This is the second part in a series of articles on overcoming escapism by Brother Jason, a soldier in the Salvation Army. Jason doesn’t have a blog, but you should show him some love here in this shithole. If you’re joining late, you’ll want to read Part 1 here.
I danced. I partied. There were still some laughs I suppose as the decline quickened. I partied with Fiona Apple in 2002 one night. We ended up some underground party and danced, grinded on each other while the group “Morcheeba” sang, and mixed their wizardry on the stage……..she “of course” just wanted to party with me and didn’t want to hook up with me……….
I met Sergio Mendes one night at a nightclub. I jumped from the upper rails of a nightclub down to the crowd below who broke my fall during a “soul / motown / Mod” all night dance party. Everyone thought I was insane. I was so high…….I was hoping to die countless nights. I would always ask myself as I looked in the mirror as I perfectly knotted my tie “This is gonna be the night…hopefully. I’ll pass out, crash out and never wake up.”
The SF Police twice fished me out of an alley deep in the Tenderloin neighborhood, and got me home. My parents back east started to worry about me……..I disconnected my telephone. My work performance sank, and after being given several warnings…..I was “asked” to leave IBM in the fall of 2003. The rush from sweet cocaine now was a problem…..I was honking up well over $1000.00 a week. I was an addict. I was ashamed but there was nothing really anyone could say or do to help me. Who was I gonna talk to? Someone in a club? My parents? Gonna meet a “nice girl” who just understood? My few peers?????
Despite all of this, I found another job rather quickly…….I was hired by a swanky nightclub atop the Sire Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco as a bartender……it was like adding gasoline to an already out of control fire. The party scene now was kicked into hyperspace, interstellar overdrive. I was still keeping myself up, but I hated looking at myself in the mirror while shaving, or sitting in a barbers chair……..I hated everything about me. I was mechanical at my bartending job. I did solid work under stress and pressure…..but the second work ended. Out until the sun came up…..or later at underground clubs for bartenders, or more nefarious places……saw people shooting up heroin in filthy alleys (never touched needles btw). The dance went on……..I lost weight…..the shakes would not stop, and this would be the downfall of me bartending……the IBM stock I had was running out…….taxes killed my portfolio……….the savings was being sucked dry quicker than it was coming in. It finally came to the point when I just “quit” paying rent.
I was evicted from the condo I had been renting since 1997 in 2004.
I moved to a scummy residential hotel in the Western Addition neighborhood…….and that is when the bottom fell out……..
Read Part 3!