I’m going to rail on about drugs for a moment here. Drugs are a vastly interesting field of observation. I’ve done a reasonable amount of drugs in my short years and the main thing I’ve learned is that most people get high – on something. More people than not smoke, drink, snort, eat, parachute, mainline and generally take, drugs. In fact, I find more conviction for drugs in the people who do the legal ones. The drinkers love themselves a beer; they crack a cold one after work or they make a quick mixie in the mid-afternoon. They find some way, every day, to fill a container with alcohol and take the edge off. Smokers undergo the same cycle, albeit a bit faster. Smokers wake up, hock the crusted fumes from the depths of their lungs and plop the square between the lips. All in the first five minutes of the day. They have their morning smoke just to make sure there is no chance they will suck a full breath of air this day. Now the seal is broken, they must smoke to survive. Every hour or so, every 30 minutes for the heavy, they must go to their designated area and light one up – maybe even spit out a catchphrase before they do. Something like “Hey, smoke ’em if you got ’em.” That way the wheezy murmurs of the smoking gaggle sound more like bugles celebrating the arrival of royalty. The smokers try to sing with the bugles but all the high notes sound like wet cardboard in a blender so they force a chuckle and go back to smoking. Can’t quite deny that sense of community in a smoking area though. It’s very similar to the community of snobs who discuss frivolous options for their caffeinated beverages. This level of use or abuse has the most addicts in denial.
The next echelon of drugs is stuff like pot, mushrooms, vicodin, DXM, illegal drugs that any random person can acquire with little effort. These are the ‘dopers’. The people who champion this level of drug use are the high-ons and burn-outs, the Bill & Ted types, the people who seem high whether they are or not. The people here, are the dudes in drug-rugs, dread-locked, choker-chained, pukka-wearing, long-boarding, Coachella-endorsing, craft-making, tapestry-caped, a-religious, open-minded, Bob Dylan-obsessed, Greenpeace folk. Most of political backing for legalization of drugs happens in this chunk of the user-spectrum – primarily due to the young, active nature of the people involved.
Then we get to the tippity-toppity pointed peak of chemical perversion: Hard drugs. This is the level where people get null and void. This is where you find the appallingly normal people, who play up center-field with the masses and not left-field with the wackos, who do one drug, a lot. This is the level with the addicts and the successful, the extreme cases of drug use. There are people at this level who can’t be deterred by normal barriers, people who can still hold a conversation while they’re soaked with urine and people who can run businesses, higher than a satellite. The economic elite, and the homeless pretty much dominate this whole spectrum. Naturally, you have your middle-class casual hard drug binger but they always have an in with one of the extremes. There are actually a surprising amount of parents in this category, lots of people from the previous generation who have had a ‘fling’ with heroin or cocaine. They didn’t smoke crack but they did rock up their coke and smoke it…but it was before the ‘crack thing’ – or whatever. My mom said she had a ‘fling’ with angel dust. That generation was the Dazed and Confused one though, so it’s not all that strange they’ve gotten themselves into a few escapades with high-octane chemicals.
There is a morbid clarity that comes with these people. They can see one face of the world so clearly, like a clairvoyant sees the future of a falling rock, yet they have all the complexity of mediocrity that dilutes their speck of enlightenment into a form of neurotic genius that ends up being more of an affliction than a blessing. People here are like were-gods. They seem like complete turds until that stroke of authenticity comes around again and they lay a universal truth down on you like a blast of heat after walking out of an air-conditioned building. There are a lot of musicians up here who suck as people, but wail as sonic oracles prophesying the path that endless beauty will take on its why back to the blackness of forever.
So buy the ticket and take the ride but don’t forget to look around and realize, that it is just a ride.