More Billy Joel? Or more Elton John?

As much as I’m a fan of getting high, I know it’s a two way street. If you want to play, you gotta pay and usually in more ways than one. Right now I’m paying big time for letting my habit get out of control. Every day it gets more difficult to keep up. Instead of just doing it, getting sick and going through withdrawal, I’m stumbling through my weeks without enough cash to use the way I want. I can only maintain. I know that at some point, I’m going to hit a wall.

I’ve been using between 3 and 5 bags of dope a day, every day, which is untenable. I can choose to pay rent and eat – or I can get high. Not both. Lately the choice has been to get high. Food is overrated anyway. A bed on the other hand is a necessity.

It’s April and I’m barely hanging on in terms of my class work. My days of living the lifestyle of a carefree student are over. I’m just praying I can make up some ground by the end of the semester and still get credit for the classes. Fuck the grades. I just want to pass.

I have a job, thank Christ, at a stock footage film library. I’m an assistant to the head archivist. Basically I take care of film reels, edit video clips and supply ad agencies with footage requests. I work full-time. The gig started out part time, but my hours have crept up because they like me here and I’ve been desperate for cash to feed my habit. The good thing about all those hours is that I start at 3 in the afternoon. Most of the office is gone by 6, 7 at the latest. After that it’s a skeleton crew of 3 or 4 of us that work until we lock the place up at 11 or 12. At night I can pretty much get high to the gills with minimal repercussions and do a bunch of my work in the smoke break room.

I’ve got this co-worker, Jonathan who is also an NYU student, although he’s studying to be an accountant or some shit like that. We started at the same time but for some reason our boss, Thomas, who is a really nice guy, loves me and hates Jonathan. I feel bad for the dude sometimes, as he seems to be trying really hard. For some reason this work just comes naturally to me. I love the video editing machines and the computers so I don’t have a lot of problems. I don’t know how it got started but Jonathan has become the person I confess all of my sex and drug exploits to.

Maybe I feel comfortable telling him this shit because he’s such a straight arrow. He doesn’t smoke cigarettes. He barely drinks and doesn’t even smoke weed. Not that I do either these days. With dope around weed isn’t really a priority, except for maybe when you are trying to wean yourself off a habit. Even then, it really doesn’t help much. When you’re dope sick and you smoke weed, basically you are just dope sick and stoned, aka still miserable. Some downers like Valium or to a lesser degree alcohol are usually a better choice.

One night last week Jonathan turned to me while we were sitting at our editing stations and asked me. “So what kind of music do you like?”

Umm, “Rock, rap, you know pretty much everything.” Which isn’t true. I don’t know why I gave him that answer, but I did. Truth is I like punk rock and some rap music. Anyway that’s when Jonathan busted out the most genius pronouncement I’ve ever heard.

“So when you say rock, would you say you were closer to the Billy Joel part of the spectrum or more on the Elton John side of things.”

If I had been drinking milk I would have snorted it through my nose and onto my workstation. What a genius statement! I fucking love that, in his mind, all of rock music fits somewhere between those two poles. When I stopped laughing long enough to speak, I asked him, “so where would Nirvana fit on that scale?”

“I think that would probably be kind of like it’s own sort of thing.”

Fucking New Yorkers! You gotta love them! They define everything in terms of Billy Joel.

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