Every week comedian Will Hines shares the thoughts that are gnawing at his brain.
Drugs are great, right? Actually I wouldn't know because I am terrible at them.
Meaning, my body doesn't seem to enjoy them as designed. A combination of being scared of breaking rules, emotional repression and some probably shitty body chemistry makes me terrible at altering my state. Which bums me out, as I grew up worshipping people who made a big deal out of loving drugs: Keith Richards, Hunter S. Thompson and most attractive girls at my college.
If I may oversimplify a complicated social issue into a still-kinda-true topic sentence: Drugs are fun but also intimidating. Most are illegal, and have at least some risk of physical harm, perhaps a lot. To enjoy them, even in the most progressive environments, takes an emotional and physical leap of faith. I have no such faith. I'm scared of everything. And I have the constitution of a leaf. I get bruised if I overhear a conversation about punching. But I do love 1960s guitar rock and 1970s short stories both of which are filled with references to cool drugs.
So I've tried things. But alas, running through the major categories of drugs is a decathalon of chemical failure.
Speed and amphetamines: never really tried them except freshman year when I took a double dose of Vivran (caffeine in a pill) so I could stay up late and finish a particularly onerous drafting assignment. Drafting. Literally the squarest of all possible all-nighters.
I suppose coffee is a sort of muted version of speed, and I do love drinking it. Though if I have more than three cups in a 24-hour period I develop the digestive system of a bird. A bird with diarrhea.
Smoking I never did. I'm straight-up allergic to looking cool.
Alcohol! I suppose because it's legal I don't have an emotional inhibition for this. But I've had to cut this out as I can't tolerate the hangovers. If I drink too much, I'll have a physical hangover for a full day. And the emotional hangover of general guilt and sadness would last at most recent count: 22 years. So no more of that.
Marijuana is, anecdotally at least, the most fun drug with the least physical consequences, but I never was able to enjoy it. First of all, I waited until I was 30 to try it. Even then the only reason I experimented was because I took an improv comedy class and met a kid named Frankie who vowed to "smoke me up" because "it would be hilarious." He did indeed get me stoned, and I discovered that being on pot actually made my brain MORE logical. While high, I watched old episodes of Three's Company and wrote down what I considered logical flaws in the script. 1960s Woodstock, look out!
MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), although dangerous, is supposed to produce reliably enjoyable highs at least at first. It's also closely related to partying and sex. Well, I tried MDMA once. I was 33, and my friends from high school and I ended up renting a depressing Billy Bob Thorton movies (One False Move which we declared "pretty good") and ranking our favorite Beck albums (Odelay in a walk).
Psychedelic mushrooms have taken my friends on what they describe as "mental odysseys" where they are "transported to another world." I guess my brain doesn't have the right passport because after scarfing a generous handful of them the only side effect I noticed was at night I will have pronounced dreams about rectangles. Friendly ones.
Cocaine I've never tried. It's too illegal for me. I'm scared of driving over the speed limit, much less using a drug that I consider "hard." A friend actually gave me some which I bravely hid at the base of a scented candle for two years before flushing down the toilet. 1980s Wall Street, look out!
Heroin I couldn't even think of. I get guilty and sweaty just watching Basketball Diaries. Trainspotting almost gave me a heart attack. When listening to Nirvana I can only enjoy it if I pretend that Kurt Cobain was addicted only to sugared cereals.
Actually, I did have one exposure to heroin's general family of drugs (opiates) and that's when I was 23 and had my wisdom teeth removed. They shot me up with some sort of anesthetic to knock me out. When I woke up, still drugged, I tried writing a love poem to the 50-year-old receptionist at my dentist's office. Just like Mick Jagger bedding Jane Seymour in swinging London, right? No, not right.
I've got no moral objection to drugs. And I have many friends with healthy relationships with all but the most intense of physical substances. So I can see that they can be good things: allies that turn people's brains into fun playmates. But not for me. I'm going to have to get my experiences from other people's writings, and over-extended rock operas.
Except for coffee. Up to two cups I am a madman!
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