I moved to New York City when I was 17 after deciding high school and all that just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t the being called a faggot every day at school, scrubbing harassment off my locker at least once a week, hiding the bullying from my parents lest they discover my super-gayness, or even the time those dudes kicked the living shit out of my in the 7/11 parking lot. It was more the lack of anything at all interesting anywhere near me that forced me to leave.
Living somewhere that doesn’t stimulate anything in your mind, body or spirit is a real easy way to become quickly dissatisfied with the notion of life on earth. Since suicide is an utter cliché and moving to NYC was still cool in the nineties, this is what I chose.
I spent my first couple of years in the city club kid raving with those kids from the Sally Jesse Raphael show while selling weed to pay my rent. I then graduated to selling the club drugs which were a classic case of higher risk higher reward. This allowed me to stay in my shitheap 300-square foot basement apartment BUT use my extra income to develop a wicked drug dependency! This allowed me to 1. Lose weight, 2. Party like all the time, 3. Maintain confidence and 4. Piss off my parents! It was a Win Win Win Win.
Until it happened. I was at a party, partying with a teen star (remember that guy who was in 10 Things I Hate About You and then later started a cult worshiping crystals and brewing home-batch kombucha for better dessert hallucinations? it was that guy!) when all of the sudden everything went black. I woke up some time later on the floor of an abandoned warehouse where the rest of the party-goers had clearly left me to die.
I didn’t die. But I didn’t get up right away either. I succumbed a little bit, realized I was probably overdosing, and deciding that maybe this was the best option. So I accepted death, and laid there.
I woke up some more time later in a hospital bed. I looked to my left: nobody. I looked to my right: another patient in the other bed. I had all sorts of tubes and wires connected to me, there was beeping but I couldn’t tell from where, and I smelled terrible.
I called the teen star from above, he put me in touch with a guy called Randy who ended up being best friends with an up-and-coming fashion designer who needed a face. That was me. He loved my fucked up wrecked face that had spent the last twelve hours on the floor of an abandoned warehouse. He brought in some of his newest designs, somehow got them onto my body, and did a fashion shoot right in that hospital bed.
It changed everything. Suddenly I was best friends with a designer, I was getting modeling gigs with all of his fashion friends, and it was all based on how I was a little bit ugly and very haggard at all times. It was a job, it paid, but it depended on me never getting better.
So I did this for six years, long enough to buy myself a little one bedroom condo (lavish living arrangements are basic, darlings) in Manhattan. This designer and I were dating, we were in love, we were mutually beneficial to one anothers’ images, and we had the most fun ever.
Until he met that small town injury lawyer. Suddenly he thought it would be better for his image to do this squeaky clean look-how-grown-up-I-am bit. The magazines loved it. Everybody loves a sell-out. I didn’t love it, but I wanted a job so they hired me as groundskeeper for Mr. Chamber’s (the attorney) Hamptons home.
And here I am. Creepy crawling in seersucker and linen wondering how I could have possibly gone from cool-ass-model-overdosing-at-a-rave to lame-ass-former-model-maintaining-excel-spreadsheets-about-houseplants.
These were never my hopes nor dreams.