Monday, October 3, 2011

Downward Spiral

The first time I saw him, he was attractive. Desirable. Hot, even.

The last time I heard about him, this previous week, he was in a fucking mess. At first I heard he was being investigated for murder, and then accidental death. One source said that he'd attempted to kill himself. The newspapers tried to play up the more sensational aspects of what happened. Wild gay sex and crystal meth party, some of them called it—though from what I could tell, it was a simple one-on-one, or possibly a three-way, gone wrong. It's a damned mess, and I pity the guy and his part in whatever happened.

But like I said, he was hot the first time we met. It would've been back in the very late nineteen-nineties, or possibly the year two thousand. I was shopping the local upscale mall with a friend and stopped into the upstairs restroom—which was wildly cruisy from the day it opened to the day I moved. He was in one of the stalls, stroking his dick and looking from action. I don't remember exactly how it went down, but within five minutes he showed me a trick that I employed for several years following, when he led me off to the Nieman-Marcus at the mall's east end and took me to the second floor washrooms, where the men's room stalls were miniature rooms with a locking regular door. I fucked his face and his hole in there, and emerged a few minutes later to find my friend still waiting (and rolling his eyes).

But I had a phone number, and a new buddy.

I saw the guy a few times at his place, after that. We'd fuck under the sloping eaves of his upstairs bungalow bedroom. I liked his muscular build and his face, which was handsome and bright-eyed. He was the first person I'd known to wear no facial hair other than a soul patch, and he was one of the few on whom it looked anything other than affected. I got a kick out of his profession, which was one of the careers that traditionally isn't supposed to be trolling for anonymous sex in men's rooms. We weren't lovers, in the sense I think of the word; we didn't see each other that often. But we were friendly enough that he offered me the use of his home for fucking, if I never needed a place to play. I never took him up on it, though.

When he found a boyfriend and went off the market for a while, I forgot about him for a couple of years. The boyfriend was supposed to be a big deal—the two were united very publicly and with a lot of fanfare and talk about the sacred nature of monogamy and commitment. All of which apparently went out the window within a couple of years, when he was back on the market and craving even more and kinkier sex than he was before. He looked for guys to tie him up, to humiliate him. He wanted poz guys to bareback and convert him. He gained an alarming amount of weight, and let his good looks grow ragged around the edges.

When I was fucking him in the mid-two-thousands, he was really big guy hiding the remains of a former good-looker under a thick layer. Our times together got progressively less enjoyable not because of that, but because he stopped cleaning out when we'd meet . . . and nothing turns me off more quickly than that. I'd make excuses not to see him, because he just wasn't taking the good care I expected, beforehand.

The last time I saw him was probably about three years ago, when I let him talk me into accompanying him to a sling party on the far side of town. The other men present were fairly hot, but my erstwhile friend embarrassed himself by climbing into a sling and, mid-fuck, letting loose a tremendous amount of what we'll generously call 'anal leakage' onto the floor underneath. It was one of those scenes that, erase it as I try from my memory, I can't eradicate. The noise, the multiple cries of panic from everyone in the room, the shock and dismay that followed. Thank god there was a large plastic tarp on the floor.

Plead as he might for me to have fun with him after that, I didn't. I couldn't face any of the other guys from that party ever again, either. I simply didn't want to be reminded.

It would be convenient if I could point to the moment of decline and say, with a wry shake of my head, that I told him to get his life back in order or things would come to a bitter end. I can't, and I couldn't, though. I've seen meth ruin lives in very short order. I knew a couple who went from responsible management jobs in a bank and a great house in an expensive suburb, to fired, strung-out junkies literally living out of a motel on one of the nastiest streets in Detroit because of the stuff. I knew one former fuckbuddy who lost his health, his lover, and his home because of the stuff, as he entered rehab again and again to attempt to rid himself of the habit. I knew a real estate agent with a huge reputation end up sleeping in an old station wagon during Michigan's worst winter months, after he lost everything to the habit.

Then there were guys like this, who managed to keep his meth usage relatively under wraps. Was he using when I knew him, in the later years? It could be. It'd make a certain kind of sense, though he didn't exhibit any of the twitchy habits I associated with other users I'd avoid. Yet this last week, when I ran across the item in the Detroit paper that outlined in lurid detail the guy's downfall, I can't say I was exactly surprised. All I know is that the man invited over another guy from an online hookup site. The trick brought over some meth, which my former friend dissolved in water and injected in the trick's chest, and then in his own. A couple of hours later, the trick was dead and my old fuckbuddy was having to explain it to the police.

Like I said. A mess.

I was shocked for the space of an evening. By the next day, I was poring through the web for more information. The guy lost his jobs. Headlines about gay sex and meth parties will do that, when you have a sensitive position like his. I read that he'd chosen to go to rehab, but I'd also read that he hadn't. His online hookup profile has been registering as online twenty-four/seven, since.

And old mutual friends keep contacting me. Did you have any idea? they ask. Did you know the other guy? No, I didn't. Should we have been able to tell? Maybe we should, but we didn't. Could we even have done anything if we'd tried?

It's a valid question. Meth is one of those drugs that becomes to world to some of its users—it means more than family, more than friends, more than any warning that anyone can possibly give. I admire anyone who can claw his way back to life from its clutches. I doubt anything we'd said, if we'd said it, would have carried any force in the terrible tug-of-war that meth has with an addict's life. The best that any of us can do at this point is to do what he must be doing: cleaning up and taking stock and trying to get on as best as we can.

Though it's going to be more difficult for him than the rest of us. There but for the grace of god, and sometimes mere chance, go any of us; it's best to remember how fortunate we really are, at the end of the day.


  1. Man, what a bad way to find out too. I mean, sure, you weren't planning on seeing him again, but there is a difference between not seeing again and wishing someone ill. It is a sad but common spiral, and I'm not entirely sure why. I don't do drugs, and I never plan to. And the fact that he injected into his chest says to me that he was a pretty heavy user. Sad as this story is, though, there was nothing that you or anyone else could have done. You hadn't seen him for three years, and it takes less time than that to get totally hooked on the drug. It is too bad someone died, and he is going to have that horrible weight pressuring him to do more drugs, but he made a choice at some point to go down this path. Meth really just messes people up beyond repair some times.


  2. I admit to being mystified by people who use drugs. Even the idea of drinking alcohol frightened me as a kid. I already new that I had too many secrets to willingly get to a place where my inhibitions were out of my control.
    One of the things that annoys me the most about society relegating me to the fringes over my tastes is the little part of me wonders, every time I hook up, if this is going to be the time that something spirals out of control and messes up my life through no fault of my own.

  3. Perhaps it's a sad sign of our generation that we read these stories and immediately are reminded of our own ghosts of the past.

    We shouldn't let guilt wear us down, but it's brave of you to at least face these questions.

    What could any of us do? We can't be responsible for somebody else's ill-fated decisions but maybe the things we say or do have some effect on the lives of others?

    I am very sorry for your friend, and for all the others who were not as fortunate (as we are?).

  4. Your brother told me about it on Saturday. I didn't know either of them, but I have seen it hurt and/or destroy far too many other lives. The list of guys I no longer play with for drug reasons is larger than I would ever have imagined, just a few short years ago.

  5. Wow, what a complicated and almost embarrassing story. The downfall of a person in a few thousand words.

  6. Ugh. I live in San Diego, which was for many years the meth capital of the world. I went through a relatively long period of psuedo celibacy in the 1990s (I think it was nearly all of 1997) because I just absolutely refused to have sex with someone who was high on meth, and they were everywhere.

    I've known a number of people who do ok with using other drugs, but I've never met someone who used meth without it entirely ruining the rest of their life. And the worst part is it burns out lots of your endorphin/neuroreceptor system so when you want to come off it you can't experience pleasure normally for like 6 months to a year.


  7. That soul patch does look good on him. I guess I am sad that someone who was, as you said, so good looking, let themselves spiral SO far downward that they lost control completely.

  8. Ace,

    It doesn't mess up people beyond repair sometimes. It's basically all the time. It's one of those drugs that people think they have under control for a decent length of time, only to discover that the situation is anything but what they would like to think.

    Like Saab says later in the comments, I haven't known anyone who hasn't had a terrible time on the stuff—especially getting off it.

  9. Kevin Shea,

    Yes, yes it is. This next time will be the time everything spirals out of control.

    I know it's tough to stop that kind of thinking. When one has drug and alcohol abuse in one's own family—and I am speaking from personal experience, here—it's almost impossible to pick up a cocktail or even a prescription pill without worrying about addiction.

  10. Countess,

    We all affect each other's lives whether we intend to, or not. We all have our individual trajectories, but we carom and collide with each other in unexpected ways, every day, all the time. And yet it's impossible to know how, or when, or in what form those effects we've had will show.

    Doing the best we can is all we have, sometimes.

  11. FelchingPisser,

    I think Mikey knew the victim more; I know he was shaken up by it pretty badly.

  12. Mind,

    Yeah, but it's a few thousand words from an outsider. What really happened is something that only the people involved can ever know.

  13. Saab,

    I understand your refusal. I didn't used to be so picky, a decade ago. I learned my lesson, though, after a handful of sketchy encounter and started turning down the meth-heads hitting me up.

    People talked about how crack ravaged the city of Detroit in the late nineteen-eighties, and I saw that happening right before my very eyes. What meth has done to the population, though, has been a lot more damaging and insidious, and has crossed a lot more social and economic lines than crack ever did.

  14. Lucky,

    Well, it's sad for anyone, good-looking or not-so-blessed. But yeah, if you found an older photo and compared it to something recent, the distance traveled in a very few years is disheartening.

  15. I have only known a few people who were on meth, so I didn't feel comfortable with the generalization. I've made sure to steer clear of that group of people so far in my life. In rural Ohio there weren't many users that I could tell (there was hardly any pot to be had). And in Maine I never went to any of the places and never would hang out with those doing hard drugs. I have had sex with someone who was using a few times (using something at least) and it really wasn't good for me. I like my bottoms to be aware and within the moment. You can't do that with someone on drugs.

    I'm sorry to hear that Mikey was so shook up by the news. I wish I could do or say something to help. Death is never a good thing.


  16. It's a fabulous & a memorable instance of your high skills as a writer~the disgusting, flash-point scene (at the party while naked in the sling) of him losing control of his bowels. Thanks, Rob, for sharing!

  17. Yes, Mikey returned to the topic repeatedly over several chats this last weekend.

    Ace--It's the focus/awarness issues for me, too. And to a person, the abuser has told me "Oh, it does that to everyone else, but not to me." I stopped believing that very fast--especially after a bottom got out of the sling, excusing himself to go "check his cleanout" and disappeared to the downstairs bathroom. When he didn't return after 20 minutes I went to check on him. He was scrubbing my kitchen floor...

  18. Mercis sans fin for the recommendation of felchingpisser...he's quite the stuff of heroes!

  19. More junk blogging, I see? Try some reality one day, loser. Now you admit to fantasizing about meth addicts?

    What does your wife and kids think of that? tee hee. Good thing you don't have any or a real life.

  20. Hey, Not-So-Anonymous Comcast subscriber from Albuquerque at 6:02,

    It's kind of funny how much one can find out about a person when one has been tracking the commenter's IP address every time he's submitted a comment. Yours is, by the way. Your location is really just the beginning.

    Tee hee.