An Overdose

Some know basic details, few know the full story. It’s hard to explain what happened to me on that night. There are two perspectives of the story: One from my point of view and one from my friend Cheryl. Cheryl’s perspective paints the fuller picture but for personal reasons I am not going to write from her perspective because I find it too disturbing. So, as confusing as telling the story from my perspective will be, you’ll be able to enjoy the confusion I felt as it was happening.

I had relapsed back into my addiction with crystal meth, though it’s hard to say whether that played a part in my overdose or not. See, I technically didn’t overdose on crystal meth. It was on a drug that used to be legal in Australia two years ago, a drug that is still legal in Canada:

Synthetic weed.

Cheryl and I had just arrived to her house after watching a concert. I had a couple glasses of wine at the concert and I was keen to get stoned. She grabbed the bong and told me where to find the marijuana – it was in the coffee table drawer. The drawer was filled with all kinds of things; papers for rolling, lighters, small trinkets. In the back of the drawer I found a little bag of what I presumed to be weed. I brought the baggie to my nose and inhaled; it had an odd, chemical-like smell. I didn’t think much of it.

We went out onto her balcony and I sat on a chair opposite Cheryl. I packed a bowl for myself, sparked the lighter, and finished the cone in one giant hit. It tasted like bleach and I thought of how weird that was. It was hardly a few seconds before I felt something was wrong. I remember saying to my friend, “This is really strong.” She chuckled. But right after I said it I thought, this isn’t strong, this is really bad. Something is really wrong. I tried to scream for help but nothing came out of my mouth, instead Cheryl slowly blurred out of my vision. Everything went black.

The next part is hard to describe and I can hardly understand what happened myself, but after everything went black I still knew what was going on. I couldn’t feel anything, see anything, smell anything – all my senses were switched off and I was all alone in my own head. I seemed to be in my head for a while, wondering why everything went black, wondering why I was unable to feel anything. Was I dead?

Suddenly a flash – my vision was blindingly white. I could hear a familiar voice say, “He’s going to throw up.” I felt like I was spinning around in a dryer. Something was rammed down my throat and my whole body wretched. Everything went black again.

After an unspecified time of total darkness a white speck appeared in my vision. It was so tiny I hardly noticed it at first. The appearance of the speck was accompanied by a high pitched sound that sounded like the dial tone of a telephone, just at a higher frequency. The dot started moving in slow spirals. The movement of the dot caused the noise to grow louder. The dot started moving faster and faster and the noise began to get louder and louder. It was hell. I was sure of it. I was in hell. The noise became so loud I couldn’t even bare it anymore. It was splitting my mind apart. I was being ripped to shreds because of it.

I thought it couldn’t get any worse until a second dot appeared, this time accompanied by another high pitched wail. The old speck started to vanish but the noise it made remained at the splintering frequency. This new dot started spinning like the first, it’s noise also getting louder. Now I heard two different frequencies that were so unbearable I wanted to die. I actually was wishing for death. I’m not being dramatic or overreacting, the sensation was so powerful that I was hoping it was the prelude to death. I only wished for silence.

The sequence repeated with a third dot. And with a fourth. And with a fifth, and a sixth, a seventh, an eighth, ninth, tenth, twentieth, fiftieth… it seemed never ending. I was lost in eternity with a hundred different frequencies that looped over themselves.

But then there was silence. There was darkness. I was relieved. Maybe now I was dead.

The first sense to come back to me was my hearing. I heard a bunch of voices, one of whom seemed to be yelling at me but the words were muffled.

Next I was able to feel. I couldn’t move my arms. What the fuck is wrong with my arms?

I was underwater. I’m drowning, I’m fucking drowning. Air wasn’t passing through my oesophagus.

What is that fucking noise?

It sounded robotic.

Suddenly, I could see light. It was so white.

Someone was still yelling but the words didn’t make sense to me. I thought I heard a female voice yell, “Breathe Cody! Keep breathing!”

How can I breathe when I’m underwater?

I tried to move my arms again but I was still unable to move them. I felt claustrophobic and started to move my body around violently.

“Stay still, Cody!” The voice said, “And remember to breathe…. BREATHE!”

I was holding my breath. The voice got closer but I could only see white light. The voice said, “Cody, I know it feels weird, but you need to breathe. You have a breathing apparatus on which is why it feels weird.”

Something was ripped from my face and I could suddenly see blurry figures. A woman was bent over close to my face and she said, “Hey Cody, did you hear me? You have a breathing apparatus on and I need you to breathe. You need to inflate your lungs and deflate them. It’s weird because you can’t feel the air but I assure you everything is fine.”

My head hurt so much and her words took a long time to make sense. I stopped holding my breath and I could feel my lungs expand even though air wasn’t passing through my mouth.

I realised then that my mouth felt like it was pried open. I could feel something down my throat.

The blurry figures were slowly coming into focus. I tired to lift my head but the woman said firmly, “Don’t move your head.”

I tried to yell at her but something was pressing my tongue to the floor of my mouth.

I finally understood why I couldn’t move my arms; they were tied up. I started to panic again and began to pull at my restraints. Tears rolled down my cheeks. The woman said to me, “Cody, don’t pull at the ties. We had to restrain you because you kept ripping out your IV’s during your seizures.”

My seizures? What seizures?

The woman continued, “I’m gonna untie you now though, but please don’t move around. Can you do that for me?”

I obviously couldn’t answer her but I stopped struggling.

“Ok I’m going to untie you now.”

As soon as my one hand was free I brought it up to my face, ignoring what the woman said. A large apparatus protruded from my mouth, it felt plastic. The woman grabbed my hand and said, “We will remove the breathing apparatus soon, but please keep your arms by your side.” I put my arm back down. My vision was coming into focus and I could see that she was in a nurse uniform. The nurse untied my other hand. There were two other people standing around me as well: one looked like a man and the other was definitely a woman.

“Cody, we will remove your breathing apparatus now. We just need you to hold still please.”

Someone unclipped something close to my face. I felt a pressure being relieved around my mouth.

“Ok, we are going to remove the tube now. It’s going to feel really uncomfortable so please don’t struggle. Ok, removing it now.”

I could feel something rip up from inside my body right out of my throat. It scratched as it rose and made me unable to breathe for a second. I coughed as air passed through my mouth for the first time. I was catching my breath and trying to speak, my voice was weak and hoarse, but I managed to say, “Where am I?”

The one nurse got close to my face and said, “You’re in the hospital. You had some seizures and are coming out of a medically induced coma.”

I was too fuzzy to even try to make sense of what she was saying. I lifted my head slowly and saw three IV’s coming out of my left arm, two coming out of my right.

I noticed I had two hoses going up my nose as well and I realised there was something snaking up my leg and right to my… FUCK! I thought, NO NO NO NO! It was a catheter.

I slowly drifted from being fuzzy to slightly less fuzzy. I was exhausted. I wondered where my friend Cheryl was. The nurses were trying to get my medical insurance details from me but I was hardly in the mood for formalities and didn’t know where my insurance card was.

The nurse handed me a phone, it was Cheryl on the line. She said, “I’m so sorry, Cody. I had to go to work and I thought that Shane” – another friend of mine – “would be there when you woke up. I’m so sorry.” She offered to go to my house after her work and look for my insurance card. I understood why Cheryl was unable to stay, she had a very prestigious job. She’s an amazing friend for keeping me well until the ambulance arrived when I first started having the seizures. I love her to bits.

Shane arrived not long after the phone call and sat with me all day. He’s the greatest friend I could ask for.

Aldo brought me flowers and came to see me even though he was hungover. He’s so special to me it’s insane.

My friend Kathleen brought me underwear (I woke up naked and in a diaper for gods sake! They had to cut all the clothes off me in the ambulance.) She’s like my fairy godmother.

I was visited by another friend and he brought me some soul food… McDonalds. It was awesome. There was a couple other’s as well who came and I am so happy they did.

The doctor came when all my friends were by my side and officially explained what had happened. He said I had about sixteen seizures in a row and was placed into a medically induced coma to stop them. When I arrived to the hospital in the ambulance I had stopped breathing and was a code red (I can’t remember what the code was actually called but lets just say it was ‘red’), which meant that all the doctors in ICU had to stop what they were doing immediately and come help me. All up I had eight doctors trying to save my life. I thank them for their work.

When I heard the story from Cheryl’s perspective I was deeply disturbed. What happened during my seizures is something I never would want to witness myself and I am deeply thankful to Cheryl for keeping her composure.

I am thankful every day for the friends who came to see me after I woke out of the coma. They’ve always been like family to me and I keep them close to my heart always.

I am now predisposed to have seizures. Because I am more susceptible I have a blacklist of things I’m not allowed to do to my brain; including taking crystal meth. So in a way, my overdose on synthetics saved my life. I’ve been free from crystal meth for a year and a half now.

The first day I was discharged from hospital I was with Cheryl and we went to this market that was outside in the parking lot. In the market I saw two earrings: A bird and an elephant. I bought them and wore them for a year and a half. I thought of them as my ‘healing earrings’. This weekend I took them out for the first time and replaced them with two new earrings: A peace symbol and a diamond.

May I never overdose again.

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The Sickness 

I’m laying in bed with the man that I really like. We’re in Sydney, and to be brash we just had sex. We aren’t cuddling but he’s laying next to me and the sides of our arms are touching as we both lay on our backs. He’s asleep – or at least I think he is because his eyes are closed and his breathing is heavy. His barrel chest slowly moves up and down. I like the sound of him breathing, it’s deep and powerful. It makes me feel safe. 

The power of infatuation is the spell I’m under. In this time of my life I need a protector, someone I can confide in. Someone who likes me despite the lifestyle I have warped myself in. 

Sex for me doesn’t come easy. It’s not because I’m bad at it, it’s because it comes with baggage. Being a prostitute skews my view of sex and it’s hard to detach work from life. Some nights I spend with him are easy – my problems slide from view and I just live in the moment. Other nights his touch feels unfamiliar. His face unreachable. A haze hangs over our encounter and it’s like I’m watching us lay in bed from a distance. I forget who I am and it’s hard for me not to get and up and run away. 

He doesn’t know this double side of me. I’ve mentioned to him that sometimes it’s hard to seperate work from personal life but I don’t feel like he understands the depth of it. 

I can feel a layer of sweat build between our arms that are touching. It feels really hot in this room. I can feel the heat radiating off of him and it’s starting to give me anxiety. He rolls over facing me and puts his arm around me. I know he’s asleep for sure now because his eyes are still closed and I can hear a very subtle snore. 

His arm feels like a vice. It’s just resting on top of my chest but I feel like it weighs a thousand pounds. The panic and anxiety start to overcome me. I feel him vanishing in the distance and my head clouds with memories I have tried many nights to drink away. 

His arm isn’t a vice anymore, it’s a grater. I feel like the tiny movements of his arm across my chest as he breathes are slowly taking away my skin. I can feel his breath on my neck and it makes me feel like I’m being burned. I want to run. I can’t handle this. I roll over so he stops touching me but he pulls me into a spooning position and I want to scream. My temples are pulsing from my fast heart beat and I try and control my breathing. I try and lay still as to not wake him up. 

I fucking hate this. 

I fucking hate myself. 

I’m a disgusting human being. 

I don’t deserve this. 

I lay awake until morning. His alarm goes off at 7am to remind him to get ready for work. He kisses me good morning and I feel sick. I try my best to make small talk but all I want to do is get out of there. 

I want to be alone. 
I’m sick in the brain. 
Help me. 

Help me. 

The Gold Pendant 

I am sitting in Venice inside an apartment with a view of one of the many canals below me. I can hear the locals speaking Italian on the busy sidewalks that skirt the edge of the water below. A slight breeze blows through an open window, a ray of sunlight shines upon a bookshelf on my left. Roger, a man I frequently care give for, is out on the upstairs veranda making conversation with his company that has come from Amsterdam for work. I can also hear them talking softly. 
Our itinerary on this trip hasn’t been too unusual, our plan is to go to Amsterdam, Prague, Venice and London. Our trip is halfway done, hence why we are currently in Venice. Amsterdam was too busy, and Prague was too unfamiliar, and that is why my secret mission is to be completed here in Venice.

I get out of my chair and lean outside the open window, looking three stories down to the water below me. The water today is a beautiful blue hue, not the muddy colour it usually is. I lean as far out as I dare, my hands grabbing both sides of the window sill to keep my balance. I have a thought about jumping. Jumping far far down into the water where I can sink to the bottom and rest there for eternity. I imagine the water is concrete – If it were and I had jumped I imagined the feeling of free fall before the feeling of nothing, my body left in a squashed mess for someone to come and clean up. 
 

I decide that this is the perfect spot. 

I run to my suitcase and dig through it until I feel a small round object. I pull it out; it’s a round pendant made of gold. The pendant itself is meaningless to me, a token a mother gave to me in some form of apology. It’s what was inside the pendant that is most important. 
I run back to the window with the pendant in my hand. I feel it’s size between my fingers, the smooth roundness of it and it’s familiarity as I’ve had it in my possession for a year now. I had thought once of breaking it open and taking its contents out as there was never a need to keep what was inside contained. It needed to be free. 
I hold the pendant out of the window. I look to make sure no one is watching. The coast is clear, and with one small toss I watch the pendant fall three stories and splash into the water. I smile at what I have done. He’s free. He’s finally free. What better way to lay my friends ashes to rest then by throwing them into the bowels of a city that will also disappear one day? This city will sink into oblivion, way down into the depths where the mud sits and gold pendants rest. 

An Ode to Whistler: I should be dead.

I always knew this time would come, I just never knew when or in what way. It’s time for me to say goodbye to Whistler and say; thanks for almost killing me.

Never in my life have I stood on the precipice of death and laughed. I mean that literally. Figuratively I’ve stood on the precipice many times and laughed until I cried, but Whistler provided the unreal opportunity to really be slamming on death’s door.

It was the first time I’ve ever skied in the glades. My friend insisted that my 186 cm long skis would be fine for navigating through trees and I stupidly and naively believed him. I was doing horribly. I pizza’d my way through the glades like a retarded 5 year old while my friend effortlessly manoeuvred and sped his way through on his snowboard. The pizza technique was hardly working and I continued to build speed. My friend had stopped up ahead and I came at him like a rampaging animal before I noticed he was stopped at the edge off a small cliff. I wanted to stop but just screamed ‘OH SHIT’ instead as I plopped over the side head first. Luckily the powder was deep, so when I landed on my neck and continued ricocheting off small rocks it wasn’t that painful. My friend looked mortified as he jumped off the cliff after me, determined to stop my limp body. And yes, I was completely limp. In the face of death my body went into rag-doll mode and I didn’t even try to stop myself from sliding down. I couldn’t feel anything. All my brain could think of when I was tumbling down was the Whistler newsletter headlines: Gay Boy Tumbles Off Cliff And Dies. It would be my last claim to fame. Luckily the whole ordeal was less dramatic than I make it seem, the powder slowly built up around my head and stopped me from sliding down further. I lay motionless for a few seconds, mentally scanning my body for injuries. When I realised nothing was broken I burst out laughing. I was unable to get up because of the way I was laying, so I stayed there and laughed for what seemed to be ages before my friend caught up to me.

This has been my whole whistler experience. I’ve fallen off cliffs (twice), I got a major concussion from stupidly not wearing a helmet, I got a second concussion, I suffered through bronchitis, the flu, throwing up in garbage cans at work from bad hangovers. I’ve fallen off stripper poles, cut my lip from the sharp edges of a snowboard, been trapped in a gondola because of a bear.

Whistler has been life on the edge, and I’ll never experience anything like it ever again.

Mainly it’s been the people that made Whistler a memorable experience. The friends I have made here have been the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. Sure, they have also been the ones to influence me to take that one last drink on a night out that gets me (almost) kicked out of a club called Maxx Fish (Technically they did kick me out but I came crawling back in like a cockroach when they weren’t looking). They’ve been the ones to convince me that drinking 5 jugs of beer the night before bungee jumping is a good idea, or the ones to cheer me on as I funnel an entire bottle of red wine (please don’t ever try it, I actually almost died. But it didn’t stop me from funnelling an entire bottle of Fireball on a seperate occasion. Or funnelling half a bottle of Okanagan peach cider either. Please don’t. Just don’t.).

As you probably guessed, a lot of my fondest memories are fuzzy from a night on the drink. But that’s Whistler life. You really haven’t experienced Whistler until you drunkenly walk up a ski hill at 3 am comforting a crying friend in between throw-ups yelling ‘You’re beautiful! *throw up* Any guy would want you! *throw up*’.

I’ve done many things since I’ve been here. I’ve tried to get recognition as Whistler’s only drag queen (my drag is atrocious but borderline ok when you have no competition). I’ve learned to snowboard so that I can finally be that guy that can say snootily, “I ski AND snowboard.” I’ve zip-lined, hiked, camped, bobsledded, paddle-boarded, sat in a dingy down a river, and more.

Working for Whistler was a pain made better by the people I worked with. Every day I would go to work happy to see all my friends, less happy to deal with stupid customers. Believe me, the customers were stupid. Full on stupid. I was working as a rental tech (someone who sets people up with their ski equipment) and the amount of times I would measure someones feet but they insist that the boot I give them is too small and make me go up three sizes larger is unfathomable. Don’t try and fight me on it bitch I’ve been trained 2 weeks for this!

Living on the poverty line was hard. Mr. Noodles and I became close acquaintances. It didn’t help that I spent most of my money on alcohol but I will never regret that for one second.

I’ve seen some bizarre shit as well. I’ve watched a girl piss on a bathroom floor, a girl took a shit in front of me once, I’ve seen people skiing naked. Once I saw a friend fall down an entire set of concrete stairs. I’ve drunkenly played bumper-cars with laundry carts in a hotel parkade. I got my drink drugged once and watched the trees melt upwards and everything I looked at was shades of red.

This place will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve come so far from who I was before to who I am now. I feel more energised about life. Feel more positive about things. And it’s really cool to be around people who just don’t give a fuck about who you are. We all came here for the same reasons: to have fun and make friends. I feel like I’ve accomplished that and more.

Every person here has affected me in brilliant ways. It didn’t matter if it was a best friend or someone I met drunk at a bar once, everyone had a story to tell and piece of their story will stay with me forever.

I know an ode is supposed to be a poem, but I can’t put all of this into poetic words. The entire experience was poetic and I am unable to capture that in any significant way. The best way I can are with these words I have put in writing here.

A piece of Whistler will always be a part of me wherever I go. I may leave, but it will never be forgotten.

I’ll send it into the next life,
Cody Oak.

The Truth: A Reflection/New Beginnings

It’s hard not to dwell on the past. Moving forward consistently feels like one step forward, two steps back. I ended The Truth because reflecting on the past was draining. It takes every fiber in my body to put words on a page about things I have done. I would come out of writing a blog post exhausted both mentally and physically. Most blogs posts came with some cigarette breaks in between to calm my nerves, others I had to write drunk because sobriety wasn’t an option for reliving an experience.

I tried to compare my mental state with those that also worked with me at Knight Call. I would check up on their facebook pages, talk to them online, follow their journey. Some still work there. Others have left. Some had left for a bit and came back. Some have gone on to study in University, trying to do good things with their lives. Others are unperplexed; their lives moved on the second they walked away from the life. In monumental ways I’ve moved on as well. Less often now I have to take controlled breaths to try and relieve my anxiety. Less often I cry alone in my room.

Living on the straight-and-narrow is difficult. Some days I just wish I was able to make quick hard cash again. I’m constantly skirting the poverty line. My life feels so boring and empty. Not like being a prostitute was fulfilling but at least it came with a sense of intrigue and adventure. Most days I’m just going through the motions without feeling like I’m actually living.

I’ve looked up seeing a therapist, contemplating the idea often. But what would I even say to them? I feel like they’re not even capable of dealing with what I’ve been through.

It’s coming up to a year now where I officially left that life behind me. I remember the defining moment in my life when a client called me for the last time and I said to them, “No. I am not doing that anymore.” It was empowering. I even think I danced a little when I hung up the phone. Who knew such freedom came with a cost?

Something in my life that has suffered greatly (but also has to do with location) is my sex life. I think I’m scared of sex and of intimacy. If Channing-fucking-Tatum walked into my room naked right now I would probably turn him away. I keep telling people I’m happily single – and in a way I am – but the truth is I just want someone to take care of me. I feel selfish in the way where I want someone to come into my life to help me carry my burdens. I’m so tired of carrying them alone. I’m tired of being independent. I’m tired of relying on myself.

Life ‘round here.

 

Even though I’m not supposed to, I have been doing some recreational drugs. Not regularly, but I’ve taken MDMA and maybe have done some lines. The doctors said I wasn’t allowed to do any drugs, but they specifically said no hallucinogens so I’ve avoided those at least. I also like to get drunk, but i’m limiting myself to only going out once or twice per week (been sticking closer to once per week recently). It’s been good to allow myself some freedoms in the form of some controls.

I’ve also been doing drag every once in awhile. It’s hardly even worth mentioning because my drag is absolutely and hilariously horrid, but it’s been really fun focussing on something else. It’s also enabled me to keep that small part of me that was gay-boy-in-the-city. I miss that part of me so it’s been fun playing that role in such a small village.

 

I’m sure you’re all bored reading this now: my list of complaints.

But I will tell you this story:

 

Halloween: 2014.

I was dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Had the black curly wig, the tight leather shorts, the long red nails… it was really the full getup and it looked absolutely fabulous. It took me nearly two months to find all the pieces to put the costume together and I was really quite proud of it.

I was at a house party with some friends, a lot of whom were prostitutes I knew but at parties you don’t talk about such things. I had one or ten too many shots and drink mixes and I had broken the seal so was going every 10 minutes on the regular. Getting in and out of the tight leather shorts with long fake nails on was a true challenge, let alone it was the first true night I’ve ever spent in heels and my feet were ready to be amputated.

After visiting the bathroom for the twentieth time my friend noticed one of my fake nails was gone. I wasn’t too mad about it, saying something like, “It probably came off when I was using the bathroom. Let’s do some shots.”

When I went to the bathroom next I scanned around the room hoping to  find it but when I couldn’t I just assumed it fell in the toilet or something.

The night continues for another couple hours. People (as in I) are starting to get drunk and rowdy and I remember seeing a hot shirtless guy dressed as Wolverine and I decide to take a running leap straight for him hoping he would catch me in his arms (like a true superhero). He does, and this is photo proof:

frank n firter 2

It’s not long before a friend and I take a taxi back to his place. In the taxi I got a message from this (very) hot guy I’d been chatting to online. We had been chatting for a while by that point but he was officially asking for me to come over to his place for the first time. I obviously wasn’t going to show up as the Dr, so I spent an hour at my friend’s house removing my makeup and rubbing my very sore feet (Umm ladies, why do you never talk about that phantom hole-in-the-ground feeling when you take off heels because its cool and really annoying?). To the best of my drunken ability I manage to take everything off and put on some respectable clothes.

A very short bus ride later and I’m at this guy’s house. To paint the only picture you need to know about how hot this guy was: he was an ex-Calvin Klein model. It’s really not that long before we are fooling around. He’s taking off his shirt and I’m wishing that I don’t have too take off mine after seeing his body.

We are completely naked on his bed and making out. His hand wanders south of the border. Suddenly he stops kissing me.

“What the fuck is that?” He says, pulling his hand away and kind of pushing me off him.

“What?” I asked, desperately trying to kiss him again.

He deflects my kiss and says, “You’re clean, right?”

I regret some of these next words but whatever. I say, “If you mean by STD’s yeah, if you mean by hygiene – probably not. I have just been wearing ten tons of makeup and was so sweaty all night.”

Yikes.

He replies, “Then what the fuck is that thing under your dick?”

Now I am terrified. What was under my dick!?

I sit up. I grab and lift and to my horror I see that SOMETHING RED AND HARD WAS ON MY DICK OH GAWD wait – phew – it was my missing fake nail. Explaining to this demigod why I had a fake nail stuck to my penis was probably funnier than this actual written story.

I want to end this by saying we still had sex (probably against his better judgement) and I went on to wear that same costume the next night for a halloween gay-club party that ends with me crawling on the ground, full costume, to puke in the toilet.

Classy and sassy.

 

I want to take this time to say that, as of this story I just told, I am going to continue to post stories on my blog. They will be related to The Truth but will carry their own names and won’t directly be about my life as a prostitute. I want to tell you the many funny and endearing stories and forget all the crap.

 

Thanks for reading Xxx

The Truth: An Ending

When Scott first told me that he was in fact not hit by a car but instead tried to kill himself, I cried. As he told me about how he jumped off a third story balcony I buried my face deep within the crook of my arm. Scott was touched by my emotion, but he, nor anyone, knew I wept for selfish reasons. I didn’t weep because the lack of love Scott felt made him throw himself off a building, the tears tracked down my cheeks because for the previous few months I wasted my time taking care of him. I took care of Scott because I felt bad for him being hit by a car. I struggled with my own morality to stay around and help him recover, the man I hardly knew. When the truth that Scott was the cause of all his own pain was put forth I was angry because if I knew the pain was self-inflicted I would’ve skipped town months ago.

 

I lost my friendship with Nick and Brendan over crystal meth. I didn’t want to do it anymore and this caused a rift in our relationship that couldn’t be fixed.

 

I ended up becoming a stoner with Scott and that’s when our friendship really began. I didn’t have anyone else to hangout with so I spent all my time with him and I really grew to love him. I started to not regret taking care of him, and I started feeling terrible for even having those thoughts. Scott was a gentle, beautiful human being. He helped me through my (admittedly first of two) crystal meth addiction. He told me things about his past that made me weep. He was really a man searching to be loved.

 

When I made the mistake of making friends with a cunt named Keith, and when I made the even bigger mistake of moving in with him, Scott and I drifted apart. My obsession with Keith made me insane and I cut off everyone who cared about me so I could focus all my attention on him. Keith and my relationship was toxic, and we were both to blame for it. I did some batshit crazy things because of him, and he did some truly disgusting things to me. Our destiny was always doomed and Scott had seen it and he desperately tried to warn me about it. I ignored him.

 

The last time Scott and I hung out I did crystal meth with him. I hadn’t relapsed (yet), I was just living by Scott’s motto; you need to let loose every few months or else everything is going to build up inside and explode in more destructive ways. But if you can allow yourself to be bad once in awhile, then you can control the monster deep inside you. I don’t know if that motto applies to everyone, but at least for Scott and I we definitely had giant monsters living inside of us. Still do.

 

Scott’s world seemed to be on the rise until one day I got a call from him. He said that he was going to try and kill himself again, and that none of his so called ‘friends’ were there for him. I was the only one he could get a hold of and he said I was the one of the only ones who still cared. Scott’s plea was that he just needed someone to care for him. He only wanted love. He gave and gave and gave and only a handful of people ever gave back. Scott was thrown in the dirt time and time again and that’s how I know he’s the strongest person I ever met because I would’ve killed myself years ago if I had been in his same shoes. But he kept trying, and he kept trying, and when things started to look up the world would fail him again and he would be left alone to pick up the pieces.

 

That is why, on April 30th, 2014, Scott decided to end his own life. I was visiting my family in Canada at the time, needing a break from my Sydney blunders (especially more recent developments from Keith and I) and I received a call telling me Scott was dead.

 

I was so angry. I was so lost. I was so hurt. It wasn’t a question of if he would commit suicide, but of when… I didn’t expect it to come so soon. When I flew back to Sydney I attended Scott’s memorial. It was filled to the brim with people I didn’t know. People who never came to visit when Scott was bed-ridden, people who never offered to help. In the sea of sad faces all I saw were masks of people trying to get some attention, to fill the need for their lives to be more interesting; People trying to play the I knew him longer game like it actually mattered. I didn’t even know Scott for a full year before he died, yet I am haunted by it every fucking day. We all could’ve done something more to help him. Looking around the memorial I realised we all had killed him.

 

The memorial was a shit show, as was organising Scott’s belongings, as was finding a home for Deniro, as was everything else in my life. You’d think that people would come together in a time of need but all I experienced from Scott’s aftermath was greed and deception and I quickly understood how Scott wasn’t able to feel love in his life. I can count on one hand the individuals who were there for him in the beginning.

 

I started studying in college, I made new friends, I got fired from the brothel and was working independently. The next few months flew by and I was being flown around the country in a next level of escorting. I was making the big coin until I relapsed.

 

My second time addicted to crystal meth wasn’t as fun as my first. And in the height (and end) of my second addiction I was given something of Scott’s: the script for a musical he was once in. Flipping through the dense script I came across something very peculiar. It was five pages of written words from Scott with the title My Script Idea. What was written inside wasn’t really a script, it was a cry for help. I am still the only one who has read it but I’ll say the subject matter was haunting and intense. It wasn’t a script at all, but a brutal retelling of the real things Scott had been through in his childhood. I only know it was real because when Scott and I were stoners he would briefly tell me the stories but never in detail. I was shocked and disgusted and I hid the papers away in a box so I wouldn’t have to see them. Scott was truly a broken man with a sick past who was looking for redemption.

 

Two weeks later I ended up in hospital in a coma from a drug overdose.

 

Two months later, with the help of some friends, I decided to go back to Canada for my own safety and wellbeing.  

 

Seven months after I came back to Canada I am sitting in Staff Housing in Whistler, looking at the sun shine out of my window, wondering if I will ever be the same again. I never asked for pity from anyone, and I never will. I had been through hell and back; through rape, addictions, prostitution, insanity. I sit here, looking out my window at the beautiful Canadian wilderness, and I wish for things to be different. But when I ask myself what I would like to be different, I can’t come up with an answer.
I don’t regret anything.  

The Truth: Part 35

We were well into our giant bender when Scott finally woke up. I had checked on him numerous times throughout the night to make sure that we weren’t being too loud, but each time he was fast asleep. Once I heard him murmur in his sleep. I hoped the sound meant he was having a good dream, but hope turned into despair as the murmur turned into another groan of pain escaping Scott’s lips while he slept. How can one dream of good things during these times?

“Make sure you’re being careful,” Scott said to me once he was awake. I didn’t need to tell him what we were up too downstairs. He just knew the answer and looked at me with big, soft eyes.

“I am.” I said, sitting on the end of his bed. I could hear Brendan and Ben laughing loudly downstairs.

“I think I’m going to start trying to go up and down the stairs soon.” Scott said hopefully with a twinkle in his eye.

Through my drugged state I managed to give a warm smile, “That’s awesome.”

Scott smiled back and we sat and didn’t talk, instead we listened to the mumbled conversation downstairs.

Suddenly I found myself singing softly under my breath, “It’s not easy being green, it seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.”

Scott looked at me with surprise, “That’s Kermit the Frog, right?”

“Yeah. I don’t know why but it’s stuck in my head. I think I heard it on a commercial or something.”

Scott sang softly as well, “I am green and it’ll do fine. It’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.

Downstairs; Brendan, Chris, Jay and Ben had started smoking a new bag of crystal. Ben had just been passed the pipe by Brendan and had started smoking it. I sat across from Jay, who was staring at me weirdly once again. All night Jay had been staring at me, and when I would notice he would let out a cheeky grin and look away. There seemed to be some animosity between the ‘threesome’ of boys… their three-way relationship was on the rocks, the magnitude of problems rising from Chris and Ben; Ben’s love for Chris was waning while Chris’s jealousy of Ben and Jay was growing. It was like watching the slow tick tick tick of a bomb about to go off. Random stares and mean-hearted glances were thrown between the three all night.

We didn’t do much the first night, nor the second. We smoked lots of meth and played games. Chris made lots of off-hand jokes about body temperature that I didn’t understand, Ben and Jay had their own secret conversations. Nick spent lots of time on his phone.

Brendan, on the other hand, was a wild card. When on crystal he was all over the place. Sometimes he would spent hours on his phone. Sometimes he would talk at a fast pace about random shit for hours. Other times he would clean whoever’s house we were smoking in. On rare occasions he would fall asleep in the middle of a conversation and wake up hours later. His behaviour was always sporadic and confusing. Brendan was the only one of the friend group who intimidated me. When he was in a good mood he was fun, when he was in a bad mood he was horrible. I always had the impression that Brendan didn’t like me, only because whenever we were together (and especially when he was on meth) he would make fun of everything I did. He would ask what was wrong with my hair, or why I chose to wear a certain bad outfit. He would tell me I was annoying on crystal meth (granted, I probably was) or that my voice was annoying. On the outside Brendan appeared to be a nice person, but nine times out of ten he wasn’t. That night I avoided direct conversation with him until he said, “Cody, what the fuck is wrong with you?”

I had been spaced out with that Kermit the Frog song stuck in my head, “What?” I asked.

“You’re staring at the wall.” He laughed.

“Oh, I was just thinking about something for a second.”

“Naw man, you’re fucked. You look fuuuuuucked up!”

“I’m not feeling too fucked. I was just spaced.”

“Cody, believe me, you’re fucked. Look at yourself, god! Your pupils are HUGE. Your hair is a fucking mess. You need help, mate.” Brendan laughed while Nick put his phone away and joined him. I must have not looked too impressed because next Brendan said, “Oh come on. We are just kidding. You need to grow a fucking backbone.”

“I do have a backbone!” I said a little too aggressively.

Nick piped in, “Did Brendan hurt little Cody’s feelings. Awe, so sweet.”

I tried to say, “No, he didn’t hurt my…”

“Awe, Cody is hurt.”

“Fuck off I’m not hurt.” I defended.

“Why don’t you build a bridge and get over it!” Nick said mockingly.

“No, I don’t care.” I said.

“Yes you do,” Brendan interjected.

“No, I’m just…”

“Awe look, he’s still going.” Nick laughed.

“Yeah because…” I tried to say.

“Oh my god, GET OVER IT CODY!” Brendan said with a wave of his hand, “Fuck you’re always so sensitive. We are just joking. Fuck.”

I remained silent and tried to hide my frustration. I felt my phone vibrate, it was a message from Jay.

Jay: I’m sorry they’re so mean to you.

I looked up at Jay who was already staring at me. It clicked in my mind then that maybe Jay liked me. I pushed the thought out as soon as I had it. I can’t get involved in this three-way relationship, I thought, It would get so messy.

For the second day in a row we watched the sun rise without any sleep or food. It was decided that all six of us were going to go to work that day. We decided to power smoke the rest of our crystal meth first since we wouldn’t risk having it at work. It seemed like a good idea until I saw how much we had left. Normally I would have three to four puffs on the pipe every hour… that alone could keep you up for days. That morning, in the space of ten minutes, I powered through ten good rips. We all did. Mixing ten rips with the fact I hadn’t slept or eaten for over two days was recipe for disaster.

“Oh we some fried chicken,” Brendan squealed as he pulled his vehicle onto the road. All six of us fit into his small car as we set off for work.

“It’s too fucking cold! Turn up the heat!” Ben yelled over the loud music Brendan was playing.

“No way! I’m so fucking hot!” Nick retaliated while opening the passenger-side window.

“Yeah, I’m really hot too.” said Chris, almost to himself.

“Yeah we get it.” Brendan said abruptly. Everyone went quiet, “You’re hotter than everyone else.”

Chris looked embarrassed as he said, “Two degrees hotter, actually.”

“Fuck,” said Nick, “I knew you were on about something.”

I had no clue what was going on. Everyone seemed to be in on something except for me.

“I heard rumors but I didn’t think it was actually true. If you don’t want people to know you shouldn’t be making obvious jokes about it.” Brendan laughed.

“Yeah, you saying I’m warmer than everyone else is a huge giveaway.” Nick added.

I finally spoke up, “Giveaway about what?” Everyone turned to me.

Nick said, “Chris is two degrees warmer…” I was still puzzled, “… His body temperature isn’t the same as healthy people…” I still didn’t respond “… There were rumors going around…”

“I have no idea what you’re on about,” I felt stupid saying.

After a couple seconds of silence, Ben said, “Chris, did you want to tell him?”

Chris answered, “Yeah,” and then he turned to me and said, “Cody, when people have HIV their resting body temperature is two degrees warmer than those that don’t. I have HIV.”

(I have to stop here and say that, after researching this ‘fact’, I am unable to find its validity. This is the conversation that happened, and everyone believed at the time that HIV positive people were 2 degrees warmer than other people at resting body temperature. But I am unable to confirm the scientific accuracy of said statements.)

“Oh, ok.” I responded.

“None of us care that you have it,” Nick said reassuringly to Chris, “I have a couple friends who are HIV positive. It doesn’t bother me.”

“It doesn’t bother me neither.” Brendan agreed.

“Yeah, I don’t care either.” I agreed as well.

The rest of the car ride I wanted to ask Chris questions about the disease but instead I tried to focus on not dying; I felt like an alien was about to burst out of my chest.

At Knight Call I was fucked up. I had never felt that high before on crystal meth; powering through the rest of the stash before work was starting to seem like a bad idea. I was shaking and tripping over my words. I tried my hardest to act normal in front of the manager on duty, Robert, but he kept looking at me with suspicious eyes. When Dave found out I had done crystal meth a few weeks back word got around quickly that I had done it and Robert was one of the first to step forward and talk to me about it. He kept saying to be very careful with it, and warned me to avoid Chris, Ben and Jay. And so Robert looked at me with suspicion, and then disappointment. He didn’t need to say it; I knew that he knew I was high.

I tried to calm my nerves once I got into the Boy’s Room. Luckily the only other person working a shift besides the group I arrived with was Bruce (the new Irish guy), and he tended to keep to himself. I was very quiet as I observed Nick, Brendan, Chris, Ben and Jay handle their highs with grace. I just sat quietly and tried to not have a heart attack. It felt like something was trying to crawl out of my throat. I had a hard time swallowing. My forehead was greasy and my palms were sweaty.

What seemed like hours were actually minutes. Brendan was called off to see a client. Then Nick was gone as well. Chris, Ben and Jay randomly left as well to see a private client, and soon it was just Bruce and I in the room. I silently prayed to no particular god that I didn’t want a client. I wasn’t in the right state for it. I felt like I was spinning really fast and couldn’t shake it. The silence suddenly was crawling under my skin and I found that I needed to say something out loud or else I would implode.

“How are you and Jason doing? Where is he?” I asked Bruce as calm as possible, remembering to breathe and pause at the appropriate intervals.

“We are doing well,” He answered with suspicion, “He’s working in the underwear shop.”

“Oh cool,” I said, regretting that I said anything at all. Trying to force out words was infinitely worse than sitting in silence.

I didn’t say anything else. We both sat in silence watching reruns of Futurama on the TV. I felt like I couldn’t move, so I sat in a hunched position for quite a while until I swear I heard Bruce say, “Cody?”

“Yes?” I answered without looking at him.

I didn’t hear what he said, but I guessed that he said, “How are you doing?”

I felt like it was odd that he asked me so long after I had asked him, but without looking at him I made up a lie about my day and what I had been up too recently, “… And then I went to the beach and it was amazing. I heard you live in Bondi? That’s amazing! I’ve only been there once but I really would love to go again. What do you think of it?” I asked and turned my head to look at him. But what I saw came as a shock.

Bruce wasn’t there.

I quickly stood up and looked around frantically. My heart pounded so hard I swear my whole body pulsed along with it. He was just there. He had just asked me a question. I remembered hearing his voice. A sudden thought about the second coming of Christ raced through my mind and suddenly I felt like I was in Left Behind. I looked out the glass door to make sure he wasn’t having a cigarette, but he wasn’t there. I even stupidly lifted a couple of throw pillows as if he were a lost tv remote.

Suddenly I heard Robert’s voice and it made me jump, “Carl, what are you doing?”

“Oh umm, I thought I lost something.” I lied, putting my hands behind my back as if I were hiding something.

“You have an outcall… they want you to come in twenty minutes, so you’ll have to leave here now.”

“Ok,” I said, hardly holding in my disappointment. I debated telling Robert that I wasn’t able to do it. Just tell him you’re sick, I said to myself. Instead I said out loud, “Hey, do you know where Bruce went?”

“Carl, Bruce has been gone for about an hour with a client.”

 

*    *    *    *   *    *

 

I had a mini panic attack in the taxi ride to the hotel to see the client.

When I was with the client I was unable to perform at my peak. The client looked at me with disappointment and within 15 minutes told me to go home and go to bed. I still got paid, but it was the first time a client had kicked me out.

“You’re terrible,” the client said before shutting the door on me.

Stupidly I went back to work in hopes that Nick and Brendan were back. Luckily they were and I told Nick about how fucked up I felt.

“Oh my god, really? I feel fine. It’s probably in your head.” Nick said.

Brendan said more bluntly, “You just can’t handle it.”

“No, this is seriously fucked you guys. I’ve never felt like this before.” I pleaded.

“You just don’t know how to let the high take over. Stop fighting it.” Brendan advised me.

“I don’t think that’s what this is.” I said as a last ditch effort to make them realise that I felt like something was wrong with me.

Even though I knew that Robert knew I was high, I didn’t want to give him any excuse to bring it up. So instead of doing the smart thing and going home, I stayed at Knight Call.

I got another client that night. This time the client came to Knight Call to use one of the rooms.

I entered the room. I took my clothes off. I hopped on the bed. He pulled me in. I kissed him once. Then he said, “Nope. Naw. Nope. Fuck this. I don’t want you. You’re fucked. I don’t want you.”

“What are you talking about? I’m fine.” I said a little too brashly.

“You’re not even hard, and your skin stinks. Something is wrong with you.”

I was immediately offended, “Umm my dick isn’t a fucking button that I can turn on and off. I don’t just get hard immediately.”

“No, I don’t want you. I want someone else.”

“But I…”

“Please leave now.”

When I shut the door behind me I realised I didn’t even get any money off him.

I now hold the record for the quickest to be kicked out of the room… I was in there for less than two minutes. I also was the first one to be kicked out twice in one day.

After being kicked out a second time that day I decided to bite the bullet and go home.

When I went to bed I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t toss and turn, instead I lay perfectly still staring up at the ceiling, watching it pulsate and pondering my sanity.

It’s not easy being green,” I silently sang, “It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.

The pulsating ceiling turned from being frightening to being comforting. Soon I found myself drifting to a much needed sleep.