Philip Seymour Hoffman


Last summer I found a small box stashed away in my apartment, a box filled with enough Vicoden to kill me. I would have sworn that I’d thrown them away years earlier, but apparently not. I stared at the white pills blankly for a long while. I even took a picture of them, before (finally, definitely) throwing them away. I’d been sober (again) for some years when I found that little box, but every addict has a little box—metaphoric or actual—hidden away. Before I flushed them I held them in my palm, marveling that at some point in the not-so-distant past it seemed a good idea to keep a stash of drugs on-hand. For an emergency, I told myself. What kind of emergency? What if I needed root canal on a Sunday night, say? This little box would see me through until the dentist showed up for work the next morning. Half my brain told me that, while the other half knew that looking into that box was akin to seeing a photograph of myself standing on the edge of a bridge, a bridge in the familiar dark neighborhood of my mind, that comfortable place where I could somehow believe that fuck-it was an adequate response to life.

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Nick Flynn is the author of several books including The Ticking Is The Bomb, Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, and Some Ether. More from this author →