Xanax

Links to a.d.sullivan & info on Susan Walsh

 

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I don't know at what point Sue started taking Xanax, if she ever really

did. But neighbors and friends said she had the prescription in her

Nutley apartment for several years.

 

Some she started taking Xanax for her growing depression. Life was

slipping out of her control, even as she lived high on the world. She

must have known she was being betrayed, even as Ridgeway gave her

assurances, even as he threw her bones, video consultant jobs. Hardin

said Ridgeway even encouraged her to continue dancing, even when she

pleaded with him to let her quit. Perhaps the book at reached a critical

stage. Perhaps he needed her to write a few more key passages so he

could finally publish.

 

The depression grew, and so did her desperation. Xanax is not an easy

drug to obtain. Only a qualified doctor of medicine can issue a

prescription, a MD with background in psychiatric care. Sue, however,

got her prescription for a local foot doctor, a doctor known on the

street as "Mr. Feel Good," and someone suspected of being involved with

an Medicaid/insurance scam. A local lawyer, to whom Sue had contact

through her landlord, would fill out the paperwork while the doctor

worked up phony cases. Some of these people they yanked out of the

Newark homeless population. Others were known addicts seeking an

alternative high.

 

Sue claimed she'd become addicted. She certainly appeared to grow weaker

as she delved deeper into the underworld, working up chapter after

chapter for what would become Ridgeway's book. On, at least, two

occasions, Sue wound up in the emergency room of the local hospital,

complaining about stomach pains and nausea. One source claimed she

suffered from an ulcer.

 

By this time, Sue must have sensed the lack of control she had over her

fate, and may even have sensed the doom that waited ahead, even as she

typed the chapters to the book and brought them to Ridgeway, she could

feel her fate beginning its old cycle, and saw herself again wandering

the empty streets of some strange city, alone and friendless, hunted by

fiends.

 

Her attempt to get back together with Hardin in 1993 apparently failed.

She may have already begun to suspect all men of hating her, dating

numerous men at once, trying to sort them out, trying to find one man

among them she could trust. But all the time, she finds them more and

more disgusting, must of this finding its way into the pages of the book

for which she would not get credit.

 

Even though she was still going out with Goldstein, she seemed to see

that relationship as doomed, just one more on-again, off-again

situation. She loved the luxury, but could no longer depend upon a man

to feel important. She needed to make herself important, needed to break

out of the world of dancing, of the sex industry, to find some sense of

herself. Even her visits to the Vault didn't help. She could whip men up

into a frenzy, but they didn't make her feel any better about herself.

They were dogs, and their respect, their lust, no more satisfied her in

1994 than the lust of undergraduates had just before her graduation in

1984.

 

 

 

Hardin, the man who lived with her on and off for about four years in

the early 1990s, seemed to know more about her dancing past that most

people, noting that he was incredible upset with her taking up the trade

again.

 

"After she returned to the sex business, for weeks I had dreams of her

standing in a slimy lake, submerged to her shoulders. Above water, she

smiled in a dazed, too-innocent way; beneath the water, black insects

and flatworms and eels and insect crabs crawled through her exposed

ribcage, ate away her hips, discolored her skin, burrowed through the

fist between her ribs. I tried talking to her in these dreams, but she

herself appeared to be dreaming, imagining herself in some glamorous

spotlight as the insect men scuttled across her and ate of her and used

her and whispered their childish promises to the sleeping child-head

above the water," Hardin said.

 

Although friends claim she had a open and trusting nature, Sue lived a

double life, working the go-go scene throughout New York and New Jersey

while trying to raise her child. Ridgeway said her reporting plunged her

deeper into the sex industry, instead of drawing her out, and Sue found

it difficult to shed the obvious attention a go go dancer gleaned from

her perforYork and New Jersey while trying to r

 

Her ex-boyfriend Rob Hardin said he managed to help Sue keep this

addiction under control during the first two and a half years of their

relationship, and then she wouldn't listen to him any more. She

apparently refused to listen to him when he opposed her involvement with

Goldstein and Screw Magazine. Hardin blamed Ridgeway, too, for helping

keep Sue engrossed in the profession.

 

But Sue clearly saw Ridgeway and "Red-light" as her ticket out of the

underworld, the publishing credit that would make her other writings

attractive to agents and book publishing companies. She also engaged in

a bit of intrigue, from which she may have drawn information, dating

Billy Walker, someone who worked at least part time for Screw Magazine.

 

She met Walker in January, 1994, at the Pubway in Newark, a go-go bar he

was managing at the time. She was working there as a strip dancer, and

told him she had been dancing for about eight years -- which meant she

had likely started dancing again while she was still employed with the

metallurgy magazine. She apparently neglected to tell Walker of her

previous dancing career that started in high school and ended up on Show

World. But she did tell him her consistent tale of woe, about how she

hated dancing, and would do just about anything to quit. But since she

had to support her son, she could not afford to quit just yet. At the

Newark job, she was earning somewhere between $100 and $150 per night.

 

Sue talked openly about her dancing, and told everyone she hated it, and

found it sleazy, exploitative, yet she said she couldn't shake the

addition.

 

"She thought it was just men and women destroying each other," said

Billy Walker, 30, a former boyfriend, who several people early on

suspected as one of Susan's stalkers.

 

Later, a man named Ron, who claims to have befriended Sue after her

vanishing from Nutley in July 1996, said Sue and Walker had a rocky

relationship. At one point, according Ron, Sue, by using her

relationship with publisher Al Goldstein, tried to have Walker fired

from his position as a clerical assistant at Screw Magazine. Sue also

filed charges against Walker, claiming he was stalking her, and two

months before she vanished, managed to get a restraining order put on

Walker to keep him away from her.

 

The relationship between Walker and Sue lasted a little over a year. He

moved into her Nutley apartment with her in late 1994, and moved out in

December, 1995. Sue apparently told Melissa that Walker continued to

stalk her even after the restraining order was issued, but Walker said

he had not seen her for months before her vanishing.

 

Al Goldstein, Screw editor and publisher, who had an affair with Sue for

what he called "four years of craziness" recalls when his managing

editor warned her to get out of the sex business, claiming she was too

full of rage. But according to Goldstein, she wouldn't. He told her she

was heading for a fall and that he couldn't help her.

 

During her year with Walker, Sue knew things were getting out of

control. "Redlight" was taking too long to come together, and she may

even then have suspected the worst about Ridgeway's intentions. She

sought reassurance from him that she would indeed be author of the book.

She told numerous people that her name would appear on the cover. During

this time, Ridgeway threw bones to heand she may even then have

suspected the worst about Ridgeway's intentions. She sought reassurance

from him that she would indeed be author of the book. She told numerous

people that her name would appear on the cover. Durin

 

During this time, Sue began to stretch out, seeking alternative plans.

She wrote column for the Nutley Sun called "Dialogue with David." She

even started as a non-degree student at NYU in September, 1995.

 

Then, by pure chance, she ran into Joel Lewis in the Port Authority,

someone, who had expressed interest in dating her during her early years

at college. He looked little different, fitting the label of "tadpole"

she had put on him at school. She was not impressed by his apparent

success. He had published a book for Rutgers, an anthology of New Jersey

poets. He had won a poetry award, resulting in a publication of some of

his own work. He was also freelance writing for various publications,

book reviews and interviews with prominent people.

 

But after nearly four years of riding around in Al Goldstein's limo, the

walking-talking poetics of Joel Lewis seemed small time, and she brushed

him off again. Later, after Billy Walker left her and her relationship

with Goldstein seemed more threadbare than ever, Sue called Joel again,

telling him she was dancing in clubs in Lodi. She handed him the

now-standard line about how much she hated dancing, and sought from him

places where she might be able to read or publish her poetry.

 

As with the rest of the men she had known over the previous four or five

years, Joel fit the profile of the up and coming artist. But she

apparently didn't think he had much to offer her, not when she was on

the brink of publishing "Redlight," and she never called back again.

 

I want to suck your -- blood!

 

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