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I've never done drugs. When I tell people this they never believe me. Even my own kids don't believe me.
But I've never so much as smoked a joint.
This is not due to any sort of Nancy Reagan just-so-no or this-is-your-brain-on-drugs vibe I have going. As long as you're not hurting anybody, I really don't give a fiddler's fart what you ingest. You can do all the drugs you want. I think I shied away because there's no way to do drugs for the first time and not unwittingly announce to the room "I've never done drugs before", and this is the sort of thing I wanted to avoid growing up as a child with no self-esteem. I didn't want to be that guy who slobbered all over the joint or broke out into some sort of bronchial spasm trying to inhale. Guys I knew not only did drugs, they did drugs with panache. They smoked like one of the Marley's. Me? I had a 9:30pm curfew my first few years in high school. That'll put a crimp into getting stoned.
Also, there’s the Jim Morrison thing, which we’ll get to in a moment.
It was mostly weed back in the day. I was hanging with a crowd that had trouble pulling enough money together at the end of the night for a case of Milwaukee's Best when the keg kicked. Certainly nobody had cocaine money. And heroin was reserved for Keith Richards and Sid and Nancy. Wasn’t much call for smack on North Webster Avenue. It was a much simpler time in the early 1980s.
The few times I did see cocaine-behavior up close, it called to mind that Bill Cosby bit about the drug....
"It intensifies your personality"
"Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"
That about covered it. Guys who smoked weed were unfailingly chill and generous and funny. At the very worst, they smelled weird. Cokeheads were insufferable. They grunted a lot and wanted to beat everybody up all the time. I once walked home with a guy who had inhaled lines like he was Scarface in the final scene of that movie, and he kept wandering into traffic threatening all the cars. I finally managed to get him back onto the sidewalk, and he proceeded to projectile vomit all over my Converse All-Stars. And then he ran into the woods, howling. Cocaine made dumb people dumber. It was like Facebook.
My first experience with drug takers were the 2 guys in high school who used to read Rimbaud and Camus and speak in reverent whispers about Jim Morrison's poetry. Their respective IQs were off the charts. They were like an alternate universe Beavis and Butthead. They were obviously damaged but got straight As and dressed nice so nobody suspected they were dropping acid in the back of the class....via laced Mickey Mouse stamps. Nobody, that is, except for me, who caught them and had LOTS of questions. Which they could not really answer coherently since they were tripping. However, I was tempted. All minds could use some expansion, especially when you are being taught by nuns. But at what cost? The thought that I'd drop acid and suddenly consider Jim Morrison a "poet" scared me straighter than a Morgan Wallen fan.
It's all different now, of course. Nobody is dropping acid in high school because they were inspired by “The Soft Parade” or "Eddie and the Cruisers". Or getting stoned in the parking lot listening to "Three Little Birds". They are gobbling Mom and Dad's Oxy and Percs and Xanax from the medicine cabinet. And all too often dropping dead. Drugs have become mechanical and mean. Or, as Iggy Pop, who surely knows a thing or two about drugs put it, "No Fun".
My buddy is forever trying to get me stoned. Just once. I’m the pot virgin everybody wants to deflower. He's a very persuasive fellow, so one day I may try it, just to say I did. But he's also a MASSIVE Jim Morrison/Doors fan, so this worries me. He's a fellow musician, and has been known the drop the entire spoken word bit from "The End" into just about ANY song he's playing (I swear I heard him do it in the middle of “Margaritaville” one night, but it was late so who knows).....and I'm not sure if this is the weed or not but I sense a pattern. Because once they hang Morrison around your neck, Syd Barrett is next. And that’s too horrible a fate to contemplate.
Oh. As long as we’re on the subject. I also don't do shots. I have not done shots in decades. I’ve had a few nights/mornings when I’ve woken up and not known where….
a. I was
b. my car was
The common denominator?
If you ever bought me a shot I just pretended to drink it to be nice, and then poured it out into a nearby flower pot or something. Shots always involve mysteries and severe consequences. And I'm way too old for consequences. My strongest simulant is a 4% beer, and I’m happy to say that no matter how many Yuenglings I drink I will never be persuaded that Jim Morrison doesn’t suck.
In a bit…
I’v never done drugs either. My dad would’ve been very disappointed, so I never did.
Would love to hear 'The end in the middle of Margaretiville