By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
”For a while, I thought, maybe I can try to help her, you know. I’d help her get into a rehab thing, and she‘d just check herself out, and I was like, this is making me sick, too. She hung out with such creeps, man, goddamn, fuck. They were mostly drinkers, I think, they just were such roustabout lousy motherfuckers. One night, when I was all jacked up on speed, me and my compadre, he was a much bigger guy than I was, called my mom’s house while she was still in rehab, and I said to this guy that was staying there, ‘Oh, hey, dude, why don’t you be at my mom‘s apartment at such-and-such a time, because we’re bringing her home and we want to make sure someone‘s there.’ But we weren‘t bringing her home, we just wanted to go kick his ass. He was asleep. I just straight walked in, kicked him, and said, ’Get the fuck out. Give me your keys and get the fuck out,‘ you know? I’m sure it scared the crap out of him, and it was very satisfying to me; I was maybe 21. He split, but when she got out, she just let him back in anyway.
“Actually, during that whole time, I was really into amphetamines. I finally quit it around fall of ‘97. It was driving me crazy, the whole scene was driving me crazy. I said, fuck her, fuck speed, fuck everything, and I just started taking care of my life. We were kind of doing the exact same spiral. She went way further than I did, but it was very similar.”
Alex orders another beer, and moves to a well-lit table, where his voice rises.
“The day I find out about her [accident], I hadn’t spoken to her for a while. I was pissed off when I first heard about it. When my dad first called me, I was like, god damn her, what the fuck! Now this fucking fuckup has to go ahead and do this, has to get run over by a car? I got so pissed off, I almost said no, I‘m not going, I’m not going to go see that fuckup. But I did. We went and visited her, which was . . . pretty horrible. I hadn‘t seen her for a while, and when I see her she’s missing an eye and most of her teeth, and she has this bandage on her head. I was like, oh, Jesus Christ. It‘s like my dad said, she looked like she was 80 years old, and she’s only 52.
”After my dad dropped me off [at home], I just had . . . I kind of had this panic attack, this whole thing threw me off, and it felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest, oh my god, what the fuck, the whole thing just horrified me. I don‘t see how she can go any lower than this. I’d like to think that at some point I‘d be making enough money that I could at least give her some. I’d like to be able to help her, like a good son should. A lot of people have to take care of their parents. They may not when they‘re as young as she is, so maybe I just have to start a little earlier than some kids should. I mean, she’s a fuckup, but at this point she‘s so old that she’s just such a mess. Who else is going to help her but her family? I think that partly she got the way she was, maybe she didn‘t have enough family to help her, I don’t know.
“I sort of know I come first. If she wants to die, fine -- I gotta live. That‘s why I said to hell with her before. Honestly, I hate to say this, this is a shitty thought, but I think she’d be better off dead. Honestly. I mean, I thought, why couldn‘t the accident have just killed her? Fuck, man. Why must she hang herself around my neck like this, like some kind of albatross? It’s a drain. Parents shouldn‘t be there to drag you down, they should be taking care of themselves. You can fuck yourself up, but don’t make other people take care of you.
”And my dad . . . he never really gave me any good advice about how to deal with her, either. He knew what she was like, that‘s the thing that kind of pisses me off sometimes. When she fell off the wagon the second time, around fall ’94, he just didn‘t warn me, he didn’t say, ‘Look, it’s not worth your time,‘ or ’You oughta step back, don‘t get involved with it.’ He didn‘t say shit to me! He knew, though, because he had gone through the same thing, but he didn’t tell me anything. That fucker. I‘m pissed at both of them. I mean, he’s such a cold fish; he‘s a fucking robot, that’s how he can be so good at what he does. He only hears the voice of the equation, not a million voices like a lot of other people. Fine. He‘s very well-respected for what he does, like the Chinese have translated his texts so that they can study from them. He’s damn good, yeah. But he didn‘t protect me. No, he didn’t, he did not! He left me so open to that, this monster. He just, fuck, man, fuck . . . He wonders why I am the way I am, why I went fucking nuts when I was 17, like it‘s, ’Oh, it‘s a mystery.’ He just doesn‘t, ahhh, whatever . . . if he doesn’t see, he doesn‘t see. It’s all water under the bridge.
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