Quit Writing : 10 Reasons Artists or Junkies Are Persons Living in Your Neighborhood
William S. Burroughs once said, " If the US government found the Straights of Magellan today, we wouldn't tell anybody...so we could attack from the rear."
Artists and Junkies have always had a number of things in common, but they are demonized by society for different reasons for the most part. Artists have always been considered outcasts, immoral, subversive, dangerous, and if someone is an artist long enough, they are said to be unable to escape the inevitability of becoming an addict eventually. Many artists do succumb to the wide variety of addictions from drugs to alcohol, from gambling to sex, from the pot head to the street junkie. Junkies are said to be all of the same things, even worse. In fact, society will tell you that if you hang out with a Junkie, they will be a bad influence on you. Why is it then, that society never tells Junkies that hanging out with artists will be a bad influence on them?
It would seem that this is the key to the stereotype of the Junkie. Either a Junkie has no redeeming value in society, so their influence is inevitability bad, on all people and in all situations. Now this is not how we view the Artist. The artists of society are praised for their many contributions in society, but it is their influence on individuals that is considered dangerous. We do not worry about artists shaping our worldview, in some cases they are very important in this way, especially after they are dead. No we worry about Artists influencing those who are not artists. Apparently in this way, Artists are even more dangerous than Junkies. Artists will influence the non-artistically inclined to the depths of depravity.
Yet you can get a scholarship to become trained as an artist. You can win awards for your contributions to art. You can be awarded any number of honorary degrees in the arts. You can earn educational honors in the fields of art. You can be immortalized in history for your contributions to the world through art. You can leave your mark on society by being among the great artists in your lifetime. You can earn a living being an artist. You can lose the respect of your family and friends as an artist. You can be arrested for creating obscene art. You can even be incarcerated for extremely offensive performances as an artist. You can have charitable organizations named after you as an artist. Oh yes, all these things are true, but you also maybe nobody at all as an artist.
An Artist is a person in your neighborhood, so are many Junkies. Let us see what we can come to understand about these two types of people in society, and maybe learn something about stereotypes while we are at it. Or else maybe we should all just quit writing about them.
IF YOU CAN CALL THESE ACTUAL REASONS
The point of this little exercise, I suppose is to see what you relate to in each description, or if you relate to nothing at all. That might do as well. It is a tribute to old Willie himself, who had very clear opinions about narcotics, artists, Americans, handguns, the elderly, and the federal government. But I am sure he would have chosen drugs and handguns in that order.
There is always someone who wants to be your friend, so beware.
As an artist in your neighborhood, there is always someone watching what is happening on the street. You know him and he also is probably a master of uncanny timing and ethical entrapment. Trying to break free of his sticky icky weed business on the web will only get you into a drawn out conversation that makes your opinions further entangled. Because his marijuana sales keep him in free highs. He'll do anything to hang out with you, even if it means locking the door and making a plea for a greener America, or by offering to make some microwave masterpiece/ You say to yourself, "alright, maybe this one time. He seems like a nice guy and he has something interesting to say about the world." It gets harder to say no to him, it is hard to say no because he does not hear in negatives. But you know you cannot be seen around the neighborhood with this guy. He is a full time stoner, and a f***ing drug dealer. He will keep knocking on the door until three in the morning, and will be very hurt when you tell him that he does not really know how to make rope out of hemp. As he wanders away, he will sob and sniff while saying, "You and I made a really good team. We should hang out more! When you learn to understand how herbs can enlighten your mind. Till then I will be doing Yoga to Frank Zappa at home!"
There is always someone who is chronically late, no matter what day it is.
When you have an important art showing at a downtown cultural center, this is the guy who always says he will be free and want to give you a ride and hang out. Now you have sat on the curb for almost four hours, you called him three hours ago, but he is still not here. You're friends are getting very antsy. This is the same thing that happened at the Death Cab show. Your art exhibit starts in less than 45 minutes. All drug dealers and junkies have a skewed concept of time, but this guy is from a particularly rare species. He is so particularly out of sync with the rest of the world, but he will always get there, very late, needing gas and wants to sell you his newest shipment of hot Colombian product. Next week at the premiere showing of the new Twilight movie, say goodbye to any movie previews, just like the Death Cab for Cutie show, there is no chance you will see the opening bands you were planning on. This guy is recognizable by his favorite disclaimer. "I'll be there in five minutes, probably less."
There is always an Earth Mother child that wants to show you about Wicca.
This one is the most hard up junkie of all, because they do not see themselves as anything less than a spiritual become for the neighborhood. As an artist, you probably met him at drum circles, he claims to be Cherokee, Navajo, and Mayan. In fact he is from Vermont and was raised in Pennsylvania. Rather than living by the code of the traditional drug dealer, the Earth Mother child truly believes he's doing you a service by selling you marijuana and cocaine in the name of mother nature. He and his girlfriend claim to be white witches, as they snort a hot-rail. Aside from taking his job as dealer a little too seriously, he will finally convince you to buy something, just to be rid of him, but he totally useless after the transaction, unless you have any interest in learning about the fungus that he's cultivating in his dreads. Or how his girlfriends peanut butter made from pot tastes on rice cakes. They sing in unison a lot, things like " I mean, how are you going to get any closer to Gaea without expanding your mind, this blue berry hydroponic will elevate your senses?"
There is always a professional sketch artist that lives nearby the freeway.
There is only one way to stop the chaos this guy brings in his wake, buy his shit, buy it all and lock the doors quickly. As an artist he is always finding bulk trash lerp to sell you, and as tweekers go, suddenly, you are wondering if you should be buying drugs from this guy at all. He shows up with three cell phones ringing, a backpack full of scrap metal, and a box of DVDs he is selling. He starts weighing the stuff out, but is spilling shit everywhere, he talks too loud, and he clearly hasn't heard the term "never get high on your own supply" in his entire life.Turn off your cell phones when this around this guy, the Drug and Firearms officials could be listening. But more than likely he will be asking if he can cut the ends off your chargers, cause he needs a mini-usb. On the worst of nights, he crashes through the door saying "Shit! Everything is totally fucked, dude!"
There is always the hot girl that has big expensive designer drugs for sale.
There is no denying it, she is so damn hot. She is in charge and is constantly text messaging people. She sells you drugs and shows up when ever she needs to make some big sales. She knows when you girlfriend will not be home. As an artist, she also will sit a spell and feed your ego about how great of a guitarist you are. All sorts of conflicting feelings are coursing through your veins, especially once a month, when she tips the scales by blowing your mind and convincing you to buy some heroin in addition to your normal weed habit. She transports weed in places that none of your other male dealers could...like her purse, her bra, her cleavage, and then she blackmails you. It takes you three visits to realize she's totally not into you and she's a damn good saleswoman. She actually gets you by saying, "Baby, I know $150 for an eighth sounds really expensive...but do not forget that your girlfriend could accidentally hear about our little blow by blow sessions. By the way, lets get your pants off..."
There always the one that is an entrepreneur and has career motivations with dealing.
As an aspiring artist you are going to college so you can sit in an office someday and get a design company job, or maybe a soundtrack musician gig, but either way a paycheck. This guy is a full time junkie, selling drugs so he can...uh...um-mm...sell drugs for the rest of his life. He has a career and a five year plan, he will probably get several more degrees while in jail. This guy has more gadgets than James Bond and his utility belt puts Batman to shame, he will trade you a quarter gram for anything, your laptop, your car, your girlfriend, but he is a professional make no mistake about it. He takes himself so seriously that he's pretty sure someone will make of movie of his life if they are not already in the planning stages of it. His favorite movies are Boogie Nights and Blow, even though he has never watched either of them all the way through. He does need too, because Johnny Depp is doing a terrible job acting in his life story. His life story is somthing he has never seen it all the way through either. He is always saying things like " I will have to call you right back brother, my other Blackberry is ringing. And this is someone really important."
There is always the one that you really know you should not be buying drugs from.
As an artist this guy was someone you met in an art class together, but you are never sure why you still hang out with him. Oh yeah, he is the junkie with the best damn connections in town. You really know that he is a red flag with a bright red danger signal coming from it. He is always available, he always has it, and he is full of contingencies. This includes but is not limited to: family members, friends, friends of family members, police officers, children, children of police officers, fast food chain employees, hockey players, creatures of ancient lore, vampires, sluts, and people in suits. Also naked people. These are the people that your conscience has a serious problem with; but it's late and you're desperate, so you dive into that moral grey area head first. Besides it will only take a minute, and you can make a real profit off what they give you. You'll regret it the next day, or the next time you order a bacon cheddar ranch sandwich. You should never have given this one your number. He is a stalker with a really nice attitude. He also sells pills at the nursing home. He calls you in the early hours to say things on your voice mail like. "Make sure you don't forget, Aunt Janet's birthday is the 16th, you better f**king be there. Thanks."
There is always the guy who deals and is way out of your league.
As an artist, you just could not resist seeing inside of this guy's house, plus he always wants to get a ride from you somewhere, and you get so much free stuff out of it. You can fill you tank with gas, and have more than enough to share, spare and more. The entrance to this guy's house has a few too many unnecessary Romanesque columns and Corinthians with marble fountains. His has several top level sports cars that are fanned out in front of his cocaine and methamphetamine funded compound. It looks like he is filming an episode of MTV Cribs or a remake of Scarface. There are multiple scary dogs at the front door and just as many scary people in suits at attention. They shoot at shadow people, but also are very polite. He laughs when you say how much you want to buy, no matter how much it is. He deals drugs out of metal briefcases and wears bathrobes everywhere. This man is known around town as a Santeria practitioner, he like young Taiwanese boys, and he is way out of your league. He usually sells white and brown drugs and eats the green ones for breakfast. Sometimes not in that exact order, he is not your friend, and probably would refuse to sell to you, if you smelled bad. When you enter with his body guards, he says in his thick Caribbean accent, "Hello my friend. I apologize for the strip search, but a man of my status can never be too careful. Come sit down, but sit on your hands, that is polar bear hide. "
There is always the full time party girl who will do anything to make a sale.
As an artist she will always be available, day or night, at any time or anywhere. She wants dope and will get it for you. She has more connection than all the junkies in town. She takes forever, she uses fake identities, she is probably not who she says she is at all. But she gets the really good dope and you are always feeling sympathetic for her. Especially because she does everything in bed. Front, back, low, high, and if you share, she is yours for the night. Be careful not to fall asleep. She will steel everything of value that is not tied down. Still you feel bad that you did not help her more upfront, somehow her junkie instincts always are your fault. As you read the not she leaves on the TV screen with electrical tape, " Had a really bitching time last night, took a couple fifties outta your wallet, don't worry I will pay you back. Oh also borrowed your laptop, needed to apply for a job. Promise to come see me again soon."
There is always the girl next door that is way too young with the abusive stepfather.
She is shy, it takes you years to realize that she, her mom, her stepfather, and the whole third floor of her building are dealing smack. She looks like she might be twelve going on 21. As an artist, you feel sorry for her, and she is always trying to sell some electronic product in a box, that apparently fell off of a truck, into her third floor apartment. As an artist you should be able to read through her well rehearsed scripting and how good of an actress she is. Especially when you notice her packing a side arm. Her entourage is always big, black, brown,and mean. If she has any Caucasian friends, they are probably Hells Angels. She tells you her name is Angel one day, but says her name is Starleen the next day. She is probably wanted in more states than you would ever want to know about. Her underage body is always showing her belly button and she never wears anything but swimming trunks or Daisy Duke's. Her favorite thing to whisper in your ear is, " My step dad is going to beat me if I don't sell this xstacy batch quick. If you know anyone whose interested call me or text me. By the way, I love threesomes..."