Who Remembers Sonny B.

I’m being completely ambiguous here in referring to my friend (and former adult actor), as “Sonny B.”. I tried no-name titles, but the titles I came up with were pretty lame – Where is My Friend, Looking For______… blah,blah, blah – and then I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just use his acting alias,’ but then I thought that might be a little too personal for him, if he ever happened to read this. Fans and industry people will know who I’m talking about after only a little description. I tried to contact him for permission to write about him, to tell just this little bit of his story, but I cannot find him anywhere.

Sonny is a multi-talented guy. Put anything in front of him and he can do it, and do it better than you even if you’ve been doing it for years. I don’t know if there’s anything he can’t do, or anything he didn’t do within the adult industry, quite frankly. He climbed the ranks from Lowly Production Assistant to being one of the few people who could rightly own the title “Talent”, a title that is so casually handed to the talentless. He was a marvelous character actor, always put in comedic roles, he was a sex worker, and towards the end of his career, he was a set designer. He did a lot of things, but he is forever stamped in my mind as an audio technician and the one person during my brutal scene with a coked-out Bobby Vitale, who stepped in and said, “Don’t break the girl, man!” after my attempts at communication with that particularly insensitive male, failed. That is how I will always remember Sonny – as someone who actually cares about people. He is my friend.

I didn’t forget that when he went to prison. I wrote to him for five years, long after others fell off from keeping in touch with him, long after the woman he loved sold his things and threatened him with legal action if he didn’t stop writing. I’m not judging, of course. I suppose his mother kept in touch, but from the way Sonny talked about that, it was not very comforting.

I want to write this because I think certain details about his story should be written. He was all but forgotten by the people he called his friends because… well, life happens. Work, family, friends… the distractions that turn our attention can keep us from people who are not in front of us on a regular basis. He told me that the worst part of being in purgatory was that he could not remember what led to it. He had blacked-out and honestly could not recall exactly what he had done. After he told me the few details leading up to it, I was able to explain to him what had happened. If anyone remembers Sonny B., and more importantly, if anyone cares about Sonny B., maybe this will help you somehow, maybe this will sooth your memories of his exit from the industry and rekindle any fondness you had for him, a fondness that is quite justified because he is a good person.

Alcohol is a depressant, so when you drink alcohol, your motor skills get slower. Cocaine is a stimulant, so when you do cocaine your motor skills speed up. I guess, everything speeds up. You get my point. I do not advise anyone ingest cocaine or alcohol into their bodies, and I really advise against combining the two. It is extremely unhealthy, and can lead to black-outs that are scary for everyone involved, depending on what kind of mood you happen to be in.

Alcohol is a liberating drug. It is a sort of gateway to the subconscious mind and it liberates one from one’s inhibitions. I have always suffered from shyness, but especially as a child and then as a teenager, so for me, alcohol was an easy route to relaxation and the liberation of other parts of my personality. Extremes beget extremes, so shy little me, drunk, would turn into either Run-Through-The-Streets-Naked-And-Happy me, or You-Better-Shut-Up-Or-I-Will-Shut-You-Up me. Anyway, once a particular level of subconscious-liberating-alcohol intake is reached, the conscious mind wants to shut down. The subconscious mind is always “on”, which is, of course, why we dream. It stays on, running through the collective debris of daily thoughts and memories and probably even communicating with the invisible world of “ghosts” and otherworldly entities. Whatever it is doing, it’s doing something. The car is turned off but the battery is still humming. Too much cocaine and everything else wants to stay awake, so the conscious mind shuts down and the subconscious takes over. This also happens to people who take certain drugs to help in sleeping, but who don’t lie down to sleep right after they take it. The conscious mind does go to sleep, but again, everything else stays on. It’s my guess that this is also a version of what happens to people with split or multi-personality disorder, only it happens through different and more complicated means? Mental trauma…? I’m not a doctor, so ask a professional about actual clinical disorders, but I would be very curious to know.

I do know that this is what happens when alcohol and cocaine are mixed, because I could have easily been drug off to jail a few times, myself, for the same reason. It’s a boring statement to say that people in the entertainment industry suffer from similar conditions of neurosis. Not everyone in entertainment suffers from some kind of love deficit, but most of us do, and while it does not lead everyone who suffers from it into entertainment, I can safely say it that most of the industry people I’ve ever met are led by it. If I’m wrong, someone please correct me. I can identify with Sonny and the demons he is able to keep carefully at bay when he has the full power of his mental faculties. I can identify with Sonny and his need to be free from keeping them at bay from time to time. I can definitely identify with the horror of finding out they were not kept at bay, but I cannot identify with the abject humiliation of finding out that they were not only set loose, but that the punishment is the loss of everything you know and love, coupled with the pain of knowing you hurt someone, or led someone to believe you could and would hurt them. I cannot imagine what that is like and never want to know. How easily it can all be stripped away because we find these easy and senseless ways of dealing with our deeper issues. It’s not worth it to loose control in that way. It is always better to face problems coherently.

Sonny suffered from a multitude of things, and in the end, the person he hurt the most, was himself. But he is a kind man who lost himself enough in the drugs he was taking and mixing that he became too liberated for his own good. I would never try to absolve him of any blame, because he did cause harm, but I do know that if he could have the chance to say anything to the people he has loved and cared about, he would say, “I’m sorry.” He was really, really sorry. He owned what he did but could only apologize to me. Somehow I just feel responsible for extending that.

I picked him up from the train station in 2006 and ate his first real meal with him. Three years later he got through his parole and when I last spoke with him, he was living the good life in a boring little town. Sonny, I hope you are out sailing the globe right now, enjoying freedom and real liberation – liberation of the mind and healing through the only kind of forgiveness that really counts when all is said and done, the healing that happens when we forgive ourselves.

I love you, my friend!

– Lydia a.k.a. Julie Meadows

29200cookie-checkWho Remembers Sonny B.

Who Remembers Sonny B.

Share This

One Response

Leave a Reply