Harry Houdini was famous for escaping impossible traps and being able to take 3 punches from any man or woman. He would put himself in seemingly impossible situations just to prove again and again that he could escape. He was clever and strong, manipulating natural forces and achieving the extreme, his life was a statement of invincibility until the day he died.
He died because a man punched him in the gut when he wasn’t ready, and although it damaged his stomach muscles, his pride prohibited him from backing down, he had to fulfill his image as unbreakable and that is what broke him, he would have rather hurt his body than his ego, and after those 3 punches landed, for his next trick, he chained himself underwater to the bottom of a tank by the legs. They found him drowned, with his ankles broken.
The first time you poured white powder onto a mirror and cut me a line I thought you were a magician. You knew the answers to everything, you had a treasure chest full of magic tricks: powders and needles, pill and syringes, things that would terrify most people that you approached calmly and confidently. Nothing could hurt you if you didn’t let it, right? You knew the dosage and the chemistry, you were a mad scientist and dreamer, you pushed at boundaries to prove that you are not trapped by them.
When your need for freedom starts to define your life, can you really still call it freedom? It’s not a high if you’re never sober, it’s not reality if you’re counting the minutes until you can swallow more poison. You believe you are too strong to cave in to the will of addiction, that you are too smart to be vulnerable to an overdose, but water doesn’t ask permission to drown you, and your lungs are built the same as mine. Can you breathe? Is it getting hard? Would you admit it, if it was? How many punches do you have to take before you have proved to yourself that you are tough?
You’re standing as close as you can to the edge because you think you can see more from there than the safety of the center, but If you live your life teasing death, how will you notice when it starts teasing you back? are you so fascinated with the abyss that it could swallow you in your sleep? When will you try to take a step and crumble because your ankles are broken glass? If anything kills you it won’t be the drugs, it will be your pride, it will be the moment when your stomach clenches but you keep opening your arms and catching punches, punching needles into your veins until you have the track marks of a junkie, but you will never admit you have a problem.
The thing is, drowning looks a lot like escaping until the last minute, until your heart stops. When Houdini took his last dive he was planning on breaking the surface of that water, victorious again.