Nels To The Rescue

After the Dollhouse show at Highline Ballroom, my Roach TV episodes were circulating around the Purfek Storm Group office, and every inquiry about the next episode seemed to amplify the devil on my shoulder. “You could have anything you want”, it said. I wasn’t ready to understand what that truly meant. One day, while filming a promotional video for the group in Harlem, my phone kept buzzing as Brenna and I argued. With alcohol in my system, I perceived her reservations about my alcohol-infused lifestyle as a dig at my career. “I need to be this way to be Roach,” I snapped, pouring another drink and slamming my phone on the counter to drown out my anger. Stepping outside for a cigarette, I received a message from someone I held near and dear to my heart. She was an early supporter of my music career, and someone who had a level of control over me that I hadn’t yet acknowledged. As the conversation progressed, she flaunted her promiscuity and suggested we meet up again. “It’s been too long,” she texted, as I took another sip of straight liquor. As the argument with Brenna escalated, and the workday drew to a close, I found myself wandering the streets, avoiding the chaos that awaited me at home. My phone remained glued to my hand as messages flooded in with photos from this woman; a woman who pulled at the very depths of my soul. As I stared at her photos in awe, a text offering liquor and good company solidified my desire to make this detour, and I made my way to her house on that cold evening. Upon arriving, she greeted me with a bottle of Amsterdam and a large blue cup filled to the brim with 80% alcohol and orange juice. Already buzzed, I chugged the drink, trying to black out the thoughts of my impending infidelity. We made our way to the room, and I lost myself in a dark abyss of intoxication. As the thrill of the moment wore off, I snapped back into my body, and the realization of what I was doing, combined with the elements of what had occurred in that room, caused me to melt down. Enraged, embarrassed, and absolutely hammered, I ran out of the apartment, stumbling down the stairs in tears at the low point I had just hit mentally. Her cries of my name faded quickly, and in this moment of despair, I began running towards the train station where I planned to end my existence. How could I have done this? Knowing where I was in my life, I couldn’t find a way to justify why this woman had such a hold over me. Spiraling out of control, that night, I hit a wall. Lost in thought over what my life had become, I glanced at my phone screen, hoping a glance at a photo would dull the disappointment that I knew I had just caused, before making my way down onto the train platform. In that very moment, the phone began to vibrate, and in my haze, I answered the call. It was Money Nels, aka Nelson Taboada, an industry veteran in the entertainment world. I broke down on the sidewalk, telling him what I had done and was about to do, and in that moment, he stopped what he was doing and talked me off the ledge. I don’t remember exactly what was said, but as I made my way home that night, ashamed, reeking of liquor and sex, I wondered what made Nels call me at that moment? How could he have known the impact that phone call would have? Brenna knew I had done something I shouldn’t have, yet she still opted to have breakfast with me the following morning. During our meal, I received a follow-up call, reminding me of what happened the night before and ensuring that I was okay. But I wasn’t yet ready to accept that my problems were of my own creation, and although the sound of this woman’s voice calling out my name had become etched in my mind, I had yet to accept the position that she was taking in my life. The alcohol had taken me to the brink of self-destruction, and although I continued down my path of drinking, the realizations I took away from that night would come to haunt me for years to come.

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