Friday, August 05, 2005

So it's August, the time when people melt before they walk a city block in this town. Being one who's prone to drinking much coffee, there's a high sweat factor to be dealt with when under the sun for longer than 10 minutes. At least I'm conditioned to function in this shit. I feel for the more northerly acclimated sorts who might be coming through around now, but I welcome the burn. Every year I get to endure my own baptism by fire, and I'm always ever so proud of myself for making it through alive.

I've actually been fascinated with fire since I was a youngun (I once burned down my parents' backyard playing "chicken": true) and even now, sometimes feel a sick compulsion to shove my head in the oven and turn it up. I like it hot, like that lame song by The Power Station...Remember them? They're the kind of prefab glossy pop shite that made suburbanite losers like me resort to trying marijuana in the first place. So don't go thinking I'm getting all Sylvia Plath on your ass. I'm not. I'm just acknowledging my respect for heat, flames, laserbeams and other things that can make me go blind.

Since getting older, and arguably wiser (ROFLMFAOHAWHAWHAWHAWHAW!!!), I've realized that drugs are not necessarily the most beneficial means of expanding the mind. They're more like amplifiers that emphasize whatever thoughts are running through the mental wire wheel already. And seeing as most of us are consumed by negativity on a day to day basis, do we really need to give this stuff a platform from which to shout: "I SUCK! MY LIFE SUCKS! I FUCKING HATE YOU, EVEN THOUGH I TALK TO YOU EVERY DAY BECAUSE YOU BUY ME BEER AND TALK BACK, SO I WILL CONTINUE SITTING HERE AND LISTENING TO STORIES SUCH AS HOW YOU BOINKED A GIRL NAMED BRANDI LAST WEEK AND THEN BOINKED HER 60 YR OLD MOTHER THIS WEEK, ETC"? Of course we do. Shit sucks pretty bad when you're living the American non-dream nonstop, sucks less bad if you can share said suckage with another suckee over a glass of bad draft beer.

Anyway, back to the present point: If a record or CD is speeding by like a freight-train that might go off the rails, you can always turn it down. You can hit stop. You can even hit eject and throw the CD clear across the room. No such button lies in the cockpit of a Boeing airbus blazing on MDMA or 37 jello shots, coming in too steep and too hot in a thunderstorm. All the passengers can do is fasten the seatbelts, grab knees and pray that Jesus doesn't snatch their ass from the "jaws of life" (interesting phrase that).

Still, drugs are fun. They prolong life. They fight infection. They allow certain bores a means of staving off the traumas of early/mid life crises that the rest of us call "being awake" so that they might be invigorated by faux confidence and self esteem as their sex drive plummets. In the end it's all worth it, though, because they become more viable cogs in the human machine, or they're five times more likely to commit suicide and/or murder a coworker. All beneficial to society in the wacky decade affectionately referred to as the oh's.

There's always that danger of losing one's self among any kind of obsession--real, imagined, experienced or witnessed from a lachrymose daze. It's not always so obvious, either. One day you're running late, finally find your lost keys, stub a shin on the dash out, and you look down and find a warped prothstetic made of hemp and coca leaves. It happens! Perhaps moderation is the key to the beneficial ingestion of all stimuli. Maybe I'm just a ninny who thinks all you need is love. Jonathan Richman was onto something when he sang, "if these guys, if they're really so great, tell me, why can't they take this place straight?" Because, hippie Jonny, addiction gives one purpose.


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