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Chapter I

Knowing When It’s Time To Go

It was at the end of the eighties, at the very end, the last summer it was. I must’ve been seventeen by then. I was living in the Northwest, the Seattle-Tacoma sprawl and it's immediate environs.

After dropping out and leaving home at fifteen the next few years were spent amidst a morass of intense, crazy situations interspersed with some very good times. Enough good times to make it all worth it, I would suppose. Or at least it must have seemed worth it. I can't figure bothering to stay with that path if the trail was fraught with nothing but misery,or worse yet, boredom. There wasn't an overwhelming amount of misery day to day, and certainly there was a paucity of boredom. Both conditions,when they did come, were kept fleeting via a combination of economy class beer and the inspirational sounds of angry music. And certainly whatever form of illicit drugs I could ingest, by hook or crook. More so the drugs than the getting tanked on alcohol really; as then, as it is still today, it was easier to get fucked up on that shit than to go find someone of age to buy a half rack of cheap alcohol for me and my friends. I guess nowadays it's even easier to find pharmaceuticals, being that every fucking one in the country is on some kind of prescribed shit for chronic keister ache or various whatever-deficit disorders and all. It wasn't like that so much then, they didn't hand out Adderol like Skittles to schoolchildren Every other retiree on the block wasn't packing a jar of Oxy's or Vicodin next to the Geritol in the bathroom cabinet. We had to make do with homemade speed, coke and good old fashioned heroin. Weed wasn't even legal back then in Washington state, so of course that stuff was appealing and easy to find as well.

And hallucinogens. Those were available in spades. From the psylocibin mushrooms that grew wild all over the place out there to any manner of other psychedelics. The 60's hadn't yet been relegated to a mostly forgotten continual care facility in public consciousness at that time, so there was still a big market for that stuff. The quaint notion of “mind expansion” via tripping on LSD or whatever still existed. Unfortunately, I usually sought to expand my mind until it popped like an overinflated balloon. It was, after all, the 1980's. An age of excess. And we weren't hippies. At least not so much until the turn of the decade. Then having perfunctory knowledge of a portion of the Grateful Dead's song catalog, as well as Eastern mystic truisms (Heavy karma, brothers and sisters), while sporting a baja pullover and being able to play hacky sack in the park became an easy way to get laid. Easier than when you're just another filthy gutterpunk in leather and grimy black denim who has deep insights on anarchy and/or the lyrical brilliance of bands like Discharge, Septic Death or Nausea. while hanging in a sausage party hardcore scene. Thank Cthulhu for pop punk hitting in the mid 90's, girls started showing up at shows.Yeah, you know, some punks have their “sell out” moment for money or fame. I had my brief moment for the ability to hook up with deadhead chicks in the earliest 90's. And I wasn't alone in that endeavor. I know a number of people who went “Youth gone mild” to get a shot of ass or two back then. Still happens. Only now, the punkers go indie rock and start drinking Pabst to accomplish the same ends. Can't fault anyone, really. Sex is preferable to scene cred any day, especially when you're like 18-19 years old and ready to fuck anything that moves besides your hand again..

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