The best drug experience I’ve ever had took place on a Saturday in August when my friend’s band performed at a warehouse party, which was more like a street party, at the end of a secluded road in Tottenham. There were many different spaces, some inside, some out and stalls selling cake and nitrous oxide.
I was pretty happy with my shitty white wine and the odd laughing gas balloon. The climate was perfectly comfortable, as were the armchairs a thoughtful soul had placed within listening distance of the outdoor stage. Good friends were there. Contentment circled the air. Then more friends came bringing with them a third character, a wrap of MDMA which – as refined young ladies with a good social conscience – they shared. Soon enough, I was in a high-roofed conservatory being pushed on an indoor swing by an excitable Polish dude with a laugh like the dentist in The Little Shop of Horrors.
The night went on progressing ever closer towards a clichéd Sixties vision of peace and love… and drugs. MDMA was the people’s choice but gee, what people. It eventually became clear that my friend and I were the only remaining interlopers in a tight-knit group of beautiful, brilliant, entertaining, witty geniuses. But they welcomed us, laughed at our jokes, pushed us on the swing, gave us massages. Think Michael Pitt being invited into Eva Green and Louis Garrel’s urbane French world in The Dreamers. That was us. One girl freestyled a song in a powerful bluesy voice while a boy accompanied her on the guitar. Society and politics were discussed with just the right mix of idealism and wisdom.
Even as sunlight streamed through the glass roof heating us up like tomato plants in a greenhouse, we clung onto the night, intoxicated and happy. As, finally, my friend and I walked back to reality with two of the boys by our side, I said shyly how great the group was. Boy A gave me his number, said this was the beginning of something… but it wasn’t because everything that people do and say and think with class A narcotics in their system is a bubble that floats away or pops in the light of everyday rhythms. To put it another away: it’s bullshit.
Drugs are bullshit. If you’re really interested in forging bonds with people you’ll do it without a mysterious combination of chemicals in your system. We all need escapism but there are cheaper, more interesting ways that don’t leave you feeling like something ate your soul the next day.
The experience recounted above was the cream of the crop and it was bullshit; lovely, magical bullshit but still bullshit all the same and that’s not even taking into account the side bullshit: the difficulty of finding a good dealer, the poor quality drugs when you don’t, the feeling of idiocy when you try talking to someone who is compos mentis, the paranoia the morning after, the tedium of being covert when taking drugs in public places. Fun stems from simplicity and spontaneity and the faffing and planning that taking drugs requires stomps over these things with the absent-minded destruction of a stoned musk ox. Drugs aren’t fun. They’re anti-fun. Do something creative and just say no.
Image by Steve Snodgrass courtesy of Flickr