It’s been a bit of a sad week for one reason or another but probably the main thing is I have begun to pack up my wee apartment in New Jersey and I’m getting ready for the trip ‘home’ to New Zealand. I really love America and as I drive around here and see the orange and rust coloured leaves falling it makes me feel incredibly lonely and sad all at once. This is a real and genuine feeling and I like experiencing it rather than trying to rule it out. This feeling will leave me of its own accord. The world is full of people who try to over-ride their true feelings and they just come across as being out of whack. Have a nice day America and then have some turkey!
There are lots of things wrong in the USA and that’s a fact. But if you started down that track and began to highlight them then you may never stop giving voice to all the things that you might see that then help you feel angry and/or disgusted. The world seems to be doing that at present (messing with the bad) and I guess it’s easier to hate than to love. It’s easier to be synthetic than it is to be real. But you wouldn’t want to end your life just venting, would you?
Politics seems to galvanize people these days and I think that once you begin to expect a political system to deliver happiness then you are well and truly on a hiding to nothing. The problem with the two main political parties in America is that they are simply not talking to each other and yet the answers people need are comparatively easy…but hell that President is a lawyer and none of them have ever particularly told the truth.
But all of this is not my job.
I had another ‘friend’ die in Christchurch a few days ago. She was part of the local bootboy/skinhead crowd when I was booking the Gladstone Hotel back in the day in that fine and beautiful city. Her boyfriend o/d’d about a month or six weeks back and she just couldn’t cope. She gassed herself in her car and at the time she weighed about 80 or 90 lbs at most. I think that’s really, definitely, positively and deeply sad. It far outweighs anything that Barrack Obama or John Key or any politician could ever do to me.
About two years ago my friend was messaging me a lot on Facebook and she had discovered poetry and she was sending me poems to read and she had this incredible vitality like a lot of them old bootboy/skinhead people do. At the time she was using Morphine and I never hold drug use against anyone (I’m not a moraliser) and then apparently she switched over to amphetamine and the rest you know. The world belts people who use too many drugs and people can’t get enough of it. It’s the new gladiator sport and as William Burroughs might have said: “Room for one more inside, Sir!”
In America about 15,000 people die a year from using prescription painkillers and then overdosing. I’m not sure and I refuse to Google the figures, but it’s either 13,000 or 17,000. I do remember the total includes about 20 women who perish each day from these drugs. This number of deaths is about four or five times the number killed in the 9/11 attack and yet we have no flags being waved and no firemen marching in the streets. There’s not even a tee shirt.
That’s because people who use drugs are unpopular. Jesus would have loved them but America doesn’t.
Then a lot of the people here using prescription painkillers are vets from the wars that America keeps having. In this case and in many other instances people are often (but not always) being prescribed painkillers because they are mentally and emotionally upset. They feel their emotional pain in the body like we all do.
The prescribing of painkillers for emotional vulnerability is another hiding to nothing and you have to factor into all of this that there has just been another bumper opium crop in Afghanistan. Nothing is better for pain (of all kinds) than opiates, but then a truckload of people die and the cost to the world is staggering. On the way to dying these people are tremendously lonely and often destructive for a long period of time. We know this feeling as ‘Isolation’ and John Lennon sang about it so very well. Where is he when we need him (someone famous who just spoke the truth).
Still, for all of this I am ‘clean’ today and I enjoy it very much and though I may experience sadness I take it as a gift. I am ‘grateful’ and all those other words my friends in recovery speak of. Hey, if the sun was shining all the time we’d be living in a desert….I watch Americans every day who try to wash away their pain and indulgence by living in a dessert. I hope they don’t find prescription painkillers with a zero-calorie count.
My bottom line in life is Very Simple. If you are not having sex with Dennis Rodman then you are just doing so very well. If you are above that line then all of life must be celebrated.
Thank you Kemo Sabe.
A Tinker’s Cuss started life on the Phantom Billstickers Facebook page – it’s a new feature here at Off The Tracks and we’re repeating the earliest posts before carrying on with new words from Jim Wilson.
Click here to read A Tinker’s Cuss # 10