August, 1986. Our third date. I am newly seventeen and he is twenty three. We are on ecstasy. Not just the drug, either; the real thing. I am, anyway. For the first time, I have someone who is mine, someone who is as intense and weird as I am, and who loves me, me more than anybody. This is the feeling I've been craving my entire life. This has made all the shit that came before it worthwhile.
Also, this is the best drug that was ever made. Seriously, I do not want to do anything else in the world besides take ecstasy, and as far as I'm concerned, there is no reason for us to spend money or time doing anything else. He likes it well enough, but he wants to spend money on pot. Why? This is one of the very few things we will ever disagree about, which drugs to take, and for a while it will end with both of us getting our way.
It feels good to breathe. I can't breathe deeply enough, it feels so good, the stretch in my solar plexus unknotted at last. My succulent tongue locked into the roof of my mouth, tasting like tequila, and the summer air in Boerum Hill has never smelled so musky and green. Smoke smells good. I french inhale all my cigarettes and joints so I can taste them everywhere at once. How much of it is love and how much of it is drugs and how much of it is relief, frankly, from the constant barrage of terrible thoughts I suffer most of the time: terrible thoughts about myself, terrible fears of everyone else. Meanwhile everything is dying, I'm just on the cusp of realizing this again, the way I did when I was five and I actually grasped the concept of death for the first time. I was horrified: You mean you die and there's no more you, and you never come back? Does everybody know about this? Well then why aren't we doing anything about it? We should have our best people working on this around the clock! I am becoming a scientist as soon as I grow up, and I am going to work on a cure for death, because maybe you guys are okay with the idea of eternal non-existence, but I'm really not.
So far, I have not become a scientist; then again, I have not yet become a high school senior, so I still have some time. Not much, though, as I am convinced I'm going to be dead by the time I'm eighteen. "I don't know why," I tell people. "I just always had this feeling I'm going to die young." It seems like a good idea, dying young; there's nothing else to do, all the adults I know are so miserable, nobody has any fun at all. I imagine eighteen as the edge of the flat earth, like I'll be sailing along on my galleon and I can't see the horizon for all the fog and I'm just going to fall right over the edge. And die.
Which is fine, maybe, I guess, but not yet, not tonight, when I'm in my friend's kitchen with the girls and the boys and a bunch of drugs and booze as usual except tonight I have my own boy, I don't have to trade off with anyone tonight. I feel fantastic, I feel alive, curling my sweaty fingers into a fist -- look at the way this hand does exactly what I want it to; it's a fucking miracle. Crazier things have happened, for instance: I'm in love with a guy, with a drug, with my life -- for what feels like the first time, I have something to live for. This is the cure for death.