it’s a rap.

Edge of Everything

-By Mick Brady

First, allow me to apologize for my mysterious absence both from Second Life and from this blog. It was all for a good cause, though, as you will see, and I’m hopeful that things will flow a bit more smoothly from here on in. But then, that’s not entirely up to me; being a child of the universe and a longtime fantasy surfer, I’ve learned to go with the flow.

After a month of struggle, I’ve finally completed the cover design for my soon-to-be-published double memoir, The Edge of Everything, the often harrowing tale of my years of living dangerously in the New York art scene during the Post-Pop Art era of the late 60s and early 70s, and my subsequent dissolution into a psychedelic nightmare resulting from my sojourn in an LSD cult on the West Coast back in the daze.

Fortunately I was able to make it back to planet earth by way of a rehab community deep in the Catskill Mountains, where I spent six months emerging from the darkness alongside some of the original Mad Men, former Madison Avenue execs whose lives had also become unmanageable (a word chosen to describe the indescribable). They were drunks, you see, and there were just as many from the streets of the Bowery as there were from Mad Ave, which made it one of the world’s most interesting social gatherings. As the first psychedelic casualty to land on their doorstep, I may as well have arrived directly from Mars; they didn’t have a clue what to do with me.

My successful completion of the early stages of redemption through rehab was followed in quick succession by spiritual rebirth, marriage with children, a college professorship, a return to art, and finally, safe passage into the virtual world of Second Life where Chrome, my alter egomaniac, began living out the ‘art career that might have been’ had it not been for all that sex, drugs and rock & roll so many many years before. Keep on rockin’ in the V-World, Sir Chromium.

As you can see, it’s a lot to squeeze into a book cover. It was also difficult to come to grips with the essence of the story – having actually lived it – by stepping back far enough to see its overarching patterns and ultimate meaning. Damn near bent my mind into a pretzel (it’s been twisted before, but not into that funny pretzel shape), and there were moments where I just wanted to toss it all, hire a free lancer and get on with my life (or, lives). Somewhere near the end of my rope, though, the concept suddenly appeared in my mind and all I had to do was get out of bed and assemble it in Photoshop. Is there some sort of cosmic free lancing service that I unknowingly subscribed to? A bit of lag in the delivery time, but otherwise, works for me.

That blue sky above the rainbow, btw, is from a photo taken in Second Life, my ultimate destination after surviving the falls. That’s me in my trusty little kayak. I only surf in my dreams these days.

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5 Responses to it’s a rap.

  1. Karima says:

    10000 Congratulations Mick/Chrome and entourage:) on your brilliant title and book cover. I can’t wait to read what is inside. From what you say here, your story does sound like a journey beyond the reach of just one man’s memories, and I can see why you have listed it as a “a double memoir”. I wish you the greatest success, and hope your book can find others on the edge who most certainly would take hope in your personal story of drug-abused nightmares, madness, and ultimate redemption.

  2. Chrome says:

    Thanks, Karima. Your words are both heartwarming and encouraging, and I can only hope that the book succeeds in the very way you’ve suggested – that it will give some hope to others who are brave and foolish enough to go over the falls in their pretty little kayaks. For those who survive the leap into the void, they should know that the rainbow up ahead gets brighter and brighter as you approach it. Hell, there might even be a pot of gold at the end of it, for all I know. But then, I’m Irish. :)

  3. jan says:

    Congratulations, Chrome! i love the title and the image for your book….and i can hardly wait to read it!! I am fascinated by your journey….i took some turns over the cliff myself during that magical/ treacherous time, and even since then….not quite in the same manner…..so i can relate. The years of the 60’s-70’s touched multitudes. A ray of Light came into humanity and changed the landscape of our culture in a way most who did not experience it can not understand! We were pilgrims on a road not yet traveled …..and those who took it to the extreme, were either rewarded in proportion to their dive into the folds and recesses of the human condition through the use of LSD and related psychedelics….or they went down some strange place, and never were able to quite compose themselves again. They got lost.
    Part of it is getting lost!!! Annililated, even. And then found again, returning with the treasures of a dangerous but illuminating trip into the realms….beyond…..the Mysteries.
    I feel like you brought back something for us all…..

  4. jan says:

    I want to add one more thing to my comment. The journeys taken into what i described in my last comment as the folds and recesses of the human condition….also went into realms of the Brilliant Truth that can only enter a mind that has been opened widely awake….which these drugs did do. This is why it was dangerous, vulnerable….but the worlds revealed thusly were ones that changed everything…for those who made it back to share.

  5. Chrome says:

    Completely agree with you, Jan. The journey I went on ultimately led to complete disintegration of the self. What I thought was a ‘spiritual quest’ to learn the secrets of the universe turned out to be more like instant karma biting me in the ass. Icarus flying too close to the sun, perhaps?

    Real Truth isn’t always pretty, though, and doesn’t often come in the form of lofty spiritual maxims or insights; it’s the painful, messy, and distinctly unsophisticated process of looking in the mirror, with a willingness to face the truth regardless of cost. The ego puts up a ferocious battle to keep its secrets from seeing the light of day, making it a frightening prospect. The best analogy I can come up with, which might help to explain why so few volunteer for it, is it is like having open heart surgery without anesthesia. Takes an amazing amount of trust in the surgeon. Which is, finally, the best thing about it.

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