Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Slipping away

When I got back to San Francisco, I tried not to go to the Mission. Luckily I was staying with Chris in the Haight, earlier I was thinking that JoAnne was the only person who I’d shared a bed with for a month, but actually I stayed with Chris in his bed for a month too. In a tiny room barely larger than the bed, I think he paid less than $200 for it and we split that for the month. It was kind of like we were lovers except we didn’t have sex, we just talked about everything and slept with our arms touching shoulders around backs lips brushing against necks and sometimes Chris would wake up screaming and I would pet his head and say it’s okay, it’s okay, just like when we first met. I guess it was a while before I couldn’t sleep. And did I really say it’s okay? It’s not like anything was okay, except in that bed with Chris and I wondered if we should have sex but I didn’t want to lose the safety. So I didn’t mention what was maybe under the surface.

I ran into Zee at a café in the Lower Haight -- we hadn’t talked since I’d left San Francisco because he didn’t want to talk to me and I even threw out the Cocteau Twins album that was always on when we were fighting, were we falling apart because of that album or did we put it on as soon as everything started to come apart? But then I ran into him and it was like suddenly we were friends again. We made plans to go with Chris to Corona Heights to watch the sunset, but then I got a trick so I couldn’t go and then Chris and Zee ended up sleeping together. I hated that narrative -- the uncontrollable gay desire -- why couldn’t they have said something to me first? Chris didn’t even tell me for a week.

But then the strange thing that happened was that I actually kind of liked seeing them together, they were arguing right away and that was the part that stressed me out; I tried to help them to get along. This was when everyone was talking about how expensive San Francisco was getting, it was hard to find a room for less than $400 but I found a place for $247, in a huge flat in the Lower Haight with all these random people who talked about what they were going to do for Burning Man -- it was eight months away but they were already planning. One day, the person who had the lease came home from work with a vintage black Mercedes, and I knew something was wrong. He had some kind of computer job, but people didn’t use the word dot-com yet. At least not people I was around.

When I did go to the Mission, I looked at the buildings and all I could think about was death. Chris and I were planning to get an apartment together, but then he and Zee ended up moving to Oregon to work at a retreat center -- this was their faerie phase, and I stood there at the bus station with tears in my eyes, I felt like they were leaving me. I mean they were. What was I doing in San Francisco? Chrissie Contagious came to stay with me -- remember her, she was screaming naked in a tree when I met JoAnne. And Zee that same weekend, back at the March on Washington in 1993, I guess that was only three years before but it already felt like several world ago. Chrissie was another one of JoAnne’s close friends, when someone so important to you dies like that you become closer to the others who are left; you have to. This was when I’d decided that K was the only drug that was safe for me, it was the answer, and I ended up buying a ton of it for someone who disappeared, so then I figured I’d sell it, Chrissie and I could sell it together since she was the party girl. But then I’d come home and she’d be cutting it up on my mirror. Oh well -- might as well do some.

One night we went out to the Hole in the Wall, the bar that was the most popular at the time for faggots trying to act like they weren’t trendy, just masculine, they liked rock and beer and tattoos, if I wasn’t having sex in the back then I was scaring everyone with runway. That night Chrissie met someone and afterwards they wanted to go to Blow Buddies. I’d never actually been to Blow Buddies before -- even though I’d heard it was mostly circuit queens, it wasn’t like I was ready for bed, I was never ready for bed when the bars closed. While we were in line, Chrissie’s new fling took out a credit card and poured some crystal on it, then held it up to my nose. I’d always said that people should do their drugs in public, so I got caught up in the moment and inhaled, then the first thing I thought was: oh no, I’ve just ruined my life. And then: might as well have fun. So I ended up doing more crystal than ever before, but first we got kicked out of Blow Buddies for saying girl too much, and then Chrissie and the fling tried to fuck in my bed while I rearranged the room and tried to pretend I wasn’t thinking about more crystal until they took it out again -- oh, sure -- just a little. Then when Chrissie went to film a porn video I was waiting at the End Up and I bought two more quarters, I was alternating it with huge bumps of K and then on the dance floor it was like I was 10 feet in the air but somehow my feet still touched the ground and I could bounce in the stars except it was daylight now I was still bouncing.

Maybe 20 hours of drugs later we were back at the Hole in the Wall, I figured I would do this huge bump of K, like a whole capful, the kind of thing that normally would guarantee you a K-hole but I figured I’d be fine because of all the crystal. Soon enough I was sinking into the corner, the lights a toy for my eyes I couldn’t speak but it was okay, I knew this feeling, it was okay until the bar started to close and K wasn’t big in San Francisco yet, they didn’t know what it meant when my friends said she’s in a K-hole; the staff picked me up and dropped me onto the sidewalk outside. Then I couldn’t get up off the ground because my head felt like it was cracking open, I was holding Rick’s hand and I felt like if he let go I would be gone. I didn’t mention Rick before but he was the one with barrettes who I told to leave Brown, and then he did, and when I got back to San Francisco he was there too and we would go to bars together and try not to go to bars together, this time we ran into each other by coincidence and I was holding his hand because I could feel my life slipping away, eyes closed but everything was flying by. No one knew what to do until this homeless guy came over and said pour cold water on him and it’ll bring him down, my friends weren’t convinced but I nodded and they poured cold water on me and it worked. After I recovered, I decided to go on a food elimination diet, to figure out all my allergies, and also the strictest anti-candida diet because when else wouldn’t I be drinking? I wasn’t drinking because alcohol just made me think that of course I would decide to do drugs, even if I hadn’t had anything to drink. I went to look for an apartment, but they all emphasized the credit check -- my credit wasn’t good and I didn’t want to live in San Francisco anyway; I decided to move to Seattle so I could feel calm again.

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