Josh, Kale and I had been tripping for roughly two months straight. Acid, for the most part. It was cheap and it was everywhere. Hell, we could get it for free without much effort. And I was determined to figure it out. Which is a fools errand, but I hadn't realized that yet. So, we were coming down, and it was past three in the morning and our lower backs were throbbing. No benzos, no painkillers, no muscle relaxants. It was a very shady scene for three skinny, tweaked out motherfuckers with nothing but cigarettes to rely on. We needed weed.
San Diego is not San Francisco. It's not that straightforward, getting weed in downtown San Diego in the middle of the night. But we were game. Game as in desperate and chemically insane.
We drove until we saw a likely dude on a likely corner. He was in his late twenties, black, with dreadlocks. And he knew exactly what we were looking for. Said he could get it and to meet him back in ten minutes. So, we circled the block, smoking cigs, waiting for the weed fairy to reappear. But he didn't. And then, as we were about to give up, we see a dude. Different dude. This guy is also black, but dirtier and sketchier looking. But we were tripping. What are you gonna do. And I'm focused on race mainly because this is the most epic example of White Privilege I have ever experienced.
So, we roll up and I ask dude if he is with other dude and he says: "Yeah, man. Yeah. I got what you need." So. Josh parks with the motor running. Kale and I get out to talk to the dude. He nods toward some bushes and we make our way over there. My spidey senses are going fucking crazy, and I can tell Kale doesn't like this either. Then, the dude reaches into his underwear and pulls out a bag of dirty crack rocks.
"Nah, man. We're looking for some bud. Not crack."
Dude slaps a rock into Kale's hand before we can think of a way out.
"Hey, man. We're cool. We were talking to another dude, and..."
And then. And fucking then...
The whole fucking silent, blackened San Diego evening turns red and blue. Like a goddamn movie. It's like the lights are inside my skull. And then the cop yells over the speaker:
Now, this next part makes me seem hella shady, but let me tell you the rules. The rules are when you're buying illegal drugs at three in the morning from a stranger on a corner, it's every fucking man for himself. So, I turn and the cop walks toward me. Crack dealer bails. I point in the direction of the fleeing man and say, "I think that dude threw something over there." And then we are in the car. I'm telling Josh to fucking drive, just fucking drive, and we're pulling away; I can't believe we're not getting arrested. Both cops went after the dude. The black dude. Cue White Privilege.
So, we're driving and we're tripping hard again. We're laughing that desperate, relieved laughter of the damned when Kale says, "I still have the crack rock."
Now, there were many options at this point. We'd just stolen crack from a crackhead in front of two cops. We did not have any downers or weed, and we DESPERATELY needed sleep. I hadn't had real sleep in weeks. So, we did what you do. We went to park. We put cigarette ash in a metal bowl and broke the rock up on top. And we smoked it. And I have never felt worse as a human being. They say crack feels like pure power. This was not my experience. I spent the next two hours trying to convince my friends to let me kill myself. And we never did get weed. Probably dropped more acid. I can't remember.
I don't know if the dude went to jail, but it wouldn't surprise me.