morphine and me

 breathing is the hardest thing to do.
— the prophet scott weiland

i only have one clear recollection of morphine. i was in the hospital after the monkey heart transplant and my lung was collapsing. the panicking doctors had to jab a tube through my torso into the lung immediately. but they had no authority to give me a painkiller, and they couldn’t locate my doctor for an OK. they shoved a paper in front of me to sign, then jabbed  the tube through my rib cage and into my lung. as a devotee of pain, i can tell you this one was most excellent. the nurse could offer nothing but tylenol. sadly, she could not give me the 37,000 tylenols that would have been required to fix things. i lay there for about 15 minutes suffering in a way that would replicate the pain of watching a weekend at bernie’s marathon. finally after forever, i got the OK for the good stuff. morphine came surging through the IV line. within seconds, I was happy. very, very, very happy. life was glorious; there was no pain. i realized  what it must be like to live with the temptation of heroin. when you’re suffering, you just want it to stop.

so i’m sad for scott weiland. it’s easy to say he deserved it. years and years and years of drugs and recovery and relapse, opportunity after opportunity, so many second chances. but i guess some people are doomed to be addicts, and no matter how hard they try, the road is going to lead to a dead end. artists are such tortured souls. the same pain that creates great art also leads to a desperate life. the only way they know to ease the suffering is through that escape. is 48 years as a shooting star worth the inevitable explosion? i don’t know.

but i know we run. despite the overwhelming evidence that running long distances is bad; despite knowing that dragging our injured bodies over the trail is causing long-term damage; despite knowing it’s sucking away our time and our lives, we run. it might be healthy or unhealthy; we don’t care. because after a few minutes of running, that warm euphoria coarses through our veins and we feel happy. fuck the consequences. we’re unapologetic addicts. recover and watch the clock till it’s time for the next fix.

if he had it to do all over again, would he follow the same route? i don’t know that he had the choice. all i know is that i keep running even though i know it’s not good for me. and if it kills me, that’s ok. just part of life as an addict.


About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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