Thursday, February 18, 2010


I quit using LSD in college, shortly after I started taking it, really. Once I discovered ecstasy, I had no use for acid anymore. Acid was just too much for my brain sometimes and I felt like I could implode. At first, LSD was a perception exploration exercise. You know, look out at the world in a whole new light and all that shit. Eventually though, you have looked at everything you can from this new and altered perspective. That is when it becomes more dangerous for someone like me because that is the point you begin to look inward. You begin to search through your own mind in this altered and deranged state. Believe me, what I found up there while on LSD was pretty terrifying. I did not see the point in acid when I could eat one of those smacky x pills and feel so wonderful.
By the time I had grown up into a full fledged heroin addict, ecstasy had not touched my tongue in years and LSD was almost unheard of. Junkies generally do not take LSD, too much self exploration and evaluation is dangerous to those in such a precarious position as opiate addiction brings. But, of course, there is the occasional exception...and more times than not it turns very ugly.
I was working at the Shobar on Bourbon Street when I saw one of the most bizarre incidents involving LSD. It was summertime, and it was not that busy in the sweltering heat of New Orleans. I was standing outside the club, working the door, trying to tempt men into the club in my skimpy little stripper attire. And of course, I was also looking around for drugs and whatever else I might could get into. The neon lights of Bourbon Street were all sparkly that night. My spirits were high, almost as much as my mind and body were.
Then, I see a fellow junky they call Alex walking down Bourbon. He seems like he is wearing blinders as he staggers through the sparse crowd still managing to bump into several people. Uh-oh, I think. He must be wasted, probably nipping more liquor from his job. I turn to the left, acting like I am interested in something else, in hopes that he will not even see me. I really do not want his drunk ass stumbling up into the club and causing a bunch of trouble.
He must have already seen me and made a beeline right for me because the next thing I know he is breathing down my neck. He is all smiles even though he seems to be looking through blinded eyes. "You got any dope," he sneers. " I just ate a couple of hits of acid and I really would love to get some dope." Uh-oh, I think again. LSD is never a good thing for a dope addict. Talk about an excruciating withdrawal if he doesn't find anything! Lord knows he will be tripping much longer that he will be high on dope.
"Nope, sorry," I say. "I am always looking though, so if I find it, I will keep ya in mind." Alex nods his head and thanks me gratefully. As he turns to leave, I notice his grin is crooked and his eyes are glassy and blind. I chuckle to myself as I think of the awful ride my junky comrade is probably in for.
Hours have passed, and the dope has once again come and gone, much quicker than the customers in the strip club. There are maybe two customers lingering, and they are both quite occupied. I have sat at the bar with Q, talking about life over Jameson and Jager for the past hour or so. I guess I had better get outside and try a last ditch effort to round up a final deal for the evening. We all know I gotta have money for more dope tomorrow...
Outside the door again in my skimpy stripper gear, hollering at the suckers passing by when I see Alex again. Uh-oh, I think for yet another time this evening. He looks a disheveled mess, and he is drenched in sweat. His eyes are no longer blind, but instead all seeing and completely crazed. He must be drowning in the sickness, I think. Poor kid.
Again, he makes a beeline over to me, this time I can see he is terrified. I notice his arm is dripping with blood, as it trickles down and drops all over Bourbon Street. His crazy eyes are so focused on me that it sends shivers up my spine...his eyes seem to stare past my body searching for something. My soul, maybe. I can sense his desperation from across the street.
"I need help, I don't know what to do," he babbles before he launches into the details. Alex did manage to find some dope, and some coke for that matter. He ducked into some seedy bar in the Quarter to shoot up with his old trusty rusty. Apparently, he had been using the same needle for quite some time. (We all know a junky never follows the instructions on the needle, reading USE ONCE AND DESTROY.) When Alex finally got his needle in his ruined veins, the tip had broken off inside his skin. And his mind all muddled with LSD had started to take him for a ride.
He believed he had injected the needle right into his vein, which I do not think is entirely possible. He said he could feel the needle slowly working its way through the vein, creeping up this arm. He had envisioned it making its way to his heart, and then piercing his heart and causing his instant death with that final swoop. In an attempt to save his own life, he has cut into his arm with a razor blade. He actually tried to get in there and retrieve the tip of his needle. Scared to death he cannot find it, but he insists he can still feel it creeping slowly through his veins.
I am laughing inside as I try to calm him down. His mind must be complete mush to believe himself right now! If an addict injects a little cotton into his bloodstream, it is called a bone crusher because it is so painful that it feels like your bones are crushing. (Not to be confused with cotton fever, which is caused by a bacteria in the cotton used to filter a shot and caused uncontrollable shivering.) I am pretty sure an injected sharp piece of metal would be so painful that Alex would not be walking down Bourbon Street. Frustrated by my calm, Alex stomps away from the club, according to him headed home so his heart will implode when he is in his own bed...if he cannot dig the needle out with some kind of razor.
The next day, I see Alex...alive and well, no doubt. Although, his arm has several nasty cuts up and down it, he seems to be rather buoyant. "Still alive, buddy," I ask. He grins of total embarrassment. He tells me that after panicking most of the night, the LSD finally began to wear off. Then, he took his needle out of his kit for the first time since the terrifying incident, and there was the tip...still attached securely to the shaft. "I tell you what, " Alex says, "I will never take LSD again, that shit is too scary."
Yep, that is why I swore the stuff off years ago!

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