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SPIN - July 2001
Don't Try This At Home



SEPTEMBER

One night, Navarro constantly checks a new security camera he installed to patrol the front of his house, a sign of either the paranoia that stems from too much coke or the obsessive nature that led to the addiction in the first place. In addition, a trip to the Spy Store has resulted in cameras in every room--VCRs and clocks with hidden lenses, positioned more for documentation than actual security.

Later, a small, somewhat chunky girl appears on the security monitor. Dave lets her in. She has dyed metallic auburn hair and is wearing all black, except for the fur trim of her jacket. She calls herself Hope and is attractive, but only because she is making an extreme effot to look that way. Her breasts pushed up so that they peek over the top of her lacy dress like two thumbs pressed together.

She talked to Dave when one of her friends--who she says is a stripper and Dave says is a prostitute--was staying at the house of a speed freak named Taylor. The stripper/prostitue gave Hope a phone number and said it was Taylor's, but it turned out to be Dave's. "He kept talking and asking for my phone number," Hope explains. "I said, 'You could be a psychopath murderer.' I thought he was fucking with me because my mom died. She committed suicide two years ago."

Hope says she moved to Los Angeles to get into porn films, but she just did a couple, then quit. "She was probably a prostitute," Dave whispers when she goes to the bathroom, "judging by all the madams she knows."

We gather around the television, and Dave pits in a video of a documentary-in-progress about Jane's Addiction's Relapse tour. Hope watches it while he sits at the computer, loading images into his website. The final scene is a beautifully filmed shot of Dave leaning over Perry Farrell and joining mouths with him in a passionate French kiss.

Hope turns to Dave: "You don't have a girlfriend, do you?"
"Why?"
"I can't imagine you spending all that time on the computer," she says flirtatiously. "I'd throw it out the window."

Hope is probably trying to regain the power she lost by confessiong that she is attracted to Dave, but instead she only succeeds in pushing a button.

"Well, I don't think I'd want you as my girlfriend," Dave responds. "I don't think I'd want a girlfriend who did films."

"Why? I did bondage films. All girl-girl."
"When I say that, I'm not putting down films, I'm not emotionally strong enough to seperate sex on film from reality. I don't trust anybody."

"Neither do I," Hope says, trying to cut her losses and return to common ground.
"The very guy who raised me raped and murded my mother and my aunt. When you see that happen, you realize that anybody is capable of anything."

"So what happened with your mother?" Hope asks, crossing her pale, pudgy legs on the floor. "Who found her?"

"My dad," Dave says. "I was supposed to stay with her that night, but at the last minute I went to my dad's. If I had been there, her boyfriend would have killed me too." He pauses. "It was so hard on my dad. She was a model when she was young, on The Price Is Right and in a bunch of commercials. My dad would cry when they came on. As a teenager I had to be there for him. He had no one to turn to.

"Even then I could imagine what it was like losing the woman you had searched for your whole life, had a child with, and still love even though she left you. So I turned to drugs and music. Those were the two things that made me not feel it. Whenever I had a good time, I'd beat myself up for it, which is so unfair to do to yourself."

"I can't figure out which is worse," Hope says, her eyes reddening, "for a parent to be murdered or for a parent to commit suicide. I don't just feel angry, I blame myself. I hate my mother for what she did and the pain she caused, and that she didn't leave me a note."

"I feel guilty," Dave responds, "because before the guy killed my mother, he broke into my house at gunpoint and held me up, and he made me promise not to tell anybody. And I didn't. A week later he killed my mother, so I've always felt like I could have prevented it. He was free for seven and a half years. They caught him through America's Most Wanted [in 1991; he was sentanced to death]. I remember hearing my mom's name on television, and then watching the dramatization with an actor playing me. I had to face [the killer] in court last year. I had to take the stand as a witness, and to the left were pictures from the [crime] scene on a fucking board. I had to ask for them to be covered."

"Do you still have your father to talk to?" Hope asks.
"I'm in a fight right now with my dad," Dave answers, wistfully. "Whenever we're not getting along, he'll tell me to not treat him like one of my fans. I hate that. But I know how important he is to me. It's the same way for him too; if anything happened to me, it would destroy him."

Dave walks into the bathroom to shoot up, then returns and tells Hope he has work to do. She walks upstairs to the photo booth to document her visit and then hesitantly approaches the front door, as if there is something she has forgotten to do. As Dave hugs her goodbye, she wraps her arms around his head and tries to navigate his lips toward hers. He turns his head to the side and holds the door open for her.



APRIL

"I went in to talk to this doctor, just trying to get a general sense of what the whole plan is for me here in rehab," Dave says. "I was telling him about my CD and how it has a lot to do with the grieving process for my mother because that's what they've been making me focus on and work on here. And he interrupts me and goes, 'Dave, listen, I'm telling you no, I'm not going to listen to it.'

"But I wasn't asking him to listen to it. I was just telling him what it was about. I got so fucking mad that I stood up and said, 'Fuck you, you're not even listening to me.' I went to my room, packed my bag, called a cab, and signed out AMA, which means 'against medical advice.' I got into the cab and said 'Take me to the airport.' I had a hundred dollars with me. The cab driver looked pretty cool, so I said, 'Hey, where can i get heroin and cocaine in this part of Tucson?'

"She goes, 'oh, well, we'd have to go down to Sixth, although that's a really gnarly part of town.'
"I said, 'Well, there's a hundred dollars in it for you if we can make that trip.'

"So we drove around to all these places and finally got a toothless black guy and his wife to get in the cab. The guy goes in, gets the drugs, and gives me the needle. But it was totally worn out and the numbers were faded, so I had the driver take me to get some Clorox. I cleaned out the needle and used it in the back of the cab. By the time all this was done, I looked at the meter and it was 85 dollars. I just had spent my only 100 dollars on drugs, and the airport was like an hour away from where we were. So the rest of the da was used up going to Western Union, calling everyone I could think of begging, 'Wire me some money.'

"The cab driver was cool because I told her, 'Look, if you can deal with me, I'll give you an extra grand.'

"I kept going back to Western Union waiting in line and asking if the money came through. But it never did. I finally called my manager, who said, 'What the fuck do you think you're doing? You're going to ruin everything. Everyone is counting on you staying in rehab; you're not going to have a record to come back to if you don't. Put the cab driver on.'

"apparently, my manager had told everyone not to wire me the money. So he said to the driver, 'Look, lady, there is no Western Union money coming, and he's not going to be able to pay you. The only way that you're gonna get our mete is if you take him back to where you picked him up.'

"And she did. It was gnarly having to walk back into rehab. I felt like an outlaw, like the Indian who threw the furniture through the window in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I had to go through detox all over again. Then I got the flu. It was terrible. But today has been a really good day. My dad came to visit me, I had yoga class, and it seems like there's a chance I just might make it through this."


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