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Tweeker Paperback – September 16, 2009
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One is granted the absurd privilege of seeing every disgusting occurrence and detail that helps piece together a very engaging tale of a man who blurs the line between a self-aware hedonist and all-out nihilist. This is part of the story of a person who neglected his own worth so completely that it nearly cost him his life. With this book, you have a ticket for a front row seat as metaphorically grimy and soiled as the ones in the adult theater that employed our anti-hero. He doesn't want to be there. But damned if he doesn't also make the most of what is to be found there, and what he finds there, he finds anywhere in the decaying streets of his Tijuana. The story begins with rain, cold and no plans for sleep or peace of mind. Then failed attempts at both along the way. It concludes with a reawakening of the fundamentals of giving yourself another shot after racing headlong, straight into hell. That is why this piece is worth your time, because when one has seen the level of emotional violence that gives rise to this story, one can really appreciate the contrast of the moments of clarity, affection, and even the impunity with which the rest of the degenerate cast of lost souls is referred to.
After a pattern of high and low becomes apparent in the rhythm of the story, past the halfway point of the physical pages, there is what I believe to be the climax of this tale:
"Hours slowly passed as a mariachi band played ghostlike down a dark street, I stared up at the ceiling fan that whirled slowly - 5:20am. Mario silently snoozed next to me. The alarm went off... There was nothing better - nothing in the world - than waking up in the warm arms of a handsome man on a cold morning."
From here, there is the overshadowing of a final days of manic drug abuse, with a depression so absolute, that it laid out some very simple terms: If nothing is to be had, if indeed nothing is left, then there is also nothing to lose. When one has singlehandedly destroyed every shred of self-respect, he is then charged with the bittersweet task of rebuilding it all, perhaps surpassing past triumphs, or even achieving new ones... or just finishing yourself off.
Philosophical grasps at just wanting a better life are scattered throughout this story. That's what kept me reading. So touching are these instances, that all the garbage the author once reveled in only serves to amplify the very innate need for love trying to shine through the char of a blackened meth pipe. I highly recommend this book not only to those who have been, are, or are seeking to overcome an addiction to methamphetamine, but especially to those who seek to understand what drives one to endure within the confines of such a struggle. A must-read for anyone in the business of helping others with recovery, as it is a very vividly-written account that is as poetic as it is raw.
The scope of the story is limited...two weeks in the life of an ordinary everyman who is now barely treading water in this alienist world where all inhabitants live for the next score. The setting is in the cross-border towns of San Diego and Tijuana where the narrator etches out an nightmarish existence straight out of an Hieronymus Bosch painting. The characters, and there are many, are fetid souls who are constantly sizing each other up in predatory stances, looking for the next most available exploitation. It is a macabre abstraction of the worst aspects of human nature, yet Blasini expertly handles the dark humor with measured tenacity to get to the next event...in short, once the reading has started, it's hard to put it down.
Aside from the exquisite sensory texture of the setting, the reader also gains a sense of how each hit of the drug feels and how one hit of the drug might differ from a previous one, experientially having an empathy with the addiction itself. The experience is hard on the soul, but in the end, there's a sense of release and relieve from the vicarious experimentation...of being in the addicts head.