Drop Out, Smoke Crack, Get MBA post 6, part 1 (Austin)
That first binge at Jason’s was really fun and his blow was getting better with every line that I did, plus Jason said that he always had coke around and that he could front me a quarter ounce at a time without any problem. Jason also was extremely efficient at cooking up cocaine, but he used a completely different method than Mike did. As I mentioned, Jason made it with a large, stainless steel, serving spoon. Mike used that weird beaker, mixed with a lava lamp, that produced these medium-sized gumball shapes of freebase appear out of nowhere, just as if he was performing a magic trick. It was just extremely hypnotic to watch that small ball of base swirl in his contraption. (see past post)
Jason used that huge spoon, but he also would only cook up an 8 ball at a time, which I noticed because I had been cooking up less than a ½ gram at a time. The recovered crack-heads reading this will be shaking their heads in disgust one more time as they just read that last part regarding the ½ gram of pre-cooked weight. It’s way too low. I found that out with Jason and it’s weird that Mike never told me that. Mike never told me that you had to cook more than what I had been doing. You see, in order for it to be good, strong, crack you really want to cook up a decent amount at a time, you can cook up a gram at a time, but you should really just cook up at least an 8 ball every time. The more the better at that point is what I understand. It’s something about the quantity, that even when it’s divided up just has stronger base. That’s the rumor. Jason didn’t use a disassembled tire gauge like Mike did, no Jason used a cheap plastic bong, no water, metal stem, stainless steel screens. That was Jason’s rig of choice and it worked really, really, well. By using that method there was very little crack smoke going to waste. Brilliant.
I’m 27 and John and I start up the show at the Continental Club. I know I said that last time, but I mean it this time…
I was just looking at some old pictures of the Continental Club online. Man, it brought back some memories. Yes, John and I did a show there so, we will start there. I honestly don’t remember how, but my roommate and fellow open mic comic John Rabon was approached by the manager regarding taking over the comedy night that they had been doing at the iconic Continental Club in Austin, Texas. The comedy night there had been going on for a few months and the host was just getting tired of hosting it if I remember correctly. John was hesitant until they offered us $20 a week to host and a case of beer for the comics to split. No problem. We decided to switch off hosting in order to pocket the money ourselves and we would try to only book comics that didn’t drink. That way we could keep the beer as well as the money. That is not the way to book a show, unless you are an idiot. Well, we were two idiots who were broke as fuck, but now we had some money and a case of beer. Lots of unfunny, but sober comics got their chance to headline during that shows run.
I fucked it up though. If you have noticed I really haven’t discussed many women during these essays, but I have dated some women throughout my life that do deserve mentioning, but honestly, I’ll just need to write a separate book at some point to address those. I’ve had girls waving guns around, one that wanted me to punch her in the face while we had sex. Yeah, that’s what she asked for. “Will you punch me in the face while we have sex?” No, I did not punch her in the face and I’m extremely happy that I didn’t. That was a weird request though.
I did meet a girl at the Continental Club and I guess we just had one of those really short, fun, yet karma-damaging relationships that I just should never have been in at all. I ended up knowing her for years, but the relationship only lasted a month or so and it wasn’t anything close to any sort of traditional relationship of any type. It was marred by the fact that she already had a live-in, long-term boyfriend. She worked at the Continental Club and everyone there not only knew that she had a boyfriend, but they all really seemed to like her boyfriend. He was apparently a really good dude, and then I stepped into the already crowded picture. What a mess. I knew that I was fucking up bad, but I didn’t care. She was cool and had cool friends. I had only heard of this world and maybe I had seen it in a movie or two. I know that this will fuck up the show and will fuck up a lot of things, but I’m fine with that and I guess that I’ll be that dick who everybody hates at one of the most iconic bars in Austin. Alright.
(One night at the Continental Club)
“Hey Steven, I think you’re funny. Do you want to go to a party or maybe a few parties with me after work?”
I probably mumbled something stupid, but we hopped in my 1983 Toyota Tercel SR-5 with no insurance to match and headed on a month long “oh well, fuck it” experiment. The experiment failed in some ways and was a success in others. Such is life. I remember that when she kissed me that night I distinctly thought to myself “Well, this ain’t gonna last.” It just couldn’t.
She was the type of person that you know is going to be out of your life soon, but you just have fun with it while you can, knowing that it will dissolve away rapidly as minds and priorities change with the wind. Her friends hated me, but she thought that I was funny, and she really liked the huge bulge in my pants that was created by the 8 ball of coke that I was holding. Hey, she liked me for me…and I always had cocaine on me back then.
She left one morning after breakfast, explaining that she missed her dogs, her old house, and her old life with her boyfriend. He had been broken hearted and sitting home really depressed. I do regret being the guy who did that, but… I wasn’t mad at all when she left. I knew it was going to happen and I giggled to myself when she left as if I had fooled her for the entire month that she had stayed with me. When she and I would go out to see a band or to parties together every guy would give me that “what the fuck is up with this guy and why is he with her look?” and I would just laugh. “I don’t create the waves, guy. I just ride them.”
Like I said, I was actually shocked that she had stayed as long as she did. During that time, I went to some of the most fun after-hours parties that I’ve ever been to. These parties were going on until the sun came up and usually occurred at a number of homes in South Austin. We would sometimes have several to hit, but she and I went out every night. That’s when I started to learn how to just trade some coke for a bar tab here and there or dinner someplace. A half gram of coke would be about $30-40, but my cost would be a lot less. That my friend is how you party like a rock-star on the budget of an open mic comic.
Through that one girl I met a lot of local musicians and just performers in general that I would notice from the Zachary Scott Theatre or a drummer from this band, singer from that band. I was finding out about these secret rooms in some establishments and the endless amount of parties. I partied at the house on the stilts, where people had signed the wall next to the front door for years upon their first entry. Seriously, you could look on the wall and see the autographs of Austin’s musical landscape right in front of you on that wall. I was also at that house on the streets out behind the Continental where it was always snowing on the pool table owned by a person with the same name as myself. It was so wild to just be thrown into Coolsville for just a moment. Absolutely crazy.
On my 28th birthday I was handed 1.7 grams of blow from a stranger as a present while we were partying at this big house in the Barton Springs area of Austin. It certainly wasn’t a party for me, but they did sing me happy birthday and like I said before, it did snow in July. There were naked women in the swimming pool, local performers, musicians, and me. I was being told that I was cool and funny just because I must have been, I was with her and why would I be around all of those people if I wasn’t really cool? Placebo. It won’t last much longer, she will be gone soon, and your life will get back to being really lonely and boring. And then she was gone. I sat alone in the two-bedroom apartment at Stonehollow and wondered why I would always be the bar-back, but never the bartender and then I walked over and knocked on Jason’s apartment door. I don’t stay too long, just about 18 hours or so. I would have to go back and forth as we were beginning to run low on cigarettes and lighters at Jason’s apartment, so I would sneak some out of John’s extra pack of buy one, get one free, Camel Reds that the cigarette girls had been giving away for free the night before at the Velveeta Room. They were free cigarettes, that’s not really stealing…
It’s about 6 am but we need baking soda, lighters, and more 7-up to use as a mixer to go with the handle of Sky vodka that was still half-full, but the other handle of Sky had already been depleted and discarded near the over-piled kitchen garbage can. We need the baking soda in order to cook up more coke. The convenience store is just down the street, maybe a couple of blocks, three at the most. I can drive if I can just stop shaking. I’ll just wash my face with cold water, that will help. Fuck, I better put on a fresh shirt, this one has stains on it. Visine! I’ll get some Visine, that makes for sober looking eyes. I’m trying not to shake as I walk down the cement steps and I’m grabbing onto the green painted metal railing of the staircase that leads me to the asphalt parking lot, where my 1983 Toyota Tercel SR-5 is parked. The keys are shaking in my hand and I’m having trouble getting the key to go into the ignition. There, finally the car starts and I’m trying to get to the store. I make it, but I’m shaking, sweating, and I have to buy baking soda and lighters at 6 am, while looking not like a crack-head. I see a familiar face. Oh fuck, it’s a girl that I know from High School. She doesn’t see me, but I don’t think that we are here with the same shopping list. She leaves. I’m standing there hiding near the bathroom and ATM machine, shaking with a box of baking soda in one hand, a bottle of 7-up in the other hand, and trying to look like I haven’t been smoking crack for hours on end. I get back to the Jason’s apartment and I’m just a nervous wreck. I’m paranoid because the clerk at the convenience store asked if I was ok. Then, the clerk was on the telephone as I was driving away. What? No, I won’t stop looking out of your miniblinds. The cops man, I mumbled to Jason and his two friends that were there. I kind of knew the one guy, but the other guy I didn’t know, but he was now doing round-house kicks near my face. Near my face, with his foot as if he is trying to knock a balloon out of my mouth. He keeps doing this. I’m not sure why. He then stops his impromptu martial arts display and goes to the kitchen. Jason follows him into the kitchen, but turns around quickly, looks in my direction. “Dude, speedball.”