The next couple days are going to be shorties because I have a friend here from out of town and I gotta get up at 5 am to go to Disneyland.
One of the things I used to like to do before meth was have parties. None of the other drugs really ever interfered with that. In fact, pot and ecstasy often facilitated the process. I remember getting stoned with one of my best friends in Philly (well, we did that every day so it's kind of hard to forget) and going to see the movie Chocolat. If you are not a recovering drug addict, I highly recommend seeing Chocolat stoned. It was awesome.
[About the song: There's a line in this song that I think describes my relationship with meth perfectly -- thinking it was my savior when it was killing me. "I thought that I was sinking then I found myself afloat. And then I started thinking man that's a whale that ain't no boat."]
[Aside: we're going to call him by his nickname, which he got in a very convoluted and goofy way but never got rid of. He had a friend that he'd known and partied with for years, a straight guy who was a really good tennis player and very into tennis. One night we are at Ray's Bar in South Philly, where the absolute strangest and most interesting characters I've ever met hung out. I wish I hadn't been so stoned all the time so I could remember all the crazy shit they did and said. Anyway, this guy Brian comes in with a whole bunch of tennis swag – t-shirts, headbands, etc. As we're looking through them, my friend picks up a shirt that says PRINCE. “I'd take this if it said PRINCESS.” And off we went on some tangent about his royal lineage. Finally, I just blurted out, “You're not so much a princess as a duchess. The Duchess of Broad Street (where he lived).” And he became the Duchess for then on.]
Anyway, the Duchess and I got baked and went to see Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche in what probably was the mother of what we now call food porn. It was a complete feast. Everything looked amazing. And really I thought I could taste it, so it was delicious as well.
Afterward, we had the brainstorm that became my friends' favorite reason to come to my apartment every year – The Chocolate Party (aka Chocolate Fest, aka Chocofest depending on my mood). Everything was chocolate (or made with chocolate as an ingredient). And not just desserts. I made roast duck with a Godiva liqueur and Chambord glaze. People brought Molé and Chili made with chocolate. One year I made coq au vin with unsweetened chocolate. It was pretty extravagant. Usually there was more food than could ever be eaten, but no one ever complained.
The last year The Chocolate Party actually happened was 2005. I literally was awake cooking for five straight days and still I didn't actually ever get out of the kitchen till the party was over. Cooking on crystal is a nightmare. You have to remember things and pay attention. It was hell. Add to that, I asked Schmoo to have the walls painted (he had splattered test spots all over) by Thursday so that it would be dry and not toxic by Sunday. At 2:15 pm on Sunday, 15 minutes after the party officially started, I finally made him stop and put the shit away. I have no idea how we pulled it off.
What was even crazier was that I thought I was going to do it again the next year. But a week before it was supposed to happen (the invite had been sent, people responded), I realized that I had barely spoken to any of those people in a year. And for good reason. I was busy dealing and doing meth. I had no time for anyone in my life that prevented me from doing that. Almost immediately upon having the thought, I got on the computer and canceled the party. No explanation. I vaguely remember that I said I would reschedule it soon, but I knew I never would.
I knew I never would because in my mind, these people were no longer my friends. These people who had been my whole life for years were just not even worth an explanation for why I wanted nothing to do with them anymore. And that was that. Other than my family and one friend who seemed to always be the person the cab driver called when I left my phone in the cab again, it was pretty much dead silence. Well, and the friends that did meth. I obviously kept in touch with them. That was March of 2006. I didn't resurface until probably October or November 2007 for most people. That's an awfully long time to just vanish.
And here's the part that blows my mind. Almost without exception, these people let me back in their lives. I really never expected anyone to forgive me. I didn't really think I deserved it. I was a total prick. But it didn't matter. They not only welcomed me back, but many of them have helped me and supported me as I've gotten my life back together. I didn't realize until all this happened that in my entire life I never thought anyone loved me unconditionally. I just assumed that I had to earn it and if I didn't, it would be gone. But just like everything else I told myself before, that was a lie.
So this is my public thank you to every one of you that has come back into my life. You've given me things you don't even know you gave me. You make it that much easier for me to stay sober and to believe I'm worth loving. Recently I've started saying something (I say it jokingly, but I really believe it) that I would have never even considered before. It is: I must be awesome, because so many awesome people love me. I love you all right back.