Mother Superior In Black

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

for Mom, the greatest survivor I know…

Black, her favorite color, her the night sky from the bottom of the cavity of a canyon, stars torching burning flaming white light – sparkling explosions in her eyes; when she looks at me, I find.

I know.

She’s always known. Had always known.

Was lookin’ at three years consecutive for a bullshit collection of variously colored sedatives and a loud voice when my lawyer fucked me and raised bail a quarter million. The boys in the bullpen couldn’t believe what they were hearing; her eyes taught me integrity that’s searing. They were almost rioting when I said three words if not for their own MISDEMEANOR cases that were beginning proceedings.

Always known. I begged her to believe me once; I used a dirty flower the first time from some El Salvadoran’s car in hell street #13’s parking lot & I poked my friend from rehab in my cluttered confined little kitchen in my penthouse who has hepatitis C, which sticks around virally longer than God. God, I (thought) knew after my next blood draw what would’ve been saw or seen; massive spikes in my liver enzymes and all other manner of indications of being a fiend.

She said, “No, Alex. It just didn’t happen.” I replied, “But I swing around, high, and poked his arm with a goddamned .29 gauge or whatever and still shot the shit, I was high,” I wined. Again: “No.”

Turns out eye dodged another fucking bullet from a repeated phantom tommy gun/uzi/the finger of God Almighty, Goddamn.

How’d she know I wouldn’t be shot down that low or rather have shot myself down that low?

Wisdom?

Experience?

Persistence?

No words register like the fuckin’ syringes she never saw so there is no explanation excepting her divinely inspired clause and without a pause I believe what she says and know she’s right because that’s how I’ve survived the world war nineteen of my life.

Around then, nineteen. That’s when things get hard. Burning nose to burning foil to burning spoons the bathroom floor, blood dripping down my arm, my chin glancing off my nipples and all the way through that horrible transition to becoming what I am she was there bearing witness; she is an angel with wings made by James Perse and sexy shades by Chanel.

Who the hell knew? Wasn’t it supposed to be the junkies’ on the streets job to read up on their lives and blow my roll? Santa Clause said ho ho ho and I won’t ever again drink a scotch that leads directly to blow.

Why?

Because after a decade there are problems in the system, the plug and sparks are twisted; I made a promise I can’t break to a woman that I don’t think I’ve ever seen even age despite the fact that her 21 year old son had a ninety percentile risk of mortality with MRSA in his chest, the aortic valve of course, God Bless, God Bless, God Bless?

Strength structural isn’t grey or chrome or steel. It’s black. I know the sun is burning your eyes out your skull if you look too hard but imagine the blanket of the night collapsing but not smothering my creativity because if I was to go outside without my contacts I couldn’t see.

The black beauty.

The lady in black with the blanket of her love; I couldn’t have done it myself.

She knows this already but she asked me to tell and now I’m sober for her – not me – plus me – plus Sophie and I’m a little tired of being tired so I’m energetic writing poetry at 6:58 in September for her because she needed one thing from I, damnit, and I was happy to oblige, painfully happy.

Painfully black?

Euphorically black- no that word has the wrong connotations.

Practically ecstatic- no…

Joy.

All because of the divinity of the lady in black that salvaged the unsalvageable and put me in my office with her heart so I could write this so she can see it tomorrow.

Brilliantly black.

Brilliantine white light.

My mommy.

ASTROPROJECTILITY AND CUTLERY

I awoke from a dream at 7:19 AM. Ordinarily, I’d just be passing out, pills melting into my mouth.

I got sober two weeks ago, however. Ain’t it seem unseemly for me?

Indeed.

But back to the bed; I woke up and remembered the dream I had just had. I was in LA and NYC back and forth doing whatever it was, writing I presume, and I found myself driving through a neighborhood in what looked like Bel Air or Westwood in my stupid BMW.

Some asshole parked like shit and I left-side clipped his scotch colored lincoln.

Furious biblical anger.

I break into the first house I see, incidentally the same damn color as the car, Macallan 12 single malt to be exact.

I went in angry as a pit bull with untreated rabies; threw off my shirt and tried to find someone to blame with knuckles. Pitched my keys at a wall, screamed shit down the hall at two faces, walked downstairs to confront an older Asian (Cambodian or Vietnamese). Turns out they’re all Canadian and finally they ask me, “What’s wrong, bro?”

Dumbstruck. I thought this was earth.

“My car got scraped up. Fuck.

Uhm. Sorry or something.”

Now, here is the point of the story I’m relaying; I have of course remembered dreams, (very occasionally) but never bothered to speak them. This cold morning my mouth came out of sleep like a gaping tunnel producing a torrential downpour of words relating the dream, detail by detail by detail in exact exactitude to my Sophia. It was strange.

————

Last night on the roof there was a dark green late model van with dark tints with a dark-spirited looking man driving fast behind a cop with sirens. Clearly connected. I said, “He’s behind the trees.” I took a big swallow of my cigarette and watched for more action. None to be had. Now that I think about it, it makes me miss the fucking casinos. Action, I require action. At least if I don’t want to feel a corpse, cold as a fridge.

Crime interests me; not the punitive shit I’ve been dealt, my fucking red-headed lawyer fucking me at my arraignment on three and a half turn coated misdemeanors not objecting to raising the bail 249,000 dollars in cash from nothing but change. The arraignment took roughly 13 seconds and I was back in the bullpen with the rest of the boys. “Wow,” they all said, dumbfounded. Turns out my mother had the bitch raise bail to keep my ass from getting busted out by my succubus. I don’t know if any of that meets the definitive definition of irony but god damnit, it felt blasphemous. I was not amused.

I was in there during Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving & the motherfucking playoffs the season my team finally was winning; thank god they didn’t win the bowl or I would have needed high dose lithium and ECT therapy. The guards wearing santa hats with my teams color configuration laughing and smiling and being pigs. Cunts.

The county jail; about as humorous as syphilitic insanity in my mother’s uterus.

Action, moves and scenes; at hollywood park I saw an Israeli and a skinny white man at the hold em’ table exchange a few words and the skinny was wearing a beanie that he removed which then revealed a swastika tattooed prison-style on his forehead. He leaped across the middle of the red velvet imitation with a razor blade at the Israeli and missed. No one got kicked out. They didn’t even revolve tables. This life feeds me impulses and urges that are hard to purge. I like that action, I like seeing that shit, ya know? The whole, ‘break your neck looking at car accidents’ thing they talk about. I try not to every single time but I always do – I still have yet to see a real juicy gruesome good one. I guess there is no prophylactic for degenerated behavior patterns – I called my neighbor’s woman guest a cunt when she entitled herself to humor by telling her friends and me that she smelled cigarettes and “wondered where that came from,” – “I smell cunt. I wonder who’s smelling like that.” Some poor bastard’s wife, too, hand her some humility and a tissue.

I lack the empathy, no, the decency to give two shits. I had diarrhea that day you fucking cunt. Don’t you dare attempt your pitiful wit on me or I will cunt you out. That’s how I stay out of the bullpen now.

Words.

Oh, and I dropped my decade of dropping myself in a poppy field two weeks ago.

Funny how irony works, if it does at all… cunt.

MOVEMENT

My life.

Magnetic metallurgy will pull you through my script like gale wind and tidal currents in my current titles, it’s not idolatry to believe that me could be making you flee; back and forth like an exorcism, indeed.

Well, let’s see.

Ten years and slot machine change without change and now I changed; sobered the fuck up somehow but I’d be illuminated greatly if I could see you face the things that have passed directly under my eyebrows without immediately stroking out.

Let’s not be melodramatic, Alex. This is illustrative of the illustration of integer’s of integrity and all the nights in the streets and all the other nights in the sheets, my nose burnt out like a bulb – unable to sleep. Feels like red roses that stick you every single fucking time you hold them, apparently someone higher up in the management decided I had the time. I deliberated and watched the clock but I always knew I’d be writing instead of inhaling lines.

Like the betrayal of a titan for flame, prometheus had the brass balls and look what happened to him, it’s kind of like the OJ trial plus the paradoxical reality of his ass pulling armed robbery after Cochran passed on blazing cameras in vegas, makes no sense, like eggs and licorice for breakfast.

Spoken. Licorice black as a Chevron ocean will twist your arm until you writhe and scream, the blood pulling and pooling in your mouth but you think you remain similar – there are no resemblances that I can tell but you feel free to imply whatever you like.

Pull you like whipped horses in a carriage.

Pull you apart – twin children concurrent of the divorce – their parents.

Pull you apart like Muhammed, think the Sunni & Shia gunmen.

Pull you apart like blood and your skin during a facelift on more twins.

This is loyalty to the cause I’ve endured. Ninety nine problems of my own and I own them all far, far too long, the lease with a fucked up rate that can’t be stalled like the car itself I’m driving which I hope crashes into all walls.

At least I did before I smelled this bourbon colored flower yesterday.

Like a Nazi scientist with a good heart; conflicted but about his business inserting typhus and syphilis to study the art of zombie making whilst drinking fine wine before the allies started invading, listening to Chopin or Brahms or even Beethoven with a family he loved once upon a time before he knew his heart to be as black as volcanic ash colored mud. He used one bullet from one gun; before he did it he inscribed the initials of the people he hurt on the bullet and now he’s floating somewhere between purgatory and hell.

Oh, well.

Roses are red and violets are blue, I guess.

At least that’s what they say… now, could you resign yourself to my fate?

The Deaf, The Blind

Photo on 9-14-14 at 9.11 AM #2

The Deaf, The Blind
Alexander Ziperovich

Thirsty,
no sleep in two weeks,
two different beta blockers and I sleep,

Inside my head there is no water,
I go down the stairs sixty six times,
And appears there my father,

And disappears there my father,

I’m in Sophia’s home,
I’m not alone,
Her family, uninvited babies her brother her father and these ghosts surround me,

The refrigerator not empty but no glass to mouth,
Let the liquid drain into my toxic bloodstream,
Diablo and ataxia and heroin are running this house,

My mind,
My mind,
Not mine,

Up and down stairs sixty six times,
Begging my girl for help – she can’t hear me,
I’m lost screaming mute, she’s asleep – I’m in hell with no one to see me bleed,

Up and down stairs,
There is no hydration,
I’m going fast, my blood pressure, it’s waning,

Falling out, the blackness, it’s drowning me south, out, into his liquid-less inferno,
Ten more minutes and I can feel Mephistopheles waiting to grind me in his mouth,
Blood pressure falling, my heart stalling,

This is the way I’ll finally know their fiery lake they’ve been trying to push me under for my sin since I was eight,

I wake… I think,
“…waaaterrr…”
She hears me, my chin in my chest, my eyes begging help, it’s clear – I can’t breathe well,
my body unfit for liquidation in the form of a nightmare splitting
me out like canon fodder – the evil of men hooking steel into the valves of my heart like a pedophile abducting your newborn daughter,

Sixty six stairs, up and down and down and up,
you’re reading this because of dumb fucking luck? No. Never. My girl knew somewhere in her deaf, her dreams, that something wasn’t getting better and she saved me and I live to write, only Gabriel the Angel of light or there is no god, I can’t know, but I breathe and my breath was shallow and slow and my lungs protestations meant nothing until she awoke.

Sixty six stairs, up and down and down and up,

Yes,

Sixty six stairs,
Sixty six stairs,
Sixty six stairs,

Is this the oceans rearing? Trying to impose meaning? I don’t know.

Sixty six stairs walked slow.

I touched the golden gates with my soul.

Painting Hearts Instead of Scoring Coke

heart

My blood is hot scotch desirous, animalistic unpredictability coursing and I can feel my pupils pounding, black holes swallowing the whites of my eyes. I’m right between euphoria and murder, the golden moment right before you rise into heaven or fall into hell.

I want need some cocaine. 

It’s always the same thing, the sweet burn of the luminous golden scotch mingling with my tongue, tickling the very depths of me with every swallow, the tinkling crystal tumbler raised and tilted at a glib angle as the scotch ripples through me like a stone thrown into a pond. I’m one smiling, laughing witticism after another two or three doubles deep. This is civilized, radiance pushing the dread from my center, a glowing amber ocean in a glass literally scorching the earth of my anxiety, every gulp like a whispering friend encouraging me to live, to be alive, giving me life, new life and new needs, new ways to fulfill those new needs for my new life writing these words, hell, I need a drink. 

I love that phrase, it’s the only honest protest we have left, “I need a drink,” implies isolation and frustration and a reprieve from it all into sexy danger and abundant power, the righteous murder of the maiming our minds do unto us, something everyone can understand. S/he needs a drink. X happened and now Y is Z. S/he deserves a drink.

Tara’s driving my car flying above the purring German engine, the power of it intoxicating, her eyes burning embers ready to catch flame and I see myself inside her eyes, little ellipses containing my deepest reflections. She says we’re siblings. I see it.  

I have her take me south to the lake near the place I got evicted from and I just missed my girl. I walk across the street to this shitty bar PIZZA, the other letters sizzling and popping on and off until the shuddering, crackling A finally explodes popping into the darkness shooting slivers of sparkles that shower down from it like a sparkler, leaving a single blinking Z. Everyone briefly looks outside at the little explosion and I look through the faces for someone familiar. Nothing. I light a Parliament with my head buried in my phone texting the people you text on nights like these nights. I look around like I’m lost, that’s how I feel, and my eyes lay upon a kid with a mad shine in his eyes sitting on a stump of green gun metal, the Seattle Weekly box, his legs dangling over the side. He starts talking to me in rapid fire and I notice his face has meth all over it, and he’s speeding through something about how it’s his first night in Seattle, “My fuckin’ girl got pregnant, maaan, so I hopped on this greyhound with no ticket dude and without saying shit and just got the fuck outta there but she has this uncle and—” Lovely. I think he thought we were friends because we both witnessed the A explode. I nod and return to Tara, letting him tell his stories to the wind. She’s sitting parked in my car waiting me out and anyone else would have infuriated me just for existing; I’m flustered and frustrated and hating drugs, hating the lack of drugs, hating that I hate the lack of drugs but Tara is like valium with a heartbeat and no matter what and no matter how badly I want coke I want Tara to be okay more. This is the first friendship I’ve ever had, I think. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a friend my whole life.

My wise voice, as Tara might say, is murmuring maybe screaming something about how this is actually serendipity, not loss and that’s true, cocaine turns me inside out into a hungry carnivorous violence I never even let myself believe could exist in me and without fail I end up at some ugly hour of the morning in my shower sobbing, blowing burning chunks of ammonia and ephedrine out of my scorched face hating everything most especially myself trying to wash the fury and hopelessness off of me, shoveling sedatives and beta blockers down my throat knowing they won’t fucking work because nothing fucking works because I’m on coke and coke doesn’t work.

Now we’re in the middle of Capitol Hill, 12th and Pike, one block from the succubus-girl and the condo we lived in where she almost murdered me and everyone is screaming and everything is drugs and pounding bass and kids in middle school and college running around like insane insects in a hive; the people are all game tonight the air electrified with cheap cologne and perfume, hormones and pheromones and the shit-coke I know is down in the grottos along the avenue waiting for me like that evil girl used to, sitting so gently on her bed looking bashful even timid when I would finally crawl back right until she leaped off my cock into the bathroom to vomit and scream, yes, the things I came here for are here. I watch some kid piss on a garbage can. I watch another kid piss on a street corner. This is a carnival of piss, colorfully terrifying, everything pressing into me from all sides like walls of skin crushing me from all directions and this place is a shining blood-red apple staring at me daring my teeth to sink into it like a vampire staring into a throbbing jugular, sticky blood and apple juice flowing down from my jaws onto my chin dribbling down impossible to stop until my hands are sticky and my fingers snap when I pull my hands apart from themselves because I am going to eat this city.

My face is a razor blade on a cokeless mirror, chopping at the clear glass, cutting at the sides— “Alex, you want to see the one that really fucked me up?” I’m in the car sweating venom and Tara will show more of her demons to me, she knows this shit so well. “This is Angela.” She shows me a video of Angela on my phone reading poetry written for Tara. I see a face made of old bone holding two small smoldering eye sockets and as Tara tells me about the Christmas they spent together where Angela pulled a knife on her in a fit of paranoid rage after smashing her boot through Tara’s fragile gifts I start to forget the coke. I don’t forget the coke. The craving becomes polluted with the better nature of my soul as I see Tara clutching at her face in pain as she watches this video and I see why Tara would love this girl made from bone metal— her face is devoid of love and Tara likes to let her heart get strangled. “I know!” I scream. We’ve watched two videos of this horrendous skeletal woman on a stage reading poetry about Tara and I’ve just come up with the best fucking idea.

“Let’s paint!” 

Now, some would say that doing graffiti in the middle of crowded streets full of people and cops is not the smartest thing, especially after having already pressed my luck and beaten a big graffiti charge a few years back. 

I disagree with those people. 

My trunk is stocked. For a moment I freak out, did all the caps go into the duffel bag that’s at the house? Nope, a big lime-green cap sits on top of a red can like a cherry on a sundae. I light it up and sure enough the cap is good (caps often jam with congealed paint and become unusable) tonight we’re having good fortune. Incidentally, we’re parked right in front of the place where I did one of my first pieces, a little monster guy that was up for some five years and has now disappeared. It’s this big sunken parking lot with this huge, huge wall covered entirely with graffiti and I am taking Tara for a ride. We stroll away, a red can and a black can clinking in her blue purse. We casually walk down some steps to a gangplank that leads down further to the lot and I survey it for cops and other undesirables. Nobody except a couple in the middle of either a break up or a make up, I can’t decide. We get down to the bottom and I look at the wall where my beautiful piece used to be. It’s covered in all new graffiti, much of it very, very good. This may sound fucked up, but I love to tag over good blaster-pieces. My rationale is two-fold: 1. Graffiti is all about fucking up other people’s walls and nobody owns shit no matter how pretty or how long they spent on it and 2. Painting over good art will force more good art onto the streets. 

I’m pretty certain there are a few people who disagree, would put a baseball bat to my head if they saw what I did. I don’t care. I ask Tara for the red can with the cap and she hands it to me and I see her in my periphery with her head on a swivel looking for oncoming cops as I just mangle these walls, red hearts everywhere in about two minutes the entire parking lot looks like Valentines day. We walk up the slanted drive past the couple who look and smile. Making up. Good. When we reach the street I notice that my trigger fingers are covered in red paint. Fuck. Oncoming sirens.

Go.

I start down the avenue the way it would make sense to go but quickly reverse course, Tara trailing a few yards and we go right back through the lot I just smothered with hearts because everything graffiti is counterintuitive, including getting busted— the cops rarely think to look at the spot that just got hit, why would the idiot taggers still be there, right? Right. We’re back on safety in my car. “Painting hearts with the cops after you is better than smack,” I tell her, my eyes virtually rolling back in my head. Both of us are huffing and puffing and grinning like idiots as we drive the fuck out of there. The craving for coke has not left me but the need for it has. Tara drives me back to her place and I bid her farewell before I drive myself home, by now sobered up from the scotch, where I sleep a most restful sleep, the clinking and spraying of paint cans and the tinkling of crystal tumblers an amalgamate of hissing and chiming softly in time like a strange lullaby keeping time with my cooling blood and my slowing heart all the way deep into my dreams.

Alex Reading “Relapse”

This is Alexander Ziperovich reading a heartrending piece at Wordplay 2014 in Seattle and is a written piece that was excerpted from his upcoming memoir, The Beautifullest, for the occasion.

Xanax Calculus

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

“Who the fuck took my bars?!”
We all just watched him devour a handful a few moments ago. “You popped em all, man.” Static, head lolling about like an untethered balloon. “Fuck, how’d they just disappear, did I set em down somewhere…” Eyes dewy, wet and perplexed, wandering, he’s lost his pills somewhere inside himself; the operative phrase being “he’s lost.” His entire being appears as a blur. “Who took em!?” Words from the frothing mouth of the angry benzo-orphan/gorilla that has replaced our friend.

He’s lurching about like an injured bird, trying to make sense of nonsense, ostensibly searching for the pills he just ate, for they might fall from the sky – sadly, horribly, he truly believes, no, he knows, that the xanax is not inside his stomach inside his abdomen, for that is an impossible conclusion.

Enough anterograde amnesia and fact is throttled hard by the frictional fictions of the sinister, too sick to puke, slipping into the fissures of the missives of addiction issues stemming from short-acting benzodiazepines that try to trick you as they switch you into believing they didn’t get you.

Dogs chasing tails, I suppose, foggy travails of a bellowing firehose extinguishing floods in the snow not knowing damn well the floods aren’t fires and that these kind of fires aren’t diminished by a broken pharmaceutical firehose in a denial pose.

“I swear on (insert his most precious) I just fuckin’ had em’, where’d they go?”

Like arguing with a schizophrenic in her visions, like screaming at Mt. Everest for being too tall, like water asking a river to indemnify it for forcing it go down a waterfall, like a raindrop falling, angry that it fell hard, creating a dangerously cruel pathology in the plant that grows from that drop of water, leaving cellular scars, created in hell’s heart, kept in bell jars crystalline-metallic wells that eat cars.

“Dude, will you just please shut up if I give you another fucking xanax?”

Sure.

Alex Ziperovich Reading @ Da’daedal 2

Published on Mar 17, 2013

Alex Ziperovich reading “My Poor Friend Jamie” @ The Josephine for Da’daedal’s one year anniversary

Alex Reading Prose @ The In on January 26

Alex Ziperovich reads an excerpt from his memoir, titled “Junkie Goes To Hospital”. Enjoy.

FALLING APART ON JEFF’S FLOOR

YUM! Vomit. YUM! Vomit.

Alexander Michael Ziperovich

I’ve been awake for seven days. No, six probably. Yeah, six or seven days I think. Jeff’s eyes are red whirling tops in the twilight of his bedroom. Everyone’s asleep again but I can’t sleep anymore. The same screaming fun-fun done-done thing keeps repeating: a day happens and then when it gets so dark that it’s almost light everyone stops talking and the fun stops and the done starts but I don’t know how to turn it off, turn off my fun button inside the pulsating, psychopharmacological experiment that is my brain. I’ve been stumbling around in circles trying to find someone to listen to me ramble for hours. Now I’m sitting on Jeff’s floor crying, playing with my pill bottles and panting.

“I don’t know what’s going on.”
He turns away from me to face the wall, “Go to sleep, fuck, Alex. You need to sleep.”
“I know but I can’t.”
He twists his body back and cranes his neck to see what I’m doing and turns back away, “Stop playing with those fucking pills.”
My brain is buzzing fuzzy, I am not feeling lovely and in fact my brain is fucking me, “I know but I can’t. Christ.”
He’s tired and lost, “Dude, c’mon. Let’s just sleep.”
“I am losing it, Jeff.”

I’m pouring various pills out of the bottle into and through my hands letting them slide through my cold fingers into my throat.

I convinced my fraudulent junkie doctor that I have ADHD. He gave me three or four different stimulants to try. I’ve been trying them with gusto. Once, his eyes wide and scorched bloodshot, he said, “I try everything I prescribe.” He’s my psychiatrist. We get along great.

I remove my shirt and look in the mirror and I see patches stuck to me, transdermal patches all over my body. Daytrana patches. Selegeline patches. Uppers. Downers. Mono-amine Oxidase Inhibitors.

Attached like leeches to my skin.

I feel like all I’ve been doing is eating handfuls of pills of all kinds.

That is all I’ve been doing.

I’m looking at the bottle of Atenolol I have clutched hard in my hand. A beta blocker. A blood pressure medication. If I take more than three it would probably stop my heart. Yes, I have enough to take me away, to take me somewhere to finally get some rest. A place to give the day away.

Suicide is seeming like a seriously viable option. I remind myself that I’m having a psychotic break from lack of sleep. I’ve been heavily abusing amphetamines among every other fucking drug for weeks. How long can this go on? I crawl into Jeff’s bed and I’m crying and I’m laughing and then I’m silent, my heart thudding in the darkness.

“I hate this. I can’t fall asleep, no matter what I do.”
“I know, me too.”
“I’ve taken like 20 bars tonight, man.”

We’re both laying there with Ritalin and Adderall and Desoxyn and Ketamine and Psylicobin and Xanax and alcohol and weed coursing through our blood streams in the glowglobe of his room trying to listen to the snow falling outside.

“You know it snowed like six inches tonight.”
“Yeah it keeps snowing.”
“We need to sleep.”
“I know.”
I say plainly, “I think I’m gonna kill myself.”
“Dude, what the fuck? Just sleeeep.”

I’m back on the floor in my pile of pills picking up bottles and reading labels and looking for new ones. I feel like one of these pills will do it, one of these pills will fix me. One of these will make me feel right. I wont ever have to take another fucking pill again. I just have to find the right one in this pit black box everything might be okay.

I know everything about pharmaceuticals. Benzodiazepines are the only drug, excepting barbiturates and alcohol, you have a real chance of dying from when you discontinue their use or in other words, go through a Dante’s Detox, you think not? Xanax is faster-acting than Klonopin but lasts half as long. Valium is good for relaxing your muscles and works well sublingually. Tylenol is the most dangerous thing about Vicodin and Percocet. You can smoke, snort, and shoot Oxycontin if you know what you’re doing. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing you can. Ask me anything about a psychoactive pharmaceutical and I can probably tell you about whatever aspect of its psychopharmacology you’re interested in, everything except how to stop or how to feel happy on them or off of them. I have everything but the answers I need.

“I’m calling your mom dude.”
I nod as I put another klonopin on the tip of my tongue. God, it’s like strawberries flavored with laughter…

I hear my moms alarmed, high-pitched voice on the other end as Jeff explains that he needs help with me, that I’m breaking down, that yes I’ve been taking “those damn pills” and no he doesn’t know how many. She knows the junkie shrink gave me stimulants. They warned me.

How strange that it’s snowing and I’m on my friend’s floor seriously contemplating pharmacide now.

My parents drive through the snow to rescue me. They feed me a seroquel and I feel waves of calm, a warm serenity washing through me and my body begins to relax and my mind finally surrenders and I sleep, dreamless.

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie

By Alexander Ziperovich

It was really just me and this obese woman, a drug counselor incidentally, in this rehab. There was the Indian that smoked heroin and bitched about his need to go drive his non-existent Porsche and the Mexican he paid for his dope, how he wanted to kill this fucker. He was a farce- but fuck he was built like a fucking panzer tank or better, a gasoline tanker truck, I mean this massive asshole actually had a jet black pony tail! We didn’t get along after I walked in on him showering in my bathroom. Me and the Indian, no we didn’t get along at all and I left him alone but his eyes really didn’t ever leave me much alone time. So, it was all of us shuttered up in this cramped little hovel a few hundred miles north of San Diego in this post-apocalypytic wasteland suburbia apropos of hell with two twin obese freakishly round half-Mexican “caretakers” or whatever feeding us our pills and cooking bad enchiladas every single day. I mean, seriously, every day and the bulk cheese was applied like the bubonic plague in European history.

Me and the obese woman, we cliqued up right away. She was momming me and I was sonning for her and it was working beautifully at first. See, the reason she came to rehab in the first place was because she felt she needed Gastric Bypass surgery and her pain doc had her on, she said and I believed it, sixteen eighty milligram oxycontins a day plus liquid morphine to top it all off and get the cocktail tasting right. The problem here then is that with her on so much dope pain medication there would be no feasible way for this large woman to get any kind of pain control if she did happen to have gastric bypass surgery to thin her out a tad. It was all sad and amusing and we talked about her hepatitis C and her days following the dead (the grateful ones) and her son doing life in Chino and all sorts of other getting-to-know-ya shit. She took to me. She really did. I wasn’t surprised. And with sixteen eighties a day, shit, sign the adoption papers today.

The TV was the epicenter, the headquarters of the house and we watched the movie Alpha Dog continuously, which tells the true story of this little kid that’s killed with a mac 10 on a California hiking trail because of his older brother’s very insignificant drug debt. “What are we watching tonight?” You can hear the enchilada’s frying and sizzling, all that cheese, these poor fat women, Jesus. “Alpha Dog,” “Oh. Yeah, it’s good.” The Indian absolutely hated Alpha Dog and you’d hear a door slam. I liked it, kinda. I mean, shit, it wasn’t Wheel of Fortune or TV Telemundo and it pissed the Indian off.

Here’s the variable – I run out of smokes and all there is to do is sit at the table outside and smoke or watch alpha dog and eat shitty cheese smothered tortillas. So, I start bumming the obese ladies’ Camel non-filters, which she refers to as “leemacks”. The reason, she explains, is because you never want the fuzz to know what kind of cigarettes you smoke, so you smoke the unfiltered Camel’s backwards, burning up the little Camel stamp and leaving a butt with nothing but hopelessness for any homicide detective trying to find out who dun it. She learned this awhile back I take it, at least before the cops figured out DNA and fingerprinting.

I start bumming her leemacks and she isn’t very excited after I’ve devoured her 7th pack inside of 48 hours. She slows me down getting irritated. Somewhere around this time I use her nail clippers to cut my fingernails and then I remember she has hepatitis and I get a little freaked out. Uh oh, I say to myself, uh oh. I don’t want no fuckin’ interferon. Shit.

“Alex, I can’t bum you anymore smokes, I love ya but I can’t do it.” She will run out herself if I keep smoking her leemacks and I don’t want her to run out and she doesn’t want to run out and no one wants to run out of nicotine in fucking rehab because it’s fucking rehab and there are no good drugs or drinks. Bastards all of em. Burn em at the stake and pour poor liquor into their face, sober freaks.

“Oh, really? Damn. You can’t afford to bum me anymore leemacks? Shit. That’s okay. I’ll survive.”

It is time for me to get the fuck out of this pit. Post haste. No cigarettes? No, no way.

I call my friend Jamie in San Diego to come get me and he concurs. Some skinny fucker gets word that I’m leaving and comes to try to intervene and keep me hostage in the house of bubbling enchiladas and nicotine withdrawal but my mind is all made up on this one. No cigarettes? Cocksucker even offers to buy me a pack. A pack? He limps away all fatalistic away from my roaring laughter. So, I wait at this tropical Tiki Hut themed bar drinking Coronas this older woman keeps blessing me with acting as if I were Macauley Culkin before the heroin (again, I have this effect on older white women, don’t ask me why) and I’m twirling one of those little toothpick umbrellas in my mouth in the sun feeling great. Jamie makes the two and a half hour trip and I see BMW M3 pull up and I’m out like a fucking ghost in the night, although it is daylight and there is no one to put up a fight, except maybe Charlene or Chandra or whoever the old blond is, she wanted me to stay. Sorry Chayenne. She smiles wistfully and waves goodbye.

What I have not thus far mentioned is that I generated a generous benzodiazepine habit along with my usual opiate one: xanax 20 mg a day, klonopin 10 or how about I just greedily pour the fuckers down my throat as much as I can without choking to death. I would ask that the reader keep in mind that this is only really like my fifth or sixth detox/rehab and so I’m still learning the ropes, day by day. I figure that the bullshit WWI benzo the enchilada twins are feeding me (brand name Serax; extremely short half life and worthless for a buzz FYI) doesn’t mean shit and isn’t doing shit but I have yet to learn the delicacies of a benzo withdrawal…

Naturally, I assume I’ll be completely fine. And I am. Dandy. The drive back is stupendous, I’m free, free at last, from rehab and obese women with leemacks and bad enchiladas and mean heroin smoking Indians and Alpha Dog and the whole damn thing and I get to Jamies house and some  dudes are sitting there on his front porch thriving on forty ouncers and blunts and I get with them and catch a taste of Cannabis Sativa and Mickeys Malt Liquor and we chill. A few hours pass and everything is all good, gravy, gratuitously great.

What’s this weird feeli-
EVERYTHING GOES INCREDIBLY FUCKING WRONG.

My heart is going to leap out of my chest like in that movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver and I start shaking like a leaf in a storm and I am burning up, red like a lobster shell with a temperature of one hundred and hell degrees. I feel as if I am about to expire. This is definitely not opiate withdrawal. Now it’s time to find out via the internet that if you don’t titrate off benzos very slowly you catch a fun seizure and your ass goes spasmodic and you fucking die, well, my ass fucking dies. Fuck. My poor friend Jamie, my poor, poor friend, he’s happily spinning music on his turntables and I’m trying to bury myself in his couch, burrowing, burrowing. I cannot escape my biology I realize and I suddenly leap up and shriek at Jamie: “We need to go the fuck back now! I am going to die here! It will be everything but dignified! Vamanos!” I am very reluctant to return to bad enchilada land but I know they have that Serax shit there. My “brother” (yeah fucking right, Brady) who said that if I needed anything to call him and who lives literally minutes away does not answer my thousands of phone calls and text messages and who is a complete junkie pharmacist and who would have, I am certain, been able to procure me some valium or something. I’m betting Brady’s high watching the sci fi channel playing with Fentanyl patches, selfish fucking asshole. Oh, Brady recently found Jesus and sobriety after doing a year in the county after trying to kill the sky with a .357 Magnum on the roof of his moms mamsion with the cops surrounding his house and a red dot stuck to his skull. Whatever, he isn’t an option so we go and I’m riding shotgun in the M3 telling this poor child friend Jamie to hit the motherfucking gas. “Get this bastard moving, it’s an M3 isn’t it?!” We pass several police traps and I inform poor young Jamie, who has had yet to catch his own habits, to fucking fly by em’ and keep going or I will die in the county jail. As in, if a pig tries us, speeeeeeed the fuck up with the pedal directly on the motherfucking metal.

We are now about 22 minutes from our signature destination; where the Serax (still a shitty benzo, but hey, a benzo’s a benzo when your heart’s about to explode) lives and I have to piss from drinking Malt Liquor so fucking bad that I am screaming while also shaking, biting my jaw into itself so hard my mouth is a swamp of teeth, blood and bile.

Now we are 19 minutes out and the piss is just going to have to go somewhere at this point and we are not fucking stopping no fucking way my heart keeps stopping and starting and stopping and starting and I don’t want it to stop entirely the way it would if we stopped we are not stopping we are not stopping no cops no tanks no armies we are not fucking stopping Jamie do you understand James? Fucking hit the fucking gas you pussy motherfucker!

ETA 11 minutes and there’s a scramble to find a bottle, but the one I find has nothing I need, it is one of those shitty Pepsi bottles with the incredibly tiny holes. I give it a good shot, I mean I fucking try, but I got a big dickhead and while were on dickheads lets just come right out with the fact that I am a Ron Jeremy sized Dickhead for what takes place. I really do my best to get it in there but it is as if the hoover damn, or I don’t know, the entire fucking ocean is just coming up out of me and this little Pepsi bottle is just mocking me as this river of urine explodes around it and it ain’t catching much of anything at all so finally, I give up and in glorious, relieved, graceful, beautiful defeat and I just lay my ass back piss flying everywhere, a tide of piss cascading down off his seat going off into and filling up every part of his once urine-less BMW. Right as I’m squeezing out the last few drops, smiling dumbly, piss still dripping down off his seat into the pond that is his car he pulls up to the house. The look on his face is priceless as I pause, think of something to say, forget it and open the door and exit, shaking the pool of piss off of my shirt and shorts onto the street and I look at Jamie and his eyes are wide and shell-shocked like he just witnessed a murder or a fucking man die of Ebola in his car, “Uhhh, what the fuck, okay. Okay, great. Fuck. Fuck. Yeah, no problem on the ride, fuck. Oh my god, what the fuck. Yeah, I’ll see you, man. Later du-,” and as he screeches out of the drive way he makes a u-turn and it looks like he’s trying to spin the car so fast the piss will just all somehow fly out or evaporate.

My Friend Jamie, My Poor, Poor Friend Jamie.

Jamie, next time you cannot piss in my BMW when you’re coming off of your Xanax habit.

This one’s for you ol’ boy, take it like an apology or something bro. I’m glad we’re still friends because if you pissed all over my M3 I may have had you murdered and thrown into a hole in the desert. Love ya, pal.

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