Peak of Descent
It has been stated by many close to me that I can be an unbearable pain in the ass to those that dislike me, but when you love me I can be a danger; a detriment to health, sanity, and overall stability to existence. For many years being a comrade was equivalent to having one foot in the grave while the other was chained to the bench seat of a bullet train piloted by a wild haired degenerate madman; His eyes wide with psychosis. pupils black as the mariana’s trench. He cackles into the night as he lights the vehicle ablaze and spins glowsticks to bad glitchy electronica. Blindfolded. It was stressful. It is not as if i planned to drag myself and my friends into the clutches of depravity and self righteous drug abuse, but shit happens on the poor side of the suburbs.
The great year of our Lord, 2006, I found myself a directionless stoner fresh out of Spring High. Barely skirting by with a certificate commemorating my dedication to underachievement, a girlfriend far below my league, the shining purple and black gift she left under my right eye, and a contract i had signed with a malevolent force that would tear my world asunder rip the Earth from beneath my feet, and by the time i cared enough to stand again I would be waking up to find my body no longer belonged to me and my mind was lost to the underside of the Universe. Had only had my first drink earlier that winter when my parents had vacated the home for a weekend and i had my best friend open my father’s new bottle of Crown Royal. Had always had the gift to charm, and at that age it came in handy when needing to keep my hands clean. Passing the bill to my well meaning and beautiful friends came easily. E and J were introverts and witty geeks just looking for some mischief and a wild card caricature just crazy enough to walk them through it. After downing my parents entire liquor cabinet within those three days, i had absolutely zero warning that i would be graduating from bottles and bongs to full fledged psychonaut to stomach crawling, bridge burning, body offering, drug addiction before my 23rd birthday, but so much happens when during the crucial stage of post adolescnece to youthful 20s is wrought with a sickly symbiotic abuse filled relationship that reaching into oneself and using the blackest bile of the soul to touch every inch of sky in order to escape the loathing your reflection barks at you in the dim light of pre-dawn tends to make sense.
Lucky the fool was I to have the foolish willing to heave themselves into collapsing buildings with me. Two jester’s apprentices to follow me to hell and back every damned time i went to burrow into my sorrow with any chemical I could imbibe. From putting enough ecstasy in my nose to give your favorite ancient rock star party legend heart palpitations to eating enough cough medicine to kill a small army of tiny horses E and J where in the car screaming for their lives and buckling up.
Not all drug addiction looks like Requiem for a Dream or has a story arc or ends you up in a literal gutter. Metaphorical yes, and even if i ever did hit the gutter i wasn’t living there i was just sleeping and vomiting. We were roughly nineteen years young for this particular incarnation. The vampires had sang their teeth into us, but the disease had not hit its fever pitch quite yet. I had to reach the top of the high climb, and it was still all fun and games. The point of no return was on the tracks below and behind us having put everything into our bodies that any mainstream American would recognize except heroin, which none of us had given thought to, and LSD. This is not a story to promote or condone the use of any drugs, especially not Acid, but before i continue I will say that looking back it is the only drug i do not ‘regret’ taking; To this day I stand by the fact that using it in a certain way helped me to realize my obvious drug and alcohol problems and the ‘lessons’ i taught and learned to myself about myself by using it guided me to where i have leashed my personal demon for nearly three years now. But on this night just before i turned 20 i was that devil. i had never seen cage nor a leash, and my friends wanted to ‘see some crazy shit’ for once. As three ‘counter-culture’ future townies of the little suburb south side of the country club, Spring Texas, lysergic acid diethylamide was the holy grail. A fable we would hear whispers of but no matter how deep into the bowels of the City we would delve the group of us could never turn up with the elixir. We stood in the driveway of a duplex down the road from our alma mater; All those months and the damned treasure map leads me to my own backyard, imagine that. My malnourished body hummed like an electromagnet the excitement of adventure shook me to my bones, and that craving i would come to know as my bedmate washed over my body as the door swung open to that smoke filled, candle-lit, one bedroom loft; Before us stood a 35 year old neo-hippie, a sit-com caricature of the radical Gen-X 90s kid all grown up and dropped out of the world. Covered in shoddy DIY tattoos and self aggrandizement the Hippie We Didn’t Know Very Well invite us into the cold cavern of his home.
The cave walls were lit up by candles and the darkness of the lightbulbs highlighted the paintings splashed about on the texture. Eyes of all shades balanced upon pyramids being watched by tiny people amongst rivers literally covered every open square of real estate along the white walls of his house every inch painted by him at some time in the last 30 hours. We had come to this den to purchase drugs from an unseemly gentleman on the weird side of town and leave with haste. Hard drugs and the people or places you find them in combination is always volatile and on the brink of combustion; these are the first dangers of an underachieving post-adolescent hell-bent on self immolation. Anytime you are procuring a scheduled substance you should get out of the house quickly people who sell things any harder than marijuana tend to be as unsavory as they come, and chances are the cops are waiting for you outside. Before we could slap way too much money on the counter and leave triumphantly with our hallucinogenic glaze sweet-tarts the Drug Dealing Hippie We Didn’t Know So Well grabs me by the arm and offers a challenge a fiend can never resist, “if you can keep up with me i will give you what you take for free” he hissed.
Years later, now, i realize this tiger in a suit was exploiting my arrogance and foolishness and addictions to the thrill of the rise for his own sick amusement. But what can be said for the pride of a kid and the idiocy of drugs. The three sweet-tarts i had just purchased from him fell down my greedy open throat like the perfect coffee, and flipped into my stomach with the wholeness and weight of a half dollar coin. The Crazy Drug-Dealing Hippie We Didn’t Know So Well tilted my head back and dangled an eyedropper full of an opaque liquid above my tongue, and a spike of adrenaline hit as he squeezed the rubber; For a few microseconds before the new shock of drugs hit my system I wasn’t anywhere near the person that wrote this for the last time. THere is no way of knowing how much acid he gave me, but my friends looked at me with the same look I imagine you give a person before they go tumbling backward off a high rise scaffold. Their faces twisted into Salvador Dali expressions of silent awe-struck terror-glee. As if they wanted to piss themselves in fear, but were too dehydrated from the oncoming sweats to muster it. This guy gave me so much acid he might as well have strapped me to the Curiosity Rover and shot me to Mars, because it is a wonder of God how i made it back to Earth.
The Rise was what I affectionately came to call the feeling just before the truck backed over you. A ball of squirming reptiles knots itself in the center of your guts and by the time you hit the twenty minute mark the knot has broken into a warm vine climbing upward into every vein in the desperate attempt to reach the brain and soak your neurons in a chemical that changes the wiring of the synapses. As you breathe out the warmth and settle into a body that feels electric with a strange energy you begin to notice that your vision is swimming, and you can’t help but laugh maniacally with every person around you.
Within the first 45 minutes the walls were melting into a puddle of textures at my feet melting with the cheap flowered rug on the floor making a swamp of patterns as thick as acrylic paints. The speakers pumped the cliche tripping soundtrack of Pink Floyd, and the sound become a thick cloud of magenta fog; A densely packed amalgam of sound and music that would sing the song of genesis as i passed my hand through it. A resounding cacophony of which I knew all the words. God herself told me of my true beauty, and I danced among galaxies pregnant with life we could never understand. Every bit of matter I could see was twisting kaladeiscope colors woven into a cosmic quilt of psychedelic energy. no idea how long i was drooling in that corner babbling incoherently and clapping to a ‘rythm’ no one else heard before the Hippie grabbed me by the arm and dropped more drugs into my mouth, and went dancing into the rainbow searching for marshmallow clovers. The last thing i recall was that leprachaun Hippie barking at my friends to take more with us that everything would be fine. We could trust him like a brother and a father. He had done this so much and had already taken more than anyone and was fine. We could follow his lead cause he was practically a god. And he said we were his family; Time nearly froze as all the beauty ran out of the room, the effervescence fell out of the colors surrounding us, and all the light sapped from my soul.
Whatever lampshade I had been conversing with as if it were the All-Knowing in my schizophrenic gaiety left my side, and a shadow fell over my giddy and dazed mind. In all the indescribable chaos of color I had grown accustomed to I watched my entire life flash before my eyes; From birth to the most recent montage of my then girlfriend hitting me and pushing me downstairs culminating into a moment of insane meta in which i watched myself come from getting punched in the face by her directly to sitting on this carpet losing my mind. And I realized all at once that I had gone completely insane and this was the end of my life. I panicked. I was so afraid of ruining the good time of the people I had brought to this moment that I didn’t want to say anything, and how do you tell your best friends and the Dancing Cult Hippie that you are a banana that is about to rot. As the living memory of my waking daymare grew into a multiheaded beast roaring in the corner, I turned to E and meekly squeaked out “Oh, No”
“You. Ok. Chris” His response was disjointed and far away.
And this is when I looked at the ceiling and whispered with all the heart and determination of Liam Neeson coming for his daughter, “Geometry Eyes will not have mine.” Before grabbing a spoon off the coffee table and running out the back door, a barbaric yawp bellowing from the air around me, screaming loud enough to shake the gray skies and immediately climbed a tree.
I came to in the back of my truck with my apprentices, at least four more hours of more drugs than they had ever taken coursing through their veins, doing their damndest to get me away from the Hippie and his dancing purple cult of personality. A night of teenage debauchery between three good friends begin a compensation induced hellscape of the most dreaded existential tortures. From that day I spent another four years dragging those guys to rock bottom with me as roughly as I could, and the dust still hasn’t settled from that impact. Being my friend had to have been rough on those that loved me enough to be dumb with me, and strong enough to pull me out when I got us in over my head.