This is what happens when you can't sleep

Shout out to Los Angelista for the inspiration! Thanks, Liz!

I was thinking about that Gil Scott Heron song, and I decided to look it up and post the lyrics:

Home Is Where The Hatred Is

A junkie walking through the twilight
I'm on my way home
I left three days ago, but no one seems to know I'm gone
Home is where the hatred is
Home is filled with pain and it,
might not be such a bad idea if I never, never went home again

Stand as far away from me as you can and ask me why
Hang on to your rosary beads
close your eyes to watch me die
you keep saying, kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it
God, but did you ever try
to turn your sick soul inside out
so that the world, so that the world
can watch you die

home is where i live inside my white powder dreams
home was once an empty vacuum that's filled now with my silent screams
home is where the needle marks
try to heal my broken heart
and it might not be such a bad idea if i never, if i never went home again
home again
home again
home again
kick it, quit it
kick it, quit it
kick it, quit it
kick it, can't go home again

The year was 1972, and I was 14 years old when I heard that song for the first time. The version I heard on the radio was sung by Esther Phillips, who died not long afterwards. To be honest, I wasn't fond of Ms. Phillips voice. It sounded...well, it was kind of deep and raspy. But it was the lyrics that grabbed my attention. They resonated very deeply in me, and I found myself staring out of my bedroom window with tears dripping off my face. At the time, I had no idea why I felt like that. I kind of figured that the song was about loneliness and deep emotional pain. And junkies. I knew about junkies. I used to see kids nodding out at school all the time. It was the 70s, after all. Heroin and speed were the drugs of choice at Baker Junior High School. But what I didn't understand was what all that had to do with me. I wasn't a junkie. At that time, I had never done anything more than take a sip of my dad's scotch, and I spat that out immediately. Nasty stuff, that scotch.

Did I try the other stuff? Truthfully, no, not really. I acted like I was puffing on a joint when it was passed around. (I was not a Baha'i then, folks. But even if I was, I would still post about this. I believe in being honest about my life in the hope that someone might learn from my mistakes.) But I only did that so I could hang out and look cool. My friends knew I was faking it, though. They would snatch the joint away from me.

Now I know. That song was about addiction, and even though I wasn't aware of it, my subconscious was connecting with the feelings of hopelessness that comes out of being addicted to a substance, any substance. I had no concept of food addiction back then, in fact, at that time I was obsessed with becoming thin so boys would go crazy over me. I began doing the fad/total insanity diet thing. I remember eating nothing but saltine crackers and prunes for entire week. And yes, I lost an awful lot of weight that week. Is there any wonder why my body is messed up now?I

Confessions of a chocoholic: Once I told a co-worker that I LOVED me some Denzel Washington. (My favorite Denzel movie: Mississippi Marsala. Ask any Black woman.) Yet, if Mr. Washington approached me and he had two giant sized Snickers in his hands and told me, "Okay, Angela, it's me or the Snickers." My response would be "Are you giving both of those to me?" My co-worker stared at me. No understanding whatsoever. Then she told me that she will eat two corners off of a Snickers bar and she's good for the year. (Yes, she's one of those itty bitty things.) But she'd NEVER have enough Denzel. Hey, we all have our vices.

One thing has always been a certainty for me. Chocolate pack the pounds on the body, but it doesn't cheat on you with another woman. Other than being extremely high in fat and sugar and almost completely void of nutritional value, it's harmless. You know what you're getting: a sugar rush, a feeling of contentment and if you consume enough, sleep.

Which is what I'm NOT getting right now. Otherwise known as detox. Gil Scott Heron knew what he was talking about.

O Divine Providence! Bestow Thou in all things purity and cleanliness upon the people of Baha. Grant that they be freed from all defilement, and released from all addictions. Save them from committing any repugnant act, unbind them from the chains of every evil habit, that they may live pure and free, wholesome and cleanly, worthy to serve at Thy Sacred Threshold and fit to be related to their Lord. Deliver them from intoxicating drinks and tobacco, save them, rescue them, from this opium that bringeth on madness, suffer them to enjoy the sweet savours of holiness, that they may drink deep of the mystic cup of heavenly love and 150 know the rapture of being drawn ever closer unto the Realm of the All-Glorious. For it is even as Thou hast said: 'All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love -- bring me, O cup-bearer, of the wine of the spirit a cup full as the sea!'

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 149)

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