young couple in bed

Final Fling

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 17 Apr 2023



I’ve been reading my long and detailed journal for this period (the month of March 1986) with some pain and finally relief. It fills almost a hundred pages and describes in detail the self-inflicted crisis I put myself through at this time. It was the combination of speed and Valiums and painkillers and the deteriorating situation of working at ‘C’s’ house, with him away most of the time shooting up with 'M'.

Then there was Bones in a wild, partying phase, having ditched May once again and hooked up with a twenty-year-old tart with a three-year-old boy and she pushes her friends to hook up with me. All this contributed to many crazy nights and serious overindulgence. And in the back of my mind, I had Sanita returning in a few weeks and grasped at one final fling before her moderating influence, like the end of an era, something forever lost, howsoever childish and crazy.

What redeems this drug-fueled history is that I survived it and even reformed myself more as the day of her return approached. So here it is, a snapshot of my wild life back then.

“Tuesday. March 11th, 7 a.m. What a record I set these days: last Wednesday with John Fyzer (a delirious all-nighter, meeting him at the Starry Plough around midnight. I hadn’t run into him in about a year, so we did some catching up and a few quarter grams till dawn). Last Saturday with Steve after one night’s sleep of twelve hours, then with Bones and his recent 20-year-old Italian find.

“Bones and I had a good, reminiscent talk from breakfast (at 1:30) till seven when she came by to cook us dinner (spaghetti). Her child was a loud distraction till 9:30. Then we get high on cocaine, smoking, but with little success, otherwise keeping well ‘up’ on lines of speed. Bones showed me an unfinished song lyric around 11 p.m. which grabbed my attention, and I spent the next hour trying to improve it, staring hard at one obstacle, and drawing a blank, my thinking apparatus shut down, but all the while doing many lines.

By 3 a.m. we were all three spaced and silly, talking nonsense, bumbling about the room searching for matches or other nothings for no reason. But we pulled out of that, talking by slow degrees more coherently about relationships and life, the twenty-year-old often interrupting with idle, sloppy chat and non-sequiturs, or dimly pertinent personal anecdotes. She did show some thinking abilities at times, which for her youth and condition are praiseworthy. Still, the black magic crap reminded me of Lindsey, only a twenty-year-old version of it. At least she was able to drop the subject quick when she saw our looks.

“I talked with Steve about going on a long trip Sat. eve, and with Bones of another long trip together last night… It shows how desperate I am to get away and change my life radically. I can’t even imagine the prospect of staying in this apartment and leading a disciplined life when my work is done… this town, these people… especially the speed which I loathe most of all, I must leave town and all these indulgers to escape…

"Away from women these past two and a half weeks I have been more self-ruinous than ever. But I’ve also felt more misogynist each day. What a wretched, painful state this is. I hurt myself so much I think it's a subconscious plan to drive me back to their comforting arms… Remember that young girl so idealistically swearing off partying and drugs and cigarettes forever from now on (she’d been at it apparently and visibly for six years at least). Yet I’m doing the same idealistic, ineffectual swearing too…

"Thursday, March 13th, 2:30 a.m. Just back at my apartment after an eve. with Bones and his girlfriend ‘La’. Met him at breakfast 2:30 p.m. and spent the afternoon here making plans in excited talk about a vacation trip then back to his place (after brief business with ‘K’) sitting around the dining room table with ‘La’, dull talk and trivia, even playing a few hands of cards, both sick with colds, though indulging a little in lines, schnapps, and beers (I more so). Another girl comes over sometimes arguing and talking only to ‘La’ but soon she splits while I’m downstairs alone working on ‘B’s song lyrics for an hour. Then the three of us went to the bar ‘McNally’s’ — very crowded and boisterous for the last call. Then I take them home, both groggy and tired from illness.

“Friday 11 a.m. Up all night working on B’s lyrics. It was half done to begin with but in that space of time, at a snail’s pace…I completed three four-line stanzas and repaired a few words. Now I almost have a headache from the exertion. I’ve been doing enough speed lately to begin to build up tolerance. I plowed into it yesterday afternoon, three lines in a half hour (in a moving vehicle driving) then three at ‘C’s place at 6 p.m. then a pause and dinner at 8, then 4 or 5 between 9 and 12 then two more each at 3 and 7 a.m. and now one last with tea. But I figure I was lucid enough all night…two pages follow on poetry composition.

“Sunday. March 16th, pushing my luck still further, testing health to the breaking point…recap after last entry Friday: still feeling very ‘up’, even fidgety, I spent 11 to 1 p.m. doing chores around the house, waiting for ‘M’ whom I’d invited over. Once here we set out to a deli and grab lunch from 3 to 5:30 p.m. After eating we fall into a beautiful conversation, (even though I felt so spent). It revived me and I remarked how much ‘enthusiasm’ (more than chemicals) elevates and stimulates the thinking powers…Here follows a five-page recap of our conversation about lit. in detail, the poems, and passages I read to him, the authors extolled, the profits of skilled reading in life, enabling knowledge, etc., etc....After ‘M’. left I worked at home improvements for 3 hours, (i.e.. cleaning up) then I visited Bones who had invited over a girl for me and was expecting me.

“We partied on pills, Percocet and Valiums, went to ‘Kelsey’s’ bar, but Bones and ‘La’ left quickly, being too high for a public place. ‘V’ (the girl, I can’t recall her name) and I stayed on two hours, drinking, talking, dancing, and getting close. I was burnt from the start, (though the pills energized me) so I went through the motions and got drunk enough not to pretend, and after returning to B’s (even madly doing a few lines) bringing her here, immediately bolting three Valiums, stumbling, but amazingly enough sitting at my table with her and discussing poetry, reading at least ten to her then all of my children’s book ‘Ryan’s Day’, explaining much, then to bed where she pounced on me from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., I passing out, waking intermittently, she a sexual furnace, lying there most of the time for me to wake up again and exhaustively participate.

“I managed to excuse myself from her clutches at 3 p.m., starving. We ate a huge meal at a seafood place. I took her back to her car, then home snoozing on the couch for two hours waiting for the girls from up north (‘K’ and ‘L’). I talk with them for an hour, civil with ‘L’ but no more than that, then Louie and Jim come by and Marge too, Jim and I off to a party as everyone splits.

"At the party I talked to a few guys, Larry, then Louie, had a few brief exchanges with several girls, (many were there) but I was not in a glowing state for a date, a little shy from exhaustion, a little brash from intoxication. I scared off one girl I wasn’t too attracted to anyways, and still as ever reluctant to approach and engage the few who did look interesting and beautiful, mindful of the trouble and futility of it all, being more pain than pleasure. But I did enjoy the scene while I was there, the crowd an eye fest and good music…

“I received a kind letter from Sanita Friday, just before Mart. visited. It warmed my heart. I thought to return the sentiment but haven’t yet, being undecided what’s best for me, even in the face of such a simple offer of love. Change is imminent in my life, but I find it foolish to make commitments. I’m exploring the field…I’m not at all happy with my behavior yesterday, a one-night stand, playing a part in ‘B’s decadence. Not having tasted it in a long while only reaffirmed my disgust…Bad company. I must rest content with the few hours of good company or long hours of none…”

This was written in a coffee shop Sunday morning. Then I hook up with Bill for a six-hour lengthy conversation at my place, drinking wine and doing more lines (he doesn’t do any drugs currently). I drove him home, went to B's for dinner, came home, ate Valiums, and slept for 14 hours.

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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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