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Get Off of My Cloud

 

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Do you get high? I mean for medicinal purposes, to help with the writing. Are you a pill popper? Gin drinker? Are you on prescription meds? Anti-depressants, beta-blockers, lithium for Medea? How do you get to sleep, wake up, stay up? How do you turn it off, on? Starbucks shots? Are you a sneak smoker, eater, tweaker? Sex addict? Claustrophobic? Writers make great hypochondriacs! If you’re not high on life, what the fuck are you?

What’s in your medicine chest?

16 Responses

  1. I have a bad back, so I take hydrocodone every night–since 2008. Half a pill. It does nothing for the writing.

  2. That’s why I live in Washington State. Legalize it!

  3. Wine. Lots and lots of wine. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

  4. No pills (except for allergies and heartburn), and I haven’t smoked weed in thirty years. I smoked enough back in the day to make up for a lifetime, and I really don’t miss it. I often prime the pump with a couple drinks, but I limit that shit or the writing gets sloppy. Sleep? Jesus. If you manage to do that, tell me your secret.

    And please, share your sex addict stories, so I can live vicariously through you.

  5. Coffee.
    O, and still have my mom’s Hospice Comfort Kit of liquid morphine.
    You know, in case of Arma-ged-dit-on!

  6. Tea for writing.
    Wine & vodka for fun, though MA might go weed legal on 11/8.
    The only script in the cupboard is for the cat.
    Sorry so boring.

  7. “What’s in your medicine chest?”

    Vitamins and supplements. No shit. They don’t exactly get me high. Aspirin is in there, too, but it doesn’t work well for me. Don’t know why. Don’t much care.

    I drink a cup of tea shortly after I get up in the morning. Later in the morning I’ll generally have a cup of coffee.Too much more caffeine than that, and it’s like the engine revs but the clutch slips.

    Susan and I have a small glass of wine with dinner three or so nights a week. Sometimes we’ll split a beer with dinner if it goes with what we’re having, like last night’s chili beans. If we’re going to watch a NetFlix, we’ll often have a second small glass of wine. On special occasions, we’ll have something stronger; for instance, last week, when the Cubs won the pennant, I broke out the Grand Marnier and poured us each a pony.

    We no longer smoke.

    Staid, respectable, and boring, eh? We weren’t always like that. I can’t speak for all of Susan’s past — there’s much she has not seen fit to share with me, but I did my own research a while back and didn’t find any outstanding warrants — but I can speak for my own past, and lemme tell ya. Not to be too insouciant about it. There are dark years there that left me … shall we say, upset?

    There’s this fantasy about the hard-living, hard-drinking, hard-smoking, hard-hitting writer. Did I make this up? It’s in the culture somewhere, iddn’t it? I caught a dose of it. Came down with it bad. Days added up to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, when I was too stoned, drunk, or hungover to write. At all. I’m thinking ten years total, maybe fifteen, spread over forty years (I started young).

    What did alcohol do for me as a writer? Nothing at the time. I think passing through the fire of alcohol abuse tempered me. What else should I think? It didn’t destroy me. Did it wreck my life? Parts of it, yes. I do not recommend it to anyone.

    Marijuana was different. While being a pot-head, same as with being a drunk, can be a terrific time sink, its chronic use is not as destructive. Again, I’m making no recommendations. But marijuana use had some positive effects for me as an artist. While I often couldn’t write when I was high — couldn’t want to — it was good for my visual art. Freed my mind and my eye and my mind’s eye in useful ways. The drug also was useful to me in editing my work, though not always. It rotated part of my personality so that I could evaluate the work in a new and more disinterested way.

    If it was so useful, why do I no longer smoke? Well, it was so useful, I got a book out of it — High Street. However, when High street was about to be published, Susan started freaking. The book describes in detail how to grow a low-intensity indoor marijuana garden, and how I did that for years, barely escaping — on more than one occasion — an arrest that really would have wrecked my life. It would have wrecked other person’s lives, too (family and loved ones (funny how those are not the same category)). Susan was convinced that as soon as the book hit the stands — virtually, as it is an e-book — the police would kick down the door and haul us off to the pokey. So, I harvested the garden, smoked up the last of the stash, and that was that.

    Marijuana still shows up in my dreams, along with other ghosts from my past. Alcohol never does. I did not love it.

    And hey — I love that “lithium for Medea” line. I knew her, and it almost goes without saying, it didn’t always work. But that’s another story.

  8. Sleep sleep sleep. Perchance…
    A very guarded and occasional quarter of a valium(I’m a small person) on those tortuous nights when the blaze of the tv screen or kindle wreck my chances.
    A glass of wine with dinner, preferably Sauvingnon Blanc, not every night, depends on what’s cookin’.
    Dark and plentiful coffee in the morning.

    I like to write with a clear mind.

  9. Do you get high? I mean for medicinal purposes, to help with the writing. Are you a pill popper? Gin drinker? Are you on prescription meds? Anti-depressants, beta-blockers, lithium for Medea? How do you get to sleep, wake up, stay up? How do you turn it off, on? Starbucks shots? Are you a sneak smoker, eater, tweaker? Sex addict? Claustrophobic? Writers make great hypochondriacs! If you’re not high on life, what the fuck are you?

    In order:
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes; yes; yes (also Squandering the Blue, but not much else)
    See above
    See above
    No
    Yes; yes; no
    Maybe 30 years ago, now definitely no
    YES
    A writer, duh.

  10. Do you get high? Used to…
    Are you a pill popper? Nope
    Gin drinker? Used to be…
    Are you on prescription meds? Nope. Hell, I couldn’t even take Tamiflu when I had the flu in March. Made me even sicker.
    Anti-depressants, beta-blockers, lithium for Medea? Nope…
    How do you get to sleep, wake up, stay up? I got to bed, turn out the light, and go to sleep. When I wake up? I’m awake.
    How do you turn it off, on? Magnesium, 500mg (sleep like a baby. Try it!)
    Starbucks shots? Nope, two cups of coffee in the a.m.
    Are you a sneak smoker, eater, tweaker? Nope. What’s a tweaker?
    Sex addict? My husband wishes.
    Claustrophobic? Hm. Maybe a little.
    Writers make great hypochondriacs! If you’re not high on life, what the fuck are you? Most definitely high on life.

    What’s in your medicine chest? My husband’s drugs for high blood pressure, GERD, and vitamins.

  11. Don’t know why it’s clearly not recognized as medicinal, but I do enjoy pot. The stronger, paralyzing stuff is too much for me — thoughts going too fast for me to grasp — but a good, energizing buzz and a quiet, undisturbed walk help keep me sane. Okay, wait, I take it back; the strong stuff is pretty cool. Time to be honest. I like to go flying. I smoked some Hawaiian bud called Pineapple Express (yup, Boom Boom Blow ’em up stoner movie by the same name) that I thought was going to blow the top of my head off but instead settled in as a dancing cloud right behind my eyes. It was a high that lasted into the next day and I wrote plenty during that buzz. Some things didn’t seem as good afterwards when viewed with normal vision, but other ideas and feelings were as sincerely expressed as a child falling in love with the family pet.
    It was alright.

  12. Caffeine, sex, marijuana. All the ways I try to become someone else.

  13. Man, you’re fucking me up. Beer. Regret. Sometimes I drink the beer to get the regret going so I can feel some sadness so I can write. Why does sadness make most folks write? Why is sadness more powerful than happiness? Fucking weird. And yes, I am on beer right now. Why am I not God? Or a least Jesus? Or whatever hero I may admire for the moment? Yo. What the fuck.

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