"I've got your picture that you gave to me
And it's signed with love just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got your picture, she's got you."
-- from "She's Got You" by Hank Cochran
t never crossed my mind that something like
this would happen. How could it? I thought our love was remarkably strong; our
relationship impervious to the less than honorable actions of others. Over many
months we had come to develop something incredible, he and I, and I believed that
with our new love we could weather any ill-winded problems together. Yet this
was before she wove herself into the comfort of our cocoon; now our lives, our
harmony and our synthesis have become unwoven solely because of her.
heirs was no new affair.
He had been introduced to her
several years ago in The Windy City. She employed her
wickedness upon him and nearly destroyed him at that time;
wisdom moved him west to escape the embrace of her treachery.
But as coincidence would have it, his circle of new friends
had already become acquainted with her. Barely eight months
passed between the time he fled the Midwest and she caught
up with him in the City of Lost Angels.
Fate, with an agenda all its own, brought us together at that time.
Without forethought we found ourselves building a promising life with
one another, guided effortlessly by our souls' counsel. However, the
Devil had yet to play her hand.
Although knowing my lover wasn't comfortable
being around her, his friends began to bring her around where he worked.
It wasn't long before she was attempting to weasel her way back into
his life. He confessed to me his experience with her in past-tense; how she
had interjected herself into his last relationship.
I didn't take time
to worry. I had courage, faith, and the light and love of the Universe
on my side, and I vowed as I prayed that she would never be allowed to
come between us.
Yet courage, faith, love and the Universe notwithstanding,
she has proved to be not so easily put off. She has the power of blinding
seduction at her command. She can entice men with only the promise of a
good time. One man can never satisfy her. She has to have them all. She
will work her way into your life until you no longer have the ability to
resist her. She wants you for your mind, your body and your wallet.
She has found incredible popularity from the Big Apple to Tinseltown and every
city and village between which she can call "home". She gets invited to
all the parties, and the boys just love her. Yet once under her spell,
all fall victim to wanton depravities only she could manifest. She requires
you to relinquish your body simply because it is not yet hers, and she will
entice you into pleasures of the flesh with almost anyone available, as long
as she is present.
She has no morals.
She has no soul.
can find the ability to sneak into the temple of your home and deprive
you of everything close to your heart. You'll never know she's been there
until after she's gone. She is a cheap, tawdry whore who enjoys having men
spend their money recklessly on her.
She is a thief, a vixen, a hag, a seductress,
a homewrecker, and yes, even a murderer. Not unlike a black widow, she has killed
her lovers before and she will kill again. If they are unable to escape by death,
she'll wound them severely or drive them to killing in her name. She is the most
spurious, evil entity I have ever encountered. She collects souls as some collect
butterflies, pinning them to the walls of her penthouse in hell. She is a menace
to the well being of all who know her or have felt her razored teeth rend their
Those who have fallen under her spell lose sleep because of her.
They torment themselves with thoughts of her. They may hate themselves for what
she makes them do, yet they will go out of their way to have her be with them.
It is men who have made her what she is today, and she seeks her sovereignty by
corrupting every last one who will take her in. The seemingly strong fall helplessly
for her as she violates them one after the next, and their torments only deepen
with each encounter. She sucks the life out of any other relationships they may
have until, like vampire's prey, they are completely indentured to her alone.
She seduces women and children as well. She is greedy and depraved.
She came to torment my man with twisted pictures of his past and erased the
prospect of our future.
hough he knew where their relationship would lead again, he proved to be
no match for her wickedness. Even with my unwavering love and staunch support,
he could not turn away from this Medusa until much too much damage had been
visited upon us.
She infused herself into our relationship and wrenched my man from the
peaceful place of our love. And knowing her as I do, she will not deliver him
until she has thoroughly bled him of every last thing conceivable. Despite my
outward invulnerability to her, she has brought me tremendous emotional torment
and grief by her proximity alone. She has deprived us both of the privilege of
a pacific life together by insinuating herself into our affairs. She is the
ultimate "other woman", yet to call her a woman is degrading language towards
women in general.
She is inhuman.
No words can properly relate the loathing I feel in my heart toward her. If it
were within my power to destroy her, I would without conscience.
But you can't kill something that has no soul.
ho is this vile,
degenerate, insidious, evil bitch? This forty dollar
whore? This modern-day Medusa turned body snatcher? Her name is no doubt
familiar to you. Though she has become a prominent figure in our community,
her name is spoken quietly behind closed doors by all who know her. Pandora
unmasked, she commonly goes by the name Crystal. Last name:
Crystal Meth for short.
"She" is a demon drug, crafted by the most odious minds in the world.
Crystal is often called "speed" by those who might like to candycoat its
deplorable character. The phrase "party favors" is used in casual conversation
as if to give the drug some benign quality, like paper hats, noisemakers and
other sorts of innocuous sundries. The reality is that most people don't lose
their jobs, relationships, sanity or respectability by employing the use of
such frivolous dimestore items. Crystal Meth is more appropriately the death
of the party.
I understand that most who use crystal think it's fun. Most say they have
incredible sex while on crystal (although much of the time it renders them
flaccid, and they're not really clear on what actually transpired).
How much fun can be had by using crystal? Let's see.
- You can snort your earnings up your nose, or smoke or mainline your rent money.
- You can talk incessantly about nothing.
- You can be unable to sleep when your body demands rest, and supplant real
dreamtime with hallucinations.
- You can feel driven to have sex with anything that moves without the hope
of getting an erection or getting off.
- You can alienate your family, your partners and friends who love you
through your erratic behavior and violent moodswings.
- You can become an addict, and then be known all over town as one.
- You can jeopardize your physical and mental health with every fix,
spend your high sequestered away in a snake-pit of chemically induced paranoia,
and develop physical malaise with your skin, teeth, gums, fingernails, hair
- You can lose your sense of self worth.
- You can even waste away to nothing, lose your job, your home and everything
you've worked for, and invite death to your doorstep with each little noseful
of this chemical crap we'll just refer to as "party favors".
That's our crystal... always a good time. But for who, exactly?
who believes that this drug can be managed for a long period
of time as a recreational tool is either not aware of its addictive and
destructive potential, or is in a lot of denial. It is a designer drug,
after all. Its street form is designed to be addictive. That is its
If it weren't made to be addictive, nobody would have to have it, and
therefore its manufacturers wouldn't be able to sell very much of it.
You create your own demand when you take away someone else's power to
decide whether or not they want your product. And herein lies the evil:
a drug has been concocted which seduces you into selling your soul and
your mind and your free will for someone else's profit.
It is of no concern
to its dealers how much you and those around you will suffer and lose as
long as they prosper. Nobody ever sold you crystal with your well-being
at heart. Your body and mind are on the sacrificial altar while your bank
account is changing hands. And once you have been depleted and destroyed
(irreversibly in some cases), they'll move on to destroy the next jackass
with low self esteem.
The weak constitution of the user is the bread and butter of the dealer.
the Gay and Lesbian community, perhaps moreso than in the
larger heterosexual community, Crystal Meth has gained an unfortunate
foothold. Its timing is rather unfortunate, too, as we are on the verge
of so many breakthroughs in health and society. The issues of marriage,
employment equality, social acceptance, and even strides in the understanding,
treatment and prevention of HIV are almost within our grasp. And yet, an
alarming and increasing percentage of our social body is becoming addicted
to crystal. Fortunately or not, the Gay community has always had a drug-
subculture image associated with it. Of all the substances that have been
used frequently in the Gay community (pot, poppers, quaaludes, cocaine, MDA,
Special K, and Crystal Methamphetamine), Crystal Meth (CMA) is the most
destructive to date. Not just to our individual bodies, but to our total
community body as well.
A large number of users are HIV positive, and are
playing Russian roulette with their mortality each time they ingest it.
We're losing far too many people to AIDS as it is without the help of CMA.
We are in a crucial era -- a point at which we are finally becoming a
discernable presence in the world community. The rapidly increasing number
of users who are crystal addicts are shooting the Gay community in the foot
through very bad behavior. As the integrity of the community weakens, our
political power diminishes and our respectability vanishes.
How are we going to be able to tackle these important issues together
if we can't even keep lunch dates?
where are the two of us now?
I am off the emotional rollercoaster constructed by my lover, though
I have found myself an unwilling passenger of a different emotional excursion.
We have been separate for the better part of a year without any communication
whatsoever. I have left Los Angeles to find a place where I can regain hold
of my life, without the man I so love. There is tremendous pain, indeed, for
I know in my heart that this never should have been. I remember well the
beautiful, sensitive, generous man I met and came to love unconditionally,
yet I can't shake the horror of what he has become due to his addiction.
My faith in greater powers, all my beliefs as well, have collapsed; I have
had the unsettling experience of trying to hang on to something solid where
there is only void. I have had to put to question everything I understood
about the workings of life and love in order to make some sense out of
Losing two previous lovers to AIDS hasn't begun to approach the burden of
sadness and anger I carry over losing a man so precious to this addiction.
What our future holds is now completely up to him.
The addict has taken hold
of the reins to that power. And though physically I am moving on to new
horizons, my heart remains unconditionally dedicated to this one man.
Foolish, some would say, yet no one can appreciate such dedication unless
he, too, has felt a love as deeply a part of his soul as have I.
Does this make me co-dependent? Doubtful. I have put a great distance
between us in order that we each may heal. Am I an addict, too?
If I am guilty of addiction, then it is to a grand passion. Something
positive, sublime, natural and beautiful. Something that causes the heart
to race without the danger of pulmonary fibrosis. Something which creates
energy and desire without causing dehydration. Something which electrifies
the body without the neurotic compulsion to scratch through the skin.
Something which enriches the soul and manufactures endorphins, as opposed
to destroying them.
The same cannot be said for Crystal Meth.
Can I be faulted for wanting to hang onto the only emotion I have ever known
that has brought me to extreme highs without the help of any chemical? And
who is to say that the withdrawal from such rapture is any less excruciating
than from a substance?
When he finally and completely shakes the monkey off his back, he
knows where he can find me. I pray daily that "she" will lose her hold on him
so that we can sift through the debris left in the wake of this turn of events
and hopefully salvage the best parts of our relationship.
Will he remember
the miraculous love we shared and desire it again? Or will his misplaced
pride prevent him from fulfilling the obligation Fate entrusted unto us?
To that, I have no answer, yet I have faith in him and in us. I have to
maintain that faith, for it is the only thing that keeps me glued together.
Meanwhile, I go on, knowing that nothing is guaranteed,
and that because of
the wickedness existing in other men, I have lost the treasure I sought so
long to find and fought so hard to hold.
I put the finishing touches on this work, I am plagued by the
memory that tonight would have been our anniversary, a date I once anticipated
with tremendous joy and happiness. Instead, this day has been saturated with
emotional turbulence; an admixture of tears, frustration, lonliness and rage.
I am hurt by the apparent punishment handed me for a trespass I did not commit.
And only because I love someone who found fear in his own love for me,
and escape from fear in a little pile of white powder.
f you are a user
of Crystal Meth, I hope you can perceive the
pain in these lines. I hope that this testament of my experiences can help you
see the truly horrible outcomes that using this drug can have, and the anxiety
which your use will create in yourself and in those around you. I implore you
to take a few minutes to look inside yourselves and ask if the outcome is worth
Ask yourself about the quality of your sexual experiences while on CMA;
- is your sex better, or is there just more of it?
- Do you feel fulfilled during sex, or do you find yourself on a "mission"?
- Do you ever achieve a sense of worthwhileness and true sexual bonding,
or do you have sex simply because you're chemically horny?
- Do you achieve orgasm with relative ease, or is it a whole lot of
frustration getting there?
- How do you feel when you come down?
- How do you behave?
- Are you irritable, unstable, or say things you later regret?
- Do you remember?
- Does crystal make you feel better about yourself in general,
or do you dislike yourself for using it?
- Do you plan your life around when you can tweak?
- What could you be doing to enrich your life with the money you spend on crystal?
- Is using crystal worth the price of addiction and the agony of recovery?
- Is the high worth dying for?
f pain is an educational
tool, then I hope mine can reach just one of you deeply enough to think twice before
putting that straw up to your nose the next time. And the next, and the time after
that. My loss is of no value unless someone else can find salvation through it.
Pain has not served to foster strength to the one man whom I love beyond my own
understanding. I hope someone else will gain the strength and wisdom that he could
not. Please, dear God, may it be you.
During September of 1996, several AIDS organizations in Los Angeles
held a series of open forums for Gay men to talk freely about their
experiences with Crystal, sex and HIV. It was a hopeful first step in
enlightenment within the Gay community about these related issues.
Breaking the Crystal Meth addiction is a very difficult accomplishment.
If you are having trouble with this or any other chemical addiction,
it is wisest to seek professional guidance. Check with local Alcoholics
Anonymous chapters, Narcotics Anonymous, your doctor, or Gay and Lesbian
Community services and hotlines for information on recovery meetings and/or
recovery facilities in your area. If you are a person who is affected by
the crystal use of a loved one, see if there's a support group for lovers
and families such as ALANON.
And know that your Gay brothers and sisters, families and friends nationwide
encourage and support your recovery.
On March 29, 2011, after more than a decade of battling his meth addiction,
my ex took his own life. The suicide note he posted on Facebook said, in part,
"By the time you read this, I will be gone. There is nothing anybody could've said or done.
This is what I wanted to do... If I only had a sliver of hope to continue on I would. I have nothing
Many, many times over the past 15 years he tried to escape from the addiction to crystal
meth that had overpowered him. He longed so desperately to be free of its hold on him.
So desperately that after all of his attempts to become sober in Los Angeles had failed,
he left L.A. in order to try to start a new life for himself - away from the
people and places that served as triggers - and he embarked on his new journey filled with
hope and renewed vigor. But the addiction went with him, and it tugged at his coattails
even as he tried to ignore it from inside the "safe zones" of recovery houses.
Each time he tried to quit he would succeed for a while, and then be snapped back to the
addiction, as if he were connected to it by a giant, unseen rubber band. His recovery might have lasted
weeks or months as he pulled against the force of the addiction and tried to grasp sobriety.
But eventually the tension would be too great and he'd lose his footing and slip back. In
the end, I guess he felt that it would be better to be dead than to keep fighting and losing
to the addictive forces that held him hostage; that the only way he could finally vanquish it
was through death. And so, feeling there was no other recourse left to him, he committed suicide.
Now at last he is crystal-free. And all it cost him was his health, his sanity, and his life.
My ex's story is a cautionary tale to anyone who thinks that crystal meth is manageable, or that
an addiction to it is easily overcome. It is not. Statistics show that 93% of the people who
try to quit crystal meth fail. As exceptionally talented, intelligent, and strong-willed as my ex was,
he was no match for the other woman. She had already done so much damage to him that it is
understandible why he felt the only way to be rid of her was to take the desperate measure
of killing himself.
Because of crystal meth I will never hear his voice over the telephone again. Nor will I be able
to hold him or hug him, or share stories with him - or him with me.
We'll never see another movie together, go out to dinner, enjoy an art exhibit, or just hang out.
He'll never make another beautiful photograph, or draw a picture, or tell a stupid joke. He is gone
forever because he could not stand one more day of being addicted to crystal. He leaves behind a
host of brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved and who loved him. He leaves
behind friends, lovers, and co-workers who desperately want to make sense of this ultimate tragedy.
Every one of the people who loved him are left to mourn the senseless loss of this
beautiful and tragic man. The ripple effect of his suicide is tremendous, and those of us who knew
and loved him know the loss we have suffered is enormous.
I can only hope that the same doesn't happen to you.
The very best way to avoid this kind of tragedy in your life - in fact, to have a life filled with
joy, prosperity and rewards - is to never start using crystal. I cannot overstate this point. For even with
dedication, this drug can be hard, if not impossible, to beat. It will rob you of your quality of life.
It will steal your physical and mental health, force you to go broke and perform desperate acts. Crystal meth
is still a great problem within our community, even after so many unnecessary and tragic deaths have
occurred. Be smart. Don't do it. The temporary high you might get is not worth paying the ultimate price.
May God forever hold you in his arms
© copyright 1996 - 2011
by Andrew W. Gage