That Man From Nantucket
There once was a man from Nantucket, and boy did he love cocaine. He loved cocaine in the morning, cocaine in the evening, cocaine at suppertime. When cocaine’s on a bagel, you can have cocaine anytime.
That’s the jingle from a ‘Bagel Bites’ commercial. And I don’t really love cocaine that much, he said to me.
Sure you do, I told him. I’m writing this story. You’ll love cocaine whenever I say.
I don’t think you have that much control over me, he replied. Then he did a fat line of cocaine.
I think I do, I said. I think I can make you do anything. Now be quiet. We’re going back to my story.
You mean my story. It’s about me.
Yeah, it’s about you, but I’m writing it. It’s my story.
And then he stopped talking and went on with the story.
There once was a man from Nantucket, and boy did he love cocaine. He first thought it would make him better. Better in social situations. Better in writing music. Better in telling his rich, blue-nautical-striped-shirt-and-salmon-shorts-wearing family that he really wanted to write music and not work for his dad who worked for his uncle who worked for his grandpa until he died 4 years ago. But he found out it doesn’t really make him better. But maybe it could make him cooler, he thought.
Look who’s talking, he said to me.
I’m not doing cocaine, I said to him. You’re the one with a problem. And daddy issues.
I’m using cocaine to be cooler? You mentioned it in the first line of this story. You wrote the word ‘cocaine’ six times in the first paragraph. And the first paragraph is only three sentences long, one a run-on, I should say, he told me.
I really don’t appreciate this talk back, I said to him, as he did a huge line of cocaine off a framed picture of his father, with tears silently streaming down his face. Why don’t you stop interrupting and let me finish this story?
Why finish it? So you can not feel bad smoking pot and being lazy the rest of the day, he asked?
Who said anything about pot? See, now you’re mentioning drugs before I am, I replied.
You’re making me talk. When I mention something, it’s really you. You do know that, right? What? Did you just read ‘Fight Club’ and it blew your mind? You’re pathetic.
I’m pathetic? I responded to this character. You want to write music and are scared of your over-barring family. Give me a break. I feel like I’m watching the CW.
Oh, so it’s pop culture reference time? I should have known what I was unleashing with that ‘Fight Club’ joke.
Then he didn’t speak for a minute. Just looked around the beach, thinking. He’s been at the beach this whole time, by the way. On Cape Cod. We’ll more the South Shore, but kind of in the middle. He never knows what to say when people ask where his beach house is. The Cape, he says sometimes. But then sometimes he says South Shore.
Then he finally decided on something. He looked at me and said, OK I’ll let you finish the story. I shouldn’t be aggressing my creator. Then he did an even bigger line of cocaine off the breasts a stripper who happened by, who was crying.
There once was a man from Nantucket, and he really shouldn’t have been aggressing his creator. Especially when he already had a pretty bad cocaine and heroin habit. Little did his family know of his nights spent shooting speed balls in the bathroom during fancy events, which they attended because they’re those sort of rich Cape Cod-y, South Shore-y people who go to those kinds of things. They would be out pounding wine at a dinner party, and he would be shooting cocaine and heroin mixed together out of a syringe into his arm in the bathroom. Pretty intense stuff. And all he really wanted to do was make music. And be ‘OK’ with making music. And have his father be ‘OK’ with his making music. And have the rest of his family be ‘OK’ with his making music. But that could never happen. And that man from Nantucket died that day, never having made music, or doing much of anything really, aside from cocaine.