Perhaps it’s time you heard a cautionary tale about drugs. It’s a tale of a young man not unlike yourself. He thought he was “cool”. He thought he was “with it”. He was captain of the football team. Dated the prettiest girl in school. Valedictorian. All-star shortstop. Captain of the basketball team. All-star quarterback. Dated the prettiest cheerleader on the softball team. All-star goalkeeper. Valedictory Man. Captain of the valedictorian team. Accepted into the finest colleges in the land on hockey and dating scholarships. Dated the prettiest college student on the cheerleading team. Yes, this young man – let’s call him Paul – this young man, who shall remain nameless but was named David, had everything going for him. He had his whole life, except for the parts that were already in the past, ahead of him. He thought he was “great”. Then one night it all came crashing down like so many houses of cards piled on top of each other. He was at a party – never mind where! – and someone offered him a tiny green pill. Oh that pill! Were it not for that pill, he would later often lament, everything would be different. Everything would still be ahead of him – his life not being the least of it. He’d still have his lacrosse scholarship. Still be dating the prettiest young debate club captain you’ve ever seen. Oh but he thought he was a “real hepcat”. We’re all foolish once, and this young valedictitian made a decision that warm summer night that changed everything. That green pill was not to be enough – not nearly not enough! No longer was he “cool as a cucumber”. One thing led to another, as one thing often does. His slide into drugs was as inevitable as it was inexorable. From the tiny green pill to the tiny purple pill to another, larger purple pill. From there to the wacky weed. A bit of coke, a bit of smack, a bit of crack, a bit of smoke. Oh the drugs! He tried beer laced with horse, vodka laced with Four Loco, whiskey laced with lace, Jim Beam mixed with John Beam. He had Kool Aid spiked with acid, beer spiked with peyote-flavored Kool Aid. He had crank, spank, jab, junk, dope, gripe, gram, gleam, and harm. He tried Molly (not ecstasy, but an actual girl named Molly who came to his house and performed minor surgery on his cerebellum) and Linda (a form of ecstasy). He tried Flavor, Lever, Stupor, Mad Justin, The Shambles, Puzzle Dust, Norwegian Radium, Vast Boron, Mincing Man, Portcullis, Betty Grable, Terror Cheese, Condensation, Arthur Treacher’s Heroin, Mr. Honeycutt, A Bear, Very Tall, Auto-Erotic Pot Roast, Pac-Man Fever, Drugs: The Animated Series, Gift Card, Literally Tapir Saliva, and Gum.
He licked 9-volt batteries.
All of it took him to crashing highs and soaring lows. It was CRAY! But meanwhile everything else went wrong for him. His grades declined. His friends turned their backs. His home became a burnt shell; his clothes hung from his body in ragged strips. You think the pretty cheerleaders still wanted to date him? They did not. The New York Yankees Baseball Organization had once talked about drafting him to play on their sports team. You think they still talked about that? Think again. Who wants to draft a drug junkie to play pitcher? Nobody. Oh that pill! If only I had not taken that tiny green pill, he would lament wordlessly to the uncaring cosmos – to a noticeable lack of avail.
But complaining and lamenting won’t save you from a drug-addled life; you can only save yourself. You need to want to get better. This young man awoke one morning after a wild fortnight of partying to find himself in sunny Acapulco next to a supermodel on a pile of money and thought to himself, there’s got to be a better way!
He’s one of the lucky ones. Not everyone comes back from Drugtown, especially not the ones who think it’s a literal place and not an illustrative abstraction. But he did, by thunder! He worked and suffered and prayed and he came back. He’s not perfect – he still feels the druggy shakes, still forgets where he lives and where he left his pants. He walks unsteadily, constantly wiping his nose on his hand. His knees ache – he’ll never bowl again. But he holds down a job at the pet shop, combing dogs, greeting kids, and cataloging cats. He’s on his way toward being a “cool dude” again. And you know what, he’s even got a girlfriend now. Their names? ADAM AND EVE. -J. Frederick