My Addiction

I’d never gotten into drugs before – one of my most vivid childhood memories was of a school assembly in first grade in which some guy used the “scare the absolute shit out of you” tactic to discourage all of us wee little would-be junkies from ever trying anything not officially sanctioned by our parents, our teachers, the United States Federal Government, or the Roman Catholic Church.* While recounting the tale of a grisly emergency room experience (I guess he was a paramedic or something) involving an unresponsive teen, he gave his money quote, one that I still remember verbatim:

“And they got him into the operating room, they cut him open, and they found a bunch of DRUGS inside!”

Approximately ten years later, in the same auditorium, a militant feminist speaker informed me and 250 of my fellow male high-schoolers that half of us would commit rape at one point in our lives. This has nothing to do with anything, it was just something that popped into my head while reminiscing my school years that made me laugh.**

Back to the matter at hand. That one shocking E.R. tale and the way its young subject was portrayed as a veritable drug piñata did its job, inspiring me to stay on the straight and narrow all throughout grade school and high school. Well, actually, it probably had more to do with good parenting and a fulfilling family life, but why let that get in the way of a good story?

It wasn’t until a few years into college that I found something that truly tickled my fancy. I never really sought it out, it just kind of plopped itself down into my life. I was aware of its existence, but for some reason I’d never given it a second thought.

I only really dabbled at first, learning indirectly from others who were involved and watching from afar, but once the opportunity to participate presented itself, there was just no way I could pass it up.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I wasn’t sure I was feeling anything at first, but by the end of the first night, I knew that I’d be back for more.

2012 was the year I got hooked. That summer, whenever I got the chance, I’d drive downtown for my next fix. I usually went alone, but each time I noticed more and more people were coming to my spot. The secret was getting out.

At the end of that first magical summer, our supply dried up. The next ten months were absolute hell. You’d get a rumor here, a tease there, but never anything of real substance. Copycats and imitators popped up left and right, but we all knew that nothing would be able to duplicate that feeling we got from our substance of choice. One group even changed their brand name like ten times trying to push their junk on us. Bunch of posers.

The next few years followed a similar pattern: a couple months of ecstasy followed by nine or ten of shakes, jonesing, and generally feeling like a chubby kid for whom Halloween would never come. Before long, I was going wherever the action happened to be that day – Berkley, Livonia, Lansing, Pontiac, hell – even Ohio! Seriously, this stuff is that strong; it can literally make a grown man in complete control of his mental faculties willingly go to freaking Ohio to get it.

Recently, there have been some rumblings that the guys who make the stuff will be expanding their operation. It may be a few years before it actually happens, but if it does, there is a greater than zero chance that I will, in the spirit of a true junkie, spend at least part of that day running around with no pants on.

As for now, this is where I’m at. I’m completely and hopelessly addicted, and I have no intention of stopping. I won’t stop, I literally CAN’T stop. This is my drug and I’m never giving it up.

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Photo by Dion Degennaro

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*That’s not just for dramatic effect; I actually went to Catholic school.

**Long story short, she was jeered and booed off stage, much to the chagrin of the faculty members present. Later in the day, in a moment of candor, one said member commented, “You guys were terrible and shouldn’t have acted like that, but she did kind of ask for it.”

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