ELLIOTT, CAN I GET A PRESCRIPTION?
Porter has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. He insists I 'friend—zoned' him before he even had a chance to know what fun breasts can be – poor baby. As much as he bitches and moans, I know I'm as important to him as he is to me. I've punched girls in the face for breaking his heart and he's returned the favour. It's great when your best friend is 6' 4", built like a wall and rocks his ginger hair like Ewan McGregor. Of course, all of that sexiness is wasted on me. He's my human teddy bear.
Unfortunately over the years, I've given Porter more than a couple of occasions to help me try to save face. Or to save my ass. My shit childhood was one thing, but the final explosion of my parents' marriage when I was in high school took my insane behaviour to a whole other level. If I could drink it, swallow it, sniff it or inject it – I wanted it. All of it and as much of it as I could put into my body. The second time I overdosed I was clinically dead for three minutes. Porter is the only one who came to see me in the hospital. My parents were too wrapped up in themselves – like normal, to be bothered.
The third time I overdosed I was dead for seven minutes. I lost a lot of memories and gained a lot of blank spots in my mental timeline after that one. But it was confirmation that forced incarceration in a rehab facility wasn't going to work, since I overdosed in my hospital bed. An addict can't be forced into recovery – it'll only work when they want it to work. Even then I still wasn't ready to fight for my life.
There isn't much about that last night I remember beyond Porter's angry green eyes, and his voice. I knew he was shouting but none of it was audible because the sound of my heartbeat was too loud. Thump. Thump.Thump.Thump.Thump… Thump. I remember it hurting and not feeling right. I remember thinking I am going to die in Porter's arms and he's never going to forgive me for this. Then I remember nothing at all.
Porter saved me that night. He had found me on the bathroom floor with yet another needle in my foot and stopped me from overdosing. When I had woken up in the hospital, it was to him crying. Seeing the fear in his eyes, and the hurt I was causing him was the eye—opener I needed. Up until then, I had felt I had no reason to live beyond pursuing my next high. When I was high, there was no pain or sadness. Everything was good in my life. But then I realized how fucking stupid I had been. How selfish. I did have something to live for. Someone.
That was the last time I used, and I haven't had a drop of drink since either. Every single day is a battle, but by following my programs and with Porter's support, I'm making it. No, not making it.
I'm fucking crushing it.
Sober and dry, I was able to leave my family in my past where they belong. Same with the emotional baggage they brought with them. I took singing classes to help me fine tune my voice, and now I perform more than three hundred nights a year with my band 'Solo Solidarity'. We started off in small bars and clubs but have now completed two small regional tours opening for bands in auditoriums seating up to 25,000. And some of those people came to see us, based on the souvenir sales.
It took eight years for me to spiral out of control and claw my way back out again. But it was worth it. Porter is still at my side and I could never imagine life without my best friend.
In addition to recording our first album – which is still something I can't seem to wrap my mind around; in three days we'll be performing for the city's largest charity event. All three members of my band are from here, so it is a local boy does good angle and we're always happy to support worthwhile charities whenever we can. This one is to raise funds for a new safehouse for teenagers leaving rehab but don't have a proper environment to return to. Not surprising, it is a cause close to my heart. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Porter in their lives.
Porter. Fucking Porter. If he tells me one more time that this dress makes my boobs look too big, or that one is too sexy… I may slap him. I knew I shouldn't have brought him with me to find a dress for the charity performance. He's worst than a mother hen sometimes! I may not always know how to take care of myself, but I do always manage to fucking dress myself. Jesus! As I try on yet another dress, I can still hear him nattering at me through the closed door. Maybe nagging would be a better word.
"Porter! If this isn't the dress, then I'm wearing the last one and calling it a day. I. Don't. Care. Any. More." I really don't. I hate clothes shopping. It is a tedious task and if I could walk around in draw—string shorts and a T—shirt all day, I'd be happy as hell. When I turn and I look at myself in the mirror, I no longer care what Porter has to say.
I've found my dress.
CAMDEN, I DON'T WANNA
"I don't give a shit. I'm tired of listening to you bark at everyone because you're so fucking miserable all of the time! Go to the event, have a few drinks and talk to people. Pretend you're a human being for a few hours for Christ's sake. Who knows – you might even meet a human female who will let you insert tab A into slot B." Sometimes Laura can be such a bitch. Especially when she's right. I fucking hate that.
Big fucking deal, I haven't had time for anything other than work lately. So what? Our staff and all of the shareholders cashing their cheques aren't complaining. It'll slow down soon and then I can focus on me. What I need. And maybe then stop sounding like a girl and instead find one to have sex with. Yuck. I'm such an asshole. I really hate myself sometimes.
Laura Chase is co—founder with me of our web design company, CD Designs. We started off in her parents' basement, and now we have our own office that occupies two floors in a small building downtown. Baby steps but we're making them in the right direction. The waiting list for our services is eighteen months, and people are willing to do it. In today's market where things move and change so quickly – that is unheard of. But companies are booking us in advance for projects still in the planning stages, so we'll all be ready to work together when the time comes. It's fucking amazing.
And a lot of work.
Laura puts in the same amount of effort and time I do – she is completely equal in this partnership. Yet Laura found time to get married and have two children in the time I've known her. How is that fucking possible? Her husband Kent is a great guy, and an accountant from one of the companies we first worked for. Destined to be she says. Complete fucking fluke I say. My theory is she is secretly a vampire and doesn't need sleep. That's the only thing that makes sense.
But sometimes the pressure gets to her – like today. Like now, when she is in my office yelling at me. For not wanting to go to some stupid charity event. I hate big parties like these – I'll just send a cheque which is all they want anyways.
"I have no time or interest in going to some stupid party Laura. If this charity gives you such a hard—on, you fucking go. Take my invitation and have a good time. I'll pay for the babysitter." Maybe that'll stop the barrage of nagging. She complains a lot about how she and Kent never get time alone together anymore, now that the second baby has arrived. No way date night doesn't sound attractive to her.
"Nope. You're going on our behalf. My kids are going to their grandparents and I'm ravaging my husband's body that night from sundown to sun—up, or as long as he can keep it up…" she says in a sing—song voice as I pretend to vomit. Jesus – what every guy wants to hear. How another man is having sex when he isn't. Please sir, can I have some more? Ugh.
"If you promise to stop there and not say another word about your sex life, I'll go," I growl at her. I can hear her laugh all the way to her office. She played me like the pro she is, and I fell for it completely. Considering we don't have sex; I'm ridiculously wrapped around her little finger. Or she has my throat under her heel. Yeah – that sounds about right.
Guess I'll need to dry clean my fucking tux.