I’ve been struggling all week to settle on a topic; I’ve even written parts of two other posts. Maybe I’ll get around to them later–at least one of them is still germinating right now, so I need to have the patience to let the ideas bear fruit, preferably before I
pulverize write them down.
Training is back on track, which is delightful, if a bit daunting. Those voices–the ones that tell me I have no business running a marathon–are pretty loud this week. I mean, really, who am I to convince myself to fly clear across to the Pacific Northwest for the specific purpose of running 26.2 miles? Well, I suppose I’m me, and thus the only person qualified to make such a demand of myself, but…gads. 26.2 miles.
Running a 10K on Saturday (Rikki’s joining for the 5K). Here’s to completing the 6.2 portion of the marathon, right? Yee gads. Go Rikki (who apparently will be far better dressed than I at this shindig).
So the topic du jour comes from Nikki Sixx’ Heroin Diaries, which I am reading for the purpose (ostensibly) of writing an article on the subject of contemporary redemption narratives in the vain hopes of someday turning the product of the last marathon adventure of my life into a book. Got to start somewhere–pitch the article at a conference…perhaps a journal. See what kind of traction is there in the academic community.
She giggles just slightly at the notion of traction and academics. Something doesn’t quite fit there, eh?
Let me first confess some hesitation with this particular book. If you aren’t aware already, the primary text is a diary Sixx kept during one of the heights of his heroin (et. al.) addiction in 1987, during the recording of and touring for Girls, Girls, Girls.* The primary text is overlaid by a metatext of interviews, where Sixx and others respond to the diary entries and, occasionally, to one anothers responses, pointing out inconsistencies or differing accounts to an instance recounted in the diary or in the interview (I suppose the technique is fairly akin to marginalia of old, though it is clearly part of the story, not simply commentary or clarification). Snippets of various lyrics by Sixx appear, sprinkled liberally throughout the book, along with photos and drawings.
I grant that I am inclined to question the veracity of some the the claims that this is a relatively untouched series of diary entries. Some of the entries ring true…glimpses into touring life, the incredibly exuberance that he experienced in May 1987, as he kicked heroin, however temporarily (that section was visceral for me–I could feel the exultation on the page. I know that kind of elation…that feeling of freedom and unconquerablilty. I also know how easily it presages the next month, when maybe just a little won’t really hurt…and the months that inevitably follow). And some of the repetition of theme too…I guess the part that makes it ring hollow is that he had read the diary before writing the commentary and tended to mimic the vocabulary and flow (which is quite lucid for the most part) of the entries in the metatext…which makes it feel a bit unreal, as if he were writing the entries from the point of view of 2007. The stories–about drugs, about peed in beds, about girls and music and boredom and a host of other complaints—none of those strike me as out of the ordinary for his context. 80s rockers did their finest to debuach the world–“lock up your daughters!”. Just the phrasing.
At any rate, at one point he remarks (not that I can find the fucking remark right now) that he was born an addict…and perhaps that is why he never really fit in with the world, why he was always railing against it. I was quite struck by the remark…and I wonder how many addicts have seen genetic tendencies toward addiction in such a light–>not as a trigger waiting to be pulled (and which event will actually pull it?) but as a fact of existence that governed every action, even before the first foray into substance abuse. Maybe it was in light of Duff’s last two SW blogs that I mulled this remark more than I might otherwise have. But, perhaps he is onto something–how does addiction make itself manifest before the initial intoxicating event? Is the best metaphor for such addiction a trigger (addiction could happen any time, but might not) or an avalanche (eventually the weight of the snow passes a point of no return…could be the first flake, could be the 9000th)? Or are both equally problematic?
In any case, it is an intriguing text. I’m getting to the part where GNR will join…so I know where the story goes from here. Straight on to OD.
*Look! I managed not to digress…sort of. Girls is an odd little album, which is understandable, given the predilections of it’s primary composer and lyricist, Sixx himself. It has some of the most “Mötley” songs–the title track, “Wild Side,” and “You’re All I Need,” but some of the most unlistenable and…corporate (?) as well. I always liked the album…it’s more listenable than much of Theatre of Pain, for the most part…but it doesn’t touch Too Fast, Shout, or Dr. Feelgood (I refuse to even discuss the releases of the 1990s).