Citation: Zing. "Love and Blow: An Experience with Cocaine (exp93801)". Erowid.org. May 19, 2012. erowid.org/exp/93801
I will never know why the first time I did cocaine wasn’t the last. I had turned 15 a few days before, during November of my freshman year in high school, and had only recently begun smoking pot more regularly. I didn't even drink at the time, because one single shot would cause me to feel seriously ill. Not drunk, just sick. Over the summer I began dating another boy. He lived in New York City and was two-and-a-half years older than me. After our relationship 'got going,' so to speak, we began spending every weekend together and eventually started venturing out at night. Even though neither of us were of legal age (or anywhere near it), it’s not that hard to get into the clubs if you’re a cute, young gay couple in NYC. He would drink and I would smoke weed. I didn't like going out together on different highs, though, because I felt like we were flying in different spheres. Not to mention he would become progressively more wrecked as the night wore on while I'd remain coherent and just a little magicked.
I can’t even remember how it came up, but one night The Boy asked if I had ever done coke. The answer was no, but he was just so cool, so sophisticated, so smart… I didn’t even think of saying it. He was drunk, I was blitzed out of my mind, and we were in bed. We were down for the count. The sun was coming up. Because I knew he wasn’t propositioning me right there and then, it was an easy lie. Without missing a beat, I said yes, of course. He asked if I enjoyed it and I said yes, of course. He asked if I’d like to do it with him sometime and I said yes, of course. Because I loved him, I loved cocaine before I even knew her.
Though I grew up in a relatively small and quiet New Jersey suburb, its proximity to NYC and the fact that most people who live there have more money than they know what to do with ensured that drugs were always available. Even in the epitome of upper-crust suburban hell, I recall seeing an empty stamp of H on the sidewalk by the high school more than once. You could find anything with the right phone number. Unbeknownst to me, I had the right phone number for my newfound needs all along. A few days after The Boy brought it up, I casually asked my pot dealer if she knew where I could get some blow and she simply said, “me.”
I picked up my first bag when The Boy came for an unusual visit to NJ the following weekend. My dealer told me she was running low, but could bring over slightly less than half a gram. I didn’t really know if that was one line or one hundred, but since that’s what she had, I said fine. The Boy and I planned on doing it that evening, but we all know how unreliable dealers can be when they want to, especially if they have the monopoly on a substance and know you either get it from them or spend more money on a train ticket or gas to the city than you’re actually purchasing in drugs. My hometown isn’t tiny, but it’s small enough that some dealers held that title of “the one,” especially for some of the harder drugs. She was The One, and we waited for 3 hours. Eventually, The Boy had to leave, and approximately 5 minutes later (of course) my dealer showed up at the door with a tiny ziplock baggie. Simultaneously frustrated at her timing but ultimately pleased that she came through, I paid her and she told me to enjoy.
I had been waiting for four days, since I had found out she had some in the first place, and after expecting to do it with The Boy, I felt an overwhelming urge to see what we would have been doing together had my dealer been on time. What can I say? Curiosity killed the cat, as it so often does. Despite being a newbie to coke, I had snorted pills before, and I had seen coke done in movies. So I crushed the small rock, scooped some out on a key, dumped it on our granite table, fashioned a guesstimated-sized line and snorted it up with a rolled up dollar bill (you know, big bucks). I wouldn't have known at the time, but it was good blow. My dealer, The One, always had good blow.
None of this is really about the individual experiences themselves, but all I'll say is the very first time I thought I might have been having an allergic reaction. I didn't expect how numb my throat would feel once the drip started drooping. After the first few times doing blow, it either wasn't as pronounced or I began to enjoy it, but that night I was sure my throat was closing up. I ran upstairs to tell my parents (who had been home that whole time!) and they told me not to freak out. (Note: I did not tell them I had just snorted a fat line of coke.) Once I calmed down a little bit, I went back downstairs and hung out online and talked to some friends. I have to say, other than the fact I thought I was going to be unable to breathe and possibly die, the first time was unremarkable.
But cocaine has a glamour to it that is so hard to ignore, especially when you're an impressionable gay teenager who has a (perceivably) glamorous boyfriend. It quickly became part of our routine on weekends. Sometimes, we would stay in and do blow all night, alternately fooling around, watching TV, and going on the roof of his apartment building to smoke cigarettes. We still went out, though, and most of the places we went to were veritable drug dens. Many club-goers would be high on meth, coke, or ecstasy. Sometimes GHB. I don't remember ever crossing paths with someone sober. It seemed almost necessary for The Boy and I to be on the same level as everyone else around us, and I, for my part, enjoyed riding the same rails as he. No more Boy around my shoulders as he stumbled and I dragged 15 blocks home. It was fast, clean, sexy. And it felt so pure and true at the time.
We had agreed from the get-go we'd only do it together. The Boy had limited experience with coke before he asked me about it, so other than the fact he had done it a few times with his older sister, we were experimenting side-by-side. Because I happened to have a good connect, I was the one responsible for actually acquiring the drugs. I'm sure a lot of you know what comes next. I'd see him on a weekend and we'd do blow. He'd give me some money that I would match, and at some point during the week my dealer would drop off whatever we could afford. Waiting a week started to become too long, though this occurred so slowly I hardly even noticed.
I started skimming some off the top to save or do before trekking into the city for our weekends. As the weeks went by, I had to start 'skimming' more. Then buying my own. Sometimes, when our night together was almost over, I'd lie and say there was nothing left when there was still enough to make it worth it to lie and keep it for myself… though it took all the willpower in the world to leave it in my bag overnight. I did not miss the irony of lying about the amount of coke I was really doing when it hadn't been so long since I had lied about ever doing it before.
I was only fifteen, and was not really one of the people in my town that had 'more money than they know what to do with.' I won't pretend my family is not at least somewhat well-off, but everything is relative. And everything sucks when you're developing a serious addiction. I have generous parents who gave me more money to spend in the city than I could have ever needed had I not been doing drugs, and over the months before the coke use started, I saved little bits and pieces of that until I had a nice stash of cash. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't long before I was dipping into that… and even shorter before I totally blew it.
I had recently received a diagnosis of Bipolar II and at the time, was quite unstable. My burgeoning addiction was certainly not helping; in fact, each disease seemed to feed the other. I would feel manic and invincible, and would do coke. I'd feel more manic and invincible. I'd feel depressed, and would do coke. I'd feel normal. But I could no longer stretch my cash far enough to feed the amount of blow I was doing weekly. Nothing is cheap in the Northeast.
I started meeting up with men online, most of whom were much older than me. This is when my drug use expanded far past the coke, as beggars can't be choosers (most times). It's a hard thing to explain, because unlike some, I wouldn't personally say I was whoring myself out. These were sexual encounters I completely enjoyed and began to look forward to. The drugs were merely part of the allure; the experience as a whole was almost fetishistic. I would go into the city hours before meeting up with The Boy, or stay hours after. There was an internet cafe down on Korea Way I'd visit, speak to some handsome man online, find out if he partied and then we'd meet. Coffee first, then to his apartment. We'd usually do blow, sometimes meth, and one guy I saw a handful of times would sell me MDMA for later use with The Boy. It was like that almost every time. Chat, coffee, apartment, drugs, sex. Ritualistic, like so many things we do. Addicts are resourceful folk. Not only did I find a way to get a boatload of drugs for free, but I got a good fuck out of it too. Score and score.
I was so whacked out at the time, I couldn't be bothered by how this was affecting The Boy. He began to suspect my indiscretions and eventually confronted me. I couldn't lie my way out anymore, because he had come armed with every detail. I expected to be broken up with on the spot. Instead, he told me he wanted to stay with me and work it out. He wanted to help me. He knew he couldn't save me singlehandedly, but he knew I was struggling and going under fast. I wish I had known what I know now; I wish I had known that was a blessing. I was too far gone to take advantage of his love and I continued the way I had been, doing drugs behind his back and cheating on him with strangers. Despite his crying, despite his pleading, I didn't slow down at all. After he confronted me the first time, he knew each time I cheated after. Just knew. Weekly we'd battle, weekly I'd lose. Eventually, I lost the war.
If you'd like to know, the final scene of our relationship was something like from a movie. Things went well for about 3 weeks, in the sense that I stopped sleeping around for a bit but continued to do blow behind The Boy's back. I know. 'Went well.' It's all relative. One day, we were going to take a shower together. I told him to go in before me and get the water warm. I did a key of coke, undressed, and got in the shower. After about five minutes, all the hot water and steam got the drip going fast and furious. Not even thinking, I kissed The Boy. He withdrew, and licked his lips. I could tell he had tasted it and I could tell there was no question in his mind as to what it was. The most heartbreaking thing is that there was no more arguing. He just politely requested I get out of the shower, pack my things, and get on a train home.
Not long after, my school finally figured out what was going on after my dealer was arrested. As I was the most egregious offender, by that time nearly constantly high, they mandated my enrollment in an outpatient rehab facility if I wished to remain in school. By the time the school year was over, and so was rehab, I was no longer using, nor did I have any urge… and I haven't since then. It's been almost six years since I last set foot in that facility and I still wonder why everything stopped so abruptly. I hated that rehab, I hated everyone there. I hardly ever spoke, was hardly ever spoken to, and most of the other patients just called me 'faggot' instead of my name.
It took me until not that long ago to realize rehab had nothing to do with my getting better. I was so disgusted with myself, quitting coke was secondary to not surrendering to my own shame. When we first started dating, The Boy was so big to me. Impermeable, invulnerable. But what began as our Great Fun quickly turned into my Big Excuse. He was my first true love, and I was the first to break through the fortress he had worked so hard to build around himself. He let me in, and instead of giving him in return all the things he gave me, I gave him lies upon lies. I gave him pain and suffering. For years after I got clean off the coke, I tried to blame him for introducing it to me. He didn't. I took the bait. When I first tried to stop, I craved it so badly. The way it made me feel when I was high was so fresh in my mind. The wound in my heart, however, was much deeper than my cravings could ever cut. As the remembrance of the high faded, the wound was much slower to heal. I had nothing left to crave anymore, because thinking about cocaine ceased to be the same as thinking about the high. Instead, each time I thought about coke, I thought about an era of my life that was brief but intense. It was my 'era of blow,' one that should have been filled with fun and recklessness and lots of good stories to tell my friends years down the road. Stopping use was the least of my recovery. What I had to recover from instead was the era itself-- a year of heartache, loss, and endless sorrows... one for which I'm still not sure I deserve forgiveness.
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