Drugs Part 6: Cocaine

At this point in my life, I’d surrounded myself with (what I thought at the time were) great people who were more versed in living life than I was without a hint of negative side effects from their drug usage. This included their various histories of consuming drugs. I’d successfully consumed tobacco, alcohol, ecstasy, and cannabis to no ill-effect and was eager to try more, especially after the amazing experience ecstasy provided. I had no real preference or yearning to try any specific drug, except for LSD. P [the quasi-father figurehead of this little group who “inspired” me to try meth (detailed in part 4)] regaled me in stories of taking acid and it really made me want to try the stuff. I’d never hallucinated before and the concept seemed frightening (due to television shows and movies showing skewed ideas of what hallucinating was), alas LSD was incredibly difficult to find at the time.

I never had any desire to try cocaine, but after a Halloween rave in October of 2001, I had my opportunity to. B had found a baggie of the stuff while waiting for us to be searched at the party’s entrance. It was laying on the ground near a trashcan before he scooped it up. Instead of doing it himself, he offered it to me in the days following since I’d never tried it before (and he preferred using meth).

There was enough in the baggie for a couple of 3-inch lines. The first thing I did was dip my finger in and rub it on my teeth (just like in the movies). The taste was slightly-sweet, slightly-chalky, but quickly made my teeth and gums numb.

I wasn’t a fan of snorting drugs. Allergies keep my nose either clogged or runny most of the time, but this was a rare clear day and there really was no alternative to consuming the cocaine. B cut up two small lines, rolled up a dollar bill for me, and told me how to go about doing snorting the stuff (closing one nostril while holding the straw and inhaling through the other). I did the first line with great ease but stopped there. B decided to go ahead and do the second line (“Can’t let drugs go to waste.”).

And I felt… nothing. Physically, I felt the burning-cool sensation in the back of my nose/head as is slipped down my throat, coating all it came into contact with with glorious numbness. Otherwise, I felt no decipherable change. I didn’t feel any higher than before I snorted it. I didn’t feel any more energetic. B suggested it might be “weak” coke and we finished it off to no noticeable effect. Our group retold many urban legends of sorts, one of which was when it came to cocaine and methamphetamine, you only enjoy the one you tried first. I tried meth before coke, so that was the one I felt.

I’d only done cocaine a small handful of times in my life. The second such occasion I was tricked into smoking it in crack form. I was hanging out with this woman at my apartment. She had brought over what she claimed was meth. It wasn’t as crystalline as meth but was milky, almost yellow-ish instead. I was far too trusting and smoked some of it with her and immediately the taste was different. It made me cough almost to the point of nausea, which meth never did. The stuff affected me almost instantly in the most unpleasant ways. I felt high above my own body, yet heavy and jittery. I hated every moment of the experience that could not wear off fast enough. When I told her how I felt and how much I didn’t like it, she said, “Well, it’s not actually meth.” I ended up playing video games to calm myself down while she finished the rest of her “not actually meth.” It was only later when sharing the experience with friends that they told me it was highly likely crack-cocaine I had smoked.

Within my initial group of Vegas friends, our quaint little group of drug users whom I’d initially looked up to, there were only a few no-nos: never shoot anything up and never do crack/heroin/PCP. To do any of those was to become an actual “druggie” and cross over some imaginary line that separated us from “them.” When I discovered I had inadvertently smoked crack, despite having excommunicated myself from their ranks, I heard their judgments echoing.

The next time I did cocaine was shortly after I first met my dear friend Guido in mid-2003. He primarily smoked marijuana and I primarily did ecstasy. I introduced him to ecstasy and he introduced me to what he called “Cocoa Puffs,” which was marijuana with a little bit of cocaine sprinkled on top. That was an all right experience, coke-plus-weed. You’re high like on cannabis, but with slightly better focus and energy. During the early part of our friendship, I smoked “Cocoa Puffs” with him a small handful of times and each time was rather enjoyable, not non-eventful.

There was one time “Cocoa Puffs” was incredible. Guido, our mutual friend J, and I went to a house party near the end of summer in 2003. I’d been off of meth since December of 2002 and we could quite clearly hear partygoers in the next rooms smoking from a meth pipe. There’s a very distinct ritual to the smoking of it that has a very specific sound (and odour). My friends asked if I needed to leave, fearing my being near the stuff would compel me to go and smoke it. I had no temptation whatsoever. Instead, we three along with almost a dozen other people arranged ourselves in a circle and smoked the fattest blunt I’d ever seen (before or since).

We managed to each hit the monstrous thing at the beginning of its journey. Right away, I knew this joint contained more than simply marijuana. I could feel it long before the monster joint made its second pass to me. There was either meth or cocaine mixed in and in amounts much larger than the “bowl frosting” Guido would do. I took my second hit of the stuff as did my two cohorts. The blunt did not survive to make a third round.

This high was fantastic. Outside, my body was calm and comfortable. A log floating on a lazy river. Inside was a rocket ship hurriedly blasting its way towards planets unseen. I was high, yet calm. Energetic, yet docile. A truly wonderful combination that both Guido and I took to nicely. Our friend J, however, had a much worse time. He started freaking out about whatever the joint was laced with. We did our best to assuage his fears and confirmed it was cocaine, not meth, but he hated the experienced and end up throwing up several times (and in several different colours) as we trekked away from that house party.

The last time I ever did cocaine was near the beginning of 2004. A friend had brought some over to my place for a little get-together. Large lines were cut and a bunch of us snorted the white powder down. I again felt nothing, just like my first time consuming it. Everyone else in attendance seemed to be feeling the effects and enjoying themselves. My “I’m not feeling anything” was met with a “That means you need to do more.” We all did more. They all seemed to go higher, while I went nowhere. My “I’m still not feeling anything” was met with another “That means you need to do more.” That exchange cemented my decision to decline and I have never touched cocaine again after that.

While the first time I snorted cocaine I did a small amount, the last time I snorted a great deal. I was equally unaffected both times. I don’t believe consuming via inhalation was the issue because the few times I snorted crystal meth, I felt those effects without issue. The only times I felt cocaine was when I smoked the stuff with cannabis. Even those times, I was underwhelmed. It was fun, sure (especially when smoked out of that gigantic blunt), but none of those times really impressed me to the point of wanting to do this drug with any kind of regularity. I believe cocaine simply wasn’t for me.

It came around one more time, near the middle of 2004. Guido was living with me and his girlfriend came over, sporting a healthy baggie of cocaine. She wanted the three of us to do it and I immediately declined. It didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t desire to try again. Guido had stopped smoking “Cocoa Puffs” months prior and was likewise disinclined to consume cocaine, even with his then-girlfriend. She didn’t want to do it alone and was left with a big baggie of the stuff. In a moment of sheer silliness, I suggested she dump the entire contents into the giant-sized, 7-11 Coca-Cola Guido had. Coca-Cola used to have cocaine in it, I (mis)stated, so we wanted to see what it tasted like with actual cocaine mixed it. She dumped it in and we heavily mixed it up with the straw.

I was the first to try our concoction and I discovered that Coca-Cola, when actual cocaine is mixed into it, tastes exactly like Pepsi.