My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Sep 1

Tattoo #24

Category: Life,Tattoos

There’s a song in the Nirvana With the Lights Out Box Set, Verse Chorus Verse (Outtake). It’s a song about addiction, about the love/hate relationship one can have with a fix. It’s not a sad song about hitting a fix, it’s more an honest, rational look at how the relationship with a fix can feel. It’s probably my favorite piece of Kurt Cobain’s writing, because it’s so right. It’s all about knowing that you’re ultimately hurting yourself in exchange for moments of absolute peace, perfect clarity. Kurt’s said that heroin was the only thing that ever gave him any sort of comfort. He was a nervous, depressed fellow in constant physical pain, and as awful or as wrong as it sounds, I think heroin kept him alive and helped to kill him at the same time. My favorite line in the song, “the grass is greener over here, you’re the fog that keeps it clear…” From my experience, it’s very true. I mean, after I died for a bit and spent two months in the hospital, I was high on all sorts of pain-killers as often as possible. Sometimes, I wasn’t particularly in any physical pain, I was just so fucking scared all the time, that fog was the only thing that let me relax and feel like I could be okay. I knew that I couldn’t live on Fentanyl, that it was a poisonously beautiful illusion of safety, but I also know that I couldn’t have coped without it. I think I understand how Kurt felt, I understand the song. So… I had part of it etched into my arm.


Tattoo by Colt, artist and badass at Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo in Ybor City, Tampa

There are fixes that are definitely dangerous, definitely destructive. Still, I don’t think all fixes are inherently bad. We all need something to soften the noise of the day, the week, the month, the year. A cup or twelve of coffee, a shot of vodka with dinner, a lover’s kiss before falling asleep at night, they’re all fixes. We all need little things that give some peace, that make breathing seem worthwhile. I have my set of fixes these days, the things that dull the static in my head enough to think, enough to write, enough to feel like waking up in the morning is a good idea. Fixes that damn, fixes that save, the trick is knowing which is which when you wake up in the morning.


5 Comments so far

  1. Mama September 1st, 2009 10:41 pm

    My fix is holding my sons’ hand and feeling their unconditional love.

  2. Ormolu September 2nd, 2009 2:42 pm
  3. kelly September 2nd, 2009 8:09 pm

    I like it. 🙂

  4. Stephen September 3rd, 2009 2:35 am

    I hate to simply be the guy jumping on the bandwagon, but I just saw your episode of “This American Life” (I’m sure you get tired of hearing it) and I think that you’re fucking righteous. I’m also a big fan of Nirvana and “Verse Chorus Verse” is a fantastic song. Lyrically you might enjoy the album Generic by Flipper (I say lyrically because the “music” aspect is definitely an acquired taste) I know that the lyrics on that album really resonated with me, so much so that I have their logo etched in my upper forearm. The album is life affirming in a sort of ironic way. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that you rock and I dig the ink.


  5. paraboddah November 9th, 2009 5:50 am

    you’re the fog that keeps me clear

    is the most common lyrics to the song although kurt was renowned for constantly changing the lyrics i have no doubt your version is around

    just fyi.

    love the tats