Saturday, April 15, 2006

She Used to Be Pretty

Now I know people change
and sometimes that's good
and some people don't
when maybe they should
but right now that don't help me
I might just throw up
cause it sure does feel shitty
when things just get pretty fucked up

aww pretty fucked up
yeah pretty fucked up now
aww she used to be pretty
but now she's just pretty fucked up

--Eddie Spaghetti, The Supersuckers

That song is about my pal Carey. God almighty, the guy's a wretch, and it's all because she used to be pretty, and now she's just pretty fucked up.

I got to know Carey, who's a couple of years younger than me but looks a couple years older, a few years back at the neighborhood bar. He works as a drug and life counselor for convicts re-entering society.

His career grows from his personal life: sometime after college, he spent 5 years in prison. It was one of your classic snitch deals: someone got busted for drugs pointed a finger at Carey, who the prosecution then made the fall guy. Carey gets packed off to jail, with a stiffer sentence because his apartment was near a school. He showed me a letter-to-the-editor he wrote that appeared in the Washignton Post while he was incacerated. Well-written stuff: Carey was pretty much the last guy who should have ended up in jail.

About 5 years ago, for a few blissful months, Carey was dating this chick Janny. I know it was blissful because every time I see the guy, if he's had a couple of drinks, he mentions herue, or if she's at the bar he says "See that blonde girl..." I cut him off by saying "Oh yeah, Janny, the chick you used to date," and try to change the subject. She's a cutie: long blonde hair (bleached, but still nice), a very pretty face, and a nice body. Her hips have a delicious sexy sway when she walks across a room.

By everything he tells me, Janny put Carey through the fucking wringer. She was a stripper and on drugs: cocaine, meth, crack, what-have-you. While they were dating,
she was cheating on him with her customers at the strip joint, prostituting herself for drugs, sucking cock behind the club, the whole nine yards. Carey tells me this story of Jan and her girlfriend having a threesome with him and being so fucked up she didn't remember it the next day. Stories of the chick showing up smelling like cum, her eyes googling like spinning plates from the drugs, nightmare stories. Eventually they broke up (I think she dumped him, go figure) but they've stayed in touch. It's difficult to really lose yourself in Philadelphia.

I saw Carey a couple of weeks ago. He'd been trying to keep off the bottle, for the obvious reason that he's a drunk, but he had a beer in one hand and was ordering a shot of Irish whiskey with the other.

"It was only a matter of time before you fell off," I hollered over the crowd.

"Yeah, we both knew that," he said, "but I figure I might as well give it a shot. See that chick at the end of that bar...?"

"Yeah, your ex-girlfriend Janny," I said, getting ready to change the subject. "Did you hear the latest on Iraq? Now--"

"She's making movies now," Carey blurted, downing his Jamesons. "And by movies, I mean porn movies. She gave me one of her dvds, I just watched it.

"I don't have anything against porn," he continued matter-of-factly, "and this was her first one I guess.

But still, it was kind of... pretty fucked up to see her on film." He ordered another shot; his face had that red glow and his eyes and face went flat, drifting into the glassy watery drunk stare.

I saw Janny this past weekend walking through the park at the flea market. She was carrying a shopping bag filled with clothes and knick-knacks, just another pretty girl enjoying a warm and sunny Saturday. They say men think about sex every 30 seconds or so, and though I'd never seen her dance or film work, it was easy enough to picture Janny naked or performing. As I watched her walk away, I wondered what went wrong with her life to make her so self-destructive, or whether she simply woke up one day and found she'd trapped herself. I wondered what makes people like Carey cling to these fucked up relationships like some sort of totem, when common sense dictates you cut bait and forget about it if you can.

Pretty fucked up.


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