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I’ve been stuck in my head a lot lately; not always the wisest vacation spot. Thinking a lot about the last couple of years, the last six months in particular and how even though I lost so much, my life has never felt so full. This uncanny sense, too, that it’s just beginning; though I don’t particularly believe in astrology, my latest horoscopes, from two different sources, have mentioned the fun, sex, and joy coming my way, and somehow I believe it. The one in the paper said “…whatever the case, you will be very creative in the next year.”

I told you I’m afraid, though, that I’m out of fascinating material, and it’s true. Fear is a bitch; she’s happiest when you’re stuck in bed. All that fun, sex and joy: fear has sometimes been comforting, kept me out of trouble while I got my head straight, my blood clean. And now I’m ready for trouble; I want to risk something; not my sobriety, just my…domesticity, my routine, my bed.

I avoided Dore Alley again this year, telling myself I’m not quite up for it yet. I used to bartend right smack dab in the middle of the scene; Dore and the Folsom Street Fair were the year’s biggest money-makers for us. But it was also where some of my darkest days and nights took place, when the chemicals became the most important elements in my life; when my life was the size of a bag of speed. So I’ve stayed away, telling myself they will always be there. Next year. The Human Bullet will return.

Last night I was at Tower, tethered to one of the listening stations, head bobbing, when I glanced down and saw this CD, and adrenaline kicked through me. There was one left.

I hadn’t heard it in four years. Back then a friend left it in my car and over the next few months I held onto it. I was between jobs, not yet bartending, home days with a lot of free time while the Ex worked. And that was when the speed took over. I would sit on the computer with the music playing and try to write, but would usually end up online. I met you then, and spent a lot of time shooting the shit. I was a little lost. I remember I’d play track 2 over and over on repeat for hours; one day out of the blue you said you were listening to the same CD; the same song on repeat. There’s nothing quite as challenging as describing the emotional impact of a song, and nothing quite so boring to the average reader.

Speed made listening to the same song for hours not only possible but almost necessary. When I got sober I put away the CD’s I used to listen to when high; mostly house music; beats that could keep up with my racing heart. I’d catch sight of them in my collection and would literally feel grief over their absence; but I was afraid. Afraid of the memories hardwired in my blood by those songs; afraid to feel again the small and the dark.

I bought it last night, of course. I’m listening to it now; track 2 on repeat. It’s more like an old friend than a dangerous lover; someone who knows me well, someone whom I may have fought with but now, years later, is back. Someone who carries pain in their eyes, but who also knows how to laugh. Someone you drive with at night, dressed up, ready to dance, the dark streets opening before you.

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