02 February 2013

Wednesday, April 19, 1995 3:37 p.m.

Ms. Crow and Scout

I think I may be on what one would call a “bender.”

I have been in a constant drug-induced fog for the past few weeks. It’s not unusual for me to be a social drink-and-drugger, but beginning with my birthday, I’ve kicked up the frequency, Kenneth. A woman I work with at the restaurant is a musician who happens to be friends with Sheryl Crow’s drummer. She has backstage passes to hang out after the show, which happens to be the night of my birthday, and brings me along to celebrate.

By the time I’m introducing myself to Ms. Crow, we’ve been drinking quite a bit, so that I smile and tell her, “You’re my birthday present.”  She immediately flies into a rage at one of the sound guys who has just walked in and I meekly drop to the couch and sink in, making myself small. Even her dog, Scout, seems a bit scared and backs up against my leg during this outburst. Everyone is uneasy and silent. Eventually, though, she doubles over with laughter at her out-of-character April Fool’s joke. I’m still shaken, honestly, even after the reveal, so that when I arrive at the late-night birthday party my friends have thrown for me, I am nervous-drinking. Luckily, most of my birthday presents are bottles of liquor, including a bottle of Knob Creek that is quickly drained. Bourbon, I am convinced, is a panacea. Cures what ails ya. And if yer not ailing, it makes everything even better.

From this kick-off celebration on, in moments of lucidity that occur only every other day, I am either smoking weed, drinking, or working.

The real daily haze, however, starts with a rave this past Friday where I do a hit of ecstasy. It is followed by another half-hit the next day for no particular reason other than it’s in my glove compartment and I damn well want it. That night’s entertainment at the club is courtesy of a hit of acid, chased down with a couple of beers and followed by a couple of joints shared between a small circle of friends.  This certainly doesn’t help the severe strep I have developed, but I put that out of my mind, convinced that the prescribed antibiotics I am on will take care of the cause, and the other, non-prescribed substances with which I am self-medicating will take care of the symptoms.

Sunday night, F_____ and I eat some mushrooms before heading to the Connection, which is never really a good idea for a Sunday night (the Connection, not the mushrooms), but what else do you expect us to do? It’s pretty dead, and having not immediately felt the effects of what we begin to suspect was more manure than fungus, we start drinking pretty heavily. Amidst the piss-poor hi-energy house music, the DJ suddenly drops some Traci Lords, which gets us out onto the dance floor, and now that we are moving, the psilocybin makes its way through our systems to find our pleasure centers, and we are soon both tripping balls and drunk.

On the one hand, I tell myself that this binge is because I am moving from Louisville next month and I want to go out with a bang. In truth, I’ve been avoiding staying at my apartment. I’ve been avoiding J_____. Our friendship has deteriorated in a matter of months and it’s mostly my fault. But, I’m tired of having to lie for him, to deny the steady string of women coming and going through his bedroom door whenever his girlfriend asks. And, she asks repeatedly.

In truth, I’m probably jealous of him. And of them. I suspect this because I used to have no problem lying to protect him; the problem is, I was also lying to myself.

He doesn’t give a shit about me.

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