You know what sucks? Buying drugs. Now now, we're not here to discuss the morality or dangers of drugs, or the ethics of buying or selling them, we're here because I wanted to tell a story. Should I not tell this story because it involves some R-Rated subject matter? Or would that just be pandering. You're an adult, you can choose to do what you want and read what you please. Here, lets get if over with, ready, reaaaaady, I've done drugs before. Still here? Ok then, proceed. Regardless of how you may feel personally, there's no disputing the fact that lots and lots of people enjoy doing drugs, but I'm pretty confidant about saying there's probably nobody who likes buying them. It's typically a nervous, dark, shady type transaction that goes on, often involving nervous, dark, shady type people. It can I suppose be no big thing for some persons because they know their supplier intimately, but this either means you hang out with drug dealers or you do enough drugs to know them well. Either way is not perhaps the best position to have put yourself in. Also, I won't deny that it can, at TIMES, be a somewhat exciting experience, something that will get your blood pumping as you enter a world probably quite different and a little bit more dangerous then the one you live in day to day. The allure of a pill or powder or plant that will take away the burdens of social anxiety and lift you up and set you on a nice comfortable cloud for a few hours, well that is high enough for many people to deal with the negatives of buying. Here's a story that encompasses three aspects of the drug buy; the good, the bad, and the surreal.
It all happened on my birthday one year, in a large city, with which I was largely unfamiliar. I had been there before, several times in fact, but mostly stuck to bars and poolhouses, hadn't really taken the time to wrap my head around my greater surroundings. The city was close to where I was living at the time, and myself and a couple of friends had driven in and gotten a motel room for the night to celebrate. Allow me to set the mood for you. Our motel was in one of the dingiest, dirtiest little holes in the city, a fact we weren't privy to until after arriving and observing the plethora of lowlifes and hookers hanging out in our parking lot. This of course did absolutely nothing to deter us, if anything it just raised our heart rates a little bit and made us want to drink faster. That's the trick see, you bring a whole mini bar with you in your bag and mix drinks for yourselves in the motel room for a few hours, then take a cab downtown to the cluster of bars and upscale strip joints. I digress. We had decided on the way into the city that afternoon that today was a special day, my birthday, and just going into the city and getting roaring drunk and carousing with our friends wasn't enough. We were going to need some drugs, not no marijuana either, we had that, we needed some REAL drugs, some party-all-night-with-a-smile-cemented-to-your-face drugs. We weren't the kind of people who do those kinds of substances often, and it was a special occasion, so it seemed like a good idea.
Problem was we didn't know anybody in this particular city to get drugs from, and it's something we were only comfortable doing with somebody we had been connected with. Buying drugs from complete strangers is hard for one, because it's hard to find said stranger, and dangerous, you don't know what the fuck is going to be mixed in with whatever they give you, if it's even real, if they are going to turn out to be a cop, or a psycho. No, we needed somebody who'd been vouched for who could hook us up with something of premium quality for a fair market value price. So we called a friend we trusted back in our town, somebody who had lived for a good while in the big city and would know about such things. He said he'd make a call and get back to us straight away, and within an hour he called back. "She'll meet with you. But she's paranoid, so here's what I told her, which she'll expect to hear you say..." He proceeded to explain to us that this was somebody he very much trusted to be on the level, and to hook us up with exactly what we were looking for. However, he said, she was paranoid, and intensely so, only agreeing to meet with us after our friend told her that we had grown up together (we hadn't) and that he'd known us for over ten years (nope) and that we could be trusted (of course), so she consented based on that voucher. When I arrived at her place, he said, I had to tell her about my friend, where we went to school together, and where we grew up. This was all sounding like a lot of work at this point, but we were already starting to feel the thrill of the buy not to mention the desire for what she was selling, so we moved forward. We got her name (fake) and number (real) from him and called her up. She spoke to us on the phone for probably 15 seconds, confirming who was calling and that there were only two of us coming, and then giving us an address and hanging up abruptly. Ok, whatever, drug dealers are weird, let's go. One of my friends and I hopped in the car leaving the others in the motel room to drink, plugged the address into the trusty GPS, and off we went.
We arrived at our destination about fifteen minutes later and circled a large dark building a few times looking for her place before we realized we were already there. The large dark creepy building towering above us contained penthouse apartments, and that was apparently our where we needed to be. We walked into the lobby and my first thought was Holy Shit we're in the Shining hotel. Old carpet and dismal lighting, a front desk with nobody behind it, a light flickering off and on, some kind of string music playing somewhere, almost inaudible. We exchanged a look to confirm the other person was equally uncomfortable, swiftly confirmed it, and moved to the elevators. Way up there, above the twenty-something floor, was the penthouse floor, containing the penthouse suite, and so we hit that button marked P and began our ascent. What seemed like an hour or two later the elevator rumbled to a stop and the doors jerked open suddenly. We were standing facing a doorway. A doorway at the end of a scary-ass hallway that seemed about half as long as a football field, nearly pitch black, with a single light above the door at the end. I was almost surprised at the lack of a monstrous wave of blood rushing towards us. As we stepped out we realized there were other doors, down the sides of the hallway, and as we walked past these dark inlets two of the doors proved open a crack, shutting just as we walked by, mumbling voices behind them. Unnerved and walking quite close together, we made it to the final door, took a second to compose ourselves, and knocked. Almost immediately the door was yanked open to the chain, a shadowy dark haired woman peering out from the crack. Right away she quizzed us on the questions we'd been told about by our mutual friend, and we both spoke at once, stepping on each others sentences in a stammering effort to prove we were who we were supposed to be. The door closed, and for a split second I thought it was over, that she hadn't bought it and our quest had ended, but no, it opened right back up again, just enough for us to turn almost sideways and step through the archway and into the apartment.
The first thing we were struck by was the light, after being in that dim and depressing lobby followed by the Hellway we'd just walked through, we apparently hadn't expected the place to be so well lit. It was almost luminescent. The second thing that hit us after our eyes adjusted was the realization that this women was gorgeous, long thick hair, pristine white skin and striking features, as tall as I am (6') lifted by her reverse skyscraper high heels. She turned and motioned us to follow her through the entryway and into her apartment, which was dazzling to say the least. High vaulted ceilings, giant windows overlooking the city lights, artful cubicle style rooms to each side of us, and then we were in the living room. Expensive art adorned the walls and fine furniture the floors, and sitting on a gorgeous white suede couch was a very well dressed man. He looked exactly, and I do mean exactly, like the character Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) from Californication. If you don't know who that is google him and then come back, I'll wait. She introduced him to us as a friend, they were going to go out that night. He didn't bother to get up to greet us, but quickly engaged us in small talk about our night and whatnot while his lady friend disappeared into a bedroom. This guy was smooth too, speaking with a lackadaisical confidence that betrayed the importance and severity of the man behind the Charlie Runkle exterior. At some point our conversation turns to where we might be headed that night, and we mention a classy strip joint we'd read about and were going to check out. Oh, he says, that's where *the female drug dealer* dances, he tells us casually. We again exchange quick looks, as if by making eye contact with the other we could be sure we were indeed on this plane of reality still. Our drug dealer for the night was a stripper. Who lived in an apartment that was obviously anything but modestly priced, steep enough that it seemed unlikely our dancer/dealer friend was paying for it all by herself. Who knows though, she was involved in two industries where the right people can make a lot of money. I have my suspicions that her male companion wasn't a just a harmless stockbroker or something of the sort, but we never did find out. After a couple awkward minutes of bullshitting with Mr. Armani, she reappeared with what we'd come for, money traded hands, we gave the usual goodbye pleasantries and were escorted out. I don't think we spoke walking back down the hallway, too busy listening for doors closing, and it wasn't until the elevator opened to the lobby that I realized I was holding my breath. I don't know if this accurately conveys the deep strangeness and unsettling aspects of this tale, but I've tried. We later that night saw Charlie Runkle out at a club with our new friend, and after saying hi to them outside we watched him take three completely different, equally gorgeous and unattainable women under his arms like he owned the world, and walk away in the night. We live in completely different worlds, but at times we overlap and interconnect, and its always a trip, always something new, something strange. Sometimes more then others.