The night I met Christian was typical of the chaos I’d dove headfirst into upon my return to Richmond. Mike decided that afternoon that we should go out and have a few drinks. It was just after 3pm on a Wednesday, and I wasn’t having any luck snagging a client. Most of the men with enough money to afford my rates were busy at work. Not that I needed an excuse to get drunk on a weekday afternoon.
I’d finally seen Shaun the night before and we’d woken up together in the same bed for the first time in half a year.
When he leaves my roommates and I spent an hour getting ready and blasting DubStep before piling into her black Honda and heading for downtown. Brianna looked striking in a sundress, a fedora, and what looked like 50 bracelets creeping up her smooth caramel arms. Mike looked less ridiculous than usual, hiding his giant bald spot and short orange hair under a hat. Maybe I wouldn’t need the foil-wrapped heroin I’d been daydreaming about since Mike forced me out of bed at 11am.
When we get to one of the only gay bars in the city I’m disappointed to see we are its only customers. At this point, one would think that I’d know that the average person doesn’t frequent bars at 4p.m. on Wednesdays. Instead of feeling bad about myself, like I probably should, I take this as a sign that I’m just having way more fun than the average person. After two Long Islands on an empty stomach, I’m nicely buzzed, and the conversation flows freely. Mike jokes about the time he and Brianna finally figured out that they had both slept with me. Again, I decide to take this as a sign that I’m living life to the absolute fullest. Boundaries? What are those?
A text comes into my Galaxy from a guy named Mitch I’d been emailing earlier in the day. He agrees to my inflated rate and even offers to pick me up, so I order another Long Island and ask for my check. I tell Mike and Brianna I’m leaving with a friend, and they accept my lie without an argument.
There’s a champagne Escalade idling by the curb, and I’m drunker than I thought I was sitting at the high-top table in the bar. “Hi, I’m Zach,” I say with a thick tongue. Thank baby Jesus I’m drunk because the man seated behind the wheel must be at least 400 pounds. I’m sleepy from the alcohol and not eating so I plug my phone into the dash with an auxiliary cord and play Miley Cyrus’s “wrecking ball” on repeat. Like always, I’m singing along, and Mitch seems amused.
We eventually pull into a complex of sprawling carriage homes; the kind executives buy when they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or landscaping. As I’m getting out of the truck, a text comes in from a guy named Christian I’d also been e-mailing earlier that afternoon. He wants me to meet him at the Hilton on the other side of town at 9:00 p.m. “Looks like I’m definitely getting high tonight” I think as I text him back a confirmation and a winky face. Time to get this first guy over with.
The master bedroom is on the first floor, which I’m sure was one of the main selling points for someone over the weight limit for most roller coasters and small passenger elevators. I start to undress, and Mitch tells me that he likes my jeans. “Thanks, they are Armani” I slur as I kick them off and on to the unblemished white carpet. Like most of my passive and lonely clients, Mitch gets off quickly.
“So I have to be somewhere at 9 tonight,” I say to Mitch who is struggling to put his XXL clothes back on. “Would you mind if I took a nap for a couple of hours before we leave?”. Mitch tells me he wouldn’t mind at all.
“You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar,” I tell him with a grin. I get back into the California king bed and make myself comfortable as he leaves the room, probably to stuff his doughy face. I find my phone and call Boss, the dealer that Jenny introduced me to and tell him I need two grams of heroin. He agrees to meet me at the hotel a little after 9. With everything perfectly aligned, I set five alarms and quickly pass out in the soft covers.
I usually have a difficult time getting out of bed after a post drink nap, but I know that fluffy opiate goodness is in the near future, so I exit the bed on the third alarm and quickly get dressed. There is a large bathroom off the master suite and I perform the obligatory scan of the medicine cabinet before I leave. I fail to find anything worth taking, but I’m not consumed by disappointment as usual. I find Mitch melting into a large sectional sofa and tell him it’s time to leave.
I call Christian as we are pulling into the Hilton’s parking lot. “Call me whenever,” I say to Mitch, before making my way to the third floor. Christian answers and for once I’m pleasantly surprised. I mean he’s definitely old, but he’s skinny and well put together. He has a large mustache which I HATE, but that can always be fixed. I only plan on spending an hour here so I guess it really doesn’t matter one way or the other. He’s either really nervous or on some type of amphetamine because his hands shake as he pours me a vodka and sprite.
“So I’m having my dealer drop something off,” I tell him after taking an initial gulp of the drink that’s too strong for my liking. “He should be here soon. I’ll just have to run downstairs, but I’ll come right back”. We make small talk while I wait for Boss to call me.
“This is the first time I’ve done something like this,” he tells me in a whisper. I want to tell him “that’s what they all say” but I haven’t been paid yet so I just nod my head. When my Galaxy rings I head to the lobby and procure my heroin.
I sit at the business desk and use my George Mason ID to separate the powder into two equal lines. I’m out of cash until Christian pays me, so I rip a piece of Hilton paper from the pad next the phone and use it to suck the first line up my nose. I’m still not used to the bitter drip from snorting the drug, and I gag as I tilt my head back. Christian has been watching from one of the two double beds.
“What does that do for you…since I’ve never done it?” He asks me.
I suck the second line up my nose with my makeshift straw. “It makes me feel much better about life,” I tell him as I hold my head back and smile. The opiates are already crossing the blood-brain barrier and my body starts to unclench.
Christian laughs softly, “No, I mean what does it do for you physically?”
I stand up and turn dramatically to look him in the eyes. “No. Pain. Ever”. I feel incredible, and I’m starting to think the mustache is kind of sexy.
Christian puts awful gay porn on the TV and we hook up while I plan what I’m going to eat when I get home. I think there’s still a plate of linguine with clam sauce that Mike made in the fridge. I wonder if my parents are going to be mad that I put a phone case on their Verizon bill. At exactly 10:20 I start putting my clothes back on.
“You can take me home right?” I ask Christian. He happily agrees, and I grab my drink as we had head out the door. When we get into his SUV he opens the center console and tells me he wants to give me something.
“Oh God, here we go,” I think. He already gave me my cash in the room so I can’t even guess what this weirdo now wants to give me. I’m tempted to open the car door and just call a cab, but I’m eager to get home and do my other gram of heroin.
“You’ve heard of nunchucks right?” Christian asks me with a grin.
“Yes…” I reply, arching my eyebrow at him.
“Well, these are NUN-chucks!” He screams as he yanks his hand out of the center console, twirling a blur of black-and-white inches from my face. I scream and yank on the door handle, falling to the pavement outside.
“What the fuck!?” I yell from the ground.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry” he repeats over and over as he leaps out of the car to help me up. He expects me to be mad but I’m already laughing as he pulls me up off the blacktop. They were simply two plastic nuns attached with a chain.
“I just thought they were really funny and wanted to give you something to remember me by,” he tells me on the drive back to the two-story colonial I share with Mike and Brianna.
“Well you certainly made an impression,” I say in the hoarse lazy voice I use when I’m high.
Mike’s beagle Wesley greets me at the door, and I go straight up the steps to my bedroom to do the rest of my dope. I sit on my bed and snort the entire gram off an old Automobile magazine. I feel so good that my eyes are rolling back in my head, and I cross the hall to Bianna’s bedroom. Do I really want to have sex with a fourth person today? I guess the better question is why wouldn’t I?
I’m finally ready to sleep, and I can’t help feeling a bit proud of all I’d accomplished.