untitled memoir

chapter 2 – fist of the methmen

Chapter 2

“Nah man, I don’t smoke.” I told the guy. He had a name. Phil or Jerry. Who the fuck knows? See a little known truth about gay men who do drugs. We fuck. A lot. I once tried to take this little quiz online which supposedly would use data science to give insights about a person based on questions about sexual experience. One of the questions was how many people, how many partners (this word always strikes me as funny in retrospect. It gives so much false context to what was essentially aided masturbation. Partners indeed.) I had been with. When I tried to enter what was essentially my best guess, I was told any number above 999 was not allowed. I’m totally picturing your faces right now. Quit judging me. Wait. No, keep judging me. Perhaps it will keep you interested in reading more. The guys in prison hardly wanted to accept my numbers when I gave them.
Thousands, dude? For fucking real? It’s crazy you didn’t get fucking AIDS.
Cue the crickets. Don’t worry. I’ll write about having AIDS while being in prison later. Anyway.
Yeah. Thousands. I stopped counting in the hundreds, back in 2000. A few months after Phil. Jerry. Whatever the fuck his name was. Let’s go with Phil. Good as any other name.
Phil was a guy I met on America Online. He, like me, lived in the East Village in New York City. Unlike me he was a hardcore meth user, an experienced sexual deviant, and at least ten, maybe fiften years older.
Our initial exchange went something like this:
RandomGuyPhil: u into fisting? U parTy?
EastVillageBoy22: never tried it. But curious. Party.. like group stuff?
RandomGuyPhil: nah, like party favors.
EastVillageBoy22: oh yeah, I was at Kurfew tonight. Still kinda rollin’.
RandomGuyPhil: kewl. You in the EV?
EastVillageBoy22: yeah. 2Nd & Ave A.
RandomGuyPhil: wanna come over? Get fisted?
EastVillageBoy22: sure. Address?
There was more to it than that. We traded pictures. He was decent looking, in shape for my 22 year old idea of a guy in his mid-to-late thirties. And I had thought about fisting before. A guy I’d slept with back in Baton Rouge had tried once, but he hadn’t been able to get more than four fingers in me before I cried wolf. That guy was murderously hot. I met him again years later, when meth had taken over my life. He fisted me. Took a dump in my mouth while I laid on a floor covered in random scatter of kitty litter. (The kitty litter was unintentional on both of our parts. Mike shitting in my mouth wasn’t.) Anyway, Hot Mike isn’t the story here. RandomGuyPhil is.
I went to RandomGuyPhil’s apartment off 7th St and Ave B. At this point in my life the crazy thing I’d done sexually was let a guy in Houston pee in my face after pretending to rape me. The pee was hot. No really. Pee is warmer than you’d expect it to be, the first time it covers your face.
RandomGuyPhil led me into his bedroom. I was still rolling from the ecstasy I had taken earlier. I was high enough that my insecurity about being fat wasn’t overwhelming – it wasn’t enough to keep my clothes on, to keep me from needing affirmation from Phil before we fucked. I was like Janice in Accounting. I just didn’t give a fuck.
We ended up naked, on the top bunk of his bunk bed. Yeah, he was in his mid-thirties, living with a roommate above a nightclub in the East Village, in a bunk bed. It was one of those tubular cheap black metal ones too. Again, not the point. He tried to fist me on the top bunk.
After the first unsuccessful attempt at fisting me, Phil got down from top bunk and went to smoke a cigarette at the little desk against the wall aside the lower bunk.
“Want some?” Phil asked.
This is the part where my life could have gone in a completely different direction. How many people are lucky enough to know the exact moment when everything about their life changed, to be able to trace it out so perfectly? I’d like to believe not many. I really don’t fucking know. What I do know is this was my moment, and I had no idea.
“Nah. I don’t smoke.” I said.
Phil laughed. He leaned his head towards the desk and made a snorting noise. I sort of assumed he had some coke or something.
“Come here,” Phil said.
I got down from the bunk. I heard the sound which would one day become very familiar to me: the scratchy whoosh of a butane-fueled torch lighter. Then I saw the pipe. It was a tube with a bowl on one end. I thought it was a crack pipe. Phil inhaled from it, then offered it to me, turned around backwards.
I shied away. I was terrified of all things to do with smoking. I had never smoked anything. Not a joint. Not crack. Not meth. Not PCP. Not even a cigarette. Nothing. Phil looked up at me in the semi-dark, obviously confused.
“I don’t do crack.” I said, rolling hard enough that it was difficult to keep the scorn from my voice. My asshole was loose from Phil’s fingers and my need, but it tightened then.
“This isn’t crack. It’s tina.” Phil said.
“What is that?”
“Crystal meth.” Phil said.
My knowledge of crystal meth hinged on the super-skinny, anorexic looking kids at raves in Houston and New Orleans whom Anne had identified (truthfully or not) as methheads. All of them had fucked up, terrible teeth. Ironically, this fact is, more than any other, why I had never smoked a single thing in my life up to that night. Because my parents had jacked up teeth which I associated with their constant, awful cigarette smoking. I knew tobacco – but meth. I knew nothing about it.
Still I refused.
“Nah. Nah. I’m good.”
Phil shrugged and hit his glass pipe again. After he exhaled, he told me to go clean my ass out again and then come back. When I got back, he helped me into the top bunk, gave me a hit of poppers (amyl nitrate – a whole nother fucking story) and set about gathering various humongous dildos to shove up my ass. After he was stocked, had climbed back to the top bunk with his toys, Phil put a nitrile rubber glove on. He then rubbed something on my asshole. I assumed it was lube.
If you are wondering, this was the moment it all changed.
It wasn’t lube.
It was smashed up, powdered crystal meth.
Within a few minutes I was flying. I had done tons of ecstasy – I knew what it meant to be fucking high. But this was something different. New. Insane. Ineffable. Transcendent. My whole body felt as thought it were composed of sex organs, thousands of them, and every one of them was being fondled by Brent Cockley. But I didn’t know Phil had given me meth. I thought it was the ecstasy high kicking back in.
He fisted me. For hours. I lost track of time. The only reason I know it lasted hours it that sunlight began to pour in from the window at some point. When he stopped I begged for more. But Phil had to go to work. He wasn’t completely hateful though. He knew what doing meth for the first time had done to me, and when combined with getting fisted for the first time. At least, I like to imagine he did.
He left for work, but told his roommate – another gay meth user into fisting – to come in and play with me. This guy was hideous. Fat and hair in all the wrong combinations for my tastes then. But I didn’t care. He wanted me. He was willing and my ass was in dire need. More hours passed, and I took most of the roommate’s forearm. I won’t bother giving him a name.
I never saw him again.
When I finally went home, I stayed awake for two days. After I crashed for almost twenty straight hours, and I awoke, my ass was both sore and somehow… hungry. It’s the only word that fits. The open feeling was so prevalent I could hardly think of anything else. At this point thought I still had no idea I had done meth. I did know that I wanted to get fisted again. And soon.
I Instant Messaged Phil like he was an unrequited crush. He didn’t respond for a long time, weeks maybe. When he finally did, he acted weird, like he had no idea who I was. In retrospect, he probably didn’t. Still, after some mild coaxing and begging for his fist, Phil invited me over. When I got there, I was stone sober, and Phil (I now know) bat-shit tweaked out. Even so, he recognized me.
“Oh! I …” Phil said. “I should’ve realized you’d want more.”

untitled memoir

chapter 1 – start at the beginning, fatty

There is supposed to be some moment, isn’t there? A clear visual catharsis – when you dump all the wine bottles out at once, or smash your meth pipe into shards before you realize that means you have to sweep up broken glass – is always how it happens in the movies. A lightning strike of clarity event when it just suddenly makes fucking sense. I know this is how it is supposed to happen, because, I mean I those people who write shit for the movies and televisions and tell-all memoirs can’t be making it up, right?
Fuck them.
I knew I was supposed to say that, right there. I’ve got that much of the formula figured out. Like someone who knows the punchline of the joke and can deliver it, but the build-up is always the problem isn’t it. Wait. Shit. I fucked that up, too. I really should know what I’m doing. But I don’t.
Cue the dramatic flashback.
I was a fat kid. No really. Not like fat fat. That’s just your imagination. Look at the pictures. Seriously. It was like a mild fat at best. Uncommitted fat. Community college fat. Christian rap fat. Yet, it felt so much worse to me. I wonder if in the third grade someone told Joanna Bottlin that she was never going to be a doctor, because she was, you know, a girl, or some shit. I picture her round cheeks pinched with frustration under those massive bows she used to wear, all steely-eyed determination to beat back the odds or something. It probably happened just like that. Like right after she told me I was fat in the third grade and I couldn’t sing and I saw myself externally for the first time.
I saw me like she saw me. And I believed what I saw.
They say you should start at the beginning, right? My dad would tell me I’m being “retarded” (the quotes are ribbed for my protection. Like I’d never say that word in that context. Seriously. Don’t boycott me. Unless it’s gonna make me more famous.) Anyway. My dad would tell me how stupid (heh. That should be my safe word during sex.) I am for thinking like that about myself. He’d be one of a litany telling me some variation of the platitude.
You’re not stupid, Frank. You’re amazing or some shit. Really. You… (insert pitiful attempt at raising my spirits).
I know what you’re thinking.
“Yeah right, Frank. No one gives a fuck. You’re making this shit up.”
Anyway. Joanna Bottlin. The beginning. It makes sense, somehow. She told me I was fat, that I couldn’t sing. And I accepted it. Her conviction swayed me. The earnestness of her childish cruelty struck me, hit me in the way that truth so often does when adults make the mistake of sharing it. It fucking hurt. I took her truth, made it my own.
From that moment forward, being a pattern seeking human being, I found every bit of necessary evidence to confirm my new truth. Every slight. Every misconstrued intention, every thoughtless gesture of foolishness. All those egos flailing about trying to see what the limits were, and I took it all.
So yeah. Joanna Bottlin is a fucking doctor now. Ironically enough she’s not just any kind of doctor. She’s a physiatrist. What the fuck is that? Heh. She does physical therapy for people with disabilities. Her life’s work is helping people who can’t help themselves. I wish her the best. And I hope she’s fat. But happy about it.
So. I was sure I was fat. By the time I got to high school I had taken the baby steps towards the driving philosophy which sustains me now: jump into the wave. I had started years before with the joke that “fat floats” at swim team practices, surrounded by the nubile, thin boys in their Speedos, each of them so blissfully unaware of their own beauty, but I imagined each of them somehow entirely fluent in the depth of my ugliness. It’s selfish to see the world this way, but you know, I was fat. Fat people are selfish, by nature. Please don’t boycott me. In high school I met Brent Cockley. He was a swimmer. Slender and beautiful, brilliant and cocky. Everything I wanted to be, everything I wanted inside me. I couldn’t control myself around him. I wanted him to like me so much, I was willing to endure his hate and vitriol just for the chance to be close enough to stare at him. Not that I didn’t fantasize about attacking him, out of nowhere, using my size and force to simply hurt him. That was a regular moment for me. But I never did it. I never had that Fight Club desire to destroy something beautiful. I’ve always been the kind to hedge my bets just maybe, because, you know, just maybe he’ll…
Brent called me fat. I didn’t have to work to accept it then. It was so familiar a part of my self it didn’t wound me anymore to realize it, not like those first times I squeezed the soft lumps of my feminine breasts while wearing a towel on my head after the bath, after singing Madonna into the hairbrush in front of the mirror. But it still hurt. Because Brent said it. Because it wasn’t just that he saw my truth, it was that I saw his. And I was convinced.
He’s everything. And I’m nothing. And in all the right proportions.
We eventually became acquaintances. At least, he tolerated me in the collegial fashion of teenagers who drink together at parties unexpectedly. Who knows? He may have even liked me, may have thought I was worth knowing. Might have even thought something about me was attractive. No way to know now. He died shortly after high school. Supposedly threw himself off a tall building in Australia. More irony I suppose.
By the time high school was over I had given myself a name, a clever misdirection which allowed me to hide my shame. I cast off the part of me I hated, but embraced it at the same time.
Jump into the wave, fatty.
I became Phat Phrank. Really, at the time it seemed clever. A satirically earnest attempt at mockery couched as bravado. I had the phrase emblazoned on Senior memory items, just in case anyone questioned my conviction, questioned my acceptance of the truth, which by this point was wholly my own.
I can’t blame Joanna or Brent for what happens next. They were part of the story, but the blame…
I  get that all to myself.