The teacher asked a group of us to sit out in the hall because we were being disruptive to the overall learning process. This was the beginning of it all. Would things have taken the same rotten course if the teacher hadn’t asked us all to step outside the classroom that day? Probably. But there was no stopping fate.
In the hall TJ and Phil were speaking of this thing called a gravity bong. Their words inspired interest; their emotions inspired intrigue. I said: “Can I try it?”
They both nodded.
It was an exploration into self-destruction. I was curious. Bored. Dissatisfied.
When I was younger, I remember sitting at some restaurant with my family and I tasted some weird foreign food on my dad’s plate which my brother and sister had refused to try themselves, and I remember my dad saying how adventurous I was. He was proud to know that I would try anything. I did try anything, and soon I would try everything—because I was “adventurous.”
If only he knew just how right he was….
Thing is, I was always curious and unhappy. I was hatched out of the womb that way. That was my worst quality and my best quality. My soul must have drawn the short straw when all the other souls were picking which bodies to inhabit.
Why me?—it’s a pointless question. I’ll never find the answer to such quandaries. If I was someone different, lived a different life, would I be happier? It depends. Would there be drugs in this other life?
It was destiny. I’m surprised I’m not dead, though. You could call it luck, I suppose. But then again, is it lucky that I continued a life of dissatisfaction when I could have STOPPED it long ago? I suppose it is….
I had this friend named Andrew. We were best friends. His first time doing cocaine was with me. He loved it from the start. Up until a few weeks ago we hadn’t spoken for about eight years. He’s doing meth now. So I ask: Would his life be different if he never met me? Probably. I do have that effect on people. But would it have been better—drug-free, I mean? I doubt it…. If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else?
See, I was always a smart kid, but genius isn’t always a gift; sometimes it can be a burden. It can hinder you. That ability to talk circles around yourself. Convince yourself the worst possible things. Self-awareness—it’s a curse. I was always too self-aware.
You can’t be a poet without some sort of self-awareness, though. That’s why most poets are so frikken miserable all the time.