Tweaker Confessionsby Bianca Fernandes / 20.09.2010
Who’d have thought after 18 years searching for happiness, I’d find it on the lid of a gritty Gandalf’s toilet? In a neatly lined up pile of crystal meth, speed indeed.
I’d wanted to be “an adventurer” since seeing The Muppets Treasure Island as a kid and became a kind of junkie Jim Hawkins, talking to hallucinated puppets, snorting up the contents of a little see-through treasure chest in my back pocket.
A line or two and social insecurities that alcohol couldn’t fix were demolished. No more awkwardness or fear. Just (im)pure focus. The need to be grown up was perversely achieved by my new self-designation: drug user. Being-an-addict. A succumber to experiences nothing legal could apparently offer me.
Escaping cookie cutter suburban life. Being bad enough to get attention from everyone who had ignored the “normal” me. Acting on a craving to throw all privilege gave me (education, spending money, leather jackets) back in it’s face and shout ‘look at me now, you don’t control me anymore’.
My coming-of-age story is a drug story. It feels like it’s the best story I’ve got. Or the only one so far. But life is long. We’ll see. Looking back, at 19, as a clear-headed, therapy-washed version of an ex-tweaker, the best thing about drugs, besides the bliss of a high and the molten loss of control, the best thing it gave me, was loosing my socially instilled materialism. All that shit.
Goods mean nothing. Fashion, technology, health, news. All the touchstones of consumption – it all means nothing when you’re addicted. You see right through the blare of promotion. The injunction to consume. There’s only one product you’re interested in. Your fix. It’s a brilliant paring down: addiction. Reducing desire to a fatal, futile singularity.
Most of the time you mean nothing to yourself. You disappear. A raggedy assed flesh puppet loving one thing so much everything else fades away. No responsibility but your need. It’s an empty sort of ultra freedom I’ve never experienced again. The thrill of it only doubling the trap you’re in. A fever that holds on for the rest of your life.
The night I met a dealer my heart was set. A bankie of browny mush in my hand and no idea what to do with it. Weed wasn’t mending my broken heart over a love lost – so fuck it. Booze wasn’t working either. It was chemical time and I knew it.
‘Just 3 times’, I told myself. The holy trinity. Try it thrice. That won’t hurt. I’m too strong minded to get into drugs. Much like sex, the first time sucked. The second time was so much better and by the 3rd time, when mushy brown heroin became powdery white crystals, I was in love.
Weekend users become more regular users within a month. 2 trips a week into dirty Obs drug land turns into daily stops. It’s a drug life and it’s fantastic while it’s on your side – but when things fall apart, they fall fast and after sleepless weeks and an empty bank account, you’re left with the ashes of your former life and a gaping hole in your soul.
When you’re awake for days, running on nothing but meth and the odd glass of water, things slow down. A drop from a tap takes an hour to fall. Everything is staggered by slow-motion timing. Underwater perception. Drone reveries. Colour blurs, skin tingles and burns. Suddenly you’re Haley Joel Osment seeing people that don’t exist. Dead cats on the dancefloor. Familiar voices on the wind. Creepy shit. Everyday life turns gothic. Poe meets Lovecraft at the supermarket. You can’t keep it together. Weirdness spills all over you.
You know you’re going crazy. You know you’re lost when it takes crystal lines and beer just to meet the sun. But that’s done. Or it goes on not happening. So far. I’m back to me. Fuck the Muppets.