The Talk

Hey, you got a few minutes? There’s something I’ve been meaning to discuss. I think it’s important. I know you know some of what I’m about to go over. Your friends, your family, the lovely internets; they all have information. I just don’t think you’re going to hear the truth, the real hardcore, TRUTH about what drugs and alcohol are and can do to you. Most people won’t admit what they’ve done and how, if any of it, was positive.

I was young, about 15, when I first started drinking alcohol. I did it because my friends were drinking. I wanted to fit in and see if it would make me feel cool, older, even help me be comfortable around the opposite sex. You know, it did. It’s fool’s gold. What I mean is the high is temporary. When you start drinking, you have no idea what a tolerance is, so you drink too much for your body and you’ll either throw up, get sleepy, or lose your inhibitions so much you’ll do something regretful, if you remember it at all.

Don’t get me wrong, is partying fun? Yes. Blowing off steam can make great memories. The catch about doing it with alcohol or drugs, which we’ll get to in a minute, is, you don’t remember everything. There were concerts by great bands that alcohol took away my recollection of how good the show was or wasn’t. This is why, in 1994, when I saw The Rolling Stones in the Meadowlands in Jersey, I stayed sober. The show was amazing.

The only other thing I want to tell you about drinking is, if you ever consume alcohol stay out of a car. That means don’t drive one impaired and never get in one with someone who’s looped. I’ve lost several friends over the years because they made that mistake.

Drugs are a different ballgame. Most of the greatest music recorded, books written, masterpieces painted and sculpted were from artists higher than kites in March wind. But drugs are bad. I want to tell you to never do drugs but I don’t want to be pious or arrogant. Drugs can be fun. They work. Some of them work really well. But fallout from doing them is even greater than booze.

People seem to love marijuana. It chills them out. It takes away stress, even more than booze does. It never did anything for me. It makes me sleepy, hungry, and paranoid. I can be all three of those things without testing positive for on a drug test. I don’t know if the mary jane is addictive. I think chemical makeup of a person is way unstudied and definitely under discussed. Do I think an mj habit can be detrimental to ambition. Yes? The penalties for getting caught with weed are too severe for having it and trying it. I don’t recommend it, at all.

The only other drugs I’ve tried are cocaine and LSD. I’m here to tell you, they are even better than advertised. They are also really dangerous. I had good and bad experiences with both. There was a time in my life when coke dominated my days and nights. I’m ashamed of this. Cocaine caused some long term heart problems that I deal with today. It also made me dependent on bad people. I understand the allure but I’ve never seen a person who does hard drugs succeed in life, other than artists and I believe they’re the exception. Of course, most of them are dead. It’s like making a deal with the devil. You get short-term awesome, then long-term misery.

Drugs and alcohol are bad. But, like anything, moderation is a key. If you are in a controlled environment with people you trust and no automobiles to drive or police to arrest you and the amount is small, then substances can be a unique experience. But, just like eating McDonald’s everyday is bad, so are drugs and alcohol.

Just promise me you’ll come talk to me if you’re ever in a situation where you need help, advice, or a ride with no judgement til the next day.

****blogger’s note****

Yesterday my friend Scarlet, aka @Scarlet_Ibis was at a D.A.R.E lecture at her daughter’s school and she was struck by the lies and misinformation given. A year or so ago my teenage daughter was given a talk to by her mother and I about booze and dope. It was like you read above. Since my history with both is more chequered than my wife’s I got thrown under the bus and yet, no one died or hated me. In my opinion, this is the talk that needs to be given, not just say no. Feel free to agree or disagree. It’s the internets. Come at me bro.

Today’s song is what they should teach in schools. It’s Lynyrd Skynyrd, 34 years ago, giving you everything you need to know about drugs and alcohol. Here’s That Smell….


Stop Your Sobbing

Last time with Helene Troy:

For the second time, in less than a week, Helene woke in a bed that wasn’t hers. The few hours of sleep she’s gotten after going home with Ramona were an interruption. The song in her head and worry for Darcy were greater priorities.

Helene felt Ramona move a few inches away from her. She pulled a beige sheet away from her legs and sat up slowly. Her toes chilled against the hardwood floor.  She gave up a brief, unsuccessful search for her clothes after discovering her backpack. She retrieved the beat-up black cellphone, its charger, and her notepad.

Helene smiled when she read the phone’s time display, 11:53am, because it meant the sun beaming through a slit in the curtain belonged to morning, her favorite time. She sat on the bay window seat sideways so she could cross her legs. The sun comforted her as she scrolled through several text messages from Sadie and Mara. One from Mara was the most startling.

“Found her. She’s drunk, not high. she’s ok, but she’s not ok.”

Helene knew what that meant. She texted Mara.

“sorry. I was in the studio then fell asleep. I’ll call you in an hour.”

Then she texted Darcy.

“have to close at Mickey’s. get off at 2. want to see you. please be good for me until, then. sorry, Darse”

Huge tears formed in her deep green eyes. She  installed the charger in the phone and plugged them into an outlet by her feet. A chewed pencil with most of the eraser gone jutted out of the bottom of the notepad on her lap. Helene grabbed it and looked into the shine.

“morning sun”

Lovers hope for full moonlight to light their way.
They cannot dream in the plain light of day.
But the moon can’t illuminate what’s held in your eyes,

And I can’t sleep again until I see sunrise.

chorus – Go, go tell everyone, you saw the day
Rise up from dark and go down the same way.
You know it’s no good, I will lose out to youth

Because the morning sun always tells the truth.

In the morning, the sun shows more than our skin
It lights where we’re going and where we’ve been.
You think you know me because you’re lying there?
You’re just passing time. I’m living in fear.
I can be a lot of things, I don’t want to be mean
But our night won’t survive an honest sunbeam.
Come on and kiss me while the stars are still out.
Love me while moonlight dispels my doubt.
‘Cause you know like I do, what at night seems to flame
In the cold light of dawn won’t even merit a name.

Ramona’s long fingers touched Helene’s bare shoulders. She cooed the opening lines to “Stop Your Sobbing” by The Pretenders in Helene’s right ear. Helene wiped her eyes.

“Shit, Ramona, I’m sorry if I woke you. I had this song in my head. I just had to write it down….”

Helene’s nervous chatter drew a frown from Ramona.

“I love seeing you naked in my window, Leney, but what’s going on?”

Helene’s knew her life was different from Ramona’s. The sobering morning sun was showed why. She feared talking to Ramona about Darcy. Too much was at stake, she assumed.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got it handled.”

Helene sat up and tried and awkwardly used the notepad to cover her chest. She bit her bottom lip and looked away from Ramona.

“I wrote something. The melody in my head is kind of fucked right now, but you take it. It’s probably what you want anyway.”

Helene turned her back, handed to the notepad to a stunned Ramona, then grabbed her backpack and walked into the living room to find her clothes. As she fumbled with her bra strap, Ramona walked in tying a bathrobe around her waist.

“What the fuck was that, Helene? I’m getting sick and damn tired of you thinking I’m stealing your songs!”

Helene didn’t feel like arguing. She didn’t really like the song. It was too emotional, for her. She stopped getting dressed and slowly walked to Ramona in only her bra and panties.

“I’m sorry for a lot this morning. I mean, I’m not sorry to be here with you. You’re amazing. I have some shit I didn’t take care of and now it’s coming down on me. I really want you to have that song. It’ll remind me of you.”

Helene lied to Ramona to prevent a fight. The song was Helene’s guilt over Darcy. Ramona didn’t know her well enough to see through her deceit. Ramona leaned in and kissed Helene, then touched her young, wearied face.

“Can we do this again in a couple of days?”

Helene ran her fingers through her dirty brown hair. She didn’t want to lie, again. She just wanted a shower with no roaches.

“Let’s not wait. I’ll race you to the shower.”

****blogger’s note****

This is a new Helene Troy story episode. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: The song “Morning Sun” inside the story was co-written with my friend Grace aka @octoberesque aka She’s brilliant.

Today’s song is the one cooed by Ramona. Here’s The Pretenders classic, Stop Yoru Sobbing.