When first reading of his transgressions, our mouths grew agape, wondering how could he? Tweeting, posting, flashing, showing, and sharing intimate details, varying his routine, wittingly making his child a participant. His habit, his ritual; once, twice, now a third time – same picture, same color underwear, sharing, sharing, sharing, is his addiction. If he had been the inventor of the Polaroid camera, he would have pushed, zipped, and pulled, turned to someone, to anyone, requesting they take possession of the picture. Because of his insistence, the invention would have been ignored, someone – anyone – we – concentrating instead of what he took a picture of – “See, see, see.” But I digress, he was not the inventor of Polaroid; such is not his generation. The reach out and touch generation requires no printing, developing, waving, blowing – no, no, no – such is not their encumbrance. His generation only has to aim, push, type a message and forward.
Most commentators expressed sympathy for his spouse, knowing she stayed, suffering the public embarrassment of the wayward one. Seeking to maintain the union, pleading to the rest of us to allow her and her spouse to work out the details in private – once, twice – she plead. Her embarrassment seemed to compound itself when he didn’t exactly deny he had ceased sharing his Polaroid. Whether he thought the press in New York was not going to ask, or whether they were going to stop being the New York press, or whether he had magically created another invention – privacy in a sphere where there is no privacy – I don’t know the answer to any of the inquiries into the world of mythical possibilities. I like most instead thought – What was he thinking?
An addiction is defined “as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” During the comedian Richard Pryor’s struggled with his addiction – cocaine – he joked the first thing he noticed during sobriety was he wasn’t what he thought he was. “Hey I have been robbed. Somebody stole my dick and left me with this little child’s wee-wee.” His personification of the penis evoked laughter, while stating a matter of fact life truism – “Damn straight, men have dick hang ups.” But Richard’s generation was a couple of generations before Anthony’s. Richard’s Polaroid was not Anthony’s Polaroid.
Whether an addiction is modern day addiction or not, it matters not – it is an addiction. Threatening Anthony meant nothing to him. Demanding he not do again what he did before were hollow words. Anthony is an addict, addicted not to Dr. Pepper, Pepsi or Coke. Not to coffee. Not to alcohol or tobacco. Not to cocaine. He is still an addict. Always denying the addiction then once cornered promising to correct his behavior. I’m sure he promised. I am sure he did.
His wife could have cut through the years of heartache by giving him a Polaroid camera the next day, reaching for his cell phones, pads, and computers and walking him through the process of closing all of his social media accounts. No Facebook (and its associated Facebook Messenger), WhatsApp, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Baidu Tieba, WeChat, Line, Google+, Skype, or Snapchat. Reading off the list, asking yes or no, “do you or do you not have an account?” Demanding any and all assumed names, and passwords, watching his eyes, his hands, listening to his words and anticipating the utterance of the words, “I don’t have a problem.” If those words invade the room, get up and leave! He is an addict. If he delays, and says he will think about it, then refuse to give up the cell phone (“Step away from the cell phone!”) – leave! He like most addicts will always take the side of that which possesses him, capturing his soul, imagination, and reasoning. If he says he doesn’t remember his assumed names – he’s lying – has the information written somewhere or has subjected the passwords to memory – leave! He is addict. Pointing, shooting, typing, sending – he still an addict, “as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” Read the definition over and over again, this will help you ward off self-doubt when it visits your cranial space. After you are safe, secure and separated, send him a link of Lil Kim’s How Many Licks [look – don’t click on this link if you are easily insulted or have no idea who Lil Kim is!] He will find no humor in tit-for-tat. He will call you crazy, and will never call again. You made your point and will have your peace. Remember, you can’t cure him. He has to be willing to change, admit his addiction and seek help for Anthony and Mr. Polaroid.