America’s Heroin Epidemic

America’s Heroin Epidemic

Introduction

I currently work for an upscale rehabilitation website. Writing blogs about what you’d expect. However, there was one topic of discussion that caught my interest. I figured I should talk about it here.

It may or may not come as a surprise that America is currently facing a heroin epidemic. I wouldn’t have believed this myself if I hadn’t seen it first hand a couple of years ago.

It started with a friend’s cousin who was addicted. He came off as an unlikely victim due to his family’s wealth. Yet, no one denied this cousin had a drug problem. He’d steal money, consistently lie, and often leave for long periods of time. As soon as my friend began making decisions for himself, he fell victim too.

For some reason, this didn’t strike me as anything odd. I had hung around the two while they were doped out (an East Coast term for being high on heroin) as if it was nothing out of the ordinary. The sad truth I had yet to understand was that this was becoming the ordinary. At least for people like me who found themselves in the local drug scene.

This all ended as poorly as you’d expect. My friend overdosed in his house. The cousin was with him and gave CPR which miraculously saved his life. Authorities were called and he was safely hospitalized.

Since this point, I have constructed my own opinions on the matter that I’d like to discuss here.

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The Pursuing Artist: Alix Castillo

The Pursuing Artist: Alix Castillo

I enter an apartment on the outskirts of both the Tenderloin and Downtown San Francisco. It’s not the nicest, but for the right college student, it’s a luxury. Squeezed between a hostel and rent-a-car service, the place is tight enough to the point where your body slides along each of the walls. At the end of the second floor’s narrow hallway is the home of just another pursuing artist, Alix Castillo.

The place is tiny. A kitchen big enough to stand two people, a bathroom of equal-to-less size, and a living space that has become the setting for this interview. I believe the first thing to come to the eye is the random bits of money scattered about. A twenty here, a half-dozen one’s over there, and coins scattered across the floor. Then you have the endless amount of emptied cigarillo guts and packaging. Mostly Backwoods. Continue reading

A Story About Sexual Ambition

A Story About Sexual Ambition

My intentions were only to go out and grab a pack of smokes. But in the city of San Francisco, such a simple maneuver can lead one into the most unexpected of directions.

A man approached me, noticing my fresh pack of cigarettes, and asked to bum one. I immediately felt trust due to his business attire and to-the-point conversation. His clean appearance gave a good contrast to my location; the Tenderloin. Likewise, with his versatile vocabulary. This man introduced himself as James.

I was with my now good friend, Alix. At the time, though, I had only known him for maybe a week. Admittedly, we both didn’t know too many people in the city and were looking for a bit of excitement on that Saturday night. Therefore, when James asked, “You kids wanna party?” We figured why the fuck not. Continue reading

The Pursuing Artist: Jake Heraty

The Pursuing Artist: Jake Heraty

About a week ago, I flew to Southern California to meet up with fellow writer and filmmaker, Jake Heraty. I was immediately swept away by the overbearing heat. Which has caused much nauseation as I put together this interview and blog.

In the location of Menifee, CA, there is rather little to see besides miles of dried up foliage and large mountains of dirt. The recently developing city has been placed in the center of a desert and left its residents with little to do and see. Combining that with the high summer temperature always crawling up your back, there’s a constant compulsion to seek indoor cooling.

And with this sort of lifestyle, you can expect to find someone with nothing better to do than magnet themselves to the air conditioner that stands next to their computer screen. Hoping to pump out the next great American novel in an attempt to move out of this unforgivable weather.

Though, in the case of Jake Heraty, there is more to it than just a desperation to leave Menifee. A medical past filled with even more unpredicted complications, a series of events that ended in the absolute questioning of his life, and a few moral groundings have shaped this pursuing artist to whom he is today. This piece is only the beginning of what’s to come for him as a writer. Continue reading

The Profusion of Fear

The Profusion of Fear

Introduction

I think it’s obvious to say that the news only conceives of the worst possible scenarios as a way to fuel our society’s ever-growing paranoia. But without our consent, news networks would cease to find the feedback they wholesomely desire. Therefore, I question why we perpetuate ourselves into the darkest of places within our society. And I don’t feel cautious when proclaiming that we enjoy this perpetuation beyond our own control.

Every day, millions are eating up the worst possible information as if they’re at the buffet. And for what reason? As a means to keep ourselves knowledgeable of current events? Or is there more substance that’s being ignored?

My explanation is simple but has much room for expansion. I believe we watch the news as a way to sedate ourselves with certain emotions. And the people controlling these news networks continue to feed us these emotions as a way of manipulation. An influence in which the end result is always the two substances running our society; money and power. Continue reading

Millennial Intermission

I wonder how many of my fellow Millennials realize the vital times we find ourselves young in. A large influx of change has been made within our society – all beginning around the time of 2000 – that has really left us in a sort of cross hold of eras. Much like that of 1960’s America, we are pushing society into a new direction. Though, it’s undoubtedly an uncertain direction.

To consider all the factors that are triggering these changes would be too much for any single blog post. With the Trump administration, the rise in power of social media, and the endless stream of activists, you could write an entire book series on what we’re living through. Being that I speak to Millenials specifically, we’re truly the entities that will have to carry out the future of this confusion. Personally, I believe this has a large sufficiency to the rise in mental illnesses.

Regardless, if you ever find yourself caught up in the emotion of society’s uncertainty, I make one suggestion and one suggestion only. Take a break from the chaos. An intermission, if you will. I do it quite often and find it’s the only way I can stay sane.

With this intermission, meditate on the fact that we’re the ones to foresee the future. Therefore, we’re the ones who will inevitably decide what is to come. And with so much distrust and separation we place amongst ourselves, I do worry as to where it will decide to lead.

At least the hippies had some sense of unification.

Hidden Talents

Hidden Talents

I’m in a sort of disputation right now with the future of my career. To sum it up, I have a strong desire to start broadcasting myself on YouTube for the sake of my writing. With this, I contemplate whether I should focus on my writing rather than leading myself to believe I have any value in that field of entertainment. I wonder if there are any other writers out there with similar conflictions?

Here’s the catch. When I was young and brainlessly egotistical, I put myself up on YouTube without a second thought. I’d say what I felt like saying and do what I felt like doing, all with a camera recording. It led me nowhere and eventually became a huge insecurity. Something still makes me feel very unsure of the fact that my behavior can be uploaded via video for the world to witness.

However, as a screenwriter, I have this knack for cameras. This is for two reasons. 1.) My obsession with movies. 2.) My never-ending attempt to solidify the present. In my opinion, there is no better way to look back at one’s life more fondly than through the eye of a camera. I could write a whole memoir, but a picture speaks louder than a bunch of words scribbled together.

Earlier, I mentioned what was once my brainless ego. I remain egotistical, no doubt, and it always comes with its cons. Yet, I believe in my sophistication so strongly now that I want to make the attempt of presenting these brains in platforms beyond the page. I guess what truly worries me is the notion that people just might not care.

I have the feeling every writer feels this way about their craft at some point or another. But I wonder if any have ever felt these convictions while deciding on another craft to take up.

We live in an era where manipulating social media is key to becoming successful in whatever sort of career you choose. My strong desire comes from wanting to manipulate any piece of social media and my filmmaking impulses.

If you too have felt yourself in a similar dispute over your career, I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, I’m in a state where I need to hear if you were able to overcome it.

Photograph by 2bitz