Episode One: Coke Dick, Fetus, and Panic
-Pulp “A Little Soul”
I didn’t turn into a father the moment my kid was ejected out from the safety of his mother’s gut. Two years had to pass. I had to wade through piles of my own shit before I became Bad Papa West instead of being just another deadbeat father and husband.
I didn’t know what I was doing, why I was doing it, where I was heading. I didn’t know the purpose of anything except that sooner or later I was destined to blow my brains out. My life’s purpose was to die, I believed. The sooner the better. I wanted to spare the handful of souls that loved me the agony of deceit and the suffering of realizing my true nature: rotten and putrid. On the other hand I wanted to punish the ones who tormented me, the ones who didn’t hear me, the ones who would judged me. Yeah, I was gonna show them. The problem was that I was too much off a pussy to just do it and that’s why I am still breathing today. I didn’t own a gun and even I did, I didn’t want to leave behind a gruesome mess. And every time I took the hands off of my wheel when racing the sun bleached streets something made me put them back on it, an adrenaline rush or a honk from the opposite lane.
I guess the antidepressants were doing their job but as a result of my point of view on life I was a drunk, I was a coke head, I was a pot head, I was a pill popper. I was an alcoholic, a drug addict, a liar, a cheat, and all around prick.
Or, as I liked to think of myself, I was a Rock Star.
I was really waiting for the accidental overdose or the septic combination of substances that would shut down my organs for good.
While there certainly was no sunshine coming out of my ass in New York, everything got much darker when we moved to Los Angeles. The eternal, brilliant LA sun had no effect on me. Well, I did get pre-melanoma.
I hated this city so much, I hated everything about it. I hated every person, every car, every sound, every magical sunset. It was so much more damn convenient to be an oblivious drunk in New York. New York allowed me to disappear. To live a double life. To never see the same creatures again after a night of debauchery spent in bars, after-hour joints, and sniffing from strangers’ eight-balls.
New York allowed me the illusion of belonging to something greater without being part of anything at all.
Now, I was an Angeleno. I drove a car. I commuted. I shopped at Ralphs and Target. The horror.
Here in LA people watched Netflix at night and didn’t take pride in the abnormal sizes of their hangovers. They barely had hangovers to begin with. At least not the people I worked with which was the extent of my social life. I guess everybody around me had turned into an adult at some point, somewhere around thirty. I missed that boat. But hey, I was still a Rock Star, Aa fast fading and bloated one but a Rock Star nonetheless. Maybe this was the right town for me. There’s a has-been sitting in a Jaguar at every red light out here.
I was so oblivious back then. I was oblivious about being bloated or having a hard time keeping my mouth shut, offending people, creeping them out at the very least. I was oblivious to being an almost every day coke user. In the end I just wanted to be left alone in my own prison. I wanted people to stay away from me and my insanity. Leave me alone. That was my motto. How was that gonna work as a husband and father?
Anyway, my road to becoming a Bad Papa began when my wife milked me like a cow while she was ovulating. We had talked about making a baby for a few months and I thought that a baby could cure me. I mean, I was running out of other options. That first scheduled let’s make a baby fuck I was so loaded she had to work for my semen, And she did. She was gonna squeeze that shit out of me if she had to give me a catheter and a prostate massage. She had the eye of the mother and my coke dick wasn’t gonna stop her.
The Ob/Gyn had said it would probably take a whole bunch of tries, i.e. months, to conceive. We were both in our mid-thirties after all. I liked the sound of that. The odds were against us. Welcome to my comfort zone.
A couple of weeks after the two nights of being DNA-milked like a prized bull we were out day drinking with friends of ours at the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market. It was a Saturday. We liked the farmer’s market. Food, drink, and not a worry in the world beside the slow-walkers from out of town. Late that afternoon we stumbled into American Girl Place. That’s a horror show if I’ve ever seen one. We laughed at everything, the hospital where they fix broken dolls, the restaurant, where they have high chairs for dolls, the ethnic dolls complete with racist garb, everything. We ran out giggling and out of breath right before security had had enough of us. We went for a night cap and that’s when my wife suddenly disliked the taste of the wine she was drinking. She knew. She was pregnant. A mom knows this kind of stuff. That’s what moms tell me. You bet I finished her glass and then had another one because one can’t just show up at CVS asking for the pregnancy tests stone-cold sober. At least not me. I was a Rock Star. A bit bloated but still.
“Good luck!” the sales chick said to us. I wondered what she meant. Which result did she consider the lucky one? I was reeking of booze and cigarettes. I think I knew which one she meant.
Long story short, we got home, my wife pissed on it, the stick said YES!.
She came walking down the stairs with a scared grin on her face – I would have been scared facing me too. I mean I didn’t know how I’d react to anything. How should she? She held up the stick for me to read.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me.” I said.
You gotta be fucking kidding me. That’s what I said. And then I left. I walked up San Vicente to the bodega on Sunset and picked up smokes and a six-pack of Newcastle to leverage against the leftover blow once my wife was asleep.
I was petrified.
Not only did we get pregnant on the first try but I was coked out of my mind when Sebastian was conceived. Was he/she/it gonna to turn out retarded I wondered. I tried to suppress the thought of having screwed my unborn child out of a normal life just by inseminating the egg with laced sperm and giving him/her/it Down-Syndrome or a half a brain or no lungs. I read about that somewhere.
The shame. The agony. It drove me to more drinking and drugging and I distanced myself more from the glowing mom to be. I mean, I had nine whole months to agonize over this.
And under those circumstances pregnancy wasn’t all bad. My wife went to sleep early a lot which gave me a lot of time to drink and do blow downstairs to suppress the existential terror of future responsibilities and let-downs and having fathered a monster creature.
Then I got laid off from my job at a production company.
They had the audacity to lay me off a few months before I was due to become a daddy? With a mortgage to pay? They voted Obama, for fuck’s sake. What the hell?
Who am I kidding? They probably knew. I had started doing key bumps in the bathroom on occasion. The drywall between the mens’ and ladies’ rooms was more of a prop than a functioning separation. Despite the good old flush’n’snort technique I’m sure the women on the other side of the parchment wall knew. And it was women that I worked for over there.
I had become more and more intolerant and angry working there with my increased coke use. Besides, that place triggered some PTSD. Every day I felt like I was entering a new mine field, just like I did when I was a child at home or at school. I got irritated and snappy with everybody. I felt unheard, belittled, and scrutinized. The red-head’s pursed lips with the 90 degree wrinkles never meant good job, even if it was a great job that I did.
And floating above all the women that I worked under was the King Baby. Director. Owner. Qualifier. He was worried about his bottom line, his profits, his bank account and identified me and my job as expendable. We were in a recession, after all. That’s the official story as relayed to me.
Anyway, shit got really real after I lost that job. I could stay up, get fucked up all night and not worry my appearance the next morning. I stopped hanging out with my best cocaine friend after finally squeezing his connection’s number out of him. He became expendable. I was free at last to isolate at home. Tuesday night? Fuck yeah. Beer, wine, blow, Xanax, Valium, pot. It’s all there for my taking. Can you say Rock Star? Yeah, neither can I now. Poor wife was upstairs, sleeping, exhausted, working during the day, worried about me, the unborn child, and baby-proofing the place. All the while I spent my nights jacking off to PornHub clips and soaking the couch with sweat until I ran out of coke or I was hit by a panic attack or it began to hurt down there from all the action I gave myself.
A couple of months after King Baby gave my career at the production company the thumbs down I started booking freelance gigs doing budgets for commercials t other production companies. I was making better money and I celebrated my re-entry into normal, albeit miserable life with more coke and longer nights up by myself while the wife was basting the fetus.
But let me tell you, I believed that I’d give all of that up the moment Latrell, that’s what we called our fetus, was going to squeeze out of that birth canal, covered in blood and feces, resembling a cute version of the spermatozoon creature in Eraserhead. I expected that the advent of my child would cure me the moment I laid eyes on him. My life would take a full one-eighty.
It didn’t. It had to get worse before it could get better. These are the rules. I had no idea then. Everything just kind of unfolded and it got ugly. Uglier.
-Bad Papa West