Life in this building is freezing and wet, if I once had a brain then I seem to forget
‘Cos just when I caught it, it slipped through the net, now we sedate ourselves slowly no time for regret…Amebix
Showtime’s Shameless resonates with a place inside of me because of the years spent struggling with active addiction. This is probably true to many people who have been touched by addiction in one way or another. Season 7 ended and I found myself feeling uncomfortable for Frank during Monica’s funeral. There is a bit of Monica and Frank in all of us who have been strung-out in one form or another.
After the Gallagher tribe gets Frank under control and he leaves Fiona follows Frank outside the house. She tells Frank that Monica didn’t care about her family nor did Monica love him either, she declares.“She didn’t give a shit about anyone, but herself…” “…I’m glad she’s dead. At least now she can’t fuck us over anymore.” I am sure many people have felt that way about me when I was all messed up on dope.
Frank knows deep down how low the disease of addiction can take a person and he stands there dumbfounded because he knows he loved Monica and she loved him. She was just hopelessly addicted to junk or speed, booze or whatever drug was flowing through her brain. One thing though she never really was filled with regret. She wanted to do better, but she was still full of life and the party.
Begging, selling, drugs, sex, fake drugs, shoplifting, lying cheating, anything to make sure that my head was fed and the sickness was kept from crippling me. Living in fear of heroin withdrawal is a life I would never wish on anyone. I do not think there is anyone in this world I dislike enough to see them dope-sick.
Shameless allows us to see ourselves through Reflection of our past. Each character has a little part of the dysfunctional Johnny weaved inside. I can relate to many of the insane actions Frank or Monica pull in most episodes. Like Frank, I too, have no regrets.
Frank and Monica let me look back at my past and think about some of the insane plans I’ve tried to pull off had to try and make a buck to keep the freight train rolling through my veins.
Here is one plan that comes to mind that I forgot about until recently thanks to TV’s Shameless
I was with a girl for a bunch of years, Crisis and I, were hopelessly in love with drugs but not each other. One day we decided to get married. For some crazy reason, we thought that we would have this huge Italian wedding. Amazing. The insanity about this is that not one person spoke to us in either of our families. Crisis was someone who would be there through thick and thin. She would never leave me no matter how much we fought argued.
Crisis was someone who would be there through thick and thin. She would never leave me no matter how much we fought argued. She was always there for me and I for her. If I got pinched and had to do a county bid. When I was released, she would show up the night I was released and be in the parking lot. She would have a syringe full of dope ready to pick-up where we left off. I use to think that this was love. I was too blind to realize that she wanted me strung-out.
Like Frank and Monica, We drugged a lot and we fought a lot. I guess when we were together we loved a lot too. Romantically at first, but as best-friends in the end.
We always got dope, got high fucked for the first few months, fought, and made up. The sex didn’t last long. I AM GAY and hated having sex with her. I could never get off because of lack of interest and so much heroin. We had our share of sex the first couple of months. Now that I am typing this I recall another story about sex with Crisis that is identical to another Shameless plot. But that is another story.
Back to our big Italian wedding, so we could have a reception and get tons of money from our friends and relatives.. (what friend? What relatives? Our friends were junkies. They would not give us money. We fooled ourselves into believing this idea. We even met with a Catholic priest and nun to start the process of Catholic weddings.
The nun was a friend of my mother and she did her damnedest to talk us out of such a hedonistic heretical plan.
Of course, we were penniless, so we decided to print the invitations ourselves. I stole the printer paper and envelopes. We bought a cheap laptop with a closed checking and returned it to Staples after we finished printing the cards.
After we wrote out the cards I was supposed to purchase stamps and mail the invitations. Crisis asked me to purchase the stamps after I went boosting one day. I spent the money on dope before I went to the stores to shoplift. I got high. Later that night I drove my truck around 5 different towns hand delivering wedding invitations.
Fucking insanity. The craziest part of this story is I cannot even tell you where we were the day of our wedding.
We weren’t at the church the day of the wedding. We never showed to the reception. I don’t even know if anyone else showed up to our big Italian wedding.
There was even an engagement ring.The engagement ring. Crisis engagement ring was in hock more than it was ever on her fingers. I am not sure what finally became of the ring. One night when I got done boosting. I copped out dope and went to a jewelry store and got Crisis a ring. She had to go without crack that night, so she could have an engagement ring. A small price to pay. Ha. Not really. After she had it on her hand she made a call. Asked me for the receipt and she had her crack dealer hold for the night for a 500 dollar piece.
The engagement ring. Crisis engagement ring was in hock more than it was ever on her fingers. I am not sure what finally became of the ring. One night when I got done boosting. I copped out dope and went to a jewelry store and got Crisis a ring. She had to go without crack that night, so she could have an engagement ring. A small price to pay. Ha. Not really. After she had it on her hand she made a call. Asked me for the receipt and she had her crack dealer hold for the night for a 500 dollar piece.
She had to go without crack that night, so she could have an engagement ring. A small price to pay. After she had it on her hand she made a call. Asked me for the receipt and she had her crack dealer hold for the night for a 500 dollar piece.
We were the epitome of a dysfunctional codependent relationship and we could have drawn correlations from Frank and Monica’s relationship. Crisis and I looked at our relationship more like Drugstore Cowboy because Frank and Monica were not written into TV history yet.
Crisis and I were modern day Bonnie and Clyde. She would throw herself in front of security guards to save me from getting pinched. She faked heart attacks and strokes in small mom and pop drugstores for me to hop behind the counter and steal the morphine-based narcotics. Crisis left one day while I was in jail. She wrote a letter and said she was going to get sober. She went to rehab and I didn’t see her for many years.
Once again that story will not disappoint but you will have to wait for Homeless Alone Hungry and COld: Street Junkie
Wrapping it up
Season 7’s finale was the first time Frank made me actually cry. William Macy captured some great emotion on camera and it really connected with me. It brought me back to a time when I was young and struggling with who I was and who I wanted to be. Of course, I wanted to be me, gay, accepted, and happy. But the reality is I was scared shitless of me. It was easier to look my mother in the eye and tell her I was a heroin junkie than to tell her I was a fag.
Frank looks at Fiona and says, “Please?” when she is expressing the hurt she feels about her mother. Frank knows the truth but he never wanted to accept it. Monica was hopelessly addicted to drugs and he questioned always if she had the capacity to love drugs and him.
Drug addiction is confusing. The love/hate relationship causes the addict’s emotions to be ‘bat-shit’ crazy! But love does conquer all, so does death.
At Monica’s funeral, Frank tells his children that even though they might hate her she did love them. She just had a bipolar drug riddled way to show it. Of Monica, Fiona says that she never had a bad word to say about anyone and that is something good. Lastly Frank lets us know what many have said about junkies. Junkies are beautiful people. You have to wash away all the shit and emotional baggage to get a good look inside, but when you take the time to get to know someone struggling with addiction you will be surprised.
It’s a shame society looks at drug addicts with ridicule and disrespect. Street junkies didn’t wake up one morning and decide to throw their lives away to drug addiction. it happens and if no one is around to catch a person when he falls the streets and dope dealers always will. Think twice before you avert your eyes to the lonesome stare of your neighborhood street junkie. Maybe you could be a little more kind and let her share her story with you. You just might be surprised to the words coming from her.
Frank says of Monica that she is in each one of his kids and he will see her everyone time he looks at them.
“every Junkie is like a setting sun.”~neil young
Frank and Fiona’s picture found TVLINE http://tvline.com/2016/12/18/shameless-recap-season-7-finale-episode-12-monica-funeral/#jp-carousel-778198
Frank and Monica Picture by Ali Goldstein of Showtime address http://www.refinery29.com/2016/12/133409/shameless-season-7-episode-12-finale-recap