The music echoes in the distance of the night, like the thoughts in the recesses of my brain, ones I hear, but can’t quite capture enough to articulate. Flashing lights pulsate around me and I barely notice the images appearing at the corners of my eyes, human stains dripping on the floor of my dressing room. I stare down at the needles, the pills, the empty bottles of bourbon, remnants of another event about to begin.
In front of me, there is a man, staring into my eyes with a flashlight, beckoning me, “Hello, is there anybody in there?” His words, like the distortion of my guitar, scratch at my ears, then wander away, searching for another itch on the decaying body of society. I used to do voice scales, tap a few harmonics, laugh with the boys. I used to tingle with excitement before shows. Now, only the faint light at the back of my mind tingles, the light that is fading out, like me, into oblivion.
I am seven years old, sick with fever. My mother is holding a thermometer up to her eyes. Soaked, I pull the sheets up under my chin, trying to warm an already burning body. Every part of me is swollen. My hands, like two balloons, fumble for the glass of water, the liquid promise of what would eventually be the precursor to my life as a drug addict.
I feel a stick in my arm. The man is pushing a needle into me and I feel myself scream, as if pushing the air from an inflatable raft, the slow release of nothing into nothing. He grabs my arm and pulls me to my feet, moving me towards the stage. He is speaking to me and I hear nothing, feel nothing, see nothing. Life is merely a series of fleeting glimpses – activity in which I play no role. I am comfortably numb.
Pink Floyd-Comfortably Numb