contracting a tapeworm
if you don't count all the times we've broken up, today marks 5 years of tapeworm and me. the only motherfucker to hit it since its been legal. can you believe it? heh..neither can he :p
in honor of this occasion, a story: how carrie met tapeworm
I had just come out of lock up (for the last time ..so far!) and was attempting to live with my parents for the first time in 9 months.
I was 15 and had experienced things most adults can't even fathom. that alone was more than enough to alienate the majority of my peers, but add to that numerous chemical dependencies, dropping out of highschool, a shaved head (again, drugs), a police record.. I was one lonely little girl.
I wasn't quite finished being a fuck up, and I was out to celebrate my release. which meant I was on a mission to get as high as I could possibly get. I met a girl that day who was (just barely) still in highschool, who was too scared to do drugs but was incredibly enamored with me and my unconventional lifestyle. and she wanted to come along for the ride and meet my scumbag "friends", bringing a boy she was interested in (you may know him as butt rock britt) along with a friend of his to meet up in a park late one august evening.
as I stepped into the park carrying 2 freshly stolen boxes of wine, I quickly recognized the familiar glare of disapproval. the three of them kept their distance as my cohorts and I proceeded to expose them to our (un)usual activities. I can honestly not remember much of the remainder of the evening, but I do know I ended up walking 6 miles back to my parents home around 4am with several of those "friends" to crash out on my bedroom floor.
not quite the love story you were expecting, huh? yeah well...
things went on like this for some time. I continued to do stupid shit and look like a loser. my new acquaintences watched warily as I broke rules and exercised poor judgement. I tried to convince them to join me in my endeavors, but they consistently declined. I was honestly thrilled they still wanted to be in my company. my parents were so happy I had managed to make friends with homes of their own that they really didn't give me much trouble. things were going really well. though I still had a long way to go, spending time with tapeworm was slowly reminding me of what "normal" looked like.
by the time I was 17, I had severed all ties with street people. though not much of an improvement on my situation, I was dating a coke dealer named albert and, obviously, was still using drugs. this was around the height of my friendship with jacque and I was blowing off everyone who wasn't just as high as I was, partly cos I didn't want anyone to know how bad it was and partly because I didn't want anyone to try and stop me.
up until then I had still been spending every spare moment with my best friend in the whole world, mr. tickles tapeworm. but drugs won, and I treated him like shit. then one day I went crazy. just like that. a fairly uneventful afternoon, and I hadn't gotten high in a week. just sitting around the house and I began to hallucinate. I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't want to tell anyone about it. my boyfriend and his roommate stopped by after a big score to pick me up and bring me to their apartment, but I didn't want to go. said I'd take a bus up later (waaay out of character for me).
I eventually got it together enough to leave the house, and made my way to the apartment but when I got there I still felt weird and the houseful of tweakers didn't help things any. I didn't want to get high. for the first time I could remember. and that scared me, maybe even more than the fact that I was hearing things. I couldn't sleep and it had been 2 days and I was still crazy. I had to tell my mom I needed help and I knew she was gonna be mad to hear I was still involved with drugs. I walked to her office and sat down in the chair across from her desk and she knew something wasn't right. she told me one of my eyes was pinned and the other was fully dilated. I looked in the mirror, and she was right; I even looked crazy. she said she had suspected something was wrong because I left all my things at home. my keys, my id, my coat (it was late january). all the stuff I carried everywhere. and I hadn't even noticed.
though its impossible for me to describe in a way you could understand, I was terrified. mostly of myself. I couldn't step into my room without bursting into tears. I wore my parents clothes because I couldn't stand my own. animals ran from me! and nothing helped. I was 17 years old, and I was attached to my mom like a toddler. I saw doctors and specialists and a month later, I was still as crazy as I was the day it started. one doctor speculated that perhaps I was just experiencing anxiety due to the fact that I was approaching my 18th birthday; a year signifying "independence and self-sufficiency". maybe it did for him. I'd been both of those things for quite some time.
I can't tell you when it finally stopped; it was very gradual. things would be okay for a few days and then I would feel overwhelmed again and afraid for seemingly no reason. but those days became fewer and farther between and slowly I began calling people again. I hadn't talked to any of my friends since the day I left the apartment to find my mom. at least a month had passed. expecting to be met with interest and even sympathy, I was surprised to find that not only did they seem not to care at all, they didn't even want to acknowledge it had happened. finally it became clear to me how fucked up I really was that I had mistaken these people for friends. I didn't even like them. I had thrown away the only real friends I had in an attempt to ditch accountability.
I still hadn't called tapeworm. in over 2 years I hadn't gone a day without seeing him and I hadn't so much as called him in months. he had no idea anything was even wrong. and now, I was a completely different person. the phone rang everyday and seeing his name on the caller id was enough to send me into a panic. I was hiding from him. I had no idea how to tell him the girl he knew with no fear whatsoever had become afraid of her own shadow. everyone I knew had rejected me at my first refusal of narcotics. I had no expectation that he should be any different. only this time it was gonna hurt.
I had said hello before I even weighed the consequences. it was just time to get it over with. I had no words to recount the past couple of months. I felt like a blind man trying to describe color. through all my awkwardness I finally arrived without much of a point and he was still there. still listening. and still wanted to see me. I really wasn't prepared for that and strange as it sounds, I wasn't really sure I wanted to go through with it. but monday night I came over to watch wrestling with him and britt. and britt was anything but supportive. he called me weak, he said I'd come around to getting high again. he sparked up a bowl and I left the room, reminding myself why I should have never come. and tapeworm followed me. at the time I was more than prepared for people like britt, and assured tapeworm there was no reason for him to follow my lead. but he refused to leave and said if I wasn't gonna get high anymore, he wasn't either.
of course this is all too good to last. within a few months, my fear of getting high had nearly worn away completely. I was becoming more comfortable again, and jacque called. tapeworm came with me to her house and when she went to pass me her pipe, I declined, and she flipped out. she said I thought I was better than her. she called me a pussy. as stupid as I knew it was I gave in. I got high and found out it wasn't going to be the end of the world like I had made it into. I convinced myself that I had been scared for no reason and my fear of getting high, completely irrational. I just wanted to feel normal again. to not have to be weird and affected by things other people couldn't understand. but I didn't feel normal. I just worried that I was "asking for it". how long would it be before I was seeing things again? would it be worse the next time? could I end up like that forever? what if I was losing it and couldn't even tell?
luckily I never had to answer any of those questions. jacque got evicted and moved in with her boyfriend, who had no idea about her problem. we had to sneak around over there and I wasn't down with getting caught by him, so I just stopped answering her calls.
things quickly returned to the "norm" I had come to accept. it wasn't my old life, but it was comfortable and I was starting to feel happy again for the first time in too long. and that was all that really mattered anymore. I spent 6 months focused on myself. I started running, got a new job and finished highschool. just one year later than the rest of my graduating class.
I was selling pastries one day exactly 2 months before my 18th birthday, when it dawned on me that tickles tapeworm is the only person I've ever known who never judged me. ever. even when I was a complete piece of shit. I have never been able to say or do anything to make him change his mind about me. and he never throws any of it back in my face just because he's upset. lots of people spend their whole lives looking for someone like that and never find it. I couldn't wait until my shift was over so I could tell him how much I loved him. and thats exactly what I did. 5 years ago today.