Tales of the fool, episode I
Drunken nights, hungover days — and more stories than you can imagine.
There are so many nights, so many parties and the whole past is a sort of blur. Many times, I have been asked — how did it all start?
Thinking back it could have been the time that in the streets of my hometown I convinced someone to buy a half gallon of Jim Beam for my friends and myself. It could have been the time that I smoked my first joint, and got high and then went to work in the museum. Everything might’ve started when the VA hospital started prescribing me narcos.
Honestly it’s all a bit of a blur. I want to mention LT, and her co-op loft that freaked me out. Meeting her outside of bloodhound that Ash introduced me to, that B met me at for drinks that time, and that SV got hammered on the recoils at. Good ol’ bloodhound, it was a great bar for the longest time. In some of the most ridiculous times my pals and I would go there to be barflies on Sundays. The strangers we would meet would lead to some of the most outrageous conversations. The bartenders knew me there, the spot at the end of the bar was always the best to order drinks from. They’d never forget me, and always serve until I crawled home.
Good ol’ LT. That girl was a good friend, if that is possible. She would always go out of her way even though the things people asked of her were never good things. I tried to have the “maybe you should get sober, your life is falling apart” conversation with her, but she was far too gone at that point.
That poor woman. Always a good sport at any bar. I would go down and try to be a good influence always to no avail.
She showed up at the bar once talking about a new guy that she met. They had the same medical condition, the one that you can only be with other people that have that same medical condition. A sweet blessing in disguise because I lacked that medical condition our relationship was purely based on friendship — if that’s what it was? We would talk and make conversation until her words slurred and she couldn’t sit up straight in the bar stool anymore. I would carry her back to her steps, and lay her down so she would be safe. She would supply me with the things that I needed to feel normal and so the relationship was mutually beneficial.
So she dated this man for a while and would show up at the bar — whichever grimy, dark, bar I was inhabiting at the time. Tales of how rich he was and was going to take care of her forever would come spilling out of her left, and right. He would take her on horseback rides down the beach, and make love to her under the sunset. Looking back it’s hard to decipher what is fact from fiction in these stories just because of how clouded her mind let alone her judgement was.
She would come back from birthday parties with bags of multi-colored pills. I would call them skittle bags, because it really looked like skittles. Cartons of cigarettes would be overflowing from her purse, and a smile on her face would accompany all of this.
She introduced me to Parnassus who had recently left his long time girlfriend who ended up cheating on him, and Baskins who owned an antique store and would show up with lizards on his head. Baskins was an oddity like I had never met before, although LT had snakes galore. It’s funny how many snakes she let loose in the city because she would take them out with her and then get too decimated to realize where she left them. If you hear of any pythons in San Francisco please do treat them well, they were very friendly and I have fond memories of those snakes.
LT’s story doesn’t end well, though. As dark as my path has ever been, hers was a tale of woe. I always tried to figure out what she was running from, what was the root of all the pain that she used everything to cover up only to be rebuffed at every moment. She succumbed to being a drug addict, and that was her life. The last time she visited, I had a bottle of some random non-narcotic on my counter of which she readily grabbed and downed about 10 of the antibiotics. She looked me dead in the eyes and told me “you’re no drug addict to have those laying around”. I’m not entirely sure what she meant by that but you could see something had changed in her from the fun times we had, regardless of where ever they led.
Last I heard she was working for a crack addict in Marin and addicted to intravenous.
Poor ol’ LT. It’s hard to romanticize my own experiences thinking about her poor demise.
There’s a passage in one of the books from the clubs about how you never know when someone disappears — what actually happens to them. Sometimes people come and go from clubs, and you think the worst but then they surprise you and you see them ten years later doing just fine. I hope that the message was one of optimism, or maybe that’s just where I want to take it.
Maybe LT got clean, had a baby, and is walking her dog right now. Or, maybe that’s just a better alternative to the reality.