3 min

Misguided by pleasure

E made us plan our future together

Credit: Xtra files

I’m bad with stimulants. A cup of coffee first thing in the morning will keep me up all night. I won’t get to bed without a sleeping pill, Tylenol Sleep, and you can’t get them here, so my mother brings them from Dallas.

Don’t even mention blow. Of course we all love blow. It makes you feel fabulous. Until you don’t feel so fabulous and you want more. Don’t mention crack. I’m bad with stimulants.

I’m on and off the coffee and the sex. I like to meet the odd guy on the ‘net. I like to love a gorgeous guy up, as long as he doesn’t get weird. I love to meet a guy for a drink – pop a pot cookie on the way over. You fall in love for the night. If they’re halfway cute – most of them are – and if they have half a brain – most of them do – I fall in love for the night. Wine and conversation and new flesh, plus you’ve already established in the chatroom that you’re sexually compatible.

Or pick some guy up at the bar. You’ve been drinking all night with your friends and feeling bold. You strut up to the bar and strike up a conversation, buy each other beers, dance together dick to ass. I picked up a guy last month at the Barn, started drinking with him and chatting, a big boy with an East European accent. Sly looking, he reminded me of a musician friend, a dark Slav.

He asks me if I want to go home with him and drop ecstasy, so we go through the falling snow. We get to his house in the east end and he pours me a drink and we swallow white tabs and he gets off right away, but it takes me about an hour longer. And then I start grinding my teeth, which I remember from my early E trips, and I start to fly.

It’s the love drug. You feel great love and compassion for those you’re with and everyone you know and everyone you don’t, for the whole world, beyond what you’ve ever felt before.

The first time I dropped E was my senior year at Harvard, when it was still legal in 1981. We called it MMDA but it’s actually MDMA, in the speed family, and had been around the Boston scene since the 1960s.

I had a conversion experience, influenced by my companions in the culty vegetarian co-op where I lived. I was born again. I hadn’t believed in God since I was a child and suddenly I had this vision of my life as perfect and my future path clear, as a healer, through massage and marijuana and coin-flipping.

Of course, the next day I woke up with the flu. Things seemed like they had slipped back to normal, but I tried to sustain the inspiration, and the massage coin-flipping cult supported me. We believed in a loving Higher Power that would tell us what to do if we asked, so we flipped on such major decisions as whether to smoke another joint, massage the gorgeous young person before you or crack their back and what ingredients to put in the evening stew.

School was out for six months and I was wondering how I could stay in the US. Then the rent money I earned selling acid got stolen from my cubbyhole. My friends prayed outside US Immigration in JFK Plaza while I went inside to have my application denied and told I had to leave the country within two weeks. The dream came crashing down and I moved to Toronto and into therapy and out of the closet.

So there I was grinding my teeth and feeling intense love for this dark Slav, telling him how beautiful he was and he was telling me back, and we started kissing and planning our future together.

The thing I hate about stimulants is staying hard. I go limp, don’t you? You feel that intense love, but you can’t get it up which sucks when you’re the top. You have to wait 20 minutes with blow, and hopefully you catch the tail end of the buzz just as you’re ready for action. But E lasts for hours. It got frustrating and a bit embarrassing to tell the truth, although not disastrous since I knew I would be with this guy for the rest of my life and there would be plenty of time to make it up to him.

I usually can’t sleep on stimulants but after playing all night – well, beginning around 3am and going until 9am – the E started wearing off and finally I could fuck him properly and then we did pass out. I woke up an hour or two later and rolled my head around to look at his face on the pillow and realize I knew almost nothing about him except he smokes cigarettes and loves poppers, both of which turn me off big time.

The illusion of intimacy had burst like a soap bubble, leaving another snoring stranger that had to be allowed his rest, spoken to politely and disposed of.

You get a guy’s address on a personals website. He leaves the door to his apartment open for you. You enter to find a gorgeous stud waiting on all fours beside the bed, wearing only a cockring and a blindfold that he keeps in place all through the encounter, even once it’s over.

You wonder, if he can’t see you, why the hell you spent all those hours at the gym.

I should know better by now than to trust these shortcuts, these simulacra.