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Typical Slut: I Am An Addict

by Julia Laxer

"Love is the drug."
-Roxy Music

I am an addict. I am a product of my culture. Each day, I take exactly nine pills in the morning and seven pills at night. I wish I did not need pharmaceuticals to stay alive and to be healthy. But, still, I am here. There is something inside me, like an A-bomb ticking, ticking, ticking...

I am an addict.

I am addicted to pleasure, pain and the lack of awareness of my own existence. I lay awake at night and think of all the things I coulda, shoulda said. By the time I wake up, I never remember these clever retorts.

I am an addict. I have always been an addict. I was an addict since the day I was born. Straight from the womb, I gasped at the sky, screaming at the gods and the damning of my parents who fucked one humid night in the suburbs of Cincinnati. I wonder, what were they thinking? Why did they do it? Why did they bring me, a sick-sick girl, into the world?

When I ask myself these questions, I receive no answer.

A wise friend once said, "Life is a sperm bank lottery." He still lives in the same shitty town where he was born in and will likely die in. I am still a sick-sick girl. He has a baby boy who he is raising in his spitting image, and he owns hundreds of firearms and a gun store. Me? I have an arsenal, too. Mood stabilizers. Sleep aids. Pills with off-brand uses. Pills with side effects. They are round and oblong, smooth, slick and coated to make it easy to swallow.

Did I win the "sperm bank lottery?" I am six-feet tall, golden-haired, blue-eyed, pale-skinned, and long-legged. I have a big ass, shapely tits and a pretty face. Is this what luck looks like?

When I stare in the mirror, I see my stomach. I’m reminded of the deaths of my loved ones and the food that I devoured (always too much), late at night when others were sleeping. I ate to take the absence away. I am reminded of the flat abs I once had from dancing: from pulling myself up on the pole, from the floor work and from the twerking ass shakes I once did on the regular, a few nights a week. It was my weekly workout schedule.

I am reminded of the money I once had and how I would give everyone an extra $20 tip—regardless if it was for coffee, a taxi ride, a bar tab or a cheap dinner. I was generous with my money, because dead presidents meant nothing to me. Well, that’s not entirely true. They did mean something. They meant rent, independence and choices.

Cash is a symbolic gesture of freedom.


I had nothing left to lose back then. I had all the money in the world—well, not all of it—but all the potential for it...my hot body glazed pink in the red lights, as I danced with my rent check on my thighs.

But, now drugs take the place of money. Herbs take the place of booze. Warm bubble baths hold me, because there is no lover. When my period is late, I do not fear. It’s been a long time since I’ve been full with the sweet acidity of sperm leaking down my legs like liquid opals. What keeps me full now is the hope that one day I will find a lover who will fuck me beyond all belief and the distended short-term alleviation of memory...

Johnny Thunders sings, "You can’t put your arms around a memory."

And, it’s true. I cannot touch a memory. All the memories are gone, like the light missing from Lady Liberty’s torch.

I am an addict. I am a product of my culture. Pills remind me of this. I have pills to keep me happy and pills to help me sleep. I have pills to stop the intruder in my dreams from following me down the dark alleyways of grief. And, I have pills to keep the whole world from tipping and falling...off its axis.

The whole world is watching. The whole world is interconnected. The whole world is on the Internet and I am addicted.

I cannot stop listening to the crowds protesting, voices amplified and echoing...I have to fight back. I am addicted to fighting back. I do not know how to do "business as usual" when people are suffering. I raise my fist in the air, as I join the increasingly loud chorus outside. I catch the flicker of electricity in the streets and wonder if anyone will follow.

I am addicted to the belief that one person’s voice can make a difference.

I am addicted to the movements and language of cities. I am addicted to the way people speak slowly in the country and how people say "y’all," as if that is the way to be instantly familiar. I’m addicted to intimacy, like the way it is when a stripper bends backward and you smell every inch of her before you even see her smile. I am addicted to that smile—on both sides of the mirror.

I am addicted to the mirror, with the way it works time back at me in the face. And, I see the way that I once was...

I was a young girl once; all skinny legs and big eyes. When I was fifteen, I was caught shoplifting. The charges were dropped. Yet, I still feel the impulse to steal from boutiques when shop girls are pretentious and when the manager at Fred’s won’t accept my return. I want to steal out of spite—a five-finger discount—symbolic, really of my middle finger. I have to fight the impulse each day to free the Winona Ryder inside of me.

Reality bites, doesn’t it?

I am addicted to sex. I am addicted to the meaning of sex: to the words behind the whistle, the hoochie behind the mama and all the reasons why I can and cannot resist the pleasures of the flesh. There is a rush. There is a thrill.

Love is a drug and he keeps me alive. But, sometimes there is no one other than me. It’s just me and my right hand and buzzing, battery-operated devices that die in the middle the night, just when things really get going. I am addicted to pleasure and the vibration of pleasure. Yet, I am addicted to the pursuit more. I love to fuck, but more than anything, I desire love.

I love the chase...

I am guilty of obsessive love. I am guilty of obsessively loving boys who don’t like girls. I am guilty of falling in love with people who will never fall in love with me. They never look at me like the way I need to look at myself. They say love is a mirror, where we see things in others that we want to see in ourselves.

I am addicted to shopping. If I have a hundred bucks, I will spend ninety-nine of them on nothing I need. Ever since I quit doing sex work, money is hard for me to hold onto. It feels like something I do not deserve. Money, to me, is tainted. Money, to me, is a symbol of freedom, and I am not comfortable with that, because I am not entirely free.

I am an addict. I am an American addict.

I am an American addict, who is fearful of the way my culture prosecutes and pursues the dearth of happiness. It is like a car crash. I cannot look away or stop watching the news as we go up in flames. Each headline is more violent and indecent than the last. It’s overwhelming. There has to be another way. I tell myself this, as I stalk grocery aisles looking at every single item I don’t want or need. Empty calories: it’s the way we keep ourselves full. When I get home, I am anxious and carrying heavy grocery bags. I barely have the energy to unpack.

It is all a lot to unpack.

I am addicted to the illusion of health and to all of the glowing green juices: spirulina, spinach, beet juice, carrots and green apple. Have you tried hot yoga? Kale? Quinoa? Bee pollen? Of course I have. I’m glowing, can’t you see?

I’m obsessed with the idea of a child growing inside me; my body as a depository of fate. My body as a place where two bodies, plus friction, equals three. The magical number three. Motherhood is beautiful, but not right for me.

I fantasize about my thunder thighs smothering misogyny. I dream of trampling the patriarchy. I resound with the loud chanting in the crowd, as we walk towards Washington D.C. We have more power and strength in our resistance than we even recognize.

I am addicted to liberation, because there is nothing more meaningful than self-awareness in a world that is addicted to nihilism.

I am addicted to becoming blonde.

I am addicted to lying on the therapist’s couch. I am addicted to free association and getting it all off my chest. I am addicted to The Concept of all the concepts and to all the Google searches on the Internet.

I am addicted to the Big City and the small city. I adore towns and places where there could’ve been a city, but someone let the grass grow. I am addicted to people who plant gardens and touch the earth with their hands—infusing the world with their own energy.

When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with Hello Kitty and I never really got over it. Oh, yeah, did I tell you that I’m addicted to cats???

I am addicted to Hollywood. I am addicted to fashion magazines: Vogue, Cosmo and Glamour (even all the ads). I am addicted to Netflix. I am addicted to old movies, the exaggerated expressions of wide-eyed actresses and the men that adore them.

James Brown is right: "It’s a man’s world." And, I am determined to change that.

I am addicted to hot sighs after sex and to long kisses on first dates, when people still have illusions.

I’m addicted to justice and the belief that society will eventually evolve, if we raise hell each time something fucking happens. That’s why I’m a writer. I’m addicted to words. I am addicted to change.

If I could fuck all belief, I would make the earth cum with the earth-shattering shake of God cussing the cosmos out. Tell me what it looks like tomorrow after everything happens...I will tell you what it looked like last night, when I was planning for this. Let me hold you afterward and kiss you goodnight. Just because we did it today, does not mean we don’t have to do it tomorrow.

I am addicted to never, ever dying.