Originally published August 7, 2014
I was famous. You probably would know who I was. I say now, with no attachment at all to that ego, and with complete modesty, my fame was well-deserved. I was a genius in my field, and will long be remembered as so. But what does that matter now? Fame was just my particular path, no better and no worse than any other. Genius was merely a means to attain fame, which afforded me access to the lessons I needed to learn.
I was born with a terrifying hole inside myself. That was the price for my genius and the source of my creativity. The fount of my talent was a dark place deep in my soul; a place which attracted and repelled me at the same time. It was as if I were suspended from a thin wire over a gaping, black, shark-toothed maw. I’d lower myself down carefully trying to snatch what I needed without falling, then getting out before the jaws snapped shut.
The deeper I went into the blackness, the more my genius spoke to me. I needed to go down there to retrieve what was necessary, but it cost me dearly.
I paid for my talent with pain and fear. How often I longed for less genius and more peace! It took all my psychic energy to cling to that wire!
I needed to numb the fear of falling. I needed some detachment.
This was easily accomplished with alcohol and narcotics. By the time I was 17, I’d settled on heroin as my drug of choice. I wasn’t stupid about it. I guess technically I was a junkie because I was absolutely addicted for most of my adulthood, but I never was one of those nodding-out smack-heads who slept in parks or shot up in squatters’ crash pads. Unlike others, I didn’t go from one ill-conceived smash-and-grab petty crime to another. Well, perhaps a bit, in the very beginning, when I was just starting. But I became professionally successful early on. I was able to afford my own place, pay my bills. I had access to the good stuff whenever I wanted it. I had people to take care of me. I never (well, rarely) shunned my responsibilities when people were counting on me. I was able to enjoy my escapes with what I thought was little danger. I didn’t think the consequences would apply to me. I thought I could forever live this lifestyle with impunity.
I loved being high. I existed on an entirely different plane which felt as much like reality as reality. More so, even. I’d wonder, what is reality? The truth was, nobody was ever able to give me convincing argument that one was more real than the other. That was the beauty of it! Maybe the high was true reality and what most people thought of as cold hard reality was merely illusion.
Now, if a living junkie said that to you, you’d probably think their brain was totally fried; that it was just the drugs talking; that it was a way of denying the damage, of justifying the addiction. But just look at my current reality. I’m pure white light, the state I’d long been trying to achieve through various means. Maybe I wasn’t so wrong to have asked those questions when I was alive.
I guess always suspected that a state such as this was the true reality, or at least another valid reality. I was just trying to get to it, all the while playing a game of chicken with The Angel of Death and The Gaping Maw.
Reality, I have come to understand, is purely subjective.
addendum: This narrative was channeled in early July. At the time, I wondered if it was Lou Reed dictating. I recognized that it was wishful thinking to believe that Lou had chosen to speak to me,. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, ever since the first “Banana” album. He was famous and certainly qualifies as a genius. But since I neither get (nor do I want) any personal details, the narrator’s identity would have to remain a mystery.
Then yesterday (early August) I was working in the kitchen, listening to my stereo which contains 200 CDs (about 3500 songs) and is always set to “random.” Apropos of nothing, I started to think about Lou, wondering again about this narrative, recognizing that I will probably never know either way if it was him or someone else or nobody at all or just a figment of my imagination. As I thought about him, an obscure song of his popped into my head. (“This Magic Moment” from the Doc Pomus tribute album) and I kid you not, the next magic moment, that song came on the stereo!
Perhaps it was just a coincidence…or perhaps it was Lou saying, “Yeah, that was me.” Readers, you can decide for yourselves.
(By the way, I’ve never done heroin or any other narcotic.)