I think the first partee mate Tar thought he was in love with was Mike, this daddy-looking IT person working in Pasig City. Almost every week, or at least every two weeks, Mike would message Tar to “come over” since “we have supplies (i.e. meth)” and “we can fuck for days”. In those days they spent together, Tar started feeling “something” when with Mike – e.g. this feeling of being desired/wanted, being babied, being made to do things he may otherwise not do, and so on.
There were other partee mates he may have had “feelings” for, at least while in sessions with them.
There was MRC, a skinny call center agent who’s a partee regular who actually worried that Tar may not be in total control of the drug use. Living in Pasig City, he was able to make Tar do things he wouldn’t do without drugs – e.g. bottoming – and shared Tar sans his consent – e.g. he’d gain awareness only to notice another person is already with them, joining them in partee-ing.
There was this guy in Pasay City, who “promised” to help Tar in his career development. While high, Tar could remember actually picturing a life with this older guy, even if he also felt paranoid while with this guy.
There’s Benedict from Sta. Ana in Manila, another call center agent whose IG and Twitter/X accounts cite his search for true love. He’s able to persuade Tar to skip work for days just so they can spend time using drugs together.
There are others, I am certain; but these highlight a not-frequently-discussed phenomenon (yeah, let’s call it that) experienced by drug users, and which make them keep using drugs: CHEM LOVE.
This is that assumption that a drug user is in love with a fellow drug user, with the emotion particularly surfacing when they use drugs together.
I sort of understand where Tar’s “attraction” is coming from. I’ve been told repeatedly that I’d never fully understand what drug addicts go through as a non-addict. This notion of having a “shared experience” is, by itself, an aphrodisiac (I suppose). And I sort of get this.
I am not jealous of them. Because even these people can’t compete with the “real” love: the drug use. If there is “competition” at all, that’s what we all are competing with/against.
But related to the guys Tar may have had “feelings”, I remembered asking him in the past:
- Will Mike ever date you, show your face in public as someone he’s with?
- Aside from drugs, what other commonalities do you have with MRC? Do you watch the movies together? Discuss literature you or he read? Tackle political discourses?
- Will Benedict ever introduce you to people close to him (e.g. his family members, or even just his closest friends)? If he does at all, will he lie about how you two met/how you two became close?
- Will any of them bring you to the hospital due to the issues you’ve had when they used and abused your body while high on drugs? Just as they opened their wallets to buy the drugs, will they also willingly spend for your hospital bills?
- Will they ask for your consent (knowing some of them videotaped you without your consent, injected you with drugs without you knowing so you’d stay with them longer, forced you to have sex with other addicts they invited while you were too high to agree/disagree, and so on)? Will they respect your choices even if it contradicts what they want?
Alas, none of them were willing to go beyond the shared drug use; partee-ing is the start and end of what they have.
Which is why while I understand why chem love could surface, I wish/hope it is seen for what it is: a lure to be stuck in a cycle that eventually harms real love that exists beyond this cycle.