There are no such things as accidents. This, I am sure of. Iıve come to
realize over the years that there is no such thing as mistakes either but
instead, pathways. Endless pathways, some leading to temporary bliss, some
leading to regret and some leading to, well, death. People may take a wrong
turn or discover that the destination they wanted to reach is totally contrary
to what they imagined, but no matter how horrendous the pit they find
themselves in at the end of the pathway, beneath all the pain and entrapment
they feel, somewhere in the hole is the answer to why they are there in the
first place. No accidents and no mistakes, just all the answers. So,
basically life is so tragically poetic that if people donıt pay close
attention to what path they are on, they can become so lost that finding their
way back to the right path the one that will take them to the right
destination is permanently obscured by a myriad of seemingly ³okay² paths, but
ultimately they go nowhere but ³destination discontent.² This is where I was.
This is my story and it may just be true.
I canıt put a date to the day I gave up, but I remember it was sunny. I had
just returned from my best friendsı funeral and had come home to an empty
house. My roommates had gone for the day and knowing them it could wind up
being days before they returned.
I loved coming home to silence. I went straight to my bedroom, sat on my bed
and unlaced my boots. I was too tired to change so I pulled my skirt and
pantyhose down my legs and stepped out of them before I lay back on my bed. As
I lay there listening to the silence I so desperately needed, on the bed that
Iıd jammed under the window frame of my bedroom, I exhaled the pain of Monica
doing so much damage to herself leading up to her demise and then sealing the
deal by killing herself at the end of her sorry tale. No thought was
comforting and it would be four years until I finally understood and forgave
her for putting me through such a shitty ordeal. The scariest part of it all
though was that through her death, I had found my own path of self-destruction
and I was at the starting gate. My existing pathway had come to a major
crossroad via someone elseıs pathway ending at the proverbial brick wall. With
the knowledge I have now, and a way to somehow rewind the last four or five
yearıs back to that day, I would have made everything different. Chosen a
different way of getting to today. Then again, had I done that, would I now be
who I am now? Would I have the knowledge and understanding and even the
compassion that I have today? And above all the misery would I love so
completely? Would I have found the path that led me to crossing paths with
such a man? Such a beautiful, beautiful man? This is where it gets
Death was still hanging in the air and I was exhausted from keeping composed
as I said goodbye to Monica. Sheıd chosen a wrong pathway. I had to drum that
thought into my head to keep me from thinking that it was somehow my fault she
was dead. That I never returned her phonecall she had made to me only a week
before. That I took a friendship for granted because ³twenty five year old
friends donıt die². I focussed on the wrong pathway answer and failed
miserably. The wrong pathway that spiraled so far down into a pit of madness,
self-pity and rage, that it consumed her. Swallowed her right up and spat her
remains right back at everyone who loved her. I had turned my silver lining
theory into a monsoon, which wouldnıt subside until years later.
I hated that day. I wanted it to be the next one so badly. I didnıt want to be
awake a moment longer. I got up and went to my dresser drawer and took out
some painkillers the doctor had prescribed me after some routine minor
surgery. I knew that two pills would relax me so I took four to send me to
sleep. They worked perfectly. They also killed the pain. Not that I was
suffering from any physical symptoms, just the raw and battered emotional pain
of the day Iıd seen through. When I awoke, the sun was up. I had made it
through the darkest of nights. But through it, I had stumbled onto a new
understanding about medication and I took two more pills with my coffee and
cigarettes. I found myself able to cope and at that moment, as I sat on my
porch with a relaxing hum of tranquility around me, I didnıt realize that the
starter gun had been fired and I was now off down my very own path of self
mutilation and destruction.
I guess at this point I should clarify that this isnıt the focal point of my
story. This isnıt a sad tale. This is a love story. This is my love story.
Monicaıs death turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life but without it, as
I said before, maybe I wouldnıt be who I am today. But where thereıs love
there is also pain and I never realized how much I truly loved her until she
was gone. She never knew and sheıll never know. So this is more a base from
which to begin. I could go ten further years behind me, but the outcome would
still be the same. I would still be sitting here in my jeans and grubby old
T-shirt with ³New York 1975² emblazoned in red across my chest. And, as much
as I love telling stories, I have a habit of side tracking myself and I always
seem to wind up telling ten instead. I also bore people to tears by reliving
those moments as I tell them. Little snippets of information that only I can
relate to sneak in and soon, I need to just shut up. But then again, life is
just that. A collage of stories experiences emotions and time. And I live to
Months went by and winter set in. I was becoming withdrawn from my work, my
friends and my life. I no longer wanted to go out on weekends because she
wasnıt there with me. My roommates, Davis and Jane were becoming increasingly
concerned but I managed to keep some level of normalcy when I chose to leave
the confines of my bedroom and sit with them. It was fraudulent but after a
while, I actually started believing in my own bullshit. I was continuing with
the daily ritual of taking the pain medication to sedate me enough for the day
and by this time I had also taken on a second drug to decrease the insomnia I
was now suffering. With the mixture of opiates during the day and ³benzos² at
night, I had pretty much settled down into a perfect routine to hide the fact
that I was mourning the loss of my friend, my new found isolation and in
retrospect, I was becoming a junkie.
That winter felt like it lasted about two years. I still struggle to
completely recall events, special moments and even who was around me at
specific times. Davis and Jane were the easiest to fool, besides myself, of
course. Davis was a DJ and was constantly going out to raves and clubs and
through his own use of illicit drug taking, he somehow managed to not notice
what I was doing with my days and nights. Jane was different though. She
didnıt let go of her desires to see me happy again. Like when she and I had
I met Jane at a party for a mutual friend and she told me she was looking for
a place to live and Davis and I happened to be looking for a third roommate to
lower the rent we paid each and other expenses. We had decided not to ask any
friends of ours and instead get someone werenıt all that familiar with because
he and I were so close, we didnıt want anyone to infringe upon our time we
spent together. Infact, the only times I didnıt hear Davis pottering around
the house or driving me insane with his god awful music blaring from his room
was when he had met a girl.
He seemed to be meeting his ³soulmate² every month or so. Heıd leap out of his
car on Sunday night after having shared the ³time of his life² with ³the one²
only to find out about three to four weeks into the relationship that his
soulmate was actually either a sociopath, a schizophrenic or lesbian. He also
had the relationship killer habit of becoming a girlıs ³big brother² and
ultimately adding another girl who is ³just a friend² to his list of women who
took his breath away. I always looked forward to the Monday afternoon coffee
Davis and I ritually shared together while we chain smoked and he told me of
his new love, in love, or lost love. I always knew when he was hurting though
because instead of the repetitive booming sounds and vinyl scratching coming
from his room, heıd go to my CD collection and always play the same album,
³August and everything after² by Counting Crows. Raining in Baltimore will
always be imbedded in my brain as the song that hid the sobbing that echoed
the hall of 75 Hill Street when my friend Davis had a broken heart.
So, the three of us were living in a rambling old sandstone house that was in
desperate need of renovating but perfect for three twenty somethingıs
searching for our place in the world. Each of us set up our own little corner
of the house and used the living room for our communal gatherings. Sunday
nights were usually spent around the TV with videos and pizza. Sundays were
commonly known as ³get over the hangover day² and none of us were out of bed
before noon. But our bedrooms were our own place of solace and peace,
relatively speaking. Davis had his room filled with records and turntables and
trinkets from his Indian safari a year or so back, Jane had the back corner of
the house that we could shut the door on due to the stench of cheap incense,
the candle wax on the floor and the sporadic artistic phases she went through
when she decided it was time to paint another piece of the mural on her
My room was my favorite though. It was big and light and airy. I had a
beautiful lead light bay window, which would cast amazing colors and shadows
on the walls. I could have laid for hours on my bed watching the colors dance
around the room as the sun moved across the sky. Some days, I did.
Just before Monicaıs death, I had purchased my first computer with intentions
to write my first best seller. I have always had delusions of grandeur, but
after she died, I found nothing to write about and the more drugs I took, the
less creative I got. Of course, I was still writing throughout my drug taking,
but looking now at the crap I wrote whilst I was high is like reading a sermon
for a congregation in the seventh circle of hell. My path was taking an
interesting down turn and I was going full throttle all the way.
My winter continued and I kept myself on cruise control. Drugs in the morning,
drugs in the evenings and then what was originally one benzos, had now become
three. My workdays were beginning to suffer, my night times became longer. My
writing was shit and my body was taking a medicated beating, but still, I went
on. I could think about Monica without crying I could get through a day on one
emotion, which I can only describe as ³blasé² and at night, in the confines
and safety of my room I could write. Soon though, my writing tapered off and
being the only release I had at the time, it left a huge empty hole in me. So
I filled it with the Internet chat rooms.
Suddenly, I was warm again. I had found the place in the world where everyone
is beautiful. Everyone can do whatever they want, say whatever they want and
behave however they want. I became ³Satanıs Girl Friday² and roamed from chat
room to chat room looking for stimulating conversation. It didnıt have to be
intelligent banter, just something to keep my mind from drifting to the places
and the path I did not want to look at. Eventually, I realized that people
were trading pictures of themselves or who they wished were themselves, so I
raced to the store, bought a roll of film, loaded my camera and started
shooting. I held out the camera to get a nice headshot of my myself. I tried
it inside, outside, infront of a tree, laying on my bed, but nothing was
coming out the way I wanted to. I enlisted Jane to be my photographer.
Jane wanted to make it a special affair and did my make up for the ³shoot².
That girl will engross herself with anything that requires her to hold a brush
and paint. I relaxed on the floor in the living room, Jane put on some music
and made me beautiful. She covered up the darkness around my eyes and hid the
fog of despair that I emanated. She shot the pictures of me at so many
different angles, some of me smiling, some of me pouting but when I saw those
pictures, I saw the beauty of me again. I went to a local computer café and
scanned the pictures onto a disc and suddenly, I had a face to a name.
Now, my second addiction was born. I had become an Internet chatter. From the
moment I woke up til the time I could no longer keep my eyes open, all I
wanted to do was chat. I had no real desires to chat to anyone in Australia
and instead chose the ³USA Rooms² as a base to make contact with people
mostly male from my favorite place in the world, California. I talked to every
kind of guy. A cop, a drug dealer, a porn director, a record producer and even
an armed robber. It didnıt matter to me whether they were telling me the
truth, the important thing was that I was somehow being noticed and listened
to. My pale skin and long black hair adorning my big weepy eyes and pouting
red lips scanned, uploaded and ready to be viewed by men and women across the
globe. One photo in particular was a hit and soon it was the only picture I
would send out. The bitter irony is that I found myself feeling so
comfortable in an almost alternate universe. Real in a fake world. My path had
delivered me some company, but the price of getting close to someone two
dimensionally would prove so costly to my emotional state and naturally, my
drug addiction. I was ready for anything though. I was the master of my own
personality. Everyone is beautiful on the Internet.
Summer came and went and life made some big changes along with it. Jane had
vaguely told Davis and I about an old boyfriend from Victoria. Apparently, he
was an asshole, and had taken her to hell and back, but that he may be calling
her as he was planning a visit to Adelaide. That was fine with Davis because
by this time he was being a chef by day and a DJ by night and was bouncing off
the walls in between. For me though, it meant that for a few days, while Jane
sat by the phone and waited for the call, I couldnıt obviously talk to my new
³friends² online. So, as soon as I got this news and had gotten over my
initial enormous panic attack, I quickly logged on, emailed everybody to tell
them not to worry, I was going to be offline for a couple of days. Of course,
I also left my phone number incase anyone needed to contact me. What the hell
was I thinking? Sure, I had become a member of the elite group of LA chatters
that logged on intermittently throughout the day and night, but I was now
letting them know of my whereabouts and in case of emergency, to contact me!
Life was getting strange. Janeıs boyfriend never phoned. That is because he
knocked on the door instead. The house was about to become divided. Davis was
the man about the house, I was the matriarch and Jane was the child. We had no
room for another man. Especially one like Michael.
Jane and Michael virtually made themselves a den of debauchery in Janeıs room
and didnıt come out except at night for showers and food, only to retire back
there again. Davis and I didnıt like it one bit and pretty soon the house was
completely divided. Davis and I no longer had our Monday coffee on the porch,
Sunday movie and pizza had all but died away and now we were all in a subtle
form of attack mode. Davis and I tried music first. Michael and Jane liked
Davisı music so that would be no use, but I was the only Nine Inch Nails fan
at the time so they became the music to bring out the lovers from their
quarters and by now, we hoped, would send them packing. Well, the music didnıt
quite work. Davis and I would bear the thousands of decibels it took to rouse
Jane and Michael but instead of them coming out of the room, it gave them
license to be as loud as they wanted to during their sexual exploits. We would
have to pass their bedroom door to get to the bathroom and we could smell the
sex as we passed. Our time there was coming to an end. Davis retreated to his
wax scratching, I returned to my alternate universe online and Jane and
Michael got pregnant.
Iıve always imagined a child being conceived amidst some magical night of love
making, not hanging from chains and bound in leather straps. Davis and I sat
on the two living room chairs that were traditionally our thrones during any
TV watching and Jane and Michael sat on the sofa together holding hands and
giggling as they told us. Davis has a wonderful raw form of sarcasm and
straight off burst out laughing at the news. I was more concerned about what
kind of demon seed had they concocted together during all those nights where
the ceiling creaked and cracked from the hooks jammed into the rafters strong
enough to hold a grown adult. They were both unemployed, and deranged from
weeks of hiding in the dark and fucking themselves raw and now they were also
expectant parents. After a couple of minutes trying to shake myself back into
reality from hearing their news, it dawned on me that this was our way out.
Davis and I had a chance of once again being best friends and maybe, after
weıve burnt the furniture from Janes room and covered the cracks in the
ceiling, we could get another roommate. So, I took the reins and said that we
didnıt want a baby in the house. By this time, I was so infuriated by our
roommate and her house buddy that I wanted an argument from them. I wanted the
opportunity to tell them what idiots they were, how the filter coffee is for
the people who paid for it and how a $3.00 bottle of smelly shampoo doesnıt
compensate for using my salon formula. Unfortunately, I never got the chance.
They had somehow, amidst their torrid days and nights found a place to live in
the northern suburbs. Adelaide is a small city, but nobody in their right
minds makes a decision to move from the inner eastern suburbs filled with
alfresco dining, art house cinema and cars younger than ten years to the
North. Once you leave the inner city, itıs an eye for an eye and every man for
himself. The easterners who get robbed, donıt bother checking with the
Northern pawn shops because no one out there has a car that will get them that
far. Snobbish, I know, but I am calling a spade a spade here. So, there we all
were, Davis laughing hysterically, by now, me wanting desperately to return to
my room and these two morons on the sofa fantasizing about playing Mummy and
Daddy. Two days later, Davis and I came home from a bitching session at the
local bar over beer and a pool table and the den was dead.
They were gone but the smell and diabolical mess remained. I was pissed off.
They owed three weeks rent. Davis then told me heıd decided to move to Sydney.
75 Hill Street was all but gone. I had found a one bedroom apartment on the
inner east side and Davis was selling everything he owned. I sank into a
depression. I hated where I was moving to. My first night there was a Friday.
I remember that from laying semi catatonic on my sofa watching 90210 on TV. I
could hear my neighbor next door vomiting from drinking, my upstairs neighbor
beating the crap out of his girlfriend and cats scratching at my window. I was
in hell. And summer was unbearably long that year. My path was becoming
trechorous and by now, I had passed the point of no return. I was going to
have to see this path to the pit. I knew it by now too. I was gaining weight,
and losing track of who I was. My dreams of a better life were limp from
substances poisoning my body. During a thunderstorm one evening, that finally
cooled the cement block I was living in to a bearable temperature, I sat
infront of a mirror with only a candle lighting the room due to the storm and
realized I didnıt know who I was looking at anymore. I was bitterly lonely,
taking drugs everyday and night and losing the game I had created myself. I
had made up the rules, followed twists and turns, but now, I was losing speed.
I was no longer on the proverbial highway to hell. I had arrived and I never
Everything became decayed. My car started having endless problems and no
matter how much I cleaned and scrubbed and wore my fingers to the bone, I
could not get my home to feel clean. Maybe itıs because by then, I was so
dirty. My beautiful long black hair no longer had any shine and broke off
when I brushed it. The sounds around me as I tried to sleep were consuming the
last pieces of sanity I had. The pain medication wasnıt working like it used
to and I was increasing the dose to dangerous levels.
I went from being an insomniac to never wanting to wake up. I could sleep for
15 hours a day. I screened my phone calls and the only time I left the house
was to go to work or see my sister, Lisa. She only lived three minutes from
me, but in a much better building.
I was so lonely, I was beyond tears. I missed Davis and even sometimes Jane.
Days were made shorter by sleeping. I had lost the ability to fight. I started
fantasizing about death and as soon as I let any thought of it entertain me, I
thought about Mon. Why she died, how she died, everything. I was back at
number seventy five watching the light on my walls dance to PJ Harvey or The
Cure or whatever band I was obsessed with that particular week. Music always
made me feel better, somehow. I had a wonderful collection of CDs that
provided me with the perfect blend of sound for any given situation. The
situations though proved to be shrinking to a limited number. I no longer
listened to my favorite punk rock or the classic 70ıs and poppy 80ıs music
that I love so much. I was down to two or three songs that I connected with
and I let them sing of my pain and my loneliness and my heartache. Nothing was
going to bring me out of this mindset so I launched myself off the couch one
night, turned the lights on, turned the stereo off and hooked up my computer.
If you stay offline long enough you have to try and reintroduce yourself. I
saw a few old nicknames online but the core of the LA chatters group had gone
and been replaced by people basically looking for a date. Guys would send
private messages asking for your location and as soon as they knew you werenıt
in the same area code, the ignored you. It was time to find a new place. A
place where I could speak my mind. I was tired of the innuendo and general
bullshit filling my screen. If I was to scrape the last of my sanity back
together I had to fill my mind with something more stimulating than giving
some stranger who probably isnıt who he says he is my ³stats². I used to be
happy to describe myself to someone across the globe and pretend that through
sentences like ³Iım 5ı9² and I have green eyes and black hair with a slim
build² they suddenly had a clear picture of me in their heads and that it was
enough to hold their attention for hours. I was so wrong, but without that
knowledge, I wouldnıt have found the path that would ultimately change my life
forever. And when I finally saw the diamond of light amongst the ashes of the
pit, I grabbed it and ran for my life like Iıd just stolen the Holy Grail. I
had to get out of the pit I was sinking in and if I didnıt, well, I was going
to end up like my neighbors.
I found a chat room called ³Race Relations². I couldnıt quite make out what
the chat room was all about. Was it about dating someone of a different race?
Or, was it discussion about racism and anti-racism? This topic always gets me
fired up as I was raised not to look at color, but character. I always hated
racism and have had several heated discussions with racists, including, to my
surprise, Monica. Because I found out so many years after weıd become friends,
I ignored her racist undertones and remarks, but deep inside me they hurt and
festered until one day, I exploded at her. I just couldnıt bear her stupid
jokes and her rediculous notions about the anatomies of white people verses
black or Asian. I remember she once slept with an Asian-American guy and
wouldnıt shut up about how freaky it was to have ³fucked a nip². It was time
to put it to a stop. Well, it wasnıt really a case of planning to shove a fist
in her mouth, so to speak, but more of a case of the straw that broke the
camelıs back. That was my first real experience having a racist friend. Iıve
never had another and have ended any relationship since then if I find out
that I am friends with a brainless twat who thinks white people rule the world
because they have bigger brains than black people.
I needed a voice. I was barely working, broke and needing something to occupy
my time. Through the race relations chat room, I found out about websites
where I could educate myself more thoroughly. I went to Aryan sites and the
KKK, as well as the websites suggested by my new African-American friend, Rob.
I just felt compelled to know enough to have an educated discussion with any
racist rather than just type madly at someone calling them all the names under
the sun. Rob and I began meeting regularly in the Race Relations chat room
but the dynamics were slowly changing and Rob was beginning to move me in more
ways than just political. He was intelligent and insightful and very spiritual
but one other thing Rob was hot! I felt like an idiot. I had seen so many
internet relationships fail and so many people get their hearts almost
literally ripped out of their chests by someone they met online. But, Rob was
so different. We spoke for a month or so and he asked for my phone number. I
gave it to him and he called me the next day. I was swimming in uncharted
waters without a life jacket. I didnıt care though. I was feeling energetic
again and even slowed my drug use right down.
. . . . . .
TO BE CONTINUED
Send Annie email!
Chris's Interview 2001
The Leica Mishap
The Wedding Present
The Rolls Royce of Awareness.
A Pickle canĠt go back to being a Cucumber.
Awake and Alive
Nine High Schools Without a Diploma.
Nine High Schools Without a Diploma.
Turquoise Sports Car Totaled by a Telephone Pole
Whitepipes, Weed and the Wild Coast.
Going Ninety on Georgia Avenue.
Woke up in Swaziland instead of Switzerland.
Three Nasty Letters.
Three early traumatic events.
Madness in Rio
The Victoria Falls Fiasco.
My poisonous spider bite.
First Date with Valerie
God is laughing at me.
David Lesh's death.
The Malawi Incident.
The Biggest Blow to my Ego.
The Day I quit smoking for real.
Thanksgiving weekend 1974, my first Acid Trip.
Instances of Trouble Two
Instances of Trouble One
Ride the White Pony
journal september 1995
June 2003 Daily DreamTime links
May 2003 Daily DreamTime links
April 2003 Daily DreamTime links
March 2003 Daily DreamTime links
February 2003 Daily DreamTime links
January 2003 Daily DreamTime links
December 2002 Daily DreamTime links
Novemeber 2002 Daily DreamTime links
Narcotics Anonymous Recovery
Fry: "A Study of
Adolescents Use of Embalming Fluid with Marijuana and Tobacco
junkie java quiz
super cool links
Chris keeley's resume
secret surrealist society artwork
newest sss art
Chris keeley's art galleries
rationalize,minimize and denial statements
the Intervention Organization
five and ten press - consulting iconoclast
Narcotics Anonymous recovery links
Narcotics Anonymous Recovery
Chris Keeley's Social Documentary Photography
Blinded by Science
Darkside / Gothic
G E E K
W E I R D O
Out of the Dark
In to the Light
Return to Intervention Organization