Sunday, August 22, 2010

Something That Breaks My Heart...

There's this guy I found over at Fur Affinity some two years ago. I've never met him, but we've left lots of comments on each others' user pages, and we've talked over the phone many times over the last several months. He and I have several things in common: we're both gay, we're both "music makers" over at FA rather than visual artists, we love the furry fandom, and both of us have spent years abusing alcohol. We've both seriously tried beating it this year, too. I went seventy-five days with out a drink; he lasted almost five months.

We have our stark differences, of course. For one thing, my FA friend (I'll call him C.) not only describes himself as a total slut, he freely admits that he's cheated on his current boyfriend with two other guys -- and somehow, his boyfriend is okay with that, which I don't get at all, but whatever, it's their relationship. I have no part in this.

Not that this is an obstacle to C., though. He has told me, in detail, what he would like to do with me if he ever manages to get me in bed. Not likely to happen -- we live in different states. I will say that, for a minute, I seriously considered hopping on the next Greyhound bus to the city where C. lives after he told me all that. Obviously I've missed out on all kinds of stuff!

Still, even if he lived here in Henrico, I wouldn't have joined him. I'm not currently seeing anyone, but if I was, he would be the only one I was seeing. I'm solitary by nature. I'm willing to make room in my private life for one other, and if that doesn't work out, we can end the relationship, and I can make room for another one. But I don't two-time -- and if I found out my mate was, I'd cut him loose instantly. C. and I together is all but an impossibility on that count alone.

But there are other reasons. I've joined Alcoholics Anonymous and abandoned it. So has C. But C. has also joined and abandoned Narcotics Anonymous and the Straight Edge society, and gone right back to doing drugs as well as drinking. I've never done drugs, and I never intend to. Couple C.'s drug habit with his promiscuity, and you can see with crystal clarity why I absolutely refuse to hook up with him -- he's an AIDS casualty waiting to happen.

All the same, I care about C. so much, through our phone conversations, our mutual love of music, our love of the fandom, our shared pain through alcohol abuse, our private messages to each other. He posted a journal entry on his FA user page not long ago, saying he was going into rehab, and after that, to a place called Greenbriar. I've heard of Greenbriar through the handful of AA meetings I've been to -- it's a treatment center and retreat for substance abusers like C., and they have multiple locations in America. I think C. will make a full recovery through the route he's chosen.

And when he goes back to the city he lives in afterward, and I know he will, all of that progress will unravel. And that's what breaks my heart.

See, while I was working Friday morning, C. called me. But I missed the call. I got to it around 6 PM, after I was done working, when I checked my cell phone for messages. He said he was entering rehab that day. He said the 12-step AA program was bullshit. He said his life was so fucked up, and he wanted so badly to get it back in check. He said he loved me -- and he added that even if I didn't love him back, I was still someone he really wanted to hang out with.

He said my music was wonderful.

One of two things that kills me is, the whole time he was telling me these things, I couldn't help noticing that his voice sounded almost exactly like that of Layne Staley of Alice In Chains while he was slowly and inevitably dying from being a junkie. Low, gravelly, weak, and so sick from all the junk he'd taken in that he wanted to cry out loud but was in to much pain to release it.

The other thing that kills me is, C. is only 30 years old. I'm 40. Confession time: back in July, I had a medium-level attack of pancreatitis. It had my system all fucked up for about four days. Somehow, I managed to go to work and come home through it all. I still haven't completely recovered from it, but I'm eating regularly, and I didn't have to be hospitalized at the time.

What of C., ten years my junior? His voice over the phone was almost as clear as a bell during his stretch of sobriety, the deterioration from then to now was that rapid. If he leaves Greenbriar and goes back to where he lives, the place that got him all fucked up to begin with, he's as good as dead.

And there won't be a damned thing I can do to stop it.

And it hurts.


  1. Sad to say, sometimes there's just nothing you can do when someone you love decides to self-destruct. I wrote a song about that, ten or fifteen years ago...

  2. Dear me. Well, I hope that detox works for him. I hope he can find steel in himself, enough to keep from sliding away.

    You know you can call if you need something.


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