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Author Topic: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)  (Read 191598 times)

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My god Kevin Smith sure is one of my fav storytellers.

Loved watching his 3 hour Evening with Kevin smith dvd. And was totally taken away now with the selfdestructing Jason Mewes Junky story that he posted on his Myspace blog. Its quiet a long read but so worth it!!

Check for more Kevin Smith stories and related news on :

Me and My Shadow, Pt. 1

The first in a four part series detailing Jason Mewes' descent into drug abuse, and more importantly, his long, hard won battle to kick the monkey off his back.

On a mid-December early morn, circa 2003, on the balcony of my house in the Hollywood Hills, Jason Mewes, my friend of seventeen years and co-star in five films at that point, dropped a bomb that shoud've repulsed the shit out of me, or at the very least, made me vomit a little in my mouth.

"Last night, at the Spider Club, Nicole Richie dragged me into the bathroom and fucked me."

And yet, instead of retching, I found myself battling another type of growing lump in my throat the kind induced by watching your child enter the world, or the last ten minutes of "Field of Dreams". I was suppressing tearful joy, momentarily setting aside the compulsion to smack Jason upside the head, hollering "Don't fuck the vapid, dammit!" due to the fact that I was so insanely proud of how far the boy had come and relieved that we were having this conversation at all.

See, for years, Jason had had what seemed like an unbeatable, untreatable addiction to, alternately, heroin and oxycontin. It was a heartbreaking, trying and puzzling five-year stretch for me, so I can't imagine how bad it was for him (well, that's not entirely true. Mewes would periodically flash self-awareness with statements like "If I'm still like this when I turn thirty, I should probably kill myself.").

Those who've never struggled with drug dependency themselves, or loved anybody who has, will often dismiss the props more empathetic folks extend to the ex-junkie with caustic bon mots along the lines of "So he/she quit drugs? Big deal. Why celebrate someone for finally exhibiting common sense? They didn't have to get hooked in the first place. It's not like someone held a gun to their head and told them to try drugs." Oftentimes, these are the same people who think being gay is a choice, too.

But in the case of drug abusers, not every addict has the luxury of choosing a glamorous existence of despair, lies, theft and self-loathing. Some people are born genetically predisposed to chasing the dragon.

Like Mewes.

Born the son of a heroin abuser, Mewes spent most of his childhood raised by an aunt while his Mother fed her jones or spent years in jail. She wasn't above stealing credit cards from neighborhood mailboxes, which resulted in the only Christmas gift of his childhood Jason recalls receiving from his mother: a new bike. The bike came in handy when, during a brief period of her smack-addled fifty years, his Mom operated as a drug dealer, using an oblivious nine year old Jason as a bag-man who delivered drugs to locals his Mother didn't trust enough to deal with herself.

With no Father on the scene (to this day, Jason still doesn't know who his Dad is), the story of Young Mewes plays out in an almost depraved Dickensian fashion. The nights when his Mom wanted to party, she'd drop him and his sister off at the houses of total strangers. The origins of Jay's fear of confined spaces can be traced back to said drop-offs when, shortly after his Mother lit off for brownstone pastures, he and his sister would be locked in a closet for safekeeping.

And yet, given the astounding level of parental neglect, Mewes somehow managed to grow up to be a good, if somewhat offbeat, kid the guy with the million dollar heart (and, sometimes, a nickel fucking head). It was that combo that made me fall in hetero love with him seventeen years ago, though it was far from love at first sight.

Highlands, the town we're both from, isn't a sprawling metropolis by any stretch of the imagination. Classified as a borough, Highlands is primarily a sea-farming town, with clamming as its largest industry. Roughly one square mile in length, it was rumored that the town had once made the Guiness Book of World Records for having the most bars in the shortest distance. However, the decade-old addition of a ferry into the financial district of across-the-river Manhattan has since sent real estate in Highlands sky-rocketing to dizzying heights: my childhood home - a small, three bedroom ranch-style house in the once inexpensive downtown area, purchased in the late '60's for $14,000 and sold by my parents in 1998 for $90,000 is again up for sale, this time with an asking price north of $300,000. The waterfront condos that've sprung up around town like coffee bars in the last ten years, start at easily over half a mil.

But back in the day, all men (and women) were not as equal, as the pre-ferry Highlands was distinctly separated into two classes: the more affluent uptown and the lower income downtown. The latter was the home to a young Smith and Mewes, separated by about two blocks. While I hadn't really known Mewes growing up, I'd known of him: locals referred to the boy as "That Mewes Kid". You'd hear stuff like "There's that Mewes Kid. He broke the window at Beedles' Pharmacy." Or "There's that Mewes Kid. I heard he fucked a dog once." Neither, of course, were true, but that was Mewes in the '80's: a sonic boom with dirt on it, often at the epicenter of any number of suburban legends.

I was formally introduced to Jason by my friends Walter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, shortly after completing a year-long stint as a latch-key kid after school activity director (i.e. I oversaw many games of kickball, foosball and billiards from three p.m. to six) at the Bob Wilson Memorial Recreation Center a building named in memory of the town's greatest celebrity, the former mayor who moonlighted as a prop man in the movie biz while managing to pick up a few bit parts along the way (the cameraman on the soap opera in "Tootsie" who passes out when Dustin Hoffman finally reveals himself, live and on-air, to be a man? That was Bob Wilson). After I'd moved on from the Rec Center, Bry and Walt began regaling me with tales of Jason Mewes, who they'd started hanging out with, after weeks of digging on his Rec-related monkeyshines. On our way to Devils' games or mall trips, Bry and Walt would lavish the highest of praise on the absent Mewes with "Isn't he fucked up?"

It was only a matter of time, I knew, before he'd be incorporated into our group a group that I'd only recently joined myself. On a Saturday trip to a NY comic book show, Bry and Walt sprung the young Mewes on me, insisting we bring the fellow comics enthusiast (who owned no comics) with us to the city.

"You're serious?" I asked, giving Mewes the once-over. "He's a kid. You want me to transport a minor over state lines in my car? No way."

Mewes, my junior by four years and Walt and Bry's junior by six, was still a high school student at this point something my compatriots and I hadn't been in years. But that wasn't nearly as threatening to me as the addition of a fourth party into our merry band. I'd been hanging with Walt and Bry for roughly a year, so I was the new funny guy. I knew that bringing on a newer, funnier guy meant relegating my cache' to the backseat.

And the backseat was, indeed, where I'd wound up, as Bry trumped my refusal to let Mewes into my car by opting to drive his Firebird into the city instead, thus accommodating the minor a golden ticket into our clan. Worse still, Mewes had screamed "Shotgun!" thus usurping my hallowed front seat position. For the duration of the hour-long trek into mid-town Manhattan, I was forced to listen to my two friends cackling at Mewes' braying, as he punctuated every outlandish comment with "NEH!" a post-script that essentially meant "I'm kidding." (Hence, the ass-kicking-inducing declaration "I fucked your Mom last night!" was rendered benign, so long as it was quickly followed with the requisite "NEH!") Beneath the guffaws of Bry and Walt, I could be heard muttering, arms crossed, "He ain't so funny."

Mewes became a constant fourth wheel in our triumvirate. If we went ice skaing, Mewes came along. If we went to the mall, Mewes was in tow. Late night trips to the Marina Diner? Mewes was not only there too, but always in need of a few bucks for fries. And through it all, I always regarded the kid as an interloper. My conversations were invariably directed at Bry and Walt, while Mewes listened in, ever sporting a puzzled look at the topic of conversation until he saw the opportunity to offer up some sort of outlandish what-if scenario that featured him fucking something or someone inappropriate nearby, topping it all off with a resounding "NEH!"

The truly noteworthy aspect of any of these hang sessions was the complete and total absence of booze or drugs. I'd fallen out with my former high school crew over the introduction of mandatory weekend keggers into our social agenda, distressed by the fact that hours of pre-star-69 crank calls had been replaced by obsessive quests to lay our hands on beers. Bry and Walt offered sober-living fun not by virtue of any desire to lead clean, drug-free lives; simply because none of us were particularly fond of getting loaded. The addition of Mewes didn't change that at all, as a young Jason declared himself "straight-edge", which he defined as "no booze, no drugs, no chicks". We'd tried to explain to him many times that a straight-edge life wasn't defined by the absence of pussy, but a then-girl-shy Mewes opted to include it into his program anyway, to relieve himself of the pressure of trying to score. The vast amount of jerking off he'd engaged in on a daily basis, as related to me, Walt and Bry regularly and in vast detail, whether we wanted to hear about it or not, probably would've precluded any shot he might have had left over to offer potential girlfriends anyway.

But as Bry and Walt became less interested in Mewes and more interested in their respective chicks, the then-single me would often answer the doorbell at my house to find Mewes standing outside.

"What's up?" I'd ask.
"What're we doing today?" he'd anxiously inquire.
"Look, man we're not friends," I'd tell him. "You're friends with my friends. We don't hang out together, you and I. We hang out as a group with Bry and Walt. Get it?"
"Right, right" Mewes would respond, seeming to understand, then quickly add "So what're we doing today?"

It was in this fashion that I sort of reluctantly inherited Mewes. And while I had volumes in common with Bry and Walt, on the surface, Mewes and I were about as different as could possibly be. Without Bry and Walt around, I bristled at his what-if scenarios. I'd spend double or triple time in a conversation with the kid, as I'd have to define over 50f the words I used for him. And all the while, I remained resistant to his charms.

Until that day at the Rec Center.

Walt and I had just come back from our weekly new comics run, and were quietly sitting in the Rec library, bagging and boarding our books. The kids hadn't gotten out of school yet, so it was deaf-child silent in the building, save the metal rantings of King Diamond emanating on low volume from a nearby boom-box. Then, suddenly, the stillness was shattered, as a sent-home-from-school-early Mewes kicked the Rec door open, marched into the building Groucho Marx style, and proceeded to fellate everything somewhat phallic in the room.

Walt and I watched with wonder as Mewes grabbed a pool cue and pretended to suck it off. Losing interest, he ran up to the phone on the front desk, grabbed the receiver from the cradle, and pretended to suck that off. He grabbed the flag pole and did the same. He grabbed a whiffle ball bat and did the same. This went on for twenty minutes, with seemingly no regard for our presence whatsoever. He never looked at us as if to say "Are you seeing this shit?" He never looked at us at all. He didn't seem to care that we were even there. This wasn't a show for our benefit. It was as if he'd been walking around Highlands moments earlier, took a gander at his watch, and was like "Wow it's two o'clock. I'd better get down to the Rec and suck everything off." The kid had an agenda, and he was actively fulfilling it.

It was when he finally reached the Rec's only video game a standard "Asteroids" kiosk that time had forgotten that he finally paused. Studying it momentarily and finding nothing dick-like to pretend to suck off, he seemed stymied. There was no joystick to give him purchase; just a roller ball and a fire button. Walt and I watched with great curiosity, waiting to see how he'd overcome this unforeseen obstacle.

After what felt like five minutes, Mewes shrugged, bent down to the game controls, and started working the roller ball like it was a clit - his tongue darting in and out of his mouth, lapping at the orb as he spun it with his finger.

That's when I finally caved and fell completely in love with Jason Mewes. I thought "This kid's a comic genius. And if nothing else, he knows how to suck a dick. So if I ever get really bored hanging out with him, at least there's always that to fall back on."

From then on, Mewes and I became inseparable. We were a very unlikely pair, but we somehow found common ground. He became my adopted son of sorts, and I wound up being his biggest advocate in our little group, bringing him into our weekend street hockey games (for which I had to buy him roller blades) or taking him with us to the movies (for which I'd have to buy his tickets).

Bry, Walt and I made it our mission in life to get him laid, as Mewes the most uninhibited, say-anything pottiest of potty mouths would clam up around girls. At one party, we hooked him up with a chick who dragged him into the bathroom to make out, while we waited outside the door for news that he'd finally busted his cherry. Through the door, we heard stuff like "That&..39;s not it" and "Eww, gimme some toilet paper." Later, we'd learn he didn't make it into paradise before going off like a broken hydrant against her hip.

For years, Jason would crack me up with his weird observations and impromptu comedic sketches. Even though the dude never did the high school plays or showed any interest in theater or acting, I'd constantly commend him with "Someone should put you in a movie, man."

One day, I decided that I'd be that someone, when I finally left Highlands for a brief stint at the Vancouver Film School. I was gone for only six months before dropping out and heading back home, where I discovered the once-straight-edge Mewes, in my absence, had become a weekend warrior: booze, weed, and chicks were the order of the day for him, as he racked up bed-post notches that left my own in the dust. He'd changed somewhat, with the addition of Blueberry Schnapps and dime-bags, but was still very much the same loveable nut-bar regardless: the kind of guy who, after knowing you for five minutes, would say things like "It's warm in here, isn't it?" and then pull his cock out.

It was that Jason Mewes who I'd co-opted for the Jay character in "Clerks", the script I'd written shortly after dropping out of film school. The role was written to Mewes' strengths, so much so that his complete inexperience in acting wouldn't be a hindrance. The part was peppered with his colloquialisms and catchphrases, written to Jason's intonations and verbal patois. And yet, after reading the script, Mewes first words were "I don't know if I can do this, man."

"Why not? It's just you on a page."
"Yeah, but why would I say something like 'Neh'?"
"I don't know. Why DO you say something like 'Neh'?"
"I do?"

I spent a month teaching Jay how to be Jay, during which time I accepted the fact that I'd never be able to pull off the role of Randal the part I'd written for myself and concentrated on finding something else for me to do in the flick, on camera. Since the part didn't require the memorization of any lines, I opted to slip into the role of Jay's quiet muscle, figuring Mewes and I would at least look visually interesting standing beside one another (him wiry and full of energy, me not). And together, dressed in costumes not at all unlike what we normally wore at the time, we became Jay and Silent Bob, the neighborhood drug dealers.

The great irony, of course, is that it'd be drugs that would one day not only threaten the continuation of Jay and Silent Bob, but also Jason's life.

To Be Continued

« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:11 PM by Djet3k »
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #1 on: Apr 08, 2006, 03:59 PM »
Me and My Shadow, Pt. 2

The great irony of the "Clerks" theatrical release is that very little attention was given to Jay and Silent Bob in the profile pieces or reviews. Aside from identifying me as the director who also played a small role in the film, the arrival of the two characters - characters I'd not only forever be most closely identified by, but who'd go on to feature prominently in all my subsequent flicks, right up to the who'd've-thunk-it lengths of the pair actually headlining their own movie seven years later - went largely unheralded. To wit, the only notice Jason Mewes received for his performance in "Clerks" while the flick was still in theaters came from a small review in People magazine, in which the author wrote "You want to find the rock he crawled out from under and make sure there's no more like him under it."

So when I opted to include the stoner duo in "Mallrats" a year later, it wasn't to capitalize on their insane popularity. For all we knew, there was none. Popping Jay and Silent Bob into "Rats" was simply a matter of sating my desire to put Jason on film again, and solely because he always made me laugh.

As far as the studio was concerned, however, I stood alone. The execs at Universal were dead set against giving Jason the part of Jay so much so that they insisted we bring alternate Jay choices to the final round of casting sessions. When both Seth Green and Breckin Myer asked me why they were being considered for the part at all when Jason Mewes was so, as they put it, "genius" in "Clerks", I told them I was as puzzled as they were. Here was a role that wouldn't have ever existed without Jason Mewes, and yet Jason Mewes was far from the frontrunner, inasmuch as the studio folks were concerned.

Still, Mewes worked his ass off throughout the auditioning process, and when I made the final, big push for him, Universal relented and said I could cast him with the following conditions:

1) Unlike the other cast members, he wouldn't be flown out to Minnesota on the studio's dime.
2) Unlike the other cast members, he wouldn't be put up in his own hotel room during rehearsals. As a result, he would live in my room during his trial period.
3) Unlike the other cast members, he wouldn't be paid for the month-long rehearsal run in Minnesota.
4) If after his first day of shooting's dailies were reviewed by the studio and deemed unworthy of the film (a film, mind you, called fucking "Mallrats"), Jason was to be shit-canned and immediately replaced with Seth Green.

Never having made a studio feature before, I assumed this was somewhat normal. Mercifully, so did Mewes.

In one of the few turn-of-events that I can ever truly define as Poetic Justice, the same suits who were so down on Jason's casting as Jay wound up being so over-the-top up with him after his first full week of dailies, that not only were they sending kudos back from L.A., they also began building the marketing plan around his character and the catch-phrase "Snootchie Bootchies."

How Mewes arrived at "Snootchie Bootchies" a nonsensical utterance of which he is the sole author is a fascinating study in linguistics. Whenever Mewes used to say something borderline insulting that might warrant an ass-kicking from the short-fused or the ill-tempered, he would immediately follow it with the exclamation "NEH!" as if to quickly editorialize the objectionable declaration in question and render it null and void. For example "I felched your Mom's ass last night after I cocked her in the doody-hole" when punctuated with "NEH!" became less inflammatory to the recipient, because the "NEH!" communicated the caveat "I'm kidding. Don't hit me." But as with all living things, only evolution would insure its survival over time, and "Neh" soon gave way to "Nootch" as in "I felched your Mom's ass last night after I cocked her in the doody-hole. NOOTCH!" "Nootch" hung on as long as it could, until it gave way to "Snootch!" "Snootch" later birthed "Snootch to the Nootch" which then begat "Snootchie Nootchies", which in turn led to the now-legendary-in-some-circles "Mallrats" exclamatory "SNOOTCHIE BOOTCHIES!" There's nothing quite like watching language grow before your very eyes. An etymologist could have a field day with Mewesian Slang.

And Mewes had a field day on "Mallrats". He very quickly became the most beloved (and most frequently fucked) person on set. About four weeks in on the shoot, Rolling Stone magazine finally gave Jason long-overdue "Clerks" props in an article entitled "Five Minute Oscars", in which the author listed the best performances in movies that year by people with the least amount of screen time. Mewes' Jay was among the honorees, and in an expression of cast and crew pride, the piece was hung on the back of the office door for all to see.

(Mewes and Rene Humphries, kidding around on set)

It was only at the single best theatrical screening "Mallrats" would ever boast the 1995 San Diego ComiCon screening that we learned how deep an impression Jay and Silent Bob had actually made in "Clerks". A true art-house release, during the film's theatrical life, it never played on much more than fifty screens at once which meant reviews in high-brow, big city papers and some national magazines only. And since, with the exception of the aforementioned People blurb, none of those reviews ever singled out Jay and Silent Bob not to mention the fact that the internet hadn't taken off as it would two years later we all assumed that nobody gave two tin shits about the stoner duo.

However, our eyes were opened at that July screening in San Diego when, upon their first appearance on screen, the packed-house erupted in excited recognition so enthusiastically you would've thought Yoda had, instead, been standing in front of the pet store in the flick, in CGI form, shredding motherfuckers with dual lightsabers. "Clerks", by this point, had found its way to home video, and it was in video stores across America where the film had been finally discovered by its true audience: people not much different than the filmmakers themselves. And if this reaction was any indication, said audience LOVED Jay and Silent Bob.

(Me and the boy, doing what we do)

The studio brass in attendance likened the flick's reception in Diego to the "Animal House" test screening of lore. Dollar signs danced in their eyes, and Mewes was heralded as the Next Big Thing.

However, nobody took into consideration that the flick about a comic book geek playing to an audience full of comic book geeks at the world's largest gathering of comic book geeks was perhaps a weighted exercise in self-selection, and hardly an indicator of how the movie would be embraced in the real world. When "Rats" was released a few months later, it opened to a paltry million and change on 800 screens. By the second weekend, it was out of theaters, damned to the video dustbin (where it, too, would find its eventual audience who'd, thankfully, turn it into a cult classic).

(Mewes at the "Build Me Up Buttercup" video shoot, circa '95)

Mewes, meanwhile, had gone off to shoot a flick in Vancouver. Helmed by my friends Malcolm Ingram and Matt Gissing and entitled "Drawing Flies" the flick afforded Jason his first non-Jay role. It also afforded Jason his first taste of heroin courtesy of a girl whose name he doesn't remember, on a jungle gym in a park lit by the Canadian moon.

By this point, Mewes had become something of a partier, keeping a ceiling on his activities that amounted to merely booze and weed. Had I been more educated on the subject of drug addiction and the genetically predisposed, I would've known that these were merely gateway drugs: brief stops on the road to something more harsh. Jason's drug affinity wasn't a worry in those days; hell, it was regarded as kinda cute. While in mid-"Rats" production, a bunch of us got together to record the commentary track for the "Clerks" laser disc (which would eventually become the original "Clerks" DVD), and on it, Mewes can be heard getting progressively more drunk over the ninety minute duration of the film. This wasn't a big concern back then; he was just having a good time, I thought. Just because I'd never been a big fan of getting drunk or stoned didn't mean I had to poo-poo everyone else's parade. What, Me Worry?

Besides, the safeguard was in place already the roadblock we all assumed would keep Jason from ever progressing to harder drugs. Mewes' Mother, released from jail around early '95, was diagnosed as HIV Positive - a lifetime of shared needles the presumed culprit. Seeing his Mom drop unhealthy amounts of weight and suffer AIDS-related ailments was, at one point, enough to make Mewes swear off ever even trying heroin.

But alas, there was that park in Canada. And nobody ever caught AIDS because they SNORTED heroin, Mewes rationalized. As long as he never shot-up, he'd be okay.

By the tail-end of the "Rats" post-production, I'd gotten involved with the actress Joey Adams, and soon, I was spending much more time in Los Angeles than New Jersey. This meant much more time away from Mewes, which in turn meant much more time for Mewes to experiment further with drugs. The high was the lure, and the between-films downtime didn't help matters much either. Post-"Rats" and "Flies", having squandered most of his movie money, Jason was forced to go back to work in non-performance roles. Some days, he was a roofer. Some nights, he delivered pizza. When, mid-delivery, someone would ask him "Weren't you in a movie?" even the level-headed, non-egocentric Mewes would succumb to slight bouts of depression. Movie-making is a rush that's sometimes followed by a hard come-down. On a set, an actor's catered too: dressed, fed, and waited on. When all that goes away, and you suddenly find yourself waiting on others (or at least dropping off their pizza and hoping for a two buck tip), even the least big-headed of actors can succumb to a "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?"-case of the blues.

So snorting heroin led to snorting coke. And snorting coke led to smoking coke and a one-time dalliance with a crack pipe as well. And I did nothing about it. It was Jason's life, I figured. He was a big boy now, and he could handle himself.

"At least he'd never spike his veins," I'd say. "Because of his Mom. Of that much, I'm sure."
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:06 PM by Djet3k »
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #2 on: Apr 08, 2006, 04:01 PM »
The next time we worked together was on "Chasing Amy". Mewes, at this point, was living with his Mother in Keansburg. We'd still hang out when I was in town, and sometimes, he'd come out to L.A. But for the two year period I was involved with Joey, our one-on-one time was pretty limited. "Amy" didn't change that, as the Jay and Silent Bob scene in the flick was shot over the course of one night at the Marina Diner in Belford. Mewes was on his game that evening, having memorized all of his dialogue, pulling it off without a hitch. As the night wore on, I'd get sluggish, but Mewes would never tire. Coke'll do that to you.

"Amy" came out and put View Askew back on the map in a big way, with stellar reviews and awards to boot. The success of the film paved the way for "Dogma", a flick I'd written prior to "Clerks" but stuck in drawer for when I had enough cash to pull it off. Thanks to the $12million theatrical gross of the $250,000 "Amy", we were given $10million to make "Dogma" a film in which Jay and Silent Bob figured more prominently than they ever had in any previous flick.

By this point, my relationship with Joey had ended, and I was back in Jersey full time, moving out of my post-"Clerks" condo and into a lush apartment on Broad Street in Red Bank. I started seeing Jason more and more, and together, we took a trip back out to L.A. to empty my stuff out of the apartment I shared with Joey, but primarily, to convince "The X-Files" star Gillian Anderson to play the lead in "Dogma". Harvey Weinstein, the chairman of Miramax, was co-sponsoring a charity fashion show to benefit AIDS, and he'd invited Scully to sit at his table. Our mission was to convince her that our angels-run-amuck picture was a worthy counterpart to the "Files". So, in rented tuxes, Mewes and I spent the night wooing the little redhead, blissfully unaware that she'd later read the script and reportedly hate it.

Harvey gave us a lift back to the east coast on the Miramax jet. Over the course of the five hour and change flight, the three of us smoked (Harvey's jet was dubbed "The Flying Ash Tray") and chit-chatted, with Harvey getting to know Jason better than he'd had time to in the past. When Jason uncharacteristically told Harvey he was really happy with his involvement in the AIDS benefit, due largely to the fact that his Mother was HIV positive herself, the conversation got very serious, with Harvey insisting that he'd get Jason's Mom to the best doctors in New York City a promise he'd later make good on multiple times over.

"We're not gonna let your Mother die," the chairman of Miramax told Mewes.

(Harvey and us, at said AIDS benefit)

It was around this time that I'd taken over a local comic book store on Monmouth Street that was going out of business and turned it into Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. Mewes, a longtime comics enthusiast (Deadshot and Vigilante being his favorite characters), asked if he could work at the store full time. Charmed by this notion, I gave him the run of the joint.

Months in, when the shop would sometimes open two hours late, or I'd walk in to find a customer hanging out in front of the register, telling me "Jason said he'd be right back. He went to meet someone for a few minutes," it dawned on me that entrusting Mewes with this much responsibility maybe wasn't such a hot idea. More than that, it was a massive red flag that something was truly amiss.

When we recorded the "Chasing Amy" commentary track for the Criterion laser disc (which, later, became the DVD commentary track as well), Mewes was looking pretty bad. He was nodding out during the record so often, I said to Affleck "I think Mewes might be narcoleptic." Affleck, a bit more learned on the subject of drugs and addicts, offered "Bro, that ain't narcolepsy." The cut scene intros on the "Amy" DVD offer a portrait of Mewes that ain't pretty: thin, dirty, and barely conscious.

At this point, I sat Jason down and said "You're doing more than snorting heroin from time to time, aren't you?" After an hour of denial, Mewes finally copped to crossing the boundary he'd so long ago set for himself, upon seeing how HIV-ravaged his Mother had become: he was shooting up.

Almost immediately, I moved him out of his Mother's house in Keansburg and into my Broad Street apartment, where I informed him he was gonna kick the brown, cold turkey. We looked into a methadone clinic in Asbury Park, but Mewes couldn't start until the following Monday, two days away. After one day of withdrawls, Mewes became so violently ill, he begged for cash for a fix of heroin that would hold him over 'til the next day, when he'd begin the meth program in earnest. He promised he'd get and stay clean, but he needed this last hit to keep him from succumbing to the DT's. Sweaty, convulsing, anxious and in tears, the boy pleading his case before me was a far cry from the offbeat soul I'd known for nearly a decade; he'd become a full-fledged junkie. Against all better judgment, I agreed to front him the money for the express purpose of scoring heroin, under the condition that he snort it, not shoot it.

One phone call and twenty minutes later, and I laid eyes, for the first time, on what would become the bane of my existence: heroin. As Mewes readied it for snorting on my living room table, he chuckled.

"What's so funny?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said. "It's just weird. I mean, I know this ain't right, and I'm glad you did this for me this one time, but"
"But what?"
"But it's like you just shook hands with the devil. For me. I think that's kinda cool. Not cool-cool, 'cause I know it ain't right. But, y'know: nice."

It was the only time I'd ever knowingly give Mewes money to buy any kind of drug. Even nine years later, he still refers to it as "That Day You Shook Hands With the Devil, Moves."

For the next five months, Jason and I became inseparable again but this time around, I wasn't as much his friend as his babysitter. Granted, we'd have good times and enjoy one another's company; but not letting Mewes out of my sight became an every-waking-moment priority. The hours were organized around keeping Jay preoccupied and busy. Idle hands being the devil's workshop, constant activity was the order of the day and our days went something like this:

1) Get woken up by Mewes around six a.m., as he was fiending for his methadone fix.
2) Drive over to Asbury Park to hit the meth clinic, where Mewes would throw back a shot of methadone that, over the following months, would shrink in dosage, until he was off it completely.
3) Hit Dunkin Donuts for Mewes' favorite sugar fix, the "Manager's Special" (a glazed donut covered in icing and sprinkles").
4) Head to Toys 'R Us and wait for the store to open, at which point we'd rush the "Star Wars" section to see if any 12 inch Greedo dolls were on the shelf (they were all the rage at that point; packed one-per-case, they were easy to re-sell at the Stash for a premium).
5) Head back to the apartment and shower.
6) Play video games.
7) Watch laser discs.
8) Head back out into the world to other toy stores to look for more 12 inch Greedo dolls.
9) Head to dinner, hit home and watch movies 'til it was time to go to sleep.

And so it went, for nearly half a year. Sometimes, we'd read the "Dogma" script, readying Mewes for his biggest role yet. Sometimes, we'd hang with Bry, Walt or Ed. When the local Toys 'R Us started drying up for not just 12 inch Greedo dolls, but also 12 inch Hoth Luke on Tauntaun sets, Mewes who'd replaced the addiction to heroin with the addiction to finding 12 inch "Star Wars" dolls for the Stash to re-sell would suggest alternatives.

"Moves, we can try Toys 'R Us's outside of Monmouth County."
"Like where?" I'd ask.
"I dunno. Ohio?"

(Mewes in recovery: the living room of the Broad Street apartment where he kicked)

We'd take long day trips, scouring the land for 12 inch Greedo dolls, bullshitting, laughing, talking about his attitude toward drugs that day. And slowly, as his meth dose lessened, the heroin-induced haze lifted, and the real Mewes began to emerge again.

The methadone clinic trips revealed quite a growing heroin problem in Monmouth County, as there was always a long line in front of the place when we pulled up every morning. Mewes would jump in line, and I'd sit in the car listening to Howard Stern. Invariably, someone in the line would look at Mewes, then look at me, then look back at Mewes wide-eyed, apparently thinking "Jesus Jay and Silent Bob have a real problem, man." Stoners are cute; junkies are sad.

And I knew a thing or two about excess myself. By late '97, my weight had ballooned to 270 pounds. During this time, I, too, took to self-improvement, jumping onto an all-liquid diet program called OptiFast, run out of the local hospital. Inspired by Mewes' commitment to wrestling the monkey off his back, I battle my demons as well, dropping down to 230 pounds. We were healthier, happier and one of us was hungrier for pussy.

Mewes accompanied me to a Duquesne college gig in Pittsburgh, where, post-Q&A, we hit a comic book store called Eide's. While I was looking for rarities and toys to bring back to the Stash, Mewes was chatting up a girl behind the counter named Stephanie. We were in the store a total of thirty minutes before Mewes pulled me aside.

"I like this girl, Moves."
"Uh-huh," I half-listened, as I flipped through a long-box full of comics.
"She wants to hang out with me. But I know I can't stay here by myself because of the drugs and shit. So I was thinking about asking her to come home with us."
This caught my attention. "What? You wanna ask that girl to come back to Jersey with us? Us two total strangers? Dude, she'll never say yes."
"She already did."
"You already ASKED her?! You said you were THINKING about asking her!"
"I WAS thinking about asking her. So I ASKED her. She invited me to her place, but I told her I can't stay here because I'm on a program. So she said she'd come home with us. So can she come home with us?"

He had me. He knew I wouldn't leave him alone in Pittsburgh, and he knew I needed a break from spending every waking hour with him as well. Stephanie, he and I both knew, would afford me that break.

So Stephanie punched out of work and took the six hour trek back to Red Bank with us, staying at the apartment for a little over a week. During that time, I was able to go to the office, get some "Dogma" pre-pro and script revisions done, and concentrate on things that didn't have to do with keeping Mewes clean all for the low, low price of letting a total stranger sleep in my apartment.

When, a month or so later, we settled on Pittsburgh as the location of the "Dogma" shoot, Mewes was ebullient. He'd taken a shine to Stephanie, so he suddenly couldn't wait to get started making the flick, mostly so he could hang out with the girl in her home town.

But the work had to come first. For months, I'd impressed upon him the importance of learning all of his lines in advance, as this time around, we were gonna have real actors in the flick.

"What, like Ben?" Mewes asked.
"I said REAL actors," I corrected. "Like Alan Rickman."
"Who's that?"
"The guy from 'Die Hard'."
"Bruce Willis?"
"No, man the other guy."
"The 'Yippie-kay-ay Motherfucker' guy?"
"That's Alan Rickman."
"What's so special about him??
"He's British. And Brits invented acting. So he won't put up with any of your 'Snootchie Bootchies' bullshit. He'll tear you up if you're not excellent, because he's Alan fucking Rickman. So you've gotta know all your lines. We can't be asking people to leave the set because you're nervous, like we did on 'Clerks'. This shit's serious - because Rickman will go ballistic if he smells blood in the water. You've gotta come correct."

So naturally, I was pretty nervous when Jason and I sat down for our first, Pittsburgh-based, one-on-one "Dogma" rehearsal, and the boy was script-less.

"Where's your fucking script, asshole?" I sighed.
"I don't need it."
"You don't need your script for rehearsals. Right. Take mine and let's get going."
"I'm telling you, I don't need it. Go ahead. Try me."

So I turned to the first Jay and Silent Bob scene and fed him Bethany's lines, and without looking at my script, Mewes delivered Jay's lines in a letter-perfect fashion.

"Alright, so you've got the first scene down," I allowed. "Let's mix it up and try a scene from later in the flick."

So I fed him his lead-in lines from the church exterior scene, and Mewes spits out the Jay responses without hesitation.

"You memorized all your lines already?!" I demanded, shocked.
"All of 'em?!"
"Yeah. Everyone else's, too."
"Yeah, right"
"Try me."

I read him Loki's lines from a Jay-less scene, and amazingly, he responded with Bartleby's lines. I was dumbfounded, to say the least.

"You memorized ALL the lines in the script?!?!"
"Even the girl parts."
"What're you, fucking 'Rain Man'?! Why'd you memorize the whole goddamn script?!"
"I don't wanna piss off that Rickman dude."

When Mewes wasn't rehearsing, he was spending every waking moment with Stephanie, either at her apartment or in our shared hotel suite: two rooms adjoining a common living room, so I could keep my eye on the recovering boy. Uber-producer Scott Mosier and I told Jason early on that, for insurance purposes, he'd be subject to random piss tests to scan his urine for traces of dope, as a way to keep him on his toes. Mewes obliged, so we felt we had the situation under control but we wanted a little extra insurance.

"We've got money in the budget to give you an assistant," Scott informed me, three weeks before principal photography commenced.
"I don't need an assistant."
"That's what I figured. So I was thinking maybe we can hire Stephanie to be Mewes' assistant."
"What is she gonna assist him in, getting his cock in her mouth? That guy REALLY doesn't need an assistant."
"I know, but she might be useful in keeping an eye on him, y'know? Like, she could let us know if he's sniffing around for heroin or anything. Kinda like our spy on the payroll."

This was deemed a good idea, and we brought Stephanie into the office to explain the situation to her: Mewes was a recovering heroin addict, only seven months clean at this point, and we wanted to make sure he stayed clean. So we were opting to pay her three hundred bucks a week to be Jason's assistant as far as he was concerned, but really, she'd be reporting back to production, alerting us to any suspicious activity, letting us know if he was backsliding into the brown.

Stephanie agreed, partly because it meant she could quit her job at Eide's and be with Jason all the time, and partly, she said, because she cared about the boy and could see we cared about him too. The deal was struck, and Mosier and I felt like baby geniuses.

Little did I know that'd be the second time I'd shake hands with the devil as Stephanie became Jay's Pittsburgh connection for heroin.

To Be Continued

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #3 on: Apr 08, 2006, 04:02 PM »
Me and My Shadow, Pt. 3

About three weeks into the "Dogma" shoot, we spent a day outside a shuttered Burger King that Ratface, our production designer, had outfitted to pass as Mooby's, a fictional fast food franchise with the unlikely corporate icon of a cow as its pitchman (the faux burger joint would pop up again in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and ultimately feature prominently in "Clerks II"). The scene saw Linda Fiorentino's Bethany, Jason Mewes' Jay and my Silent Bob quizzing Chris Rock's Rufus, the 13th Apostle who'd fallen from the sky moments before. The day will always be noteworthy to me for two reasons: 1) due to a gripe with production, Linda wasn't speaking to me that morning, making it an interesting challenge to my directorial responsibilities, and 2) because Mewes disrupted shooting in a most unique fashion.

We were shooting Rock's coverage, and since Silent Bob had no lines in the scene, it allowed me to ride the monitor instead of sit in for off-camera. In the midst of a take, Rock was detailing Rufus' outrage in being left out of the Bible, when all of the sudden, he started laughing, completely breaking character. I called cut and made my way to the table.

"What's up?"
"Check out Mewes," he chuckled.

I looked over at Jason to see him fast asleep, sitting up, in an almost bovine manner. One nudge or two later, and Mewes startled awake.

"Are we going again?" he asked.
"What're you doing?"
"You feel asleep in the middle of the take, dude."
"Yeah, but not for the whole take."
"But we ain't shooting me, we're shooting Rock."
"You still have to stay awake, man! Just 'cause the camera's on you doesn't mean you can take a fucking nap!"
"What the fuck?!"
"What's the big deal?"
"You're supposed to be present in the scene for the other actors! Rock needs to act off of you! AND you've got dialogue to deliver, too! How the fuck can you just fall asleep in the middle of a take?!"
"It's the fourth fucking take, though."
"I can't help it. They just keep saying the same shit, over and over."

That sentiment became so instantly revered by the cast and crew that it wound up on the back of the production's wrap-gift t-shirt. With that simple and honest observation, the boy was able to succinctly express the unspoken overview of movie-makers the world over: filming any scene can get a bit repetitive. Whether you're making "Schindler's List" or "Weekend at Bernie's", "they keep saying the same shit, over and over" is the thought that inevitably and eventually floats through the minds of casts and crews everywhere. The tedium of life on a movie set was completely nailed by Jason Mewes.

Yeas later, I'd learn that Mewes wasn't really bored; he was simply "catching a nod" � his preferred terminology for the heroin-induced state of euphoria afforded shortly after shooting up.

Had I been educated on the subject of heroin abuse, I'd have realized that Mewes had, indeed, started using again on the set of "Dogma". After seven months of closely-watched sobriety, my responsibilities in governing the film's day-to-day production and my na�ve belief that Mewes had, indeed, cleaned up forever afforded Jason the ability to quietly shoot up while keeping it on the down-low. Even though the boy was turning in a performance on that flick that was so beyond-belief great it once prompted Matty Damon to observe "Who'd have thought Jay would steal the entire fucking show out from under us?" he was doing so with the dirty brown coursing through his veins on a daily basis, and passing for sober.

His then largest salary, combined with the additional influx of the three hundred bucks weekly we were paying Stephanie to keep an eye on him and report any suspicious activity back to us, kept the pair flush with "diesel". The withdrawls that would've alerted me weren't a factor, because the loot he was making and immediately spending kept him doped up and free from the DT's.

By the time we wrapped the flick, I'd fallen in love with the woman I'd eventually marry, Jennifer Schwalbach. Having met her shortly before production began while she was interviewing me for USA Today, our relationship was on such a fast track that, when I went back to Jersey, she moved out from L.A. and in with me. Mewes, too, moved Stephanie to Red Bank, post-wrap, so the four of us lived in that apartment on Broad Street, until a few months later, when Jen's pregnancy prompted the purchase of a house. Jen found a home for us in nearby Oceanport, the most prominent features of which were the indoor pool (rare in the Jersey burbs) and the flat roofs (which we'd later discover were designed by the house's builder, a later-jailed pedophile who had window-peeping on his daughters in mind when he was constructing the dwelling).

Mewes and Stephanie were spending so much time at Mewes' Mom's apartment in Keansburg that he didn't ask to move into the Oceanport house. Instead, Bryan Johnson and his then-girlfriend took up residence in one of the five bedrooms.

It was at this point that Mewes asked me to co-sign on a red Ford Explorer for him. Feeling guilty for the lack of time I was spending with the boy (due to my new relationship and the vast amount of hours I spent in the editing room, cutting the flick), I obliged. The deal was that I'd take care of lease payments on the vehicle and he was responsible for the insurance. Beyond that, I'd only see Jay when he needed money � which was so frequent that it warranted me adding him to the View Askew payroll.

A glamorous side effect of heroin abuse is a weakening of the teeth, apparently. Oblivious to this fact, as Mewes' teeth began falling out at an alarming rate, I assumed he was eating far too much sugar. His diet consisted of Hostess cupcakes and the artificially sweetened red drink sold in gallon form at most grocery stores that we referred to as "Bug Juice", topped off with a steady mouthful of Lemonheads. The most hardcore smoker I've ever known, Mewes could easily go through four packs a day � half of which wound up burning holes in his clothes when he'd nod out, mid-cigarette, and drop the burning cancer sticks on himself. Many times, he'd later report, he'd be woken up by the scent of burnt cotton, if he wasn't startled awake by a Marlboro burning down to the filter, singeing his fingers.

By Jen's second month of pregnancy, Mewes admitted he was in serious arrears on his truck insurance payments. This happened at the worse time imaginable: when Mewes nodded out at a traffic light and rolled into the car of an off-duty Middletown cop. The guy, who was very cool about the incident, asked only that Mewes pay for the damages to his car: some nine hundred bucks worth. Furious at his negligence (as a co-signer on the lease, I would've been liable had the officer wanted to sue), I told Mewes that I'd take care of the bill, but was confiscating the car for a month as punishment. When he surrendered the keys, I took a look at the odometer to mark the mileage, in case Mewes was hiding a second set and had thoughts of spiriting the car away while I spent my days editing "Dogma". My eyes bugged when I saw Jason had somehow managed to put 20,000 miles on the car in less than three months.

"How the fuck did you manage that? I've had my Jeep for almost two years and I STILL haven't put that much mileage on it!" I barked. "And I've taken the fucking thing cross-country!"

After hours of interrogation, Mewes copped to slipping back into heroin usage. The many miles he put on the car were from constant trips up to Newark to score � five, sometimes six back-and-forth trips of over a hundred miles a day. He pulled up his sleeves to reveal a connect-the-dots worthy series of track marks, accompanied by bruises and burns. Immediately, we took the Explorer back to the leasing lot and abandoned it for the dealers to find, a note on the windshield that read "Can't pay anymore."

Since Stephanie had brought her car with her from Pittsburgh, the pair still had wheels to get around. But the word was out on Jason and his drug activities in Keansburg, and anytime he'd motor down the main drag in town, the fuzz would inevitably pull him over and search the vehicle. One such pullover came about as a result of the police spotting Mewes, his sister, and Stephanie driving around with a deployed airbag, following a minor traffic accident the week before. The subsequent search resulted in an arrest, when a needle kit was found in the car and a bag of dope was discovered in Jason's boot, under his foot. Frustrated and disgusted, I refused to bail him out of his first overnight stint in County. After Scott Mosier sprung the boy, I asked him how he could be so stupid as to not at least attempt to toss the junk once he saw a cop in his rearview.

"I needed to shoot up to keep from getting sick," he offered. "And plus, I'd spent forty bucks on it."

Action was, again, necessary, so I moved Jason and Stephanie into the Oceanport house. The pair took a room at the back of the second floor, and both were put on heavy-duty monitoring, with Stephanie only allowed to leave daily for her job at a health food joint in Red Bank.

This time around, I was mandating a cold-turkey kick, so the methadone route was not an option. On the second day, Mewes was in such bad shape and pain, he took to crying and screaming at me. When I refused to give him dope money, he bashed his head against a wall, drawing blood. I sent him to his room.

Due to her pregnancy, Jen decided to give up the job she'd taken in New York at Mtv. As a sort of going-away gesture, she held a Christmas party at our house, inviting the friends she'd made at her city gig. While we prepped for the shindig the morning of the affair, Mewes slipped out of the house, disappearing for hours. He returned while the party was in full swing, briefly muttering hello to the guests and heading upstairs. I excused myself and followed him.

He wasn't in his room. Instead, he was in the upstairs hallway bathroom. Not hearing any noises emanating from the john, I silently stood outside, waiting for him to emerge. He knew I was there, and for an hour and change, we played a twisted game of chicken: him not coming out of the bathroom, and me waiting, stationed quietly outside, leaning against the wall. When he finally gave in and opened the door, he feigned surprise in seeing me.

"What's up?"
"What were you doing in there?" I demanded.
"I was taking a shit and reading comics."
"You weren't taking a shit for over an hour."
"I was reading comics too."
I studied his face. "What were you doing in there all that time?"

Dead silence.

"What were you doing in the bathroom all that time?"
"I swear, Moves. I was taking a shit and reading comics."

I glared at him for long, silent minutes. He was clammy and making sporadic eye contact.

"What the fuck were you doing in the bathroom for an hour? Because you weren't taking a shit or reading comics."
"I was."
"You weren't. What the fuck were you doing in there?"
"I wasn't doing dope, I swear to God."
"I don't believe you. What were you doing in there?"
"I swear to God, I wasn't doing dope. I was taking a shit and reading comics."
"You're lying to me."

He didn't respond.

"I need you to tell me the truth."
"I'm telling you the truth."
"I'm gonna ask you one more time, and if you lie to me again, I'm throwing you out of this house. If you're honest with me, you can stay. What the fuck were you doing in the bathroom for an hour."

He stared at me. After a minute, he repeated "I was taking a shit and reading comics."
"I want you out of here. Now. I don't give a fuck where you go, but I want you out of here. Get out."

Bitterly, he grabbed some stuff and took off. By the time I returned to the party, it was over.

I'd later learn that he wasn't shooting up in the bathroom. Instead, he was smoking cocaine. The burned tin foil and straw were hidden under some towels in a drawer.

Stephanie came home an hour later and when she asked where Jason was, I told her I'd kicked him out because he was doing drugs and lying about it to my face. The assumption was that he'd gone back to his Mother's apartment, but rather than have Stephanie join him there and have them both backslide, I told her she was welcome to stay in the house without him, so long as she stayed clean.

Mewes called multiple times every hour for the next week, but still, I was steadfast in his suspension. Stephanie pleaded Jason's case and said he'd copped to smoking coke, but was remorseful about it and swore he wouldn't do any more drugs ever again. He desperately wanted to come back. Ultimately, I relented, issuing even more stringent rules than he'd been living under before his ejection.

Stephanie, meanwhile, was looking deathly thin. Already slight in frame, the once-pretty girl Mewes had met in that comic book store in Pittsburgh was now a pale shadow of her former self. She weighed well under a hundred pounds.

Her parents, farm folk from the western Pennsylvania/Ohio area, had called our house one day looking for her. They told me they hadn't spoken to her in months, and that any time they called Mewes' Mom's apartment, nobody would answer. They'd somehow gotten my number and were puzzled as to why they couldn't track down their only daughter. I saw my window.

"I don't know how to break this to you, but Stephanie is a pretty bad drug addict," I confessed. The stunned silence on the other end of the line spoke volumes. "She and Jason just moved in with us here at the new house, and they say they're getting clean, but I don't believe either of them. She's sickly thin. I don't want to sound dramatic or scare you guys even more, but your daughter's gonna die if she doesn't make some drastic changes."

It was clear that Jason and Stephanie were, by now, a lethal combination, supporting and fueling one another's addiction, and the only way they'd ever get better would be to disappear from one another's lives completely. They'd never make this choice on their own, so in that phone call, Stephanie's parents, Jen and I made the decision for them.

An intervention of sorts was organized. Actually, it was more along the lines of a kidnapping. We gave her parents directions to our house, and arranged a time for them to show up, unannounced, on a day that Stephanie wasn't working. I'd taken Mewes into Red Bank and left him at the Secret Stash with Walter for a few hours, insisting he had to help Walt with new comics to make up for his coke-smoking hijinx in the bathroom. He was elated by the prospect of getting out of the house for the first time in days, so he kissed Stephanie goodbye, telling her he'd see her later.

Stephanie's parents arrived shortly after I got back to the house, and we quietly let them in and had them wait downstairs. I went to Jay and Stephanie's room and told her she had visitors. Stephanie's Mom started crying at the sight of her, and Jen and I excused ourselves, heading outside to afford the family some alone time.

Stephanie packed and loaded her stuff into her parents' car, passing us on the way out. We apologized for the deception, but she said she understood, and asked us to tell Jason she loved him. Her parents, who'd apparently had their daughter late in life, thanked us and asked that we not allow any contact between Jason and Stephanie, should she try to call. With that, the girl drove out of our lives, in tears.

I picked up Jason from the store a few hours later, and on the ride back to the house, I broke the news to him that Stephanie's parents had come to get her and bring her home. Mewes assumed I was kidding, but when we got back to the house and he saw her stuff missing from the room, he realized it wasn't a joke. We sat in the backyard, smoking, putting it all into perspective.

"I get it," he said. "When I met her, she had her own apartment, her own car, a good job. And she left here with, what? One suitcase, maybe?"
"I think she had two suitcases."
"I ruined her life, huh?"
"I wouldn't go that far. She made her own choices. But you two WERE pretty toxic together," I observed.

Mewes smoked quietly for a minute, and then chuckled.

"Remember that day back at the apartment, before you guys moved into this house? When you saw me laying on the floor outside of my bedroom, and you asked me what I was doing, and I was like 'Shhhhh'?"
"I do," I smiled. "That was weird."
"I was pretty doped up, and I was sure Stephanie was cheating on me."
"I don't think she ever cheated on you, dude."
"No, I thought she was cheating on me right THEN. I was watching her through the crack in the door because she was laying there with her eyes closed but her lips were moving."
I was a bit lost. "And?"
"And I thought she had some guy under the bed. I thought some guy had climbed through our window when I was in the bathroom, and she heard me coming, and hid him under the bed, and she was whispering to him, and that's why her mouth was moving. I thought she was pretending to be asleep. When you found me, I'd been watching her for two hours, waiting for a guy to come out from under the fucking bed."
"You realize that's insane, right?"
"It's pretty nuts, right?"
"It's beyond nuts. That fucking certifiable."
"I'm an asshole," Mewes laughed. Then, as a sober afterthought, he added "But I just loved her so much."

It was at this point that he started crying. I hugged him.

"You think if we both got clean, me and Steph could be together again? Like normal people?"
"Sure," I lied. Harsh truth wasn't needed at that moment.
"I swear to God I'm gonna clean up."
"You've gotta, man. It's really time."

Jason nodded. Then�

"But this is pretty hard to deal with right now, so I want to get some dope."
"I can't let you do that."
"I won't do it here. I'll do it at my Mom's. Stay there tonight, then come back here tomorrow, and go cold turkey."
"I get how you're feeling, but I can't let you do that. If you leave now, I can't let you back in. You understand, right?"

Mewes nodded, smoked, then shrugged, as if to say "It was worth a shot." We went inside, ordered pizza, and watched a movie with my then-six months pregnant girlfriend. Even though Jen and I were sure we'd done the right thing, we still felt pretty guilty. Both of us were extra nice to Jason that night. The whole affair ranked as the most Mewes-induced heartbreaking day I'd ever known.

Until a week later, when he'd burn a dealer at my house.

To Be Continued�

« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:06 PM by Djet3k »
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #4 on: Apr 08, 2006, 04:04 PM »
Me and My Shadow, Pt. 4 - The Story of Jason Mewes

Sometimes, it's best to learn the details of a potentially dangerous situation only when it's well after the fact. If you're hanging off a cliff, you don't want the person pulling you up to say "Fuck, look at that drop below you! If you don't make it, you're gonna pancake against those rocks so hard, you might just atomize!" Only after you've gotten your two hands, feet and ass on terra firma do you ever really need to know how bad it was truly looking.

So naturally, when I learned the whole story of how Mewes had burned a dealer at my house months after it went down, I was filled with a mix of rage and relief.

It was a Tuesday, of that much I'm sure. Jen, still early on in her pregnancy, was out shopping, Stephanie had been at work in Red Bank, and Judy was cleaning the house. It was week two of the boy's move back into the Oceanport joint, after he'd been caught smoking coke in the upstairs hallway bathroom. I was spending a lot more time babysitting Mewes, keeping him preoccupied in an effort to distract him from the desire to shoot dope.

We were sitting around watching TV when I got the call from Mosier, who was asking that I come to the office and sign off on our "Dogma" picture lock before it got sent to Skywalker Sound for the pre-mix. Without Jen around to take over Mewes duty, I was between a rock and a hard place: the boy was still feeling like shit from withdrawls and didnt want to take the ten minute ride to the office with me, knowing he'd be then stuck sitting around for two hours while I went through the flick.

"Besides," he observed. "Columbo's on."

Uncharacteristically, Mewes was (and still remains) a massive "Columbo" and "Murder, She Wrote" fan. Had we been a Nielsen family, A&E and USA wouldve displaced ABC and NBC as the nation's most watched networks, based solely on the amount of hours Mewes spent sacked out on the couch, engrossed in the crime dramas, desperate to solve the mysteries before the protagonists. Given his choice between porn and Cabot Cove, Mewes would forego double-penetrations for double indemnity plots.

With the boy enthralled by the cockeyed flatfoot in the trench coat, I came to the conclusion that it was okay to leave him by himself for a bit. He was flat broke, and I was secure in the knowledge that there was no other loot in the house with which he could make mischief in my absence. So I left him there to lay around and watch TV, pulling Judy aside on my way out to ask that she look in on Jay from time to time to make sure he was staying put. Without a car or cash, I figured there wasn't much trouble he could actually get into.

I was wrong.

No sooner had I pulled out of the driveway before Mewes was on the horn with a dealer in Keansburg, giving him directions to my house along with instructions to bring a bag a dope. The boy then tried to bum forty bucks off Judy, who - as a former alcoholic herself - knew not to give the kid more than enough cash to buy a pack of cigarettes. Three dollars in hand, Mewes put his half-assed "Mission: Impossible" into action.

The backyard of our Oceanport house was situated at the end of a cul de sac, and it was there that Mewes met his dealer, unlocking the gates in the wooden fence that still afforded an easy view of the flat-roofed house. Maintaining a faux study of the windows, he told the dealer that they had to make the exchange quickly, as "Kevin's watching me from the house." The dealer didnt know I wasnt home, but since the customer was always right, he palmed the bag of dope and extended it out of the driver's side window of the car toward Jason. Instead of doing the same with the money and shaking hands to make the dope swap, Mewes tossed the crumpled three dollar bills across the dealer into the passenger seat, snatching the dope from the man's hand in the process. He then dashed into the backyard, quickly locked the gate, and ran into the house.

It didn't take Columbo to deduce that three crumpled dollar bills was thirty seven crumpled dollar bills shy of the true purchase price, nor did it take a keen, Jessica Fletcher-like power of observation for the dealer to figure out which house Mewes had run inside. Pulling around to the front door, he rang the bell. Mewes told the oblivious Judy to inform whoever was there that he wasn't home. Judy maintained the party line, even when the dealer said "But I saw him run into this house a minute ago. I KNOW he's here." Unwilling to cause a ruckus over thirty seven bucks, the dealer let his longtime customer off the hook with a warning of "Tell him he owes me double now."

Blissfully unaware of all this, I wound up giving Mewes the boot from my house again anyway, shortly after Stephanie's departure. He'd backslid and been caught, at which point I sent him packing back to his Mom's, where his drug abuse took on a new facet: Oxycontin dependency.

Mewes' Mom, ravaged by HIV, was regularly prescribed the morphine replacement that provided the same numbing pain-relief, minus the eventual tolerance build-up. One could become inured to the effect of morphine over time, necessitating larger doses to kill discomfort, but Oxycontin didn't come with these same strings attached. Apparently, the same dosage that relieved pain one week into usage would do the trick one year in, regardless of user-frequency. Mewes' Mother started sharing her pills with her son when he was penniless and unable to purchase heroin. Since he wasn't spiking up to get high anymore, I mistakenly viewed this as a step toward recovery for the boy, and invited him to accompany us to Cannes that May for the world premiere of "Dogma".

Jason pointed out that he'd never been abroad before, so he was anxious to make the trip. In reality, he was anxious to get his hands on the copious amounts of readily available heroin he assumed was waiting for him in France, after having seen the film "Killing Zoe". Filled with expectation and worried he might be caught holding and wind up in a foreign jail (a'la "Midnight Express"), he opted against bringing Oxys or heroin with him on the plane.

By the time we landed in the South of France, Mewes was going through some pretty heavy withdrawls, throwing up more than once in the forward-cabin bathroom on the plane. When we arrived at the hotel, he immediately took off on a desperate hunt for brownstone. What he discovered rather quickly was that film - particularly movies about bank robbers - doesn't always offer accurate depictions of the real world: the streets of Cannes weren't teeming with the junk Killing Zoe promised. Unable to score, he hit a local pharmacy, where he discovered that Codeine - a prescription drug in the U.S. that's derived from morphine - was sold in over-the-counter forms in Europe. He bought a one liter bottle of liquid Codeine and a 24 pack of Codeine tablets, taking half of the 24 pills and washing them down with the full bottle of the narcotic, hoping for an effect approximate to the high his Oxys and heroin afforded.

What would probably stop the heart of a normal person had zero impact on Jason. His tolerance level was so built up after years of drug abuse, that all the Codeine ingestion gave him was a sour stomach. Returning to the hotel from doing press, Scott and I found a French Doctor standing in Mewes' room, demanding payment. Mewes had called the concierge and told them he'd fallen, hoping to be prescribed Oxycontin. The Doctor refused both to fill the scrip and to leave until he'd been paid for his emergency house call. As I peeled off some francs to pay the man, the English-limited physician tapped his fingers to his forearm, nodded at my friend, curled up on the couch and sweating heavily, and barked "Le junkie! Le junkie!"

Our five day stay at the fest was successful as far as the film was concerned, but tumultuous thanks to Mewes. Unwilling to do press or attend the actual Palais screening of the flick (the legendary red carpet walk up to the grand, main theater of the film festival), Jason begged and pleaded to be sent back to the States. But since it would've cost an additional grand or more to change his already expensive airline ticket, Scott and I declined.

By the time we did fly home as a group, Mewes was belligerently detoxing, unwilling to speak to anybody, convulsing with the shakes. As the Cannes-to-London flight was touching down, Mewes did something that would get him shot by a Federal Air Marshal in the post-9/11 climate of today: he got up and started stalking the aisles of the plane, opening up all the overhead bins, searching for a blanket. Mere feet from the wheels hitting the tarmac, the British Flight Attendants screamed at Jason to sit from their buckled-in positions at the front of the craft.

"I'm cold and I need a blanket," Mewes yelled back.
"FUCK YOUSE!" Jason shouted, punching overhead compartments on the way back to his seat, where he hurled himself into his chair, adding, for good measure "ARE YOU HAPPY, YOU LIMEY FUCKS?!"

Keeping the boy away from his Mother, his source for Oxycontin tablets, became a priority. Once again, I moved him back into the Oceanport house. Once again, we tried to quit cold turkey. After a month, Mewes was still in pain, but managing to stay clean, so long as he was watched.

In June, I had to fly out to Los Angeles for an appearance on the Mtv Movie Awards, where I was to present with Ben Affleck. Not wanting to leave the boy behind, Jen and I took him with us. We stayed at the Sofitel on Beverly, across from the Beverly Center Mall.

The awards show presentation went off without a hitch; the same can't be said for the rest of the L.A. trip.

Around one a.m. four nights into the trip, Mewes rang our room, waking me up.

"Moves I just took a cab back from some party and I dont have any cash to pay the driver. Do you have twenty bucks?"
"I dont have any cash on me."
"What do I do about the cabbie?"
"Just come up to my room and Ill give you my ATM card. Take out forty bucks, pay the driver, and keep the other twenty."

When he knocked softly at the hotel room door, I passed the ATM card out to Jason and said "Just slip this under the door when youre done with it. I'm going back to sleep."
"Alright. Thanks, Moves."

The next morning, the ATM card wasn't where I asked him to leave it. I called Mewes room but got no answer. I called down to the valet parkers to have the rental car brought up, but was told that the car had been taken out already. This is when I started putting two and two together and quickly phoned the 24 hour hotline for my bank.

"Yeah, I've lost my ATM card," I offered. "Can you tell me the last time it was used?"
After a minute of tapping keys, the customer service agent said "About twenty minutes ago. A hundred dollars was withdrawn. When was the last time you had the card in your possession, sir?"
"Around one a.m. pacific."
"I'm showing ten withdrawls since then."
"Totaling about how much?"
"Looks like eleven hundred dollars."

After putting a freeze on the account (and lamenting to Jen about how I'd never been able to withdraw more than four hundred bucks a day off my ATM card while Jason was somehow able to siphon over double that in the span of ten hours), I got on the horn with Mosier and filled him in on the situation. The valet parkers called to let us know the car had been returned, and Mos and I went banging on Jason's door. He wouldn't answer, so we called the front desk and told them our friend had locked himself in his room and we feared he might have overdosed. Hotel security opened Jason's door, where we discovered a room in total upheaval: furniture tossed, curtains torn down, burnt sheets and comforters stripped from the askew mattress. Jason was curled up in a ball on the floor, staring at the ceiling. After confirming he was still breathing, we ushered the security guy out. Mewes admitted to the theft and detailed his eventful previous ten hours.

He'd taken the money and the rental car and tried to score junk around town. Unsuccessful, he'd come back to the hotel and phoned the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai, the hospital a block down the street, and told him he'd thrown his back out in a fall off his bed. An ambulance had picked him up and brought him to the hospital where the doctors could find nothing wrong with him. He insisted that he'd aggravated an existing back condition, the only medication for which would help was Oxycontin. The doctors denied his request for the heavy narcotic, instead writing him a prescription for the weaker Vicodin - a drug that, along with Percocet, Mewes had outgrown years prior, building up an enormous tolerance level against them. He'd then taken the rental car anew and hit a bunch of pharmacies that refused to fill his prescription without proper credentials. Defeated, he'd returned to the hotel and trashed his room.

For years, I'd been urging Mewes to check himself into a rehab program I said I'd gladly pay for. For years, Mewes had declined, insisting he didnt think he could handle being in a place he wasn't allowed to leave, kicking amongst strangers. At this point, I finally had him over a barrel, in a position where rehab was no longer a choice.

"You're going to rehab today, or you're going to jail for theft," I told him. "It's that simple. You stole enough for me to prosecute you, and that's what I'm gonna do unless you enter a program by tonight."
He laid there for a beat, staring at the floor, until he finally said "Okay."

Scott and I researched some L.A. rehabs online and found one called Anna Cappa Steps, a few hours outside of the city. I called them to see if we could admit Jason that day, and they obliged us. We drove Mewes out to the clinic and checked him in, at which point I gave the people in charge my numbers and told them to contact me if there were any problems. Before we left, I sat down with Mewes.

"This is the best thing you can possibly do for yourself."
"Can't I just go home with you and kick at the house in Jersey? I swear, I'll do it for good this time."
I don't believe you anymore. You go through this program and get clean and I can start believing you again. You've gotta do this now."
He was tearing up. "Alright, Moves," he said. "I understand."

The next day, Scott and I went into an L.A. studio with Jeff and Brian to record some voiceover for the "Clerks" cartoon we'd sold to ABC. Mid-session, my cell phone rang.

"This is Steps. You're the contact for Jason Mewes?"
"I am. What happened?"
"Jason's having a hard time with the program and wants to sign himself out."
"It's only been A DAY."
"A LONG day, Mr. Smith - during which Jason's screamed at his nurses and been a disruptive force in the program. People are trying to change their lives here; they don't need this kind of distraction."
"He's one of those people that needs to change his life too, ma'am," I said. "Once he gets used to the program, he'll be better, I promise. But, please - don't kick him out."
"This is a voluntary program, Mr. Smith. We're not kicking him out; he's kicking himself out. And right now, we're inclined to accommodate him."
"Can I speak with Jason, please?"
I was put on hold. The next voice I heard was the boy's saying "I can't take this place, Moves! Lemme go back to Jersey and kick in the house! All these people are assholes and they're treating me..." He pulled the phone away from his mouth and yelled out into the room "THEY'RE TREATING ME LIKE A FUCKING BABY!!!"
"You're acting like a fucking baby, Mewes. So show a little spine and quit crying."
"I wanna leave!"
"You can check yourself out if that's what you want. But if you do that, I'm having you arrested for theft."
"You can do this, man. The first few days are always the hardest, but once you get past that, these people can really help you."
He took a calmer approach. "I'd rather have YOU help me."
"I've taken you as far as I can. Nothing I do works. Nothing I do has ever worked. You need professional help."
After a long beat of silence "Alright, Moves."
"You can do this."

I hung up. After half an hour, I called back and asked to speak to the program director who'd called me earlier.

"How's he doing?"
"Much better now. He apologized to the nurses and he's cooperating. He says he's serious about getting off drugs."

Relieved, I went back into the recording studio. Twenty minutes later, my cell phone rang.

"Jason's escaped."

To Be Continued...

« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:07 PM by Djet3k »
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Re: Me and My Shadow (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #5 on: Apr 08, 2006, 04:05 PM »
Me and My Shadow, Pt. 5- The Story of Jason Mewes

I stood in the lobby of the sound studio where we were recording voice tracks for the "Clerks" cartoon, phone to my ear, stunned.

"What?!" I demanded.
"Jason's escaped," repeated the program director of the rehab clinic nearly two hours outside of L.A. where we'd checked Mewes in only the day before. "He asked if he could step outside for cigarette, at which point he fled the grounds. He won't get far though, because he doesn't have any shoes. We expect to recapture him soon."

Visions of Mewes running through fields, pursued by rehab workers on horseback, a net scooping him up a'la "Planet of the Apes", raced through my head.

When Jay was brought back to Steps, he was placed in a building across the street from the rehab proper. The decision from the top brass was that he could remain in the program, but he wasn't allowed to mingle with the patients in the main building. Instead, he was placed in lockdown in what was tantamount to a psychiatric ward. For one week, he wasn't allowed to take calls.

I'd stayed in Los Angeles to work on the "Clerks" cartoon for a bit after the Mtv Movie Awards, but was planning to head back east soon, as Jen was almost ready to deliver Harley, and I wanted my kid born in Jersey, not California. Three days before we left, I was finally able to speak to Mewes.

I'd called the psych ward's main number, and they gave me the digits for a payphone on the unit's floor.

"Hewhoaw?" said the voice on the other end, sounding vaguely like an old, retarded woman.
"Hello. Yes, can I speak with Jason Mewes please?"
"Who's that?"
"He's a patient there. Long hair. Kinda young."
Apropos of nothing, the voice asked "Do you like my glasses?"
"Excuse me?"
"Hold on," the voice said. Then, I heard the voice call out into the room in an almost sing-songy patois "Dum-Dum"
There was a momentary scuffle until I heard a familiar voice barking "Gimme that!" Then, Mewes snapped into the phone "Fucking Dum-Dum! Do you hear that, Moves? This guy's calling me Dum-Dum! You've gotta get me out of here!"
"That was a guy?" I asked.
"Do you like my glasses?" the apparently male patient said to Mewes.
"I ALREADY TOLD YOU I LIKED 'EM TEN TIMES! NOW FUCK OFF!" He followed it with a sotto "Jesus."
"How's it going in there," I inquired, already pretty sure of the impending response.
"I'm in the fucking nut-house, Moves! You gotta get 'em to take me back across the street!"
"They said they're unwilling to have you back there, Jay. You're to do the rest of the program from where you are."
"In a fucking insane asylum?!"
"You wouldn't be in an insane asylum if you hadn't made a run for it. You wouldn't be in rehab at all if you didn't start doing dope."
"I know, but this is crazy. This fucking PLACE is crazy. That glasses guy? He told me he's my Mother. And if he asks me one more time..."
And, as if on cue, the patient piped in again from what sounded like a few feet away "Do you like my glasses?"
"GET AWAY FROM ME!" Mewes yelled.
"You get away from me!" the guy yelled back, then called out in the sing-songy tones "Dum-Dum!"
"Moves, I'm not gonna make it in here. I'll go to another rehab - any other rehab. But I can't stay in here. All these people are insane. I'm not insane. I've got a drug problem, yeah - but I ain't nuts."

The boy had a point. We made arrangements to have him moved to another rehab, this time a place called Cry Help in Los Angeles. Once he was securely in the new program, Jen, Scott and I flew back to Jersey on the Miramax private jet Harvey had sent for us, as Jen - waaaay pregnant and set to pop at any moment - wasn't permitted to fly commercially that close to term.

Harley was born in Red Bank at Riverview, the same hospital where my Mother had given birth to me 29 years prior. All of my friends and family came to see the baby that first week; all of my friends and family except the rehab-riding Mewes.

A month and change after Harley was born, Jen, the newborn and I were back on a plane out to Los Angeles to do more work on the "Clerks" cartoon, just in time for Mewes' discharge from Cry Help. I swung by the clinic to pick him up and almost wept after seeing how good he looked and hearing how great he sounded. We got him a hotel room at the Nico, a few doors down from ours, and stuck around L.A. for two more weeks, recording all Mewes' voiceover for the first four episodes of the cartoon, before collectively heading back to Jersey.

It was a sheer delight to be around Jason at this point. He was crisp and clear in a way he hadn't been since pre-"Dogma". But with this newfound clarity came candor: as part of his Twelve Steps, he started confessing a litany of prior bad acts and sordid activity that I hadn't been aware of. While it was refreshing to listen to the truth coming out of Jason for a change, one of his mea-culpas proved unnerving.

The dealer Mewes had burned at my backyard gate - the one who had simply left with a warning that day? Had he known his Mewes-related troubles weren't about to stop with being owed thirty seven bucks, he might've instead forced entry into the house and taken the boy out altogether. As part of a plea bargain with the Keansburg police that stemmed from the possession charges resulting from the deployed airbag-induced pull-over, Mewes had to turn in his dealer. After ducking the sting operation as long as he could, Stephanie and Mewes were involved in a set-up and arrest that saw the guy ultimately incarcerated.

All of this was done on the down-low, while Jay and Stephanie were both still residents at my house. In retrospect, Stephanie hadn't put up any fight to stick around when her parents showed up to get her that day. I'd always assumed it was because she saw an opportunity to turn her life around. Suddenly, I realized it might've been a self-preservatory move of a different color altogether - because once the dealer they set up got out of jail, he might be looking for a little payback. And if that was the case, he'd probably go looking for Mewes and Stephanie at their last known address.

My house in Oceanport.

But even though Mewes assured me the guy worked alone and wasn't getting out for at least two years, that was the moment I decided I should probably move my family elsewhere.

But the relocation would have to wait, because the "Dogma" premiere was fast-approaching. The film had its domestic debut at the prestigious New York Film Festival, where a thousand protesters showed up, shaking Bible-quoting placards at us. The Catholic League-led campaign against the flick had slow-boiled into a 300,000-strong hate mail endeavor, the three legitimate death threats of which resulted in all View Askew mail and packages being opened by bomb squad professionals for four months.

With all the stress we were under, it was nice to know Mewes - thanks to his newfound sobriety - wasn't responsible for any of it. Living with us back in Oceanport, Jason had become a model citizen, just saying No. He'd visit his Mother regularly, steering clear of her readily available Oxys. His one request in months was that Stephanie be allowed to attend the NY Film Fest unveiling of "Dogma". He hadn't seen his ex since Steph's hasty departure from our lives, and now that they were both clean, he was anxious to spend time with her. After making him promise that drugs wouldn't factor into the visit, I conceded.

Stephanie took a train and joined us in NYC. The one-time Terror Twins rode in the limo with Jen, Harley and I to the Lincoln Center screening of the flick. At the theater, Jason was in attendance for the intro of the film, along with Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Alan Rickman, composer Howard Shore, Mos and me. When the intro was over, the boy asked if he could head back to the hotel with Stephanie for a little private time. Not wanting to be a cock-blocker, I allowed it, providing he get back to Lincoln Center by the end of the movie.

While the film screened, Jen told me she couldn't be one hundred percent sure, but she feared she saw a needle kit inside Stephanie's jacket while we were in the limo together. I couldn't leave the theater, shoot over to the hotel to check on the pair and hope to be back in time for the Q&A panel that would follow. Instead, I said I'd confront Jason about it when he returned for the post-screening panel.

Had Jay returned to the theater, he would've been able to bask in the glow of the upscale audience's "Dogma"-driven adoration of Jay. Had he shown up at the after-party, he would've been showered with praise by Harvey Weinstein. Instead, all night I fielded "Where's Jay?" queries.

It wasn't 'til the following morning that I'd learn the details of his absence: Stephanie and he had gone back to the Four Seasons on 57th where they shot up, getting so loaded they forgot to fuck before she had to get on a train back to Ohio the next morning. Rather than spend the night romantically, they opted to spend it narcotically. And with that, Mewes had fallen off the wagon. He'd managed to stay clean a mere four months.

Excuses were made along the lines of "It was just this one time, and I know it was stupid, because I shot up instead of getting down with her." Still, I booted the boy from the house anew, with Jason insisting he was staying sober from then on in.

The next time I saw him was at Harley's christening, the weekend "Dogma" was released theatrically. He didn't stick around at the party very long, and it was clear that his mind was elsewhere.

Shortly after the holidays, Jen, Scott and I moved out to Los Angeles for three months, to work on the cartoon. When we finally returned to Jersey, we needed to record two more episodes worth of voiceover with Jay. The difference in his voice was noticeable when he showed up in that Manhattan recording studio, but his appearance was even more telling. He looked like a junkie again.

Still, it wasn't all bad for Jason. He'd been dating a girl named Jamie for some time, and one night, he decided to propose to her. He told me about it the day after he'd gotten engaged.

"I proposed to Jamie last night," he said.
"Get outa here!"
"It's true. I put the ring in my fish tank, and when she came into my room, I told her to check out the new fish I bought. She found the ring, and I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me."
"Classy, dude. I wish I could've seen that."
"You can. I videotaped the whole thing."
"Yeah - I hid a camera so that I could get it all on tape."
"I'd like to see that tape," I said.
After a long beat, he added "I made another tape, too."

I knew where this was going before he elaborated. Mewes gave me both his proposal tape and his celebratory fuck tape to watch and critique. Suffice it to say, the proposal tape was easier to watch, as the fuck tape featured an Oxycontin-numbed Mewes engaged in sadly lackadaisical sex. What should've been a hot viewing turned out to be just another reminder of how far from the land of the living the boy truly was.

The "Clerks" cartoon had a short life on ABC, canceled after only two airings. By that time, I was working on a script for "Clerks II", but started thinking, instead, of making the all-Jay and Silent Bob flick the fan-base had been requesting for years. The reasons for this change of direction were two-fold: 1) after dealing with the scandal of "Dogma", I thought it'd be nice to make a movie where death threats wouldn't be a factor; and 2) a Jay and Silent Bob-centric flick was my best chance of getting Jason clean again.

I told the boy about my plan, and he got excited. I told him he'd make more money this time around than he had on all the previous films combined, and he got even more excited. I told him the only way any of this would come to pass would be if he got clean, and the excitement dwindled. Reserved to his fate, he agreed to clean up, and back into my house he moved.

Jason had, at this point, lost a bunch of teeth, thanks to heroin abuse. There were unconfirmed reports that Mewes had went into the dentist and had repairable teeth removed, solely so he could get an Oxycontin prescription. The end result was a mouth that more closely resembled that of an eighty year old's than someone in his mid twenties. A trip to the oral surgeon was in order.

The doctor said roughly thirty thousand dollars worth of dental work was needed to fix Jason's mouth and fit him with false teeth. We started the month-long process of root canals and drilling with me pulling aside the dentist and asking what type of pain reliever he'd be prescribing.

"The kid's asking me for Oxycontin," the doctor said. "He's got a pretty bad addiction."
"Yeah, we're working on that now," I confessed.
"Point is, I don't know what I can prescribe for him that would even approach the dosage his body's used to now. He's doing twelve hundred milligrams a day."
"Is that a lot?"
"Let's put it this way: if you took four hundred right now, it'd probably stop your heart cold."
"He's built up quite a bit of tolerance, huh?"
"It's amazing he's not dead."
"He comes from sturdy stock."

That stock he came from had been steadily supplying her son with a diet of Oxys that the boy would have to be weaned from. Worse still, Mewes wasn't taking the pills orally: he'd crack open the time-released coating and chop up the narcotic inside, snorting it to get it into his system as quickly as possible. The doctor suggested a slow reduction, dropping Jay a hundred milligrams a week until he was off the drug completely.

I took charge of the pills and began doling them out every morning. Invariably, a soft knock would come at the door around six a.m., with the boy asking "I know it's early, but can I get my medicine now?" After nearly two months, we'd only gotten down to four hundred milligrams a day, and even at that dosage, Jason was complaining that he was getting the shakes.

Our program was interrupted when Mewes got a job on another flick in advance of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back". Entitled "R.S.V.P.", it was to shoot in Vegas, and Jamie the boy's fianc agreed to accompany him for that shoot, promising to take over the dosage-lowering program in my absence. The pair left Jersey a few weeks after Mewes' final dental visit, at which point he had a mouth full of teeth again.

Jen and I packed up the family (Harley, naturally, as well as Jen's parents Byron and Gail) and headed out to Los Angeles. We set up house in Toluca Lake months in advance of principal photography on "Strike Back". The rental property came with a back house that was designated as Mewes' once he was done with "R.S.V.P"

The reports out of Vegas were not inspiring. Jamie said Mewes hadn't diminished his dosage, but instead increased it, hovering somewhere around a thousand milligrams of Oxys a day. I told the boy that, once he got to Los Angeles, we'd be sticking him in a rehab. Jason agreed, so long as it was a week-long program: the kind in which the patient is heavily medicated as they detox from their drug dependency. The notion of kicking drugs with different drugs seemed backwards to me, but if I'd learned anything over the last three years it was that I didn't know shit about drug dependency.

I found a program in Beverly Hills that Jason agreed to enter. Based in Cedars-Sinai Hospital, it was a ten-day detox-only regiment, after which drug counseling was stressed. Mewes wasn't interested in meetings as much as he was looking for a painless way to get narcotics out of his system.

The sad truth, by this point, was that Jason was no longer doing drugs to get high. He'd long-since passed the point of ingesting heroin or Oxys for pleasure. By then, he needed the steady diet of narcotics solely "to feel normal", as he would say. When the body builds up the kind of tolerance level Jason's had, you don't fiend for anything else beyond NOT detoxing. It's no longer about feeling good as much as it's about not feeling bad.

When we admitted Jason into the program upon his arrival in L.A., he'd discover what "bad" really meant.

To Be Continued

« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:07 PM by Djet3k »
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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 2006, 04:05 PM »
Me and My Shadow, Pt. 6 - The Story of Jason Mewes

Rather than admit himself into a normal rehab program, where the initial withdraw from drug dependency is immediately followed by counseling and a maintenance program on the facility's grounds, Mewes had opted to check into a detox program - a ten day, one-shot affair in which the patient is weaned off his or her particular poison while being medicated with an alternative painkiller meant to relieve the physical trial of kicking, and then released back into the wild. The detox program Mewes entered was located in Cedars-Sinai Hospital. After four days, we were allowed to visit the boy.

While not quite a psychiatric ward, Mewes found himself sharing space with a crew of offbeat, broken and botched individuals that called to mind the cast of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".

"I am Jesus," moaned the man to Mewes' right, on the sun porch where patients and visitors were permitted to smoke. "I am Buddha. I am Satan and Elijah."

Dressed in a hospital gown and a cowboy hat, the man barely opened his eyes. He was talking to no one; at least, no one we could see.

Jen, Malcolm Ingram, Jamie and I eyeballed the clearly troubled contemporary of Mewes, as Jason himself sat in front of us, heavily medicated and barely awake. The Cowboy continued.

"Jesus was not born on December 25th, as most Christians believe, but was instead born on October 31st, also known as All Hollow's Eve."
"He says that all day long," Jason sleepily sputtered.
"At least you're learning something while youre in here," I shrugged.
Mewes cracked a half smile. "Is it check out time already, because I'd like to go home now."
"You've got six more days, bro. Then you're out."
Jason nodded, as if doing so took every ounce of energy he could muster. "This really sucks."
"How're you feeling about Oxys now?"
"To be honest?" Mewes began. "If I had a warehouse full of Oxys somewhere, one that would never go empty? I'd never get off drugs."

It was a troubling sentiment, and one I took with me when we eventually left the boy there, surrounded by those with questionable sanity. Clearly, this program wasn't going to "take". This latest round of sobriety was merely a means to an end: getting clean for "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back". I could already tell that, once shooting was over, the boy would either meander or rush back to drugs.

The day Jason was released, Malcolm was hired to babysit him while I attended to the duties of pre-production. His job, like mine for so many years, was to police the boy and keep him preoccupied, his mind off drugs. The first three days saw an ultra-cranky Jason complaining of body aches and demanding a small dosage of Oxycontin that wasn't forthcoming. He became so belligerent, Malcolm ushered Mewes out of the Toluca Lake rental house and up to the Universal Hilton, where they spent three days in their hotel room, eating room service and watching in-room movies, until Jay's demeanor softened.

When Mewes moved back into the Toluca House, his whining never stopped. Rather than focusing on the task at hand - preparing for the flick - everyone spent the days trying to come up with activities that'd keep Jason busy. After a week of this, one month out from our production start date, my patience had worn dangerously thin.

We were driving to the CBS Radford Lot, home base for the "Strike Back" production, where I was going to spend the day rehearsing with the boy. The car was loaded with Malcolm, Gail, Jamie, Jen, Mewes and me.

"So what're we gonna do tonight?" Jen enthused, trying to come up with a keep-Jason-busy agenda. "How about bowling?"
"I'd totally bowl," offered Malcolm.
"Sure. Why not?" I said.
The sullen Mewes said nothing.
"Jay? You up for some bowling?"
"I'm up for getting some of my pills, because I'm in pain," came his reply.
"Well that's out," I countered. "So how about bowling?"
"How am I supposed to lift a fucking bowling ball feeling like I do? Fuck that."
"You got something else you'd rather do?"
"My pills."
"Aside from that?"
"I don't wanna do shit."
"That's not the right kinda attitude, man."
"That's the way I feel."
"Y'know, it's all about the mind-set. If you're thinking about the pain and the drugs, it's just gonna bring you down."
"I'm thinking about the drugs BECAUSE of the pain. You don't know what this shit feels like. It fucking sucks. And I don't wanna do any fucking bowling, or go to a movie or any other shit you guys keep talking about. I just want my pills."

We were a mere two blocks from the studio when I finally lost it.


With the car still in motion, Mewes opened the back door.

"Kevin!" yelled Jen.
"Mewes, shut the fucking door!" Malcolm tossed in.
"FINE!" I yelled, yanking the steering wheel to the right and slamming on the breaks.

Mewes stormed out of the car and headed in the opposite direction. I watched him in the rearview until Malcolm asked "Should I follow him?"
"I don't give a shit at this point. Fuck that asshole."
"Follow him, Malcolm," Jen intervened.

Malcolm went after Mewes and I drove the rest of the way to the lot in silence, thinking. When I got to the "Strike Back" production bungalow, I pulled Scott into my office and closed the door.

"We've gotta pull the plug on the flick."
"I don't think it's gonna work out with Mewes. He's impossible to deal with now and all he talks about is getting his hands on Oxys. I'm terrified we're gonna get two weeks into production, and he's gonna fall off the wagon and we're gonna be really fucking stuck. So while we're not that deep into this thing, maybe we should just call it quits."
"We're already almost a million in at this point," Scott pointed out.
"Better to kill it now than get four or five million in and have him flip the fuck out on us. The guy's a hardcore junkie, man. There's no avoiding it anymore."

Just then, Malcolm knocked on the door and said "Mewes is here. He wants to talk to you."

Scott and Malcolm left me alone with the tear-stained Mewes.

"You can do all the fucking dope you want now, because we're stopping the movie. I'm not risking millions of dollars of someone else's money on you when you're like this."
"I'm sorry," he swallowed. "It's just hard. It's harder than you think. And you keep saying 'Be a man' and shit, and it's not that easy. I can't stay clean."
"Well I can't make this movie if you're on drugs. I just can't. You're the fucking lead. The title has your name in it. You work every day."
"I was thinking maybe I could just drink instead."
"At least if I was drinking, like at night, when we're done shooting, I could make it, I think."
I sized him up for a beat, then repeated "Just drinking."
"Just drinking. I swear."
"You can't drink during the day, when we're shooting."
"I won't."
"And if you're going out and drinking at night, you've still gotta show up every morning, on time, to get your work done."
"I can do that."
"Because if you show up drunk, we're shutting down for that day, and it's gonna cost the production, which will come out of your salary."

I mulled it over for a bit. Drinking was better than drugging, I figured. And it'd mean everyone on the show could keep their jobs.

"Fine," I relented, shaking hands with the devil for the third time in my life. We hugged and put what would forever be known as the "Junkie Jerk-Off" incident behind us, spending the rest of the day rehearsing.

From then on, Mewes was relatively well-behaved. Every morning, we'd get up early and take a mile and change-long walk together to the nearest Jamba Juice, talking about the flick, going over his feelings about drugs that day, and making fun of Malcolm.

The latter was Mewes' favorite "Strike Back" pastime. Mewes would go out at night with Mitch, who kept track of his every move. The morning after, Jason would detail their adventures from the night before, as well as Malcolm's mundane daily activities which Mewes was always able to put a humorous spin on.

For example: Malcolm made the mistake of ordering a large kielbasa for lunch one afternoon, and Mewes never let him live the phallic food choice down, insisting it was a sure sign of love of cock. A night or two later, while clubbing, Mewes and a few friends wound up getting into a verbal fight with some west coast actors, that resulted in a near brawl-for-all outside the club. It was Leonardo DiCaprio's crew, which included the recently-cast-as-Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, and in a white-boy equivalent of an east coast/west coast rapper showdown, the two sides postured and posed about kicking ass. The cops came to break it up before it got physical, and the next morning, Mewes gave me the play-by-play.

"Where was Malcolm?" I asked.
"He was there. But all he said afterwards was that Tobey Maguire would've kicked my ass."
"How's he figure?"
"Because the dude got all buff for playing Spider-Man or something. And Malcolm kept saying 'He's huge now. Hed have kicked your ass.' He was obsessed with Maguire being Spider-Man buff."
"Maybe you and Malcolm can start your own Sinister Six," I joked, referencing the comic book villains who banded together to defeat Spider-Man.
Mewes started cracking up. It was that amazing display of a hardcore, physically-debilitating laughing jag that Mewes could only manage when his system was clear of junk. In tears, his temple vein pulsing to the point of breaking, Mewes sputtered "Fucking Malcolm could be Doc Ock, but instead" He tried to compose himself to get his thought across. "Instead of metal arms, he's got" Unable to continue, Mewes leaned against a tree, cackling.
"He's got what?"
"He's got a bunch of fucking kielbasas strung together, sticking out of his back!!!"
Mewes sank to the ground, rolling from side-to-side. I, too, was in tears; the good kind, for a change.
"And he he he can't fucking fight with the sausage arms, because whenever he goes to hit Spider-Man, he takes a bite out of the fucking arms instead!"
At this point, neither of us could breathe.
"And I'm like 'Malcolm Get my back!' But he can't help me because he's too busy sticking his kielbasa claws up his ass!!!"
The portrait was complete when Malcolm, whose longstanding catchphrase had always been "Baw!", was renamed "Doc Baw".

And so it went, all the way up to production. Mewes performed like a champ in the film, knocking it out of the park every day. And as soon as we wrapped, the boy would go out clubbing with Malcolm, as well as Dre and Dave, the caterers on the show. He spent most of his salary on club clothes, adorning himself in furry coats and pimp hats. Every morning, we'd drive to the set or location together, the boy fully ready to work.

His relationship with Jamie didn't fare as well. The pair fought constantly, usually due to Jay's post-shooting inebriated condition. One night, Jamie couldn't take it anymore and she sought sanctuary in my and Jen's room. Mewes called up to our balcony, demanding she return to their back house.

"She doesn't want to be around you when you're like this, dude," I called down to him.
"You tell her she's got three choices: one, she comes down here. Two" He thought for a moment, then said "We go out driiinkin'" No third option was ever given. Mewes passed out shortly thereafter, and Jamie headed back to Jersey, their engagement ended.

Toward the end of the show, Jason's Mom took a turn for the worse, and some room was made in the shooting schedule for the boy to go back to Jersey and visit her. While there, he had the first dose of Oxys he'd had in months. When he returned to L.A., he denied taking the drug, but I knew.

The show wrapped in Leonardo, in front of the Quick Stop that kicked off our careers. After the last Jay and Silent Bob footage was shot, Mewes retired to his trailer. An hour later, the Middletown police officers who'd been keeping the streets closed for our shoot asked if they could take a picture with Jay and I in costume. I went to Jason's trailer to retrieve him, but when he opened the door, it was too late: he'd already snorted two hundred milligrams of crushed Oxys. The difference in his appearance and physical demeanor was startling.

That night, we held a small wrap party in a bar in Red Bank. Mewes popped in to drop off a CD to Taylor, the hair department head, as a thank you. He'd completely reverted to Mr. Hyde, as if the previous three months had never happened.

The next morning, I dragged the boy out of his room and took him for a ride.

"You can't do this," I pleaded, in tears - this time, the bad kind. "You've come so far, man. You can't go back to doing drugs again."
"I know. I just slipped yesterday. It was just to celebrate the end of the flick. I'm not gonna do it again. I promise."

I left a day later to head back to Los Angeles. Due to the number of effects shots in the film, Scott had decided that an L.A.-based post production made more sense than cutting in Jersey and approving CG via Fed-Ex. By late June, we'd locked picture, with just the sound mix left to do. I'd been in touch with Jason via the phone, but I hadn't seen him in two months, during which time, his Mother finally succumbed to AIDS. I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to fly back home for the funeral, but couldn't bring myself to do it. His Mother had long been a sore subject with me, as she had not only introduced Jason to Oxycontin, but had also supplied him over the years. I sent my condolences and remained in L.A., hopeful that, with her passing, Mewes might finally seize the opportunity to get his demons behind him.

In mid-June, I flew back to Jersey to shoot a pair of music videos from songs featured on the "Strike Back" soundtrack. I'd arranged to pick Jason up at his Mom's house where he was still living with his sister. When I pulled up, his sister was sitting on the front steps. She said she'd go inside to get Jason. After a minute or two, an emaciated skeleton of a man with skin pulled tight over bones emerged from the house. He bore a striking resemblance to my friend.

"Goddamn," I said to myself. "Mewes is hanging out with crack-heads that look like him now." When that crack-head climbed into my car, I started crying.

Jason had spent the last two months smoking crack, he informed me. He'd lost thirty pounds. When I lose thirty pounds, people say "You look like you've lost some weight." When Jason loses thirty pounds, photos of concentration camp survivors come to mind. It was the most unhealthy I'd ever seen him appear.

Immediately, I made plans to bring Jay back to L.A. with me where I'd put him back on the home-kick program. The timing couldn't have been worse, as the junket for "Strike Back" was planned for that week. Dimension put all of us up in the W Hotel in Westwood, where we were to spend two days doing round table and one-on-one interviews in support of the flick. Jason, the star of the film, sat in on a few of the interviews, during which most of the journalists commented on how thin he looked.

On the morning of the second day, I was pulled from an interview and shown into the junket office, where the Dimension publicist Gina, Scott, and Malcolm were waiting for me.

"Mewes had his sister Fed-Ex heroin to the hotel," Scott said. "Malcolm found it."
"Worse," Gina added. "The hotel knows about it, and they're saying if we don't get him off the premises, they're calling the police."

We asked Jon Gordon, our Miramax/Dimension exec, to find a rehab we could deliver Jason to that night. He phoned Chris Moore, who hipped us to Promises, a rehab-to-the-stars in Malibu.

Jason was brought up to the room, and I confronted him, pissed beyond words, about the heroin delivery. Once again, he was given the choice of jail or help. He opted for the latter. I didn't even say goodbye. I was too furious.

I didn't see the boy for almost a month after that, during which time we continued post on "Strike Back". The first time I'd lay eyes on him would be at the San Diego ComiCon, where, after a month of good behavior, Promises had given him a day pass out of their facility to attend, providing he be accompanied by a sober-living companion - someone essentially paid to do what I'd done for all those years: babysit the boy. Jason looked great, and even better, he had his wits about him again. After the afternoon panel, we sat around the room with Malcolm, Jen and the sober-living companion, telling Malcolm-related stories and laughing it up. When the day was over, I hugged Jason, told him I loved him, and sent him back to Promises.

The week of the premiere, Mewes told me a story of coming back to the rehab after another day-pass outing and being pulled into the main office.

"I didn't do any drugs, I swear," hed said. "You can give me a urine, man. I'm clean!"
"This isn't about that," he was told by Jim, the program director who I'd grown to know quite well over the phone, when I'd call in three times weekly to check up on Jason's progress. "There's someone here who you know."
"I don't know anybody who needs rehab except me," Mewes scoffed. "And even if I did, I don't know anybody who could afford this place."
"You know this person, and he's very interested in keeping his stay here private. He doesn't want you to tell anyone he's here."
Mewes says that the door to the room adjoining the office was opened to reveal our friend Ben Affleck sitting there, looking at him. Quoting "Chasing Amy", Mewes said "Well look at this morose motherfucker right here"

Ben's stint in rehab made all the tabloids, and in most of the long-lense photos of him in Promises, Mewes could be spied in the background. One article misconstrued Jason's presence as Mewes visiting Ben. For a few weeks, Ben's stay was major news.

Until September 11th.

"Strike Back" had been out for three weeks when Al Qaeda struck, and suddenly, it was a different world. I was still in Los Angeles at that point, and Mewes was just about to be released from Promises, his on-site program finished. The next step in his recovery was a halfway house on the ocean, where Jen and I visited him. The gorgeous locale prompted Schwalbach to utter "I'M an addict. Check ME in."

By mid-October, I was ready to head back to Jersey with the family. With Jason's help, we loaded out of the Toluca Lake rental. Mewes had decided to stay in Los Angeles, where he was planning to move in with some sober-living friends he'd met while at Promises. His life on track, I felt like I could leave the boy in the City of Angels, secure in the knowledge that he was on finally on the straight and narrow. Ben was beating his demons, and now too, so was Mewes.

By Thanksgiving, only Ben would remain sober.
« Last Edit: Apr 08, 2006, 04:08 PM by Djet3k »
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #7 on: Apr 09, 2006, 12:10 PM »
Thanks for posting that D. I'm a huge Jay and Silent Bob fan and it is disheartening to hear of Jays troubles. I knew he had issues but to what extent I wasn't sure. Jays lucky to have such a good friend of Kevins. Hopefully he lives through this.
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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #8 on: Apr 09, 2006, 04:54 PM »
Good stuff - Its a sad story that I have seen happen many times to people.
I just talked one of my oldest friends today who had his six month of sobriety today.

When his wife left him a few years ago, he was a respected business owner,
football coach and father of four. A year later he was a herion and oxy addict, living
here and there, arrested several times for committing crimes to cop drugs.
He had sold his share of the business to his partner and spent a considerable sum
he received for it on drugs in only six months.

What a lot of people don't realize is that the addict has to bottom out before
rehab is effective. That is why you hear people going to rehab several times.
For a lot of people death occurs before this point is reached.

Luckily neither Jason or my friend reached that point and I hope they find the
peace of mind they need to remain clean.
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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #9 on: Apr 10, 2006, 12:37 PM »
Glad you liked it!  the next part was posted today!

Me and My Shadow, Pt. 7

In the wake of 9/11, Jen and I opted to drive home to New Jersey from Los Angeles. And as if the post-terrorist attack vibe wasn't foreign enough, we were coming home to a house we'd never lived in.

Before we'd left the motherland eleven months prior to shoot "Strike Back", we'd purchased a new house in Rumson, a few miles down the road from the old Oceanport, flat-roofed abode. In our absence, a moving company had bagged and tagged all our stuff, shipping the contents of our old home into our fresh, new digs. We were now the proud owners of five acres and two floors in the most desirable part of central Jersey, situated around the block from Bruce Springsteen's estate.

The whole family had gotten back to the east coast in October and spent most of the next month getting ourselves situated in the new house. By late November, we were ready to host our first Thanksgiving in Rumson. Mewes, who'd been out in Los Angeles, living in an apartment with some sober pals, called to say he wanted to come back to Jersey for the festivities as well, so naturally, I invited him.

"You staying clean?" I asked him.
"Totally," he'd responded.
"How long now?"
"I'm coming up on five months."
"And isn't life better now?"
"It is," he said.
"If you stay clean, I've got a role for you in the next flick. A non-Jay role."
"Awesome. I can't wait."
"I'm really fucking proud of you, man."
"Thanks, Moves."

I hadn't seen Jason in two months when he showed up at my door the day before Thanksgiving with a new girlfriend, Amy. I gave the boy a big hug and then whisked him and his lady into a car with me and Mos, so we could head up to the Gizmo Recording Studio in Manhattan to lay down the "Strike Back" commentary track for the DVD. On the hour-long ride, Mewes chatted a bit, then nodded out a few times.

"You tired, man?" I asked.
"Yeah. I didn't sleep last night," he offered, summoning up that old chestnut of an excuse Mos and I had heard so often back in Jay's drug-dependency days. Quietly, I started to panic.

During the commentary track record, Mewes continued to catch a nod every few minutes, before excusing himself to hit the bathroom. Any shred of hope I'd been living in that the boy had stayed clean was now dying in despair.

On the ride home, Mewes asked if we could stop for cigarettes. When he popped into the convenience store, I turned in the driver's seat to face Amy behind me and asked "He's using again, isn't he?"
"He is," Amy confirmed, watching the convenience store to make sure Mewes wasn't on his way back to the car. "He was at a college appearance in Colorado two months ago when someone offered him coke. It's been downhill from there ever since."
"Is it heroin or Oxys?"
"Mostly heroin. He scores it a few blocks from my apartment," she confessed. "You've gotta talk to him about quitting. He'll listen to you."

"What charming, child-like naivete," I thought to myself, as Mewes returned with his smokes. Nothing else was said on the subject for the remainder of the ride home.

The Thanksgiving meal was prepared by Byron and Gail, and gobbled up by Jen, Harley, my parents, our friend Bob Hawk, Judy, Amy, Jason and me. When the dinner was over, Mewes and Amy retired downstairs to the rec room/basement. My then-two-year-old daughter Harley, who'd long harbored a crush on Mewes, solicited Jason time and again to play with her in her room, but Mewes repeatedly gave the kid the kind-yet-distinct brush-off, insisting that he'd hang out with her later. Harley lurked by the basement door for most of the day, waiting for the play date that would never come. Jen tried to explain to the toddler that Jay was just tired, but the wife really suspected it wasn't exhaustion that was making Mewes inaccessible.

"He's using again, isn't he?" Jen asked.
"His girlfriend said he is. I haven't talked to him about it yet."
"I don't even care anymore. I've put up with his shit for years because you care about him, but now he's breaking Harley's heart, and Im not gonna stand for that. I want him out of here."

I called Mewes upstairs and went outside with him to smoke and talk.

"You're using again," I said to him.
"No, man. I'm just tired."
"And now you're lying again. But worse than lying, you're ignoring the kid - the kid that you love. And you're ignoring her because you're high."

Mewes quietly smoked, saying nothing.

"You brought drugs into my house, didn't you?"
"I'm stopping, I swear. It was stupid, I know. But I'm quitting."
"You can't stay here, man. You lied to me and told me you were coming up on five months clean. You made it, what - like three months, really?"
"Ben said he'd pay for me to go back to Promises."
"That's fine. But until you get clean again, you can't stay here. You're gonna have to go stay with your sister while you're in Jersey. I'll drive you and your girlfriend over now."
Rather than fight the decision, Mewes simply said "Alright."

I dropped him off at his Mom's old house in Keansburg. It was the last time I'd see him for two months.

Around December, I had to go to Los Angeles to receive the People for the American Way's Defender of Democracy Award. The ultra-liberal organization (headed by "All in the Family" creator Norman Lear) cited "Dogma" as the film that earned me the prize, which I was to be presented with at the same ceremony in which the "South Park" guys, Kim Pierce (the director of "Boys Dont Cry"), and the Dixie Chicks (who'd taken a world of shit for anti-Bush comments in the wake of 9/11) were also being recognized. Byron, Gail, Harley, the wife and I flew out to California and checked into the W Hotel in Westwood.

The morning after the PFAW Awards Ceremony, we were enjoying a family breakfast downstairs in the hotel restaurant when a discussion about our time in L.A. sparked a massive change in all of our lives. We'd spent almost a full year in California while making "Strike Back", and my rationale was that if you spend a full year anywhere short of prison or Calcutta, it takes on the aspects of home. With the Jersey winter approaching, we embarked on an exploratory conversation about snow-birding it: moving back to L.A. for six months where I'd spend the time writing "Jersey Girl", and the rest of the family could escape the impending freezing east coast temperatures. The idea snowballed, and soon, we were calling the owners of the Toluca Lake house we'd rented the year before.

When we got back to Jersey, I'd phoned Ben to see whether or not he'd wound up sponsoring Jason's trip back to Promises. He said he had, but Mewes made it only four days into the program before checking himself out. We commiserated over Jason's condition for a while before I announced that I was moving back to L.A. for the winter, to finish the "Jersey Girl" script.

"Where you gonna live?" Ben asked.
"We're gonna rent that Toluca Lake house again."
"Why don't you buy my place instead? I just bought Drew Barrymore's property on Coldwater, so I'm moving out of this joint. And you know your ol' lady loooooves my house."

I'd been to the house in question only five months earlier, for a fourth of July party, shortly before Ben checked himself into Promises. Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, Ben's place was easily the most beautiful house I'd ever been in. A tri-level mansion with massive, high ceilings and a pool on the top floor, it boasted an amazing view of what I felt was a mountain, but the locals called a hill. Jen had instantly fallen in love with it, and when Ben told us that - due to the joint's proximity to the street which afforded all manner of paparazzi the freedom to shoot the shit out of him whenever he walked out of his front door - he was thinking about selling it, she had turned to me and said "I want this house." We'd spoken with Ben at great lengths about taking the joint off his hands, but after the rehab stint, the topic never really came up again until that moment.

"I just bought a house in Jersey, so I can't buy your place until I get paid for turning in the 'Jersey Girl' script," I told my multi-millionaire friend.
"So then just rent the house instead," he countered. "I'll charge you the same monthly that the Toluca Lake people were gonna hit you up for, but go one better: all the money you pay in rent I'll knock off the purchase price of the house when you're ready to buy it."

It was, to say the least, the biggest steal since the U.S. had purchased the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans for some pelts and beads. Thanks to Ben's largess, Jen's dream of not just moving back to California, but moving back to California and living in that mansion became a reality. We put the Rumson house we'd purchased a year earlier and had only lived in for a total of three months on the market and, in January of 2002, headed West for good.

We'd been in the house for about a day when Jason showed up. He looked a lot worse for wear, but he seemed chipper, taking me through our new house and showing me where he'd slept or banged girls when he'd stayed with Ben a few times, pre- and post-Promises. I inquired about his most recent and brief visit to that same rehab, and he said it was a dumb move on his part, and that Ben was generously offering to send him to a different rehab. He talked about the possibility of moving into the house with us if he cleaned up, and I said with all the space we had, I'd happily give him a room, if he could get his life back on track.

The only thing he did with his life and that proverbial track, however, was tie that shit up like it was Dudley Do-Right's girlfriend Nell and he was Snidely fucking Whiplash waiting for a train. The second rehab Ben paid for was a bust as well, with Jason bolting after only two days. Even worse, the Freehold Court back home in Jersey had issued a bench warrant for his arrest, after Jason missed a mandatory appearance. The tragic irony was that the court date in question was the final sum-up to Mewes' old possession case: he'd successfully completed probation, and all that remained was some final face-time before the judge, at which point His Honor would've declared Jason free to go, case-closed. Too high to make the plane, Mewes never made it back to Jersey, and the bench warrant was issued.

The role I'd told Jason I'd written for him to play in "Jersey Girl" became a moot point, as the boy couldn't step foot in Jersey without being arrested. When we headed back east to shoot the flick, Mewes asked if he could live at the L.A. house in our absence, taking care of the dogs. Staring at his crack-pipe burned lips and glancing at the track marks up and down his arms, it wasn't difficult to say no. Sadly, it would be the first film in nearly ten years that I made without the boy.

While I was back east, Jason declined further. By the time we got back to L.A., the word was that he was living on the streets. He'd lost a great deal of weight, and had burned a low budget production in the southeast that'd cast him as the lead in an indie flick. When the director contacted me, I commiserated with him about Jason's drug-induced behavior in an effort to make it clear that there was little the guy could've done. It wasn't the lack of budget (which Mewes taxed further by insisting they keep him in his "medicine") or the production's fault, I'd told the director; Mewes was just a destructive force of nature.

I called Jim, Jason's former counselor at Promises, to see if they'd take the boy back into the program. Jim finally set me straight, though, as he tried to explain that the Jason situation was out of my hands.

"Part of the problem is you've never let the kid hit rock bottom," he explained. "You're always there throwing a net out to catch him before he hits. He knows he can count on you to get him out of any jam, because that's been your role for years as an enabler. You've gotta change that approach and practice some tough love instead: don't allow him into your life anymore. He worships and loves you; to Jason, you're like the Father he never had. And based on his affection for you, you're the only person who's got a shot at reaching him and getting him to clean up. But the way you've gone about it hasn't worked so far, and that's because you haven't hit him with the worst thing he can imagine: being cut out of your life altogether. You've gotta let him hit rock bottom."
"But what if his rock bottom is the grave?" I asked. "What if he winds up over-dosing?"
"Then if that's the case, there's nothing you can do to stop that. If Jason's meant to OD, all you've done is prolong his journey to the inevitable. Every addict has to make the decision to clean up his or herself, and each time you've intervened, it's been you making him get clean, so it's never stuck beyond a few months. He needs to want to get and stay sober for himself, not for you. But where you can really help him is by turning your back on Jason; because I believe he feels that not being in your life is as bad as it could get for him - and then, maybe, he might turn himself around for the best."

So while I was in post-production on "Jersey Girl", I took Jim's advice and laid down the law with Jason: he wasn't allowed in the house anymore, until he cleaned up. He wasn't allowed to see Harley anymore, until he cleaned up. I wouldn't finance his life until he cleaned up. I wouldn't hang out with him until he cleaned up. The Tough Love approach had begun.

November 2002 saw the first Thanksgiving we'd spend at our new house in L.A. The day before the government-sanctioned food gorge, Jason stopped by the post production office where I was cutting "Jersey Girl". His relationship with Amy long-since over, he was there with another girl entirely. She waited in the car while I spoke to the boy in the parking lot.
"Thanksgiving tomorrow," he observed. "Gail cooking again?"
"Yup," I confirmed. "What're you gonna do?"
"Me and this chick are gonna hang out in our apartment, I guess," Mewes explained, pulling a thick-frosted banana cake purchased at 7-11 from his pocket, biting into it. "It kinda sucks because we didn't pay the electric bill so they shut the power off. We've been lighting a lot of candles."
"You guys going to her folks' for Thanksgiving or something?"
"Nah. Not allowed."

The girl in the car, a stick-thin junkie with eyes bulging from a hollowed-out face, climbed out of the vehicle and stormed toward us.

"Half of that's mine," she barked at Mewes, snatching the banana cake from his hand and heading back to the car.

Jason shrugged, as if to say "Life's come down to me and some girl I barely know battling over the last bite of convenience store vended single-serving deserts." I pulled a pair of twenties out of my pocket and handed them to the boy.

"Go to KooKooRoo tomorrow and get yourselves some Thanksgiving turkey with this," I insisted. "Do NOT buy drugs with it."
"Thanks, Moves. I won't."

As he shuffled back to his snack cake harpy, we both knew that forty bucks wouldn't make it to the KooKooRoo cash registers.

The next day, as my family finished the Thanksgiving meal, the doorbell rang. I joined Jason on the front steps outside of my house.

"What're you guys doing?" he asked.
"Just hanging."
Mewes nodded his head, then lifted his nose skyward, saying "I can smell Gail's turkey. Was it good?"
"It was." After a beat of silence, I added "This is the first Thanksgiving in three years you haven't spent with us."
"It sucks."
"It sucks on this end, too. But I can't invite you into the house - you understand that, right? I can't let you in until you clean up."
"We're going to the Betty Ford Clinic tomorrow," Mewes informed me, pointing to the car, where the banana cake girl was sitting. "She knows someone who works there, so I think we're getting in for free."
"That's great. Stay in the program this time. Don't leave 'til you're clean. Then, maybe next Thanksgiving, you can eat with us again."
"Cool," he muttered, wiping tears from his eyes. I hugged the boy and sent him on his way.

The Betty Ford sojourn lasted about as long as Mewes could make it in rehabs around that point. Two days later, he signed himself out and came back to Hollywood. He'd stop by the editing room from time to time, always to bum a few bucks off me "for smokes", which I knew would go into his veins instead. All the while, I was dealing with "Jersey Girl" and other issues that kept my mind off Mewes.

In February, the family and I found ourselves momentarily homeless due to a mini-disaster of sorts. I'd had a fountain Coke machine installed for Jen as part of a Christmas gift only two months before, but what none of us knew was that the crew which had installed it didn't do so properly: they'd tapped into a water pipe under the bar sink and in a prime example of the American work ethic, simply electrical-taped the hole closed. While the entire family was up in Aspen where I was a featured guest at the annual Comedy Festival, the electrical tape finally gave out, and the tapped pipe began gushing all over the top floor of the house. By the time we got home, tens of thousands of gallons of water had flooded the house, soaking the third floor until it collapsed the ceiling of the second floor below it, as well as the first floor below that. The entire dwelling had to be stripped to the beams inside and rebuilt. Luckily, I'd just closed on the house in January, finally purchasing it from Ben after a year of renting, at which time I'd been forced to carry a then-seemingly ungodly amount of insurance, which included a Flood policy. My former bitching about carrying a Flood policy "on a house on a hill in a desert" was quickly negated, as some $200,000 in repairs were covered thanks to that insurance.

The policy also covered rental expenses for the length of time we needed to be out of the house, so we found a place in the flats of Beverly Hills on Sierra Drive. One day, while I was setting up a DVD player in the bedroom, Jen made a heart-stopping discovery in US Weekly that, startlingly, didn't have anything to do with Angelina Jolie or Jessica fucking Simpson.

"Oh my God" she uttered from the bed, where she was leafing through the magazine.
"What's the matter," I queried.
"I think something's happened to Mewes."

She pointed to a small, sidebar feature in the magazine. It was about Mewes, who'd been reported missing for months and presumed dead.

To Be Continued

To see a very alive Jason Mewes, three years clean
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #10 on: Apr 10, 2006, 08:17 PM »
wow that's some story! and talk about being a TRUE friend, that's alot of BS for someone to put up with and stick by him through all of that. I've always admired him from a film and writing aspect but my respect for Kevin just grew about 100 times over, not alot of people would go that distance for a relative, let alone a friend.

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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #11 on: Apr 11, 2006, 10:17 AM »
Kevin Smith's blog is the most entertaining and mesmorizing thing I've read in ages. And I agree, I've always been a huge Kevin Smith fan but now, he's a saint in my eyes...his wife too.
"It doesn't hurt to do something absolutely outrageous."


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #12 on: Apr 13, 2006, 04:27 PM »
Not sure if D is gone so I'll post pt 8.    

Me and My Shadow, Pt. 8

My heart raced, as I feared the eulogy I'd always been preparing in the back of my mind for Jason's eventual overdose would finally find an audience.

Immediately, I called Jay's cell and received a message about discontinued service. I called every number I'd ever had on the boy, but could not locate him. Then, as if on cue, the phone rang.

"What's up, Moves?"
"You're alive!" I yelled.
"So are you," he responded.
"I just read you were missing and presumed dead, you asshole!"
"Really? Where?"
"In a fucking tabloid. You were supposed to be at Slamdance in January for that 'R.S.V.P.' movie, and when you didn't show and you couldn't be found, the filmmakers reported you missing."
"That's weird."
"Where are you?"
"I'm driving to Jersey. I'm finally gonna settle this bench warrant thing and surrender myself to the cops. HBO's doing a documentary about me and the drugs."

He might as well have said "Moves, guess what? I've always secretly been Jesus Christ Himself, and I've decided to head back home to be with my Heavenly Father, so I'm busting out The Rapture a bit early. Start praying you don't get 'Left Behind', sir. Also, I'm gay."

"There's this guy with HBO, and he's doing a documentary about me getting off dope. So they're taking me to Jersey, where I'm turning myself in and hoping I don't go to jail."
"Yeah. It's fucked up. But I was calling because they want to interview you when they get back into town. Would you be down for that?"
"How much am I allowed to say?"
"You can say whatever you want, sir."
"Then they're gonna need a lot of film. Are you still using?"
"Yeah, but only 'til I get to Jersey. Then, no matter what happens with the court, I'm quitting dope. I'm tired of living like this, sir. It sucks."
"Good for you, man," was all I could muster. By this point, I'd heard it all before.
"But if I can get clean, do you think I can come live with you guys again?"
"I always said you could live with us, as long as you quit doing drugs, sir."
"Alright. Because I'm gonna do it this time. So start making up my room. Nayng!"

I hung up relieved my friend was still alive, but not very confident in his latest clean-up effort - particularly if he was doing it on-camera.

I called around to see if this HBO documentary was legit, and discovered it wasn't: yes, the filmmaker had gotten some exploratory money from HBO, but there was no deal or commitment in place for any documentary. The next time Mewes called me from on the road, I told him as such.

"Really?" he said, gravely.
"As near as I can tell," I replied.
"That sucks, because the guy made me sign some papers."
"Papers that say what, exactly?"
"That I'm doing the documentary and that he's my new manager."
"Oh, sir"
"I thought it was kinda weird. I told him I didn't want to sign anything, but he forced me to."
"Were you high at the time?"
"Yeah," he muttered, kind of ashamed.
"Well this may be the first time that being on junk might pan out for you - legally speaking."
"Don't worry about it. Meantime, when's your court date?"
"Tomorrow morning."
"Call me after it's over."
"If I'm going to jail, I don't know if I'll be able to call you."
"Excellent point. I guess if you're calling me, then that'd be a good sign."
"True dat."
"Be humble in that courtroom, sir. And don't shoot up beforehand."
"I won't, Moves. I love you."
"I love you, too. Good luck."

The next morning, I woke up and smoked a pack of cigarettes, waiting for Mewes to call. On one hand, I didn't want him going to jail; the dude was far too pretty to make it out of there an anal virgin. On the other hand, maybe a few months in county would scare him straight, and finally make the boy realize that steering clear of junk for the rest of his life was the best option - at least as far as the well-being of his brown-eye was concerned.

When the phone rang, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief. Though I'd long wanted Mewes to be drug-free, rectal torture wasn't the preferred impetus I'd hand in mind.

"What happened?" I asked.
"The judge gave me a choice: a year in jail, or six months court-mandated rehab."
"Easy decision there."
"Not really. Six months in lockdown? I don't know if I'll make it."
"Just for the record, you DID choose rehab, didn't you?"
"Well, yeah. Like I wanna get ass-raped and shit"
"Good boy. Where's the rehab? Can you go back to Promises?"
"Nope. I've gotta do it in a Jersey rehab. Guess where it is?"

Marlboro, New Jersey was about half an hour away from Highlands, the town Mewes and I grew up in. It was infamous for being the home to the area's only Mental Hospital. As kids, it was invoked by our parents as a correctional tool, as in "If you don't start behaving, we're shipping you off to Marlboro!"

"They're throwing you in the Booby-Hatch?!"
"I guess the mental hospital closed down. They run a rehab out of one of the buildings there now."
"When do you start?"
"Tomorrow. Tonight's my last night to shoot up."
"You sure you wanna even bother shooting up one last time?"
"Oh, I'm sure. If I'm quitting forever, I wanna boot one last time."
"Was the documentary crew allowed to shoot in the court room?"
"Yeah. But the camera guy told me something weird. He said the director was disappointed when I only got rehab. He said he doesn't have the ending he wanted to the doc. What's that mean?"
"You've gotta even ask that question?"
"I dont trust that guy. He's kinda shady."
"Not your problem right now. For the next six months, all you've gotta think about is getting and staying clean. And you can't bolt from this rehab, sir."
"I know. The judge said if I leave the program early, bam! Two years in jail."
"And I hear you're not allowed to sign yourself out of jail."
"Yeah. Listen, I gotta go, but I'll call you when I get to rehab."
"Cool. Keep your nose clean, boy. And I mean that literally."

When I got off the phone, I called Marty Arbus, the lawyer the doc crew had hired to represent Jason in court. I explained my connection to Jason, and he said Mewes had filled him in on my relevance to his life. I asked Marty to go over the judgment with me, in case Mewes had left anything out. He, too, expressed concerns about the documentary director.

Apparently, the guy was representing himself as being tight with not only me, but Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as well. Marty went through a list of claims the guy had made, 99% of which could be easily refuted by someone in the know, and then echoed the sentiments the cinematographer had expressed to Mewes in regards to the director's reaction to Jay getting off with rehab. It was becoming more and more clear that Mewes had fallen in with an opportunist with shades of being a Con Man.

Said Con Man called me a day later to discuss doing an interview for his documentary. I told him I didn't think the film was a good idea, particularly if it featured, as I was told, footage of Mewes shooting up. When I said the whole affair seemed tabloid-show exploitative, the guy suggested we pray about it, and ask God for guidance on the subject. That's when I got really nervous. After an hour on the phone with him, I came to the conclusion that the man was shifty, to say the least.

April 6th, 2003, Jason Mewes checked himself into court-mandated rehab. I called the Marlboro facility that afternoon to see how he was doing, but was refused phone access to the boy. They said Jason wasn't allowed phone usage for week one, but I could write him as much as I liked. I penned the first letter I'd ever written to Jason, expressing my pride in him for finally dealing with the bench warrant and encouraging him to stick with the program.

At the start of week two, I was able to speak to Jason on the phone for two minutes, during which time he told me he was forced to cut his hair and scrub a toilet with a tooth brush at the rehab. I reminded him it was better than jail time, and that if he got and stayed clean, he could come live with us again. Before I could say more, the phone was taken away.

A few days after our brief conversation, I received a reply to my letter from Mewes. What follows is, verbatim, Jason's response, via snail mail.

"Kevin (Moves),
It was so good to get your letter. It made me really happy. Thank you for not giving up on me. I love you and your family (my family) so much. I can't tell you how good it felt to read and hear on the phone from you that when I do the right thing I can be in your lives again. I love you and miss you all so so much. I can't wait to see Harley. I hate myself for missing out on her growing up. I don't want to miss out on anymore months or years. And I miss laughing with you on our walks. Kevin your like the Father I never had. In times financially and always emotionally and mentally. I'm sorry for hurting you. It was never intentionally. And I never wanted to hurt your family. I hope you know that in your heart. As for this place, it is so hard to concentrate on why I'm here and I sincerely want to. I'm tired and broken. I don't want to live like this no more.
This place is filled with people who don't give a shit they have to be here. I got elbowed for being a so called 'Rich Boy' and the counselors keep pointing out 'He's a junkie' which I am, but in 3 meetings they embarrassed me for people asking for autographs. And people say stupid shit like 'He never worked so hard' (we have jobs sweeping and mopping). It sounds petty but it is making things tougher, more uncomfortable, and harder to concentrate on why I'm here. There's more but hard to explain.
Give everyone a kiss for me.

I had to chuckle at the irony of Mewes being tagged a "Rich Boy", but felt for him in regards to the autograph situation. Apparently, whenever someone would ask for his signature, a counselor would dismiss Jason as a junkie, and state that junkies weren't to be looked up to. There was some wisdom to the approach, but it sounded awfully harsh. Still, I had to trust that these professionals knew what they were doing, and assume that they figured harsh was what Jason needed at that point.

Two months into his stay at the Marlboro rehab facility, I had to fly east for a comic book convention in Philadelphia. Since I was going to be on the same coast, I made arrangements to visit Jason at the rehab. I waited in the front office of the clinic, and after a few minutes, I was met by a female counselor. She asked me to take a walk with her, in advance of seeing Jay.

The woman requested that I tell her everything about my situation with Mewes, and for the next half hour, I spilled my guts, telling her pretty much the same story youve been reading here these last few weeks. When I was finished, she said "You don't seem to think the movies have much to do with Jason's problems."
"What - our movies?"
"I guess they've had an effect, inasmuch as it's how he earns, and a lot of that money has wound up in his veins. But the few times he's been able to clean up and stay sober for any period of time has been while we were making the movies, so I tend to think of the flicks as having a positive influence on his life."
"He plays a drug dealer in your movies."
"A weed dealer, yeah."
"And he's drug-dependent in real life. You don't think one has something to do with the other?"
"Not really. I think being born to a heroin-addicted Mother and all the things I've been telling you have more to do with how Jason came to be an addict than playing a weed dealer in some comedies. I mean, Anthony Hopkins has played a killer cannibal, but from what I've heard, he's never confused his role with his real life."
"That's a convenient analogy."
"Look, I'm sure he's talked about his Mother in counseling sessions with you. You've gotta see the role she's played in his life."
"I'm not Jason's counselor."

Suddenly, I was flush with the notion that Marlboro was, indeed, still a mental hospital, and that I'd just spent the last hour talking to a psychopath.

"You're not Jason's counselor?"
"No, I'm in admissions. I checked him in."
"Two months ago?"
"How long did you deal with him when you checked him in?"
"About an hour."
"You talked to the kid for an hour two months ago, and because of that, you think all of his drug problems stem from playing a weed dealer in the movies?"
"I think there are correlations there, yes."
"No offense, but based on your limited exposure to Jason, I think that's an asinine conclusion to draw."
"You're being very defensive."
"With all due respect, you're being very myopic."
The woman gave me the once-over and then directed me back to the main building. "You'll meet Jason in the conference room. You have a half hour to talk to him."
"A half hour?! I flew all the way here from Los Angeles to see the guy!"
"And you'll see him. For one half hour. Have a seat, Mr. Smith."

Stunned and resentful after spending all that time talking to someone who was almost completely unfamiliar with Jason's case, I paced the room while I waited. Five minutes later, Jason was brought it.

It was the first time since he was a kid that I'd seen him with short hair. His long locks completely gone, he looked like a boy band front man. Beyond that, however, he appeared healthy.

During the half hour, we talked about the rehab, which Mewes hated like poison.
"Of course you hate it," I offered. "You're not allowed to shoot up here."
"It's not that. I can deal with not doing drugs. But the people treat me like shit here."
"It's not Promises, that's for sure. They don't cater to the patients, it seems. But I'll say this much: Promises dug a lot deeper than 'he plays a weed dealer in movies so he shoots heroin in real life' for a root cause."
"That ain't even the worst of it. These motherfuckers go out of their way to treat me like shit because I've been in the movies," Jason whispered. "And I don't ask for special treatment or nothing either. But because I get recognized from the movies by the other patients, the people who work here come down on me, telling people I aint shit and that I'm a scumbag like them, or a bigger scumbag because I've had all these breaks and I still turned to drugs. I'm not even allowed to go outside and smoke as much as other people who're in the program. They let me go outside three times a day for five minutes each time to smoke."
"Can't you smoke inside?"
"Fuck no. But everyone else gets six smoke breaks a day and I only get three. It's fucked up. And I told you I got elbowed for being a 'Rich Boy', right?"
"I thought that was pretty funny."
"I keep telling these people that I ain't rich, but they don't believe me. It sucks, man. This place is almost like jail without the ass-fucking."
"But you're staying put, yes?"
"I gotta, man. Or else I go to the jail WITH the ass-fucking."

Soon, the woman from admissions returned to usher Jason away. I gave him a hug and headed back to Philly for the con.

By odd coincidence, my sister Virginia was also in Philly that weekend. Since she lived in Japan with her husband and two children, my parents were rarely ever able to see all three of their grown children at once anymore. Seizing the opportunity to do so, my Mom and Dad flew up from Florida with my Brother for a family reunion of sorts. My parents attended my Q&A at the Con that Saturday, and afterwards, we all went out to eat at Morton's Steak House, for what would turn out to be my Father's last meal.

It was a great night of good food and fun conversation. My parents got to chill with their three offspring and their respective spouses, the only notable exception being my brother's husband Jerry, who was stuck at work in Florida. When the night ended, I gave my Old Man a kiss and put him in a cab with my Mom. The next morning, I got a six a.m. phone call from my brother Don, telling me to get down to the hospital immediately. After two strokes and a cardio episode six months prior, my Father had succumbed to complete heart failure in the wee hours of the morning, following our get-together the night before. As devastating as it was to lose him, considering the man spent his last night on Earth surrounded by loved ones, putting away some delicious food and laughing it up, it wasnt a bad way to go.

Funeral arrangements were made for two days later, back home in Jersey. I called the Marlboro rehab to request Jason be granted a day pass to attend the funeral, since he'd known my Dad pretty well from back in our Highlands days.

"I'm afraid that's not possible," the woman said.
"This is my Dad's funeral," I pushed. "The man was like family to Jason."
"I appreciate that. But Jason's not allowed to leave the premises."
"I think these are extenuating circumstances, don't you? Tell you what - I'll pay for a counselor to escort him, if that's what you're worried about."
"If you think that's our only concern about this proposal, then I'm afraid you're being myopic, Mister Smith."

Burned by my own term thrown back in my face, I talked to Mewes and told him not only that my Dad died, but also that the rehab wasn't going to let him out for the wake. Needless to say, he was disappointed and pissed.

Following the funeral, I headed back to Los Angeles. When I checked my messages, I discovered Marty Arbus, Jason's lawyer, had phoned with what he deemed "an emergency".

"What happened?" I asked, returning his call.
He let out a heavy sign and said "Jason bolted from the Marlboro rehab this morning."

To Be Continued
You can't just give up on pulling up your pants!


Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #13 on: Apr 13, 2006, 05:20 PM »
that's crazy man ....... but as usual a damn good read and thanks for posting it ;o)


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #14 on: Apr 20, 2006, 06:40 AM »
i saw he posted the last part now part 9!!!

Ill be posting later on

Sooo much to catch up!!! bought a silent bob figurine while i was in Halifax btw :p
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #16 on: Apr 20, 2006, 07:43 PM »
Heres Jasons myspace, yes its really him.

Cool CG, thanks for that. I only had the fake movie plug version b4.
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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #17 on: Apr 20, 2006, 09:14 PM »
I added them to the fanclub I have on myspace for the boys ........ I would LOVE to see Jay and Silent Bob on the show that would kick major ass and Ali-G too ;o)


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #18 on: Apr 21, 2006, 12:46 AM »
Kevin is an awesome friend. The video brought a tear to my eye. Changed my avy to prop the boys!
« Last Edit: Apr 22, 2006, 01:32 PM by Captain Shittastic »
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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #19 on: Apr 23, 2006, 11:49 AM »
 Me and My Shadow, Pt. 9 - The Conclusion.

As Jason's lawyer Marty Arbus passed on the details about Mewes' latest dash from rehab - the dash I was sure was gonna land him in jail - I recalled a conversation Jen and I had once engaged in on the subject of the nature of Jason Mewes.

"Did you ever read 'Flowers for Algernon'?" I'd asked her.
"I went to high school too," she replied.
"Well did you ever see the flick they made of the book? It was called 'Charly'? Cliff Robertson played Charly?"
"I think I only ever saw, like, five movies before we met."
"It was pretty good. They didn't deviate that far from the short story: Charly Gordon's this retarded janitor, and these scientists experiment on him and suddenly, he gets smarter, turning into a sort-of genius. But his condition starts to deteriorate, at which time the intelligent Charly has to deal with the knowledge that he's going to be retarded again soon. And there's this image from the film that's always really haunted me: at the end of the movie, this woman who's fallen in love with the smart Charly finds him with this childlike, beatific smile on his face, and she realizes the intelligent Charly's completely gone forever. He's lapsed back into the retarded Charly."
"Is this your way of telling me that you're becoming retarded?"
"That shot from the flick always comes to mind when Mewes gets clean. Because, when he turns his life around - either for a couple of weeks or a couple of months - it's like he's the intelligent Charly. And I get used to him and figure that's the way he's gonna be from then on. But, sooner or later, he lapses back into the retarded Mewes - the one who shoots up and stops being himself, y'know?"
"But maybe that's where you've got your analogy wrong. Maybe the junkie Mewes IS the real Mewes, and the few moments of sobriety are the manufactured, unreal Jason. Maybe being a drug addict is his natural state."

It was a sobering notion, to say the least - and one that was still bouncing around in my head when Marty capped the Jason escape story with "But he's here with me now, and"
"What?!" I barked. "You've got Jason?!"
"Yeah, he's here in my office. Do you want to talk to him?"
"God, yes! Put him on!"

I steeled myself to hear Jason's voice, all drug-addled and dope-dimmed. If he was out of rehab, surely he was back on drugs.

"'Sup, Moves?" he said, sounding lucid.
"You fucking asshole," I snapped. "Why the fuck would you make a run for it?"
"I couldn't take it anymore, man. People were picking fights with me, and the counselors were all nasty too. I just had to get out of there. I'll go back to rehab, I promise; just not to that one."
"Have you shot up?"
"Have you used anything at all?"
"Nothing, I swear. I'll even take a piss test."
"You know you're going to jail, right?"
"Marty doesn't think so. He says he's going to plead my case with the judge and see if they'll just move me to another rehab. He says that if I take a piss test and pass, the judge might understand that I didn't leave to get high; I left because I was getting harassed. And then maybe he'll just put me in another rehab. I'll probably have to start the six months over again, but I don't care. It'll be worth it to get out of that place."

And thanks to the genius of Marty Arbus pleading Mewes' case to the judge, that's pretty much what came to pass, with one major exception: Jason didn't even have to restart his sentence. When he entered the replacement rehab in Keyport, NJ, he only had four months left to complete the court-mandated program.

Over the course of the next four months, I grew close with the director of the Keyport rehab, checking in with her on a regular basis for updates on Jason's progress. She was a tough cookie, but fair too - dressing the boy down only when he was wrong, and giving him props when he was on the right track. That's not to say Mewes had become the ideal patient; not by any stretch of the imagination. He'd logged some demerits for house disruption, after vehemently bitching about not being able to smoke as often as he wanted to, and had his privileges revoked for a week after disappearing from a group outing to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When he turned up twenty minutes later, he confessed to taking off with a girl he'd met in the meeting for some parking lot sex in her van (with the dope out of his system, his libido was back to its normal, randy level). But by and large, for the next four months, Mewes got - for lack of a more clinical term - better.

I was allowed frequent phone contact with the boy, and with a month to go before his release, he asked that I come back to Jersey to visit him. When I got to the rehab, I had a long sit-down with the program director, who stressed that, while he was still very much a pain-in-the-ass spoiled child of sorts, Mewes had improved 100rom the attitude he showed up with.

"He's a hard guy to hate," I offered, to which the director nodded, getting up to lead me to the sun porch where I'd meet with Jason - this time, with no half hour restriction.

(Mewes, that day on the porch at the Keyport rehab.)

The first thing I'd noticed was how buff he looked. Not only had he shed some pounds, but he'd also used his time in the program to exercise and build his upper body. The hair was still short, but unlike the butchering he'd received at the Marlboro rehab, his current 'do was more stylized. We sat on the porch for hours, talking about his progress, and what was in store for him once he hit the six month mark and was free to leave.

"I'll have to talk to Jen and see if she's cool with you staying at the house," I offered. "You're gonna have to walk on eggshells for awhile around her - you know that, right?"
"I get it," he responded. "I've got a lot of making up to do to her. But Moves, I was thinking: remember you said that, if I cleaned up, you'd make another Jay and Silent Bob movie?"
"I remember saying that before one of the many times you fucked up, yeah."
"Well now I'm clean, and I'm gonna stay that way," he said. "So, I was wondering"
"No, I'm not making another Jay and Silent Bob movie."
Disappointed, the boy nodded "Oh. Y'know, I understand."
"I'm gonna make another 'Clerks' instead, in which Jay and Silent Bob'll have small roles."
Mewes processed this then smiled. "You were fucking with me just now, weren't you?"
"I deserve that, I guess."
"That and so much more," I added.

Mewes successfully completed the Keyport rehab program in October 2003. The week he was checked out, we threw a shindig for him at Jay and Silent Bobs Secret Stash, the comic book store in Red Bank. Billed as "Stash Bash 2: Welcome Home Jay", the dual day event saw six hundred fans and well-wishers - hand-picked from thousands of entry essays - come through the store to offer the boy their congratulatory, supportive "ups".

Posted on: 23-04-2006, 02:11:34

(On a dare, Mewes greeted one group of well-wishers in his skivvies.)

Following the Stash Bash, we were on a plane to Los Angeles, where Jason arrived just in time to stay at the Sierra rental for a few days, before we packed up and headed back to our newly-repaired, post-flood home. There, after much soul-searching by Jen, he inherited the small, first floor guest room. Slowly, Jen warmed up to the boy again, and by his one year sober birthday - the day before Jen's actual birthday - she threw a big party at the Spider Club, celebrating both milestones in conjunction.

(Mewes and Jen at the Spider Club, celebrating her 32nd/his one year sober birthdays.)

The Spider Club (located above the Avalon on Vine in Hollywood) became Mewes' new haunt. For the first few post-rehab weeks in Los Angeles, Mewes could be found at the club every night, hanging with his sober-living crew of Jack Osborne, Mike McGuiness, and Brian Milo. In place of heroin and Oxycontin, their new poison was Red Bull - the energy drink that sells itself professing "It gives you wings" but could move boatloads more product if they sold it as "Red Bull: If You've Just Given Up Smack, This Is The Beverage For You!" One evening, I watched Jason pound ten cans of Red Bull in the span of twenty minutes and felt compelled to remark, amazed "How the fuck didn't that explode your heart?"
"Sir," my sober friend offered, with no small amount of irony. "I used to shoot dope three times a day. If that didn't kill me, what the fuck harm can Red Bull do?"

During the day, Mewes would sporadically attend AA meetings, but every night, he went out with his boys. I'd initially expressed concern, suggesting that being around drinkers and druggers might not be the best environment for him, but Mewes assured me that the scene didn't faze him; in fact, it only strengthened his resolve to stay sober.

"Watching people act like assholes when they're shit-faced doesn't make me want to get high, sir," he'd say. "It makes me never want to get high again. I just like to be around people, dance, act a fool, and mack on chicks. That's what Project Falcon is all about."
"What's Project Falcon?" I asked, puzzled.
"That's what me, Jack, McGins and Milo call ourselves. It's a little gay, I know."
"As long as it keeps a needle out of your arm, you can call your posse 'Project Dick-Eater' for all I care."

Every morning around six or seven, I'd get up to let the dogs out. A light sleeper on his best days, Mewes would join me on the library deck, and we'd talk about his adventures from the previous night. I saw it as an opportunity to take the boy's pulse, to see where his head was from day to day.

"You use any drugs?" I'd ask.
"No, sir," he'd reply.
"Were you tempted?"
"Anyone offer you drugs?"

His answer to the third question would vary from morn to morn. Mostly, he revealed, people respected his sobriety. Once or twice, folks who were looking for the character of Jay would get insulted when Jason would decline to do rails with them. If they tried to force the issue, the club's bouncers - always looking out for the easy-to-love Mewes - would explain things to the offended parties with a degree of force. The only relapse he came close to while hanging at the Spider Club was an unintentional one, when a new bartender mistook Jason's order of a Red Bull as a mixed drink version that contained Red Bull and vodka. One sip in, Mewes spat it out and got the order corrected, forever after requesting an unopened can of Bull from that moment forward.

"You gonna use drugs tonight?" I'd round out my queries with.
"Not tonight," the boy would say. "I don't gotta live like that no more."

It was a slight variation on the old AA theme of "One Day at a Time", but "I don't gotta live like that no more" had become the Mewes mantra, and has kept him strong for over three years of complete sobriety now. There's a maturity in the boy these days that'd been missing all those years he spent spiking his veins and living fix to fix. And for all my pushing and pulling, my threats, my good intentions and angrily desperate actions, what eventually cleaned him up wasn't any external force or pressure. Like every addict before him and the millions who'll follow, Jason had to make the choice to clean up for himself not for someone else; not even me. And whether it was because he was tired of living that empty lifestyle of waking every morning and immediately setting about to the task of finding more pills or scoring some dope; or whether it was because, with his thirtieth birthday approaching, he realized he'd either have to fulfill his promise to kill himself if he was still a junkie or beat that monkey off his back and start a somewhat normal life, something about that last rehab sojourn clicked with Mewes. There was no cathartic, cinematic moment in which all was suddenly made clear, the music swelled, and everyone knew a happy ending was in store. Indeed, after all that'd gone down since Jason succumbed to a life of addiction, we were all waiting for the other shoe to drop in that first week out of rehab; and that first month out of rehab; and that first year. Until, finally, it became clear that something had shifted in Jay, ever so slightly, and the landscape had changed permanently.

Many folks have given me a bunch of credit for hanging in there with Mewes through all the bullshit, and even tossed me the hosannas for getting the boy clean, but it was never me. The real hero of Jasons story is Jason himself.
Posted on: 23-04-2006, 02:12:56

(Me, the wife, and my two kids, at the "Cat in the Hat" premiere.)

More often than not, a hero's most epic battle is the one you never see; it's the battle that goes on within him or herself. And for whatever reason, the boy triumphed over his darker instincts, quietly laying to rest years of heartbreak and anguish. He entered sobriety in a similar fashion to his entrance into drug abuse: with little fanfare. After what felt like a lifetime of perils and pitfalls experienced side-by-side with - and sometimes at the hands of - Jason, I couldn't have been happier with the lack of drama that marked the end of Mewes' drug abuse era.

That first Christmas he spent with us post-rehab, the boy asked what gift he could get me for the holiday. I told him I didn't want anything beyond his promise that he'd never use dope again - at least 'til he was eighty. That morning, he handed me a tape.

This is what was on it.

(Alternate video link if traffic's too heavy)

His raw honesty was on full display, but it was his newfound maturity that was so staggering. Many times in the past, the boy had made me countless empty promises about getting off smack that he could and would never keep. In acknowledging his unwillingness to offer up another such pact that was beyond his ability to pledge, Jason had finally revealed the grown-up I'd always been hoping he'd become. And in not being able to give me what I asked for, he wound up giving me something so much better

He gave me Hope.

So on that mid-December early morn, circa 2003, on the balcony of my house in the Hollywood Hills, when Jason Mewes, my friend of seventeen years and co-star in five films at that point, dropped a bomb that should've repulsed the shit out of me, or at the very least, made me vomit a little in my mouth, I didn't retch, or smack him upside the head, hollering "Don't fuck the vapid, dammit!" Instead, I asked a question.

"Who is Nicole Richie?" I was blithely unaware, at that point, of "The Simple Life".
"Lionel Richie's daughter," Mewes offered.
"And you fucked her?"
"She fucked ME, sir. She just pulled me into a bathroom stall and fucked me. It was weird."
"Had you ever even met her before?"
"Once or twice. Through Kim Stewart."
"Rod Stewart's daughter."
"What's with all the kids of 80's pop icons digging on you?"
"Because they know The Mewes is long, and he's strong, and he's down to get the friction on."
"See? There ARE benefits to staying clean."
"Oh, Hell's yeah. I was thinking about it yesterday: I been living here a month now, since I got out of rehab. And in one month, I've had sex with twenty eight different girls."
"That's a lot, right?"
"A better advertisement for the joys of sobriety I can't imagine."
Mewes smiled. "I can. Being here, with my family? That beats fucking any day."
"That's a really sweet sentiment, sir. But let's not go nuts."
"It's true, sir. You know I don't lie now."
"You don't gotta live like that no more?"
Looking out at the quiet morning landscape of the Hollywood Hills, Mewes took a draw on his cigarette and uttered six simple words: "Not today, sir. Probably not tomorrow."

That observation contained more power and magic than any method of forced rehabilitation I'd crammed down his throat over the years. The man had paved his own path to Hell, and with those six words, he'd paved his path OUT as well. It was the closest thing to a display of heroism I'd ever personally bore witness to.

And with his journey not quite complete but certainly out of the darkest woods, the hero then asked "Can I borrow twenty bucks? I want to go to breakfast with McGins at the Griddle."

I handed over the green, gave him a hug, and watched him go, satisfied that, for the first time in eons, the bucks were going into his belly instead of his arm. It was the best money Id ever spent.

- Fin -
For a look at a three-years sober Mewes, check out Jason in the "Clerks II" trailer and the YouTube exclusive "Train Wreck" short (don't forget to leave a comment).

10:18 PM - 788 Comments - 1561 Kudos - Add Comment

Me and My Shadow, Pt. 9 - the final chapter - up later today!

Sorry, folks, for the wait; I've been a bit inundated with work stuff.

But we're finally at the end of the story, and it should all be up by noon pacific today.

Thanks for your patience.
Posted on: 23-04-2006, 02:14:17
Aww fuck that part about lying is fuckin touchin, the whole vid is..

No that was dust in my eye!!
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, / Mother, mother fuck, fuck / Mother fuck, mother fuck, / Noich noich noich, / 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, / Noich, noich noich / Smokin' weed, smokin' wizz, / Doin' coke, drinkin' beers, / Drinkin' beers, beers, beers, / Rollin' fattys, smokin' blunts, / Who smokes the blunts? / We smoke the blunts."

"Just remember when you control the mail you control....information!"


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #20 on: Feb 21, 2013, 06:45 AM »
Everybody needs a friend like Kevin.  Seriously gained a lot of respect for you guys just by reading this - even Ben Affleck seems to be a helluva lot more human than I gave him credit for.

Now, Clerks3... back at the Quick Stop, we all want it to happen :D


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Re: Me and My Shadow - The Story of Jason Mewes (By Kevin Smith)
« Reply #21 on: Mar 02, 2013, 07:02 PM »
That was an awesome read! I knew Jason had gotten into drugs but had no idea how bad it was. I love Kevin Smith even more, if that's possible. Thanks for posting that!

"This is drugs?"