Tonight's episode of 21 JUMP STREET actually brought me to tears. Doug Penhall falls in love with a narcotics undercover agent only to find out she's a junkie. Some of you know that I've had a long-term relationship with a junkie. I won't mention her name for various reasons, so if you're one of the few who knows who she is, please don't blurt it out.
Briefly, I've been friends with her since 1997. Four times, we dated each other. Two of those times, I was crazy enough to propose marriage. One of those times, she wisely turned me down. The other? She was crazy enough to say yes, and then we broke each others hearts later.
This isn't about that. She's always been fucked in the head for as long as I've known her and longer. She wasn't always a junkie, though. When she acquired that habit, I didn't comprehend how much of a life-changer it was. Not just for her, though. For me, too.
My first experience with this side of her life threw me off so badly, I didn't know what to make of it until years later. The third time we were romantically entangled, she'd been clean for a long time. She'd just had a daughter, and her pregnancy was the only thing in her life that had ever cleaned her up. We've always loved each other, but we were in love with each other at our strongest by this point. We were going to be married, and I was going to adopt her daughter as my own.
And then an old friend of hers showed up. She was struggling with her addiction still, and I didn't understand. This guy showed up, and he was also a recovering addict. My instinct told me to get this fucker out of our lives, but I still wanted to be the understanding boyfriend. Because I didn't get the addict mentality, I gave her my blessing to hang out with him.
The next thing I know, she's asking me to make one of the worst decisions of my life. She wanted to use one more time, and then she swore she'd never use again. My first instinct was to say no, but I tried to put myself in her shoes, and I realized that if I was ever addicted to something, I'd want to do it one last time before quitting for good.
I know. You don't have to tell me how stupid I was.
Her friend got the shit for her, and while I babysat her daughter, she went into the bathroom with him, where he shot her up. I should have known in that moment what a terrible mistake I'd made. But . . . I rode it out.
The next thing I knew, she'd chosen her friend over me. Our last conversation at that point was her telling me that she was really choosing heroin over me, not this other guy. (As if that would make me feel better.) He was just the fucker who could get it for her. It broke my heart, and I walked away.
She went through hell after that. That fucker beat the shit out of her, although she gave every inch back to him (especially when she bit his fucking tongue off, which was great). But in that time, she lost everything. She even gave her daughter up for adoption. About a year later, we became friends again. Soon after, we became lovers again. That was another rough time, because I had to drive her to the methadone clinic a lot, so she wouldn't have to fall back on heroin. Not that methadone is much better. I hate it almost as much as I hate heroin.
But never mind that, and never mind that she started getting dope again. What I really wanted to talk about was an incident after we broke up again. We were still friends, but I made her promise that we would never be lovers again. She has a certain degree of power over me, and I know that if she tried again, we'd fall back into the same stupid pattern. But she promised, and since then, she's been as good as her word.
But here's the thing: I gave up trying to save her. I was there to help her if she asked, but I couldn't put myself through saving her of my own volition.
This led to the second to last evening we ever spent together. By that point, she was living on the streets, and since it was her birthday, I wanted to treat her to an evening in a decent hotel room. Not the ghetto shit she was used to. Unfortunately, she scored earlier in the day. She knew how much I hated to see her fucked up on dope, so she went to the bathroom to shoot up.
Her problem, though, was that she'd shot up so much in her life that most of her veins had collapsed. She couldn't find one she could use. She came out of the bathroom naked with her purse strap tied around her arm and a needle in her hand, unused. Blood oozed from half a dozen puncture wounds.
She sat on the bed and cast her dead eyes at me. She spread her legs to show what I was all too familiar with. But she didn't make a move toward me, as if she'd remembered her promise, even at this fucked up point.
I took a towel from the bathroom and I wrapped it around her, covering her nakedness. I then held her as she bled all over the floor and the bed. I wanted to cry more than anything else, but I didn't want to make her feel worse, so I held it in.
She kissed me. Nothing like a lover's kiss. Just a gentle peck on the lips.
And then she found a vein she could use. She nodded off in my arms, and I had to take the needle from her foot.
The next day, we went about our lives as if nothing had happened. I saw her one more time, but I probably shouldn't talk about that one. Not because anything inappropriate happened, but if I did, most of you who don't know who she is would figure it out. After that, she ran into a lot of trouble. She's been clean for a year now, but only because she's been in prison.
She's hurt me more than anyone currently alive on this planet, but I still love her. Thankfully, I'm not IN love, but still.
Tonight, Doug Penhall discovered the truth about the junkie he'd fallen for and had introduced to his kid in the hopes that something would come of the relationship. He arrested her. I'm not a cop, but even if I was, I'm 100% certain I wouldn't have done that if I was.