Sleeping with a Crackhead

Hi everyone. I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Ok, we are at the end of the romantic saga. Find out how it ends. And please if you read it all let me know what you think.

After Shawna got out of San Diego Job Corps, she went to San Jose Job Corps to finish up her studies there in an advanced program. I used to send her care packages while she was there. I would Fed-Ex her a big old box with some of the things she liked best like Twizzlers and Saltine crackers and other assorted goodies. Sometimes I would send her money as well. She didn’t ask for these things, I just wanted to be nice. I appreciated her friendship to me. She had listened to me go on and on about Jaime, and then talk about whatever would be romantic interest would pop up in my life, whether it be Rachel, Lisa, Tammy or even the art teacher Liz. She was there for me when I needed a friend. When I needed to love and be safe. She made me feel important, she made me feel appreciated and needed. Yes, I was in love with her, but I also genuinely loved her. When Shawna got out of San Jose Job Corps, she moved into the same building that I lived in. So, we each had our own not so deluxe apartment in the sky. She had moved on from Tim at this point. And to be honest, she is the one who messed that up. I will always have Tim’s side because although Shawna was my dear friend, she was a messed-up girlfriend. After Tim she made some real bad choices when it came to men. I always knew Tim was great, he was a special dude, but his greatness came even more to light compared to the assholes she would later date.

This isn’t the first guy but let’s start with Robert, the crackhead. Robert the crackhead lived down the hall from me. I never knew who he was until Shawna moved in and she met him. She slept with Robert and of course gave me the gossip. Well, although he wasn’t a boyfriend to her, they did hook up from time to time. I wasn’t too happy about the last guy she was with who definitely showed some red flags because he was a lady’s man and I didn’t like that he was asking her to do his laundry for him especially when they weren’t even serious. This guy Robert though was something else. As it turns out Robert the crackhead had a live-in girlfriend, but Shawna didn’t really care. She had no interest in him as a boyfriend, he was more like a friend with benefits. Shawna had a history of using speed and liked to drink. I would not say she was alcoholic at all, but she did get toasty once in a while. Shawna told me that one night she and Robert and his girlfriend smoked crack together all night. There was also some business about having a threesome with the girlfriend. So yes, the term Robert the crackhead is not derisive it is a fact. I did not like hearing about her doing crack all night. This had me scared to be honest. I did not want to see her life go downhill but with all these poor choices in men and the crack thing I was downright afraid her life would spiral. It seemed to already be on the decline. She told me about a time when her and Robert hung out and he bought her a 5$ pizza and a $1.29 40 ouncer. You have to take into consideration that just about a month earlier I had taken her out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and just to give you perspective this was late 1996 now and the dinner before tip cost $94 between the two of us. He said to her “I bet, you’re not used to being wined and dined like this are you?” Oh, I about shit myself when I heard this. “Was he serious when he said this?” I asked, hoping he was being ironic or something. No, he wasn’t.

He was dead serious. He really thought he was rolling out the red carpet with the $5 pizza and the 40 ouncer. You can’t imagine how much of a dumbass I felt like after hearing about this. I was taking her out to 100$ dinners, sending her care packages, sleeping with one girl at a time when I could, treating her like an absolute gentleman and this guy, this guy, is the one who is having sex with her? I just couldn’t fathom that this is how the Universe works. I am an incredible idiot I thought to myself. This guy is doing none of the right things, he’s smoking crack, having threesomes, being a cheap ass, and he is getting rewarded, meanwhile here I am suffering on the daily because I simultaneously am being repressed and loving a woman.

This would rock my world. Sometimes you get a revelation in your life that just makes you completely jaded, and this was one of those times. You can do all the right things, you can be classy, giving, loving, considerate and honest and some other guy is the one that is going to get the girl. Yet again, that feeling of, it should be me, I deserve that, and he doesn’t, penetrated my mind. Life did not seem fair at this point. What the fuck was I doing with my life? Things with Shawna and I would soon get strained. The truth is that I was just in too much pain. How much can one take? How can you be so close to someone you love and just be repressed and watch on the sidelines? I couldn’t take it anymore. I should be the one she wants; I should be sexy to her. But I wasn’t. She loved her bad boys. We started fighting more and more. She continued to make bad choices with her life. I remember having a talk with her and telling her that she deserved happiness. She deserved to have a boyfriend and not be one of many women that a guy sleeps with. She deserved love. You know what she told me? She said, “Do I?” That was it. There was the answer to all my questions. Why did she put herself through bad boyfriends? Why did she smoke crack? Why was she content being a side dish? Because shefelt like she deserved it. You won’t accept good things in your life until you feel like you deserve them. This was the epiphany I needed. She would always choose a bad boy because she felt bad about herself. I felt powerless. Her life would take her wherever it would take her, and I dreaded it was going to be down an awful road. I was powerless over her life and I knew it. I was not equipped to change anybody. The writing was on the wall. It was time to give up.

Some months later in 1997 I moved to another part of San Diego. I got a better job. Shawna and I had worked together for about six months and I decided it was time for me to move on. This new job paid more. It was 40 hours a week at 6$ an hour and the extra five hours a week would go far with me. It wasn’t really about moving up financially, I needed to move on. I am not going to watch a woman I love ruin her life with crackheads and threesomes and guys that slept with many women. I was not going to love a woman who didn’t want to be loved. She didn’t want a healthy relationship because she felt like she didn’t deserve one. That is not what I wanted. It was very painful to watch her life take these turns, so I had to go. Quickly the amount of contact we had with each other dissipated. And when I was ready to cut the cord and try to heal, I moved again and did not tell her. I just walked away from the situation. For my own well-being I needed to. So, there it is. Shawna and I were over. There was no movie moment where we realize we were meant to be with each other and give each other a big kiss. There was no great proclamation of love on my behalf. All my deepest moments of love and pain were kept to myself. Now they are on paper. How she really felt about me I will never know. I always wished that she had known, not to change anything about what happened but just to give her that peace of mind.

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