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Late at night dreams. Old scenes. They are watching. Again. When you are hitting the rock hard, they are always watching, listening, waiting, gathering evidence against you. The neighbors with their infra-red scopes and parabolic microphones, the silent helicopters hovering above studying heat signatures, the undercover cops that look like housewives and midget cop-kids in the back seat of the white SUVs, the goddamned white SUVs everywhere. The tiny cameras in the corners of the rooms that look like spiders, blacked out faces in the a/c vents, the trap doors under the beds, the hands reaching up through the box springs. The shapeshifting shadows, demonic forces licking at your face. Through it all: the voices whispering, the teeth sliding against each other.
Everybody knows. Everything. You try to reason yourself out of the Fear. You know, since they all know, I might as well go all the way. Hold nothing back. Later, after the fiending, after the come down, when the low-key hunger to find more starts gnawing at you, forces you out of the house, you see it in their eyes: that self righteous smug superiority. Everyone acting like nothing happened. But you know that they know.
How it goes for the crack addict. You learn to live with it. After a while, the gallows humor, the trench mentality. Fuck it all. I got nothing to hide because I got nothing to lose. And, usually by the time you get to this level, you don't have anything left. You sold it all for the next rock. But the Fear never dies. It just gets stupid.
Now. Where I am now. It is all in the little things. Devils and details. I am watching myself again. Some part of me is watching, at least. A better part. It's like this: I'm riding down to the gym on my bike, come up to an intersection, no cars, no light, just a stop sign, I stop. When I take off my shoes, I place them side by side. I try to leave no trace of myself anywhere, no mess for anyone else to clean. Doesn't matter if I am in a coffee shop or a bar or a restaurant. I try not to waste anything: food, paper, water. When I am brushing my teeth at the gym, I wet my toothbrush, turn the water off.
This isn't an obsessive compulsive thing. It is that I want to do things the best way. The Best Way. Arete. This dawning ethos within me is most manifest in these trivial acts. Everyday, I sense myself watching myself, judging my actions and considering better ways to do them. In every aspect of my being, these changes are taking place.
Living in the World of the Rock, I became hollowed out. I saw myself constantly through other's eyes. And I was so far from doing anything The Best Way, that I surrendered to the drug. What morality there was defined good as more drugs, never enough, and the time and space to do them. Evil was the absence of drugs. That was it.
After a time, you pretend to be good or nice or caring only to get more drugs, to get money for more drugs, to get more time to do drugs, to find a place to do drugs, to stay there and do drugs by yourself. And you build fucking cathedrals of lies and rationalizations to maintain. Lovers, friends, family, landlords are all ushered into the Cathedral of Lies. As long as it will allow you to maintain. To keep doing drugs.
You don't give a shit about stopping for a stop sign - unless it means you can get more drugs. You don't care where you take off your shoes. You leave trash wherever. You don't clean up anything. Leave the water running, oven on, whatever. The only best way is the best way to get high. And the highs just keep getting lower and the world you come down to just keeps getting darker.
So, yeah, I'm not laughing like a clown or anything as I stop at the intersection on my bike, or as I am standing there with a mouthful of toothpaste, but I take moment to beathe in and look back into the eyes of that part of me that is watching once again, watching me, wondering if this is The Best Way, knowing that it is.