Graphic by Loring Hughes taken from Big Hammer No. 2, 1990 | click the image to enlarge…
I STARTED OFF TRYING TO WRITE THE STORY OF MY LIFE BUT IT WAS SO FULL OF SHIT..
I thought I’d wait until tomorrow. Or the next day… Or never. Just to save the bullshitting til the twilight of my years. You know CUT THE CRAP. SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT, right. But life, that’s what it’s all about…only I never had what you might call a normal life. Not when my first memory is of being rocked like a football inside a cradle outside of a smokey game of Canasta that was pouring out of the livingroom where my dad was yelling*1… “YOU STUPID FUCKING CUNT, LUCY..I HAD A PAIR OF JACKS RIDING ON THAT DEUCE AND YOU GODDAMN BLEW IT… HOW GODDAMN STUPID CAN YOU GET????” & Ma’d go… “STUPID ENOUGH TO MARRY A GODDAMN SALESMAN THAT DON’T KNOW HIS ASS FROM FIRST BASE.THAT’S HOW GODDAMN DUMB…”……
AND it’s a good thing that by the time I was 14 or 16*2 I was smart enough to get the fuck outa there before somebody got murdered..like my mother or my father or the next door neighbor or myself…who couldn’t stand another minute of all the back-biting & bull-shitting & lip-flapping & the smoking and drinking… The stink of cat piss and dog shit and boiling chicken and all the bitching about how there isn’t enough money to pay the bills or even eat or to go to a decent catholic school instead of having to waste all my time getting beat up by the niggers that out-numbered me 50 to fucking one AFTER they got through selling me some kinda synthetic horse tranquilizers that I had to ingest 24 hours a day just to be able to STAND myself or my condition or the rest of the fucking world who I tried to blame for my every fucking problem that came down the goddamn pike..
you could say I had an ATTITUDE.. Thank you DADDY, I got it from vou. You felt like the world owed you a living too, how they could all go KISS YOUR ASS, line up every one of those dark-skinned mutherfuckers & send ’em back to where they came from…yeah…DROP THE BOMB fer all you cared, as long as it didn’t land on that two-story stone, pre-world-war one orphanage that we used to live in on the less than sunny side of the street. Surrounded DADDY by low life creeps, who just like vou DADDY used to spend all their time wasting money they didn’t have betting on the horses they never won at…playing cards, going to the track, any kind of distraction from the facts….. You’d find plenty, DADDY in that bottle of JACK DANIELS….Yeah…he went where you went, which was never very far unless LIKE ME DADDY you was running away…running FAR-FAR away…looking for that RAINBOW THEY’RE ALWAYS TALKING SO HIGHLY about…but you never found it and I never wanted it… I NEVER WANTED NO RAINBOWS, NO SUNSHINE, NO HEARTS & FLOWERS, NO NOTHING… JUST THE COLD HARD FACTS ARE THAT NOW MY PAIN IS YOUR PLEASURE & YOU’RE THE ONE THAT HAS TO PAY JUST TO HEAR ABOUT IT…. BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANNA GO THROUGH LIFE FIRST HAND, NO RAGGEDY-ASSED RAG & BONE MAN.. LONELY AS A BUM, NO LOWLIFE SCUM, DOWN-IN-THE-DUMPSTER SLUM DWELLER, YOU…OH NO YOU DON’T…. BUT YOU DON’T MIND IF I TELL A COUPLE OF SHITTY LITTLE STORIES AT MY OWN EXPENSE NOW DO YA??….. YEAH, YOU CAN’T PAINT A ROSEY PICTURE ON A PIECE OF SHIT… BELIEVE ME I’VE BEEN TRYING FOR YEARS…
but you know everywhere I’ve been gives me that same empty feeling…that same homelessness…that same hopelessness, that same ugliness, nothingness… I hear a lot of talk I don’t understand, a lot of vacant assholes rumbling in the distance… But you’ve got your troubles & I’ve got mine…. Let’s keep it that way.. And tonight we’re only going to concentrate on mine…for a change….
I’m just here to question why…. Why so much equals so little… Why it’s never enough unless it’s too much… How it’s never as late as it seems, it’s always later… And WHY ALL MY ENEMIES ARE DEAD & so are my friends & you could be next….
But I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you… Because around here it’s survival of the shittiest… Not that we’re keeping score or nothing.. THE BIG FAT NOTHING…. Frought w/rot.. The endless vacuum… Nothing can become of nothing and we, we who have nothing have nothing better to do anyway… And there’s plenty to go around… Plenty of nothing….
I know nothing about how the clock works except that it works against me…. SLOW MOTION SICKNESS and the constant sound of crawling walls… That perpetual nag of the constant rot & the why, why, why!!!, that goes with it…</p>
STINKING DAY YOU’RE BURIED UNDER YOUR OWN USELESSNESS… HATING EVERY SECOND OF YOUR HORRIBLE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE LIFE… HATING EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER DONE OR DIDN’T DO… HATING EVERYONE YOU’VE EVER KNOWN, OR DIDN’T KNOW…. HATING THE WHOLE STINKING WORLD WHO TRICKED YOU INTO BEING BORN IN THE FIRST PLACE, & IF YOU WERE NEVER BORN, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO SPEND ALL YOUR TIME TRYING TO KILL YOURSELF, JUST TO GET AWAY FROM YOURSELF… Just to get away from everything and everyone, just to get away from that murderous waste of time spent wallowing somewhere in between hyperinactivity where you’re wound so fucking tight that you’re just about ready to blow your fucking brains out & that constant, chronic state of comatose depression….
you couple that with a 25 YEAR STINT SPENT STUCK IN a solitaire that you’ve imprisoned yourself in… trapt by the confines of an ugly & uncooperative body… In an apartment the size of a breadbox, in a city the size of a flea-circus, in a world that does not exist….
It’s too late to transfer the blame, yet you still refuse to accept responsibility for your actions, punishment for deeds done or not… Instead you just sit and wait for the shit to blow over…. Even though the END IS NEVER SOON ENOUGH, OR NEAR enough to be of any comfort & you still constantly look for new methods of hastening this procedure, and you’ve got THE BULLET, THE BLADE, THE NEEDLE OR THE NOOSE, each and every time it’s your own fucking COWARDICE that prevents you from keeping that one last date w/fate…
Instead you get stuck… Sucked into that empty hole which paralyses & repulses… Where time dies as horrified you sink into the middle of nowhere… A void.. Lost in space.. The same dead daydreams over & over again like a broken record repeating forever the most miserable melodies…
But before the bitterness & the ugliness & the hatred & the humiliation, before the degradation… There was nothing…. Nothing.
Yet the nothingness I battle every day becomes the lover I seek in death.. The struggle to submit to that elegant stranger… That formal forever.. The magic reward of a pitch-black-ditch.. An infinite & incomprehensible void a thousand miles wide and unfathomably deep… A darkness from which there is no escape, no return, no light, no sound, no song… A velvet caress as soft & gentle as a final sigh… The black at the end of the rat-hole….
But why kill time when you can kill yourself…. And mine is the funeral you will never attend… But don’t let that stop you, because when you all close this book and start to talk about me & I know you’re gonna talk about me… I’d really rather that you talked about me as if I WAS already dead… Because that’s the way I talk about myself…. You see nobody ever talks bad about the dead.. They’re probably scared too… And the dead, well they’re sacred… They’re heroes to be worshipped… The dead can do no wrong… They’re mysterious, glorious & respectable… And that’s something I’LL never be UNTIL I’m dead.
When you’re dead…words like BELLIGERENT, ARROGANT, SLEAZY & VULGAR, suddenly become feisty! Vibrant! Witty & frank…. As long as they don’t call me ‘arty1 I really don’t give two flying fucks of a rat’s asshole what they call me…..
Yeah, my funeral, your trial…. But don’t hold your breath…. Because if I’ve managed to stick it out this long… I’ll probably live to be the oldest woman in the free world.. And I can almost see it now.. Ladies & gentlemen at 173 years of rage… Lydia Lunch…
Oh.. But some of you look a little bit cynical at that last proclamation… Like maybe you’re even a little bit surprised that I’m even still here today.. That I should’ve bitten it by anyone’s odds a long, long time ago… Snuffed it.. Blown it.. Kicked it… That I should’ve been struck by lightning… Hit by a truck… Died in a car crash.. Hung from a tree, engulfed in flames, fallen off a cliff or been shot in the face…. Maybe you see me drowning in a pool of my own puke.. From a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning… Perhaps stabbed repeatedly, in a lovers’ quarrel at the hands of a maniac… Wishful thinking..
But it just ain’t that easy to get rid of me.. Believe me, I’ve been trying for years.. Constitution of a horse, though… And besides… When I go down.. I plan on taking a few of you assholes with me.. And just think about it… What could be better than to die for your art… TO DIE FOR MY ART… Now we’re talking… I mean after all standing up here & talking to you is just about killing me… & why shouldn’t you be next?
*1 Rochester, New York 10/2/59. *2 10 months old & swearing. 2NYC bound.