I've got a monkey on my back and it won't let go

29 Jul

Guys, it’s confession time: I am obsessed with drugs. Completely, utterly obsessed. They’ve got their hooks in me, and they’re not letting go. Obsessed, I tell you.

I should mention I don’t actually do drugs. They just aren’t for me. It’s not necessarily the morals that make me say no; I don’t really have any morals. And it’s not because I’m scared I’ll die; the chances of that are miniscule at best (Exhibit A: Keith Richards). If I had to point to any reason I’ve decided not to partake, it’s mostly because they’re crazy addictive, and I’m scared I might really, really like them, like every user does. I’d rather not know the feeling of crystal meth or heroin, because chances are regular life would seem like kind of a drag. Add the fact that they’re expensive, along with my relative disdain of needles and that I have to wake up for work Monday morning, and there you have it.

Which isn’t to say I judge others for doing them. In most cases, I couldn’t care less. I believe in the pursuit of happiness, and if your personal happiness is found in a needle or a pill or the bottom of a bottle, hey, that’s your prerogative. Plus, I love alcohol, and that can be deadly in its own ways. (Huge disclaimer: this empathy only stands for recreational drug use; full-on addiction is in no way a victimless crime, unless someone truly has not one person in their life that cares for their wellbeing.)

No, my obsession with drugs involves (nerd alert) learning about them. The differing effects between the drugs, how they’re obtained, how they’re ingested, why and how the users got into them in the first place, the societal strains, how they’re policed …it’s all oddly, irrationally, undeniably mesmerizing to me.

I’ve read books about it (by the way, fuck you again, James Frey). Quizzed friends. Watched documentaries. I’ve seen every episode of the History Channel’s “Hooked” series. I’ve got “Intervention” on my DV-R season pass – even watched some of the episodes twice, god knows why – and constantly troll the net looking for updates on the featured addicts.

I’m bringing this up now because this recent New York Times article from David Carr, a book excerpt detailing his addiction to crack while living in Minneapolis (as it happens, in the same neighborhood my “Little” brother lives) was one of the best things I’ve read in a while. I breezed through the 8,000 words without blinking. How people can go from completely normal, to fucked up beyond belief and caring about no one and nothing at all except how to acquire more drugs, and then back to normal again, is incredible to me.

I can’t say why this interest has gotten so heated as of late, and I can’t fully explain where it came from in the first place. Just an eternal curiosity devoid of logic. But, look, everyone has a subject or two they’re perpetually pulled toward. Some like the Civil War, others politics, Discovery Channel, PETA, women’s lib, celebrity gossip, race. For whatever reason, mine just happens to be drugs.

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One Response to “I've got a monkey on my back and it won't let go”

  1. stinger July 31, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    I have to give a nod to the Intervention season pass, as it once was one of my favorite shows on television. Yes, other people’s real life misery is my idea of quality entertainment. Mike and I used watch it, hanging on the edge of our seats, even making 5 cent bets as to who the interventionist was going to be; Candy, JVV, Ken “I’ve had male genitalia in my mouth” Seely, or that hard-nosed bitch, Tara. (Double or nothing if you could guess if the person actually made it through rehab) But, I’m sad to say that the thrill is gone. There is rarely an intriguing story, everyone with the same excuse; bad parents who didn’t care, hanging with the wrong crowd, and boom..you’re in the ihop bathroom shooting heroin.
    I realize they’ve tried to change it up, adding the new photo montages and all, but what happened to the range; the shopping addicts, the video gamers, and the honest-to-god batshit crazies? I’m giving it the rest of this season, but if I don’t start seeing some people talking to invisible bunnies, or passing out mid-virginia slim and banging their heads on the concrete, I’m out!

    Oh and P.S., you can triple your money if Jeff VanVonderen DOESN’T say, “I just gotta lot of people here that just love you like crazy. They’re gonna say what they wanna say, and you’re gonna say what you wanna say, then that’s it.” Mike has the t-shirt to prove it.

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