Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Take Care Of Yourself And Live For Today

On Monday night, I drove to a hospital some 30 miles away to visit my brother. He was unconscious and is unlikely to come out of it. There was a machine helping him breathe. It wasn't the Wuhan Flu, it was the byproduct of looking out for number one. Sex and drugs and rock and roll, if you will.

My brother is 6 years older than I am. Growing up, he always looked down on me in scorn for having been the conservative, little twerp. While he was banging chicks and dealing and using drugs, I was engaging in only the mildest forms of self-indulgence. Between 6th and 7th grade, he introduced me to regular marijuana use. I discovered I didn't like it as I noticed my ambition dissolving into nothingness, even when I wasn't high. I suppose I should thank him as I didn't pick up the habit after that.

Still, even while his own life was lurching from one disaster to another, I always felt he had a worldliness and a set of experiences that I lacked. I knew it didn't make sense, but I couldn't shake it until I saw him in that bed. I saw what living for today and ditching all the rules meant.

His feet stuck out of the sheets. They had been bandaged at the heels, but his toes weren't covered, except from sores and infections. His knees were scabbed as well. The human body can take a good deal of damage before it quits, but it eventually will quit.

When our mom died and I was the executor of the will, he sued wife kitteh and me. We ended up settling out of court, as described here. He got quite a bit of money and I wondered where it had all gone. He must have worked pretty hard to blow it in such a short period of time. Oh well.

I don't hate him. I never did. I'm not even sure how much of what he did was genetically predisposed. Our maternal grandfather was the stereotypical Irish drunk and our oldest brother died from drugs. Addiction is a common theme among the men in our family, at least on my mother's side. Was it something he could have successfully fought? Who knows?

Whenever I hear people advocate for legalizing drugs, I wonder how many drug addicts they've known.

In any case, he was the textbook example of someone who followed his passions, followed his dreams, took care of himself and lived for today.



ligneus said...

Sad story, there seems to be a wastrel in most families, just thank God it isn't you. When I was a teenager back in the fifties I was thought of as a bit weird because I refused to start smoking at a time when it was as common as drinking a cup of coffee. [Or tea at that time and place.]

And the pedantic in me can't resist, 'he sued wife Kitteh and me'
Just take out the first noun as a check. Sorry!

Ohioan@Heart said...

KT - Sorry to hear about your impending loss. No matter how much we may expect such things, the loss hurts. I’m sure you will get through it.

Lingeus- Pedantic? Yes. But I’m one of those too. Sometimes I expect my kids to stop texting with me since I’m forever correcting that kind of thing (and the mixup of their, there, and they’re, and right and write, and it’s and its, and ... I think I need to stop).

tim eisele said...

"Whenever I hear people advocate for legalizing drugs, I wonder how many drug addicts they've known."

OK, KT, here's the thing: It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not I think drug addiction is bad. Of course it is bad. The point is, whether what is being done about it is doing any good.

Your blog here has as a major theme that the government is largely composed of power-hungry incompetents whose primary skill is in getting elected, who don't really understand how anything works, and make a hash out of practically everything they touch. Fair enough.

But now you turn around and basically say that these exact same people should *continue to be in charge* of making and enforcing anti-drug laws to prevent drug addiction? Heck, you even include a link to your previous post about how deeply screwed up the legal system is!

K T Cat said...

Tim, drugs are a horse of a different color. Just as you need laws against murder, in part because it's permanent, you need laws against drugs, in part, for the same reason. I suppose you could hang out with addicts and still think they should be legal, but it seems like a stretch for me.

K T Cat said...

ligneus, it took forever to find the grammatical error, but me found it finally.


tim eisele said...

"Just as you need laws against murder, in part because it's permanent, you need laws against drugs, in part, for the same reason"

But what if you pass laws that are supposed to reduce murder, but these laws don't actually stop anybody from getting murdered? What if murderers just go on killing and killing and killing while all the laws against murder just dance around the crime without actually stopping it? And what if some of those laws actually punish people who narrowly escape being murder victims? And what if there is big money in being a murderer, so the organized criminals bribe the cops and the district attorneys and the judges to not prosecute them? And what if the laws against murder actually cause more people to get murdered than would be the case otherwise, by corrupting the cops and by inciting turf wars between the murder gangs?

That's what the drug laws look like to me. They are full of sound and fury, but ultimately don't actually stop or reduce drug addiction. Maybe they could, if they were applied intelligently based on how humans actually behave, but they aren't. If anything, they appear to make it worse, while costing us billions of dollars in the process. You said yourself that the thing that kept you from getting hooked on drugs was that you didn't like the effect they had on you (which is the exact reason why I don't take drugs either), but you didn't say anything about fear of the law. And meanwhile, you lost two brothers in spite of the anti-drug laws, so they obviously didn't fear the laws either. And if they did fear the laws, they could have just bought alcohol and drunk themselves to death, perfectly legally.

Mostly Nothing said...

I listen to arguments like this. The anti-drug laws don' work so we should just get rid of them, and make it all legal. I.E. just give up.0

Can you help me understand how this makes sense?

Does anyone remember the documentary from KOMO from a few years ago, Seattle is Dying? If you haven't seen it, give it an hour.

Minneapolis has had 50 years of 1 party rule. Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore; all pretty much the same. These places are not democracies or republics, they autocracies. 50 years of more and more failure. How is it that instead of saying, "Gee, that isn't working; maybe we should try something else." there is just double down on the same horrible policies.

Lastly, KT and I have a friend who is quite liberal, very smart, and extremely thoughtful. One of my favorite sayings of his is: "There is a myth that politicians are smarter than the rest of us".

tim eisele said...

"The anti-drug laws don' work so we should just get rid of them, and make it all legal. I.E. just give up. Can you help me understand how this makes sense?"

Well, that's what we did in 1933 when Prohibition was repealed. Are you saying that repealing Prohibition didn't make sense?

Look, I'm not saying that we shouldn't worry our little heads about drug addiction. I'm saying that an approach that (a) is so ineffective that it leaves the streets littered with homeless drug addicts, (b) introduces a whole bunch of criminal activity and police corruption that wouldn't exist otherwise, and (c) costs a fortune, should not be kept around. Especially when the "reason" for keeping it appears to be "the need to be seen to be doing something" - and we can't agree on anything better.

Mostly Nothing said...

Prohibition was wrong to put in place in the first place.

I not saying that what laws are in place are working. I'm saying that people in power are the failures, yet we keep electing them to office. The Ramsey County attorney (St Paul) has come out and said he will not prosecute people apprehended from a routine traffic stop, that turns out they are wanted for a felony; because equity.

Making the bad guys the victims and the good guys the bad guys only end one way. Equitably, ie everyone loses. Well, everyone on except the people dismantling the police who live in gated communities and hire private security on the tax payers dime.

I really urge you to watch Seattle is Dying. They show a drug addiction program that is working, on a small scale admittedly, but working. Why aren't the people in power flocking to set these up in their communities, instead of enabling and promoting people to live as they do?

Why do people continue to elect the people who have failed us for 50+ years.

And why is it that the more these officials talk about creating more affordable house, it becomes more scarce?