Friday, June 5, 2015


You'd think that someone 21 years in recovery from alcoholism would be able to spot an addict, no matter what the addiction.  Wrong.  Not even close.

But I have experienced that first kiss of addiction to dry goods as we say in the rooms, many times.

I ran away from home when I was 16 or 17. This was in the early 70s, about '73 or '74.  I'll spare you the details of the why and should have been why nots.

Somehow, I made it to the Ozark Mountain Festival in Missouri in July, 1974.  I don't remember how, but I arrived with not a penny to my name.  I remember a feeling of hopelessness when I saw men collecting money at a gate.  A man jabbed me and pointed toward another man on the inside of a metal fence.  The man waved us toward him while curling up a piece of the fence.  We ran toward the gap in the fence and snuck inside the concert for free.  Wikipedia has information on the festival and the bands that played there.  Apparently I missed the event of a lifetime.  I only remember Bachman Turner Drive playing Let it Ride.  The rest was a drug and alcohol induced blur while I paraded around naked or half-naked.  There were a lot of naked women there.  I spent the night in the tent of some guys who had some crystal meth or something like it.  One of them told me I farted all night.  

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, I met a young man who was flirting with me.  I was so high, I thought he was a she and suggested that she go flirt with one of the guys.  She was shocked.  I only figured out later that he was a guy.  Damn, he was pretty.

I arrived in Austin, Texas at night.  I don't remember what street my ride took me down, but I remember picking out the street people, now called by their politically correct name, The Homeless.   I spent the night near the rails, at a temporary camp of a hobo who shared a can of beans heated by his campfire. Hobos were people, usually men, who stayed near the rails and traveled for free on the railroad's dime.  I learned it was only free if they didn't get caught and thrown into jail, or lose limbs or life.

Austin's nightlife was electric.  Live bands played southern soul in loud and dimly lit bars.  Outside of town was a nude beach where I continued my freedom of body language and burned my privates.  I seem to remember a guy I was with also burned his.

I think it was in Texas that a kind soul told me it would be best if I disappeared after I knocked $125 worth of a "new drug" in powder form onto a white shag carpet. Normally, not one for subtle warnings, the seriousness of my situation did not escape me.  Disappearing was no problem. They were still searching through the rug when I made my escape.

I don't remember much about the guys I hooked up with, except for Billy, who was tall, blond and dumb.  We were a couple in a group heading to Tuscon, Arizona.  I told him that I had to go ahead of them after he and another man decided to shoot up White Lightning.  I think it was their screams that convinced me. Billy tried to talk to me in Tuscon, but I avoided him.  One day he caught up with me by getting the bartender to trick me into going outside.  I'm sure I lied.  I was a bad liar.  I told bizarre lies.  Lies that weren't even plausible.  They worked because people got it, but it's embarrassing now.

My next near miss was in Tuscon, which is a college town with a lot of bars.  A real popular song that year was Ray Stevens' The Streaker.  I arrived, found "my" people (those who had drugs, alcohol and/or places to stay), and proceeded to make acquaintances by streaking a local bar. This made me very popular.  So popular, in fact, that I was invited to try heroin one day in the upstairs room of a place across from my favorite bar (so called due to its proximity to the room I was staying in.)  I remember the room.  It was gray.  The windows faced the bar.  I remember a man standing next to a woman.  They both stood in front of the door. She had a tube around her arm.  He had a needle. His head turned toward me.  He invited me to join them.  I remember what he said next.  "Look. It's easy. Watch, I'll do her and you can see."  I am a wussy (with a capital p), when it comes to needles.  Just ask any tech who has ever tried to take blood from me.  I'm sure I cringed, but when the woman turned as gray as the walls and her body thudded against the floor, I sprouted wings, flew through hem, out the door and out of Tuscon.  I was 17.

I finally ended up in Fresno, California.  I passed LA because drivers did not stop, not even for a single teenage female.  I met two brothers and drank Wild Turkey 101 for the first and last time.  I was asked to leave the next day by the brother I did not have sex with.  He wanted me to leave before the other brother came home from work. I didn't want to. Fresno was cold.  But I left.  California was a bust.

A lot happened while I made down (or is it up?) I-10.  While at a festival of some sort, a small tree cut down to a pointy stick, pierced the ball of my foot. I felt faint and pretended to pass out in front a restaurant in Sweetwater, Arizona.  If I was trying to make someone feel sorry for me, it worked.  A couple took me to an emergency room where a doctor who obviously didn't like hippies, grabbed, jerked, scraped,  slapped on antibiotics, and plastered some gauze and some tape on the wound. I paid that couple back by stealing the husband's pet project., a muscle car he had been rebuilding. I drove the car to Austin and just as I arrived, police car lights blazed behind me.  I freaked and tried to run, crashing the car into the brick wall of a building.  I had no ID. I was taken to a doctor who put 10 stitches in my right  temple, and spent a night in jail with a bloody bandage in a cell with only one prisoner.  My father flew from Florida and pled no contest to my charges. The couple called my parents.  They wanted to talk to me.  My parents made me talk to them, but I probably gave them some bullshit story.  I don't even know if I remembered how to tell the truth by then.  My father told me the police wanted to pull me over for a broken tail light.

I'll spare you the details of my journey to Colorado while five months pregnant with my second child, my son. Let's just say, I met a man who I married six years later and who I left six years after that.

I took acid when I was a teenager with no responsibilities.  I tried to be social and did some coke at a party once.  I took speed through my twenties and early thirties; Black Beauties, Pink Ladies and White Crosses.    Not long after, the drugs seemed to dry up, making way for impostors and more dangerous synthetic drugs.  I tried switching to Dexatrim, which worked for a while, but then that too stopped working, so I quit speed and settled for puffing pot and drinking cheap gallon wine.

Toward the end of my marriage, in the late 1980s, I was having an affair with a man who one night, showed me a yellow chalky cube in a pill bottle.  We smoked it.  I was not impressed.

The wife of another man I almost had an affair with found out and kicked him out.  He called me and I visited him at his new home.  I did not recognize him.  He went from being a blond-haired, blue-eyed hunk to a gaunt, thin haired older looking man within what seemed only a short time.  His house was bare except for a coffee table and a couple of chairs.  The coffee table had works on it.  He invited me to join him. I declined.  I was really sad when I left there.  I never went back.

(Sidenote:   before you troll, I really regret my actions now that I am sober.  Nobody deserves that.  I have been single for nine years and would rather cut off my Vajajay than have an affair with a married man or while I was married. People can change with the right spiritual ingredients.)

I haven't touched crack, cocaine or speed since, but I didn't quit drinking or smoking pot until 1994.  I have my own demons..

Even though I've kissed drug addiction right on her slobbery lips, I never made love to her.  The closest I came was watching Rush and Trainspotting.  I could barely get through them.  I guess I thought I could recognize addiction in real life, but I was wrong.


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