I didn’t want to take anything away from Rara reposting “I am not a felon“, but I didn’t want it to be sitting here, along with the “Origin Story,”on their own either. Support through solidarity, through helping kick off this new project…
Or, maybe my brain is just fried and this is a terrible idea. That seems likely.
After Black Box Warnings was disbanded and I got a copy of my story back, I was pretty sure I’d never post it again. Yet, here I am, and here it is. For whatever that is worth right now.
If you’ve stumbled into the kingdom before and happened to click on the About link you will have seen this:
I’ve gotten more views and more likes for that one line than on anything else I’ve posted. And I’m okay with that, because that’s how I roll. My blog is just a random factory of silly and fiction, prompt responses and observations, poems and stories built around a punch line. I needed an outlet for the creative within me and the pages of my blog allow me the freedom to explore the range of those wordy words trapped in my head. I don’t expect everyone to like everything I write. I don’t expect anyone to like anything I write, because that too is how I roll.
I go with the flow. I’m Gumby: adaptable to every situation and scenario, I can change to be what is needed, what is expected. I roll with it.
But that’s not how I used to roll.
I used to roll at raves.
I’d chew two at a time: Red Triangles, Blue Life Savers, Green Clovers… You name the Ecstasy (E, X, MDMA) pills from the early 2000’s and I probably tried them. I chewed them so they would hit me faster. I took two because I wanted to roll hard. I wanted to feel the lights bending through me. I wanted to see the beats as they pounded out of the speakers I was invariably parked in front of. I wanted the hours of energy I’d be left with after the initial e-puddle sessions so I could go around the party as part of the good vibe crew: giving light shows and massages, making sure the other kids were staying hydrated, having fun, enjoying the crowd and the music and the life.
I thought I was seeing the world differently. I thought the beauty I witnessed in those drug fueled moments was carrying over into my daily life. I thought I had it all figured out: what was important, what wasn’t important, what I wanted to do with my life, who I was. I thought raving and rolling had opened a door for me that was guiding me down a secret path to success.
It had opened a door, in a way, and the constant flooding and depletion of my serotonin left me hollow, broken, incomplete. At first my come downs only lasted the day after the party. By the end they lasted longer than a week usually. Exhaustion. Nausea. Depression. I couldn’t talk because I had ground my jaws together so tightly it hurt to open my mouth. I couldn’t breath because my throat had been ripped to shreds from chewing gum, pacifiers, and anything and everything I could shove in my mouth to combat the clench that always accompanied the roll. I couldn’t move because every muscle in my body was sore from the exertion of partying for twelve straight hours. I couldn’t think because my mind only had room for the pain and sorrow I’d been left with.
And still I partied on.
Sometimes once a weekend. Sometimes twice a weekend. And it was rare I skipped a weekend altogether.
It almost got to the point where I only felt normal when I was rolling. Almost but not entirely. The come downs lasted that long and I need the drugs to feel happy again. I needed them to tap into my serotonin and get it to release again. Rolling was my way of life.
And then friends started to express concern. I wasn’t the same happy kid I had been when we’d started partying together. I didn’t look healthy. I didn’t sound healthy. With those thoughts echoing in my hollow mind I started to pull things out of the haze. There were moments I couldn’t account for. Hours of my life that were gone forever. I could pull out moments from the parties, single frames from what should have been a full film, but nothing else: the times when people had been talking to me and I’d been too far gone to respond, the times I had come close to wrecking my life irrevocably, the times I had made a complete fool of myself.
I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was full of guilt for having broken the trust of the ones I loved the most. I vowed to quit. I vowed to stop rolling. I promised those who knew what I had been doing that I would never use again. And I kept to that promise.
But the damage had already been done.
I will forever bear the burden of my guilt and shame. I will forever have issues with my jaw from the damage I inflected upon myself. I will forever wonder if the small tremor I get in my hands from time to time is nerve damage caused by the drugs I took. I will forever be left wondering if the holes in my memory and my inability to grasp things as quickly and as easily as I once could are because I chose to act foolishly for a few years when I was younger.
And now that I’m a father, I wonder if I will lie to my son and tell him that I never tried anything when I’m trying to pound home the lesson that DRUGS ARE BAD. Or, will I tell him the truth and hope that he learns from my mistakes. How will I answer the questions that will come from that truth? How can I hold him to a standard I couldn’t keep myself to?
Mostly I just wonder if I will ever feel normal again or if this guilt, this shame, that I live with every day is my new normal.