“Keep Pumpin’ the Life Hacks”

There are no pictures of Layne Staley late in life that pop up when you Google his name. All of the shots show him as pretty healthy, relatively speaking. It was reported that upon his carbon date, he had attempted to saw his own arm off, with said limb having become essentially defunct of blood flow from too much heroin use.

I look at his face in a photo shoot. His eyes are rich and blue. Deep within them, the pupils dilate somewhat. Life is stabbing him. He is taking things in, excessively, which he did not want to take in. Now, I sit at home and compile an Alice in Chains playlist that has 57 songs on it. But I think about the arc of Layne Staley’s life, which ended gruesomely in 2002, and the phenomenon of that blond, fair-faced dude turning toward the darkness. This music is the darkness and it’s the vaudeville comedy of life, the futility of immortality displayed, robustly clear.


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