Isis Bucket Challenge
Love can be a terrible curse, and I did love her. For the better part of two years, I was part of what I can only describe as a toxic relationship. I spent nearly every cent I made on her, spent all of my time with her. Whenever we found ourselves apart, I would go through Hell itself to get her back into my life. She was all I ever thought about and fulfilled my every expectation of what a good life should entail. In her I found all I had ever wanted, and more. My sunshine on a cloudy day. Yet she was a harsh, cruel mistress. If I tried to take a break from her, tried to have some “me” time and focus on other pursuits, she would punish me physically and emotionally. Her wounds cut so goddamn deep. With her, life made sense, but even her briefest absence left a void that was sure to devour me. She was a fair-weather friend, and the storm. My actual friends saw that she was breaking me down from the inside out and warned me not to bring her around anymore. They said that she was trouble and that they didn’t want to see us together anymore. But, to separate was to suffer, so I instead sought new, more open-minded friends.
One night, she let me go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. She did love smoking, more so than eating, in fact. It was cold and windy, but she kept me warm. As I left the store I met someone, a woman. I gave her a cigarette and we sat and talked. Apparently she too had taken an immaculate, insatiable dominatrix for a lover. Crack cocaine held her as heroin did me. Knowing the pain of being alone, I financed their romance for the evening. She called me afterwards, long after I had drifted off to sleep, and left a message. She thanked me for my kindness, for treating her like a human being. We met up many times after this, smoking cigarettes and talking for hours each time. We spoke of love, of hate, of empathy, of hope. She taught me reincarnation and I taught her friendship. Eventually, I found myself, more often than not, unable to get right. I could not afford enough heroin, simple as that. I lay sick in bed for days at a time as voice messages piled up. Heroin had finished its ruinous course through my body and had begun deconstructing the pillars on which I had rested my tired delusion, “Everything is okay, I’m good.” My grades, relationships, and sanity plummeted together, and I ultimately got help. After rehab, I checked my phone and started listening to old voicemails.
Her name was Susan. So often when looking at big-picture social issues we seem to forget that each brushstroke is a human being. The voicemails we sampled for this song are for me a powerful reminder of this human element. Problems in society, such as addiction, are much more than the theoretical, scientific, or moral debates that enshroud them. They involve addicts. They involve people. In the media, people are often misrepresented as statistics or grouped together as clearly labeled globs of ideology. Hearing Susan say, “Call me,” or, “When you’re walking around, all dejected and hurt…” cuts a raw human swath through the muddled fog of contemporary media mash-ups. I do not wish to go into detail regarding what each line of the song says or means. Certain statements, I think, are wondrously ambiguous. “You think it’s not gonna come back to you, but it does come back to you.” What looms ahead in your life? What do you have coming back to you?
Thanks for listening. Check out our music video for Ice Bucket Challenge
Music by Vomit Comet
Mixed and Mastered by Ricky Berotti