Monday, April 6, 2009
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2009
(part 101) PILLS
I tried hard to see past where I was after the altercation with Cohen, but it was no good. It was just another time where money, or not having any, was a major problem in my life. I had never had any money, and now here I was again without a penny, and feeling one more time like a second class citizen who couldn't pay his rent. The problem had dogged me all my life, and had never improved at all. No matter how many records I made or songs I wrote I never made more than a hundred dollars a week, and even that was impossible for me to keep going.
I grew up with nothing, and I still had nothing. As a kid, part of my dream was to become a star, and make a lot of money, and buy my mother a nice house. In reality I barely spoke to my mother and couldn't buy shit. In my eyes I was a complete failure. I had given it my best shot and it had gone nowhere. By this time I was well known as a loser, with a penchant for trouble, and was considered an overall bad bet.
I was sitting on the couch, at Gavin's, and there was nobody around. I drank a beer, and popped a couple of pills, and started looking through old hand-written lyrics to songs I'd written. I had 4 bottles of pills, and they were all new prescriptions, given to me by Dr. Ferguson from Edgemont Hospital. 120 pills. 30 per script. There were 10 milligram vallium, chloral hydrate, elavil and triavil. I looked at the bottles for a long time, and picked each one up and read the label. The doctor, my name, and the contents, and what they were used for.
I lit a cigarette, and walked over and stared out the window at West Hollywood below. I could make out various landmarks here and there, and knew where every thing was on Sunset Blvd. I recalled all the events of the past 9 years, and how they had turned out. The opportunities and failures of my life littered the Strip from one end to the other. I could see the Continental Hotel roof from where I was, and remembered how it felt looking down at the ground from the ledge. I remembered the sheriff's officers who pulled me off, and how I felt. It was like a movie in my head, replaying in vivid detail. I vowed that this time would be different and that I would succeed in killing myself. "I don't want to do this anymore," I thought, "it always feels like shit."
I walked back over to the coffee table in front of the couch and sat down. I went through the pages of hand-written lyrics again and selected 4 pages, which I laid out on the table in a nice neat row. I picked up the 4 pill bottles and emptied the contents into a pile in front of me. "Man," I said, "that's a lot of pills." I got up and went into the kitchen a got the biggest glass I could find and filled it with vodka and water and went back to the pills on the table and sat down staring at the pile. I asked myself what I was doing and said, "I'm going to kill myself." I heard the sound of my own voice saying that I'm going to kill myself. I asked myself if that's what I really wanted to do and said, "Yes! I'm tired of being alive and hurting all the time. I'm tired of watching things go wrong. Everything always goes wrong."
I started picking up pills and putting them into my mouth. A few at a time and then I'd take a drink and swallow them and pick up some more etc. I started thinking how goddamn hard it was to take so many pills and get them all down. I just kept at it. Pick some up and shove um into my mouth, take a drink and swallow. Over and over and over, until the pile was gone. I stood up and walked around a bit thinking about what I'd done. Once I'd done it it was different than thinking about doing it, it was done. I wondered if I'd made a mistake and panicked for a moment, but then said out loud, "No, I meant to do this, it's ok, I did this on purpose,"
I walked over to the big sliding glass doors that opened to a long narrow deck on the Sunset Strip side of the house. I took one last look at my city, the city that had beat me to death, literally, and started talking to God. I said, "God, I took enough pills to kill me, you know it and I know it. If I die, I guess it didn't matter, and if I don't, it will be because you didn't let me die and you have something you want me to do. It's now in your hands, I quit! With that, I walked back to the couch and sat down in the sunlight and looked at the pages I had placed there. I picked up the pill bottles and lined them up in a little row like tin soldiers and stared at them for a moment. I arranged everything on the table the way I wanted and then leaned back into the couch and waited. I recall that just before I blacked out I felt like I was being enveloped by a golden wave of peace.