KelMarSuperVixen's Fear and Loathing in the New Year...

Or "How I Learned to Stop Being Addicted and Learned to Love My Health"

WARNING: This column is not funny. If you're looking for funny, I suggest you roam on over to Kinder's column and rest your peepers on the picture of him at the top.

Consider yourself warned...

Usually at New Years I am one of the few people who are determined to buck the system and resolve not to have a resolution. This year proved different - I got the fear and the loathing (tm: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) in a heavy dose that made me sit up and take notice.

Sometimes - if you're lucky in life - you get that sun-bright moment when your blinders come off and you see things as they really are.

You see, when I first started dallying with drugs I made a deal with myself that I would only do drugs as long as it remained recreational. Once it stopped being fun and started being a need, I would quit. To this day, some 20 years later, I have kept that promise with everything I have tried, save one... The dreaded demon weed - tobacco. For years, I have kidded myself into thinking that I smoked because I enjoyed smoking. I couldn't be addicted! It wasn't until this last year the proof that had been in the pudding all along started knocking... I had a constant cough. My nose apparently went on strike, refusing to smell anything or allow air to pass through it. My throat needed constant clearing. The smokes didn't even taste good anymore.

I avoided thinking about it seriously until a New Years trip to Key West last week. Several times a year I go down there to recharge batteries and get weird. And while I'm there I visit one bar in particular (the Schooner Wharf if you find yourself on this lovely island sometime) for its colorful locals and atmosphere. George is my favorite bartender there. He's quick with a beer, charges me the "locals discount," and is one funny bastard. I am always glad when George is around. He was in great form last January, as usual. The few days I was there in October he was gone and I assumed he and his wife (he got married at the end of September 2000) were off on an anniversary gig and thought nothing about it.

Now it's New Years again and still no George.

"He must have gotten another job!", I think to myself, "I'll ask one of the locals where he is."

Me: "Do you know the bartender George?"

Local: "George? Are you kidding me?! You don't know?"

Me: "Know what?"

Local: "Jesus, George died of a heroin overdose in February."

George was my age - 35 years old, he had been married a mere six months. He died alone in his home one night after just shooting up too much junk while his wife was at work.

So there's me, sitting at the bar - gobsmacked - and what do I do? I whip out a smoke and light up. At that moment it hit me - I was no better than George. Only I was killing myself more slowly than he did. It was at that moment I knew I was going to quit for sure. Soon.

I quit on my birthday and I have just made 48 hours. :)

I know, I know... You're sitting there going "WTF?! This ain't the usual glib shit you usually do! Where are the jokes? Where's the part where you make fun of Kinder? And more importantly, what is the point of all of this depressing nonsense?"

The point is this:

Most people resist New Year's resolutions because they loathe to fail. But it's not failure if you don't quite live up to your resolution. It's your ability to keep trying despite setbacks and trip ups that really counts.

For those of you who have made resolutions, think bright thoughts. Depend on friends and family. Do all that stuff those crappy clichés tell you to do. Never, under ANY circumstances, give up.

Think of it this way: George failed. Whatever your resolution, you're not going to fail in the way George failed - unless you're shooting up too much smack, of course. Failure is relative, but in the grand scheme of things, your eating a box of bon bons even though you're on a diet is never going to add up to accidentally killing yourself.

This is a bright, shiny new year full of promise and possibility. And hopefully it will be full of Bowie albums and tours (and a box set, please)! So you see, we all have things to look forward to despite the fact we might be giving something else up! Be sure to keep that in mind. Get yourself a mantra. Currently mine is "Get through a month and get new leather pants." As much as I spend on smokes, I can afford them after a month...

Go Kel, Go Kel

For those of you who made resolutions this year, I sincerely hope you achieve your goal. The old SuperVixen is rooting for you - I got my cheerleader pom-poms and everything. :)


By KMSV xo
4th January 2002.

BW MB Profile...