Prelude: Death Wish
Hollywood, California: 2008
Spinning out of control.
My head was spinning, and my stomach was churning, doing somersaults between violent bouts of vomiting.
Was this how dying felt?
My limbs were heavy, too heavy to move. I couldn’t hold my head up. I couldn’t focus my eyes. I was sure I was going crazy. Or dying. Probably, maybe, hopefully both.
Was that a demon that just popped out from behind the drapes? And what was the creature that just disappeared into the closet?
No, I didn’t want to die—at least not this way. Naked, except for the leather restraints on my wrists and ankles, I found myself sliding around in my own bodily fluids on the filthy floor of an infamous gay drug motel in east Hollywood.
I had been throwing up for what felt like hours since I dragged myself from the nasty, flea-ridden mattress to the toilet.
No, I hadn’t been kidnapped. I had rented the motel room. I had bought the drugs. And from my ad on Craigslist, I had carefully selected and hired a mean-looking, tattooed Mexican gangbanger to tie me down and rough me up. In our online chat, I pushed for a name only because the front desk would require one. He said his name was Miguel. I didn’t care.
My arms were already bruised and bloody from my own attempts to slam before he arrived at my motel room and made it worse with his multiple stabbing attempts of finding a decent vein.
Once I was sufficiently high, he clicked the padlocks on the restraints and made me drink a tall glass of Diet Coke mixed with GHB. The “G” was to facilitate the scene I had devised: knock me out, and bring your buddies over to use me, rape me, kick my head in, whatever. I didn’t care.
I don’t think the scene unfolded the way I had scripted. Apparently, the dose of GHB was near lethal, and he told me he’d shot me up with more meth in an attempt to revive me. He said he didn’t want to be stuck with a dead fag. So, once I was awake, he unlocked the restraints and was gone.
Usually, I hooked up to feel wanted, attractive, special, or for some measure of validation. This time, I wanted to be higher than I’d ever been and severely beaten. This time, I wanted to punish myself for every mistake I’d ever made in my life, including becoming addicted to anonymous sex and crystal meth. I wanted to show the world how much I hated myself. This time, I thought I had a death wish.
But there, on my knees, naked, drugged nearly to death, and helplessly alone, I called upon the God I’d never known and had always pushed away.
I prayed, “Dear God, dear Jesus, dear whoever’s up there, please don’t let me die this way. Not here. Not today. Please.”
As I slipped in and out of consciousness, I was certain a flock of demons were crowding around me.
Then I blacked out.