At a time in my life when puffing on a glass funnel was an ideal weekend, I spent an incomprehensible amount of time seeking ingredients I couldn’t live without. Stumbling through a haze of smoke, littered with trampled cigarette packets and empty bottles of whiskey, ‘getting on’ was to my youth what tying my shoelaces was to my schoolyard days. In the repetitiveness dorm of addiction, I spent a comparable amount of time buying drugs as I did shopping for groceries. While I inhaled the former and the latter went stale on the bench, my full time job was escaping reality. This wasn’t something I wanted to change, even if I could. It was no secret my quality of life was unswervingly dictated by my dealers availability. I knew it and so did everybody else.
During this far-from-illustrious, often malnourished and wrongly self-glorified career as a drug user, I prayed for a good dealer. George Jung would have toppled all expectations, though I doubt my image of him as a fictional Johnny Depp would have ever sold marijuana to a pedantic, unkempt low-end user like myself. In truth, I just wanted someone who was reliable and didn’t cut their product like they had shares in bicarb soda. Surely this wasn’t too much to ask I would tell myself amidst a toking bathroom hotbox in a 10th floor studio apartment.
Long after my serotonin levels have returned to normal, I still feel my expectations of a quality dealer were far from irrational. In all its untaxed glory, dealing has to be one of the easiest jobs on the planet. I was in full acceptance of my dealer being a paranoid schizophrenic so dosed up on adderall his toenails had shredder his shoes innersoles; I just didn’t want him to be fucking late. Over time, as sure as a single-chamber glass bong would blacken, my dreams were repeatedly crushed in an
A guy named Billy was my first ‘fix salesman’. To this day, he remains one of the most unscrupulous individuals I’ve ever met. A dishonest degenerate from a part of town where crack was more common than KFC, the only positive facet of his entrepreneurial endeavors stemmed from his ability to deliver product. He’d drive his moms 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood around like a young Frank Lucas, planting bags of low grade (the lowest) weed and amphetamines in the hands of shaky users who’d waited twice as long as he’d promised. “Car needed petrol” he would say, every single time, brushing his oily hair away from his scar riddled face. “No worries” I would always reply. What else could I say? What else did every other addict say? Telling Billy he was terrible at one of the simplest professions on the planet wasn’t going to change anything, besides his ability to answer my future phone calls. It feels like blasphemy coming from my mouth in hindsight, but when my next dealer turned up on the scene, he felt like a Godsend.
If Billy was the product of public school in the inner precinct, J was taught by a young Tom Forcade in a school so pricey tuition required the sale of his fathers yacht. He treated dealing like a business, which makes sense to me, primarily because it is one. He was always on time, his prices were fair and, perhaps above all, he had a conscience when it came to portion size. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. Call me socially ignorant, but I think his detachment from ‘the hood’ had an adverse effect on the quality of his merchandise. To be completely honest, talking about J and using ‘quality’ and ‘merchandise’ in the same sentence is entirely misleading. It was the kind of shit you’d give to your little sister if she was set on buying drugs for the first time. You’d charge an inflated price, it wouldn’t get her high and she’d skip off into the sunset, positive that spending money on fruit smoothies was a remarkably more appealing option in life.
At the conclusion of J, I found Adam. He was a weird, quiet recluse who had a stringent set of rules that dictated his every move. He wouldn’t answer phone calls (just text) and he’d only ever meet you on weeknights, at night, but before 10pm. Adam would hop in the rear seat directly behind the driver, never anywhere else. He made me edgy as fuck. He was reliable in the sense that he’d turn up, and his product was relatively good (in comparison), so I pushed any doubt to the back of my mind. From the very beginning, I was positive my dealings with him were run on borrowed time. He didn’t have long I remember thinking after one particularly shaky encounter. My friends agreed. In the end, I’m not sure how he died, but a friend of a friend’s little brother attended the funeral early in the summer. I felt bad in a weird, indirect kind of way, as if my contribution to his business kept him from doing something worthwhile with his life. I irrationally straddled the idea of my payments somehow killing him. After about a week, I never thought of it again. That’s how most of my thoughts operated under a fog of narcotics.
After Adam died, my reasonable sources had assuredly dried up. Short of asking a tranny I’d met during a hospital visit in 2009, I had no sustainable ways to get high. I decided to quit. 2011 was peppered with relapses and stints of crawl-up-in-a-ball withdrawal, but my body and mind eventually manned up. In my whole time using drugs, regardless of the class, never did I find a dealer who’s talent matched their ambition. Maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not sure how many purchases I was away from hearing voices, selling product myself or winding up like Adam. I’m glad I didn’t stick around to find out.