The Iron Shield

September 30, 2013 at 8:59 am (Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

I joke a lot about getting high, and it’s no secret that I have a medical marijuana card, but I haven’t used hard drugs in years. I haven’t done white powders (meth or cocaine) since 1996. The last time I took psychedelics (LSD or mushrooms) was at a Kid Rock concert in 2004. I haven’t drank alcohol in over two years, and tobacco irritates me. I take pain meds when available, and imbibe freely on top-grade herb. I’m in a good place.

Jar Half-Empty

Jar Half-Empty

Lately, however, I have been running with fast company. Someone who shoots heroin and smokes crack when she feels like it. Lately she’s been feeling like it a lot, and it’s gotten to the point where I can no longer be around it.

To rate the chances of our relationship repairing? For once, I am pessimistic. I have been cautious, but as trust grew I let my guard down, and things began disappearing. I had to know for sure, so I started paying attention to the little things…

I love Rain. We have been together for over three years now. It hasn’t been a perfect relationship, but it has been a cool friendship, and she has been a blast to hang out with. How many girls you know will meet you at Voodoo Doughnuts at 4:20 on a Sunday morning? Or is perfectly comfortable walking from there to the Union Gospel Mission to use the bathroom? To find a beautiful woman who will come out and play during the wee hours and not be freaked out is a wonderful thing.

She has come into my world in ways no woman has. She has lived with me in my tiny little bedroom, and we have made it work, even with my single bed and her bad back. Sleeping together was like a jigssaw puzzle at first, but we found a couple positions that worked, and I got to where I couldn’t sleep without her curvy hip as an armrest.

As we grew closer, she opened up to me. During intimate moments, she would be reserved, almost like in another world. This can throw a guy off his game in a big way. But I scratched and clawed until I had bloody fingers, and got through her Iron Shield. I was talking with one of her drug buddies. He asked me, “Have you ever seen her cry?”

“Of course.” I had been to the cemetery with her, and held her during countless moments of misery. I have big shoulders.

“Have you ever seen her cry about you? Dude, when you were in the hospital, she was a mess. Afraid you were gonna die and stuff. Man, she was bawling like a baby.”

Wish she’d done more of that when I was around.

As we do our day-to-day thing, I see the patterns forming, and the behaviors changing. I have lived with and around addiction, and it’s like being bitten by a zombie. It’s just a matter of time until you turn on your own, and then you have to be put down.

I started noticing I was going through a lot of weed. I’m no slouch in the smoking department, but most of my highs come from eating it or from tinctures. I take a couple puffs in the morning, and smoke a joint or two at night. I’ve been doing it like that for years.

My caregiver of 25 years commented that I seemed to be going through a lot lately. Am I selling it on the side? (Would be no big deal, but I sell groceries for a living. The only hustling I do is for women I sleep with, or want to sleep with real bad.) No, no side income. Are you sure?

When I reloaded last time, I went through the usual steps. Rain knows where everything is kept. I’ve never worried about her messing with my stash, as she takes one puff off about every twentieth joint, has a coughing fit and is good for a week. But the last few times I’d gone to my main stash, it had seemed light. So I paid extra attention this time.

When I returned to the stash a few days later, it was down lower than I’d recalled. I coulda swore it was full to the top? Like topping up the line on daddy’s fine bourtbon bottle with tea so nothing seems missing, there are some things you just don’t do. I made a mental note, positioned everything precisely, and started making a plan.

Rain was sleeping, so I took the jar out, checked things carefully, and set a trap that every parent knows. Very simple, yet very effective. I will know if anyone goes into the jar. I left her to sleep, and went to work.

All day long, I anguished over what I would find when I got home. She met me at work later in the night. I slipped her money to “get right” with, and she met me to ride the bus home together. As we rode, she asked, “Are you all right?”

“Yeah. Just thinking about stuff.” We held hands, and she slept with her face on my chest. In fact, by the time we got home most of her face had rubbed off onto my gray tee shirt. I was a made-up mess.

We hurried in from the rain, and began our nightly routine. She would be physically comfortable in a few minutes, and I’ve always got my horn on, and it *was* date night. Before I went to the shower, I casually checked my trap. She’d been alone in my room all night, and had not touched my jar. I smoked a big fucking joint and took a long hot shower. By the time I came back, shaved and ponytailed, she was smiling that half-lidded smile that told me her bag was a good one. She put her gear away, and we spent a couple hours just talking. Then, as dawn peeked through the blinds, we made love until it was pointless. I had to get up for work in four hours, and she had an appointment at 10 AM. She got ready to go while I slept. We’d meet up later at work, and she’d come home, just like always.

My alarm went off. Man, I slept good! I started coffee, used the bathroom, came back and checked my trap.


I opened the jar, and there was no doubt. She wasn’t even subtle this time. Showcase buds were gone. I figured I was down a total of about $150 worth. But it wasn’t the money. I’d let her become part of my sanctuary, and that trust had been violated. In spades.

I had done most of my anguishing the day before. I was SO relieved to come home and find her not-guilty that I’d celebrated prematurely. It turned out to be a good thing, because our last night together was very special and sweet. I’d probably never loved her more, and it sucks big wet donkey balls to have lost it so fast.

Before I poured my coffee, I grabbed her overnight bag. I put it into a garbage bag along with personal items from the dresser and laundry. I took her picture off the wall. I took her personal stash box and dumped into a plastic bag and tossed it into the trash bag along with all the other random stuff of hers. I didn’t move her suitcases. It was about to be the rainiest weekend in 140 years, and she picked the wrong fucking time to fuck me over. She’d taken five of the ten dollars I’d left by my phone, with a note: “I needed it for bus fare. I hope you won’t be mad.”

She hadn’t seen me truly mad before. Oh, she’d seen me blow off steam and yell and get righteously pissed at inanimate objects because I needed to break something besides her, but she’d never met the real mad me. That guy is cold as ice, and lives behind an Iron Shield of his own. I texted her, “I need those pills, or the money for them.” (She was supposed to be finding something for me. It had been two days.) “Please come to the store. I got something for you.”

Your stuff, to be exact.

Love Shack

Love Shack

I was returning from lunch when she called. As it happened, I was standing in front of the building she’d last lived in. “I need some money. Can you help me?”

“I’m heading back to the store, will meet you there.”

I knew where she was, so I decided to keep the drama away from work. She saw me and stepped away from the couple she’d been staying with. “Walk with me to the store?”

“Sure! I’d love some coffee.”

“Got any money?”

She looked at me. “You know I don’t get paid until Monday.”

“Got any weed?”

“Is that what you want? My friend got some-”

“I need about $150 to cover the weed missing from my room.”

“AND YOU THINK I TOOK IT? I DON’T EVEN SMOKE NO FUCKING WEED!” Instantly mad as a wet hornet.

“Are you telling me someone snuck into my room after we had sex and I passed out but before you left and crawled all over both of us to steal weed from me?”

“I didn’t do it.”

“Lying to me is just making it worse. I got your stuff at work. Come and get it.”

“ARE YOU SERIOUS?” She was incredulous, but getting hostile way too quick. Plus she seemed to know what I was talking about without me actually talking about it. Hmm.

I went back to work, pulled her bag of stuff out of the back room and texted her again. “Come get your stuff. I won’t be around tomorrow.”


An hour later, she appeared at my work counter. “Hi! I got your red bag in there, and everything–”

She grabbed the trash bag and left without a word, shooting a withering look of hate right at me. Time will tell if she’s sorry, or sorry she got caught.

She’s now in an elite club, along with my older sister. Someone I love dearly, but don’t want in my house because I’ll have to watch them like a potential shoplifter. I imagine Rain will be part of my life for a long time to come, but not before she gets some much-needed help. I can’t afford to help her, and will no longer help her kill herself, no matter how slow and pleasurable it may be. I’ve seen what dope can do, and I am happy with my weed habit. In a couple weeks, when the jar is down to flakes, I will be grouchy, but I won’t be pondering aloud whether I really have the nerve to work 82nd or not. (She has threatened to.)

Now I’m back to that place. So familiar. Alone. I got my room back. My stuff is all back in its place. It doesn’t smell like an upscale bar anymore, with its perfume and cigarettes. I’m getting a full night’s sleep.

And I miss her like she’s the air and I cannot breathe.

I’m not worried about Rain too much, She’s been living this pattern for thirty years. It’s never been this bad for her, but she’s a survivor. She will get through it, and likely thrive. I can see her as a happy, sober church woman working in a rehab center or a nursing home. I’d love to turn her into an old hippie stoner chick, who’d sit and smoke joints with me until the sun comes up. Whatever she does, she will be good at it. Her heart is as big as she is, and once the poison is out she will be my sweet baby again.

Take care, Innie. Outie loves you. ❤

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