Reminder: sentences in italics are the voices.
OMG! I finally remembered the third cops story. In fact, the third story is actually the second incident chronologically so I'm going to tell that one first.
This happened the day before the voices chased me out of NYC to Philadelphia. I'm not going to tell the story of that whole saga, just what happened toward the end. If I ever decide to write that whole post, this saga will be featured prominently near the end.
[About the song: OK. This is freaky. I've never seen the video for this before but the reason
I picked this song for this post is because during the last six months or so before I got sober
I would walk through Manhattan blaring this song over and over in my ears.
It's like the video was made with me in mind.]
Anyway, it had been a pretty harrowing night and morning. The voices had pushed me beyond the brink and I really felt like I didn't have any more options. So I left my friend's apartment on the Lower East Side and started walking to the East Side Highway. Honestly, I don't know if that's where I intended to go at all, but it is where I ended up. Now that I think about it, I probably was going to East River Park. But the highway is right there too.
It was a really overcast day. I remember that clearly (which means nothing with regard to the accuracy of the memory). I also remember that I was in a telepathic screaming match with the unidentifiable bitch in my head. She was always the meanest voice in my head, but today she was on a roll. This might be the day I started calling her the Cuntessa. By this time, most of her diatribes were about how she was going to make sure I was locked up one way or another – either prison or a mental institution. She didn't care where; she just knew that she wanted me off the street.
As we stood there arguing, I was looking at the traffic flying up the ESH. I was also looking at the concrete dividers that were on the side of the road, only inches from the cars whizzing past. That's when I hatched the idea. One really bad physical consequence of the amount of meth I was constantly on was that I had really, really bad balance. I would trip over the sidewalk constantly, literally falling flat on my face at least once. I stopped taking subways altogether until I could no longer afford cabs because I was always afraid I was going to tip over and fall onto the tracks.
So, I walked over to the concrete blocks and climbed up on one of them. There was no way to stand on one, but I sat with my legs dangling out on to the highway. Every time a car would fly by, the wind would blow and I would teeter. I was too much of a coward to take an active part in killing myself, but surely I'd never be able to balance myself on that thin slab of concrete for very long. I just sat with my iPod on, singing and waiting to be blown into traffic.
Now I had “their” attention. Voices were coming from everywhere. It was fucking free-for-all in my head. There were the members of my family screaming and crying: Oh my god he's going to die; and there was the Cuntessa coldly countering: God I hope so; then I can finally get back to my own fucking life.
Looking back, it's no wonder I ended up in detox three days later. There were always five to seven voices in my head, but this week people were coming out of the woodwork. I swear there were about 15 people screaming at each other in my head while I sat there trying to fall in front of a car. The thing I've always thought, in retrospect, the craziest is that people were showing up that I hadn't seen or talked to in years. But my brain could mimic their voices perfectly. If I could consciously do what my brain was doing back then, I'd have a very lucrative career doing impersonations.
I digress. Here's where the cops come in. First of all, I was sitting there for at least 15-20 minutes (I still can't figure out how I kept my balance that long – there were some very close calls but your body apparently does everything it can to keep you from dying or getting hurt). During that time, about a half dozen cop cars flew by. None of them stopped. So that caused further argument between her and me. I thought you wanted me locked up. Why don't you just tell one of them to stop?
Finally, a cop SUV pulls over on the side of the road and two cops get out. When they asked me if I was ok I saw my opportunity.
ME: No, I'm not OK. I need help. Really bad. Can you please help me?
COP: What's wrong?
ME: Well, I think I have a drug problem, but the real problem is these people that have been following me and harassing me. I think I need to get a restraining order.
COP: Umm, where are these people?
ME: I don't know. But can you just please help me?
And then I started to walk to the cop car to get in. He stopped me.
COP: You can't get in here on the highway. Go out to the street across the park and we'll meet you there.
That made sense, so off I went. I waited there for about 15 minutes before I realized they weren't coming to get me. That was hilarious for the Cuntessa. She just laughed and laughed.
You didn't think I was going to let you off that easy, did you?
I didn't even know what the fuck that meant. All I knew was that she had somehow won again, even though I was still alive and not in custody. And that's the insanity. Right there, any sane person would have said to himself, “Well, clearly the cops aren't really after you. You can't even get yourself arrested.”
Instead I just believed that they didn't want to arrest me until they could get me doing something really bad so they could throw the book at me. Not knowing what else to do at that point, I just headed back to the apartment utterly defeated. Again.