All of us who have the privilege of working in the Dome deal with the stress in different ways, some more destructive than others -- exercise, drugs, fast cars. Alex collects dirty playing cards and Wellsy locks herself in her dressing room and refuses to answer the door for me, even when I just want to chat and I bring her food from the cafeteria.
The high-pressure atmosphere at OSN can sometimes lead us into making mistakes. I'll be honest, on Monday night, I stayed up late playing Civ V, and was so focused on holding off Montezuma's Aztec hordes so I could finish building the Hagia Sophia (I only go for Cultural Victories) that I didn't notice 18 hours had passed. The absolute last thing I wanted was for my grogginess to impede your Dome, so once I got on set, I looked for an easy answer and fell into the cold, carbonated arms of Bull's Milk Energy Drink.
I would be lying if I said this was my first dance with the Bull's horns. When Deadly Chemistry landed a prime 4:30 AM time slot at the Greater Providence Music Festival, I chugged a Bull's Milk or two to keep my energy up and impress the handful of fans who were there to rock all night long -- even the ones who left early when our rhythm synth player's backup laptop started making horrible screeching noises. But even though it made me cranky and I chewed out the sound guy even when it wasn't his fault, I fooled myself into thinking the Bull's Milk wasn't to blame. Tuesday night, I lost sight of who I was and became merely an extension of those slender aluminum cans and the lukewarm neon blue liquid inside. In short, there is no longer any hiding from the fact that I have a problem with Bull's Milk.
It has been a long, hard recovery so far, and it will likely only become more difficult in the weeks and months to come. This is the second and hopefully last time I ever have to get my stomach pumped, after the time I actually drank the kerosene out of a lamp when I was seven. Sitting in my hospital bed, reviewing the tapes of Tuesday night's show, I was shocked at the taurine-fueled monster I had become. Most shameful of all, Alex told me that I made my good friend and partner-in-Dome Melissa Wells uncomfortable with several rambling, awkward exchanges. That is completely out of character, and it shocked me more than anything else.
Domers, I know it will take more than an eloquent apology to win back your trust. i just hope you can hold me in your hearts as I struggle with the scourge of Bull's Milk dependence and that, one day, the Dome will be a safe place for all of us again.