Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(part 125) I KNEW THEY'D COME

Tower I climbed on the Pacific Theater.

After encountering the security guard during my initial siege of the tower, I calculated that he had probably called the police and reported me. I moved over to the southern side of the structure so I could get a better view of Hollywood Blvd. below me.

From my new vantage point I could see clearly any vehicle or foot traffic on the street. After 20 or 30 minutes, a black and white L.A. police cruiser slowly made it's way toward the Pacific Theater building and my location. As it passed directly opposite and below my position, I yelled out, "Hey!" Then again, but louder, "Heyyy!"

The officer's head jerked sideways, but he was still unable to pinpoint where the sound was coming from. Again I yelled, "Heyyy, UP HERE!" I waved my arm back and forth and yelled out, "UP HERE!" This time his head cocked back and he locked eyes with me. That look between the two of us meant, "Go."

In that moment, the process came to life as the officer grabbed his radio and reported what he saw. I knew then that in short order the entire area would be swarming with cops.

I yanked my body into a standing position and looked straight up for some 100 feet or more. There above me was my challenge. My entire life's purpose at that moment was to reach the very top of this tower.

Once more, I took out the bottle of scotch and took a drink, momentarily delaying the inevitable. Putting the bottle back in my coat pocket, I felt the adrenaline begin to surge through my entire body as I started to move.

I methodically chose a point of engagement and began the tedious process of zigzagging my way upward along the black steel beams. Like a giant erector set, the tower's structure stood some ten to twelve stories high, with a three foot steel rod or pin jutting out at the very top.

From one side to the other, I made my way along the horizontal beams to the acute angled beams leading ever upward. I heard a sound in the distant sky and turned my head in it's direction. "A helicopter," I said to myself, "Here come the helicopters."

"I knew they'd come," I thought to myself. After the Continental Hotel incident I'd learned that. It began circling the area around and above the tower, like giant buzzard looking for roadkill.

The day's big story was unfolding below them. I imagined for a moment what this would look like on TV, as the L.A. news machine began shifting into overdrive. I will not lie to you and say I didn't expect this, because I did expect this, exactly this.

My broken and tormented mind had thrown out all things logical. I possessed little, if any, ability to rationally or objectively look at what I was doing. I could not put a halt to this drastic and pathetic act as it unfolded.

Once set in motion by my decision and will, there did not exist any force, at that time, capable of altering my course. In an explosion of emotional turmoil and rage, I had cast myself in the roll of a fine tuned and deadly focus point for the city of Los Angeles.

As I climbed ever higher, all of Hollywood Blvd. halted from Vine to La Brea, and the street filled with literally thousands of human onlookers. The large parking lots on the northern and back sides of the Pacific Theater filled with blank-faced forms staring upward at the aerial circus above them.

I halted my progress momentarily, and gazed downward into the massive collection of humanity. Once again I took a drink from my stash of booze which accompanied me on my journey upward this cold and windy day.

The mixture of drugs, alcohol, and adrenaline only served to enhance my desire to continue my madness. The higher I climbed, the higher I got, both literally and figuratively.

Each part of this bizarre psychology mirrored the other and spurred me forward by feeding on the exhilaration. I seemed at times to literally defy gravity. In fact, I had to stop my ascent in places to incorporate into my thinking a sense of logistical reality to prevent my accidental demise.

I was not there to commit suicide. I was there to get even with the world, if I could, for the express purpose of calling attention to my plight, and to rail against the record business machine.

To lay blame forever on the clever and dedicated con men who had systematically and methodically used me like a good whore, and then thrown me out like so much trash. That was my reasoning.

That, above all other things, was my need, my need to be heard. I could not see in my blind assault on the tower that I had forsaken any and all credibility I may once have had.

As I created an audience, I destroyed my very life...


  1. I'd have to say I'm stunned too, for lack of a better word.
    I love your writing! Sorry I don't have more to say at this point; it's been a lonnnnnnng day.

  2. Great punchline. That too, is one of your great skills: you are able, both through temporal cognizance (then) and introspective reflection (now), to make meaning of the events of your life. Your tenacity in climbing that tower, the drive, is characteristic of not only the eight years of frustration and disillusionment, characteristic not only of the suicide attempts and the consciously destructive behavior, but it is characteristic of much of the rest of your life, including the writing of this blog.

  3. I just have to repeat it, it is such a great line:
    "As I created an audience, I destroyed my life!" Whew!

  4. Sorry I've been away a long time, Bobby...had a death in my family...fucking pancreatic cancer...just getting back into the swing of life...catching up on your incredible story and storytelling...don't stop, there IS an audience out here....much love to you....

  5. Good work, Bobby. Great entry and trust me this one was full of potential landmines. You negotiated it as only those with nothing left to hide can do. Bravo. - J

  6. The only things left to hide are the things still hidden from me. I can not know what they are until they are revealed to me and then known. That is when they too will become part of the stripping bare of myself for anyone to see and that is the process that continues to unfold here. It is not pleasant, at all, for me to remember in detail these things that I did while loaded and insane. But for once and for all to reveal this story is a long time dream of mine in setting the record straight. I continue to receive emails about anger from well meaning people, but it is truly my prayer, that after reading this story those who so harshly judge me will mitigate that judgement with facts, as I attempt to display, the amount of damage done to me by my own recklessness. I seek not to justify my sometimes questionable behavior, but to ask, that due consideration be given to the effects of physical and emotional damage done to me by myself.

  7. I remember this so well, turning on the television and seeing you.
    It was really frightening but I also remember thinking what will he do next.
    Madness and genius are not so far apart. I never did understand how someone so funny, whose poetry and notes made me laugh and cry could be so troubled.
    I'm glad that you are sharing your amazing journey and for many of us who cared about you insights into your demons.
    After a long time of not knowing where you where, its great to see the your enormous talents again come alive.
    With affection,