What Brought You Here?

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


5:39 pm

I inhabit this bizarre alter world between my VW-bus roaming past and my serious-with-spectacles academic present (?) When I first went to work on my doctorate, I thought I could slide seamlessly between these two worlds, getting polluted as hell on my university breaks and coming back to do something I love and feel passionate about, sober, during the rest of the year.

The closest I suppose I ever come to combining these two is when I get some sort of grant and am living in a foreign country, and thus in a foreign language, getting polluted. This is what I did all last year in Poland: schelepping from pharmacy to pharmacy buying up enough boxes of codeine products to get high, day after day. I got addicted within a couple of weeks of arriving. And how sad is that? Having never been physically addicted to an opiate before, I did not bother to ween myself off. I quit cold turkey: I got sick and was in the toilet for a week.

In the New Year I discovered that if I were a foreigner paying cash for my doctor visits and prescriptions, I could get whatever I wanted prescribed to me. This is how I came to be mainlining diazepam in a Soviet-era dormitory remarkable in its resemblance to a hospital for the (perhaps, criminally) insane.

I guess it would be fair to say that I gave it a little bit of a rest when I got back in June1. I had a couple of smaller scripts, they didn't last long, and I dealt with it. I was a grown up this summer.

But then came the Fall and then came The Fall. I fell into a major depressive episode. Stopped eating. I have lost 22 pounds, I think. I am still not eating much. I'm not bingeing and purging too much, either.

What I am doing is having sex and doing drugs. Doing sex and having drugs. Hanging out with the guys from the headshop, one of whom is a traveler who may or may not be in the process of semi-reformation. Lolling around in bed ( a futon on the floor, a futon with a frame?) with one of them mainly, the other on occasion, making out with the girls who come around to hang out or try to fuck one (mostly) or the other (rarely) of them. The mostly one is mine . Sort of. Maybe. This morning he would not let me go to sleep forever. I had smoked pot--a rare occasion for me2-- and was utterly ready to pass out. It made good sense following all the phenobarbital, the codeine, the hydrocodone, the just-before-8-am-so-noone-gets-towed sun rising on my face I buried in the comforter. I was just too tired to have sex again. I was just too tired to do anything. I. . . . . . .was. . . . . . tiiiiiiii-

This is fine for now. I know my therapist and my psychiatrist would send out a collective plea of "Fuck that" were I to reveal the barenaked truth to them, but it's okay for the time being. I am being. I am doing. I have the rest of the term off and if I choose to spend it in bed with a pretty nice guy who actually missed me while I was out of town and does not fear admitting it, maybe I should fucking do that. If he gets his shit together and actually does get a second job so we aren't all huddled together dazed and post-coital at dawn trying to figure out how to get another pack of cigarettes, if I decide I "really like" him and not "just really like the idea" of him and it becomes a relationship, a relationship that I am having with a nice guy who actually doesn't treat me like shit, well, then, I'm actually not really sure what I would do. I've got to fuck this up somehow.

I rolled out of bed this morning and dressed as he slept. I climbed over to give him a goodbye kiss. "Where are you going?" he sleepymuttered. I'm going home. You're sleeping. "How come you're not sleeping?" I fell asleep earlier than you. "I need you." You know where to find me.

Is that playing "hard to get?" The boundary lines and goal posts of "hard to get" become fuzzier after you've seen someone naked a few times. Deep down, I really, really don't want to play games. I have never believed that love-or-something-like-it would work out for me, though, so I am used to protecting myself. But this guy actually doesn't want to hurt me. In fact, he seems to want really badly *not* to hurt me. And I think my self preservation instinct is telling me to find something wrong with him3. Because that's what I've always managed to do.

I came up with an equation for love last summer when I was in the process of rectifying the mistake I was making again with LoveSlave 2001. The person you find to love needs to be 75 percent perfect. Any less, and someone will only get hurt by all the things that are allegedly lacking. Any more, and you will only get bored. You get the 75% and the other 25 you just have to roll with, or work on somehow.

1. Read: Drinking like it was my job and popping the overinflated egos of more or less every heterosexual male meeting the standards of my New Year's Eve resolutions with the gall to believe he was good in bed.
2. At this time. In the 90s, I was the Best Little Pothead in North Florida.
3. My self-preservation instinct was right. Not in an real earth-shattering way, but he was a man-whore, and he just wasn't anything special.

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