Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On Cocaine

I’ve wanted to have a conversation about Cocaine for a long time.  There are two reasons the subject has been so often postponed:

1)      Other things to talk about have popped up and become priorities, and

2)      Cocaine is a scary, kind of taboo thing to admit knowing about, so I guess it took me awhile to have courage, suck it up and just do it.

I capitalize the word Cocaine because it’s a pretty powerful thing and can do sometimes the unimaginable to people, like either opening them up, or turning them into yammering idiots.

My twenties were spent in big cities.  When you live in a big city, you’re going to just flat-out see it all.  I swear to God.  Hence, since it was the late-sixties and the seventies, everywhere you looked there was somebody chopping white powder on a mirror with a razor blade, and the ubiquitous rolled up $100 bill to snort through.  In those days, you could be having dinner in a ritzy restaurant, at a table of ten, and you’d see people passing the stuff around in-between courses, in a two-gram sized vile with a tiny spoon attached to its lid.

So this wasn’t just about the ghetto, my friends.  We’re talking successful, productive middle class people, upper class people, with a few fabulously wealthy ones thrown in. Drug use was rampant.  Damn near everybody did drugs.

It scared me, quite frankly.  I mean, I held Cocaine right up there alongside Heroin, which was on top of the list of things one should absolutely never do. That, and skydiving.  Why would any sane person want to volunteer to jump out of a fucking plane?  Anyway, I smoked pot and quite enjoyed that, so while people all around me got very high and extremely chatty on Cocaine, I just puffed on my joint and mellowed out.

It was in San Francisco, when I was twenty-three, that I snorted cocaine for the first time.  It’s important to note that I get credit for having turned it down about a thousand times before I finally succumbed to the enormous pressure of my peers.

How did it feel?  Wow.  I finally got why people were doing this.  You could just let yourself go!  You could feel completely free to say whatever you felt like saying, without having to care about being judged or criticized.  You could feel really close to people; bonded in a whole new way.  You could feel absolutely gleeful.  Think about it.  How often do you get to really go inside somebody’s head and see what’s really there?  How often do you get to let others that far into your own head? 

It was speedy and exciting, and need I say I did it a bunch more times?  Yes, I guess I kind of got caught up in it on a number of occasions.  But as time wore on, I would learn that Cocaine was about so much more than what I first thought.

The exhilarating effect of the substance, combined with my massive guilt feelings for even doing it, caused me to try to justify the act by vowing to learn something from the experience.  My biggest fear, after all, is God Forbid that I should die as clueless as the day I was born, so in my mind, everything needs to be used as a learning tool.  That said, I was always at odds with my coke-snorting cohorts, because I seemed to be in it for different reasons than they were.  Consequently, and this was really a good thing, I became a very unpopular Cocaine partner with men.

Very often, guys expected to get laid by supplying cocaine to their ladies.  But with me, they could roll over and keep dreaming on.  The stuff cut me off from the neck down.  I became all brain and mouth.  The last thing I wanted to do when snorting coke was have sex.  “If you want me to do Cocaine with you,” I’d say, “then stick your dick in a drawer and forget about it.  Get ready for a totally cerebral experience.”

I’m a naturally open kind of person, quick to speak my mind whether it is a positive or a negative.  Having a strong need to share this mindset with at least a few other people, I’m always trying to find ways to cut through their armor to find out who in the hell they really are beneath the surface.  So you can imagine what I became like under the influence of this barrier-bursting drug!  I was like a kid on my first trip to Disneyland.  I didn’t have to work at it anymore.  I didn’t have to second-guess somebody’s motives.  How delicious it was to trust someone effortlessly, automatically!

But alas, there were such awful problems encountered with using Cocaine.  First, you had to keep doing it to maintain the effects.  Like, about every half hour.  Second, it was expensive.  Third, if you had enough of a stash, you’d stay up snorting the whole freaking night, and in doing that, you’d pass the good parts and then become obsessed only with how to get more and keep the whole thing going.  Ugh!

And with every extreme high, there was of course a devastating down.

In spite of how close you could get to a person while under the influence, when it was all over, since the state of mind was achieved by false means, nobody trusted who they became, and therefore deemed their drug-fueled openness false, and relinquished all responsibility for it.  Ugh!

So here’s my question:  Why in Godforsaken Hell do people seek to deliberately, purposely put themselves in a position to achieve a pure and rare connection with other people, only to disavow it later as meaningless?  Is it that frightening to shed your armor with another person? And if so, why does one want to keep going there again?  And again?  And again?

Cocaine is an awful thing.  Many people get so hooked on the free, flying-high exhilaration, they just never want to stop doing it.  Then the experience becomes NOT a way to get close, but a way to cross over into the realm of insanity.  Cocaine has destroyed many people’s finances, and ultimately, their lives.

Can’t we just try to get there naturally and on our own?  Can’t we take with us the knowledge that all we really want to do is to live a life free of fear and vulnerability?  Can’t we just know that we are actually capable of such a thing?  Can’t we ever-so-slightly, at the very least, thin-out our hard and crusted barriers?

It’s been said that deep inside each person is a good, peace-loving being, but sometimes the outer shell that protects each of us from harm, creates a barrier to trust.

That’s my take on the thing.  Just sayin’.

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November 8, 2011 - Posted by | Substance Abuse | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. ditto! I preferred sex to cocaine and having money to not, and sleep to forever wakefulness – the later which is my current non drug of choice! I will say that it gave me nerve to think that I could climb to the top of a mast fearlessly. I think fear is GOOD THING WHEN IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!

    Comment by geri wright | November 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Dear Wonderful Geri, how very eloquently said. Thank you.

      Comment by standingonachair | November 8, 2011 | Reply


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