You Don’t Say No to the Captain

I tried to stay away from cocaine…or what I like to refer to as ‘Captain Cocaine’ so that it sounds much less serious even to me. Gives it some flavour, you know? Sort of like a freakishly twisted parody of a Saturday morning children’s show:

‘Hey kids, it’s time for (everybody shouts) Caaaptaaaiiin Cocaaaaiiine! Okay, now everybody get out your straws! Not you, Suzy. You’re fucking cut-off.”

But just like the kick-in-the-withering-sack that is life; whenever you decide that you’re done slowly killing yourself and finally make the choice to be a healthier, well-rounded person without the raging substance abuse -that thing that you’re trying to get away from? It has ways of finding out where you are, of creeping up behind you like a musician on your woman and dangling itself out right in front of you, pushing your nose into it, getting your back up against a wall while doing so and making sure that you fully understand:

I haven’t seen you in a while so I thought I would come see what you’re up to…and this avoidance thing isn’t going to work with me. Oh no. Because I know you. I know what a weak little bitch you really are so you come here and you take this and you fucking LIKE it. Yes. Yesssss. That’s better. See how happier you are right now than ten minutes ago? See how groovy everything is with me around? So you can try running away like a little schoolgirl but you’ll always find me waiting there for you, wherever ‘there’ is. So go wake up party-boy, because you know what?

It’s party time.

You even try to reason with it:
“Come on, Man. I don’t want anymore. It’s not who I am. Why can’t you just leave me alone? I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not stealing from people or fucking them around. I’m not being an asshole to anybody. I’m just here minding my own damn business. So why do you have to be such a fucker to me? All I want to do is better myself. All I want to do is remain clear-headed and sober. Why can’t you understand and respect that?”

You shut up! I don’t want to hear your lame excuses. It says as it holds the bag of fine white powder up within reach. Just get it up your nose. All of it. Right now. You don’t say no to the captain!

I wasn’t planning on staying up late. I had a laundry-list of things to do on Saturday. But that evil substance found its way into my home Friday night. I had nothing to do with it. It must have broken into a basement window and slithered up the stairs because there was Captain Cocaine sitting at my kitchen table waiting for me. And I did all of it like a gluttonous sow basking at a free buffet as he cheered me on, “That’s the ticket!”
I totally regretted it the next day.

Saturday productivity = 0.

Saturday night. Take 2. I was ready to go out. So I had a little setback, so what? No problem. On with the show. Everything was just fine until I saw Captain Cocaine outside in the alley, waiting for me, having a cigarette.
‘I’m coming in to party!’ He motioned to where I was going.
“No you’re not.” I replied and brushed past him, up the stairs, down the hall and inside.

When I arrived he was there already, gloating while chatting up my friends. He even had his arms around a couple girls. ‘See? Fucking told you. You can’t get rid of me.’

I managed to ignore him for about twenty minutes. I started the night swigging vodka from the bottle and ended it slamming rails. It seemed like a fine idea at the time but then came 7AM and I had put enough shit up my nose that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep any time soon or ever again.

And that’s when they came in; loud, drunk, all hot and ready. What can I say? It was his room and I was lucky to have a place to crash on the couch beside the bed. And now it was front row.

They got right to it. But this wasn’t normal love-making, pillow talk, sweet-nothings. This was something else entirely. No matter that there was two other people crashed on the floor, although one of them looked like the same Jewish girl from last week so she just might have been dead. No worries at all. It was dirty. It was grimy. It was grisly even. It was real and in my face like a horrible accident happening so slowly.

“Come on, punch me in the Jimmy, kick it! Yeah, YEAH! Kiss the midget, kiss the MIDGET! Yes… ggrrrrrrr ….grrrrrrr ….GRYFFINDOR!”

They were definitely taking shit to some other level. Maybe they were professional love-makers. Ha! More like professional drunken bangers.

I tried to ignore them and return to my gloom. I had laundry to do. I had to go get groceries. Clean out the garage. Vacuum the cats. None of this was going to get done today which meant that I would have to mix it into my work week. Fuck, I hated that. And don’t even ask me if I’m going to be working out tomorrow. Obviously I had no control over myself, was never going to learn and now had to deal with going into another week rough as shit because it took me a couple days to get back to my usual manic self when I did this to my system.

Sunday, Monday, and maybe Tuesday productivity = 0

“You want to do WHAT?! That’s disgusting…but okay!” Yeah, let’s not forget them. Now they were only getting louder to the point that it sounded like someone was choking the shit out of an orangutan as it was giving birth underwater.

“Yeah, Baby.Fuck Ya….OH FUCK YES! Gaaa! GAAAAA! GEICO!”

This was it. I felt it in my bones. This was the Hell that would kick-start my leap into eternity a coke-free soul. I was finally done with this shit. Now all I had to do was let the healing process begin, get back on track and come out the stronger man for it.

But I could see him in my mind: Captain Cocaine, sulking against the wall beside a dumpster all covered in stale booze and piss and shit, snickering to himself all mad, empty and alone. He takes a big swig out of a bottle and smashes it on the ground beside him. He starts cackling as the day breaks on his grimy face. He can hear me just fine and he laughs and laughs and dances around amongst the homeless and the rats.

Hahaha…think you could quit me? Go ahead, think it. You can tell yourself this now, but I’ll see you around the bend. We both know the same people. I’ll pop up at parties, be around when you’re all wasted at the end of the night and the show’s not over. Or how about next time you’re at the back of a club with a hot twenty-year old looking for uppers? We’ll see, my good friend. We’ll see what you say then.

It hurts to see him so assured that I will never quit. Because he is me if I don’t. This is my devil. This is my Hell. This is my open wound. Fuck what other people have done to me, I can deal with that. It’s him that is my worst enemy. It’s him that I am really afraid of. He was the bottle, the secret stash of pills, the lover you were ashamed of, the gambling debt, the slow death and he was God in the lives of the weak. He’s the driver to the asylum, the prison, the back-alley basement where the stink of the diseased and the dead permeate into everything until there is nothing else left, nothing of hopes or dreams, nothing but the empty glaze of a dead soul. It’s the fear that he will take me to that place where life is cruel, hideous and brutally unforgiving. That place that there is no returning from. I’ve seen that point in other men. I’ve seen what it’s done to them. That was some place I never wanted to go. But now, right now, I can see it. I can see that place from here as though it was right in my face staring back.

Now I was so pissed at myself and would just have to suck it up and deal with it. Since I wasn’t right to leave I laid my head back down, closed my eyes and endured my penance as the sun shone hard through the windows, as cars mingled on the cold, cracked streets outside…

“Yeah Yeah…put the corn on the cob…that’s it….UGGA UGGGGAAAA GAK GAK GAK…FEDEX!”

And as they screwed and screwed…

and screwed.

Wondering Where I Went
In pursuit of
the great big
of it all
that I can’t seem to find
for the life of me.

Maybe it’s under the bed
or in it.

It might be burned away
throughout the years
now hopelessly scattered
between sparse
moments of lucidity.

It’s sad to see
the past
so wide.

One day you just
wake up
and wonder where
you went.


4 thoughts on “You Don’t Say No to the Captain

  1. S.

    I am still wondering if sometimes you write from own experience or it’s just the richness of your imagination talking. But I suspect that is your goal as well, to keep us wondering 🙂 Either way though, this is one heck of a deep addiction analysis, excellent piece!



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