I was fourteen when I pledged myself to alcohol in the name of poetry- an idea excavated from unexceptionally critical reading of the Jim Morrison biography,No One Here Gets Out Alive. Over the next year or two, the background literature for my plan diversified and grew, as did the procedures and processes.
My faith in the fundamental utility of (at least a few random) mind-altering substances had long since been confirmed as well-placed. I'd yet to try the amphetamines so innocently sought as a 12-year-old bulimic, but in the mean time I swallowed, inhaled, and drank questionable concoctions (truly toxic or merely disgusting?) in (usually successful) attempts to change my mind. There wasn't any peer pressure to get high, I recall early attempts at ego-obliteration as being my primary objective and motivator. I was yet to even much experience social inebriation. I just wanted to lose myself, mostly. It was emotionally redeeming to find "insanity" sanctified as a defining characteristic of true artistic temperament. I had accepted that I was insane (or sane in an insane world), and now I had a realistic model for how to execute a brief and beautiful life.
Just like Janis, Jimi, and Jim- I was going to be a public crazy genius, and I was going to go out in flames at 27 before I could rot away. I almost made it out at 28, but the rot had long since set in.
Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse? Mendacious marketing propaganda from peddlers of dead-rockstar biographies and anorexia memoirs.