23 Years In... What A Ride So Far.

Permit me to introduce myself. I’m from a generation where Dr. Dre is a role model, a man who, through his lyrical prowess, encourages one to ‘get your drink on/and your smoke on/and go home wit’/somethin’ to poke on’. Also in a similar category is Xzibit, who rhetorically, and derisively, asks whats the difference between me and you, prior to informing you that said distinction is constituted by ‘5 bank accounts, 3 ounces and 2 vehicles’. Deep and meaningful is it not?

Rhetorical introduction ey? Some part of me says I shouldn’t be able to admit to many events which comprised the formative years of my life. I’m not meant to be able to say the first friend I made in high school died of a drug overdose a couple of years ago, or that I was the pallbearer at the funeral of my then 3o something year old sort of adopted ‘big brother’ at the age of 16, having been taught by him how to shoot up in his Audi, parked in a shopping centre undercroft years before. I’m not meant to be able to say that a former business partner in crime is so far gone mentally that he accuses his ex girlfriend of plotting to steal his ***** to impregnate herself while vaguely resembling a cowering Tolkien-esque creature, issuing baseless conjecture from the corner of his darkened room, or that a guy I used to laugh at in the school gym while we worked out together, in the same gym I started using steroids before I’d mastered ‘Frankenstein’, is now a pop idol, that another is a spy, or that the guy I hummed along to an eminiem tune with in year 10 earns 90k a year for working maybe an hour a day without any qualifications whatsoever… relevance?

Am I off topic here? Ever so slightly perhaps, but I really, really shouldn’t be able to say that I lay on the floor after my year 12 social having a heart attack after too many snorts of amphetamines washed down with copious quantities of beer, have a list of criminal charges you can’t jump over, have been linked to organized crime, major fraud and drug importation and trafficking, yet still managed to provide security to a state Premier, finish a degree,  be in charge as over $30 million dollars in hard currency moves in front of you and a box full of guns and ammunition stand rock solid behind you… then start studying law before getting addicted to Valium and Xanax, usually combined with more beer, which I either got from doctors or bought from Latin America or China or Timbuktu or wherever else from when I could secure it courtesy of the internet.  Addiction is a horrifically painful thing to fight one’s way out of… sleepless nights, sweating, pain, total and utter disconnection from your own body. This, and more I felt.

I shouldn’t be talking about suffering deep depression, being shunned by my family because I fell in love with the wrong girl who then fell out of love with me, and living on an inflatable mattress in a room next to a main road, streetlight streaming through the venetian blinds even in the early hours of a warm, oppressive summer morning. Its not that I have an issue with the cards which have fallen to me, or that I scream ‘poor me’, either in the morning sun, or in my dreams. This is just not how a life was meant to go – for better or for worse, its meant to follow some kind of trajectory with the occasional sharp rise and dip… its not meant to look like the steady up/down of a heart rate monitor with the occasional clusterfuck of a beat being skipped or momentary arrhythmia. Then again, maybe I should be able to accept it, because there is no ‘normal’ per se anymore. Maybe that’s one of those complexities which comes with not plonking down in your beanbag after school and starting up the VHS while your mother tells you to change out of your uniform. Things change; one day I’m kissing my very first ‘proper’ girlfriend in a movie theatre at the age of 15, a couple of months later I’m ******* a girl in a hotel room rented with a fake id, just to **** off another guy, while my first girlfriend is blissfully unaware on a boat somewhere.

The world changes and the parameters by which the measuring of growing up shift dramatically in the sands of convention and acceptable behavior... and here I am. Its strange to look back at the age of 23 and be able to write something of a memoir about those around you… this is meant to be the start of your life, not its prime or its end – this is meant to be a launch pad, the true commencement of a journey, yet for some reason, I feel I’ve already come to the end of mine, or at the very least, the end of an extremely distinct chapter from the rest of it.

There’s much to tell about this part, so before I cast off this part of my life, its probably best to record it somewhere. This is not a tale of woe, this is not some outpouring of all the calamitous and mainly self inflicted tribulations which have been part of living until now… Its best I say all this now if for no other reason than someday, someone will accuse me of spending the next fifty years fabricating such an elaborate cacophony of wildly varied criminal, and above all, stupid, misadventure. Its about love, its about drugs, alcohol, power, cash, arrogance, the momentary joy and dull, ongoing pain that youth has the capacity to bring in myriad guises; emotional destruction, addiction, over extension and consummate, life altering failure. Its about triumph and disappointment. Its about being tackled hard to the ground and being told by the young cop, quite seriously, that if you move, you are quote ‘******* dead ****’ 3 months past your 17th birthday, probably upping your ‘arrest percentage’ on the rest of the population in a more spectacular fashion than food court inhabiting, bandanna sporting prepubescents with too much access to ‘fiddy’ cent’s ilk could ever hope. Its about trying to find poptarts again – not because poptarts are some symbol of your lost innocence, but because Australian supermarkets stopped STOCKING THEM DAMMIT! – and prevailing. It is, at the very least, realizing that you’ve had the capacity, for better or worse, to live, learn and lose more in less than a quarter of a century on this planet than some will in three or four times that. Is that a positive or a negative? Is it the realization that dystopia is reality for my generation? Or that we’re in a new ballpark here where old maxims and hyperbole no longer apply, and we are literally freefalling?

Would I take it all back now if I could? While some clichéd inner monologue scoffs and laughs at the idea, casting it aside, part of me indulges. Without question, there are numerous terminal moments in my life where a good, solid back hand would have altered my course profoundly… and arguably, every single one of them for the better. What if I’d stayed with ‘Lexi’, kept rowing and going to the gym, concentrated on my studies and not pursued a pathway which lead to my life nearly figuratively ending before the age of 18? Would she have married me these 7 years later, and not someone else? What if I’d had a child with ‘Lee’ or ‘Lara’ as I nearly did and become a suburban, anonymous breadwinner? What if I hadn’t just messed with ‘Annie’s mind and then kicked her to the curb, and stayed with her on the way up in the legal world? The common theme in all these events, is that I lead myself perpetually on a path to ruin, often emotionally violating those who have the misfortune to be within the blast zone, with no one to blame but myself and the choices I’ve made.

Am I delusional? Some part of me wishes it wasn't that pathetic and bizarre, and yet it is Did all this actually happen? Indeed it did. There’s no reverence. There’s no pride. There's plenty of pain, as the idiocy of a wasted youth and the pain carelessly inflicted on others, both physically and mentally, comes back around and attacks a slowly maturing conscience.

There's no way out; I don't think all the forgiveness in the world can redeem now. There’s just this life thing and it appears to be a terminal condition which will one day, some how or some way, kill me. Till then, on with the show, whether it ends today or tomorrow or 80 years from now.

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22-25, M
Mar 10, 2010