By Violet Vivid
Sunlight, bright and stinging like knives on a chalkboard, assaulted her eyes as the lids, heavy with purple eye shadow and thick liner struggle to flutter open. Her pale green/brown eyes struggled against the onslaught of the light, her pupils always too wide.
She felt cold, not just on her death-pale skin under PVC and fishnets, but in her core. The draw to block IT out was growing, to retreat under the comforting numbness, the blissless distraction of Them. The distance from IT. They gave her existence.
Still she fought. She knew the pains in her abdomen weren't natural, definitely weren't healthy.
She could fight. She could resist Them. Their siren's call.
If she could get to her friends they'd know, they'd help distract from IT, from the oppressive black hole of her memories, her existence.
But they'd see the difference, notice her without Their support. And they would worry, she'd be in hospital. Again. Or worse this time.
She wrapped her scarred and too-thin arms around her waist, going under her visible ribcage.
The shakes were starting, softly at first, but growing. But these were nothing compared to the things in her slowly waking brain, her mind speeding up. And the inky black despair of IT’s spectre within.
Last time she’d tried to go without Them it got … messy. There’d been ambulances, hospitals, being admitted with the false name of her childhood friend (she still had the bloodstained wristband proudly proclaiming her to be “Alice” on her makeup table, if only it was true. Alice had an idyllic almost Semi-Charmed Kind of Life) some nights “under observation’”whilst they tended the wounds with Needles. And vainly kept IT away – and reality – away with Meds.
It didn’t last.
It never does.
In a hopeless attempt to find a healthier stimulus, she jabbed the remote to waken the TV. Its shining brightness hurting her barely focused eyes as its meaningless Dope Show flew at them with graphics and gesticulations. Some monkey in a shiny suit and condescending eyes was waxing lyrical about ‘the continued War on Drugs, complete with meaningful graphics, sincere smiles, gesticulations & lies. She turned him off mid sentence.
It hadn’t worked, she could feel IT inside. Grabbing a crumpled pack off the floor she lit one menthol cigarette, she Inhaled its stale acrid smoke, burning her raw lungs invoking a coughing fit. Once she caught her breath from the coughs wracking her frame she stubbed it out with shaking hands, knowing they’d be One More Addiction to add to the list slowly killing her inside.... thinking that she lit another. In the Longview she had no fear of death, nor any of actually dying.
She knew it would finally silence IT, and her heart yearned for that more than any of Them. But she couldn’t give into death, the pain her death would bring to those who loved her she couldn’t bear the thought of.
The shaking got worse.
The pains got worse.
But above them all the black swirling void in her mind got worse. IT got worse.
Her will broke, and she reached for Them, her Bad Habit.
She’d tried Them all, slowly getting stronger and deadlier, moving up the classes like the genius she should have been, perhaps before her mind began its Bittersweet Symphony, before the relentless agony of her mind’s implosion with IT.
Then she’d discovered the first of Them, the softer ones, the ones most people try. And they worked, they numbed IT.
For a while.
Then she took Them further, riskier, the punishment for even owning getting more severe. But she had to try Them. But in time IT seemed to get used to Them, some even seemed to feed IT.
So she stopped Them. And IT ran free.
At the worst she’d tried pain, cutting her milk white flesh to let IT flow away in crimson streams. But that only lead to the messy hospital times and questions.
So she returned to Them, and the newer ones.
But, just as she laid out what she needed to find herself Lost in the K-Hole something her daddy swore by occurred to her. With tears slowly streaking the make-up on her cheeks, and sobs between words, she muttered the phrase: “Everything Stops for Tea”.
Marilyn Manson – Dope Show
Barenaked Ladies – War on Drugs
Sisters Of Mercy – Alice
Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
System of a Down – Needles
Placebo – Meds
Stone Sour –Inhale
Natalie Imbruglia – One More Addiction
Green Day – Longview
Dresden Dolls – Bad Habit
The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
Chemical Brothers – Lost in the K-Hole
Professor Elemental – Everything stops for tea
Class B list:
Robert Palmer – Addicted to Love
Puretones –Addicted to Bass
Afroman – Because I got High
Sisters of Mercy – Anaconda
Eurythmics – Love is a stranger
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Shamen – Ebaneezer Goode
Queens of the Stone Age – In My Head
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Portishead – Biscuit
Junior Kenna – Ganja Addict
Dillinger – Cocaine Killed My Brain
Organ Donors – Ket is for Horses
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Reach for your smartphone: it's songs about addiction. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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