by Jeremy Void

Jeremy Void was born and raised in Boston, MA, where he played in a Punk rock band called Lethal Erection and stirred up chaos everywhere he went.  Friends, enemies, and followers alike called him “St. Chaos,” and he kept up his reputation at all times, finding the funny side of just about everything, and leading a life of misadventures that eventually led him down a rocky road to Rutland, VT, where he resides for the time being. Here is his column:

It’s a beautiful day in Rutland, VT.  The sun is out, making the thick layer of clouds appear shiny and bright.  I sit on the steps leading into the Coffee Exchange, located on the corner of Center St. and Merchants Row, across the way from Wal-Mart, which looks like a grotesque, hairy wart protruding out of the hot busty model’s glistening stomach.  Not that Rutland is Busty or Hot like a model, because it’s not, I realize; although it’s surely something—a thing of beauty, a thing of neglect.  A thing that some people detest, and a thing that some people cherish, and finally, a thing that some people could care less about.  I personally feel everything toward it—everything including nothing which seems to be my most prevalent emotion when I think about it—indifference, ambivalence, a jaded cocoon in which I lay.

I come from a small town known as Boston, MA, which I’m sure you’ve heard of—a town where life bustles and filth blossoms, I know it all too well.  Trust me, I do.  I’ve experienced my own brand of filth, I’ve extinguished my own brand of life.  I’ve lived a drug-fueled existence which occupied most of my time—fast and slow, cold and hot, die at a young and laugh in my grave, you know how it goes.

But today I’m not that way anymore—well, not entirely anyway.  I’ve come to realize that the madness I reaped on anyone willing to subject themselves to it, was not a sustainable way of life—it was either jails, institutions, or death: the cold slap of the handcuffs wrapping around my wrists, the cop spewing orders through his stern lips, and the sound of those bleak iron bars as they untethered my connection with freedom, clanking shut behind me.  There too was the soft gurney against my cold and pale skin as I rode in the back of an ambulance to the hospitable where I would bide my time for a few days, get out, and then do it all over again, etcetera etcetera, you know how it is.  Or maybe you don’t, maybe you’re one of the lucky few who made it through life unscathed.  Me, I was a zombie and everyday I saw that lucky but rare breed of people as they motored past me on their way to their corporate jobs dawning blue suits and black ties, with wide smiles that made me feel even deader than I already felt I was.  But it doesn’t matter anyway, we all die in the end, every last one of us; it’s unavoidable.  But you see, I died way ahead of the rest, my soul depleted as my body followed neatly behind, deteriorating in the blink of a crying eye.

That was my life.  Do I regret it?  Not one bit; and I’ll tell you why:

I’m a better person because of it, I think.  You see, today I feel bright and alive, almost healthy but not all there yet—this is something I lacked throughout all those wasted years of my past, but as a result I have a higher understanding of life. Which I don’t think I would have obtained if I hadn’t forgone hell through the first 22 years or so.

So I came to Rutland to get away from the drugs, the pain, the misery, but little did I know, it followed me here.

But even so, that’s behind me now, and I can honestly say life is good.  I’m still sick, still exhibiting mixed-up motives, but one day at a time I’m getting better and better and BETTER, and that’s all that any junky can ask for in the end.

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