Cocaine Love

by | November 15, 2012 | General | 4 comments

By: Craig J. Sorensen

Recently, a good friend has been going through the sort of
relationship that has more pivot points than a double jointed hand with six
fingers.  It started before I left
Pennsylvania in June.  It ended before I
left in June.  Started again after I
left, ended again.  Started, ended… well,
you get the idea.

She’s a beautiful young woman, highly intelligent, very
creative, and successful in a field that is not easy to be successful in.  They have a lot in common, and just one or
two things where they differ.

But they are big things.

Each time relationship 2.0 and 3.0 and etc. ended, he gave
me a post mortem of how wonderful it felt when the relationship started, how
she was so understanding about his want to take it slow.  He described how quickly it changed toward
the end.  As he described the cycles in the most recent
release, it occurred to me what he was describing.  And maybe you’ve seen or felt it too:

Cocaine love.

When I described it in those terms to him, he practically screamed it out:  “That’s exactly what it is!”

Cocaine love:  Quick on the uptake, full of chemistry and biology and
euphoria.  More often than not this kind
of relationships end with an equally resounding crash.

Ultimately, each time this cocaine love began with her
accepting his position on a fundamental point. 
By the end, the actions spoke louder than words, and this flexibility fell away like a mask.  And the principle he
is operating on is one that really shouldn’t be asked to change.  Each time the relationship finished, he said how stupid he was, how he won’t get caught in that trap again.


It comes down to a person who will “give everything” if he
just “change one thing.”

But the essence of true love is not asking one to
change their fundamental principles, especially when they are the same core
values that make that person special. 
And that is the case here.

There are many things that can lead to a cocaine love, but
the bottom line is that it is hard to live on a steady diet of cocaine.  Maybe cocaine love can work, if both partners
are committed after the high wears off. 
And sometimes that means enduring the withdrawal.  Together.

The great relationships are like a fine meal.  Invigorating, and can be exciting, but
sustaining as well.  A good meal doesn’t
have the potential to emaciate the way that narcotics can.

Usually one person is the narcotic in a
cocaine love, while the other is deep in the high.

Again, this is not to say that a couple truly in love cannot
have an intense sort of desire, but there is a certain false-front that defines
cocaine love.  And the essence of being
able to see past it, is being willing to take a look at the relationship in

The essence is seeing the difference between being high and
being nourished.

I’ve used the dynamic of cocaine love in stories.  It makes great material, especially in erotica, but a lot better explored in fiction than lived through in life.

Just ask my friend.

Craig J. Sorensen

One evening at the close of the 1970’s, I sat on a milk crate at my job du jour and looked over Tenth Avenue in the small Idaho town where I grew up. It may not seem earth shattering now, but to a man not yet twenty years of age, the revelation of that moment was defining: There must be more to life than pumping gas. A strange answer materialized in the cold, dry, Treasure Valley air. I joined the US Army where I learned to work with computers before the introduction of the IBM PC. Armed with a blitzkrieg education in the programming language COBOL, I embarked on a journey to define myself as a programmer/analyst. Perhaps if I had been a better student in school, things might have been different. I loved writing, though I flunked my first semester of ninth grade English. Typing too. And I typed seventy words a minute. But I digress. The bottom line was that I hated school, was unmotivated and disinterested, and had problems staying focused. Had I been born twenty years later, they might have loaded me up with Ritalin. So learning a trade in the Army was my salvation from a life of disjointed jobs, searching for something I’d be satisfied with. Study for a purpose, it seemed, I could manage. Throughout the thirty plus years after leaving Idaho for military service, I honed my skills and learned to enjoy the job I stumbled into. I think that this, “path less chosen,” has something to do with my perspective and my style as an author when I delved deeper into my passion for words. I’ve lived life, not as a student, but in a constant state of trial and error. This is true in most everything I’ve done. The first story I had published was so aggressively edited, that the number of words removed was in a double digit percentile, and rightly so. I resolved that would never happen again. It hasn’t. Determination and self-teaching are a big part of me. Have I ever reached a hurdle I didn’t overcome? Of course. In my early days getting published, I submitted four stories to a particular editor before she accepted my fifth; I’ve had great results with her since. More recently, with another editor, I submitted four that I felt great about, and realized that it just wasn’t going anywhere. Another fact: I’m a lousy poker player, but I do know when to fold. Story telling has been with me my entire life. A desire to share stories is engrained in me, but as a youngster, what did I have to share? I was a boring kid, so I used to make things up. I used to hate that I’d lie. Bear in mind, these lies were limited to boasting of things I had done that I really hadn’t, or telling that the very plain house we lived in when I was young was very ornate. “Little white lies,” some might call them. I couldn’t seem to resist this desire to make people believe the stories I’d tell. When something didn’t wash, well… I suppose it is all part of how I learn things. Writing is truly my first passion as a vocation. If I could make a living at it, I’d love to, but I know what that means. I look at those authors who do this with admiration, and I’m grateful that I have been blessed to find not one, but two vocations that I love. Job one allows me to write when I’m inspired. The luxury of this is not lost on me. When I was young, I was fascinated by sex. I wrote sexual scenarios, drew sexually inspired pictures. My head was full of erotic fantasies long before my voice cracked. But writing the first stories I did after I left high school, I tried to subdue the desire to write sexual themes. Sometimes, I’d let go, but I’d eventually “come to my senses.” I wanted to be respectable, after all. It was after I had gotten some serious consideration by a literary journal, but got the response “you write very well, but your stories lack vibrancy,” that it began to settle in. My wife, partner, and most avid supporter forwarded me a call to a new “edgy” literary journal that included erotica, and suggested that I send a particularly nasty, vibrant story I had recently written when the respectability filter was disengaged. I thought, “why the hell not.” Within 24 hours I had an acceptance. Another lesson learned by example: be true to yourself. In the end, I just want to tell stories about amazing people. I want to go out on a limb. I wrote a poem once:
Only the man who goes To the edge of the branch And does not stop when it cracks Will learn the true nature Of branches
I want to turn you on, then repulse you. I want to surprise you, sometimes make you grimace, share the realities of my life and the lives of those I’ve known, but bend them through the prism of fiction. Tell about people more interesting than me, and speak universal truths, tell little white lies. I want to make you guess which is which. The three stories I am honored to share with you are examples of my testing branches. “One Sunset Stand” from M. Christian’s Sex in San Francisco collection, was written merging humor, sexuality, and romance, allows me to explore from a woman’s POV. “Severence” which appeared at the website Clean Sheets, is drawn from a difficult time in my life, where as a manager I watched members of my team and coworkers slowly, systematically get laid off. It was a hard time, a frustrating time, and I found a way to express that frustration in the words, and the characters of the story. “Two Fronts” is one of my biggest gambles as a writer, and a story I’m very proud of. In it, I not only explore my feminine side, but my lesbian side. The story, set before I was born, explores a woman dealing with her awaking to her attraction to other women is set against the backdrop of ranching in Idaho. I was particularly proud when Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia chose it for the collection Lesbian Cowboys. The version I present here is my “Director’s cut,” with the original ending. In the collection, it was made more purely romantic by dropping the last section. This ending is more of what I would call a “Craig ending,” though I’m proud of both versions. Truly, I haven’t planned much in life, just followed the river where it leads. I write the stories that come to mind, and for as long as people will read my work I will write. And if they stop reading? I will write.


  1. Donna

    This sounds quite familiar, Craig, although in my case, this recent experience has not been a love relationship, but a situation with a band, which, come to think of it, is not unlike a romantic relationship! There are a lot of highs in performance, but after a while, if there's no heart, it all comes crashing down.

    It certainly is more comfortable to be able to sit back and recognize this dynamic in someone else's story, but to look on the bright side, when you're living the material, it does hopefully make you wiser as well as a better writer.

  2. Craig Sorensen

    Yes, the cocaine relationship can indeed extend beyond the borders of romantic love, Donna. And band relationships can be pretty intense, and sorry to hear about the crash you experienced. It's definitely a hard thing to go through.

  3. Lisabet Sarai

    Hi, Craig,

    I've been fortunate enough not to have experienced this personally, but I recognize the description.

    Chemistry is definitely something more or less divorced from the rest of one's emotional and rational apparatus. I *have* had the experience of finding myself desperately attracted to a guy – pheromones, instant ecstasy when we touched – and then discovering that I really didn't *like* him much as a person. Kind of painful. Chemistry can definitely make you do things you'll regret later.

    "Cocaine Love" would actually make a great story title – except that some readers would expect it actually to be about drugs.

  4. Craig Sorensen

    Hi Lisabet,

    Yep, chemistry can be a similar dynamic, and I have been a victim of that one. The body says a resounding "yes," the mind says "no," and what to do?

    Might make a good post for the future…

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