Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
As many people know, itâ€™s been well over five years since Iâ€™ve done crystal meth â€“ and almost as long since Iâ€™ve even seen it. A nasty and a damn hard (daily!) habit to break, Iâ€™ve managed to steer clear of the drug which, by the time I was 31, left me a strung out mess living in a residential rehabilitation facility.
Sometimes itâ€™s admittedly less easy to avoid than others. Considering I frequently find myself working among the circuit party set, where itâ€™s unfortunately an accepted facet of our culture, I have somehow managed. Maybe itâ€™s been sheer good fortune. Perhaps itâ€™s determination to protect myself from what, for me at least, proved the most destructive behavior Iâ€™ve ever known. It might even be that so many who know my history simply shield me from it, even if they partake themselves.
Whatever the situation, I have spent the last half-decade dodging the bullet. This past weekend, quite by surprise, was an entirely different story. And in that split second when that all-too-familiar demon in a glass pipe was being passed my way, Iâ€™d be lying to say there wasnâ€™t at least a moment of temptation.
The story actually begins months ago, when I received an invitation to perform at the Reno Ducal Council Coronation. As the reigning Grand Duchess of San Francisco, it is my obligation to attend such out-of-town events â€“ and a genuine honor and privilege to be asked to entertain. It made the decision oh-so-simple knowing my drag family, the House of Glitter, and a contingent from the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco would turn out en-masse for the occasion.
So last Friday, the Ducal Councilâ€™s reigning White Knight Nick Leonard, Royal Crown Princess Sandra O. Noshi-Diâ€™nâ€™t, Princess Royale Miso Hornay, Miss Gold Rush 2009 Anjie Myma and I loaded into the rental van helmed by Grand Duchess XXXVI Landa Lakes and hit the road for â€śThe Biggest Little City in the World.â€ť For me, it was a much-needed escape from the Bay Area and a terrific opportunity to bond with some of my favorite people â€“ not to mention spend time with friends old and new from the Reno Imperial and Ducal Courts.
Once weâ€™d settled into our rooms â€“ only after hitting the girdle-busting Silver Legacy FLAVOR! buffet, home to Trannyshack: Renoâ€™s annual Easter Sunday brunch â€“ we decided to paint the town. With the pre-Coronation Out-of-Town Show taking place at the areaâ€™s Ten-99 Club, we assumed the place would be swimming in festivities when we arrived. Boy, were we sorely mistaken!
By the time we got there, only a few locals and a picked over veggie platter remained of what Iâ€™m sure was a very lively event. As Reno trannies two-stepped together â€“ one of them repeatedly on Anjieâ€™s feet â€“ I set out to see what else might be happening in town. Thatâ€™s when I met two men and a drag queen also in Reno for the next dayâ€™s hooplah. As it turned out, they were staying right across the hall from us at the hotel!
Trying my best to make eyes at one of the guys, I suggested the group ride with us to the cityâ€™s dance club, Tronix. Sadly, that proved equally uninteresting (at best), so our group from San Francisco decided to call it a night. Hoping to keep my flirtation alive, I slipped my business card to our new acquaintances and suggested they contact me when they got back to their room.
An hour later, I got a call to join them across the hall. At first, everything seemed perfectly normal to me. We chatted about the politics of the drag world and court systems of which we are all part. We gossiped about mutual friends and acquaintances. We talked about fundraising. When I turned to check on my phone, though, I returned to our conversation with a surprise.
In the drag queenâ€™s hand was a pipe loaded with crystal meth. I sat in frozen silence, watching as she heated it the way I have done too many times in the past to even begin to count. My head was spinning as she took a hit, exhaled, and passed it to her friend sitting next to her on the bed.
Itâ€™s amazing how much can actually go through your mind during just those few, short moments. The voice of experience screamed warnings, urging me to stand up and run. Another part of me didnâ€™t want to seem inappropriate or somehow rude by doing so. And some other part still, the part of me that has so long been quiet, perhaps laying in wait for just such a moment, said, â€śWhat could it hurt? Just one little hit wonâ€™t matter!â€ť
As my new acquaintance extended the pipe to me, reason kicked in. Any temptation was pushed aside by reality. For me, itâ€™s never been â€śjust one little hit.â€ť Any time Iâ€™ve ever given in to my cravings for drugs (and alcohol, too, for that matter!), I have never been able to stop. Whereas most normal people might be able to casually do those things, I cannot. There is no â€śoff switchâ€ť for me. Once I begin, I go until there is nothing left â€“ and Iâ€™m not talking about the drugs. Iâ€™m talking about nothing left of me.
In an instant, the answer to â€śwhat could it hurtâ€ť became all-too-clear to me. Everything I have worked incredibly hard for over the last many years â€“ from this column to my reputation in our community (good or bad), my relationship with my family to Little Piggy Del Mar, who is sleeping at my side right now â€“ made the decision abundantly clear.
Like a flash I was on my feet and at the door. With mumbled apologies, which I didnâ€™t really mean, I excused myself and slipped back into the safety of our room across the hall. My heart was pounding so hard, I wondered if Iâ€™d somehow gotten a contact buzz.
There is a time in my life when I might have worried what those three people would think of or say about me. I might have even felt shame or embarrassment about how abruptly I departed or been afraid that I had, in some twisted way, offended them.
Thankfully, those days are gone. The only person I have to answer to, I realize, is myself â€“ and itâ€™s easier to do today than it has ever been before. As much as I love the titles, the accolades from peers, the support of my family and this column, the thing I value most about my life is the ability to look myself in the face each day in the mirror with no shame or regret.
And Iâ€™ll make no apologies to anyone for deciding that is far too great a price to pay for a momentâ€™s weakness in Reno.
Follow â€śThe Glamazonâ€ť at Facebook.com/PolloDelMar or Twitter.com/TheGlamazonPDM. Email her direct at Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.