Monday, 17 September 2012

High on arrival

High on arrival is a memoir by Laura Mackenzie Phillips, aka Mackensie Philips - best known as an actress in various USA films and TV shows.

Mackensie was/is the daughter of the late John Philips of the hugely successful US Group The Mamas and The Papas.

Mackensies' tale is not quite relentlessly bleak, but it is close to being so. She says she first tried cocaine at 11 and she catalogues a huge list of drug abuse and illegal drug use - mostly centres on cocaine and heroin.
Despite spells in rehab and a long period (15 years) of being drug free - the relentless hold of drugs and the squalor and awfulness they bring is the overwhelming theme.  I am not even sure if this is intentional on MacKensie part - it just seems like as honest an account as she can provide.

The book contains allegations about her father, which others have disputed and which he is not alive to answer, but I suspect that very sadly they are true and inevitably linked to the huge amounts of drugs both of them were taking.

It is said no one wants to grow up to be a junkie - but Mackensie says in a weird way she did - and that is the real sadness at the heart of this book. The junkie existence - no matter how great the trapping of wealth and success is not a life - but an existence and an awful one at that.  Injecting yourself every 20 minutes for two years - that is a form of unbearable torture for anyone.

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