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Published by Andrea Lynne

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Published by: Andrea Lynne on Apr 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I simply must write. I do not even know what. I suppose I will begin at the beginning. Iremember only the color of the sky being this perfect crystalline shade of blue. It was thefirst few weeks of autumn, the tipps of the leaves had just begun to color, dipped in reds,oranges, russet. I had the feeling that my body was drenched in sunlight, it was as thougha wave of warmth and pleasure, so intense as to make my stomach queasy, had engukfedme. This began my downward descent into the abyss of heroin. Although, I am gettingahead of myself. There were plenty of innocent flirtations with boys and that first drink of alcohol and of course, the excitement of puffing a joint, feeling reckless and free,alienated by choice. I lumped myself into the category of kids whose parents were onwelfare or kids who listened to shocking music and dropped acid, shoeless and skinny inthe pure summer daylight of a suburban park. I was the suburban teen queen, theoverachieving perfectionist anorexic self-conscious overly made up teenager of thesuburban Midwest, although I suppose it could be anywhere, really. I could not keep itup, that frantic pace of a hamster on dexatrim running endlessly on a treadmill goingnowhere. Finally, I opened up a valve and when I did, it was like the floodgates of hellhad been loosed, and there was no turning back. I was loose and free and I simply didnot care about perfection anymore, I was flawed, I was beyond flawed, I was broken..In the autumn my memory is restored to vivid alacrity, the memories of those times whendrugs coarsed through my veins are crisp and lifelike. Just today, swinging on a swingallowing the sunlight to make spectral spots on my closed eyelids, I recalled that lostweek in San Fransisco, stealing electronics from Sears and eventually selling them inMexico, only to use the money to bribe the Mexican police keep us out of prison. This perfect clear day reminded me that I spent and entire week in a motel room with a hell’sAngel named Willy. Willy had his name tattooed on the inside of his lip and also on hisnether region, in case, I suppose for post-mortem identification. The really anti-climactic part of the story is that we shot this moist, pungent smelling powder into our veins anddrove back and forth over the golden gate bridge about forty times. I think it might have been some combination of crank and lyme remover. Regardless, it had me sufficientlytweaked. The end of the week was marked with my traveling companions release from jail ( he was incarcerated for stealing a television from Sears) where I greeted him in thelobby and thus continued our sleazy tour of drug infested towns in America and Mexico.Today the closest I come to that life is when I watch intervention. I might remember what it was like when I am running or in the bathtub and I will flash on one of thosetimes like a super eight reel. I remember it so vividly for an instant, almst as though I canfeel the sensation of being lost in the vacuous pool of heroin or the speedy, metallicmania of crack. I spend my days jogging and doing crunches and studying post colonialliterature and American literature and bathing my daughter and cleaning up messes andfighting with my insecure boyfriend, yes, completely insecure. If only he knew what areally lousy whore I actually am. I have no poker face and I simply cannot pretend in anyconvincing manner that I have:A had an orgasm when I have not or B: Find someonewho I find a repulsive parasite attractive. Never the less, it seems that lately we aredrowning in this sesspool of mistrust. I realize that just as there exists a part of me that iscapable of sleeping with a much older man for money and drugs to inject in my arm,there is a perverse part of my soul which derives some pleasure from knowing that I havethis power over him, even though it is making us both miserable. I wonder then, when
those two parts of self meet. I wonder where, in my endless well of soul, does the kindand loving, compassionate friend and nurturer meet with the smirking, self satisfied junky whore? How is the narcissistic self, who wants money and pleasure and power above all else crushed back down into the hole she sprang out of? Maybe they coexistsilently all the time, wrestling with one another like hatching snakes hungry for the onlymouse. Maybe they are simply the surprise inside; the shock that suspends humor when aonce smiling, happy toddler smacks you in the face because of a lack of impulse control.Maybe it is the yin and yang the balance which defines one thing as possessing all of it’sgiven characteristics: in order to know black, you must first know white. Maybe it is thereason God created Satan, because everyone, even God needs an opposite to be defined.To understand the beginning one must know what came before that. To understandgoodness one must have firsthand knowledge of evil. To forgive one must first have theexperience of forgiving oneself. To love, one must first experience the pain of fear. Tolive one must come near death, tease it and walk away with the knowledge that you willmeet again. MaybeI simply needed to take that journey as far as could in order to fulfillmy destiny and write this story tonight. Maybe it will help you or maybe it will inspireyou to go and do something insane. There is no way of knowing. The only thing I doknow for certain is that for all my recklessness there is absolutely no earthly reason Ishould be sitting here tonight.Let me begin in the innocence of adolescence when I realized that all of myefforts at perfection were useless. I realized that the pain I felt simply being alive wouldnot go away no matter how many A’s I got or how thin I became or if my backhandimproved significantly. No amount of new things seemed to quell that deep, endless holethat increased in size and scope with each passing moment of adolescence. I remember that I always felt different from the other kids. The others were practicing dance movesand talking on the phone to boys, two things I was utterly petrified by. Instead, I wouldsit under the huge willow tree at the top of our sledhill and read. At the time I wasreading “Little House on the Prairie” and I remember how simple life seemed for Laura.Yes, certainly there were those freak blizzards when food was scarce and the springtimefloods and living in a dug out under the earth but these things seemed like trivialinconveniences compared to the problems I was facing at home. Laura may have had a blind sister but I was certain she did not have a schizophrenic brother. My brother changed into a monster on is eighteenth birthday. I will never forget that Christmas evewhen he left for California with all of his belongings and came back a bedeviled, hollowshell of a human, strange and frightening. James was my favorite of the boys. He wasalways fun and mischievous, always looking for a way to make you laugh or give you athrill. He used to take us out on his snowmobile at night. We flew over hills and soared past stopsigns, we never slowed down. The fine mist of snow glazed my face and I woldclose my eyes and scream, “slow dooooown!!!” but all the while I wanted him to gofaster. When came into the living room that Christmas Eve I could feel the tension in theair. I was pretty upset because I had waited patiently through all of supper and I wantedto open presents but James and my brother Jon began fighting. I didn’t understand whatit was about but I was scared and I wanted it to stop. There was a sudden explosion andthen a crunching sound and blood as James hit Jon in the face with his helmet. That wasthe last I saw my brother. The person that came back from a jail in California was astranger, someone else held captive in James’ body. I have been looking for James in so

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