Tag Archives: creative writing

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.

The Truth: Part 25

Brendan and Nick made me promise not to tell the other boys at the brothel that I did meth with them. I was experiencing my first come down ever, which was like a swift kick to the face. Coming down off crystal meth is the antithesis of being up on it. You feel void of all emotion. Everything has a terrible dream-like quality and your steps feel heavy. Your motivation is non-existent. I would smile or laugh at a joke, but inside be thinking about how I actually couldn’t feel happiness or laughter and how much I just wanted to curl up and die. A quick scientific explanation would be this: Meth temporarily opens the floodgates of dopamine to rush into your brain (dopamine is a pleasure neurotransmitter). When you’re coming down off crystal your brain is in a recovery period where it’s unable to produce dopamine at normal levels. This is why crystal meth is highly addictive. People who overuse crystal meth can permanently rewire their brains and effectively never feel pleasure the same way again.  

I was suffering my first come down while I was working a shift at KC. Everyone was on my nerves but, for an odd reason, my libido was through the roof. I spent most of my time with earphones in blaring the Arctic Monkeys while scrolling endless lists of shirtless men on Grindr. Having a client was excruciating and I was unable to perform at my peak. I was usually good  at giving the ‘boyfriend experience’, but while coming down I was unable to give a peak performance. Every word that came out of the client’s’ mouth irritated me and their touch felt like cheese graters against my skin. I wanted to be left alone in darkness as light seemed too intense for my eyes.

When my excruciating shift was done I managed to convince Jake to drive me home. The thought of taking public transport was agonizing so I told him I wasn’t feeling good. He had noticed my odd behaviour that day and felt obliged to take me. Despite Jake being one of the most annoying guys I’ve ever met, especially while I was coming down, he was also caring. He was big headed because of his muscular body, but underneath his egotistical exterior he had a gentle interior. He was also very self-conscious, I noticed that his cocky attitude was to hide his low self-esteem. Once Nick told him he was starting to look fat and the next day Jake came in and announced he was doing this experimental weight-loss drug. He was super offended once when I asked him if he ever took steroids, which led into a giant fight, which then led to him admitting that he had done them before.

Nick had done a double with Jake (a double is when a client hires two escorts at once) a few days prior and was happy to report to me that Jake had a huge penis. Nick bragged that it was the best double he had and that they both really ‘went at it’. Needless to say, Nick had a crush on Jake and was trying to rub it in only because he knew that I had a crush on Jake as well.

Jake and I walked down the street and hopped into his black SUV.

“Where do you even live?” I asked him once he put the car in gear.

“I live out with my mum.” Jake answered. He did say the name of a suburb that was far out of the inner city but I can’t remember which one.

“You still live with your mom?” I chuckled.

“Yeah, I love my mum. I’m a momma’s boy.” He cheekily smiled.

“I can’t believe you drive all the way in to work from out there! How long does it take you?”

“About forty minutes, depending on traffic.”

“Shit, that sucks. Obviously your mom doesn’t know you do this for work.”

“Naw way.” He replied. He always had a goofy grin across his face. There was a few seconds of silence, and then he said, “So how is hanging out with Brendan and Nick?”

“It’s been good. We’ve been having a lot of fun together.”

“You guys hang out all the time.”

“Yeah, we party a lot. I like hanging out with them all, and Nick and I are best friends.”

“Just be careful.”

“Why?” I asked.

“They seem like trouble to me,” Jake let’s out a goofy laugh.

“Well they’re not.” I replied starkly.

“They could’ve fooled me.” He had that goofy laugh again. It was goofy because it wasn’t a genuine laugh, it was an insecure laugh. Jake didn’t deal well with confrontation, his coping mechanism when he tried to cause drama was to laugh. There was silence in the car, then Jake continued, “Just be careful.”

“I don’t even know what that means.” I replied and slumped into my seat. Jake was trying to cause drama.

“I’m just saying that they might be a bad crowd. I have heard that they are into stuff.”

“Well they aren’t.” I said unconvincingly.

Jake laughs, “That didn’t seem like a confident answer.”

“Well it’s none of your business what they do. Everyone in this city seems to party. I’m sure you have.”

“Yeah, I go out every once in awhile and take a pill,” Jake admitted.

“So you’re no different than them.”

“Have you done anything with them?” Jake asked. I am silent and feel myself turning red. Jake opened his mouth wide and gasped, “Oh my god. You have! What have you done?”

“Please don’t tell anyone… promise.” I begged.

“Babe, everything you say here stays here.” Jake tried to reassure me.

I hesitated, then said, “I’ve done crack with them.”

“I knew it!” Jake yelled wide-eyed.

“It was only once!” I tried to defend myself.

“It’s ok, I do it every once in awhile too. Just be careful and don’t do it all the time. I knew you weren’t sick today!”

I made Jake promise multiple times he wouldn’t tell anyone. I knew Nick and Brendan would kill me if they found out I told someone; they both kept it a secret for so long.

The next day I was at work when Dave came into the room. It was a quiet morning, only a few boys were working a shift that day, including Jake. With sad eyes, Dave called for me to join him in the office.

I really liked Dave. Over the weeks he had turned into a good friend. At the beginning he seemed cartoonish to me; he seemed like a stereotypical sassy older gay man. Overtime that opinion changed, and I felt like he was dear to me. I would sit in the office on boring days and listen to him tell stories of his past life. He had been working at the brothel since it opened 20 years previous. He was spunky and energetic on good days, sensitive and quiet on poor ones. Bad experiences seemed to get him down mentally. He had seen many boys, full of potential, throw their lives away at KC. Boys once filled with life had it drained if they stayed for long periods of time, and there wasn’t anything Dave could do but watch these boys shrink into oblivion. The hardships of the job weighed upon him. To some boys he was viewed as a bitch, to most others he was a source of laughter. Dave was funny. Very funny. He had a quick wit and wicked style. It hurt us almost as much as it hurt him on days when he seemed upset.

I sat in the office on a chair opposite him. He turned to me and said, “I know you have been out smoking crystal meth with those boys.” I immediately looked down and didn’t say anything. Dave’s voice quaked when he continued, “To be honest I was very upset when I heard. When you first came here I thought to myself Here is a good country kid with a good head on his shoulders. So I was very surprised when I heard that you would do something so stupid. So very, very stupid. I don’t want to sit back and watch you throw your life away.” Dave continues, and in respect for the story he told me I will not repeat it here. But Dave continues and tells me the dangers of being addicted to crystal meth. He tells me that he has seen many boys go down the path of addiction and ruin their lives. He was nearly crying and so was l. It was upsetting to see him so distraught. He really cared about what would happen to me, and his fear for me was the greatest gratitude I have ever received at the brothel.

I knew Jake had told Dave about the drugs, it was pretty obvious even though Jake denied it till the end. At first I was furious at Jake for telling Dave, but now I see how it was necessary. Although Jake told Dave to cause drama, I am glad he did or else I wouldn’t have had that talk with Dave.

When Dave and I were done the conversation he made me promise him that I would never do meth again. I promised I wouldn’t. That’s why, out of the bottom of my heart, I am really sorry that I didn’t listen to him. If I had listened to his heartfelt plea that day I would’ve saved myself a lot of trouble. I truly believed when I had come out of that discussion that I would never do it again. He had scared me straight, but the feeling didn’t last. It didn’t last for a week, nor even a full day. The night after the discussion I hung out with Nick and Brendan and we smoked more crystal meth.

I was addicted right out of the gate. It was already too late.

The Truth: Part 24

In the land of Gods and Monsters
I was an Angel
Looking to get fucked hard
Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer
Life imitates art

You got that medicine I need
Dope, shoot it up, straight to the heart please
I don’t really wanna know what’s good for me
God’s dead, I said ‘baby that’s alright with me’

– Gods and Monsters, Lana Del Rey

I was nervous and uncertain of how to properly do crack. Brendan held the pipe for me up to my mouth with one hand, with his other hand he ignited a lighter and held it under the glass. White smoke started billowing out of the pipe and Brendan told me to start inhaling. He stressed that I would need to inhale slowly, and to inhale for as long as I could. Once my lungs were at capacity I removed my mouth from the pipe and held it in.

“Don’t hold it in, just let it out right away,” said Nick.

I exhaled. The smoke didn’t taste like much when being inhaled, but when exhaled it had that burnt plastic quality that hung in the back of my throat. It wasn’t a horrible taste, but it wasn’t a comfortable one either.

“How long do I have to wait?” I asked.

“It’ll kick in a few minutes,” answered Brendan, “We’ll just let you have that little bit to see how you feel, then if you’re ok you can have more later.”

Ten minutes pass and I don’t feel anything. “I think it’s not working, I don’t feel a thing,” I said.

Brendan laughs, “Cody look at your pupils, they’re HUGE. You’re fucked.”

“But I don’t feel any different,” I explained.

“That’s the point,” exclaimed Brendan, “But don’t you feel on top of your game? When I do it I feel like I can run a marathon.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I pondered, I did feel like I was more awake and alert than before. I also felt like talking, another effect of crack. “So this is crack… as in, like, crack cocaine, right?”

“What the fuck,” Nick gasps, “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”

Brendan laughs, “Crack isn’t crack cocaine. This is meth babes.”

“Crystal meth?” I was shocked, “But I thought ‘crack’ meant crack cocaine?”

Nick shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. This is what I was told it was called.”

“Oh fuck,” I grumbled, but then I start laughing, “Holy fuck… I went from only ever doing marijuana to one of the worst drugs in the world.”

I was enjoying the seemingly non-existent feeling of crystal meth. I noticed my speech ran at one million miles per hour and when I had gone to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror I saw that my pupils were like giant black saucers. Brendan, Nick and I laughed and talked about the random things. Then Brendan’s two friends arrived and immediately had some crack and joined in the conversations.

“It’s his first time!” Brendan yelled and pointed at me.

“How does it feel?” Said one of Brendan’s friends.

“I feel so good.” I replied.

Brendan would have to hold the pipe for me while I took more puffs which, at first, made me feel like an idiot, but after that first couple times I didn’t care. I realised I didn’t care about a lot of things that I normally cared about while I was on meth. Meth turned the rational part of my brain off and I found myself saying things that I normally wouldn’t. I was becoming louder and more boisterous. I also had a nervous tick that annoyed Brendan and Nick: I would ask everyone if they were ok every half hour.

Later in the night Brendan received a frantic phone call from a girl. I can’t remember the full details of what was wrong with her, but when Brendan hung up he told us that we had to make a trip to her boyfriend’s townhouse. The gist of what I can remember is that her boyfriend was a drug dealer and that the cops either had just raided his place, or were about to, or both, or that they were getting removed from it… either way the girl was upset and she needed to get out of the house as soon as possible.

So we all go with Brendan on an adventure to help this girl out at 3 am.

I realised that the townhouse was very close to the place I was living in Chippendale. From the outside the house looked pretty run down. The tenants must’ve lost the actual house numbers because instead they had painted a giant 180 beside the door in white paint. I felt like I was in a movie as we walked in the front door. The place was rundown and derelict. It was a stereotypical drug house. Brown and yellow stains ran up the white walls and onto the ceiling. The place wasn’t furnished except for a green couch that looked like it had rats living inside of it. The floors were messy with garbage and the floor boards were ripped in places. The odor of the house was sour and there was a dampness that hung in the air. The lighting was dim which cast everything in long shadows. Brendan walked into the townhouse nonchalantly, but upon entering Nick immediately clasped his hands together and held them close to his chest. I followed suit and it was obvious both of us were scared to touch anything.

I was introduced to the girl by Brendan. She talked at a high speed as she thanked us all for coming. She made us follow her up the stairs into the bedroom. The stairs were slanted and I tripped trying to walk up them. The bedroom had a musky odor and the gray carpet was stained and ripped. A stained mattress lay in the middle of the floor with a dismantled bed frame beside it.  

The girl tried to ask Brendan for some crack in a way that screamed hidden desperation. As he carefully took out the black bag and slowly opened it to reveal the glass pipe I noticed her squirming in place. She rubbed her hands together, and then rubbed them down her legs. Her face lit up when she saw the pipe. She spoke at a speed that could only be described as ultrasonic as she failed to make us think she wasn’t too focussed on Brendan preparing the pipe. She asked us basic questions but kept eyeing Brendan, and once he had the pipe prepared she basically leapt towards him. She smoked an inhuman amount of crystal and I noticed Brendan looked unimpressed as she inhaled the drugs that he bought.

Brendan splayed on the stained mattress while I cautiously sat on the corner of it trying my best not to touch anything. Nick decided to stand and looked ill. I grew annoyed with the banter between Brendan and the girl so I decided to go back downstairs and find the bathroom. I almost tripped down the stairs again but recovered myself by putting my hands on the wall, which was sticky. There was a man I hadn’t noticed before sitting on the green couch. His eyes were bulging and fixated on his phone. The phone’s screen cast strange colors onto the man’s shaded face, the spark of humanity seemed to be drained out of his long facial features. He looked zombified as his mouth hung partially open. He didn’t acknowledge my presence as I found my way to the bathroom.  

The bathroom was so disgusting it was almost unexplainable. The only way to describe it would be that I had seen better bathrooms in Southeast Asia.

Nick was awkwardly standing outside the toilet when I came out.

“That bathroom is disgusting,” I warned him.

“Yeah I’m not going in there,” He says, “This whole place is rancid.”

“Aren’t we supposed to be here to help her? Why are we just sitting around?” I asked.

Nick just shrugged, “I don’t know. I hope we leave soon because I’m going to need a bleach shower after this. I don’t even want to touch anything because I’m afraid I’m gonna catch a disease.”

Earlier, when we first pulled up to the townhouse, I had pointed out to Brendan and Nick that I lived a couple streets down. The girl decided to give Brendan the bedframe since he needed one, and she needed a place to store some of her stuff temporarily. I told her we could bring her boxes of stuff to my place and store it there while my housemate was gone. Brendan’s car was too small for the frame so we decided to store it at my place as well.  

So, at four in the morning, we started running boxes through the streets to my house. Deniro happily greeted us at the door, but once inside I noticed a foul odor as I remembered I hadn’t bathed Deniro in some time and it was long overdue.

“Oh my god what’s that fucking smell?” Brendan gasped and tried to cover his nose. I explained that it was the dog.

The mattress was the hardest to move, but only because most of us were scared to even touch it. It took all of us to get it down the stairs, three of us to run it across the street, and all of us to drag it across my floor to my kitchen. We placed the small boxes of stuff under my kitchen table, along with the bed frame. The mattress we rested against the wall. Nick urgently needed to use my toilet while I grabbed a few items from my room and fed Deniro.

I had a moment to pause and look at all the girl’s stuff in my kitchen. My consciousness tugged at my heart and tried to explain to me that I had seen the warning signs that night. A big part of me felt disturbed, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was. I had a glimmer of truth resting inside of me but I wasn’t able to grasp it. The warning signs were in place, but through the haze of adventure I decided to push them deep down so I couldn’t hear them.
Everything is under control, I told myself.