Lost in the Crackby Trevor Kleinhans / Illustration by Sasan / 01.08.2012
The funeral was a really sad day for me, finally bringing home that my dearest friend had died. I left the church I can only remember thinking of how to escape this hollow, empty sadness that was overwhelming me. I knew the answer; the addict in me always knew the answer. I was about to enter my first relapse after rehab. Surprisingly everyone around me thought I was healed and strong enough to cope with all this heartbreak. I drove straight from the church in my sports car down to the Point area in Durban, renowned for drug dealers, prostitutes and any other illicit behaviour. I had no dealer numbers on my mobile phone, so this was the only way I could think of obtaining the drug to ease my pain.
I noticed a man I assumed to be Nigerian standing on the sidewalk, so I pulled up next to him, rolled my window down and asked:
“Hey brother, do you know where I can get some crack?”
“Let me jump inside with you and I will take you somewhere,” he replied.
This was very risky, but all I wanted was a hit of crack cocaine, so I let him in. He told me where to drive to in Point Road and we stopped outside some dingy lodge. I parked, locked the car and followed him inside. He stopped at reception which was protected by thick steel bars caging the woman working behind. She then opened the steel gate allowing me to follow my new ‘friend’ up the three flights of stairs. I was not feeling comfortable at all, but nothing was going to stop me now. It was dirty, the walls were grimy, the floors were stained and there was a horrible stale odour floating in the air, due to the lack of ventilation. We reached the third floor and walked down the corridor. The dealer reached for the key and unlocked his door. The room was stuffy and had an unmade single bed, a wash-basin in the far right-hand corner, a television set on the wall, and a wooden shelf where he had some clothing. He told me to sit on the bed and he then left the room, not explaining where he was going. He had locked me inside all alone. I was petrified. I wasn’t sure why he had left. Why lock me in? I sat there thinking he might be stealing my car, or perhaps he was fetching other guys to rob me.
I heard the key in the door. It opened and a black female prostitute walked in; the Nigerian dealer locked her inside with me. This was obviously his modus operandi. Knowing that crack makes you extremely horny, he had a side business where he supplied a woman and was hoping I was going to fuck her. My very worst phobia was now locked in a room with me. She was equipped with a crack pipe and took a hit, offered me some and leant forward and spread her legs open so I could see her cunt and told me to touch her.
“Fucking leave me alone,” I screamed at her. “I like boys not girls.” She was so high she wasn’t paying any attention to what I was saying. All she wanted was for me to fuck her so she could get paid and get her next fix of crack. There was no way that was going to happen. I had been locked inside with her for about twenty minutes, when I heard the key unlocking the door again. The Nigerian dealer walked in and looked shocked not to find me on top of his prostitute.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“I’m gay. I like men. Just give me the fucking crack or I’m leaving.” I said.
He reached into his pocket. I gave him R1 500 and he gave me a full block of crack. I ran out of there as fast as I could and jumped into my car, which was still parked outside, to my surprise. I raced home and had to think of an excuse not to stay at home as my parents were living with me now. I walked inside and told my mother that Lardy had invited me to spend the weekend with him. This was believable as he was in mourning and my mother knew I was supporting him. I packed some sex toys, not too many clothes, some toiletries, my laptop and lots of gay porn. I called the Sea Blue Hotel on Durban’s North Beach and booked a room. Stopping at a convenience store on the way, I brought some Goldilocks, lighters and soft drinks. I was now ready to start my relapse.
I drove into the undercover parking, took out my sports bag and all my purchases along the way and went to the reception desk to check in. I had learnt by now to ask for the top floor and a smoking room towards the end of the passage. This meant less traffic passing my room. The worst rooms were the ones by the elevators as they were always noisy. When you smoke crack you can start hallucinating and you don’t want to become paranoid about people trying to get into your hotel room. I was booked into my room of preference on the sixteenth floor right at the end of the corridor. I unlocked the door, went inside and quickly set up my crack paraphernalia. I couldn’t wait to smoke my first hit. What sprang to mind, but didn’t stop me, was what the counsellors had said in rehab about your first hit when you relapse. They said that there is a 50% chance of addicts having a heart attack on their first hit. You are so used to large quantities that the first rock you smoke when relapsing is normally a big one, and as you have not smoked crack in a while, your heart is not used to that shock.
As I sat naked on the edge of the bed, I melted the crack onto the Goldilocks filter. I was shaking from the anticipation of my first hit of crack in five months. As I placed the glass pipe between my lips and held the flame in front of the filter, I dragged the fumes in and could feel all my worries disappear in a single instant. All I was interested in now was sex. I quickly went and showered and douched myself as I was now going to have some fun with my toys. I put some porn on my laptop computer and settled down to smoke crack.
I didn’t even give a thought to how lucky I was not to have had a heart attack from that first hit. So what if I did? My hotel room had a door which led out onto a small balcony with two plastic chairs stacked on top of one another. I stepped outside. It was now around 6 pm. I was quite high from the crack. The Sea Blue Hotel overlooked the old cruising spot from my younger days. I was looking to see how busy it was, as I knew the rent boys now frequented this area, and they would be quite happy to join me if I offered them crack.
As I was overlooking the army base in front of me, I suddenly had the feeling that I could fly like Superman. I thought to myself that I could stand on the railing and throw myself off; then swoop over the army base and come back, landing on the same balcony. For a split second I really thought this was possible, and even looked at the plastic chairs, which I would use to stand on. I suddenly came to my senses and told myself to get back into my hotel room as quickly as possible, which I did, locking the door and closing the curtains. I was now anxious that, had I thought about it any longer, I might just have gone through with it. If I had done so, everyone would have thought that I had taken my life, as they would have found all the drugs in my hotel room and merely come to the conclusion that I had committed suicide. It made me wonder how many people have perhaps not been able to stop themselves and have fallen to their death while everyone just assumes they took their own life.
I was now bored with my own company and decided to take a drive and find a rent boy along the Durban beachfront that was prepared to join me. I knew the risk involved. They were normally guys that had nowhere to stay and lived in the shelters in the city. They would provide sexual favours for drugs. In some cases I questioned whether they were even bisexual or gay. I managed to find a stocky, blond boy that was standing on the side of the road. I pulled over, the roof of my car down.
“Hey there, do you smoke crack?” I asked him.
“Do you want to join me in my hotel room?” I asked.
“Sure, how much you gonna pay me?”
“You can smoke as much crack with me as you want but I won’t pay you any money.” I told him.
He looked at me and then opened the passenger door and jumped in. We drove back to the hotel and I told him to go freshen up and take a shower.
While he was doing that, I prepared another crack pipe for myself and took a hit. I then got one ready for him for when he had finished showering. I was now as horny as hell; he walked through and looked amazing. He had a real solid rugby player’s build and was as cute as a button. He had the white hotel towel wrapped around him. I passed him the crack pipe and the lighter. He sat on the edge of the bed, lit the pipe and proceeded to take his first hit. As he did that I pulled the towel off him, leant forward and proceed to suck his cock. He fell backwards onto the bed and started groaning with pleasure. He just lay there while I pleasured him.
I can’t even remember the names of any of the guys I had over this period. He ended up staying the night and the following day. I was now in full relapse, smoking one block of crack every six hours. Once again I didn’t know what was lying ahead of me. I was just so happy that I no longer had any worries. I wasn’t thinking about my friend Bruce that I had just buried or anything else. All I was interested in was my next hit of crack. But I knew I had to go home eventually, so after the second night I checked out the hotel and went back home. I now felt guilty as the reality started to hit me. I walked inside my house, greeted my parents and went to my bedroom, closed my door and sobbed myself to sleep. I knew I was now back in this devil’s world. I felt so helpless.
All I could now think about was planning my next getaway and what excuses I could use. The next three months I spent weekends at the Sea Blue Hotel. “Spending time with Lardy” seemed to work as an excuse, so I used that most of the time.
I had also visited an ear nose and throat specialist and been diagnosed with sleep apnoea. He prescribed a nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nasal CPAP), a mask that fitted over your face with a pump that you switched on when you were ready to go to bed. But it felt too claustrophobic wearing this breathing mask. My parents were very worried about this problem I had, so I played on their concern and led them to believe that I had to spend five days under observation at the sleep clinic. This was not true at all, but it enabled me get away for longer than a weekend.
I spent three months in relapse and about R200 000 in that period on crack and hotels. Once again I started to look like a drug addict. I had sores all over my body again from scratching at the hallucinations of bugs under my skin. I had lost weight and looked terrible. I knew in the back of my mind that I was not going to get away with this for much longer. Someone close to me was bound to start questioning my behaviour as I was taking lots of time off work, again. I knew I was getting a dividend payout from my business in July, so I stopped paying my home bond and car. I knew I could push them for a few months and then I would get my money from my business. I also owed the dealers I a lot of money money which I was in no position to pay. Once again I was in the shit…
*Extract from Secrets Make You Sick – an autobiography by Durban businessman, Trevor Kleinhans.
**Illustration © Sasan.