Fiction: The State of Perpetual Loving
Stacey wasn’t a bad person. No, she was a kind person at heart, or at least according to her second-grade teacher, but that had been twenty years ago. She just happened to be addicted to meth. It wasn’t her fault really, a joint or two, then some cocaine, and then suddenly she was a poster child for the methamphetamine epidemic ravaging the continent. But meth could make some good people do some really bad things. She also loved her boyfriend. She really did, and there was a very good reason for why he was tied to that bed.
Stacey met Marcus at a narcotics support group during winter, and it was far from love at first sight. Both of them were relapsing every few weeks, and had the gaunt look of two speed addicts: sunken eyes, swollen gums, and stinking breath. But both of them were trying, and saw each other more than they saw anyone else. They took their relationship slow to start, both of them aware of issues faced by addicts. And then, a few months after they first met, Marcus asked Stacey if she wanted to be his girlfriend, now that they were both a month sober.
In the spring, they started renting a basement unit in the Annex distancing themselves as far as possible from where they had come. It was a good thing they had each other really, because neither would have been able to afford rent alone. Plus, this way they split up the chores, and cooking was really better for two than it was for one. The world was really made for cohabitation. He worked as a bartender at The Fifth, and she as a salesperson for the Aritzia on Queen. They made enough together to start putting together an emergency fund, and when they finished with that, for dinners out. They started looking healthier, paying for exercise classes, and feeling good about themselves. Eventually, they reconnected with what friends and family they had left outside of the party community.
Stacey remembered the exact moment when it started going downhill again. That day, it was her birthday. Marcus took the evening off work and picked her up afterwards, heading to a dimly lit tapas restaurant on Queen West that served small portions of food at ridiculous prices. The only thing that was more expensive were the drinks. Then, they slowly walked back home, holding hands as they made their way through warm summer night. It was the perfect evening, and then they had the most fantastic sex that Stacey had in a long time. Afterwards, Marcus asked Stacey if she had a good night. She replied that it was the best night that she had ever had, but when she held him, he felt a bit rigid. So, they had sex again.
Marcus was always worried that that he wasn’t doing enough in the bedroom, even though Stacey was happy with everything he did. She was aware that he was insecure, but there was little that she could do, because they both knew very well what sex on meth was like: so incredible that it was often the very reason that people took meth. The sex would last for hours, for days even, and the feelings of connection were unparalleled by anything else. Though Stacey was sober and no longer physically craved meth, she would often think back about her time on it. Despite this, it came as a complete shock to her when Marcus admitted to her a few days later that he was using again.
He claimed that he had it under control, that he found a dealer who sold pure stuff which he microdosed. He claimed that he didn’t feel high, that all it did was increase his sexual stamina. But most of all, he claimed that it was for her. She was disappointed that he lied to her and broke their promise. She was disappointed that he tried passing his relapse off as something that she drove him to do. But most of all, she was disappointed that she found the sex of the last few days to be the best sex she ever had with Marcus, and it was only getting better. But she loved Marcus. So she stayed with him.
She watched him take meth, gradually increasing his carefully dosage. She watched him continue to work without any issues, and they continued to have fantastic sex. Even though Marcus as the only one taking meth, the sex became better for Stacey as well. Marcus was a high-functioning meth addict, experienced with his demons, but his demons eventually wore him down. His work started calling about missing shifts. His arms became pincushions dotted with black spots. His crown-capped teeth started wearing down again. During Halloween, people thought he had dressed up as a zombie. But the sex was still the best thing that Stacey ever had sober.
She had to say something. It was perhaps far too late at that point in time, but she still had to say something. Stacey remembered that it was the first big snow of the year, a big flakes of snow whirling around outside like someone had cut up a pillow. Marus was strangely receptive to what she had to say, listening in silence and nodding on occasion. Then he said, “I will really need your support to get through this Stacey.”
Of course she agreed. Who wouldn’t? But she didn’t know the amount of work that it would entail. She had forgotten how strong addiction was. Meth had taken over Marcus and changed him into something else. She would constantly find him using: at work, at home, and even on the streets. Eventually, word had gotten around and there wasn’t a single bar left in the area that would hire him. She had no option but to pick up more shifts, and work harder. But still the sex was good. In fact, Marcus claimed that it was the only good thing in his life besides meth. It could provide a small distraction, and he didn’t think about meth as much when they were having sex.
And this brings us to January, and the very good reason Marcus was still tied to the bedframe, a dime bag of meth on the nightstand. Of course, Stacey didn’t tie him down to the bed to keep feeding him meth and having sex with him. That would be the pinnacle of evil. No, Stacey just needed to slowly wean him off of the stuff, and distract him a little from his withdrawal symptoms. She was taking care of him after all, working two jobs to buy him food and meth. Having sex with her whenever she wanted was the least he could contribute.