I’m From Fort Worth, TX.

by Francisco Gonzalez

Satellite overhead image of Texas from Google Earth 2022

In the gay world you come across so much drugs. Pot is pretty much common place wherever you go. Some harder ones might even be pretty easy to come by in other circles. But I’ve never seen meth so common as among gay men.

They always ask. Do you parTy? Are you friends with Tina? Do you like ice cream? I’m not entirely above it. If only I could have “just said no” a few more times. Been one of the few who managed to keep my life in order and never have fallen into that trap.

But I’m smarter than some of them. I’ve avoided letting it become my life. I’ve been able to turn my back from it. But meeting him, I just couldn’t say no.

Everyone warns about dating an addict. Twelve steps away from sanity. When he tells you you’re his number one priority, then uses his addiction as an excuse for every time you’re not, you wonder what made you think he was telling you the truth with those honest eyes and that face that keeps his secrets so well.

Of course, you’re not allowed your own secrets. He doesn’t trust a single phone call or conversation made with anyone except for himself. You can cover yourself so well, put on a brave front, endure as long as you can, because he tells you he worships you. You want this one to last, because he seems so sure that you’re the one. Moreso than all the other guys. Because he has that passion. That craving that all addicts know so well. He knows that he wants you, and shows it only so well.

And you ask him to stop. Of course he’s more than willing, because, as you try to remind him, you’re his number one priority. You’re more important than the drugs. He never tried to change for anyone else, because he never cared. And no one else ever cared about him enough to try. But you care, and you show that you care, and he sees it. So he’ll change for you.

And every slip, every time he backslides, every time he goes back to it, he’s trying. You don’t know what it’s like to be an addict. You don’t know what he’s going through. Even though you’ve seen it before. You saw your father or your best friend in high school. You’ve experienced it yourself occasionally. Sure, you were never in their shoes, and you never got so bad into it as they are. He makes it seem like you have no authority on the subject. He makes it seem like you’re the asshole for not wanting to come second anymore.

He makes it seem like it’s <i>your</i> choice for wanting to leave.

So you pick your words carefully, and try and keep calm, but you’ve always been hot-tempered and can’t control it like he wants you to.

“How ’bout a little sympathy? I’m an addict!” he says, and expects that to excuse him.

You’re not the type to make ultimatums and you tell him so. But how many times can you be expected to put up with this?

“If you choose that over me one more time, I’m not sticking around,” you explain. “That’s not an ultimatum. That’s just how it’s going to happen.”

So he says he’ll stop. And it was the last time, when it last happened. But he makes these little excuses every time he does it after that. He explains how he didn’t choose it over you. He was out anyway and it’s not like it ate into any of your time together.

And he asks you, now. “Is it OK if. . . ?” As if it’s up to you. As if when you tell him “No,” he doesn’t think about you with contempt. He tells you he’s sick of you telling him what to do and all your little rules.

“I have two rules,” you tell him. “Don’t lie to me and don’t choose it over me.”
“You always tell me what to do!”
“You ask my permission!” As if he expects you to give it to him. You’re going to make this exception for him every time he asks, because at least he’s being honest.

“You can do what you want. Go out and smoke. Sell your dope. Make your money ‘tonight, only.’ Just don’t come home afterwards.”

He sighs, exasperated. Defeated. And somehow it’s your fault, because you’re controlling and manipulative. He’s giving up “so much” for you (and he lists it all off). He doesn’t mention the things he doesn’t like you to do, that you don’t do anymore, because it upsets him.

But why should he? He doesn’t know what you’re feeling, just like you must not know what he feels.

“They say they found the chemical in the brain that makes addicts addicts.” He says it, because it’s supposed to excuse his behavior; it’s supposed to help you understand.

He ignores your chemical imbalance. He mentions all the things that he does for you and claims that you do nothing for him.

And maybe you don’t. But maybe with all those things that he does for you, you still feel like you’re getting the short end, here. That’s selfish, you’re sure. You feel guilty, and angry at him for making you feel this way. You wait it out. You see that he’s fighting, and maybe it’ll get better. You stick around to see if it does.

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