Untethered

The other day I was going through everything getting ready to start shooting photos for the book and culling stuff out to put up on the website, when I found tucked away in a corner an empty Russian Vodka MONOPOLOWA bottle.

This was from when Adam Parfrey of Feral House publishers dropped by for a visit here on the Oregon Coast. For the rest of the night, he got massively devilishly drunk, told an endless stream of deliciously offensive stories while we gossiped madly about people we mutually had known and worked with, trying to top each other with outrageous stories.

I told him a story about how a mutual friend of ours who many years ago showed up at 3 a.m. in my kitchen with boxes full of poppy straw. He wanted to cook up Black Drop but he didn’t have a working kitchen, so I said sure. Then, he taught me how to make Victorian era Black Drop. He basically cooked down all the poppy straw in a crockpot and it took two or three weeks. There was no alcohol in it, it was just straight Black Drop and a few drops in a cup of tea produced the desired results. I am more of an observer than a consumer of drugs and alcohol. Except pot.

And then our mutual friend wrote a book about his love of Poppies and shortly thereafter, the Seattle SWAT police paid him a visit and he went on the lam for a few years. Ironically, he also wrote a book entitled, “You Are Going To Prison” published by Loompanics, Unlimited.

When Adam opened the second bottle of Vodka, his mood changed and he got pretty nasty to the point where he actually made me cry after accusing me of stealing a single WORD from one of his pretentious art pals.

The rest of the night was just me and him talking smack back and forth to one another until he was so drunk, I had to walk him up the stairs (he couldn’t find the bedroom) and tuck Adam Parfrey in bed. Thankfully he did not puke all over the place. The next morning, he woke up happy, cheerful, ate a hearty breakfast and didn’t remember a thing.

I’d known Adam for years, but this was the first time we’d actually hung out, and it was one of the more interesting nights I’d spent since my old Seattle days.

A few years later, he’d had a series of strokes, fell down, hit his head and a few days later he died on May 10, 2018. Life is way too short to be living online, and even though it was a raucous evening of false accusations, snide remarks, loud yelling and laughter until I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe, in person in your face is 100% better than trolling online looking for ten-year-old things to get upset about.

From his Wikipedia page, Adam Parfrey published books that explored the marginal aspects of culture, shedding light on “subjects that society prefers to leave unexplored, carving a niche to those of us with an unseemly obsession with life’s darkest, most depraved sides.”

From his NYT obit: “Upsetting people is a beautiful thing, because it gets people to think beyond their last visit to 7-Eleven.” From Seattle Weekly profile on Adam Parfrey.

I wish there were more people like Adam Parfrey.

The Book
That light at the end of the tunnel has now become a well-lit train station. I am sitting on the train but I can’t disembark just yet, because I have the last two folders to clean out. Once those two folders are empty, then I need to tidy up the bibliography and put it in chronological order, and only then can I officially - in my mind - step off the train and visit poster world and draw posters while getting totally lost in books on tape. I haven’t done that since last year.

I don’t like podcasts. I’ve tried them, but I can’t find anything to listen to. Too many of them remind me of Skip and Biff doing morning drive time AM radio and the ads, the ads. I feel like because my interests are so specialized, that more often than not I feel like I am stranded on some weird island all by myself. I’m cool with that.

Music: Lotion by Greens Keepers

 
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