I use sarcasm when I’ve got nothing else.
In treatment, I was encouraged to drop sarcasm entirely. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but (in any case) I think it’s got its time and place like anything else. I am able to see now that I was overutilizing it in moments when I felt uncertain or otherwise lacking in confidence. This – my smallest piece of expressive art – is a simple acknowledgement of fear and insincerity.
Since the above isn’t much to absorb, here’s a bonus story. My memory of one day back in Summer ’08. It was a week before we left for the first Rational Anthem tour (which ended one month before I moved to DC to start law school).
I spent the first half of the night shooting up and the second half nodding out on the toilet with the worst stomach pain of my life. Now itʼs morning and my tongue is black. Really black. I canʼt brush it off. I get a knife from Peteʼs kitchen and try to scrape off whatever’s on it. It does not scrape off. I get online and research possible causes. Smoking too many cigarettes? Guilty. Poor oral hygiene? It could certainly be better. Too much coffee? Maybe. Intravenous drug use? Ummm… Bismuth? What the hell is bismuth? An ingredient in peptol bismol. Oh, I take peptol bismol sometimes – that must be it!
I sold my car last week and used the money to buy a bicycle with a little engine on it. I pull the ripcord and start the ride over to Noelle’s to spend the day recording Troublemake songs. The bike runs out of gas at the bottom of a hill and the cheap plastic pedals are already broken. Excellent day so far. I walk the bike up the hill to a gas station. I fill up an empty Gatorade bottle with gasoline and mix in the oil my engine requires. I go inside and get another Gatorade to drink. I sit on a curb to smoke a cigarette before I get moving again. I reach for the bottle and take a slug. Wrong bottle. My mouth is full of gasoline. I swallow a little and spit the rest out. I am now covered in gas, my whole head is tingling, and I feel instantly ill. I go inside and get a cup with a better spout on it than my bottle, so that I can pour what remains of the gas into my tank without spilling. I sit back down and pour the gas into the Styrofoam cup, which dissolves almost instantly, spilling all of what remained onto my shirt and lap. I am now thoroughly soaked in gasoline. This moment is the culmination of every decision I have ever made over the course of my entire life.
But, when I get to Noelle’s, I find that the gas I poured into my mouth has significantly reduced the blackness of my tongue. Things seem to be looking up!
Website news: By the way, if you hadn’t noticed, I’ve stopped using aliases for other people. I figure I don’t need rules. If I wanna use a real name, I will. If I wanna use an alias, I will. Whatever feels right.
Thanks for reading!