Page 35 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 35

Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                  15
                In the final analysis, drugs are not free forever.
                When I think about the number of times I almost overdosed back
             then, it leaves me breathless. Today, I am quite aware of my own mortality.
             Drugs are the past.
                Hello, my name is Tim Barrus and I’m a junkiebitchwhore.
                Recovery was a year on the shores of Lake Michigan. After Drummer.
             Staring into sunset after sunset.
                “I wrote a novel,” Jack said.
                I wanted to run.
                Not another novel. Every bitch with a credit card and leather chaps
             South of Market had written a novel. I had read thousands of them.
                Jack knew that look. “No, really, it’s good.”
                It was.
                Some Dance To Remember was more than good. “Does he know what
             he’s done,” Elizabeth Gershman asked me. “It’s a historical document.
             Really, a piece of American history.”
                “I think he knows what he’s done,” I said. “The question is what will
             you do with it.”
                She published it.
                I blame myself. I put Jack into bed with Knights Press.
                Remember that big sea with the drowning and the treading water.
             Publishing companies tread water and drown regularly. Publishing com-
             panies are why writers need drugs.
                We see time. Ships in the night. Shadows passing.
                I’m living at Mariano Lake on the Navajo Reservation. I’m writing
             (remember that life of crime). I’m fucking poor.
                No. Really, really, really, really poor. The thing about living among
             the Navajo is that they’re poor, too. It is the norm. It is not unusual.
             Publishing stories in Advocate Men as Nasdijj was not a living. Publishing
             as Nasdijj for Random House was a living. But let us not go there.
                How poor was poor.
                I was stealing food from dumpsters at elementary schools. Poor is
             pizza crust some first grader did not eat.
                A check arrived in the mail.
                There was a note attached. “Eat,” it said.
                How Jack Fritscher even knew where I was shall be one of the great
             mysteries of my life. That check lasted a very long time. I could even go
             to Safeway.
                I don’t know what Other People see when they see Jack. I knew of
             him long before I met him. Without Jack, there would be no Drummer.
             No my glittering hotel. Whenever I see Jack in my head, I go completely

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40