(This one is dedicated to Chelle. I finally got to your Ruminating On idea. Love you, baby 😉 )
Ernest Hemingway once said, “A man does not exist until he is drunk.” But for some authors, their stories do not exist until they have imbibed. I can’t say that it works for me, as I’m barely a writer when I’m sober. Still, authors that can spin elaborate webs while shitfaced and stoned like the biblical whores of old, interest me. Going back to Hemingway’s quote, I believe he was speaking of the lack of inhibitions while intoxicated. I could be wrong, but that’s how I’m going to take those words. Because, only once you have known no boundaries, can you truly know who you are inside.
Stephen King has repented, and some say his stories suffered because he kicked all his addictions (at least that’s what he tells the public, because no one knows for sure but old King, himself). The most amazing story from King about his imbibing concerns The Shining. He doesn’t remember writing the book. I have always wondered, how does someone stay so fucked up, as to forget an entire novel. Then there are stories of him sitting at his typewriter, bloody cotton balls hanging from his nose while he works on another one of the books he would soon forget penning, Tabby is at his side trying to pull him away, but King just responds, “Let me finish this one paragraph!” (If I misquote, I’m sorry, but it’s been a while since I read the article). I have dealt with this myself. But instead of my wife trying to pull me away, it’s my daughter filling Tabby’s shoes. All the while, I’m telling her, “Let me just finish this one thought.” And then that one thought turns into countless others and the battle wages on. Finally, my daughter disappears. It’s hours later, and I’m wondering where the hell all my time went. My beautiful little girl has found something else to do, or it’s almost bedtime, and I’ve missed my chance. I know I’m villain in this story, but that doesn’t change the fact I pick it back up the next day and start all over again.
I do not write under the influence, my writing is the influence. Writing a story gets me high, far beyond the reaches of any other drug I’ve come in contact with. Mind you, I’m one of the ones out here in the world that hasn’t partaken in drugs such as Cocaine, Heroin, Speed, or even the light stuff, like Mary Jane and Whippits (or however you spell Co2 taken orally). I did, however, huff gas one afternoon when I was twelve because a brain damaged buddy of mine had seen his dad doing it and thought it would be “just killer to try!” I got sick and painted his shoes with the remnants of a bologna sandwich I’d had for lunch.
Now, I kinda, sorta, just lied to you. I do take narcotic pain medicine on a regular basis for a back injury I acquired about eight years ago. I’ve had three surgeries to try and correct it, but I’m so heavy, until I lose the weight, that disc will forever come popping back out. The thing is, I don’t get high off the stuff anymore, though it made me rather speedy and talkative in the beginning. I’ve been taking it so long that it’s just another day, another pill. When I dose and write, it’s no different from when I don’t dose. I’ve done side by side comparisons, drugged or not, and the writing is the same. Though when I edit after taking my meds, errors become more prominent; they’re easier to find. I know that seems backwards, but I’m telling this story, not you. I decided long ago, it’s safer to hire an editor than it is wearing my Oxy Brand editing spectacles.
But, hands down, my favorite druggie has to be Poe. Edgar had a penchant for Black Tar Heroin. I look back on such terrifying ramblings as The Masque of Red Death, The Conqueror Worm and The Tell-Tale Heart, and I shiver. I really do believe, Poe, more so than any other writer that has influenced me, keeps me away from the hard stuff. That man’s mind went places that I dare not tread. I don’t write to create nightmares, I write to get rid of the ones already bouncing around in my brain bucket. The last thing I need are deviant dreams I can’t get the hell away from. Thank, but no thanks, Mr. Jones.
So, what do you do? Do you write in a drug fugue like King and Poe? Do you prefer your written diatribes to be alcohol induced? Have you ever written something and forgot you’re the one who created it? Or, are you one of the boring authors of the world, relying on nothing but good old fashioned imagination to fuel your work? I want to know.
Thanks for reading.
Now where are damn pills…
(Updated Author’s Note: Armand Rosamilia reblogged this post after I uploaded it. I greatly appreciate him doing so, as I have received several comments and likes because of him. I would like to add though, that I, Edward Lorn, am the writer of the post. In many of the comments that I have yet to moderate, readers have given Armand the credit for authoring the piece. At the risk of being a pompous douchebag, I felt I needed to clarify that. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and reading.)