‘I don’t even know why I’m bothering to write this. It isn’t like I’m going to ever read it, and I certainly wouldn’t see the point of showing it to anybody else. I suppose it’s just for the sake of writing, even if it’s not very creative or even particularly interesting, at least it’s writing.’
These are the words of Thomas Mark Crites as he embarks on a period of rehabilitation for his dependence on alcohol. Crites (as he preferred to be called) had intelligence, wit and a talent for art that earned him respect in the small press world. He self-published much of his work as well as that of others, in the zines Paniscus Revue and Malefact, and it seemed like youth was on his side. What got in the way was the booze.
‘A few beers at lunch and drinks around dinner turned into straight alcohol (vodka, whiskey, rum) from the first opening of the eyes on through to blackout.’
Following another serious accident that he cannot remember (in this instance a face-first fall down a flight of stairs), Crites’ family convince him to seek professional help. He believes his treatment will last only days, but it takes many long months. Through journal entries and correspondence with family and close friends, this is Crites’ story, one that documents the months prior to, during, and immediately following his admission to a clinic for alcohol dependency. It is an uncompromising and ultimately tragic account, but filled with humour and insight in Crites’ own inimitable style.
Thomas Mark Crites lived and worked across the U.S., undertaking a range of jobs from Zamboni driver to Trust Officer. He was actively involved in independent publishing for over twenty years and contributed much artwork to zines in that time. He took his own life in August 2013.
Readers interested in addiction and recovery, and those familiar with Crites’ art.