Text and photos by Charles Harry.
Today I died. Today I was reborn.
YADA fucking Yada.
I lost all control today. And with it I lost all responsibility for myself.
But only today have I ever really had any control over my life.
The control of having no self control.
I have spent my half-life trying to carve my name into the world, and plan all my journeys and adventures. But with unrealistically high expectations I would always miss my mark.
But If I made my goals to hit rock bottom. To leave and feed off the crumbs of the deprived. To lie down, and to break down. To lose myself and to suffer.
That is what Hudson River is. That is what I am.
I got down on my knees and begged my friends to help me. I cried and screamed and wailed. I literally had no ability to look after myself.
Every time I lay down I began to choke and suffocate on my slimy chunky vomit. My friends took turns watching me while I slept. Little did they know they were actually watching me fall apart.
From time to time I would go to the mirror and attempt to photograph my insanity. All my life I have been obsessed with documenting things, and if I were to die or better yet go insane, I wanted to at least attempt to capture it in some shape or form.
My collapse was no longer about being high. I was so far gone, and so close to a more figurative death than ever, that I watched my entire future crumble around me. I saw the end of not only my life, but also my career, my connection with friends and family -everything.
I contemplated living as a bum my whole life, no real connection with reality just my camera and me. If my entire reputation were to crumble that day, if no business or organization were ever to hire me, if my family were to disown me or worse try to help me and prevent me from exploring this deep dark place, there would literally be nothing else better to do but suffer more, struggle more, and capture it using a stupid plastic machine.
I told my caretakers of my dreams and aspirations. Or more aptly put my ‘back-up plan’. They had heard so much already from me. So many desperate pleas and screams. They told me that it wouldn’t come to that. That I wouldn’t have to live my life like that. That I would be OK.
But I told them that, that was unimportant. Whether I succeed or fail in life didn’t matter. Through success or suffering I would be able to maintain some sort of foothold in the art world and that was all I really cared about.
This time they acknowledged my ramblings in the affirmative. Many might say that they were just trying to entertain my illusions for the sake of maintaining my current complacent state. But I know they believed in me. I know that they believed that no matter where I was, or how much I fucked up in some shape or form I would have a voice.
As I took more photos, I began to grow lost and unclear again. Something I only see now in retrospect. The initial photo I took was meant to illustrate my strife and suffering. As the photos progressed though I feel into another hole, much different to my previous one. I was obsessed hiding behind the camera. Creating a silhouette of myself in any shape and form. Like the stupid vulnerable junkie that I was, I was no longer to look at myself through my lens and I took to hiding. It was taken literally straight after I had ended my 25-minute crying tantrum. Eventually I grew too weak and I asked to be laid down in my bed. I gave the camera to blue jay, and I asked him to take photos of me. If this was to be my death, in body or spirit, I did not want to waste a second of it undocumented.
The first photo was taken of me lying down in bed. Every time I closed my eyes however, I suffered long nasty chocking fits on my bile, and would end up running to the basin or finding a nearby packet to release it in. These successions of actions lead blue jay to my basin, where he began to photograph my mental breakdown in liquid form.
Barring the three people in charge of my care, nobody will ever know of this day. And nobody will ever know about Hudson River.
I have a choice now.
I can learn from today, live (and learn) from it every single day.
I can chase my dreams, like far reaching kites, across the globe. Always in my horizons, never in my hands.
Or, I can fail. I can suffer, and fail, and lose everything I have. And in that failure.
That vile depravity.
Those seconds of time where I am most weak. Most frail. Least sane. I can succeed. I can succeed in my mission to fail. I can flop around and suffocate anywhere I want like a fish out of water. And I can document it.
I don’t want your sympathy or hatred. I don’t want to be understood. I don’t want to have to explain who I am using other than the words and photos on this page. I just want to capture and document my life, be it through the medium of success or failure- I don’t care.
In a world as heartless and greedy as this, it really isn’t that hard to be an idiot.
The strength of Hudson River lies in his ability to die. He knows he is doomed, yet he marches at the front of this parade, triumphantly singing battle hymes till his very last breath. It is because of this that Hudson River can never lose. Because as a betting man, he is betting against himself. His plan is flawless.