Tag Archives: LSD

Acid, Ecstasy and Disneyland

Ask me the first time I let Michael into my heart?

I can tell you the steps, the baby steps, he made across the line into that first pumping valve. The first memory is taking him to see The Hollywood Stones in winter of 2012. The Hollywood Stones, once called Sticky Fingers, is the Rolling Stones cover band who first introduced me to the music back in 2001 in Pomona. I liked it. When I saw them last year on the Queen Mary, I had familiarized myself with the albums “Sticky Fingers” and “Let It Bleed” just because they ushered me through the door. I schedule my entire month around seeing them. As I once said to their saxophone player outside an Orange County steakhouse, “Hearing ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ live is just a gift.”

Dancing to the Stones

Once, the mentor, who broke my heart and leveled my self-esteem with her post-semester evaluation, invited me to her house for a reading in her Topanga home. It was the perfect opportunity to touch base with her again and give some credibility to my commitment as a writer. When I saw that The Hollywood Stones were playing the same night, I looked over at Michael. “Should I pretend to struggle over this decision?” I scratched out my old mentor’s event and wrote HOLLYWOOD STONES on my wall calendar. When I dance, when I dance to the music, it becomes my religion. That is when I feel the most alive.

The first night I took Michael to see them I knew that it would be a good indicator of where we would end up. Abe, my ex, would quickly run and hide during my dances. Was it out of fear or embarrassment? I never really figured it out.

Michael was ordering us drinks when the Stones hit their first song on stage. I was walking out of the bathroom and I felt the eyes of the band on me. It was a small venue. I am always the first to dance during the first song. And I am always alone.

I looked over to the bar and waved in Michael’s direction then started dancing. Michael creeped on the dance floor in my winter’s jacket. He was wearing it so I wouldn’t have to lug it around. I stopped to smile at him, as he sauntered on the floor towards me, sliding each sleeve up his forearm. I looked at the lead singer, Dick Swagger, and I watched him smile.

That was one of my favorite moments.

Another was on New Year’s Eve in a gay bar called Akbar. It was free and a last ditch effort during a busy dog walking season. Michael, Trent (my gay boyfriend) and myself all walked in knowing the DJs were usually hit and miss. This night it was Elton John, The Animals, The Monkees, The Black Keys, Jet and even Nancy Sinatra. We had a bag of cocaine on us and Michael was regularly excusing himself to the bathroom to take a few bumps.

“Does he know to take it easy on that stuff?” Trent asked.

“I don’t think he has had that heart stopping, ‘I am dying’, moment yet,” I said.

He never did. When Whitney Houston came on, Michael knew he couldn’t leave the dance floor, so he cleared the stage in front of the DJ and set up lines for himself in front of everyone. I admire that fearlessness. I worry, but I still admire.

la bound

Another favorite moment of us, in this rather young relationship, is coming home from the AWP conference in Boston. It is a conference for writers and publishers. He picked me up from the airport. At the baggage claim, I watched him looking for me. As soon as he saw me, he grabbed my arm with such force it almost hurt. He yanked me in for a hard kiss. A real kiss. The kind you see on TV and convince yourself don’t really exist. I kissed him back, forgetting the department head and president of my school were there waiting for their baggage too. When I opened my eyes, his arm swung up in my face … with flowers.

There was the negative as well. Michael doesn’t understand why I maintain contact with my ex-boyfriends, ex-lovers. I told him, “I don’t know how you can be intimate with someone and not stay in touch. How can you stop caring?”

In fact, Michael was no longer in contact with the girl he was going to move back to Milwaukee for before we started seeing each other. I knew she was upset at him from various angry, bleeping text messages around the holidays. That always bugged me.

‘She blocked me, ok?” he defended.

Other things, as it did with other cohabitating partners, bothered me; eating cereal next to my head as he stood over me to read while I was writing, this tick of pulling and sniffing on his nostrils, and gagging himself with a toothbrush while brushing. The clanking of his spoon against the bowl. (That isn’t specific to him, my roommate Frank is creating the same jarring sound from the living room as I write this) His rearrangement of my garments in the dresser. Little things bothered me, but they never really contended with his undying love and devotion. Whenever you consolidate your life with someone else’s life, there is friction.

It is difficult talking about how I love people. Last year, I was really hurt with many people. My  roommate hung himself and died. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me a few days before agreeing to move in with me and take me to his cousin’s wedding. My parents kicked me out with no money or shelter. All that happens to a broke girl is a kick into survival mode. You still have affection for people, but you don’t invite them into your soul anymore. It is a liability. And, at that point, it would be just plain stupid.

Michael’s mother gave us a timeshare for a Disneyland tower. I stocked up on my favorite drugs; MDMA, acid and Ecstasy. Acid, for some reason, is in low supply in Los Angeles. Luckily, my roommate Frank had two cubes of sugar he was saving in a friend’s freezer.

We arrived. I was in a pink sock hat, heart pajama bottoms and a Doors shirt with a Hunter S. Thompson biography and a stack of oreo cookies under my arm. I expected the Disney staff to either be over-serving in typical Corporate-Magic fashion or ignore us. Instead, the staff seemed to know exactly why we were there.

HST Flip Off

“That’s a great book,” the Bell Hop said.

“I know. It is blowing me away,” I said.

“They only use the words of people that knew Hunter S. Thompson. It is one of my favorites.”

What a pleasant surprise. They were kind, assuming a lower but friendly tone with us as we were escorted to our hotel room. We got in and watched the afternoon burn off. When we woke up in the middle of the night after beer, Taco Bell and a nap I wanted to take the acid. Michael was reluctant, wanting to wait until we were in the park. The drugs would hit me long and hard. My friends know that drugs hit me in “a weird way.” I don’t know if it is my brain chemistry or what exactly, but I get a bang for my buck no matter what. That is why I always dose low and slow. Even things like cough syrup and tylenol were given to me in minimal and controlled doses as a child.

I dosed and Michael followed soon after. One of my favorite things to do is watch old Looney Tunes episodes on psychedelics. We had the pleasure of an old Sylvester the cat episode. When acid kicks in, you know. The colors start getting strong. So strong they almost leap out of your television set. You laugh so hard you start uncontrollably cackling until tears cool down your face. All of this happened in the course of one hour, but not with Michael.

Sylvester is after the mouse, but somehow the mouse was able to substitute himself for a kangaroo.  Of course, the house bull dog has no sympathy for Sylvester. Scared over a mouse? Get in there and do your job! Sylvester gets the shit kicked out of him, and when the bull dog sees the kangaroo, he grabs Sylvester by the scruff and drops them both on the back of the truck. “When you start seeing a 5-foot mouse, then its time to jump on the water wagon.” Both Sylvester and the dog look defeated as they are carted away.

This was hysterical, and I couldn’t stop laughing. How things happened and in what order I am not sure. I accidentally hit a switch on the wall, and our bed boards lit up with electronic fireworks and a lit Disney castle to the hard, strained chords of a music box orchestra. We were both astonished.

I had to leave for a cigarette and be by myself. I know Michael wasn’t feeling it and was quite disappointed. So I walked outside and smoked next to a few potted trees in a huge,empty, concrete parking lot. It was 4am so no one was there but the night crew.

I looked at a bush next to the ashtray. “You just want to be free to grow, huh? I understand.” Everything seemed so controlled and fake. Sectioned and tarred. I smoked two cigarettes and watched the night time sprinklers go on. I watched the leaves dance for water and touched their pointing tips to feel some life in this endless parking lot. “I am sorry,” I whispered.

I walked back into the hotel and got in the elevator with a Hispanic man from the cleaning crew. My pupils were the size of dimes. “These graveyard shifts will shorten your lifespan, man,” I said. He giggled.

The elevator doors opened to Michael, waving his arms. He was worried about me. After huffing and puffing, he took off down the hallway to our room. “Have a good night,” the night man smiled.

We got back in the room and I laughed off his tantrum. I was only gone for 20 minutes, the acid was expanding his time. “I was really worried about you. Like, where were you, man?” He was adopting my dated vocabulary.

“I was outside. Those plants don’t like it out there.”

He calmed down after 10 or 15 minutes of panting and complaining. We hugged and kissed. When he had to poop, I dragged the chair into the bathroom and sat outside the toilet door because I didn’t want to be alone. It wasn’t just that. Something is vulnerable about a man on the shitter. He kept the door closed but we giggled so hard, I toppled over on the chair as it rocked clumsily between bathroom tiles on the floor.

Suddenly famished, we ordered room service (something we couldn’t afford) and the cart never made it as far as the beds before we fed off the table in the hallway. It was a great first night. He enjoyed a California omelet. I inhaled fresh fruit and oatmeal. “I can understand now how someone like Lindsay Lohan can blow all her money in a hotel.” When we were done, the sun was rising and we decided it was no better time to unleash ourselves into the park. We were allotted early entrance as Disney residents.

It was a special day, we walked into baby ducks marching towards us with trust and confidence. “Is this real?” Michael asked.

I always hit Storybookland first. Mr. Toad and his Wild Ride. Sleeping Beauty. Snow White. Pinocchio. And Peter Pan. Jesus, those rides are like flipping through old library pages in the early 80s. In the 2010s, themes of crystals and the occult are evident. On acid, it is a lift to the curtain. Instead of the characters coming alive, I was more aware of the squeaky wheels under the ride. The flimsy cardboard as each sun-bleached character clumsily stumbled towards us before spinning away. The paint on the wall was of someone with talent but not allowed artistry. On acid, in Disneyland, you would like to believe everything comes alive. It doesn’t. Everything is revealed as it truly is: a farce.It was easier to surrender my imagination sober. Under the influence of psychedelics, all I could see was man instead of imagination.

It wasn’t as if this ruined my time however. We bought cotton candy.

“My parents never let me have cotton candy,” I said, feeling pink sugar dissolve on my tongue and teeth. “This is the best thing man ever invented.”

“Whenever you tell me about your childhood, I just feel sad,” Michael said.

Disneyland (2) Disneyland (1)

My mother worked at a dentistry school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was never allowed to eat a cookie without a glass of milk. To this day, the association of sugar without a cleaning entity leaves me feeling dirty. Cotton candy, sugar cereal and cookies were among the many offenders of bad teeth.

We rode the Merry-Go-Round. We happened across a horse drawn cart. I saw the horse and felt an immediate kinship. “I want to touch that horse.”

“I don’t think you can, baby,” Michael said, holding on to my wrist as if holding down a helium balloon.

“I think it wants me to pet it.”

The horse driver slowly stepped towards us, smiling but cautious. “I don’t think you can, baby.”

I sighed. “I love you,” I called to the horse. It bucked it’s head and vanilla mane towards me like it understood. I stomped away on the cobblestone path to Buffalo Bill’s Wild, Wild West. The Petting Zoo was closed.

Disneyland (4)Disneyland (3) Disneyland (5)

We hit the Pirates of the Caribbean and I watched as the pirate chasing women was now changed to pirates chasing each other while holding a stolen treasure. The “Buy A Wife” still remains, with one woman in a brazen, red dress eager for purchase. A child cried. “It’s ok,” I said, “It just called sex slavery.”

The lecherous pirate chasing a teenage girl (hiding in a barrel) chanting “”It’s sore I be to hoist me colors upon the likes of that shy little wench” was changed to “I be looking for a fine pork loin, I be” and (now) a cat peeking its head out of the barrel.

We hit the Haunted Mansion, which was the one time I was not able to carry myself. It was completely dark and the pathway started moving. I asked Michael to hold on to me so I wouldn’t fall. “Are you freaking out?” he asked.

“No, I am just disoriented. Hold on to me, please.”

Afterward, Michael had to smoke, so all the smokers huddled in a corner by Autotopia to suck on cancer sticks. I wasn’t interested. “Are you not feeling it?” I said.

“No. But I have already come to peace with the fact that I can just enjoy you feeling it,” Michael said.

“Well, let’s take the Ecstasy.”

“Now?” he asked.

I gave him his pill 20 minutes before giving in on mine. I was still on the tail coats of acid but there was no denying it was a weak dose. The ecstasy hit him on The Matterhorn. I was sitting behind him in a bumpy bobsled.  A white, hairy creature would sometimes coast out on rickety rails and clinking wheels with his hands raised in claws and his eyes burning red. As we whipped around snow-capped mountains, I watched Michael raise both hands as they gracefully lowered to either side of him, middle fingertip pressed to thumb in some kind of meditation pose. I will never forget that. I knew the ecstasy hit him as soon as he reached zen on the Matterhorn. I chuckled even though he couldn’t hear me on the rattling ride as we swept through, under and over mountains modeled poorly after the Swiss Alps.

When we got off, I turned to him and said, “So, what? Are the people of Switzerland terrorized by a large, white, snow bound monster?”

“I think it is modeled after the Abominable Snowman,” he said with lazy eyes.

We went to Indiana Jones, which is still one of the best rides at Disneyland. We still ducked when feeling the air from blow darts. The rock rolling towards us still felt believable in the second before the ride drops below it.

We took Mark Twain’s Riverboat to Tom Sawyer’s Island. We got over there and all we could do was sit in the sunshine and kiss. “Ewwww” a little girl screamed, pointing. We both turned to her and laughed. It was just a lovely afternoon. Ecstasy gives you a bigger lift than Molly (MDMA). You feel like you could fly with laughter, like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.

Back on the Mainland (Disneyland), there wasn’t much left to do. We made an appearance at Tomorrowland, though Space Mountain was more than I could admittedly deal with. Alice in Wonderland was a much needed stop. It’s a Small World. The Ecstasy had triggered strong maternal feelings and I was kissing the air within a few feet of stranger’s children. I am not sure I want children, but I can tell you they are amazing human beings.

They wore their pajamas. They ate their lollipops without inhibition, often leaving hard candy raindrops on their face and pants. They smiled when I smiled at them and cried only to their parents. All of them were carted in strollers, which was a bizarre sight. Children, all the way up to 10 years of age, were being carted around in rented strollers … not for fatigue but for speed and efficiency in the parents’ best interest. Stumbling on stroller parking was still one of the most bizarre sights I have seen. It seems we are rapidly approaching the life and times of Wall-E.

Stroller parking

Could children not walk anymore? Or could parents not be bothered with their short stride?

It was mid-afternoon when we took the tram back to our hotel room for lovemaking. Of course, the drugs had stripped me of all disguise and left me much like a little girl abandoned in a grocery store. I cried in the middle of lovemaking, walked to the other side of the suite and returned to Michael. This happened about four or five times in succession. Michael was patient.

“Work it out, baby,” he said, laying on the bed naked. His head pressed against the headboard with his thick, black hair brushed up and over his head like an Outsider from the 50s. His Italian eyes I once thought looked sad. Now, they looked heavy with seduction.

When I told my sister I was dating a full-blooded American-Italian she typed, “Yuck. Latin lovers are the worst.”

Those eyes brought me back, though. His arm was hung around the back of his head, stretching his biceps, almost forlornly watching. He didn’t try to wrangle me or cajole me back to the bed. He just watched me, feeling bad when I cried and satisfied when I returned. Recently, I watched “Scarface” and realized Michael had AL Pacino’s eyes. He knew I would be back and gave me the space to mourn my loss. When I wept, I don’t know what he thought I was thinking of or feeling. I can tell you the recurring memory was my parents kicking me out. If my parents can abandon me, anyone can. I had to cry it out, pathetically, naked, alone, next to the ice box and empty champagne bottle. I needed to work it out.

“Work it out, baby.”

al-pacino-20 al-pacino-20-1

To start my new family, I needed to mourn the old one. I cried and I came back to him.

We made love. We watched the Princess Story Time on the Resident Only Disney Channel. “Why is she using that voice? Doesn’t she know kids don’t like being condescended to? I can’t bear this.”

I took an MDMA pill. My serotonin was already depleted from the Ecstasy. However, I was launched into a world of floating pillows and white bed sheets like Jasmine the Agrabah princess. I couldn’t raise my physical senses any higher, but napped and levitated until the sun set.

a dreama dream 2

***

A lover of 5 years confessed to making out with his 1st cousin as a child and described walking into his father’s hospital room, while he was dying of lung cancer, then leaving immediately without saying a word. His father died before he could find the courage to speak.

Another lover of several months once described a moment where his birth mother accused him of being a “faggot” before abandoning him as an adolescent.

Love for a women is immediate. She opens her body to pregnancy and disease on the word of a man. She sacrifices her pulse and movement to a man, as he enters her. Men don’t experience this, though themselves are made of flesh, blood and bone. Words, you see, amount to nothing.

vag

It was much later in our relationship, in June, when I was having a nervous breakdown about residency, about love, life and rejection, that Michael invited me into the bathroom. “Do you want to watch me poop? Would that make you feel better?”

“Yeah,” I whimpered. It would. And it did.

I pulled a chair into our tiny bathroom and sat there holding his hand when I heard the first plop. I was crying all night and suddenly smiled. He could reveal as much of himself as I needed to … in order to love again.

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Let the Spinning Wheel Fly: Joshua Pt. 2

Awake between the sleeping bodies of the two men I loved the most in LA, one who I believe will self-destruct and the other I will soon outgrow. With my eyes closed, I could see the heads of Joshua Trees spinning in magnificent color with the stars staining the sky.

What goes up must come down,
Spinnin’ wheel got to go ’round,
Talkin’ ’bout your troubles it’s a cryin’ sin,
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin’ wheel spin.

I thought about our conversations earlier in the day.

I thought about Trent on top of a rock, bringing up the Israeli Man he had an affair with again. He said, “I know it was him that gave me genital warts. He was the only one I had unprotected sex with and he was always out, calling me, talking about the boys he was picking up. He was an asshole. I remember sitting in his car with him and he answered his phone. I know he was talking to his kid, I could hear it. And he was just lying. That’s when I said this has to stop, this is wrong.”

I thought about a younger version of Trent sitting in a hoodie and jeans in the expensive car of a much older, much richer man’s car. And I could see Trent’s face change as he identified with the child on the other side of the phone.

I wondered if this man knew what an impact he had on Trent, if he thought about Trent during moments of deep reflection or with friends who are willing to listen to anything that comes to mind in the middle of the desert.

At some point in the day, I mentioned the Prophet to Trent. When I was still married (separated) and obsessed with Eric (The Prophet), I came over to his apartment in the middle of the night. When I answered the door, he had a brown blanket over his head and draping around his arms like a shroud.

He answered the door, concerned the knocking would wake up his roommate or neighbors, and just quietly lifted his arms in the air as if to say, “Why are you knocking like that right now?” In the moment, he looked like he was doing his best Jesus impression.

I like that memory. It is a ridiculous association with someone who truly believed he had a prophetic calling straight out of the Bible.

When I shared it with Trent out of the blue, it was almost as if he could see my memory too, and he laughed. Trent, “He was cute, just a cute boy.” In the moment, I felt like he could see my stories like a photo album across his lap. I nodded and smiled. He was just a boy, by now he must be a man.

As I lay still in the dark, the tent walls turning from black to blue, I wondered if these two men knew how much they touched our lives. So much so, that they wander our thoughts in the most intimate and isolated moments of the desert.

You got no money and you got no home,
Spinnin’ wheel all alone,
Talkin’ ’bout your troubles and you never learn,
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin’ wheel turn.

The dawn was coming through the tent now. I had to go to the bathroom again, but there was rustling and voices with the rising sun. I held my digestive turmoil with all my abdominal muscle until the all-American family and Mrs. Ruining Our Trip broke down their tent and left.

I left and used the bathroom again.

When I came back, I turned to Trent and said, “Hey . . . hey, Its your birthday”

Trent, “It is? Time for a birthday drink.”

We drank two more PBRs.

Then dosed again. My hands and eye glasses were huge, so the drug was still in my system.

We came up with a plan. Split another pill and a half between all of us. Break down the tent, then explore until sunset.

We poured the fine white powder into the crevice of broken oreoes and ate.

Trent also had a cube of LSD kept in foil. Abe asked to lick the foil. Trent allowed it.

Then Abe asked me to videotape him pretending to fly with the tent as his cape.

We moved fast, I didn’t want any responsibility when the drug returned again for another visit. We finished, packed and skedaddled to Hidden Valley.

Trent said, “You know this rock is quartz. Its supposed to regenerate. Maybe that’s why it was considered sacred ground.”

We lazily leaned up against the rock, trying to hide from the wind.

The drug takes over an hour to find you.

Climbing the rocks was easier than we thought. It came naturally.

Abe, “Where are we going?”

Me, “We are following Trent, he is being led by his Mexican ancestors.”

Trent would cackle and squeal at my jokes, like a car that was spinning in figure-8s. Abe was quiet, and sometimes surrendered a delayed laugh. He was late to the party and interrupting our rhythm, trying to find a way to fit in.

Abe, “Be careful! Watch where you step!”

Me, “I can climb anything with these huge hands!”

We panted and giggled, looking for the sun and hiding from the wind.

Abe, “So, I just got back from my grandfather’s place in Kern and they told me about the Muslims. Apparently, they are really trying to take everything over. Its like an assault on our culture. They actually want to be able to pray during work hours-”

Trent and I gasp.

Abe, “AND .  . . AND get paid for it during those business hours.”

Me, “UNbelievable.”

Abe, “I know.”

Abe isn’t stupid, he is naive. My father’s first impression was, “He is still molding his thoughts about life. He is very malleable.”

I know what it’s like at his grandfather’s house.

His father, his Uncle (A right-Wing Christian) and his Grandfather all sit in a small cluster of chairs in the living room and complain about Obama. The Thanksgiving I was there, I had to excuse myself, and I found all the women crunched in a separate side room, shaking their heads and asking me to ignore them.

We talked about books and women’s healthcare. Abe was in the wrong room.

Back in the desert:

Abe, “Getting paid to pray. I don’t get paid to pray.”

Me, “Next thing you know, they will want to get paid for bathroom breaks.”

Trent, “Don’t they use their left hand to wipe? Just their hand.”

Me, “Yeah.”

Abe, “Ew.”

Me, “Yeah, that’s why they never shake with their left hand. They just have sand and the one hand.”

Abe, “And then they serve those shitty hot dogs at 711.”

Me, “Muslims, man.”

Trent, “Want their prayers”

Me, “Don’t want our toilet paper.”

Trent, “Just our money”

Me, “And our sand.”

Trent laughed.

Abe, “Wait, are you guys being sarcastic?”

Me, “Welcome to the party!”

***
We drove out to the Cholla Cactus Garden. Time was expanding and we kept wondering if we passed the cactus garden. Trent’s body needed a bathroom immediately.

On the horizon, hundreds of yellow cactus sprung from the ground.

Me, “There it is.”

We got out, Trent in his sun hat, me in my heart-shaped sunglasses and Abe, looking like a regular Jewish kid.

Mini-vans and SUVs boxed us in, and as we got out, we felt the eyes leer over us. We were pleasant and wished everyone a good morning, but the white pasty folks in big sweatshirts and cheap hats only offered a brief critical stare in return.

We were closer to the other entrance of the park, where the rest of America enters the park. The side closest to Los Angeles greeted us with open arms, but now we were face to face with the America a Gay, a Jew and whatever I am . . . an Asshole with a Hatchet, prefer to forget about.

As we carefully stepped through the cactus garden, the odd colors painting the land with thorns and buds waiting for bloom, I quietly sang, “♪♫ People are strange, when you’re a stranger, faces look ugly, when you’re alone. Women seem wicked, when you’re unwanted. Streets are uneven, when you’re down . . . ♪♫”

One Asian gentleman with a camera around his neck smiled and said hello.

Trent turned to me with a big smile and arms up. I dryly responded, “Foreign.”

We drove back towards Jumbo Rocks and stopped at White Tank so we could all use the bathroom again. We were drinking water out of cheap gallons we bought at Target.

Looking ahead from behind the steering wheel, I said, “Is that a swarm of bees?”

Trent and Abe looked, “ . . . no.”

Me, “Oh. They are gone now.”

Trent said, “We are in bat country.”

We drove up the slight roll of desert, the bright yellow paint on the road leading me every mile closer to nowhere.

I said, “It’s almost like we are climbing the yellow rail of a roller coaster. Just waiting to get to the top.”

Abe, “But you are ok to drive, right?”

Me, “Well, my hands are on the wheel and we appear to be moving forward so I should say, yes, I think I am driving.”

They laughed with a light weight of concern. We were moving slow. No one was around. I knew the rocks would protect us.

Did you find the directing sign on the,
Straight and narrow highway,
Would you mind a reflecting sign,
Just let it shine within your mind,
And show you the colors that are real.

We stopped at White Tank and sprang out to use the bathrooms.

I waited outside of one until a small, Asian woman came out. We politely nodded, and I entered the small room to see there was urine sprayed all over the toilet seat.

How was I high hallucinogens and still had the common sense to clean up after another grown woman?

I sat down and watched the cracks and holes in the wall move splendidly around in harmony. Was I still high, or high again?

We decided to leave my car where it was and wander across the desert. Abe was afraid of leaving my car, he was afraid of getting lost, he was just afraid.

We assured him we were parked and the ground was level enough that we could easily climb a rock to assess where we were.

Trent leaned up against a rock, “Time to regenerate.” He let the quartz warm his hands.

I leaned back in two sweatshirts and a hat, then yawned a, “I feel right at home.”

We would take turns talking to each other, while a third tripped into a universe of quiet thought.

Me, “I can smell my own bo through three layers of clothing, that’s kind of impressive.”

***

We drove up to the Hall of Horrors, with my small container of dark chocolate covered almonds.

I parked and said, “Ok, lets see what is so horrible about the Hall of Horrors.”

We walked around, Abe fitting in quarter cigarettes here and there. Me munching on my almonds. Our laughing was taking rise again.

I held up a handful of chocolate almonds melting together.

Me, “Would you like an almond cluster? It’s something I invented with a Hyundai Sonata and sunlight.”

We wandered, calling for Mr. Rabbit.

Trent said, “Mr. Rabbit, come out.”

Me, “We just want to admire you and love you.”

Abe, “Must be easy to hit them with something simple, like a bow and arrow.”

Trent and I paused and then giggled, and I said, “Geez. Stop being such a white man. You don’t have to dominate and kill the beauty.  Learn from our ways.”

Abe thoughtfully took a drag and said, “Alright.”

Me, “Well, I don’t see what is so Horrific about the Hall of Horrors.”

Trent, “Maybe its the way the light hits it during the day.”

Me, “Yes, or we just have to use our imagination.”

Abe fought to keep up, he was running out of time to get the jokes and find his place in the fast exchange of dialogue, but the day was unforgiving, and it was time to go.

We drove Abe back to his parked car at Hidden Valley and he followed us out of the park. We stopped at the first gas station. Trent went inside.

Abe came out to stand next to my car, “I will miss the rocks.”

Me, “They will always be here for us.”

Trent returned with a pint of beer.

Abe, “You realize there is an open container in your car.”

I turned to Trent, “Oh yeah, let me have a swig of that.”

We finished the beer and decided to find a hot springs to sit in before leaving.

As we drove, Trent’s phone finally got the reception he was starving for all weekend. He checked his email and his text messages and grew quiet.

Trent, “That girl better send me those Coachella tickets I bought.”

Me, “They haven’t arrived yet?”

Trent, “No, and she hasn’t written me back about it. Its a lot of money . . . Oh, someone can take my shift tomorrow. Maybe I will do that.”

Me, “You should, give yourself a day to recover.”

He wasn’t really listening. His phone had its hand around his throat now, bending his face down and staring into his eyes. The magic was slipping away from the desert and technology introduced a new set of feelings; anxiety, time and demand.

We drove into Desert Hot Springs thinking there would be free hot springs, but there were just spas everywhere charging to sit on their property. Didn’t they know it was our property too?

Trent said, “I am hot and tired. I just want to go back.”

I leaned against my car, as Abe quietly stood by.

I said, “Well, I would like to enjoy the rest of my trip, if I can.”

Trent said, “Ok.”

He wanted to be a good tripping partner, but we were out of alcohol, out of food, and out of steam.

I suggested we hit a Thai food place nearby and regenerate. The air conditioning kissed the sun burns, and cold glasses of water were delivered to our pristine, white table cloth.

We all washed up in the bathroom and ordered food, even though we weren’t hungry.

Trent was quiet over a glass of chardonnay and Abe was attentively feeding me tea and water.

Abe’s face was changing. He looked troubled. He kept videotaping me, which made me uncomfortable. Strange for an actress.

I said, “You are going to miss me when I move back to Washington.”

He said, “Yes, I know. I fucked this up. I fuck up everything. I am worthless.”

Trent said, “Stop, stop. We like you.”

Abe’s face fell closer to the table and he said, “Now, I am going to lose you.”

I said, “Stop. Stop. What’s done is done. You couldn’t move in with me. I am moving back home now, it’s settled. I am at peace with that.”

He grew quiet.

Talk about a bummer end to a trip. Trent was spinning his wine glass around in circles, thinking about his job, his troubled relationship with Kent and his next adventure.

The rocks had kept human life out and let us roam in free thought. Now that we were around buildings, people and technology, the rocks couldn’t protect us from ourselves any longer.

Abe was fighting the emotion chemically surging through all the neurons he numbs to death on a daily basis with THC.

I ate my Thai Food and said, “We should just head back.”

Trent, “I don’t want you to drive back if you can’t. I don’t mind paying to go sit in a hot spring.”

I said, “No, now I am tired and it’s only going to get worse. I didn’t sleep at all last night. Its better that we head back now so I can just go to sleep.”

Abe and Trent asked several times if I was sure, and I said I was.

We got into the car and I said to Abe, “So, are you following me back to my place?”

Abe said, “Let me check my messages and see if I work tomorrow.”

Trent and I waited in my car, as the sun turned from hot to warm, yellow to orange.

Abe said, “Well, I don’t work tomorrow but my cousin is in town to visit me. I forgot.”

He didn’t forget. He just didn’t mention it. My heart was set on taking him home with me to finish out the MDMA with love, dogs and sex.

I said, “Great, well thanks for coming out.” I started the engine. He faltered at the passenger side and said, “Um ..  ok, be careful.”

Trent thanked him for the company and said it was great.

I drove off furious.

I was furious the phone took away my tripping companion, and furious that my lover made plans on a night perfect for confessions, cohabitation and coitus. Now, I wouldn’t have a home tonight, just a room I am waiting to move out of.

Driving, the setting sun was smearing over the sky, making it hard to see the horizon, so I focused on the car in front of me.

Trent, “You are driving over the bumps on our lane. Are you sure you are ok?”

I said, “Yeah, the wind is pushing my car a little.”

He grew quiet and molested his phone, chewed his finger nails. The sound of the tap tap tap on his device and the nails breaking in his mouth wore on my nerves.

I tried to think about what I learned. Alan said, “I always like to think about what I want to come out with before I start [tripping].” I don’t really take that approach, part of the adventure is finding something you don’t expect.

In this case, I found the asshole with the hatchet. The fight to live my life.

No more apologies. No more regret. No more profusely thanking people.

I will be less polite and allow more leeway for myself. Take what is mine.

***

I dropped off Trent and helped him haul his things up to Kent’s and then smoked a cigarette alone in my car.

Abe texted: “If you want to come back, you can spend the night here with me.”

I wrote back: “I just drove through two and a half hours of LA traffic to drop Trent off and I have to work tomorrow, so thanks but no thanks.”

When I came home, the dogsitter hadn’t secured the cap on the dogfood vault, and the dogs got into it with kibble spilled all over the ground. They found my clean laundry bag halfway full of clothes and urinated on it.

I quietly cleaned up, and the three of them stared at me on the bed. They knew that I wasn’t happy and quietly waited for me to lay down.

What goes up must come down . . .

I had to sleep. Sleep would settle my mind, and erode my anger. Sleep would align my body back with my soul so I could see, once again, what my future might bring.

Someone is waiting just for you,
Spinning wheel is spinning true,
Drop all your troubles, by the river side,
Ride a painted pony,
Let the spinning wheel fly.

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Let Vomiting Dogs Lie and Never . . . Ever Do Cocaine

Let’s go back to a week ago, when I was in Alan’s apartment on a misty Friday morning and I received a text message from Trent. He and Kent got into a fight, the cops were called, and Trent was hurt again. He asked if I was up, which I was because Alan had class at 7am. So Trent called and we spoke.

He was in a bad place. The two of them, locked up in a one room apartment with cocaine, adderall and alcohol finally exploded. I don’t care who you are, if you are in the same room for a long time with one person, even if you are in love, and you are putting that shit in your body endlessly- it will explode.

Trent has been living there for the last few months, and because his hand and wrist were so badly injured, he has been out of work. School was out of session and Trent got lost in Kent’s life. Its ridiculous that their names rhyme but I didn’t catch that til after I already established Kent as a character. Trent doesn’t have a car, didn’t have a job and lived inside of someone else. In the end, I think he felt like he lost control and lost himself. I can’t speak for Kent other than I know that I love him, Trent loves him. Whatever happened between them is their business and I don’t believe in judgment or sides or defriending or any of that bullshit. People are people, and we are all held hostage by emotion and circumstance. We all do our best to do the right thing, and if there was love, there is worth.

I knew the state of mind Trent was in. He had just broken up with his first real love. He had to move back in with his mother.  He thought he was lost, but I still had my hand on him in the dark. I tried to remind him of the light up ahead.

I was stuck in San Diego too far away to comfort my friend, who was crying on the phone. He was mumbling and slurring, so I couldn’t hear him very well. I kept saying, “I wish I was there.” And Alan would listen within earshot, as he packed his books and walked the dogs. It was just a sad morning.

All I could do was tell Trent things would get better once he slept. He hadn’t slept in days, I think.

That night, when Alan and I made love. There was blood. I’ve been spotting for 3 weeks, part of being on the pill. He saw it on his hand, looked up at me and said, “Yeah, I’m done.”

Well, I wasn’t. So I said, “Don’t talk to me.”

I showered and went to sleep. He claimed I horse kicked him a couple times in my sleep. I have no memory of that- but sometimes I do things in my sleep.

When we woke up, we kept a respected distance. He made a joke, he explained that he was squeamish, and I shut down. Any form of sexual rejection for a girl is kind of unacceptable. It is on such a rare occasion that when it does happen, you feel like your vagina (and soul) is covered in slime.

He took a volcano bag into the bathroom with him for a good hour while he showered and I thought as I bled. Everything was so intense. I was still processing losing Em’s friendship and now possibly Kent’s. You feel those walls build up around you and block your vision. So I took half a valium and smoked a bowl.

When Alan came out of the bathroom to study, I crawled in his lap and surrendered. No more wars over silly things, I must keep our flame cupped in fleshy sanctuary.

When I got back home, I spent two weeks working at Doggie Daycare and arranging a move. A girl at work was willing to sublet a room with a private entrance to me, I get to keep my dogs, I get to live in the mountains and it will only cost me a fraction of what my rent costs now. It will save me, even if my unemployment benefits are severed.

I waited until it was 100% before telling Brian, my roommate, who complained that he couldn’t stand the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard at night, who left bags of trash on the floor and squeezed between appliances along with a very distinct odor on my stovetop that reminded me very much of vomiting up cheese popcorn on the car ride back from Girl Scout Camp in the fourth grade. I had to clean it up with McDonald’s napkins while everyone stared at me.

Brian’s needling was wearing on my nerves.

The first “fight” we had involved me coming home just to check my email. I could always feel tension from coming home and taking my computer away from him even though he never threw any money towards the internet bill.

Esther threw up earlier in the evening, and Brian felt the need to repeat, “These dogs need to see a vet.”

I said, “I don’t go see a doctor when I throw up.”

Brian, “These dogs NEED to see a vet.”

I said, “Do you want to pay for it?”

Brian, “No, they aren’t my dogs.”

I said, “That’s right, they are my dogs and I am telling you they are fine.”

Esther had been licking a scab on Maggie’s head that appeared during the weekend I was gone. When I asked Brian what happened, he simply said, “Yo, I don’t know.”

He doesn’t know jack shit.

He would say, “Yo, that cat looks miserable.”

And I would say, “She just spent 10 days roaming the neighborhood rooftops with other cats and squirrels. Trust me, she is not miserable. She is sleeping.”

Now he was pressing about the dogs and I was sick of it.

I said, “I am so sick of boys with no responsibility criticizing other people with full responsibilities.”

Brian, “Are you saying I don’t have any responsibility. (raising his voice) Yo, YOU DON’T KNOW ME, I GOT RESPONSIBILITIES!!”

I said, “I would love to go live on someone’s couch and save up some money. I can’t do that, I have to take care of them.”

Brian, again, “Yo, you don’t know about my responsibilities! I got homies, I got bills, I got my own thing.”

I raised my voice, “THEN FOCUS ON YOURSELF!”

Brian, “I am just saying, maybe the dogs would be better off somewhere else.”

Me, “Like where? A shelter? Cause that’s where they would end up. And they would be put down.”

He shrugged his shoulders. Dip shit.

He said, “Let’s turn down the tension here, let’s work this out.”

I was done with this kid. I don’t need to work anything out- I just needed him to shut the fuck up and sit in the corner until I was finished with my email and dogs.

He said, “I didn’t mean to hit a nerve about the dogs, I just like them and worry about them.” He did mean to hit a nerve.

I said, “They are more important to me than anything, so yes, it hits a nerve. I bust my ass all day long trying to pay for this house and yard.”

He said, “I know they are important to you. Are they more important than acting?”

I said, “Yes.”

He said, “I thought so.” He said it with that weight like . . . then you aren’t a real actor. There is a mentality with actors and anyone in LA who hears you say, “I am trying to be an actor.” Everyone behaves like you have to make this one elected career field more important than any other aspect of your life.

Well guess what, LIFE is what feeds the ACTING and the WRITING. Without life, there is no art. You isolate from life, you are nothing but a want-to-be celebrity.

Ask Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep if they love their kids more than acting? Do you think it compromises their craft? Of course not, you moronic piece of trash!

But, what am I going to do? Argue with some degenerate from Baltimore whose loud voice and poor grammar were belting out my living room window in the middle of the night. He was making my small haven low class and embarrassing me in front of my neighbors.

I turned my back to him and furiously played Scrabble. But he had to keep going.

Brian, “You like dogs more than people, don’t you?”

I was in a bad mood but the half honest answer was, laugh, “Yeah.”

Brian, “Isn’t that like a mental disorder? Its not schizophrenia but . . . somethin’. Its got to be something.”

I turned around, “Are you trying to say I have a mental disease?”

Brian, “Nah. I am just saying that might be something you should look into.”

Asshole.

Me, “Um, I have loved animals since I was four years old. Its one of the first memories I have, its just who I am.”

Brian, “Yo, do your thing! That’s cool. Do your thing.”

I turned around again, “Oh thank you, can I? Thank you so much.”

He said, “We gotta break this tension.”

I said, “Look, I don’t go around telling people whats wrong with them or how to live their lives. I don’t know how people like you find the time.”

Brian said, “You are critical all the time of everyone.”

I never talk to him, he doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about.

I said, “The only people I can think of whose lives are in need of serious readjustment are people who hurt other people or themselves. That’s it. I can’t think of anyone personally I know who needs to change their life. I just assume everyone is doing what they need to do.”

Brian, “That’s cool.”

Silence.

Brian, “I got to put on some music or something.”

Me, “My Pandora is now maxed out for the rest of the month, so I’m sorry. No music.” He played my profile until my hours expired without apology or afterthought. He even added a few channels tailored for his own musical taste. He must have been very comfortable here.

Brian, “I thought that shit was endless.”

Me, “It isn’t.”

Silence.

Before heading down to San Diego for Alan’s birthday, I wanted to pick up Murray Man’s ashes (my cat who died in late January). I had been stalling for six months and don’t want to expose Alan to my misery quite yet. I want to feed him my darkness in small doses, so he knows there is something worth while in me first, before checking the price tag.

Frank offered to take me down to the Pet Crematory if I needed a friend. Though things between us were left hostile and broken, I took up the offer. There is a levity to Frank and I also don’t have to see him afterward if I lose my shit.

I didn’t lose my shit, but I broke down crying in the parking lot. I don’t remember much, just holding Murray’s ashes in a red cigar box and weeping that it was all my fault. My dogs hurt him so badly it triggered liver failure, and I forced him to live in a home where there was ever present danger.

Frank took me back to his place to kind of cheer me up. I kept texting my drug connection for valium or xanax or something- but she wasn’t answering. I guess she was at a baby shower. Even drug dealers go to baby showers.

Frank made a call, the only connection he had was for coke and he bought me a bag. I agreed to it in the four minutes I was asked because this particular dealer has a cut off at 10pm. I thought this to be a poor business decision until I tasted the coke. $50 and exquisite quality. Of course, free to me, which is equally good and bad for a poor girl.

The pain stopped almost immediately and I was gone. I played music. I climbed on furniture. I sipped wine and told Frank things I really hope he doesn’t remember . . . random dark things about myself or my past or my sex life with Alan. Whatever. I was blitzed.

We hashed out the blogs that upset him. He felt I misrepresented him. I explained that any male aggression or anger is perceived as a possible threat to my safety. He said he understood, but he is still struggling to swallow that last blog I wrote about him.

One thing I will say about Frank that will always carry my respect, he never crossed a boundary with me. I told him I was in love and committed to Alan, despite slinking around his apartment in little clothes like a groupie at a back stage party. He was a gentleman the entire night I did blow, and I really can’t say that I know many men that would be. Its nice to know I can trust him, even when totally out of my mind.

I don’t remember a whole lot about the evening, other than I lost myself in that shit all over again and it was heavenly . . . until I realized it was 9am and I couldn’t get anyone to cover my afternoon shift at Doggie Daycare.

Cocaine is the only drug where just discussing it reignites its powers. Coming down is rough. Its a bumpy road, man.

There was still some coke left but I had to get my shit together to go back into work. So I weaned myself off for the remainder of the day. Took a couple shots of tequila, smoked cigarettes and kept calm.

I made it. Even now, a week later, I crave that feeling again- feeling sexy and smart and ok about all the nasty shit spinning around me. Its just a feeling, its fiction and its borderline evil. I looked at the white bag that morning and said, “You are a demon.”

It took a whole day and a half to feel my upper lip again. I was blowing crusted coke and blood out of my nose for four days. All those bad memories and sentiments flooded through my kinked sinuses twice as hard as it would have if I never touched the stuff.

I texted a friend who went through a coke & rock phase in the 80s. He talked me through feelings I had about Em and the friendship, and I felt grounded, sober and good again. The cat I can’t fucking deal with yet.

I packed the quarter bag in with my other weekend goodies I would be bringing down to San Diego. And the night before leaving, Brian stumbled into my living room. He went through a bottle of rum every few days.

Brian, “What up?”

I mumble something indifferent.

That morning, Maggie had diarrhea all over the living room floor. As soon as I heard, I came in to clean up. He complained like somehow I threw shit in his face instead of serving him a cup of coffee, which somehow I think he always expected.

As I scrubbed feces off his free weights, I said, “Hey, that’s life.”

He grumbled, “Yeah. That’s life.”

I said, “Go write a blues song about it.”

He angrily gathered his back pack and stormed out of the apartment.

Now we were back in my living room at 10pm, me at the computer, him on my couch stuffing his face with fried chicken, beer and rum.

Brian, “Yo, why did Maggie get sick like that?”

I said, “She has a very sensitive stomach. It must have been something she ate. I moved your trash off the floor into the kitchen.”

Brian, “There was no food in there, though.”

Now Brian lies. I don’t know why because it makes no sense. He lied about breaking my drinking glasses after I discovered hidden trash bags of them around my kitchen.

Brian, “Yo, I think someone is breaking into your apartment and breaking your glasses.”

He lied about having weed while trying to bum some off of me. Esther, my deaf dog, pulled his stash out of his backpack. (Good girl)

Then he lied about having a bottle of rum behind the couch.

As I stare at it, “Oh, you have rum.”

Brian, “Nah.”

Me, “No, its ok. You have a bottle of rum.”

Brian, “Nope, only the beer that’s in the fridge.”

Me, “I am looking at it, you have a bottle of rum.”

Brian, “Oh yeah. I forgot about that.”

Brian lies. It doesn’t matter because I think he is a parasitic bum anyway.

Back to the living room, the computer, the confrontation.

Brian, “Yo, there was no food in that trash, though.”

Me, “Yes there was. Twice they pulled something out of there to chew on it.”

Brian, “That was the shit you gave them, not my shit. That was your shit.”

Me, “Whatever.”

I went to bed, and in the middle of the night I heard Brian shout, “Maggie THREW UP!”

Waking up, I stumbled into the living room and saw Maggie was sitting in front of the door, coughing up a puddle of kibble.

I cleaned it up and rubbed her tummy.

Brian, “I didn’t sign up for this! You should be paying ME to maintain these dogs!”

I laughed in his face.

Me, “Pay you? HA!”

Brian, “I did NOT sign up for this.”

I said, “You knew exactly what you were signing up for.”

Brian said, “Yo, can she sleep outside tonight? I can’t have her throwing up while I sleep.”

I growled, “You are not putting my sick dog outside.”

Brian, “What the fuck! I am not going to sleep next to her.”

I said, “She is sick, she is staying.”

The blankets for the crate were drying outside after being hosed down from the morning diarrhea, and all I had were a couple towels and my bathrobe laid down for my two pittie princesses.

I went back to bed and I heard him say, “If it happens one more time I am throwing Maggie out.”

Through the wall, I yelled, “What did you say!?”

Silence, then the sound of fiddling with the crate. I said, “You are NOT putting Maggie in a crate!!”

I came out and he had Maggie in the crate, sitting on the bars with only my bathrobe to sleep on. Maggie, making the most of it, was trying to kick a bed out of the 3 feet of cloth.

I said, “NO! NO!! NO!!”

We started shouting.

Brian, “I AM NOT SLEEPING IN HERE WITH A SICK DOG!”

I said, “WELL STOP LEAVING SHIT AROUND FOR THEM TO EAT!”

Brian, “Hey, I didn’t leave shit.”

I said, “I have been cleaning up after you and four animals since you moved in here.”

Brian, “Cleaning up after me!?”

Me, “HA! YEAH!”

Brian, “Yo, I am way cleaner than this place.”

Me, “Please.”

He was shouting, and I said, “LOWER YOUR VOICE, ASSHOLE! I HAVE NEIGHBORS.”

I didn’t consciously mean to call him an asshole to his face, but it slipped out so effortlessly.

He got in my face, “Who you calling an asshole!?”

Me, “If you don’t lower your voice, I am calling the cops.”

Brian, “You are gonna call the cops on a black man?”

I held up the phone.

Brian, “This is fucked up shit.”

I said, “You keep your voice down, or I am kicking your ass out tomorrow. You don’t threaten my dog.”

Brian, “I didn’t threaten her. I said if she throws up one more time, I am throwing it on your bed.”

Me, “You are ignorant.”

Brian, “You are calling me stupid, why, cause I’m black?”

Me, “No, because you are stupid.”

Brian, “What? I am not as cultured as you?”

Me, “You just have no common sense.”

More bickering and then:

Brian, “I am not goin’ nowhere. Check the law, lady.”

Me, “You have only been staying here for a month. You have no legal rights until after two months of residence.”

Silence.

Brian, “I am calling my homies now. They know what’s up. You can’t kick me out.”

I walked out of the door to smoke a cigarette. I was shaking. Its that feeling where someone yells at you and you are boiling with rage and shock and general FUCK YOUs, that you need to collect yourself.

I texted Frank and Jerry, asking for someone to come and take care of Maggie & Esther while I was out of town.

Jerry was asleep. Frank was playing poker at a casino and was wide awake at 2am.

I asked him to come over. He said, “You are doing me a favor. I am down by $50, I will be there in an hour.”

I walked back in and saw Brian on the couch, furiously texting away.

Me, “I will do you the courtesy of letting you stay the night, but you are going to clear out of here by tomorrow morning. I have a male friend coming over to spend the night.”

Silence.

Brian, “Ok.”

I went back to my bedroom and waited, staring at my phone until Frank showed up. He did. Neither of us knew how to handle it, like should he come in punching his hand or reasoning with the guy . . . Brian made it easy, he shut out the light and went to sleep.

Frank laid in bed with me and made me giggle- he said, “You on coke, wow, you um . . . put on a show.”

I said, “I warned you, I get a little out of control on that stuff.”

He said, “Well I had no idea, you crawling around on my living room floor was .  . um . . . you are a lovely girl.”

We woke up at 10am, I got up and asked Brian to clear out.

He rubbed his eyes and said, “Why do I have to leave again?”

I said, “You threatened the safety of my dogs and my property. You must leave. Its my residence.”

He said, “And what about the money I gave you?”

I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know what to say.”

I actually did, ASSHOLE TAX!

He cleared out all of his things, held my key ransom until I gave him back the few hundred he gave me, then he sent me threatening texts for the rest of the day claiming he would report me for animal negligence (which he misspelled).

I would love to see the caseworker assigned to visit my slightly overweight dogs as they freely romped in their yard, porch and living room. My place is so dog friendly, its almost illegal.

Frank agreed to stay for the weekend and dogsit while I visited Alan for his birthday. It was weird; the coke, the cat’s ashes, the roommate crisis all had me bonding with Frank instead of my boyfriend. It bothered me a little. This was the type of stuff that binds a couple and creates a history, weaving trust in with all the other sticky wonders of falling in love.

Its just not possible with Alan studying in San Diego.

Still shaken up by the Brian fiasco- I drove down to Alan.

Frank was revising his screenplay in my treehouse. He texted, “This place is really conducive to writing.”

I wrote, “Yup. Warmed it up for you.”

I showed up, smoked a bag of ganj and slipped into bed with him. When we made love, I could see his eyes crumpling a lot in thought. There was a distance. My mind was in my apartment that I loved, that I will be giving up, and the dogs and cat I furiously try to support.

The storm was clearing, there was a new place for me to run to that no one knows about, Trent and Kent are on the mend, everyone on Facebook is either moving or getting married. The transitional phase rattled my cage, but the dust is settling now.

The next day, I relaxed. I drank coffee. I caught up on all my television shows while Alan paced with his case studies.  All the adrenaline and anxiety was finally draining out of me. And though I was scared Alan would be grouchy on adderall and stress from finals, he was gentle and sweet with me.

When his birthday morning came around, I planned on cooking red velvet pancakes (he had a picture pulled up of some gourmet red velvet pancakes on his computer the last weekend I was there.)

On the third try, the pancakes were edible and actually pretty good. He came in and cradled me, as I spread Red 40 all over his kitchen and we laughed.

I tried

We drank mimosas and watched The Soup. Then I baked him a Smores’ cake, also on the aforementioned website.

Here things got fuzzy. The champagne was kicking in.

He blew out the candles, ate a piece of cake and then we started making out hot and heavy. I told him I couldn’t stop thinking about sex with him on cocaine. Honestly, going through that bag earlier in the week and not having intercourse felt like a waste.

He said, “I think we should have one more nap first.”

We skipped the nap. He poured us shots of rum and set up the remaining lines for me and I had possibly the most amazing sex of my life. I only remember a portion of it. I remember us both declaring the other as the best lover of our lives. I remember he said he was in love with me.

There wasn’t a lot of coke left, and I grabbed two halves of a Valium in his drawer. Then he gave me a xanax.

Its almost a shame because after asking him to talk dirty to me (which I’ve NEVER done and am honestly rather embarrassed by) I have no memory.

Apparently I had sex with him and got up to answer a text message, than came back, remounted and resumed.

Then he complained that in the middle of his birthday blowjob, I passed out on his hip bone. (I guess the 4am birthday blow job didn’t count . . .?)

I woke up in the morning, stood up, put both hands on the door frame, my hair was eating my face and I stared at him as he studied. My head was pounding.

He smiled at me, calm and clean, “How are you feeling?”

Me, “Shitty.”

He filled a bag for me to inhale and I went to the kitchen for something . . . anything.

He came up behind me and said, “You were saying some pretty dark things during sex last night. I liked it. Normally, I don’t like talking dirty.”

I looked away, “Me either.”

He hugged me from behind and I felt and still feel like somehow Alan is discovering a version of myself I never really acknowledged before. Look, couples talk dirty, no big deal. But I was unveiling a part of myself that even I am not able to fully process. And I am playing catch up with my whole identity when he is around.

Then we had more sex. I felt better.

He said, “I figured all you needed was some pot and an orgasm. Fix you right up.”

Me, “Did I clean up after baking that cake? I can’t remember.”

Alan (laughing), “No . . . I did. My anal side came out.”

Me, “God, are you going to be able to live with me?”

Alan, “Yeah. I will just need my own room, with my own stuff away from the dogs and cat.”

Me, “Did I end your birthday too soon? I mean, was the sun out by the time I passed out?”

Alan, “I have no idea.”

We decided to stop off at a sex store, it was on the way to Taco Bell. It was kind of a comfort, the suggestion to look around at sex toys and clothes meant that he still embraced me as a sexual partner. That whole day I worried I scared him off.

We got food, went home and watched South Park. The xanax made coming off coke easy, and I slipped in and out of consciousness to whatever that smell is .  . . laundry detergent, male deodorant and Alan.  I am so so in love.

I went back to work on Monday morning, but working at a Doggie Daycare is pretty much the best job to come back to after a sex/drug/love fest of a weekend. All my favorite dogs were there, Atticus the one-eyed doberman was coming back now and I was happy to have my home back.

The girl at work asked if I was still moving in, and I said I was.

We talked about the new overnight girl- who reminds me very much of little girls I played with in elementary school who I got to do scandalous things like sneak into rated-R movies or kiss a boy, and later ratted me out to her parents without provocation. She looks like she has never partied, wears spandex and flip flops to work and sometimes a little too much make-up.

I said, “Something about her is a little off.”

Dora (the girl I will be subletting from at work), “That’s cause she did too much LSD in high school.”

I said, “What!? HER!? I don’t believe it.”

Dora, “Yeah, that’s what she told me.”

Me, “I have a hard time even believing she smokes cigarettes, I can’t believe she did mass doses of hallucinogenics.”

Dora, “Yeah, that’s why she twitches and stuff.”

Later, we were chatting with Baye, a Korean dude at work, and we were talking about whether or not Jim Morrisson knew he was snorting heroin when he died, or if his lover lied and told him it was cocaine to avoid a spat about having heroin in the house.

Baye said, “I left behind those days of doing coke, long ago.”

I said, “You’ve done coke?”

Baye, “Oh yeah, I did a lot of it. I don’t really remember my graduation. I just remember going back and forth to my dorm, snorting a line, having a drink and going back. Apparently, I grabbed the microphone away from the Dean and said some nonsense. Then I walked around for the rest of the day in a cowboy hat while chewing on a ratted out cigar. Yeah . . . my mother was . . . disappointed.”

Me, “Does everyone who works here have a drug problem?”

***

Frank has been hanging around since I’ve been back. Its nice to have a buddy, after all the emotional chutes and ladders.

We go grab coffee or hummus at a local Armenian cafe and occasionally I will say, “Coke.”

Its still in me. Nothing good can come of it, but that shit really grabs me.

Frank occasionally will feed me stories about his coke days in New York.

Frank, “I was at this party, and I didn’t really know anyone. I went into the kitchen and this smokin’ hot red head just said, ‘Slap me in the ass as hard as you can.’ And without flinching, I slapped that ass. She turned around and slapped me in the face. Just before she walked away, she said, ‘You are kind of cute though.’

That weekend, we had this insane sex, I mean, awesome sex. And at the time I was just thinking about impressing her so when she said, ‘Is that guitar expensive?’ I said, ‘No, but that one is.’

She disappeared for a couple days and then asked me to meet her in an alley. I was blitzed out of my mind, so I was just following her, and I saw this car at the end of the alley with its lights on. I said, ‘I don’t know whats going on here, but good luck.’ And I swear she gave a signal to the car, he cut his headlights and she backed towards the car saying, ‘You’re missing out.’ Later they robbed the comedy club of like $16,000.”

I laugh. Shake my head. Walk the dogs. Then when I pull into a parking spot, I will deeply inhale and say, “I smell cocaine.”

Then Frank will launch into another story, “I was friends with this kid in grade school, you know, I kind of felt sorry for him. He was this really awkward red head kid, a little slow. And we would play this game called Girl Power. We would pretend we were being chased by girls and if they touched us, we turned into girls. It was his game, you know, I just went along with it. So we are running along and he would throw up his hands and say, ‘Uh oh, a girl got me.’ Then he would get down on the ground and hump the ground, like he was trying to rub off his penis. Later, I discovered there is a whole mental condition for that.

Anyway, once in a while this guy finds me and calls me on my birthday. He will come by with some ugly woman . . . hideously ugly women, with a bottle and hang out for a day. One day he comes by alone, with a bottle, a bag of coke and small black bag. I didn’t think about what was in the bag.

We snorted lines and talked for a while. Then he slips into the bathroom and comes out wearing a small black dress. This tall, weird looking man in a small, black dress with tufts of red hair . . . it was just (shakes head) weird. I mean, picture it, I am snorting lines off the coffee table, then looking up and suddenly seeing a man in a black dress descend out of my bathroom.

And he opened up to about how he believes he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, how he is saving up for an operation, you know, all of that.”

I said, “And then what happened?”

Frank, “Well, I finished his coke and then politely asked him to leave. He was cool about it.”

Me, “Does this coffee taste like coke? Taste it.”

Frank sips it.

Ponders.

Shakes head.

Frank, “No.”

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