My desk is just a clutterfuck right now. I still have piles of documents from my old office mixed in with paper credit card bills I’ve been meaning to stack away; the IRA rollover forms I have to submit and tax papers I should be attending to. There’s also my old IPOD and sticky notes filled with names, numbers, IM handles and email addresses of countless notables and forgettables. (Finance and management books I hauled away from college which are bookended on the corner seem like the only ones in any semblance of order.) If I spilled my coffee on this desk right now, then it would be like (french roast) lava running over villages of paper. I wish I were a lot like other homos who have this compulsion to organize. I mean I am basically a neatfreak, (I get bent out of shape when I see dustballs on my [pre-war] wood parquet floor and I think the Swiffer is god’s gift to people everywhere with parquet flooring.) But is there such a thing as selective OCD? I wipe my kitchen clean every night and scrub the tub of mildew like there was no tomorrow every time but I think the compulsion ends at my desk. (I’m pretty sure the computer has something to do with it. My compulsion displaces itself onto multimedia. Putzing around online seems more cleansing than cleaning though. Maybe if my PDA were charged in the kitchen, then things would be a lot different. Hmmm…) Then again, wishing that I had compulsions similar to other homos could be misleading. OCD may not be such a bad thing (unless you’re dating someone with a severe case which has happened to me) but there are a lot of other compulsions out there that I’m happy not to be subject to.

I saw Rock Bottom last night at the Quad. This is a docu that follows the lives of 7 gay NYers who are addicted to crystal meth. There is an ex-porn star, a current porn star, a web designer, an HR executive and a caterer. Their backgrounds run from whitebread professional to black blue-collar to twink hustler. But no matter how disparate their backgrounds are, they all share the same destructive and fatal crystal meth obsession. Apparently, the given reason for this addiction is that primal desire for the ecstasy of unobstructed and unadulterated sex. I learned that crystal meth allows you more than 12 hours of non-stop sex. But more than the time, it is the state in which they do it that matters. Instruments for altered states like alcohol and pot break down ego barriers and diminish inhibitions leading to a more free-spirited interrelation. Meth does more than unleash the free-spirited; it ends up being free-wheeling (and, apparently, also always unsafe.) A lot (if not all) of these men are HIV-positive and indulging in meth affords them an underground by which they forget their disease (including the stigma attached to it) and only remember the pleasure of sex pre-infection. But, as always, sex and objects of addiction including meth are never acts isolated in time and space. They are consequential in a continuum and the effects narrated in the docu are disastrous and ultimately fatal. They are fired from their jobs; get others sick and themselves even sicker; go even deeper into the hole of alienation that they have dug for themselves. (I can’t forget the story of one of the interviewed wherein he would go to bathhouses while on meth and get blown by a lot of other men on the same state even though his dick was then oozing green gonorrheic pus.) One of the men interviewed even dies in the course of the filming due to complications from drug overdose and disease.

I was actualy surprised to find someone I know of in the film. I recognized Ben, the ex-porn star’s (now former) bf. I had met him during one of the parties in my Fire Island house 2 years ago. It really was an unremarkable encounter since he was quite quiet and aloof. Henry, my friend whom I saw the movie with, and I were caught off-guard when he started opening up about his relationship with CJ, the ex-porn star meth addict. He recounted how he would be tolerant during CJ’s many instances of physical abuse through the course of their relationship owing to the latter’s meth intake. CJ had hit him in the face one time (while he was driving) and he was understanding enough of the moment by blaming the drug and not the user. (I always believe that the drug does not take itself; there needs to be a user who is basically and ultimately responsible for the choice.) I didn’t know what was sadder; his crystal-stoked bf hitting him in the face or himself sober putting up with it. I’d like to think it was because of love but I can’t convince myself of such. I think he was just turning a blind eye to the reality of abuse because that need to be with someone and that fear of not being with anyone outweighed the reasonable and, needless to say, available option of being alone (and healthy and happy) yet not lonely.

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the problem is basically that human condition in an overbearing sense of loneliness. I distinctly remember the web designer’s narration of one of his sexual experiences while on meth. His fuckbuddy who was also on meth was smoking and chatting endlessly about his mother on one end of the bed while he lay on the other end, whacking himself off and saying nothing. He described the scene as a state of two hells on the same plane, where even though they are on the same bed they lie worlds apart and, yet, somehow are able to foolishly give themselves the comfortable illusion of being together. They want to be with and yet are unable to offer nothing more than a zombie version of themselves to the other. It is a cycle of regression into irredeemable isolation and, ultimately, death, both metaphorical and physical..

But it doesn’t have to end in death. Hope can and must always have the final word which is the sentiment of Eric’s mother shown in the docu’s end. Eric, one of the meth addicts featured, comes clean and celebrates Christmas sober for the first time in so many years. His mother and family welcome him with open arms and shower him with love. Sober and sensible enough, he breaks down in tears and in recognition of the warmth around him. Meth-free, he is able to respond back in love, pure and powerful.

I know that no one wants to be lonely. I believe that no one should be alone. Yet, it is how we search for company that defines the human from the inhuman. It is how we treat our own selves as well as who we find that separates the dammed from the loved.

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