Citation: Silver Tongue. "It's All In the Eyes: An Experience with Methamphetamine (exp50735)". Erowid.org. Aug 19, 2006. erowid.org/exp/50735
Do you remember the first time you looked into your mothers eyes? Like really REALLY looked?
Do you remember what you saw?
Was it the protector?
The Keeper of your darkest fears and deepest secrets?
I guess for everyone it's probably different.
Me, I sorta remember eyes that smiled you know... that all knowing smile that every mom comes equipped with, just in the eyes instead.
It's a pity she couldn't see,
with those smiling eyes,
just how far she'd end up going
and more importantly what she'd end up losing to get there.
There's a statistic floating around somewhere that says thirty odd percent of us have tried the stuff at least once, likely it's a lot more, I mean who the hell is ever gonna admit to a government surveyor that they do hard drugs, aside from the thirty percent that somehow find pride in doing the stuff.
But back to the tack dudes, my mom made it through a hell of a life, forty odd years of raw deals and bad circumstances, heck of a good face for forty plus, healthy as the proverbial horse too, both in mind and body. It was about that time that a very special someone entered our little slice of life, suited in the tarnished armor of a man dedicated to a family not his own. I'll spare you his colors, doesn't really make a difference which affiliation you have when the only thing between you and the harsh reality of the street is someone you can take advantage of...
So this young lad came to be in our lives, what he said or did to win a place under our roof I'll never know, all I do know is that he did it, somehow he entered our home, our lives, our thoughts and our hearts. Our good intentions drowned out the alarms of instinct we must have felt deep inside. We trusted this lost soul, having not known it was indeed his soul that was wayward and not just him. And with him, into our home, he brought an AIDS of the soul. A drug many of you know about, and many of you know far too well for comfort. Something that even the demons below would have moral issues wishing upon each other, something that the angels above take great lengths to sidestep.
It took a while, or at least I think it did, for things to get bad. the gift of 20/20 hindsight can be a curse if you allow it to be. This young man became a part of our family, a second son for my mother, a brother I'd always wanted, and in retrospect one I should have never wished for. In any case, things changed, slowly at first, but they did change. Those smiling eyes I talked about earlier began to... morph I suppose, shifting from all knowing eyes to the eyes of an newborn infant, soaking up every detail of it's hitherto unexplored surroundings. Not knowing what to think or touch but enjoying the exploration nonetheless. Naiveté at it's finest and most pure. And the false naiveté of our guest fell away almost on queue. They say shame is in the eyes, and I hazard to say that his never met mine again, I put forward that his shame must have begun to destroy him as effectively as his wares had begun to destroy my mother.
When my mother crossed the line from parent to addict has never been clear. Perhaps it was the first time I came home to a house in shambles, could have been the first time she slept for days, it might have even been when she offered me my first hit...
I realize now (and if only I had realized it then) that she was probably trying to justify her addiction to me, the one person who mattered most in her life. Hoping that if I could just grasp the wonder of it all that I would accept what she had become and what she was doing.
That first hit made it all very clear.
The most corruptible are sure to be the innocent. I know that now. Much in the same way as a newborn ogles the world around itself I saw a new world laid before me. My own eyes became as naive as hers had. Naiveté and blindness go hand in hand unfortunately. Whilst I was observing my new playground with all the acuity the drug afforded I forgot to look inwards. While my world had begun to grow and metamorphosis, my soul had begun to distort and collapse in upon itself. Had I seen the error of my judgment I would have stopped right there, I would have never let my own mother give me my wings.
I intend to stop here, just for a moment, and discuss the meaning of soul as I see it. A soul, in the simplest of terms is what makes you who you are. It's everything I see and experience, it's every laugh, my first summer's night kiss, every fight I've every had, and every secret I've ever kept. It's the harbinger of my emotions and truly a library that I draw upon and add to simultaneously. It is the breath that feeds my mind and my actions, much in the same way that the air I breathe feeds your body. It is my humanity.
And as it were I learnt to fly in a dance club not very far from here, I remember it as clear as day, someone crusading with a message I now carry as my own had plastered the place in leaflets crying to be heard... 'Meth is not your friend” I laughed at those, laughed out loud too as I recall. I thought to myself what fool is this that doesn't understand the power that this drug affords me. Today I know full well the drug had the power to control me, and not the other way around. Ironic isn't it. I've taken on the role of that person that I openly scorned my first night. And likely many will have taken on the role I had that night, and will openly scorn me.
In any case the night progressed, I didn't dance that night, I just remember watching intently with a visual acuity above that of reality, absorbing the almost ethereal connection a dancer has with his music. I remember that first sunrise as we left the club, the pale blue of a robin's egg punctuated by the skyline of a city I'd never truly seen before, I remember camping out in our backyard as the sun rose, talking for hours to two clubsters whose names I didn't know but whom I felt I had known my entire life.
The next five months of my life became what one could consider to be a blur, picking my way from hit to hit, forging alliances and backrooming it for just one more taste. I managed to keep my job, mostly because my job didn't ask and I didn't tell, I think in a way it may have been unofficially accepted, and lord knows I wasn't the only one who partook. However, among employers such as mine, it's a widely held belief that productivity is king of the jungle and nothing is more productive than an energetic and talkative individual who becomes obsessive about the slightest detail. There's a very powerful reason, I'm sure, behind Adolf Hitler's own policy of encouraging it's use amongst his troops.
However blurry the details are I remember one more moment of clarity, actually more of a day of clarity, I remember the smells and the tastes and the sounds of it all, the weather that day and what I was doing at my desk. I also remember, as clear as day, getting my hands on some absolutely premier product that had just hit the market, I remember taking nine breaks at roughly hourly intervals to hide in the parkade and dose myself. At the end of hour four or five it wasn't getting me high anymore, the hits weren't leaving so much as a bruise.
I was driven to do more, and by the end of hour seven I was delirious, by hour nine I was almost face down on the ground when I managed to put myself in a taxi and got to a hospital, a word to the wise, never visit the emergency room during peak hours if you expect to see a doctor. They're very scarce that time of day. Regardless, I learnt something from that experience, not what you might have expected someone in my position to learn, not 'look at my state of being' or even 'holy shit I mashed myself really good this time'. No, I was so near the bottom the light didn't filter down I guess. I learnt that I shouldn't do that much ice in one day. Pretty scary considering. I was so ensnared by it's fly trap beauty I didn't even think about the fact that I almost killed myself. Oh and it was close, the physical effects of that trip still linger long after the fact, my body, and to a certain degree my mind, feel like Love canal, cleaned up but still very dead inside. I stayed away from it for a little while after that, slept lots, ate well, tried in vain to regain control of my more delicate bodily functions, not to recover but so that I could keep using without the guilt that I was destroying myself.
It was about then that I met a woman my age with her own stories to tell, a spiritualist, very artistic, very addicted. I'll cut the details about courtship, there was none to speak of really, all I know is that on an October night we sketched way too hard, took one too many hits and in a blaze of abandonment I released my virginity to a woman higher than I was, it wasn't love, might have been lust, perhaps even experimentalism at it's dirtiest. Ask the drugs. Whatever the case may be, the biggest regret from my days of night is not the ruin of my body, nor the loss of happiness, not even the alteration of my mind, the biggest regret was so easily and foolishly giving up a very deep part of myself for what amounted to nothing. I can regain my body, stabilize emotion and intellect, but never will I ever regain the purity I once had. There's more to virginity than the physical, I know that now.
Having invested the majority of my life looking for love, looking to exercise my passion in synchronicity with another just as passionate for the first time, I can say that the loss of that quest will undoubtedly leave scars well after the physical ones have faded into obscurity.
The line between the white linen and the scarlet letter is approximately five minutes long and not pleasant to travel under such circumstances and in such company.
After that the drugs lost their appeal, immediately, the need was there for them but regardless of that fact I couldn't do them without thinking about what they had taken from me. My mind, my soul, likely ten years of my lifespan. My mother. And of course, during this extended ramble about my own experiences you likely to have questions about her whereabouts. Read on.
She, during my own sketchfest managed to conduct her own in living color. All night parties and round table discussions about the finer points of everything, with anyone she could find. Gathering acquaintances around her like a perverted cloak, using those that she could like some kind of perverse and powerful scepter. One could say she had become a queen in her own mind. At some point our drifter had become her lover, at half her age no less. I strongly suspect she provided his fix, and he provided a very well used fix to her in return.
If you hold the keys to the doors of perception those who are knocking will do anything to get over the threshold.
In a coup of sorts her kingdom began to unravel, her lover came to hold the keys, and her acquaintances vanished as fast as they had appeared.
And I was left, waking up from my own moral and mental slumber, to deal with the remnants of a soul mortally wounded, no longer was my mother my mother, the face still existed but what was underneath had changed radically. The smiling eyes never recovered, nor did the mind that was attached to them. It's descent into chemical hell left it fundamentally different. Paranoia, blind rages, neglect of self, loss of reason, to name but a few. A dark shadow of her former self and a dark aura to match. During the first months of sobriety I saw what I had become during my drug frenzy, mirrored in perfect clarity by her own being. And like myself, she had no idea how far she'd fallen from grace.
For the time following that realization, up until recently in fact, the sole mission I set myself to accomplishing was to get her to relinquish her disconnection with reality. There were treatment programs lined up but left unattended, interventions that failed, tough love that gave way to resignation. You can only try so hard, and only so many times, eventually your spirit breaks and you have to move on. When that realization hit home it cut me open from tip to tail. At the age of sixteen I lost a father to the sins of his past, scant years later I'd lost a mother to the sins she couldn't separate herself from. I realized what had replaced the parent who I knew so well, I saw what had consumed her very soul and replaced it with a void. I don't mean to say she died, unlike my father, however that vibrant soul was extinguished, crushed beneath the heel of a man with tombstones in his eyes.
I'll never see the world in the same fashion again, I can't, it may be a loss I can endure physically, I can keep on breathing, but just try to make sense of it all without something to reference to. Somewhere along the line she died inside, and I don't think she'll ever feel that life again.
I moved out, had to, couldn't face the reality that both parents had, in their own way, had become lost to me. I did look in on her recently, she's still using. I told her I knew, but there was nothing I could do to stop it anymore. She tried to look me in the eyes, I don't think she could though, something about shame, I can't say I could look into hers, partially out of fear for what I'd see, and partially because of my failure to bring her back.
At the end of it all I hope she makes it, somehow. If she can't then I won't step in, and likely I'll die just a bit more inside when she does. At the end of this very long chapter in my short life with lengthy experiences there are still questions that won't let go, that refuse to be answered. Who lost more? What could have been done differently? I can still breath, but where has my soul gone?
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