, but it was fake, because if it has to be chemically induced to really see the truth of it, it's too far gone anyway, and we should have left it then.

And the whole night was kind of like that, making appointments to talk with people, this juvenile sense of, "Dude, I just feel so in tune with you right now," sitting in this bar with the techno beat and the chemicals flowing, trying to pretend that it's our friendship that's so deep, and not the drugs. And I think we left around 5 a.m., and went to meet Erin and her friends at their place uptown, because apparently they were just getting home from an innocent night of alcohol, but they were cool with us coming over. And I was coming down, and feeling like shit, and wanted to leave, and apparently made some comment to Erin that was entirely too honest, because she's my friend and she'd been a slut, fucking too many guys, and from what I've been told I told her so, and she started screaming at me as we walked out the door, and I was freaked the fuck out. "What, why is she screaming at me?" But we were leaving, and the sun was coming up as we walked to the car, and I was still so confused, and starting to feel shaky. I just wanted to go home and sleep, but I had work in three hours, which was a crock of shit.

And the moral of the story is, that I missed work the next day, and Erin and I didn't speak for nearly a year, and that conversation with Bryan in which all of our hopes and fears and wants were laid out on the table didn't stop us from going right back into our same patterns, our same fights, and we stayed sick until finally we couldn't take it anymore, and pushed the whole thing away. And all I got out of this was some cheap contrived talk masquerading as profound, a pissed off friend, and a day's loss of pay. Not for me, not anymore, not ever. I value my reality too highly, I'll stick to pot.


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