That's September 22, 1987. I was in Cherokee Drug Center, checked myself in sometime in september, probably right after labor day. i'll have to go find the diaries during that time. i think i have one that takes me to getting to iowal from whereever i was (new york?). i need to know how i got to iowa for DT.
It's study hour on ward 16. I just received this journal from Dr. Tate. This is the first one that I've had that doesn't have 20 tables of convesion, a day by day outline of boxes with ruled lines and no look ahead into the coming year. No structure. hmmm. I'm surehe's going to have a look at my little black book on my last day in treatment.
I plan to use this not as a substitute so much, but as an addendum to my talks with staff and other patients; even Dr. Tate. Why whenever there's something that should be noted -- date, time, etc. Titles, profound revelations, although since that usually comes when I'm stoned, I don't want to lose that ability. Anyway, back to reality.
Today went pretty smooth. Yet I'm on restriction for not checking in at 10:30. First time, Last time! The staff this morning did their usual. 'Let's get scrubbed' with me this morning by making sure they're protected from possible contamination. It got a little carried away, but I'm over it. They finally got me in group, but thatnk God it was the last 10 mins. My friendliness with the girls was brought out, I think in hopes of finding the truth. Yea, OK. It never came out. I figure I'm holding it well.
My music is not too bad. STill would like pot to be there, but my loss of continuity ("LOC") has pretty much subsided. What a relief. It was getting heavy there for a while. I'm not sure that I can attribute that to cocainlessness (that's a new word) or not, on lithium, but wehatever, I'm glad it's not as aggressive. I still feel lost once in a while, usually at night. I'm rappin regularly and sleeping; like a baby now. That 2130 second wind still has me pretty much. Some things will never change. My weight is bouncing, more than ever - top is 169.5, and low is 162. Avg is 167. Been eating good - well, as good as I can. The food sucks, snacks are a lifesaver sometimtes, and even their cereal (lucky charmes) is getting boring. I feel like I'm putting too much milk in my system. Will talk to Dorothy soon about it. I"m not heavy with thought - the I could be. But again --
Just finished patient planning. I have an appointment with the director of Carroll’s half way house this afternoon. Just research. Larry Johnson was ok, till I mentioned the possibility of the gay program in Minneapolis
MY LIFE – A Story
Yeah, Oh Kay. I was born in Iowa City in 1956. Livewd in Mason City for the next 12 years. Went to parochial school, had one more brother and four sisters before moving to the great land of oz, Manly, Iowa on April Fools Day, 1969.
From the first day, I had trouble with most everyone I came into contact with. The hicktown farmers and the boozin red necks didn’t like the way I walked and talked except when they were horny.
I needed some escape as I got punished and shipped for hiding in the church playing the piano. I started driving my parents car by sneaking out in the middle of the night. That was my answer – get out of town. Be in control behind the wheel.
I somehow started taking other people’s cars and I was bored with my parents’ ’58 Buick. I always needed something new. After about 33 thefts I was busted and sent to an institution. I remember my parents telling the court that they couldn’t take it any more and that they gave up trying to make me a decent boy.
From October 1969 to January 1974, I was bounced from Boy’s Farm School in Durand, Il, to the Boy’s Training School in Eldora, and the Mental Health Institute in Cherokee. All kinds of things were happening. Sex, temper tantrums, running away, psycho somatic illness. I did so much of so many different medications that I swore I’d never touch any of it again.
I was released from Eldora to Marshalltown. The state had forbade me to return to Manly. Fine, I roomed with some Arab and Persian foreign students from Kuwait and Iran and quickly became one of them. I went to court and changed my name to Nehemiah Mahbuballah Mahana, when school was over I was left alone. I ended up working for the only massage parlor in town. I started go go dancing and moved around midwest frequently as my popularity skyrocketed. One of the two male dancers in the upper midwest, and, also the better of the two imho.
I hit my first gay bar in Des Moines, by auditioning as a stripper. It was all so natural even though I didn’t know it was a gay bar until after I got the job. After a few weeks, I went to San Francisco with a fuck buddy. Yeah, ok.
From that point forward, I turned into the only pig. I moved between bathhouses and bars and cities and states almost every day. I somehow landed back in Iowa for drug treatment in Cherokee in May, (Mother’s Day) 1980.
I bucked the system then and was kicked out. Got to Denver with a ride by two hospital employees going on vacation. I worked my drugs until I landed in Orlando for Basic Training in the United States Navy. Having landed in Orlando in full Army fatigues, complete with captain’s bars, on a Friday, Halloween, 1980, I had the whole weekend to demonstrate that I was the faggot of the group.
It was Boot Camp that sobered me up. I became a yeoman, like anybody could compete with me for the job. Had the sweetest job of all. We graduated on New Year’s Eve – surprise there. They let us out for the weekend and we had one big party that lasted all Friday night, all day Saturday, and finally after going to church on Sunday, we reported back for our orders. Mine had me going to PN school in Meridian, MS. After graduating with honors there, I was ordered to sub school in Groton, CT. I graduated there with honors as well and finally got orders for a boat that was in San Diego, so we flew out there after having some time off in New York. A buddy from the philipines who graduted sub school with me, travelled to New York with me and we partied like there was no tomorrow. Stayed in one of those hospice centers for Armed Forces personnel. Read: Cheap.
I ended up sleepwalking one night on board a ship and climbed into bed with one of my shipmates. That was a disaster and resulted in my being discharged from the Navy with an Other Than Honorable (Homosexuality) on my DD214.
I can barely remember getting discharged in Charleston, South Carolina, and what exactly I did immediately following my escort off the base. I think I went to a local friend’s house and pondered my situation there with this fabulous artist who was into drawing orchids. Anyway I left Charleston and got to Atlanta for a flight to Pittsburgh. Before getting discharged from the Navy, I had gone AWOL with another member of the armed forces, Oscar I think his name was. He was in the Army and had gone AWOL when he was to report to some Ft. in Georgia (Ft. Benning I think)
I then went into the City and within a couplae of months teamed up with Manny. Manny Parrish was just a strugling musician who had played with some local bands in the City, not really making himself a star by any means. After I moved into the loft at 400 W. 14th St. (the site of the old Toilet Bar), that’s when everything started to move. The sex, the drugs and disco. I always had a job because my money gave me power. It was my work that kept me sane, but at the same time was enabling me to go insane.
Much of how I perceive things come from the City. It was where I was able to be different and not be outcasted. It was where I was able to develop the type of sexual habits that played a majro role in my deterirating health. It was where I could get as high as I could and feel safe. I was able to totally lose myself and not care.
My life in the City wasn’t all bad. I did a lot of good things; e.g. volunteering work w/PWA’s, good work at clients made some good music, got to know some good people. But I’m sure the bad outweighed the good by a 3-1 margin.
My relationship with Papo sure wasn’t the healthiest thing I had going for me. Actually, it turned tumultuous rea the end.l The fighting, the drugs, his family, my possessiveness were all symptoms of two unhealthy individuals on a one way road to self destruction.
My use of drugs and alcohol becamse totally insane the last six to eight months. There weren’t two days out of a week that I didn’t pass out somewhere. Especially, the last month or so, I really pourd on the self pity and totally went crazy.
So, I’m now near the end of my treatment in Cherokee. I’m real scared. Of life, of death, of AIDS, of relationships, of work, or housing, of food – nothing new, except I can handle it.
MY DRUG ABUSE – A FABLE
My first experience in getting high was circa 1974, at the age of 198. There was this guy, Ted Christie, who was playing the guitar in this piano bar of the hotel I was staying at. He turned me on more than I care to say here, to marijuana. I fimly remember smoking a whole joint and not feeling anything. Then two more. By the time we were getting out of his van, I was so stoned that I only remember seeing colored notes flying from his fingers while they plucked the strings. I thought WOW. That was a long time ago, 819,936,000 time frmaes to be exact.
My use or abuse, of marijuana was constant throughout the rest of my life as an abuse of drugs. Actually, the only time (s) that I can remember being without was while I was in treatment in 1980 and when I was in transit. I guess this should have been listed as my drug of choice, even though cocaine truly was the drug of equal desire.
Pills and gelatins, powders and liquids, campe upon me, if you will, in 1976 when I first went to San Francisco. My first night in the bathhouse, the Barracks, was the first time I ever got fucked up. (I feel there’s a difference in high, buzzed, fucked-up and wasted) I met Pierre and got fisted and dusted, whipped and wasted not long after I arrived. I tried I think, everything he had. It didn’t matter what it was, if it was mood-altering, it had my name on it. This lasted for a while – I don’t know exactly how long – time meant nothing. From that point forward I never said no. Funny thing, tho, I was always wanting more, never being satisfied with the buzz or fucke3d-up feeling. It started as a way of being what everyone else was, only to be better at it. Drugs made me, and still do, one who already was mutli-sensory, super-multi-sensing. I mean, really.
That was where my life settled – drugs, sex and disco. Maximuym intensity ws the only way oif living. Amounts never impressed me. I never felt bigger or better than others by my pigginess. I never bragged about how much, only how big. It usually tied together though, more pills more inches. Not to be funny, this was serious business here. I do believe that my sexuial addiction enabled my chemical addiction, not the other way around.
Rather than tell you some of my periods of my memory, I would just as well let it be known that I blame my life on drugs and what I have done to get them. Who I’ve done to get them, and where I’ve gone to do them.
Some of the chemicals I’ve used are: pot, coke, base, crack, acid, quaaludes, mushrooms, dust, special K, ketamine, tuinol, placidil, BBs, cronies, christal meth, space base, champagne breakfast, and other designer drugs. Aocohol, peyote, mescaline, valium, yellows, hash, and really tere are numerous types and variances to most of these already listed. One word sums it up: pig.
Once in New York, Oct. 31, 1981, my life took a turn, still did drugs, but pretty much limited it to coke & smoke, and, of course, alcohol.l I’d turn down most everything else unless it was a special occasion – a real hairy, dark, hung, puerto rican, then anything goes. My free choice was these three, in variance – 85%95% of the time for the last 3-4 years.
Again, my life holds not too much regrettable in retrospect – they’re unimaginable. But I have lived like no other and for that I am thankful to be able to live and tell you about it.