La Otra Dama, The Other Woman

~a true story
Bareback Jack



This is not a story with a happy ending

"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




It 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.

He fled Chicago to escape her...

Theirs 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.

...she caught up with him in LA


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 thought our love could weather any storm 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.


She 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 unwary souls.

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.

She can shatter your dreams and rob you of everything from happiness to sanity



Though 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.
Subhuman.

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.


Who 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: Methamphetamine;
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 and heart.
  • 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?


Any person 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 underlying purpose.

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.



Throughout 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?


This stuff will fuck everything up in your life



So 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 sudden chaos.

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?

Perhaps.

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. The pieces are here for him to pick up... 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, ...if ever he can put her completely behind him 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.





As 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.


Please don't do crystal meth


If 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 the high.
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?



If 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.
God bless.





The Story Concluded: An Unhappy Ending

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 left."

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.

In Loving Memory: Jorge Enrique Sandoval, 1967 - 2011
May God forever hold you in his arms

© copyright 1996 - 2011
by Andrew W. Gage




ADDENDUM:

I should note that there is one rather interesting feature to have come out of all this tragedy: this website. Had it not been for my man's actions and his flight from responsibility afterward, www.barebackjack.com would never have been born. I would not have had a reason to contemplate such an undertaking. Therefore, one could say this website is his illegitimate son. Whether you love barebackjack.com or hate it, we all owe the creation of this site and my persona to both "tina" and my ex.




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