Tag Archives: Raph’s Ballfield

An Ode to the Exquisite

Standing on the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica, idly waiting for the bus, I look back and realize that, at one point, I was instructed to drive into the most steeply inclined parking lot behind me, to meet the guy that would sell me drugs in a match book. I bought meth from him exactly twice… this guy. I didn’t even know his name. But then again, I don’t think I really ever new my last regular dealer’s name either. Three regular dealers… one dealer agent, if you will (who, incidentally, also sold me the car that is presently impounded and hence, my present situation… the bus (but that’s another story… the impounding not his fault at all))… Two one-offs… All in the span of two years (with the exclusion of one of the one-offs)… A last frolick in Raph’s Ballfield, if you will, a few months ago… This is my California drug experience.

But in New York, there was only one.

…well, I guess I’m lying… there was Washington Heights guy, N and crew. My first regular dealer… but he’s not who I’m talking about. I am talking about reliable, lovely Car Guy… yes, he will be CG from this point on… Maybe two years of coke… The occasional varietal (Mary Jane for T and others, K, etc)… And though I had never dipped my toe into the wonders of meth… I would periodically ask him about it.

Before I’d even seen it in the flesh (in any form anywhere) I knew I needed it and I loved it. And it was me and I was it.


But I prodded once or twice… never actually believing I’d see it… because I never had.

Then, one day, when the Coke runneth over… when it was no longer merely boring… when it reached the higher level of completely ineffective and stupid 5 months beforehand and I was content to bop around on ephedrine and caffiene with no trace or yearning for an illegal drug ever, CG calls me out of the blue.

He never calls me… I always page him.

But, on this occasion, he called me. And he had it. I mean, he didn’t even know what he had. A very close cousin… but the cousin that’s ripped, ruggedly handsome and smooth as hell. 4-MAR. And he had if for two years, so my veins pulsed with it for two years. Daily. I would call everyday. $50 everyday. Where ever I was, where ever he was (even as his wife was having his child)… it was okay. I met him by the hospital on 50th or so on the westside at a diner.

Of course there are always one or two-offs somewhere. In the early days, the chicks in the coffee shop (E, weed, other things, I believe), then the cook in the coffee shop (coke). And then visiting friends at school… but I was always the chick that got the drugs. Usually.

But I digress.

This is an ode to CG. Oh, lovely, lovely, exquisite CG. There will always be a little place in my heart for you.


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The Evolution of the Pill-Popper


I can see you totally being a pill-popper in the future.


This is T and me in Chelsea. My crackshack. Circa 2001 or 2-ish?

I don’t know what we are doing… I don’t believe that there is a needle in my arm. It’s before that… well, before and after, I suppose. If we are in the crackshack, it means that I’ve already stuck a needle in my arm… in my life, I mean… previously.

But as chronology goes, I spiked by myself for the first time in my place on 25th and 1st, not Chelsea… which lasted all of, maybe a month and a half… maybe less. My cute little training-wheeled dance with the devil. I stopped everything. For a bit. Moved into the Chelsea crackshack. Then found myself back in Washington Heights… this time sans spike to procure coke. [but this is another story].

So, it was around this time. Despite the needle, still pretty novice. And certainly broke. Intermittent coke… here and there. We could have been doing anything. Whatever we may have been doing, apparently T is very confident that I will, one day,  join the ranks of the pill-poppers.

I take this as an insult, somehow. I’m much more interesting and artistic and sophisticated… well, maybe not more sophisticated, but, evolutionarily moreso than a pill-popper.

This string of thought made sense at the time. You know, I was a psychonaut. And youth trumped age in the image of the pill popper.

Though the image of the UES or UWS, high-society, adult pill-popper was truly a lovely future image… what, with the martini in hand at noon and the largest pharmacopeia one could ever wish for, it was really something, indeed, to strive for.

This being said, however, there was something about this statement that felt off.

I was never really a ‘pill-person’. Statistically-speaking, given a cross section of drug users, I would fall under the non-pill-person category.*

*pills with minimal to no binders, ie Dilaudid, that could be crushed, dissolved and sucked into a barrel and unleashed into my veins to cross the blood/brain barrier excluded.

Now, that being said, at that time… the specifics weren’t so specific. We really weren’t at liberty to choose the type of drug-person that we were. I mean, I’m pretty sure we theorized [dreamed] our preferences in all their fantastical glory in a world where everything was obtainable.

Coming down now… we were more than ecstatic with anything resembling anything that came our way… especially in the early days. Still, as with everything else, I was relatively selective about everything I ingested… though to balance this, I was up for experiencing everything that I’ve never experienced at least once… still am.

So Now:

  • T is partially correct. I do have a small but veritable pharmacopeia at my disposal. Pills. …that I take. …for reasons that span from recreation to post-recreational illegal drug use pseudo-necessity.This could be described in some circles as pill-popping. Not the fantasy image we all dreamed about in our youth-youth. But, I have pills… I “pop” them. And, for around, just under two years, these and alcohol are the only ‘drugs’ I’ve injested… give or take a week in Raph’s Ballfield** or so…. rendering T correct in this sort of superficial vein… capillary, even.

**my own pet name for methamphetamine in non-pill form. More specifically, California meth… good enough to be insufflated, cut enough that it really does not go well with the needle. For more info, watch a few episodes of the first season of USA’s “In Plain Sight” [enough to understand the thread of the A-line story that runs through until the season finale]. Or watch the entire season sequentially, whatever. …this is sooo not a plug, seriously.

  • As much as I may be a pill-popper or not, with the current epidemic of over-prescribing quick-fixes “we have a pill for all that ails thee!”, the lovely aforementioned pill-popper of yester-year somehow ceases to exist. Well, I mean, I’m sure that they still exist [I’ll take you bathroom-cabinet-spelunking on the UES one day]…. but psychiatry and society’s need to categorize… take symptoms and create syndromes, semantic disorders, then diagnose because [“now that I’ve created this disorder that doesn’t really exist… we know what’s wrong!”] then treat, has rendered everyone a pill-popper. Muddying the waters of the true, aristocratic pill-popper and crushing many a dream.

The conclusion: yes, T is correct in a certain light. But the world of the pill has evolved to a place where… a shift has occured and the definition of a pill-popper has shifted along with it. T can’t be right…. isn’t right. Not yet anyway. My pill usage right now falls within this shift and my recognition and exploitation of the current situation.

The true, aristocratic pill-popper still exists out there. And yeah, maybe one day, as T said, I “will totally be a pill-popper”. And, then, hats off, T will be right… but don’t count on it. 😛

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