Drug Imagery in My New Erotic Gay Romance, “For The Love Of Samuel”
I do not profess to condone drug use or exploit its imagery in my latest work of erotic gay romance, “For The Love of Samuel.” l only wish to describe it for what it is, based on own personal experiences, and offer an honest, unvarnished portrayal of its users through one of my book’s secondary characters, Mitch, a composite of addicts l have known. Drug use also plays a pivotal role in some life decisions made by my protagonist, Billy Veleber.
The drug in question is crystal meth or Tina, rampant throughout the gay community which, either smoked – ”being in the clouds” – or injected – known as “darting”or ”slamming” poduces a prolonged euphoric high and extreme sensuality, releasing any inhibitions. When two guys who are into one another use it, their heightened destination is “homoheaven.” The drug is particularly Insidious since unlike other drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and heroin, which are physically addictive, meth is psychologically addictive which makes it that much harder a habit to break.
Meth use comes into prominent play in two critical points of my book. ”Samuel” takes place in 2012 in New York’s West Village. Fifteen years before Billy, my protagonist, had left his meth head lover Mitch for a stable life with a much older man Gus, one of the City’s most successful neurosurgeons. However, by the time my story begins, Gus had suffered a stroke, ending his career, and Billy finds himself in a dead end job. He decides to go for an interview in Chicago in the hopes they can start a new life there and leave New York. But Billy also knows that his ex lover is now living in Chicago with his very enabling parents and with Gus no longer able to have sex attempts to rekindle a relationship.
When they rendezvous at a local bar Billy, the aging fifty one year old is struck how little Mitch has changed in fifteen years. But it also becomes quickly evident that Mitch is a hopeless addict …
Sidelines is engulfed in techno sounds and ironing board body twinks, most young enough to be my sons. I venture to the back bar where we’ve agreed to meet and have just ordered my diet Coke when Mitch appears, a vision in black.
A tight button down black long sleeve dress shirt, smart black tapered slacks that fit his still slim, trim body like a condom, and, oh, that handsome rugged face with the Roman nose and shock of thick black hair lightly slicked back with a slate gray goatee teasing his chin.
And my dick.
I want to hide in a hole when he sees me, grins, struts over with that sexy quasi goose-step strut of his, forefeet up, heels down, wraps his arm around my shoulder and with all those young humpy guys giving us sneaky side glances, drills his black devil eyes into my baby blues – both of us being 5’7 makes it easy – and deposits his lips on mine, as I instinctively rub my bearded chin against his goatee. It’s as if we were all that time ago meeting for another one of our all-night weekly romps. Christ, we’re already into foreplay mode.
I can tell in an instant he is flying high. But no matter. Outside of a few more deep creases in his face that only accentuate his manly beauty, he is time stood still.
“You know, fucker, I’ve missed you. But hey, you’re a married man now, to a doctor yet. Yep, Rugby, you married well.” His nickname for the rug of fur that envelopes my body.
I can’t take my eyes off the chest hairs peeking out from his shirt, unbuttoned I know for my sake, just pass his collarbone, but he senses my lust and reaches into my tank top to touch my right nip.
“You fuck,” I say playfully. He presses his crotch against mine as some homely twink – if you’re going to be gay, you better have a big dick, be pretty, or have money, otherwise go straight – moves away from the bar so I can retrieve my coke.
Mitch already knows my little tale, Gus’s fall from grace, my own, and my job interview tomorrow at Kraft from our texts so there’s no need to waste time on talk.
I gulp down half my Coke and hand the glass to him to finish it off.
“You know where it is,” I ask referring to Villa Toscana.
“Hey, Rugby, I’ve been a townie for a while, remember?” and I follow him out of Sidelines, his goose step strut of utter huspa keeping my hard-on intact.
“So how’s the folks?” I ask, trying to make small talk. I know he had lost his job at Young & Rubicam where we had first met as lowly copywriters – when you’re on Tina your attention span is about thirty seven seconds – soon after we had parted ways and he had come to live with his parents here.
“You mean my enabling mom and dad whose basement has become my gay bachelor pad and who think the world of their druggie son even if I’ve been in and out of rehab twelve times?” He laughs. Then his voice suddenly grows cold sober. “You know I need the stuff to feel good about being with you. It – it has nothing to do with you. It’s me, fucked up former altar boy me.”
He grabs my hand and gets silly again.
“Besides I learn about some new dealer or two every time I go in. Hey you know Rugby, you never rely on just one dealer in this game. Always gotta keep cultivating, keep cultivating.”
“But don’t you worry about the future?” I regret what I’ve just said. I had vowed no theatrics tonight.
“Rugby, you worry too much. My parents won’t be around forever. As their only boy, I’ll inherit their house and whatever else they’ve got. Making a living is for the unadventurous, present company excluded of course. Even if you married well.”
“And what do you do for money in the meantime?”
“The typical odd jobs. Like playing bagman for one my dealers…”
“Aren’t you taking all the risk?”
“Why? I ain’t carrying any cash. This is the twenty-first century, Rugby. They pre-pay with Pay Pal now. And there’s always pimping on Rentboy. You wouldn’t believe how many of these twenty something twinks will pay for a real man.”
“But I thought you needed this,” grabbing some of my own chest hairs.
“When it comes to dough, I don’t care if the guy is bald-headed and on chemo.”
Back in my room, we relive our ritual dance by softly rubbing one another’s nips which are hardwired to our dicks. As if they needed any help. I slowly unbutton Mitch’s shirt and savor that hairy chest and abs not as densely furry as mine but manly all the same, as he pulls my tank over my neck and throws it on the floor. Then he unbuttons his sleeves and throws his shirt on the bed, that glorious body, Michelangelo’s David. I slowly rove my lips across his chest and abs and lower myself for the prize when he pulls me up.
“Wanna slam like the old days? I just smoked a little before I came over, kinda like Tina foreplay.”
“No, you know I’ve been a good boy. Besides I’ve got the interview 10 a.m.”
“So you don’t to fidget around like you got a vibrating dildo stuck up your ass…”
“Or sound like Chatty Cathy with a knot in her cord,” I chime in.
“I know. I know, the schmuck interviewing you will ask you about your job skills and before you know it you’ll be giving him a lesson in the history of public relations.”
Mitch reaches into his pocket and pulls out an eyeglass case.
“Mind if I…”
“No problem,” I answer, and as he moves over to one of the bed stand lamps I see his arm in the light, riddled with track marks. He slips his narrow belt off from his slacks while I go to the bathroom feigning a piss. It’s not that watching him dart bothers me, hell we did it dozens of times in the old days.
I just don’t want to be tempted.
While in Chicago, Billy encounters a shopkeeper who gives him the dog tag of a long dead Civil War soldier whose wearer, if he has or has had love in his life. will become physically twenty one again, the same age the soldier, the Samuel of the title of my book, died. After a series of plot twists when he returns to New York, Billy puts the medallion on and is transformed in a matter of days from a tired, pouchy 51 year old man to a raging stallion.
With Gus no longer in his life, Billy abandons NYC for Fort Lauderdale where he meets forty two year old Dare who becomes the love of his life. A disgraced ex New York City cop, Dare runs a thief ring fleecing wealthy older gay men. But when the cops get wind of his scheme, Dare flees to Bayonne, New Jersey, and his sister’s house; also wanted by the law, Billy changes his appearance by taking off the dog tag and becoming the old Billy again. When he finds out where Dare is, he decides to take the Amtrak back home and tell him the truth about his real identity.
But he must appear as the young Billy Dare knows, and the sensations he experiences as he puts the dog tag on a second time are not unlike what a meth user experiences “slamming” or injecting the drug intravenously:
This time it’s not just a super charged caffeine jolt that hits me like the first time. Suddenly, Mitch and I are naked and erect and mainlining one another, shooting one another’s veiny hairy arms up with Tina, and I can feel the shit coursing throughout my body and my brain like molten gold. My heart is beating so hard it’s going to pop out of my chest or just stop from sheer exhaustion, I gasp for breath, as I fly around the room, my arms wings, and Mitch’s face morphs into Dare’s and there we are pressing as close together as any two human beings can, till I can feel my bones shattering inside me.
I look deep into his eyes as he stares deep into mine, and at that moment, at that very instant, I know I have seen God.
Some readers may unfairly criticize me for glorifying what is an ugly insidious habit. But just like the Harvey Weinstein casting couch scandal which was kept under wraps for decades, meth use is like a plague within the gay community, and the only way we may eradicate it is to take it out of the shadows and begin talking about it. I hope my book “For The Love Of Samuel” will help initiate that conversation.
“For the Love Of Samuel” is now on sale as an ebook on Amazon.