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Twisting all the bad things into good

Dec 1, 2012

The Prodigal Son Also Rises. CHAPT 28

     


        Great writers are the saints for the godless. 
          Anita Brookner



      
     MONDAY. 9/13/10

     South County was not South Beach, but I still had a pretty good time. I don't know how long I would have been able to convince myself things weren't that bad if I didn't know how long I'd be  locked away. 
     If I had to guess, I 'd say about 5 days.
     
     Then, I imagine I'd be singing a different song.
     I just don't know which one.

     I don't know what or why the caged bird sings.
     I mean, seriously, you're in a cage, bird.
     With your wings clipped, where's the inspiration?
     Was it the same song sung over and over?
     Something you learned before they locked you away?
     Or was it your own?
     Something you came up with to pass the time, to keep yourself sane.
     What did you call it, Things Could Be Worse, At Least I'm Not Dead...Yet"?
     Sounds like another one of those LifeTime tv movies.
     You're going nowhere, bird, and it's going to take your whole life to get there.
     After you've sung your swan song, you'll be in that newspaper.
     Clever headline reading "Bye, Bye Birdy".

     That was not a punchline.

     I'm not a comedian.
     I'm not a poet, and I acknowledge it.

     Maya Angelou can rest in peace.

     
     I'm not even sure if she's dead.
     If not, I'm sure she, and her family, and her fans, will be happy to hear the good news.

     Headline reading "Maya Angelou Is NOT Dead!" 

     But someday, after her last poem has been written and recited, her name in the headlines and her body in the ground, she'll be gone forever. Until then, she can take comfort living out her last days knowing she, not I, will forever be The Patron Saint of African American Women Poet Laureates. I'll never be more than the white dude who sparked her death hoax headlines the same day after my release from an involuntary 5 year stay at a criminally insane asylum.

     In journalism, it's called "sensationalism".


     Nothing sensational here.

     I never even kept a journal.
     Definitely never had a diary.
     I did drink a lot of rum though.

     Hunter S. Thompson can rest in peace.


     I didn't go out on the campaign trail in '72.

     I never hung out with The Hell's Angels.
     But, I did hallucinate I hung out with Hell's Criss Angel.

     Not counting my most recent Vegas vacation, I've been to Sin City about a dozen times. That's only a fraction of how many times I've felt fear. Even more were the countless times I found myself loathing the place I was in and the people I was there with.

     I didn't need to take a flight or drug fueled road trip to get there.
     I didn't even need to get out of bed.
     I was already there, and I was always alone.
     Book cover reading Fear and Loathing In My Bedroom.

     Johnny Depp will never play Jimmy Mac in a movie.


     He has neither the talent nor the looks.

     Stick to pirate movies, Captain Keith Richards.

     6 more sequels and you'll never need to go on another audition. 
     No more shady casting directors demanding you give them a handjob with your mouth.
        
     Besides, there was no fear or loathing in South County.
     Not in my mind.
     I can't speak for the silent majority, because they never spoke.
     They never laughed.
     For them, this was not summer camp
     Maybe, unlike Sparky, they didn't own their own tent.
     Nothing they had was bought and paid for.
     Nobody was coming to take them home.
     They had no home, and nobody was there waiting for them.

     They must have loathed me.


     I stole their only entertainment.

     The staff didn't mind. They wanted me to change the channel. They were sick of watching this marathon.
     Special Victims in the crisis stabilization unit.       
     They must have seen every episode by now. Over and over, in the same place, on the same channel nobody ever seemed to consider changing.
     Nobody spoke up when I asked if they were watching whatever they were watching.
     Silence and Consent.
     Them and their Suspect Behavior.
     Me and my big mouth.
     Me and my Birds.

     I wanted to watch my soon to be home team Eagles soar above The Pack.

     Our flight song.
     Our fight song.
     Fight or flight.
     It's one or the other.

     I didn't sing it, but I was thinking it.

     I had to keep it inside.
     What begins like a sing along descends with each line into what ends sounding like a drunken shouting match between Viviana and herself. 

     Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.

     Fight Eagles Fight, Score A Touchdown 1-2-3.
     Hit 'Em Low.
     Hit 'Em High.  
     And Watch Our Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.
     E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!

     Birds went down.   


     Fuck The Pack.

     Fuck cheeseheads.
     Fuck Criminal Minds.
     Fuck Law & Fuck Order.
                
     That was yesterday.
             
     Today is not game day.
     It's judgement time.
     Again.

     When I woke up from my sleep and my psychosis on Thursday morning, I put myself on trial. In an attempt to defend myself, I gave a brilliant statement, then immediately poked holes in it.

     I didn't need any imaginary judge or jury to tell me I was guilty.
     But I bet it would be fun to write.
     And now, it's all public record.

     I can have the court reporter read it back if you'd like.


     This time, things would be different.

     This time, I was the judge.

     Luckily for South County's finest, I would not come down as hard on them as I had on myself.

     Luckily for John Grisham, my attempt at courtroom drama sucks Mr. Big's Dick Wolf.



     T called me over to the tech counter. He handed me a pencil and a survey to fill out, like I was checking out from an involuntary extended stay at some legal retard resort.
     When I considered how highly valued my co-occurring opinions must be to the powers that be, I decided to not waste much time or thought filling it out. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being some place in hell, 10 being any place not in my bedroom, I dropped a dime piece on the entire staff of this dually diagnosed destination.
     I never even considered 2 through 9.
 
     Club Meds was easily the most pleasant all inclusive mental health facility I had ever been whisked away to, but I'd be lying if I said I had any intentions of ever returning, nor would I recommend or even tell a friend about this place, unless that friend had not eaten in a week or had not slept in a few months or was in the midst of a psychotic episode with no end in sight.


     That's how I found out about this place.
     It's very exclusive. 
     It is.
     Seriously.
     Have you ever been there?
     How many people do you know who have been there?
     Exactly.
     And that's what makes me special.

     A coming of age story about a kid who never grew up.


     Whether they step off the short bus or they arrive unwillingly after cursing their parents from the backseat all the way, only special kids get to go to The South County Summer Sleepaway Camp For Adults With Special Needs. 

      Special needs like sleep, crack cocaine, regular cocaine, opiates, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, exorcisms, etcetera, etfuckingcetera.


     These counselors were cool as shit.
     Their pills put the "sleep" in "sleepaway" camp.
     They served up three meals a day. And snacks like cookies and apple slices. The food was edible, although they never fulfilled my surf and turf request. I also never got a chance to try those amazing pancakes I heard so much whisper about on my first night.

     I missed eating breakfast. 

     I missed eating lunch. 
     I missed eating dinner.

     Mostly, I missed eating.

     I missed sleeping around.
     I missed sleeping alone. 
     I missed sleeping.

     Mostly, I missed sleeping around.

     As much as I missed eating cat and taking pussynaps, those were just hobbies. What I missed most was doing all those little things that if I didn't do them, I would die.
    
     None of the above activities had been getting much play back at my apartment, so being around food, and sleep, and damaged women was like being put up at a bed and breakfast at Bartender's Bash.

     Not everything is always relevant, but everything is always relative.

       
     An example of my law of relativity:
     You might call Jim Morrison a "drug addicted, drunken waste of talent".
     Someone else might call him a "hero", and you a "dick".
     Then they might ask you what you've done with your life deserving of a movie, and a bunch of books, and the undying devotion of a kid born 4 years after the music was over for The Patron Saint of the Doors, who broke on through to the other side due to "heart failure"....at 27.

     But in the end, doesn't everybody die of heart failure?


     It's not a medical mystery.

      
     Before the corruptible French coroner wrote something besides "drug overdose" on his death certificate, Jim wrote "I've been down so goddamn long, that it looks like up to me".

     Sometimes, you might ask yourself or your friend, "What the fuck is Jim is talking about?"


     I know what Jim's talking about.

     Most of the time.
     Sometimes I get a little lost.
     So when I don't know what Jim's talking about, I assume Jim knows what he's talking about. Then I listen a few more times and then I get it.
     He's hasn't failed me yet.
     Well, besides that time he died of heart failure.
     But that was a long time ago, in another life.
     Let me explain.
     There's an easy answer to why I've found a kindred soul in a rock star poet who od'd of heart failure before I was born. 
     It's because he's me.
     I'm James Douglas Morrison reincarnated.
     It's me, Mr. Mojo Risin'.
     I'm the lizard king, I can do anything. 

     Nobody ever recognizes or believes me.

     In this life, in this place, in this reality, I sang a new song, "I'd been down so goddamn long that strutting around a mental facility wearing the same clothes for 6 days, looking hotshit in Daisy Dukes, a white t-shirt with yellow pit stains, and happy faces on the flesh colored ballet slippers on the bare feet I walked in on, looked like up to me".

     I was "down" for a long time, but I've been "up" ever since my prolonged erection went down.

     A pop-up book?


     Yeah, I call it The Prodigal Son Also Rises.

     Like Hemingway?


     Yes, exactly like Hemingway. 

     We both got sloppy drunk at Sloppy Joe's in Key West.

     No. Not like Hemingway. Not at all. 

     More like blasphemy.
     I've never written a short story. 
     I can't even grow a beard, not of any length.
       
     The Patron Saint of American Literature can rest in peace.

     Rest in peace, Oh Papa, my Papa.


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