Watching movies with spooks

Living with this capacity for psychic input isn’t all spirituality and personal growth. Sometimes animals or spirit friends have profound and startling things to say about life, the universe and everything, but sometimes they just want to talk about food, sex and entertainment. Wednesday was one of those nights.

To set this up, I’ll say that I’m not a film buff at all. I know what I like, and it’s generally pretty immature and low brow (so long as it isn’t stupidly racist or sexist. Ironically racist and sexist is fine.) I don’t like scary movies, and I really find that art movies are wasted on me. My movie / tv genre is comedy (or lightweight action/comedy.)

Now I’m not going to go and actually recommend any of these movies, because if you’re not a fan of stupid comedy, you’re not going to like them, and if you ARE a fan of stupid comedy, you will have already seen them (probably). One of my favourite movies ever is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s about the boyfriend of a famous cheesy actress of a CSI-type TV show – Sarah, the star, dumps the protagonist, who spirals through the breakup-mourning process and hilarity ensues.

In this movie, a parody rock-star character appears as Sarah’s new boyfriend, Aldous Snow from the band, Infant Sorrow. He sings hilarious parody rock-star songs like, “Someone should do something!” (help mother earth) and “Inside of You” an utterly squicking over-the-top metaphor for the obvious.

This new-to-me movie, Get Him To The Greek, picks up Aldous Snow six years later after a typical train wreck rock star life. His career took a downturn after writing a patronizing and (ironically) racist song called African Child, in which he presents himself as a white African Christ from space. He copes with the resulting fallout by breaking his years-long sobriety and generally going down in flames.

The movie takes you through this larger-than-life insanity of the music industry, the merciless users and the nice guy caught up in what should be the job of his dreams turned nightmare. Sweetie actually knows a guy who works for Sony who is eerily like “Jazz Guy” from this movie. Part of what was so funny about this movie was seeing this setting and villainous record exec characters after hearing about all this crap from Kurt. Apparently, this movie isn’t much of an exaggeration.

The movie stands on its own for fans of Sarah Marshall and other irreverent comedies like the Harold & Kumar movies. In fact, the guy who plays Kumar is in this movie too, which is fun, and so are a lot of *actual* rock stars like Pink and the drummer from Metallica.

What was really fun about watching this movie was when Kurt decided to pop in and watch it with us, and it seems he brought Sid (Vicious) along. See, this is why there’s a disclaimer on the top of this blog – I can be rolling along all new-age normal talking about spirits and animal communication, then I say something unbelievable like “I was watching this movie with my Sweetie and the spirits of Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious…”

So suspend your disbelief people, if you dare to read on!

It was Sweetie, myself and Happy the dog all crammed on our 1970s floral print velour couch, and “the boys” I perceived as sitting on the back of the couch. Convenient, since we had no other seating available to them, and for some reason spirits really do like to sit down when we’re having long conversations.

I wasn’t surprised to see Kurt, since Sweetie had already watched the movie and told me there were Beatles and Nirvana callouts throughout the film. I was surprised to see Sid, since we only spoke with him for a brief period of time many months ago and he seemed to have disappeared. Sometimes they do that, it’s actually quite exceptional that they’d stick around to form what I can only describe as a friendship, and very rare that they’d show up to watch a movie.

Their commentary added some extra fun to the viewing. The first that comes to mind was Kurt going, “Ahhhh! Ah hahahaha! Ahhh! It’s him!” Having this total fan moment the second Metallica’s drummer came on to the screen. Sweetie said, “Yeah, that’s really him!” and Kurt said, “I wrote that guy a letter once, to try and get him to drum for us (Nirvana). I never heard back,” and I got this feeling that Kurt was such a huge (somewhat closeted) Metallica fan.

At one point the record exec, after sending Aldous Snow on stage with a hideously broken arm, was ranting about how indestructible British musicians are, and how they never die. “Look at Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, British rock stars don’t ever die!” And then I hear Sid go, “Excuse me, dead British rock star right here. Hello?” And he and Kurt were having this giggle/snicker fest about it.

The funniest was at the end of the movie, when Aldous was teasing his friend who was wearing a large blue flannel shirt. “Is this your grunge look? You look like a lesbian!” My inner lesbian feminist went, “Heeey!” and a second later I hear Kurt: “Well, you DO have a shirt that looks like that!”

He’s right, I do. So much for indignation.

At one point, Kurt & Sid were energetically discussing who Aldous Snow’s character was based upon. It started with Kurt saying, “Can you believe this asshole is based upon me?” And then Sid goes, “Uh, how is he based upon you, he’s British. Mate.”

Thus ensued this background discussion about Aldous’ personality, his sense of humour, his dress, his accent, his crazy-making abilities (his love of de-railing and messing up the lives and plans of others), the style of his addiction (and I didn’t know that addicts have styles, but I guess they do.) Sid then pointed out that they actually PLAYED one a sex pistols song (I am an anarchist).

Sweetie, who didn’t mention whether she was aware of this background chatter, chimed in “I think he looks like Freddy Mercury.” That shut both the boys up pretty quickly.

Hey, Kurt, are you there? Did you want to say anything about the movie?

Yeah, I think they should do a movie with a blond rock star, (grin, smokes cigarette).

You want to see a parody based on Kurt Cobain? Yeah, people still take my life so fucking seriously. *I* didn’t take it that seriously, even when (teen spirit) was out and we had made it, we were these big rock stars, I would just laugh about it. I just couldn’t get over the irony, here’s me, this rock star. And I was just a kid, you know? I never grew up. Maybe I was in the right business after all (exhales smoke – okay I guess it wasn’t a cigarette, nice buddy.)

Kurt’s showing me this character parody of him, this big, dumb blond rock star who is, like, indestructible. Kind of like super-man, and he can withstand / keep up with the rock star lifestyle without it making him tired or sick or addicted to anything, and people can punch him and he just shakes it off. Kind of like a gorgeous Forrest Gump of a rock star, “But not quite that dumb!” Kurt qualifies.

Kind of like zoolander, but a musician, sans the huge ego. There’s this endearing, dumb ignorance of the industry, it’s corruption and how it’s supposed to destroy him, but it doesn’t because he’s this super-man guy who never gets hurt or tired or sees the bad in people.

That’s actually really sweet, Kurt.

Yeah, it’s about creating your reality, right? He’s participating in this crazy, corrupted world but he doesn’t see or experience any of the negative things, he just lives it, and loves it, and helps people by being around, bringing them into his perception of things. He restores the faith. A rock star Jesus for the industry!

Ha! Why doncha ask Jesus what he’d think of that?

He says the Christ spirit is in all of us. (Kurt didn’t miss a beat, and he’s got this smug smirk look on his face, he knows he’s got me.)

I love you, man. Thanks for the visit, it’s been a while. (Shows me he’s been visiting Sweetie at work when she does laundry. Kurt’s really more Sweetie’s buddy. I think they understand each other.)

Kurt, did you bring Sid to the movie? Do you two hang out a lot?

Yeah, well, (shows me how much they have/had in common in the last rock star life, the anarchy, the subversive sense of humour, the rejection of culture.)

Last time I saw you guys together, it was like you were helping him, is that right?

Naw, we’re helping each other. We’re just friends. (brothers) (This is similar to when I asked Kurt and John what their relationship was, and I got this sense of love, and a bond, and the word “brothers”. I don’t exactly understand what that means, maybe it’s how you describe a long-term friendship of spirit.)

Who was that saying, “I am a golden god?” during the move last night?

Oh, that was me – it was (movie) “Almost Famous” – we’d like to watch that next.

Awesome. Guess we’ll have another spirit movie night coming up. (Oh, and High Fidelity!)

It’s entries like this that I’m glad this blog is not directly associated with my professional website. 😉

Happy Friday, everyone.


I was just about to post this when I got this email from Sweetie, referencing the piano we’re learning to play:

Okay. I have like a million (okay, a thousand) sheet music PDF files that actually work and are opening. And a lot of them are songs that I’d actually want to play, and pretty much all the songs that I *used* to know how to play are in there too, so I can re-learn them.

Oh, and there’s a lot of songs that you’d like to learn also… i.e. songs you like moreso than me, like Alanis and Harry Potter stuff. Hallelujah is there, and I want to learn that immediately; it looks pretty easy. Really awesome because I just woke up this morning thinking, "I need to learn that song". And there it is!

Oh and Metallica’s there, because apparently they keep popping up. (Of course Kurt thinks I should learn it… maybe I will… heavy metal + piano = funny).
Imagine is there too so I want to print that out right away. Bohemian Rhapsody… that’s pretty epic. A whole bunch of Tori Amos.

One side effect of talking to dead rock stars is they encourage you to play music. Okay guys, John, Kurt, George, could you please help us get a piano and a nice acoustic guitar to keep at home and learn on? We’d really appreciate it. I’ve been wanting to learn both for quite a while.

Nancy’s Last Day

I didn’t know Sid had been accused of killing Nancy. 

He didn’t do it.  This is what he tells me:

Sid:  Nancy.  Her last day was terrible.  Fuck, her last month was torture. 

The dealer, right.  He had been stretching out the time between deliveries, and it was killing Nancy.  (Showing her crying, shaking, sweating, vomiting.)  Just to keep us desperate, he wanted us fucking helpless.  It was part of his (masturbation, power game) to do this to us, he loved to see Nancy sick on the bed.  It was a violation. 

The day before (she died) Nancy panicked – she was absolutely convinced she was pregnant.  It was barely possible, since we hardly (had sex) anymore, except for comfort.  It was unbelievable that two bodies such as ours could conceive.  Nancy couldn’t handle the idea and started crying and screaming that it was time for us to end it.

We had a suicide pact from England, when we first got together.  We agreed we’d run towards death, holding hands.  We never believed, conceived it could be as terrible as it turned out to be for us.  Addiction gives you hope, new life, then ends up being the worst way to kill yourself.  We agreed we’d kill ourselves together to ensure we’d die at the exact same moment, so we would never have to be apart.  (Gives me feelings of safety and comfort.)

But when Nancy thought she was pregnant, she lost it.  She suddenly hated herself, and that’s why she wanted to die.  I couldn’t let her go, and I was honestly too frightened to do it right then.  (When Nancy panicked, Sid always got grounded somehow.  In this state, he was practical and conscious, and could not be suicidal.) 


I believed it was just the withdrawl, that if Nancy could just have her fix, she’d calm down and we could discuss this idea of her pregnancy and we wouldn’t have to kill ourselves.  (I asked Was Nancy pregnant? Sid showed me multiplying cells in her uterus.)  Her body was going through the motions of being pregnant, but no one was waiting to incarnate.  The pregnancy was never viable.  But she didn’t know that, she only knew the feeling of her body being pregnant.   

She had an abortion before, and a terrible experience with the doctor.  (Oh shit, I’m so sorry Nancy.  Predator posing as an abortionist.  Oh Nancy.) 

The way her body was feeling, she had a breakdown.  I just wanted it to be withdrawal.  I thought if the dealer would just come with our fucking (drugs) I could get her back, make her right again. 

But the dealer didn’t come that day, and the next morning Nancy was distraught.


I left.  (He went out to try to score on the street.  He was prepared to kill to find heroin for Nancy.) 

When I came back, (shows me Nancy.  Shows me his grief and the way his own mind broke.) 

Sid showed the rest of it to me as a silent movie.  He went over to her, it’s silent to me but you can see he’s screaming.  He didn’t hear the noise he was making.  He was shaking her, he handled the knife, it’s like he’s watching himself from a corner in the room, watching his body freak out and his soul or consciousness left his actual body and just watched.

I died that day.  I died that day.

He repeated that over and over.  At the time, he believed he was dead.  He watched himself lay down beside Nancy from across the room.

Even though Sid lived for months after Nancy died, he considers the day she died to be the day he died.  He seems to be floating vaguely around his body in the months that followed, though he did slip back in for police interrogations. 

“How did she end up with a knife in her belly then?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe she fell on it.”

He was terrified of prison.  He knew his bar brawling skills wouldn’t do him a lot of good.  He doesn’t know why or how he got off, or at least when I ask him, he just shows me grey fog.

When I asked how he died, he shows me a gun.  The records show he overdosed.

Thank you for talking to us, Sid. 


Next entry:  We’ve been thinking and discussing this for a while, and I think it’s finally time to write about it.  Next entry will be about what happens if you take your own life.  It will be honest, and non-evasive. 

Sid, Kurt and George will help with the entry.

If you have any spiritual questions around the topic of suicide, please post them in the comment field of this entry or the next one, and I’ll ask those three to help answer.

Sid – Tough Love is Bullshit

(As I re-read this entry, I notice I even start to phrase my own thoughts in a British accent or style.  It’s common for me to inadvertently pick up an accent when talking to someone, I’d never noticed it in writing before.  Huh.)


After coming home from our hike and our first in-depth conversation with Sid, I asked about this image of Johnny Sid would show me, a tall guy, brown hair.  Larger than Sid, for sure.  Sweetie replied, “Yeah, that’s Johnny Rotten, his friend and bandmate.  They started the Sex Pistols.

“Oh, I’ve heard of that band!”  I exclaimed.  Sid shot me this incredulous glance, and Kurt’s voice chirped I told you, she knows NOTHING about music!  Sweetie and many of my friends have often said, “I just don’t know how you managed to grow up not knowing ____ (insert name of band, musician, actor/actress, movie etc.)”  Often I find that when I investigate the band, I have heard the songs on the radio, I’d just never linked the name of the band with the songs I noticed or liked.  I didn’t have a music collection because I preferred reading and Star Trek.

Rambling aside:  I *do* know a lot about star trek, but not as much as someone who declares themselves a trek fan.  It’s just about the only pop culture thing I brought out of the 90s, along with the Simpsons, the Fresh Prince, and a few Canadian, female musicians like Alannis Morissette, The Sarahs (McLachlan & Harmer) Biff Naked etc.  I was also familiar with Pink and Courtney Love, but not so much as to be able to pick out their songs from the radio. 

It just never stuck in my brain. 

Maybe this blank slate I bring to these readings with “famous” people is part of the reason I just don’t absorb a lot of pop culture.

I had a laugh anyway, Sid playing in a band he and his buddy named for their wieners.  Nice!


Sweetie & I have been talking about Sid, and she said, “You know, I think Sid has come in to help teach us about addiction.”  I’m inclined to agree.

One phrase that really stuck in my mind after listening to the Cobain biography was Courtney’s tearful and angry declaration that “Tough love is bullshit!  We just should have let him have it.”  She was in anguish, wondering if she had accepted Kurt’s full-throttle descent into drug overdose death, that maybe she would have had him for a while longer.  Maybe he wouldn’t have killed himself with a gun in what she imagined must have been a moment of pure anguish, brought on by the ultimatums of loved ones hoping to snap him out of something that was completely beyond his capacity to control.

In Sid’s story, we learned about a much swifter, more brutal version of heroin addiction.

Sid & Nancy were already addicted to heroin when they met each other, but they were functional and the addiction seemed like a love affair than a torment.  They embraced it and each other.  They never thought about tomorrow.

Sid, would you like to tell us more about how you were going up and down at the same time?

Well, just as the band was on the verge of making it, just as we began to tour and it seemed we’d become these sex and punk icons, the addiction began to blot everything out.  All I thought of all day was Nancy and the Needle.  Nancy, Needle.  There was barely room for the band.  I felt like a shit, I knew I was ruining it for the rest of them (Johnny, the crew.) 


It (the addiction) hit a frightening new level when I used heroin from New York.  (He gives me the sensation of surprise and shock at how this heroin acted upon his system in fierce, ravaging rush.  The sensation of ice water travelling from my arm through my veins, knowing where every vein in the body was, exactly where the drug was travelling in my body, the paralysis that followed in the drug’s wake.)  Oh shit.  I knew I was in trouble, there was nothing I could do.


He showed me the difference in the drug microscopically.  It was like the American heroin had little shards or chunks in it, that shredded his veins.  He knew it was so much worse for him, but the withdrawl began to set in with ten times the force of the U.K. drug he had used.  He felt helpless, tricked, and would have felt panicked if he wasn’t high.  At the first sensations of withdrawl he became single-minded, focused on the next hit, anxiety setting in immediately, fear of how much worse it was going to get, helpless to do anything but find his next fix.  Nothing else mattered…

Except for Nancy.  Even in the throes of the worst withdrawl, he was always focused on Nancy first.  Nancy’s withdrawl symptoms seemed to be worse – maybe her addiction was more progressed than Sid’s, maybe she had a lower tolerance for the drug or a lower threshold for pain.  When Nancy cried and suffered in withdrawl, Sid could get outside his own head and focus on her needs.  He would always make sure she had her fix before he took his own.

Whenever I ask Sid about the Sex Pistols and Johnny around this time, he just shows me black.  I don’t know whether this means he wasn’t cognisant of what was going on, whether he doesn’t want to talk about it or look at it.  Maybe he’s still processing it, I don’t know.  I don’t have any information on how Sid got from being in love with Nancy in Europe to begging for heroin from a sadistic dealer in the Chelsea Hotel.

While talking about my sugar cravings, as I ramp up to my 3 month no-sugar-no-flour stint, I can begin to imagine the preoccupation of drug addiction.  I’m hypoglycemic, and there is a chemical dependency and addiction factor with sugar.  It’s worse for us with the oddly-fuctioning pancreas.  Observe the diabetic patient in hospital, foot ulcers, going blind, eating cinnamon buns smuggled in from outside.  Obviously sick.  He *knows* the cinnamon buns are making it worse.  But he can’t stop the whisper in the brain for cake, cookies, icing, sugar! Sugar! Sugar!  I understand why the diabetic eats sugar.  I *never* stopped craving sweet things, even after being free of sugar and flour for two years.  I would dream about donuts sometimes.  It never went away. 

Because food cravings are something we experience personally, I feel it is colossally unfair for one person to judge another’s food choices.  Of his addiction, Kurt said, It’s like a monster in your head, whispering “You know you’ll feel better.”

The guy from Guns n’ Roses, who sat beside Kurt on his flight back home from escaping rehab, who was among the last people to see Kurt alive, talked about his own heroin addiction.  You get high, and you look at each other and you say “This is the last time.  Tomorrow we’ll get clean.”  And you never do. 

How many of us have done that with sugar?  This is the last chocolate bar.  Diet starts tomorrow.

Sid chimes in, Yeah.  The only difference is, no one is going to make you beg for cheesecake.  They’ll fucking sell it to you whenever you want.  Begging for heroin was beyond humiliation.  You don’t care what they make you do, so long as they give it to you.  But there is this part of you that floats up out of your body and watches you beg, and you *know* that’s you there, that pathetic junkie, and how did it ever come to this?


In the last weeks at the Chelsea Hotel, Sid’s dealer had them caged in.  He knew Sid was going down, and he wanted to wring as much money from him before the inevitable overdose.  He forbade any other dealers from selling to Sid or Nancy, so Sid was unable to score on the streets.  Everyone knew who Sid was, thanks to the Sex Pistols, and all the dealers knew that Sid’s dealer would kill them if they sold to him. 

The deal was, Sid and Nancy were supposed to wait in their hotel room.  The dealer would bring them their daily delivery, and get paid cash.  For a while, it worked beautifully, and Sid & Nancy felt the panic abate.  They even felt cared for.  The dealer always got to them before withdrawl set in.  He gradually sold them larger amounts, the amounts he knew would make them desperate if they didn’t get their fix.

Then he started to up the price.  They were rapidly running out of money, the dealer gave them excuses.  Said his suppliers were screwing him.  He began to be late with his deliveries; ensuring Sid & Nancy were desperate enough to pay whatever price he wanted. 

Sid couldn’t stand to see Nancy suffer.  They had difficulty keeping track of time, in the dank room they never left.  They were trapped, for sure.

We asked Sid what he thought about the “tough love” strategy when confronted with addiction.

If you see a junkie, begging on the street, and you know any money you give ‘em will go straight up their arm, just give them a five spot.  Just give it to them, grant them the humanity. 

Echoes of lessons we’ve been hearing over and over, when dealing with people who hurt you, or who hurt themselves.  Reach out in friendship.  Reach out in compassion.  Communicate love.  Set aside judgment, as much as you can.  If they sit in the smoke, there is nothing you can do.  Offer what help you can.

Courtney, We should have just let him have it.

I was lacking in compassion a couple of days ago when I sent an unintentionally harsh email to a dear friend.  I worry she’s pushing herself toward insanity, quite literally.  I’ve seen this before, with friends and family.  Having survived the emotional fallout when a friend commits suicide, or is committed, still alive, to psychiatric care, I think I hit an empathy limit with her, and in a few minutes I banged out an impulsive email with, I’d later realize, poor choices of words such as “making your friends crazy on your behalf” and “psychotic break” and “husband would sure as hell come home then.”

When she sent me back an email with the equivalent wording to “ouch.”

And then I went home and cried about it, and agonized over my feelings of frustration at seeing a friend behave as though she were trying to destroy herself, and not doing anything but wait for the end results to happen to her.  I didn’t mean to hurt my friend, but I was also angry and felt entitled to say those things I’d been thinking.

And Sweetie kept talking to me about compassion.  “Imagine how you’d feel, hearing that, were you in her position.”

I wondered whether all this psychic work is turning off some of my social filters.  In this work, you have to train yourself not to question or filter the things which flow through your mind.  You let them flow out your mouth, or out the pen or keyboard, unedited.  I wonder if some of that is happening with my *own* thoughts, as though I need to retrain myself to think before I speak when speaking as myself.

Anyway, as I agonized over it that night, Sid told me, in his own special way to calm the hell down:

Have a bath.  Have a cup of tea.  Eat some cheesecake – who gives a fuck?

We’ve been laughing about that one for days.  It’s the answer for everything!  Eat some cheesecake!  Who gives a fuck?!

A friend of mine sent me these questions for Sid:

Do either one of them have any regrets?

Of course I’ve fucking regrets. 

Would you care to share any?

No actually, I wouldn’t.  I’m still dealing with them.

Okay, that’s okay.

Did Nancy expect to die the way she did?

We both knew we would die young. 

Did you have a suicide pact?

Yes.  (So much sadness he’s sharing right now.)

Better save that for the next entry, love.  I’ll think about it, meanwhile.

What is their relationship like now?

Sid has Nancy with him, but she has yet to speak to me.  Sometimes she appears as a very young girl.  Sid has said she’s preparing to go back in.

Sid, are you going back in?

(shudder)  No, I’ve no plans to go back in at present.  I don’t believe I will.  Not with the world as it is. 

Will you go back in during the earth’s healing phase, maybe?

I can help from here.  I haven’t made a decision on that front.

Sid Viscious ~ Part 1

Sid made a brief appearance in our living room months ago, but we hadn’t sought him out in conversation until recently.  Really, Sid kept popping into our heads, showing up and sitting quietly, waiting for us to engage.

On one sunny afternoon, as we arrived at the national park to go for a hike on the back trails and the secluded beaches, we decided to initiate the conversation.  Here it goes, from memory, with Sid helping me out:

I was mildly surprised by the energy and the body Sid presented to me initially.  He was this calm, quiet fellow, small frame yet incredibly physically strong.  His language was very *precise*.  Notably different from John Lennon’s accent: John tends to draw words out.  He’s showing me his body when he was young, first getting into the scene, when he was happy and feeling free.  There was a brief period there, when I was alive, where I felt liberated.  Punk did that for me.  Drugs did that too, before I was addicted. 

I had a terrible childhood, horrible trauma. 

I hear screaming, feel the intense fear of Sid as a vulnerable child.  He was surrounded with alcoholism, domestic and sexual violence.  He was physically beaten and bullied, rather used to being terrorized.  He left home at the earliest possibility of being able to fend for himself, lived with friends or on the streets occasionally.  (I don’t see much written about this, so I have no confirmation, although one article alludes to his mother using and occasionally selling heroin “throughout his childhood”.)

He was small-framed, yet incredibly strong and healthy in the early days before heroin.  He could do sit-ups while hanging upside down from a pipe.  He was proud of his physical strength, because it came as a surprise to most people, since he looked quite small.  (After a year of heroin addiction, he lost a lot of muscle mass.)

He changed his name from something weak and nerdy sounding, like Eustace, Eugene, something like that.  (I looked it up and according to Wiki, his given name was John Simon Ritchie)

He chose Sid for its androgyny.  It could be a boy’s or a girl’s name.  He didn’t particularly identify with the masculine ideals of society, and he was bisexual, although he didn’t express this aspect of himself sexually very often in his life.  He was just aware of it.  (Wiki tells a story of Johnny’s hamster named Sid.  Sid says, “Oh, don’t ask me for the hamster story!”)

I was beaten up for being too (girlish?)  I was called “fag” all the time.  I avoided that part of myself. I never hated queer people though, I knew I was one of them.  We were all outcasts, together.  Lots of queers in the punk scene, it’s safer underground.


Sid couldn’t avoid violence in his life, so he learned to provoke it and enjoy it.  Part of his pride in his body came when he developed the capacity to defend himself in bar fights, although his best mate always kept an eye on him, ready to back him up should he suddenly get in over his head.

Sid would start bar fights by sitting too close to an uber-masculine man, look at him suggestively, use feminine posture and body language to trigger the guy’s insecurity.  Inevitably the guy would order Sid to fuck off or he’d get a beating outside the bar, to which Sid would respond, “Let’s go then.”

Johnny, Sid’s mate, would go outside to watch, sometimes not even looking like he was involved.

Sid gloated, I knew just how to punch a man so he’d puke.  He’d bend over to throw up, I’d kick him in the nose.  I had good aim.  Once he was puking and bleeding, he was beaten.  I learned how to absorb a punch and not let it slow me down.  I would give the guy this look like I didn’t even feel it.  That scared the shit out of them!  That’s how my reputation began, for being crazy.  The fear would kick in, then so would I, and the poor bastards couldn’t win.  Their pride always took a worse beating.


Sid targeted men who were taller but noticeably weaker than he, with beer bellies and dark circles under their eyes, usually quite slow and drunk.  He could get away with these fights, since no one ever blamed the smaller guy for starting it.  It was always funny to any onlooker, the surprise of this small fellow whipping the hell out of a great lout.

Johnny’s presence made Sid bolder too, and he’d pick fights with men much larger than he was, knowing that the worst case scenario, Johnny would jump in.  This backfired once or twice, (Sid admits) But Johnny was okay.  He enjoyed a good fight.

There was something about this bar fight period that gave Sid great confidence and pride in himself.  He was no longer a vulnerable child, but a freak and a weirdo who could do whatever the fuck he pleased.  He couldn’t avoid trouble – he was targeted for not measuring up to the standard masculine ideal.  So he embraced trouble, caused it, became it.  He loved it, it made him powerful.

Around this time, Sid started to foster the “crazy”.  He would carefully cut himself, he knew the layout of the veins in his body intimately.  He’d trace surface cuts up his arms before performing so that he’d bleed dramatically on stage.  The cuts would close off by the time he was off stage, and were “pretty much healed” by the next day. 

This was our first conversation with Sid on the walk.  A few days later, we watched the movie “Sid and Nancy” with Sid joining us and making commentary.  Kurt showed up too, and I was aware he was giving support to Sid somehow.  Kurt seemed senior, stronger, wiser, somehow, than Sid in this context.  He was helping a friend talk about difficult times.

When the movie started, Kurt shouted, “There’s my baby!  Isn’t she beautiful?”  We knew Courtney Love was in the movie, and for a moment we thought she was the actress playing Nancy, but soon decided that wasn’t it.  When we watched the credits later, which were in order of appearance, it turned out that Courtney was one of the first people to appear in the movie, a few seconds in a scene where they brought out Nancy’s body.

The movie picked up around the time in Sid’s life when he met Nancy.  Nancy was portrayed as a really annoying, needy, whiny American who utterly consumed Sid.

“God, was she really that whiny?”  Sweetie asked.

Sid showed me how he felt.  Nancy enveloped him, wrapped herself around his body and all of his thoughts, like smoke.  She was better than any drug for him.  She loved him completely, desperately, sexually, a complete love he hadn’t before experienced.  He was enthralled, addicted from the first hit – he smiles, that half-wink squint, referring to the rumour that Nancy got him hooked on heroin.  I was using before I met her, I would’ve gone there anyway.  She showed me how to love the drug, I fell in love with both of them.

Sid and Johnny had a bromance thing going, a mutual love between close male friends that borders on territoriality.  Johnny was not impressed with Nancy, nor was anyone else who met her.  Her presence was like nails on a chalk board.  To them she was pushy, annoying, invasive.  To Sid, she was a balm for all his wounds, and misunderstood – just like him.  He felt relaxed around her, he could surrender, he could lay down the hyper tough-guy bravado that kept him alive and become this quiet, soft-spoken, introverted lad he truly was, yet seldom allowed himself to be. 

This calm, quiet, almost shy Sid is the first energy I felt from him.  The stage presence he developed, the fuck-you attitude was a survival mechanism, an alter-ego that allowed him to defend his space and find respect among his peers and his dark little corner of society.

That’s enough for today… we’ll continue in the next entry.