Why do I seek the companionship of crystal meth long after I’ve grown weary of my other chemical friends? Why does it continue to call to me? Whispering suggestively in broad daylight, or screeching for me in the dark of night, it refuses to relinquish its grip. Unlike the others, this drug has a distinct voice: it is the voice of all that is pleasure, all that is touch. It is the voice of all that is thrill and hot firing synapse, it is the coo of sensual eroticism, the promise of secret sensations and the rumbling of internal combustion. It is the voice of thousands of men, wanton and sinewy and throbbingly needful, calling me to join them, to join their brotherhood, to be initiated into this cabal of debauchery and wrongful oh-so-rightness, to wallow in the warm groundswell of sweat and heat and strong sinful embrace.
I am a slave to its call, I am unable to say no, to choose health and clarity, to declare independence from these poison crystals. Why do I eschew purity, vitality, wholesomeness? Why do I not turn towards the light instead, to grab in dripping fistfuls all the good that floats shimmering just beyond my fingertips, mine for the taking if the wanting were strong enough? Why am I too weak to resist this drug’s depraved charm, its mind-numbing, libido-quickening promise? Why must indulging the whims of my cock take precedence over the salvation of my soul?
Is it a question of character, of some deficient weave of my moral fiber? Or do I simply prefer the state of heightened arousal and floating euphoria to the cold sharp edges and right angles of real life? I debate these questions daily. I have yet to find an answer, yet to find the strength to finally say “no more…I don’t want to live like this,” finally and fully, with conviction. My life is, therefore, a kaleidoscope of lies, weak fabrications, and flimsy, sagging fences hastily erected between myself and those who might care about me, if I were to let them know me. For every person in my life there is an entire, unique army of lies: marching vigilantly between myself and that person, protecting me and my compromises of integrity from discovery. This army of lies keeps those who must interact with me from discovering that I am no longer really here. The molecules of what was once Andy have gradually slipped out from my lungs, through the pipe stem and into the ethers and have been replaced with molecules of similar appearance but of faulty design. Nothing remains of the original Andy who was once able to easily navigate the treacherous waters between dark and light.
I pause occasionally in the midst of a binge to study this synthetic being masquerading as Andy in his midlife state: soul coated with thick ropy splatters of negativity and self-hatred, alternating with random, manic expressions of hopefulness. In the grip of this chemical euphoria, I experience drugdreams of a clean and shiny life: whistle-slick easy honesty, good people and genuine, lovely cool-pillowed sleep. Then, as the drug fades from my bloodstream, I know it is time to prepare for the tsunami of despair that will wash this thing Andy has become back to his tiny island of disgrace.
I am responsible for all of this, this life that is mine. I write this, so I know this. I know, I know, I know. And yet I buy, I load, I torch, I hit.
And then all the things I know are forgotten, and all bad things and thoughts and pain are forced into the tupperware container at the back of my brain while I bask in my divine universal desirability and mastery of all things erotic and pleasurable. My left hand greasy, the right on the mouse, click, click, jack, jack…gamma rays invading wide-open, red-rimmed eyes. And so it goes until the sun comes up, until a feeble climax is attained, and I face a new day coated in a sheen of shame and sweat. With practiced duplicity I create a network of lies for the coming day, my coat of defense. When the first lie is told, another layer peels away onion-skinned thin from my soul, leaving it raw and stinging and throbbing in silent tortured pain.
The grease and the cum on my hands are the proof of my self-degradation, of my utter worthlessness and my sick, sad, ungoverned id.
Wash it off, wash it off. Can I sleep now? Try a Benadryl, wash it down with bottle of wine. Woozy now, but the heart still pounds and the mind still races, snowy images of shame and despair and long-lost purity.
I remember myself as a boy, a designated golden child, a boy of unmitigated potential, a boy bursting with the potential for greatness, tow-headed toughskinned innocence. That boy is still in here, somewhere. I hear him moaning at times, curled up and covered in festering speed bumps, shaking and sobbing and begging be set free.
To put down the pipe and torch would be to give this boy his liberty, yet I fear he is far too damaged to venture back into the world: his scars too numerous, his baby teeth too yellowed and loosened by toxic plaque. Like a wild bird too accustomed to the care of human hands, he can not survive in the wild, he remains in his cage. We go together, wherever we are going. I love him, yet I’m killing him.
I write these words, torch and glass pipe on the bedside table to my right, shame and despair standing off to the left, gnashing their teeth with impatience, waiting for me to come down.
I am so fucking lost.
You’re the one who’s always choking trojan / You’re the one who’s always bruised and broken / Drunk on immorality Valium and cherry wine / Coke and ecstasy You’re gonna blow your mind / I understand the fascination / I’ve even been there once or twice or more / But if you don’t change your situation / Then you’ll die, you’ll die, don’t die, don’t die