Pray(Prey) to the Pharmacy
I feel as if it is important to note that I have no intention on romanticizing the topic discussed in this project as with any other project I create. Many of my 'personal' or 'unassigned' projects include personal or heavy topics or otherwise seldom discussed.
- Zine: 8.5in x 11in
- Poster: 18in x 24in
“Tonight, I did coke for the first time, in the shotgun seat of a tinted Mercedes-Benz. It felt wondrous, like I didn’t need anybody else, I was already complete. It was so ephemeral that when I came down, my gums still numb from gumming the coke, I grew scared to fall into the temptation of snorting this heavenly white powder to replace people.”
This was found in the journal of a sixteen year old who hadn’t found happiness. Everything is ephemeral, everything is seemingly temporary. People of this generation think that the consequences, including happiness, from drugs carry the same principle. Maybe they’re smart enough to think around the paradox, but they do it anyhow. Because fuck it, right?
True enough, mindsets are taught by the arts of a current generation and the previous. That if I want to be happy, then I shouldn’t think, just like if a person stutters, they mustn’t talk. [1] (Kids 1995). Drugs kill, yes, we know this. But people think it’s all about misery, unhappiness, desperation and death, and everything that makes people feel guilty when it’s ignored. But what they’ve forgotten is the pleasure of it all. After all, drug users are not stupid, at least not that stupid. [2] (Trainspotting 1996).
Ponder from the perspective of someone who relies on substances, or explicitly, who has fallen in love with a feeling. It’s like being in a toxic relationship knowing they’re doomed for each other. But letting go of that person they’re sick of is more mortifying and terrifying than remaining doomed. It’s a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around when that mind hasn’t been exposed to the experience. Put it this way, with relationships comes intimacy and sex, or to be blunt― fucking. Choking, gagging, holding, restraining, feeling, exploring, kissing, sharing. Take the best orgasm you’ve ever had, whether it was from tying a belt around your neck and going solo or having the person who holds your heart express their love with their mouth. Multiply it by a thousand, and you’re still nowhere near the feeling they’ve fallen in love with. [3] (Trainspotting 1996).
To be young, is to be impressionable, and to be impressed, one must first be enticed. Imagine yourself at a young age, an innocent age, when your parents aren’t worrisome about the troubles and pleasures that a drug may bring their child. Now, imagine realizing that everything is ephemeral and seemingly temporary. This version of yourself rebukes the fact that happiness is not a destination nor a default state of mind, therefore this version of yourself is feeling lost without ever realizing there’s nothing to find in the first place. Yet, you search. And search. And search. Until you find a substance with a little glowing voice that whispers tales of happiness into your consciousness. You think you’ve found what you’ve been in search of. It’s like being broken and no one’s giving you the right tools to fix yourself, so you’ve supplied your own tools.
Someone with a shattered mindset is going to think that being completely zonked out of that mindset is a lot more fun than dealing with the problems they haven’t faced. [4] (Charlie Bartlett). No one wants to deal with their own fucked up lives, even when they want to fix others’. No one wants to think about something that brings pain all over the body, mostly the insides. It is because overthinking is when your heart tells your brain what to tell you and no one likes to listen to a fucking psychotic. How many subjects of this generation have been affected by a false sense of happiness, brought to them by drugs? A fuck ton. In fact, bringing psychiatric drugs and teenagers together is like opening a lemonade stand in the middle of the desert [5] (Charlie Bartlett). Drugs and enticed mindsets go together like rainfall and a lazy Sunday morning. I say this as if it’s a common accepted thing throughout society, and that’s because as of right now, it is. And in the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.”
People have problems, people have pasts, and people have memories. These of which are something everyone has in common. These of which people are afraid to deal with. Instead, they live in the “moment.” Taking substances to feel better just to be so consumed by that moment, the next one isn’t thought about and neither are the feelings. And to live too much in the moment is to let the present consume while the past still dwells, and the future patiently lingers above. The mindset can’t think about the future because parts of it are still in the past, somehow.
These drugs are like another person aside from ourselves, in such a way that this person is willing to push and push until we fall off the edge. It’s like taking the blame and feeling of guilt and giving them to this person to bear willingly while we disappear of this edge. This edge has no honest explanation because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over it. [6] (Hunter S. ThompsonHell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga).
Fearing the feeling of blame and guilt is only human. It’s literally written in code that is our DNA, in which our unexplained consciousness seeks out for meaning. Not just meaning for these feelings, but meanings that we seek out for ourselves. And sometimes we have the absolute certainty there’s something inside us so ghastly and monstrous, that if we seek it out, we won’t be able to stand to look at ourselves. But it’s when we’re willing to face the demon that we face the angel.” [7] (Requiem for a Dream). This is true to every degree for the human experience, however, I am certain that this certainty is a monster itself, and not what’s inside of us. 
Push back against that demon, forget what that sixteen years old in the unpaid-for Benz is thinking about when he puts shit up his nose for the first time. Steal the blame and guilt back from which we’ve given to the substances and climb back up the edge. Carry the feelings, they are heavy, yes. But your baggage will continually get lighter the further you are away from the edge. Find someone, someone who isn’t a substance, then hold each other, and kiss each other. Push each other’s darkness into the corner, believing in each other’s light, each other’s dream. [8] (Requiem for a Dream). And when you want to give up after a while, which is natural, remember why you held on so long in the first place [9] (Requiem for a Dream).
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