After picking up some crazy, Chinese methamphetamine analogue. I decided to go to a punk show. It was the golden age of research chemicals. The streets were flooded with bored kids slinging whatever they could get their hands on and I was always one of the first one’s in line.
“One line and you won’t sleep for a week,” A seemingly sleep deprived Ricky shouted over the noise of his TV set.
“This shit is better than any dope out there man. Those trailer trash shake and bake mother fuckers can’t touch this.”
“How much for a G?” I asked.
I’d fallen under the spell of amphetamines lately. They let me be productive and confident beyond anything I’d ever been able to concoct without chemical aide pulsing through my system and I loved it. Ricky was right. He may have been a spoiled rich kid but he was right. As the thin rail of powder entered my nose, I knew there was no going back. So there I was driving 80 plus blasting my Anti Flag/Misfits mix doing bump after bump off of my left arm. I’d decided to go to this show tonight partly because I felt like collapsing faces in the pit (they would look like extras in an eastern European horror film by the time I was through with em), and partly because I knew Caleb would be there and he would be holding.
“Hate the machine! Hate the machine! Hate the mother fucking machine,” screamed a large bearded man into a very well-worn microphone.
“What is this shit man?” Caleb asked.
“Some crazy shit man,” I said itching my face, my heart racing at speeds that evoke a sense of sick, danger laced nostalgia in the minds of tweakers and base jumpers alike.
“It’s some crazy shit,” I said again repeating my speed addled mantra.
We were in my sunshield guarded car as our fellow angsty peers drank themselves into a collective stupor and tore each other to shreds… everyone has their own special way of releasing pent up hostility and I’d found mine. My nose was on fire but each line helped me forget that a little more heart damage at a time. We both started to feel flushed and Caleb left after making a very loud declaration that he needed to get some water. I took one more bump and followed suit.
I entered the venue, an abandoned shelter house in the middle of the woods. The Shelter when it wasn’t being commandeered by the local music scene, was used primarily as a flop house and/or drug den for all sorts of interesting characters. Street kids painted with more cheap hair dye and spiked leathers than the average person could keep track of, homeless drifters looking for a place to sleep one off, paranoid dope fiends, and the generally wayward. I could have spent my whole life writing some kind of tortured novel using these people as cannon fodder… I spent a lot of time thinking about writing. Almost as much time as I spent watching, listening… waiting.
“Well, I’m working on my gen eds right now, but I’m going to transfer to uni and study English. After that an MFA. A mother fucking abomination. Hahaha, no it’s a master’s of fine arts but seriously I’m gonna write man. I’m gonna write like a mother fucker. The next great novel… not this great American novel crap. It’s an infantile stream of modernity that…”
“Jesus what are you on tonight?”
That was the first time I heard her voice. A voice which cut off the very loud, very one sided conversation I was having with the genuinely terrified looking Asian kid I was rambling on too about my future plans. I didn’t know this person from atom, he literally sprinted away after I was side tracked by the voice of… whoever this was.
And she was radiant. Her eyes, alive with feral emotions most people spend their days drinking away, glowed amidst the electric storm of black-lights and synthetic fog. Dancing in manic bursts to the harsh sounds of whatever Marilyn Manson wannabe’s band blared in the background. Her thin black hair shifted tonalities in the wash of light and shadows reflecting everything from rage to bliss… all passions imaginable were alive in this girl. The traces of her athletic form peeked through her torn jeans and cigarette burned T-shirt. Her stupefying beauty revealing itself in blasts of hidden cartography… there was no question she was out of my league.
“It’s a secret,” I said sheepishly, my speed born bravado torn away in the wake of passion. Trying with all my effort to remain calm and collected inside the waves of whatever amphetamine riddled ocean I’d dove inside of. I brushed a hand through my matted, sweat drenched hair, and adjusted my glasses as nonchalantly as possible. Which my lanky awkward body tried like hell to make impossible.
“C’mon man. I won’t tell,” she said. The trails of her smoky voice drifted into space (sound never leaves, it only dissipates), giving way to a wink followed by a devilish grin creeping across her face.
It was at that time that I noticed Caleb noticing me and decided to spare this mystery (though something whispered, misery) girl the introduction to my crazed, tweaked out friend.
“Well…” I said lowering my voice, in some attempt to play down how equal parts horny and paranoid I’d become.
“They call it bath salts, plant food, glass cleaner whatever, but the main ingredient is called MDP… something or other… I’ve uh, I’ve got a little more of you want to…”
She grabbed my hand and with as much ferocity as her wild strides of motion could muster and bolted for the door.
“Wow,” I said, lighting a cigarette.
Amy sat with me wide awake. We sat in the middle of a clearing, strung out, half naked and far away from the post-teenage angst of our friends and peers, too wrapped up in the beauty of our own self destruction to care about theirs. The Shelter, sat faraway too. It was removed from the noise of the city. I briefly pondered the probability of how people wind up in these types of places. Places like The Shelter. How it all had to be a game of numbers and chance. And how, knowing this that we had the audacity to think our ideas and lives and our goals were somehow important that we were authentic and unique, in the wake of a million different swirling atoms existing everywhere, dreaming of nothing (speed was cold and calculated. The crash was nihilism defined)… but I’ve curiously pondered many things while blasted on one thing or another. Tonight was different. If all of the passion and beauty I found myself in had really meant nothing, I wouldn’t have cared…I could sense something real (or as real as anything can be), real but so far away in that moment and looking back on that evening through the liquefied frame of years passed, I honestly wonder if I somehow knew that my life would never be the same after.
“I’ve never felt anything like that first bump. It was like a cross between Mollie and coke but… different. I don’t know. I’m still pretty fucking wired. This is just… just like fucking beautiful man,” she said. While putting on her bra adjusting her hair and lighting a cigarette of her own, (I told you speed was a wonder drug in these situations).
I wanted to make some quasi-witty remark about the sex. Something that would make me seem worldly and confident, but I was neither one of those things.
“It was beautiful. I mean you’re beautiful. Ah, shit. I mean…”
My rambling was interrupted by her laughter.
“Thank you… you’re really sweet,” thin wisps of smoke continued drifting away into the cool night air. Becoming one with the structures that define us. We looked at the stars our sped up hearts beating to the reckless chemical symphony of youth.
“I’ve seen you around here before. You were always really quiet. I guess I would be too if I was pushing shit like this.”
“Oh, no it’s not like that. It just always seems to find me. So I just you know… help people out.”
“Yeah, well you’ll have to help me out again sometime. The sex wasn’t too bad either,” another devious wink, the stop motion flick of her cigarette and the neon warmth of her smile followed her words.
This girl was a drug unlike anything I’d ever crammed up my nose… Maybe I had received a warning shot that night, but to ease my curiosities I spent some time rambling on about a while back, I still wouldn’t have cared. I wouldn’t have wanted to change a thing. Despite all the change it brought. If I had, by some cosmic glitch left God’s palm and whisked my way through time and space and whatever else to resist feeling anything in that moment after I was older and wiser… I wouldn’t have changed a thing.