There isn’t enough time in the day anymore.  

There isn’t enough room in the weeks or months or years.  I begin to feel claustrophobic, and move with a manic energy.  

A sickness.  

It knocks me out for days.  A full week.  

It’s a general feeling, one of degradation and corruption.  The feeling of being unable to breath, and coughing until I cough blood.  

Fall asleep with the lights on, wondering if someone’s going to find me dead.  

I have a sneaking suspicion there’s something very wrong with me.  

But I’ve always felt that way.  









At West 4th Street I keep looking for a dead rat, like the one I saw months ago, lying between the tracks.  While commuters stood by, waiting for a train.  

My boss tells me I should stop eating pork because some doctors somewhere found a parasitic worm in a woman’s brain.  

For a minute, I feel like telling him there’s worse shit in my brain.  

But why bother?  It’s always something with that guy – pork, cigarettes, or whatever else doesn’t fit inside the Muslim religion.  






Even as I get better, I begin to entertain notions of slipping back down the slop I just crawled back up.  

I think about how good it feels to feed addiction, and that kind of ecstasy I can only feel with the poison leaning in to take my last bit of life away.  

You know you’re a fucking addict when you have to face the prospect of an eternity without the thing you want most.  

Every moment from now on – in every room of every day, from the minute you wake until the darkness comes over you, that crushing crippling suffocating emptiness of never knowing it again.  Until you die and cease to feel anything at all. Just estrangement.  

Feel that.  

Counting money and cleaning up my too-large-and-too-empty apartment.  Standing naked in my living room late at night with the lights turned out, staring out at empty Brooklyn streets like a savage.




I make plans to visit my little brother and his wife and their daughters.  My boss makes plans to fly to Germany for a business trip. “What do you think?” he asks.  

Something to break up the monotony.  







The same day playing on repeat.  Wake up, get dressed. Go outside and sweat.  Walk to the train. Stare into space and try not to think about anything.  

Images images images.  

New ideas come about, as I sit back and count money inside my head.  

Pretty soon now.

Pretty soon now.  

And sitting next to me, the spectre of my addiction.  

Some dice to roll, some odds to beat, a vice to crumble beneath.  

Looks at a coworker I want to talk to.  But don’t know what to say.  

Give everyone the cold shoulder.  Nose down, minimal brain activity.  No jokes and no small talk.  

The day flies by and it’s back to the streets and subway.  

Then home.  To ramen and water.  Ramen and water. Ramen and water.  




If I get ten more years, I’ll spin it into twenty.  

If I get twenty more years, I’ll spin it into forty.  

If I get half the chance, I’ll piss it all away to feed that addiction again.  

I’ll die young, and sick.  You’ll see the teeth marks in my skin.  

Maybe they’ll say:  what a shame.