Being sober for 13 years, sadly Ambian is out of the question. I have no option other than to sit with uncomfortable feelings until they go away-or climb Runyon with the dogs.
When I first moved to Paris in my late teens I stayed in a small room on the Rue de l’Universite. I had no idea why I was there other than I had escaped my country, my family, my other life. I was in shock. A refugee. At first the mere prospect of walking the streets terrified me. I found a bottle of sleeping pills, I would masturbate then take a pill, waking up many hours later only to repeat this sad ritual until all the pills had gone. Like heroin, a rush then a deep sleep. I have a very selective memory (forgetting people especially) but I remember these days as if I had just lived them. I remember the stains on the sheets, the empty bottle and the relief I felt when I left the room and walked back into the city.
I have only recently learned how to live in my own body. To exist in my own skin, within the parameters of the life laid down before me. I have only recently learned to trust the next step forward. You may think that I am confident, dressing up in tiaras and laughing with my friends but my bravado masks, and has always masked, a profound sense of discomfort.
When they sent me to prison, after the initial shock of being sentenced, I loved most every moment of it. The routine, the food, my cellmate, my cell, the language, the echo, the vast and towering Victorian halls. There is something very operatic about a British prison.
I was never scared in prison-my basic needs were always met. I was never attacked or picked on-after all my crime was a JOKE! Being sent to prison for not paying a credit card bill. I felt like an anthropologist in prison-visiting a foreign land. I felt the same in the Pasadena Recovery Center. I was visiting the land of reality TV, the land of mass media, the land of shattered dreams and unrealistic expectations. It was the second great act of my operatic adventure.
(If only my life were an opera.)
I loved being in Rehab exactly like I loved being in prison. Drew thought that I would leave Sex Rehab within the week-he was sure of it. He had no idea just how much I desired incarceration. How much I love having my options removed. How much I relish my own death. I immediately loved my fellow inmates in Rehab far more than I could love them in the world. The depth of love I felt for them could never be replicated beyond the walls of the rehab. My coconspirators. My brothers and my sisters. Equally the loathing I felt for the producer and production team was rarely masked. It perfectly replicated my prison/hospital experience. My fellow prisoners/patients and the guards/nurses who looked over us.
You see, I was born to be fearless. I was born to take risks. To be an artist and a gardener and a butler and a saint.
So, when I wake up in the morning and I don’t masturbate to porn-I choose life. I choose not to throw a warm blanket over my feelings and start the day raw.
Jennie and I walked Runyon yesterday. It was beautiful up there. It is always beautiful up there looking down from Mulholland over the great, gasping city of LA.
I had the oddest memory. New Years Eve twenty years ago in a huge New York club-taking ecstasy, being really fucked up and thirsty and not being able to find water. I am with Camille and Gulshan. The water in the bathroom had been switched off forcing people to buy bottles. There are no bottles left. Nobody would give us a sip of their water. There were acrobats above us and I thought to myself-this is what hell is. This is what hell is.
Oh yeah-fuck you Tyra for not having me on your show-but actually I don’t care, she’s too tabloid – even for an attention hound like me.