Rail thin, bad greasy skin, rotted horse teeth, receding gums, inflamed scratches on the forearms and hands, mile a minute talk, talk, talk, talk, talk for hours and hours and hours on end, until they finally bottom out and collapse into a coma like sleep…..
Meth has been a national obsession over the last fifteen years. Dozens of writers, songwriters, filmmakers, and television folks have used it as fodder to one degree of success or another. But the one fault of most artists when trying to capture the lives of methheads has been their inability to capture the frantic, frenetic life of the dedicated tweeker who will eventually turn into toothless spoiled apple people with jaundiced yellow skin and eyes and a willingness to do anything to get high. (Vince Gilligan and the gang managed to so in season 4 of Breaking Bad.)
Of course, the one writer who has been most in touch with the mind of the addict is Jerry Stahl, and he tackles the tweeker head on, unblinking and with zero fear in Bad Sex on Speed.
As expected, Stahl’s writing is razor sharp, and spot on detailing the world of the speed freak. Certain passages—such as a puppy slurping up acetone run off, or a rotting, constantly naked, child molesting step-father—are cringe inducing, and to certain readers may seem over the top, but Stahl’s deft observations ring true and without sentimentality or glorification, letting the reader experience brief, ugly glimpses of this all too disturbing world.