Drop Out, Smoke Crack, Get MBA, post 3, pt1 (Austin)
So, I threw down the most cocaine that I had ever purchased (at that time), an 8 ball, 3.5 grams, on Mike’s kitchen island thinking that I’m about receive a high five and Mike just laughs. Mike has this silver tray that he pulls out of a cabinet that has a mound of cocaine on it. I saw a lot more later on, but this was the most that I’ve ever seen at this point. I didn’t know it, but my education was about to begin. Mike started telling me about fish scales and Peruvian flake and the beauty of cocaine. The historical figures that have used it. We did what seemed like at the time a bunch of blow but we just snorted it. No one was at his house, but he and I and his girlfriend.
“Hello, Crack-Head, Real Estate, Car Rental. This is Steven speaking. Yes, we have that late model 300Z in. No, I don’t own it, but yes, you can rent it out for some coke.”
So, Mike had his two Porsches. The 928 and then one that looked like a 911, but it took special fuel and sounded like a jet. I have no idea how much Mike poured into that not a 911 but kind of, but I was there during a few of his phone calls to his mechanic. Mike would just scream at this guy regarding how long the repairs were taking and he might have put in $200,000 in that thing, but now I had a bad ass car too. Well, kind of.
I had this client in my real-estate life that I had found an apartment for 6 months before and now he wanted a nicer place. This guy worked in Alaska and would be gone for months at a time and we became friends. He is the only person that I’ve ever met that didn’t like weed because it made him cough. What? But he loved coke. I would hook him up and we’d hang out on occasion. My client had to rush to Alaska and asked me to watch his place and drive his car every once in a while, to keep it running and moving around.
He didn’t know that I was smoking crack. He just thought I was doing lines. This guy has now trusted a crack-head with his late model 300 Z with removable T-Tops. “No, I won’t drive it every day.” “Sure, I’ll take care of everything.” “Crack is whack, don’t hurry back, driving your car like it’s on a motherfucking racetrack. When you try to reach me by phone, I won’t holla back, I’m at home high on crack, your car is gone, but not a car jack, I rented it out to a dealer for the night and got a 1.7 back. That’s a teen. know what I mean?”
The broker at my office hired this new agent. He was a sketchy motherfucker and that’s coming from me. He was dating a stripper, but bragging about fucking her roommate, just got into apartment and house leasing, has a purple Camaro with purple lights underneath, and he also did the absolute best Jerky Boys impression that I’ve ever heard. “Hey Chisel Chest!” just spot on. Well this guy happened to have a good coke connection. No…………you think? Maybe?
His second week at work he offers me coke for the 300Z. Just for one night. Well, that night turned into every weekend for a couple of months and I did a lot of free blow. I really liked the free blow, but it wasn’t as good as Mike’s coke. Mike’s was coke that should be kept in a vault and studied. It was this beautiful, amazing, fluffy goodness that never clumped, but wasn’t hard to break up. It was perfect. Mike also cooked it up different. I’ve mentioned the chemicals, but
Mike’s freebase, never crack when Mike touches it, always looks like these perfect medium-sized marbles or large gumballs. They weren’t like what you see in the movies…Got more pies to bake up…circular, but flat stovetop, crack chef creations, pulled out of microwave.
The way that Mike would cook up his masterpieces was by using these test-tube type beakers and using a swirling motion with a piece of coat hanger in it at first, but then he would pull it out and eventually this small ball of freebase would appear out of nowhere, just swirling in the solution, slowly getting bigger and perfectly round. It was absolutely magical to see.
I’m 25 and I about to move on past Mike’s but not without an incident where Mike puts a gun to my head. I act really tough with a gun to my head. I don’t say a fucking thing. I listen. I do what I’m told and then the fucking second, I’m all alone I cry and shake for a long time. I’m a pussy like that.
“Hey, it’s Mike. You got that? (money)
“I got most of it.”
“Goddamnit! I said all of it. It’s always some bullshit. You coming over?”
“Bring lighters and my money.”
I miss Mike. I found that out yesterday after writing. I really do miss Mike. Yes, he introduced me to really hard drugs, but I could hang out, watch football and bullshit about just regular shit. I had friends.
It’s strange how nonchalant freebasing can become when it’s an accepted group norm among addicts. No one is judging you or asking why you’re losing weight, we’re all just cool little crack-heads chilling together. You start to hear everyone’s backgrounds, dreams, ambitions, but then you hear the other stuff too. The stuff that haunts them. The only people who understood me were sitting around that coffee table or standing with amazement as magician Mike spun a ball of freebase in his weird base-making lava lamp like beaker.
There was a new girl though in Mike’s life. This woman was a call-girl that Mike knew and they fell in love over a bag of freebase and dreams of managing the famous bass player that had just moved into the garage apartment. She started to count how much coke his buddies were using and not paying the fair street value for. “You just give them those hits for free?” Shut the fuck up you fucking bitch. You are about to really fuck this party up.
Now, Mike starts to become a little more concerned with how much blow is being done vs. the amount that he’s selling. I’m doing the same amount, but with the new pricing structure, I’m starting to get priced out of the market and my tab keeps going up. Now, whenever I’m over at Mike’s house freebasing, he owns me and can control me. I owe him money,
I’m missing work more, met a girl, fucked that up, and I start dodging Mike because I can’t cover enough of my coke tab. I make my first purchase of crack cocaine off of the street from a random dude that I allowed to jump in my car. I give him money and he opens the door, hops out, and runs off. I look down and notice that he left his shoes in the floorboard. I later learned that is crack-head, street buy insurance.
As a common courtesy, the crack-head, homeless, street guy that goes and gets the crack from the dealer, will leave their shoes as a sign of good faith that they will return and that they won’t just run off with your money and the crack.
Isn’t that so romantic or almost holiday-like? In the Land of Crack, Santa leaves his shoes one night and returns with crack the next day. It’s not a fool-proof method. I’ve thrown crack shoes out of my car on a few occasions with visions of barefooted crackheads laughing at me and smoking my crack. I’m 25 and I’m about to lose my job.
I loved my brain-dick getting sucked by those hundred girls during that 10-minute freebase blast. Brain-dick blowjob. That’s what crack was like. My brain was sitting back in a packed strip club sippin on Moet, chillen, getting its dick sucked by a hundred girls at the same time. Everyone was cheering my name and patting me on the back. I was so fucking cool and I loved me so much. It was kind of like the end of that movie Lucas, but with crack cocaine. I know it’s difficult to picture the stars of that movie high on crack, but please just try to stretch your imagination. Nothing was bad. I had so much promise. The world loved me, and I loved it back. I loved those 10-minute rides.
I’ll be back to the conclusion of Mike and my next coffee table group of wacky addicts after this, but let’s just pause all this shit real quick. I have a motherfucking Psych degree. Let’s learn something.
What is happening? I’ve been flushing my brain with dopamine and also re-enforcing habitual behavior that is becoming associated with intense pleasure. I learned that during Physiological Psychology in 2015 at the University of Houston. Go Coogs!
I can’t even explain the redness on my face and how much I started to sweat during our lectures regarding addiction in that class. I’m surrounded by these kids that are college age, most with very little drug experience when compared to myself and my professor was a Ph.D. bad ass who has published quite a few peer-reviewed articles regarding addiction. I began to learn what I had done to myself. How the cocaine would penetrate the blood-brain barrier and enter my brain, turning off the re-uptake, telling my body to just relax and telling my brain to stop producing dopamine naturally.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Pretend that you are dopamine. Seriously, your name is now Johnny kickass Dopamine. Well, John Dopamine works in the brain and he goes to work every day, but one weekend he doesn’t need to go to work, someone found a replacement John Dopamine to cover the shift. Like an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Johnny Dopamine. The work will still get done. No one will notice that it’s not the real John. Now, John gets his next paycheck, expecting to see that it’s much lower due to the missed work, but it’s for the same amount. So, smart Johnny Dopamine says, Fuck this work shit, I’m staying home. The paychecks keep coming week after week, month after month, year after year, and Johnny Dopamine stays home and doesn’t even call the brain. No call, no show. Nobody notices because the job is still getting done, by the A.I. Johnny Dopamine.
If one day, A.I. Johnny Dopamine just stops showing up, no call, no show there is going to be an issue because the real Johnny Dopamine hasn’t been to work in the brain for years. He’s just chillen playing PlayStation and shit, not even remotely thinking about work and he hasn’t shaved in days. Even if the phone rings from the brain’s HR department that day, a bottle-neck is going to occur in the brain where Johnny Dopamine works. Even if he comes in the next day, it’s going to take a while to get back up to speed and that’s without any more setbacks or surprise visits from weekend-shift or graveyard shift A.I. Johnny Dopamine.
This is what is happening when you try to quit cocaine and it really hurts in both a mental and physical way. It drove me into a deep depression, where for a couple of nights it got really, really bad. I was going through my first detox. I had to get more crack or my brain was going to lose shareholders.
Xanax is about to be prescribed to me for the first time. I’m throwing up every day and I just can’t stop shaking if I’m not on Xanax. I’m taking way too much of them and I’m going to have to get more.
“Hello, Thank you for calling Pharmacy no-name, next to your Real Estate Office”
“Hi, yeah. Um, weirdest thing, I had my pill bottle open while I was brushing my teeth. My toothbrush fell out of my hand and…well, it knocked my bottle of pills in the toilet. Can, I get more.?”
“Mr. Kendrick, Were you given the forms regarding the risk of abuse?”
“Yes, but I don’t know how to divide them up once they’re soaking in pee-pee water.”
“We can help you this one time. Mr. Kendrick.”
Stupid motherfuckers. Ha.
“Mr. Kendrick, I’m going to need you to exit the vehicle and please keep your hands where I can see them.”
I’ve just been arrested for the first time. I was trying to buy crack cocaine in East Austin at 5 am.
There’s a pair of shoes on the passenger side floormat and I’m wearing an Austin Board of Realtors shirt. I had just been awarded Leasing Agent of the Month and appeared in the Austin Business Journal for my Real Estate job. Oops.
I’m alone in jail and I’m detoxing hard, but I feel strangely comfortable locked up in a small cell. I feel safe. No phone call. I might as well not exist. I have disappeared.
I’m sometimes a really lucky motherfucker. You’ll learn that later when I discuss my overdoses, relapses, and the night that my dear friend pulled me off of that bus-stop bench. Yeah, we’ll eventually end up there and that was in Houston. That was 2015.
I’m lucky tonight though and I’m out looking for crack. I bought some powder from my 300Z car rental client (see that post), but I’m still fucking up the cooking process at home. It’s just not coming out right and now, I’m just licking this thick cocaine snot off of this hot spoon because it just won’t rock-up correctly. I’m blowing on it, adding water, blowing, stirring…just fucking it up.
I’m randomly adding more coke, baking soda. It’s just a fucking mess. I’m having to cook it over a flame because my apartment has a gas stove. Gas stoves don’t work well with the method of cooking up cocaine that Mike taught me to use when I’m not at his house. I need an electric stove so that the bent-up spoon can sit on the stove burner.
I’m just fucking it up and I’m using cheap lighters. If a former crack-head is reading this they are going to just shake their head in disgust. Those fucking cheap, free with a pack of cigarettes, or anything that you buy in a 7-11, that’s not a Bic is going to fuck up your hit. It just won’t burn right.
I’m licking this spoon and it’s making my mouth incredibly numb and just teasing my brain-dick. My taste buds are being assaulted by the unpleasantness of the poorly cooked freebase, undissolved baking soda, and the black soot collecting on the bottom of the spoon, that is now smearing on my face and lips. I go to the mirror and with the smeared black spoon soot on my face, I resemble a coked-up Robert Smith from The Cure.
I’m high, but I’m functioning. I’m functioning enough to drive, but I know that I shouldn’t. I try so fucking hard not to follow that cocaine hunger, but once that switch is flipped it’s done. I have to get crack. My body aches from the spoon tease and with the psychological phenomenon known as reactance, associated with me not being able to have my nice fulfilling crack hit. I just wanted $40 worth so that I can get on with my night. I was on the east-side of Austin and I found a guy willing to go find me some crack. He left his shoes in compliance with industry standard, best practices and went to find me some crack. Business crack…I’m wearing my Austin Board of Realtor’s), shirt.
I saw a cop roll by a street over and I get really fucking nervous. I start to drive away, just trying to get home with my new pair of $40 crack shoes. I see the cop pull behind me, hit his lights, and he busted me. He busted me for an outstanding warrant from San Marcos, Texas. I had bounced a check years before and it was still in the system. I told you. I’m a lucky motherfucker. 5 minutes later and I might have had a serious charge.
I’m supposed to show a house the next evening for my real-estate job and I’m already pissing my broker off. But aren’t I the Leasing Agent of the Month and wasn’t I in the Austin Business Journal? Motherfucker, it was a small office and a crack-head, yours truly, was leading the office in leasing. They obviously have bigger problems than Steven Kendrick. Matter of fact, when I miss my appointment to show that house, they put me on notice.
I’m 25 years old and my parents are about to get a collect phone call from their youngest son, Steven.
“Hey Mike, sorry man I was…”
“I don’t have time for this, I just got back. Do you have my damn money?”
“Yeah man, actually all of it.”
“Bring my money and bring lighters. Bics, get Bics!”
I hated jail. I wasn’t there too long, just under 48 hours, but when I got out, I was determined to just lay low, finally pay Mike every penny back that I owed him, and then I would quit coke for good. I dodged Mike until I had the rest of his money, but I did buy coke from the guy in my real estate office. The problem though with that was the quality of the cocaine. It was just really bad, strip club type coke.
If you’ve ever purchased cheap coke, around last call in a strip club or gay bar, just reading this could make your nose begin to have these weird nose hallucinations. No? My nose does. Man, just by thinking of really low-quality, late night coke, I can get this strange burning sensation go up my nose and start down my throat, and that’s just by thinking about it too much.
See, I went way too far down the drug path or at least I thought that way until I was 41. I was freebasing to celebrate my accomplishments and good days at work, but I was also freebasing to help with a bad day. But bad days are tough for a crack head. The dopamine rush from the cocaine feels amazing, but now you’re wide awake for hours. Who the fuck wants to be wide awake during a bad day? A crack head can stay awake for a long time and just have a few really long, bad days in a week instead of the normal seven days in a week.
Not at Mike’s though. Mike’s house was a really fun place to smoke crack after a long day of showing apartments to people and we would stand around freebasing for hours, just bullshitting. It was that normal around Mike’s house in Tarrytown, plus with nice leather couches and a pool table.
There was such a normalcy associated with it all. Quite domestic really as we all chipped in a couple of times a week and helped keep it clean. We had the nicest crack-house on the block that came with a famous bass player in the tiny basement apartment and an outdoor swimming pool to lounge in. But with crack, well freebase. You never called it crack around Mike.
I had been dodging Mike for over a week. I’m legitimately scared and of course my anxiety is having me imagine that Mike is driving by my house several times a day, looking for me. I was so paranoid that I stayed at my real estate office one night. I just don’t want to call Mike unless I have his money, all of it. I was already late in regard to paying him and to make it worse, I had been ducking him. I was scared to death when I called Mike. Mike would sometimes just unload and scream at people on the phone when they owed him money, especially if they just vanished for a week or two. I eventually called Mike and he told me to come over and to bring lighters.
When I got to Mike’s they had just gotten back into town from a trip to Laredo. Everyone went but me. I was the only one of the regulars that was excluded. It’s so weird to feel that a bunch of crack heads don’t like you enough to want to have you go along on their adventures. My feelings were so hurt, almost as if I had been broken up with. They were all telling stories about meeting people and the hotel rooms that they stayed in. I just sat there on the couch feeling so dejected.
I gave Mike his money. “Do you want a blast?” asked Mike. I had been sitting in that jail making plans for my future and how I was going to clean up. I was going to become a real estate broker instead of just an agent, but I was also a full-blown addict by then. I said yes, and Mike fixed my pipe with a nice big hit of freebase. “You got any money?” “No, Mike. I just gave you my money.” “I’ll start you another tab at $90 an 8 ball.
Whoa what? Apparently, Mike had been able to get a better deal on blow and was passing the savings on to me. I was able to get some great coke from Mike and hook up my friend in the real estate office. I was going to sell a person a bag of cocaine for the first time.
Spoiler Alert: I was a horrible drug dealer. If you listen to Biggie Small’s 10 Crack Commandments, just know that I broke a lot of those rules, but the biggest rule that I broke was Biggie’s 4th rule. Never get high on your own supply. It’s bad for business and it’s awful for an addict. If the price of cocaine drops, the demand will rise. This is true for buyers and for addicts.
I think we can all agree that at this point in my life the last thing that I needed was more cocaine. I’m 25 and about to sell my first bag of coke. I make a major mistake and it costs me dearly.