I’ve said my goodbyes to the internet for the time being. (And those of you betting on when I’ll be back, it won’t be soon, and those of you betting on my suicide, fuck you.)
But as I go I want to publish something else, something that I think needs to be put out there. The story that originally created such fuss around my career was a 2011 account of trying to kill my ex girlfriend and myself back in 1998. I wrote a sloppy, terrible version and deleted it when the controversy began, but not before the “attempted murderer meme” had become part and parcel of my public life.
I began to write a memoir, to “set the proverbial record straight.” However recent events, including my breakdown, two psychiatric hospitalizations and the revelation of multiple affairs (for the record, none with students, and including more women than Christina) have revealed me to be broken, a fraud.
I am not who I claimed to be, not who I tried to be. I need to work on getting sober again, seeing if my marriage can be repaired, and staying alive for my beautiful precious children. That’s the real truth. I am not well but I will be. I am on heavy meds, including (ironically) Klonopin, the very drug that is mentioned in the story below. I am certainly not fit for a public role.
So here is the opening short chapter of what was to have been the memoir. The story of what happened 15 years ago, dispelling rumors and so forth. It is the final record on that sad story and it is all true. (All names have been changed.)
And now, I’m gone.
The thing about being on a binge is that the clarity comes in waves. Long periods of oblivion, punctuated by brief and intense moments where everything comes into shocking, painful focus.
I had awoken with a start. I was on my back, naked on the thin carpet. Kerith, emaciated and frail, was curled next to me, her breathing shallow. The room smelled of pizza, of alcohol, of sex, of sweat. I felt something in my hand – a Ziploc baggie half-filled with prescription pills. Klonopin, Demerol, Ativan, Percocet; we’d been eating them like jellybeans, washed down with vodka.
I knew exactly where I was, what time it was, whom I was with. For the first time in days, I felt the cigarette burns on my chest and arms, the rawness in my nose from the coke, the awful dry mouth from the pills, the acid in my stomach. And I knew, with a certainty I hadn’t felt in weeks, exactly what I had to do.
It was June 27, 1998, the second anniversary of the day Kerith and I had met.
Exactly two years earlier, I checked into “Starting Over,” a sober living house for addicts just out of treatment. Joanna, (my second wife) and I were separated; if I could finish 90 days clean here, she’d promised to take me back. I clung to that thought, though given the frantic immediacy with which I lived my life, three months might as well have been 30 years. Continue reading