I’ve been really stressed out lately. If you’ve ever opened a restaurant, you know this feeling. If you haven’t- good for you. I don’t recommend it, to be perfectly honest. Long gone are the 11 hour work days, where you leave the job at the job and check your problems at the door. It’s no longer possible to separate my personal life from my professional life. I operate in this really murky space now, where I’m never fully focused on anything. I’m consistently pulled in 8 different directions, and, most days, it honestly feels like I didn’t get anything done.
Writing has not been a priority. It used to be an escape- ambient noise in the background, words effortlessly spilling across paper. I no longer know how to use a pen for anything other than a dollar amount and a scraggly signature. C’est la vie.
Today, I forced it. I threw exactly 13 pieces of paper away. I wanted to write a million things. I wanted to write about Sous Chefs, how they have the worst job imaginable (but we love them). I wanted to tell you all how to make the perfect egg. I wanted to write about chain restaurants, hip hop, sake, why I despise IPAs. I wanted to write about 100 things I’d rather do than write. I wanted to write about simpler times, when money was a luxury, rather than a necessity.
I decided to write about the last time I remember doing drugs.
*disclaimer: while I have many fond memories of drugs, they very nearly ruined my life. I am now 10 years clean. If you, or anyone you know, is an addict, I recommend seeking treatment at The Morton Center, or anywhere convenient. Your life has meaning. Don’t waste it.*
I was on house arrest for something. Teenage Griffin was frequently under home incarceration. To this day, there is a one inch, hairless strip that circles my ankle. I was an asshole teenager. I constantly broke the law, usually in an egregious manner. What this particular transgression was, I couldn’t tell you.
What I can tell you is I hadn’t learned my lesson yet. I was an adolescent, in the beginning stages of working in the restaurant industry, and I was privileged enough to be granted work release, as a minor. On a slow night, my employer let me go early. What does a teenager do when he gets off early? Nothing productive. I went to Cedar Park.
If you were a white, suburban drug addict in the early 2000s, you have been to Cedar Park. It was a nice little drug oasis, nestled on a dark street in the grey area between Goose Creek and Anchorage, a few major streets over from what is now Norton Commons. Stuffed behind the Walmart on Westport, this row of apartment buildings, surrounded by half-million-dollar homes, was basically Amsterdam. If you wanted it, it was available.
For the younger generation, please understand that this was pre-Molly. We only had ecstasy, an objectively inferior form of whatever-that-shit-y’all-do-now is. The highly sought after pill was pink, a Playboy Bunny pressed in to the center. You can guess what that was supposed to signify.
The shit thing about ecstasy was the randomness of it’s success rate. The same batch could yield very different results from pill to pill, person to person, based on who knows what. I don’t know who made this stuff, but I doubt it was a chemist.
Anyway, I’m out in Cedar Park, two “triple stack” Pink Playboys in. An hour after eating them, I wasn’t feeling anything, and it was close to time to get home- my P.O. would be expecting me around 11pm. Disappointed, and on my way out the door, I bought a gram of Mushrooms (to salvage the night, you know), and hopped in my buddy’s car.
And that’s when things got WEIRD.
Immediately after ingesting the Mushrooms, the ecstasy kicked in. Hard. I was rolling my balls off, wishing I hadn’t just done what I did. I called my mom- not home, out for the night with a friend. See you tomorrow, heard.
I got home and got in the shower, which was, at the time, a life changing experience. The bathroom was located directly next to “the computer room” (not an office by any means, merely a small room with a computer in it- you probably don’t have one of these now). I had music blaring from the shitty computer speakers, probably some bad, Limewire pirated hip hop. I was having trouble hearing the music, so I kicked the drain shut, drew myself a bath, and crawled in my bed until it was ready.
The covers were swallowing me, the ceiling was swimming, headlights danced through the blinds like cinder blocks skipping across a hand sink- I was fucked up. I remember thinking, “I don’t know who, what, where, when, or why I am”. I was so wrapped up in my drug induced, naked, existential crisis, I forgot about the bath. I heard water bouncing off tile and snapped back to reality, albeit briefly. I shut the faucet off, threw a towel down, drained it a little, and heaved my entire body in to the tub- miraculously, avoiding serious injury or death.
As I’m laying there, fully submerged in water (save for my head, which was immersed in crisis), Silkk The Shocker pounding at my ear drums- it happened.
I slid down about 2 inches, and took a giant gulp of hot body water. On purpose. It tasted neither bad nor good. I drank my own bathwater and felt NOTHING.
The house phone rang, and the rest of the evening is not fit for print.
Those were simpler times. Don’t do drugs, kids.
You can follow me on twitter at @GriffinNotGriff. For inquiries, please email Griffin@kitchenbanter.com
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