Drop Out, Smoke Crack, Get MBA post 12, pt 1 (Austin)

This is part of a series…it is suggested that you start with post 1

I didn’t smoke any crack in the house while I was living with the dancer. And as I’ve said, I wasn’t even close to having sex with her, and that was just fine with me at the time. Sometimes you know that a pretty person like that just isn’t worth the hassle that might be involved. Even if it is just the act of physical sex. I imagine that is a relatively universal matter among sexualities. The hot fuck vs. having to talk to them during or after sex. Nothing against them, but if there is absolutely nothing in common than it doesn’t matter if it’s a Hall of Fame vagina (consciously avoiding the common slang of G.O.A.T. to avoid obvious possible miscommunication) or an award-winning dick that is up for grabs, sometimes the mere possibility of the hypothetical conversation that might be attached to the otherwise exciting rendezvous just makes it seem not worth it at all. “Yeah, they might be fun to fuck, but then we’re going to have to talk to each other and ugh, I’ve already had enough conversation with this person. We have enough data. Conclusion, it’s just not worth it” I actually had heard from a mutual acquaintance some years later, that she eventually dated some successful lawyer, the relationship had gone sour, and that her lawyer boyfriend had actually paid her $10,000 to leave. I remember thinking that he probably got a good deal and from what I understand now regarding the time value of money, I can almost certainly guarantee that he did. He got out cheap in that deal if the story is true. I didn’t smoke crack there, but I did do plenty of lines though, but that’s a whole different ball game or at least it was for me. You know crack vs. powder. I also smoked a little crack, while I was in my roommate purgatory state, crashing on couches and getting friends hooked up with free cable as mentioned in an earlier post.

Actually, one night I smoked crack under a tiny little bridge with some dude that thought that I was funny at The Velveeta Room that particular Thursday night. It was the weirdest thing. I had done a joke that night about doing lots of coke, (write about what you know, right) and after the set some dude, just a regular, slacker looking dude, that seemed financially comfortable enough that my first thought was that perhaps he was one of the random trust-fund bohemian types of people that were calling Austin their home at the time.  Brand new Birkenstocks, desperately trying to grow dreadlocks, but it’s at that weird (mange) looking stage. He was sleeping on the hard streets of Austin, off (The Drag) or if the weather is really bad he would move his sleeping bag into the back of his three-year-old Volvo, with the dead head sticker in the rear window, that’s parked in a parking spot a few streets over. He only drives it when he has to in order to avoid tickets, towing, or to go shopping. He could spend countless hours and his dad’s credit card just spending the day going through the different Goodwill stores in Austin, scooping up the best looking clothes, helping to insure that the lower-economic based shoppers of Austin won’t be looking fashionable during their days at work or school. Nope, not as long as he’s there to find the best shirts or vintage pants. He can get them both, he doesn’t have to choose.

He was smart though and insisted that his father buy him a car that the back-seat folded down to expose the trunk from the inside of his vehicle. That one feature really makes it easier to sleep in the car on rainy nights, un-noticed, when the harsh realities of his street life kick in. He brags about his Volvo Condo while asking me if I have a Bic lighter. He left his in his car. He is the outlier among homeless youth, most of the homeless young adults that I’ve seen are not sleeping in a Volvo during a rainy Austin night. Well, this guy came up to me after the show, as I said, and he stated that he had a couple of rocks of great crack and he knew of a spot right around the corner or so where we could smoke it. It sounds so crazy to me now, trying to understand my decision making back then, but for whatever fucking reason I was completely down. “Sure, strange person that liked one joke of mine, let’s go smoke crack in an undisclosed location, probably seedy as fuck.”

It didn’t disappoint. We smoked crack under a bridge. Oh, shit how cool, cue up the fucking Red Hot Chili Pepper music, sounds cool. Yeah, don’t start pushing play too fast on that Flea music just yet playa, because this was a nasty, tiny commuter bridge where we were kneeling really close to turd lake, or whatever it was, some small stagnant pond that had been used as a toilet. I wouldn’t go there in a million years today, as an MBA candidate, but 20 years ago you fucking bet. All I needed was that trigger to be set and once my addiction switch, as mentioned in a previous post, was flipped to the ON position it was too late.

But this makes sense though about the switch being flipped up causing me to go crazy. Hold up and just hear me out. See, I didn’t know this back, when I was a crack head, but when I was getting my Psychology degree at the University of Houston, I paid motherfucking attention. I was addicted to the material. In at least two of my psychology classes, at the absolutely beautiful campus of the University of Houston, Go Coogs!, the lectures ended up at some point covering the following experiment. Here, follow me really quick it’s simple. The rat or mouse is in a box that has an open top. There is a small light in the box, that can be turned on or off by the people conducting the experiment, and there is a hole in one of the sides of the box where a pellet can be dropped in. So, we have a box with a mouse in it. The mouse is in the box just chillen, doing mouse things. The mouse now sees that the tiny light, located inside the box turns on. Wow! Now, a food pellet falls into the box and the mouse eats the food pellet. “That’s pretty fucking cool.” thinks the mouse. Then, the mouse finishes the food pellet and is just chillen again for a while. Some time goes by and then the mouse sees that light turn back on and holy shit! Another pellet falls out of the hole and this behavior repeats itself over and over. Ok. You got that. Mouse, light turns on, pellet of food dropped into the box with the mouse. Ok, so here is the question. At what time during that sequence is the brain of the mouse showing the most activity?

Meaning, when is the mouse the most excited about the pellet?

A. When the mouse is sitting there with nothing, just chillen?

B. When the mouse sees the light turn on?

C. When the mouse is actually eating the pellet?

When I learned the answer to this question something happened in my own thought process. It wasn’t some huge monumental catharsis, but it was something. It was enough to begin to start putting some things together in my own mind regarding some of my own decision making.

I can’t even begin to describe to you what a trip it is to get a bachelor of science in psychology during your 40s when you have the past that I do. What a mind fuck. There were times in class when I would have an eye-opening moment and occasionally I’d find myself even gaining some understanding of maybe the reason why I felt so damaged as a young adult or even the thought processes of my abusers, which led to the doors of forgiveness to, not really be opened, but the old, iron locks that bound the doors were becoming unlatched perhaps. It a strange experience to sit there and wonder if your abuser had been abused as well. Wondering how they were tricked. I’m not talking about the bullies in high school, I’m talking about my other abusers. I was sexually abused at various points in my childhood, starting with a friends older brother when I was under the age of 5. It didn’t make me feel dirty or filthy or anything really. He said that he would play games that I wanted to play later if I let him play with me in a sexual way. He of course didn’t use words like sexual, but those were his intentions. So, I let him do what he wanted in the hopes that I would have a friend. I was just a stupid little boy. I didn’t know what he was doing at the time and he may not even known himself. He was most likely just modeling the behavior that was taught to him by his abuser. Mimicking the moves on me as they were done to him before. It’s difficult to be mad at another victim when you’ve just made an A on the exam regarding the material. In psychology class I would find my thoughts drift to a point where I would begin to have tears begin welling up in my eyes just thinking of the horrible hypothetical abuse that my abuser might have also endured. It’s the academic mind fuck of an experience that can leave a 44-year old junior shaking and crying in a bathroom stall on the lower level of Melcher Hall, wiping away tears and adjusting the U of H hat that I wore so proudly. I still do.

I’ll discuss the history of my abuse at some point later on, as it deserves not only mentioning, but even perhaps its own blog or book, but I’m discussing my addiction now. However, since my addiction seems to be correlated with some early trauma, I have to at least mention some of the abuse that I endured and how it’s ok to feel a little damaged. Don’t try to bondo over it and slap on a cheap Maacco paint job, trying to cover it, nope…rat rod that shit…show off those dents and rust with pride. You can’t fake a good patina, dents, or good rust.

Oh, the answer to that question was C.

The mouse or rats brain is its most active between the time after the light goes off (trigger) and the time when it’s waiting for the pellet. Damn, the Rocky Horror Picture Show was right…it’s all about antici…

Hey, have you ever eaten a bunch of shrooms and then climbed up on a roof with other motherfuckers that are shrooming, just to watch a meteor shower? That’s what we were doing at Teddy’s on the hill.

I’m 28 and shit’s getting trippy

“Dude, there’s a meteor shower tonight.”

“Cool, man.”

“We’re doing some shrooms on the roof and watching them.”

“On this roof?”

“Yep.”

I didn’t know how to use Microsoft Office until I was in my 40s. Isn’t that crazy? I didn’t know any of it really. I just learned it over the course of my education and I’m certainly not an expert now, but when I think of what I can do with it currently, I do have a tendency to smile almost as if I know a secret. The multiple regression models that I’ve helped make and the quantitative analysis that follows just makes me fucking laugh so hard sometimes. That Boss (guitar nerd) Loop pedal in my head sometimes just gets stuck in this giggling mode lately when I think about my education. It’s just so motherfucking funny to think of a crack head receiving an MBA after dusting myself off so to speak from the dirt that was collected on my pants and shoes because of the particular grimy, dirty, dusty path of life that I sometimes chose and at other times it almost looks like I was destined to be an addict, kind of thrown into the self-medication lifestyle. It’s just so funny how education is this huge eraser that can just wipe away the shame and maybe even alter the stigma associated with various youthful or in my case not-so-youthful transgressions. I wasn’t a kid, I was 29 years old, but my brain felt 20 or 21 tops when using metrics such as my cognitive abilities at the time. Look, I was a really late bloomer as was the case with my speech impediments, I was short as a motherfucker growing up and I’m just a few inches away from being able to dress up as Prince for Halloween and nail the height variable precisely.

I was denied the first time that I applied at the University of Houston. They wouldn’t let me in because the GPA from my Southwest Texas State University days brought down my overall GPA that much. Yeah, it was really bad. I had to actually graduate from Houston Community College before they would allow me to become a student at U.H., which I am so glad that they did, but at the same time, it was so long ago, and they even changed the name of the school. It’s now Texas State. My history is with S.W.T., not Texas State. My shit should just get pardoned or something like that.

It’s much nicer than being called a crackhead, you know…being called a college graduate. I never thought that it would be me. I mean honestly, and from what you’ve read so far has there been ANY time that you’ve thought to yourself, “What this boy needs is an education?” Fuck no. You might have said that I need rehab, jail, religion, to join the military, all of which are really bad to fuck up with and I was a fuck up. I would have fucked up in jail, which leads to more jail and/or death in the jail. I would have fucked up in the military and that’s not suggested. I would have fucked up religion also. I would have taken advantage of those relationships in some way. Matter of fact, here’s a scary thought. I would have been executed, shot in the fucking streets, if I was living in the Philippines.  I believe that I’ve mentioned that though, and you are most likely very aware yourself about the current Philippine policies regarding the treatment of drug addicts. I never would have even seen Houston Community College and an MBA would not have even been a dream.

So, living up the hill with Teddy was almost like camping but in a duplex. The electricity or other utilities might go off for a day or two days, shit maybe a week at times, but it’s just not that huge of a deal. Everyone had shit jobs, except for Teddy who worked as a cast member at Esther’s Follies and Teddy was just cool as fuck. Teddy is kind of a big dude and he just looks like a buddy. Seriously, he could have played the third-wheel buddy role in any type of TV show or movie where the good looking guy and the good looking girl are the two main characters, but each of them have a nerdy side kick that isn’t getting any until the end of the movie where they end up meeting another nerd and they start nerd fucking. Teddy could have played that character to a motherfucking T.

Teddy was such a good guy around the duplex, never wanting any drama and since he was all into the Ren Fair lifestyle, he would always hear of somebody going out to fucking Bastrop or some shit and coming back with a lot of shrooms. Dude. Seriously, it was just what I fucking needed. I had been around Mike, back on Enfield and then I lived next door to a fucking coke dealer. I had been in these environments that were toxic in just about every sense of the word and it was completely different at Teddy’s. There wasn’t anyone about to get pistol whipped or beat down. There weren’t rides to go pick up bags of coke or anything like that. It was just silly jokes being told, really low-quality Mexican weed being smoked and people chillen. I needed to sit back, smoke some weed, eat some fucking mushrooms, take some acid when it was around, and just think about some shit for a while. And that’s what I did. Of course, unless the one roommate was drunk. The girl roommate. She was a tiny thing too. I mean I’m short and I could just dunk on her all day long if we had a short basketball goal. But she drank so much that you just didn’t know if she would pass out before it got too bad or was, she going to just keep going? I would NEVER think of giving her cocaine. Fuck that. She needed to just pass out and sleep it off. We all just felt so sorry for her.

So, later that night we all climbed up the ladder and onto the roof to watch the meteor shower while shrooming. Everyone just giggling away and saying funny shit, Teddy’s doing his Sean Connery impression, but you can tell that it’s actually an impression of Will Ferrell doing an impression of Sean Connery. Teddy keeps going as the other roommates laugh. I don’t laugh though. I hate impressions. Everyone is laughing and Teddy notices that I’m not laughing also. Teddy doesn’t get mad, he just seems at first confused as to why I’m not also laughing, and then like I said he would just give me this look as if he felt so sorry for me that I wasn’t able to see the funny like the others. I would just say the same thing “I hate impressions” and then Teddy would wave his hand at me in a dismissive gesture and start his show all over again for the roommates, doing his version of Sean Connery on Jeopardy. Teddy did really good characters. He’s a hell of a talent.

We would do that on multiple occasions where we would find ourselves, as roommates, congregated together on the roof watching meteor showers or falling stars, sometimes shrooming like tonight, but sometimes just smoking a blunt or a couple of bulging Mexican weed joints in order to complete the rooftop party. Teddy just got along with people extremely well it seemed. He had friends from childhood that he knew, and he had buddies form high school, theater, Ren Fairs, and of course he knew everyone from Esther’s Follies. Teddy also liked me. That was not only really cool, I desperately needed someone to be nice to me.  I had already really fucked up my reputation around the comedy scene and I was making it worse by being the train wreck that fucked over John Rabon, has been evicted, arrested, thrown out of bars, and kicked off of couches, but Teddy didn’t give a shit as long as I was cool with him. Teddy was and is just a really good dude, that for whatever reason loves Ren Fairs. I have to be honest regarding Ren Fairs. I don’t get it. I really don’t. It just all looks so completely stupid to me, but I’m so glad that there are places for people to do that. I’m sure smoking a bag full of crack sound crazy to a lot of those Ren Fair people. Come to think of it maybe that’s why it wasn’t a big deal for the utilities to be cut off. Teddy just kicked into the Ren Fair part of his brain and pretended that we were back in the days of yore. As in yore lights don’t work you broke motherfuckers! But eventually Teddy would get paid and the lights would come back on. Thanks Teddy, yore, the best.

I’m 29 and I’m about to meet a guy they call Man Boobs on a local radio station. Seriously, he’s a legend in Austin, but I changed his moniker.

Published by Steven Kendrick

I'm a recovered cocaine addict that used to smoke crack. I went back to school when I was 41 starting by taking one Spanish class. Since that time I have earned an Associate of Arts from Houston Community College, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of Houston, a Grad Certificate in Business Development and Management, and I'm about to earn my MBA in August 2018. I have made the Dean's List and I've also been a research assistant for the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston. I've finally accomplished enough that I can tell everyone about my past drug addiction.

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