Drop Out, Smoke Crack, Get MBA Post 2, Part 1 (Austin)
The brain doesn’t fully develop until someone is roughly 25 years old. I was taught this in physiological psychology. So, what do we do as a society? Assume that people under that age are ready for the world. Maybe some are, but not this motherfucker.
I was so lost and depressed, but I want to stress that I wasn’t showing it. No, I was projecting a good self-perception, talking about stupid business ideas, going out to clubs sometimes with friends, smoking, drinking, going to parties etc., but you have to understand that I had been wearing that mask for so long that you couldn’t see it. That mask was my regular face.
It feels weird to wear that mask for so long. Have you ever been around someone that is dying? Not like in your arms after a gun fight, but someone that knows that they are dying soon, like in a week or month, 6 months…It’s weird because you’re trying to comfort them, but also always aware not to make future plans with them or talk about a cool concert that is happening in 9 months or when that person may not be around and alive for. It’s like that when you are so depressed and just don’t want to go on, but you don’t want to show it either.
So, I had started to throw up while drinking in college because I could drink a lot longer if I just threw up when I started feeling like I was getting drunk. I’m a genius. Now, I’m being introduced to cocaine for the first time. A girl asked me if I did cocaine. I told her I did a bunch and probably some lies regarding my past drug use to cement the fact that I was a seasoned coke head. I then had the same reaction that I’ve had when I did any hard drug. “That’s great. Why is that shit illegal?”
Honestly, thank God for cocaine. It kept me alert, full of dopamine, since the re-uptake had been blocked, and busy doing cocaine stuff. This was actually a good thing in my life at the time. I was an antenna waiting for anything to make me feel good and this did. I could drink longer and this dopamine was the bees knees my friend. Just fucking great. After a line of coke, I loved being Steven Kendrick or at least it was so much easier to pretend. The mask wasn’t so tight anymore. Is that spirit gum?
Here’s the scary part. If I didn’t find drugs at that point in my life I could have been talked into a lot of shit. I was really close to suicide and that most likely would have been the result if cocaine hadn’t saved my life, but all it would have taken was some confirmation bias, a group of like-minded individuals telling me their “philosophy” and I could have ended up in a cult. Seriously, I was so fucking lost.
I then met a dumbass that was a real-estate agent. A successful dumbshit can be so inspiring at times. “That motherfucker can do it?’, must be a relatively common first sentence uttered just before someone makes a significant change in their own lives.
I sign up for real-estate classes, start carrying around a little personal stash of coke on me to get through the day and then I meet Mike. Mike is much older than I am, talking mad shit to the instructor and has a 928. Mike and I went to lunch one time with his girlfriend, but other than that we never hung out during our time in those real-estate classes. It was after I got my real-estate license that shit went down.
I was invited to come hang out at Mikes one night and I threw down an 8 ball of coke on the kitchen island counter-top waiting to be declared a bad-ass for having so much blow. Mike begins to laugh and just keeps laughing as if it’s the funniest thing he’s ever seen. I’m standing there like I’m Escobar and he’s laughing at me like I’m Pookie.
The last time that I saw Mike he was outside in the backyard of his house in Tarrytown on Enfield. We called his place “Enfield Drugs”. Ha, Austin joke. He and a friend were removing rocks from an exterior wall of his house. He was chipping away at them with a small hammer. Mike was really fucked up as usual. This dude smoked crack all day long, but if you called it crack, in his house, you are going to get the absolute shit beat out of you. Just like that. I never heard anyone use the C word in front of Mike. It was called either base or free-base, a base hit, blasting off, but NEVER called crack.
Mike was a big deal in the coke scene when he was in his early 20s, according to Mike and the 4 or 5 close friends of his from school. He drove a Corvette in college and once again, according to him and his friends, Mike would drive around UT and The Drag with a safe in his trunk filled with coke.
Which now, as a 47-year-old who has some life experience, I just kind of laugh at the “keeping a safe full of drugs” in his Vette, but that was the story. If true, what the fuck was this guy thinking? The cops were just going to see the safe and “Wait guys, this kid has a safe and I bet it’s locked. We’re done here. He’s untouchable.” Maybe I’m missing something such as a warrant being needed in that instance, but that was the story.
Why was Mike removing rocks from the exterior of his house? That’s where he was hiding a big stash of cocaine. He was that paranoid. He wanted to move it again.
I hung out with Mike for a long time before I ever freebased cocaine, well a long time when you’re 23 or 24. I just did a bunch of lines. I was taught that crack smokers were homeless losers, not two Porsches in the driveway and dressing well, with nice things in a nice house. My young eyes didn’t see the parents at home who were worried sick about their son Mike, who were most likely paying all of his bills and that they owned the house and they bought him the cars. I saw the veneer and assumed that I was looking at something genuine and solid throughout, not beauty surrounding particle board.
Mike was a mean motherfucker, but he had the best coke that I have ever seen, and he knew how to cook it with chemicals. I’ve never seen anyone do that since and I have no idea what he used and he didn’t always have the chemicals on hand, Mike would be really excited when he did though, because it supposedly made it better.
There is this misperception that if you smoke one hit of crack, that you are hooked. I guess it does depend on your operational definition of hooked and the variability of that equation must be massive. Heterogeneous like a motherfucker. I say this because I wasn’t good at freebasing at first. Wait what? Yeah, I was bad at it. I had to practice.
I know. I know. I know. Yes, I had to practice smoking crack and it took me probably a weekend to get it right. I wasn’t doing it right at first. If you want to piss a lot of crack heads off, be the guy that keeps smoking a big hit of crack, then blowing it out, looking around at their eyes and saying, “I don’t really feel it.”
They want to kill you. That would piss off a crack head so much it makes me laugh out loud while writing this. I’d have this pipe filled with a big rock and Mike would be instructing me the whole way as if a father was teaching his young son to ride a bike. “No, too much flame, back off, no, now, now, now. … There would be this long dramatic pause as I’d slowly blow out the thick, viscous smoke. “I don’t feel it.” The other smokers (Mike’s friend’s) would yell out in agony as if they had just witnessed a shanked field goal that would have caused them to have a big pay day.
These guys would be waiting for their hits and when a crack head sees that pipe going around, they are starving for it. When you are blowing out the smoke from a hit, you start thinking about that next hit. Then when you are waiting for your next hit, you watch the eyes of everyone else while they are taking their hits. You watch their eyes roll back as they blow it out. You see them lay back in the couch and smile. They feel like a lottery winner and that’s pretty close to reality. You smoke a hit, you feel as if you won the lottery and by the time it’s your turn for another hit, the money has all been spent, and you’re broke again. another hit, another winner, or at least the sensation of being a winner. Those crack heads would all be watching Mike fill my pipe the most, coach me, yell at them for being impatient, and then I take my hit… “Nope. Nothing. Is this broken? Can I try again?” Mike would usually say sure.
It’s funny to me now, to look back at that one scenario, but at the time I remember thinking. “Are you fucking kidding me? I’m so worthless I can’t even smoke crack right.” I just want to die. When I wasn’t at Mike’s place, I was probably at my new apartment just sitting around crying by myself. I did that a lot of that when I was between the ages of 23-32. I would just sit in my room and cry for hours on end. Now, I’m 23 and I’m living all by myself in my new apartment just down the street on Enfield, not in Tarrytown, but less than a 10-minute drive from Mike’s Enfield Drugs.
All the pizza guy had to do was have his manager call the cops and we’re all doing major fucking time. “What the fuck. What the fuck. What the fuck. What the fuck. Oh shit. Oh shit, Mike put down the fucking gun. Just put down the fucking gun, Mike. Please dude. Please.”
I don’t know what the fuck Mike was thinking, but he would brag about the number of consecutive days that we would stay awake freebasing. I personally have been up at least 5 days straight smoking crack, but it might have been more. Time can just speed by like you wouldn’t believe when 4 or 5 people are splitting some cooked up 8 balls. You can seriously try to guess the time and be hours off. “What day is it?” was a popular question during a long coke binge and this one had been going for days and Mike was just going crazy. Mike didn’t drink alcohol a lot, but he would drink Jack on occasion and the combination was really bad past day 3 of a binge.
Mike had ordered a pizza from Dominos and he didn’t have cash on him, and this was in the early 90s. Mike started asking a room full of crack heads for money. Bahahahaha. You so funny Mike! “You think a crack head paying ya back shit forget it.”- Biggie So, Mike gets the exact change and gives it to his buddy to pay the pizza delivery guy. Mike’s buddy said “Dude, Mike what about the tip.” Mike says, “Fuck him, he should get another job if he wants a tip.” We’re all looking at each other for someone to reason with Mike and to take charge, but we’ve now entered this cracked out version of groupthink going on between us. Groupthink brought down a space shuttle, that shit is powerful. Nobody said a word to contradict Mike. None of us wanted to feel the wrath of a freebasing, drunk, 3-day binge Mike. “Yeah, just go pay him,” one guy says. “I’ll pay the tip” I said. Mike says. “We’re not going to tip the pizza guy.”
The pizza delivery guy showed up and started to bitch about the lack of tip and Mike yells out, “Fuck you, you motherfucking cocksucker, just unloading on the guy, but we have enough blow in his cabinet to go away a long time… and that was just what I knew about. Have you ever had that friend that wants to get high or drunk and drive fast? Not going crazy fast, but just enough over the speed limit to where you have to check them. “Yo man… Do you have blow on you? Then don’t speed.” But you couldn’t check Mike, not like you would someone else, not this night. The pizza guy screams back a bunch of fuck yous and Mike says, “I’m getting my gun.” He said it loud enough that I didn’t know if the pizza guy had heard or not, but the pizza guy was leaving, leaving really mad and understandably so. Mike said that none of us could leave and he is now holding his gun. We just all stayed there. I was terrified, but since then I have always tipped the pizza guy well. Ask the guys at Star Pizza about me when I order from them. I always tip big to the pizza guy. Always at least $8, but as much as $20, but that $20 was an outlier moment when I used to drink. I was a very generous drunk and that generosity helped facilitate the biggest relapse of my life, but that is a long way down the road. Why didn’t I just leave? I was smoking crack for pennies on the dollar if I hung out with Mike. Plus, at this time I was still functioning.
That’s right. You’re looking at the Leasing Agent of the Month for Habitat Hunters in Austin, Texas. I was just blossoming as a promising young real-estate agent and part-time crack head, making my own hours and cooking up my own rocks at home. Mike taught me an easy method, but of course. I’m fucking it up too. I fuck everything up. I’m starting to burn myself on purpose more. Yes, I used to burn myself on purpose. I liked the pain. It gave me this wave of comfort that you just wouldn’t believe. I would burn my arms with lit cigarettes just to feel it burn through until I squished it out. You were going to be scared of me. You were going to just leave me alone. Look at my arm, if I’m crazy enough to burn myself, who would fuck with me? I’m a genius.
“Addicts are weak” (I posted this on FB, but then deleted it during an anxiety attack. I was asked by a friend to repost it.)
Yeah, let’s just get this out of the way now. By the time an addict can be visually detected by a stranger, that addict may have already been to hell and back. That addict in front of you that is dirty and disheveled is a mother fucking warrior. You are just now seeing this person after the battles, after the wars, after the years of being unbelievably strong has worn them down. The drugs have fogged up their brain and the booze on their breath has temporarily washed away the memory of what was deposited in their throats by a disgusting family member. The years of abuse that they endured could have been physical, mental, sexual, or fuck it, maybe they had a trifecta of fuck happen to them and now they have to sit there and have a stranger judge them. “Get a job loser!” They have a job. Their job is to try not to jump in front of that speeding bus today. Their job is to not jump off that bridge when the memories get too vivid. You don’t want their job. Just give them the change in your pocket and pray that your family member never has to meet the jury of their peers judging them for being “weak”.
My parents are very nice people that I’ve never seen hold an alcoholic beverage of any kind. My mother was a church secretary for over a decade and my father was a Church Elder. From the time that I was relatively young, I had been taught that the devil makes all of the alcohol and drugs in the world. Wait what? You heard me. “Why do people drink, mom?’ “The Devil makes them drink.” “How do they make whiskey, mom? “The Devil makes whiskey.” “What are drugs, mom?” The Devil makes them the day after Christmas, because he hates Jesus.” “Oh, don’t listen to that music, it’s the Devil.” The Devil did it.
That was the answer in my house growing up. Why does this happen? The devil. Why does the tornado kill people? The Devil. So, your answer to everything is “The Devil, but I’m grounded for failing Science? Fuck you.
Mike had a 928. I saw it for the first time when he, his girlfriend and I went to lunch. I was really worried, because I had smoked some weed with Mike, and I was scared to be in public while high. Ha ha. Yeah, I was greener than the brown mexi-weed that we were probably smoking. I could barely fit in the Porsche and was in the limited area, not a back seat, but just a carpeted void near the back, but still smooshed behind the passenger front seat. I could barely breathe, but I was sitting in a 928. I can see why girls would be impressed by a nice car. This was my dream car and I was sitting in it. I’m not saying that I would have blown Mike because of his car, but he never offered me the deal to let me drive in exchange either. I can see how kids can be impressed by dealers in nice cars. It’s intoxicating when sitting in a nice Porsche, there is a sense of accomplishment, even though it is merely a placebo and has absolutely nothing to do with person accomplishment. It just feels like it. Which is fine. I’ve paid good money for bunk shit plenty of times.
I apologize for the slight detour from yesterday’s post, but I want the reader to understand my position on addicts and that my parents were nice, God-fearing people who really did try, but if you’re going to tell me that the Devil did it, and that’s your stock answer, then all it is going to take is for me to find out that you are wrong about that. Then your credibility regarding recreational pharmaceuticals is shit. It’s all based on church sermons, Nancy Reagan, and complete bullshit. You know nothing. Where’s your 928?