“I spit fire like a dragon bitch I’m born for the game. Your shit be goin down like a moth to a flame. The words I say man they scorch the earth, I burn a house down when I spit this verse, I’m a pyro.”
Caleb (who if I didn’t mention it before was a big fan of free-styling when he was drunk) paused to take a swig from the bottle of Old English being passed around. At that particular moment I found myself in the crowded studio apartment of a man who went by Boo J. What had started out as me wanting to get a bag of weed in between classes had transformed into an improvised house party. But I’m getting ahead of myself… It all started in my 11o’clock Sociology 203 class.
“So let’s talk about Durkheim. This might be on the test, it might not. We’ll play of by ear.”
Dr. Perry was a tall potbellied man in his early fifties, his hair was receding but his wit wasn’t. He was a genuinely interesting person. I would have been perfectly entertained by and engaged in his lectures sober or not so sober, but I usually chose the other option. When you like to get high, you get high. It’s as simple as that.
“Durkheim’s identified four types of suicides or rather four different contributing factors to suicide. What were they? Uh… you over there Tim Leary.”
For the record, my name isn’t Tim Leary (as hilarious as that would be). Dr. Perry and I seemed to have a mutual understanding. We could each tell that the other had been around the block. I often wondered about it. Just exactly how far down the rabbit-hole had Dr. Perry gone? These were the kind of things I distracted myself with during class.
“Uh, yes… yeah sorry. Fatalistic, egoistic, altruistic and anomic.”
“Well done Tim. There’s still some hope for your immortal soul.” Dr. Perry said win a grin.
A few minutes later, my phone rang. I discretely excused myself to see if it warranted ditching class.
“Brandon,” I said aloud as I fumbled for my phone in the men’s room stall.
“Aye dude what up? I’m good on some sour and homeboy said he can get some fire beans.”
“I’m okay on the beans dude. Gotta keep it light today. I’ve got class and shit.”
“I feel ya. I feel ya. C’mon by the crib. I’ll hook you up with that bud.”
“Right on man.”
Click… And that was that. Midway to Brandon’s house my forever-doomed-to-ring phone starts going off again. This time it was Caleb.
“Hey man I’m sort of…”
“Dude, you need to come over. I’m fuckin flyin on this shit maaaan.”
“Oh yeah, what shit exactly?”
“St. Michael’s essence maaaan. It’s like getting blown by God.”
“St. Michael’s essence? Cabes, I’ve gotta know did you just make that shit up off the top of your head?”
“Yup. Just now.”
“Well what is it.”
“You’re about to find out. Come over.”
Yet another click…
“Holy shit, I… I’m cold and hot at the same time. I’ve gotta get some weed man. Gotta… I’ve gotta even myself out.”
“I’m all out of weed man. You try calling Brandon?”
“Oh fuck, yeah, Brandon. I was on my way over to his place earlier. He’s good man. He’s good. Let’s go.
As it turns out a St. Michael is a nifty little concoction that involves morphine, Xanax and some sort of bastardized mixture of synthetic cathinones all broken down into a fine powder and taken up the nose…. Who would have thought?
I touched the face of God while driving with the window down, listening to some generic psy-trance mix. The icy rush in my veins and the bell ringer between my ears was as close to heaven as I’d ever been.
“Heyyyy what’s good man?”
Brandon took one look at me and smiled.
“You’ve gotta cut back on that tweakin dude. I’ve seen some of my people OD on that shit. It’s not pretty.”
“Ah, I’ll survive. So uh, you got that sour?” I asked in between grinding my jaw and fidgeting with my belt.
“Yeah, my boy’s got it on deck. We gotta meet him at his place… I’ll drive.”
God help the poor souls that ever have or ever will share the road with Brandon. Riding with him was like sailing through the River Styx. It could have been the hard drugs or the scratchy song playing on repeat in the background that sounded like some mutant Lil Wayne/Ghetto Boys hybrid. But one thing was for sure, as Brandon darted through traffic, cutting off old Hispanic women and narrowly avoiding curbs as his hanging-by-a-thread muffler scratched the pavement (and I thought my car was a death trap), that this was not the car to be in if you were high.
We arrived at Boo J’s house after stopping at the Shell Station on 6th street to buy a blunt wrap (white grape white owls were a personal favorite of mine). Boo J greeted us at the door and made the drop. He was unexpectedly friendly for someone in his line of work (drug dealers weren’t all that friendly in this town. Some had to put up a front to maintain the image. Others cooked crystal meth and killed people) and after pulling Brandon aside for a few seconds, invited us up to smoke with him… and so it begins.
Unbeknownst to me Caleb had brought some more of St. Michael’s miracle mixture along. It wasn’t long before enough fat lines were cut for all who wanted to partake, which was everyone.
“God damn man this shit got me feelin straaange yo. I need a beer. Any’a y’all wana beer?” Boo J asked quite loudly.
“Fuck yeah man.” Caleb shouted over some glitchy remix of whatever Whiz Khalifa song was playing in the background.
“I’ve been craving a drink all fuckin day.”
Out of the corner of my eye to the far right side of the room, I noticed a familiar translucent orange bottle.
“Hey man. What you got over there?” I (stupidly) asked.
“Oh shit man. That’s Flexeril and uh I think something called Valium. Doc gave em to me for my back. Don’t do shit for me though. You can have em if you cut me anotha line a that powder.”
“Yeah man. I fuckin absolutely will,” I chimed in, looking over and nodding at Caleb. We were both in agreement. Free drugs were free drugs.
The next couple of hours were spent in the grip of delirium; a patchwork of uppers, downers and cheap malt liquor. By the time things came to a close, it was decided by the direct democratic process that I was the most sober one of the bunch, which meant I was tasked with driving/babysitting everyone else.
I dropped Brandon off. Then tended to Caleb (who at this point was far too gone to be left alone), for a while.
“You alright man? Looks like you’re having a tough time with level 5,” I said while sucking back a lingering drip of my new miracle drug, so is the price of admission.
“Yeah man. I’m good,” Caleb said, staring at his ever glowing X-Box
“MMA man… someday I’m gonna teach my cat that shit.”
“What… what the fuck man?” I laughed hysterically.
“Yeah, yeah man. My cat… she’s gonna grapple.”
I waited until Caleb had passed out, (his cat rooting around the far corners of his bedroom leapt up and pressed its nose against his neck running away as soon as I stood up), hung around a little longer to make sure he was still breathing, helped myself to another rail of St. Michael’s cocktail of the gods and headed home. On my way back I thought about a lot of things; the stats quiz I missed, having to talk my way out of dinner with my parents, having to work tomorrow (thank God for Adderall) and most importantly having to sober up before Amy for home. But all of these things were distant. I didn’t have to care about any of that right now. Better living through chemistry right? I chuckled at everything that had happened today, threw on the same psy-trance mod I’d listened to earlier and kept cruising along Oak Avenue… today had been a good day.