Monday, November 22, 2010

I Renounce Cocaine

How very noble of me. Following a disturbing Saturday night, I have decided to stop crushing, chopping and snorting crystalline tropane alkaloids up my nose.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I only ever do it for the buzz, and quite frankly I'm too old to sniff myself temporarily arrogant - plus I was aware that seconds after hoovering up each line, my heart started to race disconcertingly. In your Twenties, a racing heart is almost thrilling. At 36, it's a prelude to coronary thrombosis.

Secondly, I just don't know what's in that shit. I totally blame our society which deems it necessary to prohibit certain substances, despite the guile and cunning of certain admittedly unscrupulous individuals who continue to flood said society with said substances anyway. Regrettably, said prohibition renders safety controls and governing practices totally irrelevant, as said substances are fucking illegal.
Ergo: I could be snorting salt.

Thirdly, I have spent two days blowing my nose and seeing a horror show on my tissue of blood, mucus, cartilage and lung, and I'm not massively impressed.

And fourthly, boy, have I been sad. I've tried to analyse it. It's not been quite as debilitating and miserable as depression, but it has been consistent, and painful like a papercut, as if my soul's been mired in a bath of black treacle. My guess is that in getting that high, the coke 'stole' the happiness that was set aside for the coming week and left in its wake an emptiness, a hollow shell - and that's been rubbish.

I think I take drugs - no, I know I take drugs to escape reality; to do something different and daring, to be dangerous and illegal, because nothing sticks it to The Man quite like snorting. It just isn't a law-abiding verb. And in being different and daring, I'm also sticking it to my fucking day job, and the cold bloody weather, and being single, and the unceasing, relentless monotony of being woken up ahead of schedule by an alarm clock five times a week to commute myself to wage slavery.

But it's nonsense. The 'cure' in itself is as pathetic as the cold I'm trying to alleviate. The hard facts are my job I barely tolerate, an alarm I despise, a commute that bores me, and a brief, two-day window of fun I nearly always waste.

Which is why I do coke from time to time.

Or more accurately, did.

Because whatever the reasons that I do it, well, it just ain't working. It's a con-trick, an escape route. I don't become sexier, or funnier, or more confident. Okay, wait, I do become more confident, but if that's all I do it for, then it costs me £50 a gram to feel like that temporarily.

Of course, I could instead think of the Bigger Picture and write and diet and exercise and get more sleep and maybe cut down on my drinking. On the night I decimated that gram, I was disturbed to find the following morning an empty bottle of Amaretto I'd consumed almost single-handedly, as well as half a bottle of scotch and about five beers - all on an empty stomach.

Ah, fuck it. One vice at a time.


Huw said...

Never really saw eye to eye with the gak.

John Harris summed it up well for me in the Guardian t'other week:

"Cocaine is not a drug to plug you into the collective consciousness; instead it leaves you marooned on your own tedious island, little caring about what anyone else has to contribute. Unlike ecstasy, cannabis, or acid, it is not contemplative or mind-expanding. It tends to kill humour and camaraderie and render the collective mood brittle and anxious. All too often it fosters arrogance, anger, and even violence... If the idea of the caring, sharing 90s turned out to be a brief mirage, and we end the current decade more atomised and volatile than ever, the popularity of cocaine speaks volumes, embodying the spirit of our times while also feeding it."

Z said...

I discovered, when half your age, that people who have taken drugs look really stupid to someone who hasn't. So, being vain, sensible and poor, I never started. I used sex as a substitute, of course. Still do, I suppose.

L-Q-S said...

Jeez, Fweng. Don't tell us that you're actually starting to grow up?

Sorry. I know that's not the proper liberal way to look at things. And while I'd much rather think of myself as open-minded & whatnot, it turns out I was born middle-aed and boring.

And, like Z, I preferred sex. Cheaper, healthier & makes at least two people happy. (I you're doing it right, I s'pose.) In the meantime, go you! Stop trying to mangle the brain that it's so blindingly fucking obvious that you've got and start using it instead.

Dandelion said...

I gotta say I disagree. I could be wrong, and I know I mustn't generalise, but to people who have taken drugs, it feels like people who haven't are sort of rather missing a level of understanding of their own brains. And people who have drunk alcohol, but think that drugs is something different, well I think they are mistaken. Only difference is, like fweng says, the cleanliness.

Like all drugs, there's a line (no pun intended) between a recreation and a self-abuse. You gotta do it for the right reasons, and it seems like these ain't it. Once you've got that straight, you're on the road to reality mate.

heybartender said...

I was a bartender in a shitty dive bar where everyone went to do their coke because the bathrooms locked properly. Say whatever you want about those of us not having done it not "getting" it, but what I got was the whole mood changing as soon as that shit came in the room. I have seen what people will do to get it, how they look when they've got it, and how friends treat each other based on how much there is. I have never seen people act this way with pot, and I have surely never been locked out of a public bathroom for half an hour because somebody was getting blown for a six pack. I say good riddance.

luna said...

it's not the coke it's your heart.
It's in bad shape.

Personnally one look at the dealer and i was put off coke forever.Plus,my friend told me it was like drinking ten double espressos at once and I replied why don't you drink up your coffee then- cheaper.
Is that all?

i have a super smoothie before the party and i last all night fresh as a daisy.

looby said...

I agree with Dandelion - once you've taken drugs you really understand that non drug-takers simply haven't had a certain important quality of experience which I think is a very human thing, not something "weird" at all. It's an experience of life in close-up without any of the veils and deceptions we have to use the rest of the time.

At the same time, I think cocaine is an exception to the rule that drugs are in fact, a good thing. I used to go out raving a lot and you could tell the nights when Charlie (rather than Ebenezer) was in the house. The atmosphere was harder, more male, not collective, not shared, too individual and I don't like it. I've had it a few times and it makes me feel too "big".

And how on earth coke is priced at five times the price of speed I have no idea. Speed is far far better than coke.

C said...

Z- ditto. Though sex is just as destructive.

fwengebola said...

Huw ~ Yes, that's not too far off the truth. I never liked the mind-alteration of anything else though. Too bizarre. I think now though I'm going to choose life, boring, mundane, unfair life.
Z ~ I'd happily use sex as a substitute if it wasn't harder to come by than illicit narcotics.
LQS ~ Compliments; oh god, thank you. I think it could be a growing up of sorts. I just can't see the dignity in stuff like that anymore. How very dull.
Dand ~ I absolutely agree, insofar as alcohol is as much of a drug as any of the illegal ones, the only difference being said legality. Who knows, but in a parallel universe, racking up lines of legal cocaine could be as much part of the Xmas excess as buying in crates of wine and eating massive turkeys. But my original point is that none of it's helping me to feel any better or realise any great truth, so that's that, I suppose.
HB ~ That's interesting, as you've got a whole other handle on it. It's possible that I've spent many an evening in a coked-out London pub but never realised as people's aloofness and rudeness wouldn't be diminished one jot. This could be a case of rose-tinted spectacles here, but I hope I was never unbearably arrogant on that particular drug; rather, it dragged my spirit out of the gutter and made me happier than normal, as opposed to already braying, unbearable fuckwits who turn into some kind of ultra-arrogant sneering fuckballs. But those folks deserve disdain when they're sober anyway.
Luna ~ No. No, no, NO. Are you seriously stating "I don't need (a),(b),(c) to have a good time"? Never make that statement. It's annoying. It's also seldom true, and if any of the a/b/c's have never even been tried, then it's an unknown quantity you're bragging about not needing.
Loob ~ That's the first time I've heard anyone prefer speed over coke, but then I think the unofficial marketing for the latter must be spot on. Funny, but I've never noticed an overall effect on a place, just me. And like alcohol, coke's always made me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Jesus, that's it. That's all it is, it sands down those rough insecurities and makes my existence easier to accept.
I'm using that in my next post.
C ~ Hello! But wait, you're misusing sex? Really?

Z said...

Dand's comment took me right back to the 60s. Of course, that was pre-cocaine days, but it was the ghastly blokes who harped on endlessly about how they had 'found themselves' through drugs who really put me off. They said they understood their own brains, but honestly, to the rest of us, they looked like self-indulgent losers. And they certainly didn't have the self-awareness to see that.

Girls didn't harp on about it, however. Don't know why that was. Hadn't thought about it.

fwengebola said...

There's a fine line between enjoying particular drugs, and elevating the virtues of said narcotics up to life-changing standards.

These things are at best life-enhancing (i.e cake, or a cold beer on a hot day). If it takes drugs, or food, or alcohol to completely change your life, then it's only a matter of time before it becomes some kind of addiction.