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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

purple haze

"no, daddy, no"...

as our foreign wheels crunched over the wintery toronto streets, he would lean over two times during the 20 minute ride to school. with a practiced turn of the jaguar's gleaming car lighter, up to his lips he would light the ready fag, the brief, hot sizzle sending me into a panic worthy of a xanax.

[too soon?]

i would beg him to stop, as frantically as a strung out junkie pleading for her confiscated pills. i would muffle my open orifices with any and every available piece of clothing. his compromise in the harsh canadian climate was a cracked window that i would point towards like a german shorthaired. i would impatiently watch the cigarette wrinkle down it's short life; hummingbird heart beating my chest.

done. by age 5, i was a life-long, certified non-smoker.

today i called the great white north. it was a phone call long overdue. where i began as a quivering, hot mess, i ended as a tepid puddle of goo. ready to be mopped up and tossed out with the bathwater. my manitobian guardian angels and i. in a conversation without ms. hyde. and by the end they were relating their own addiction experiences. cigarette smoking. in a simply beautiful attempt to relate. striving, despite the sick, purplish haze of turmoil i settled thick across that family, to bridge a gap that will never be crossed between addict and non. but they jumped anyway.

[for c: aunt flo was more like aunt dot.]

i am the second oldest client here at klean. my roommate, k, is the oldest, and she smokes. she tried to quit while here, but the stereotype of recovering addicts is alive and well and living in west hollywood. i yearn for a haz-mat suit (for s.) every time i sprint through the smokers' corner on the way to receiving my life-saving immunosuppressives.

[this coming from the girl who can swallow over 20 fioricet a day...]

i was in a group recently, and we were discussing a creative visualization exercise. i was sharing that my number one priority in life (aside from my awakening into addiction. good times.) has always been my health. and i confessed how it kinda made me sad that i couldn't handle hanging out in the smokers' area and get to know everyone better, because i literally feel ill.

[i would love to quote them from brooke shields anti-smoking psa from the early 80's, but i figure drawing attention to the fact that i could have given birth to almost every client here would go over about as well as being a nag...]

so it was the most unusual suspect who made me laugh out loud with his most witty mumble.

"it's not that great"...

s. age 28. tattooed upside down and backwards. on heroin on and off for 14 years. here for a year. drops words of wisdom as sporadically as an icicle drips melt during that first spring thaw. but so worth waiting for...

eyes wide shut, we often don't see the potential, power or pain buried down under.

don't turn your head away. don't wag your finger hard. don't slam shut those doors.

and close your mind for repairs....

"i had a nightmare
that i slept for a light year
and a thousand locusts
crawled in my right ear
and i found myself
in a circle
by 40 wicked women
dressed in purple"
                                  by s.

["'cuse me while i kiss the sky"...]

for we are all just lost in a purple haze.

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