With an embarrassing amount of trepidation, I’m writing my first post in weeks without the crutch of my most recent addiction.

You know what I’m talking about — “Auto-tune” for writers — Chat GPT.

The technology — at once thrilling and alluring — opened my mind up to endless possibilities — until it didn’t.

I expeditiously found myself lobbing dull directives into a machine that I’d taught to take on a pseudo-Chris Dessi. I fed it my blog and portions of my books, while at the same time feeding it a bit of my soul.

It was a short-lived romance — hot and heavy at first — the lust at first sight you feel in your 20s only to learn to avoid in the more sober clear-eyed 30s and 40s.

I’m done with her elixir, and I’m done with the allure of what she can do. She can’t help me, nor can she help you.

She’s a tool to help us in other ways. Content marketing for our companies. The heavy lifting — the soulless content that drives our online machines. Sure. But to write from the heart — on your blog, or your newsletter?

I’d argue, no.

To share the inner workings of our souls — to speak of the weight on our chests that makes us cry silently each night — mourning the parent we’ve lost or the missed opportunities we’ve passed. This machine just can’t grasp it.

It can’t dig into the dark recesses of my mind and recall the time in London, when I — still glassy-eyed from an evening’s worth of cocaine and vodka, thought it prudent to begin my long journey home from the clubs by foot.

Only to realize the colossal error of my intoxicated judgment after I felt the beginnings of what would become raw torn blisters form. Which thankfully led to my eventually acquiescing to hail a cab.

The London cabby had been out early on that Sunday morning having driven a family to Heathrow for an early flight.

London cab drivers are all smart — barring none. To drive a cab in London one must pass what is called having done “the knowledge” — a rigorous exam where they need to commit the whole of London to memory.

They are the human version of Waze before Waze was Waze and way before Google Maps mapped a single map. These men and women know that city from top to bottom and are always lovely to ride with — well, almost always.

The machine can’t speak of the shame I felt while seeing the look on this lovely chap’s face as I clumsily fell into his cab, stinking of smoke, sweat & booze — topped off with a dash of cheap Russian perfume, acquired from my last and final stop of the evening.

Shame born from my trying (quite unsuccessfully) to avoid spilling the remaining blow from its now mangled bag. Then slowly unravel the (previously rolled tight) cash to pay said lovely chap.

Fuck me.

I unraveled it slowly — then smoothed the bill out on my thigh — licked my finger, then slowly slid my damp finger along the bill — then quickly plunged it back into my mouth. He grimaced at me in the rearview.

Thankfully my shame was at least dulled a bit by booze and blow.

The filth of the note made my finger taste bitter —but then the medicinal bite of the blow hit and (almost instantly) my pounding headache was alleviated …for now.

With my dept fully settled, I gingerly exited the cab — squinting, while failing at any attempt to shield the Sunday morning sunshine — a low grumbling cough shook my body.

I make a deep and ugly oinking grunt — to pull the blow stuck in the back of my throat down into my beat-up body.

I fumble for my keys, but the red door to my building swings open. It’s the May-December gay couple who live above me. Off to play squash. I don’t make eye contact, but I manage some pleasantries “Yes, it’s a lovely day — enjoy your game!” …torture.

I enter the hallway, shuffle up the steps, and finally arrive at an empty flat. It stinks of stale Stella Artois.

I think to myself that I should open the windows. I don’t. Dreadful silence. It’s 8 am on Sunday. Spring of 2003.

I’m single & living alone in London. Desperately homesick. Ripe to get back to New York, and leave London and this lifestyle behind.

I look around the empty flat — just as I left it. No family to have been worried about my whereabouts.

My brain is whirring like a Ferrari about to break down in the right lane of a highway. High RPMs, but losing torque quickly.

I look at my phone — all remaining hookups and side pieces have long since paired off for the night.

I close the shades to sleep off the damage of the previous night’s debauchery. I set my alarm for 1 pm, even though I know it will take another 2 hours before I can find sleep. But -that should do.

Another wasted Sunday.

Nope: AI just can’t do it.