Up until my late teens the only drugs I “did” were aspirin, Tylenol or anything a doctor may have prescribed. The first experience I had was with marijuana at the age of eighteen, when I smoked with a group of friends. I didn’t feel affected by it at all, except for the fact that when I got home I hungrily attacked a bowl of chili from a pot that was simmering on the stove, only to find out from my mom that it was actually spaghetti sauce. Awkward.
Not long after that I was offered some marijuana at a small party of a young married couple, but politely declined. I found out a few months later (once I got to know this couple better) that they had all thought I was being a snob. I remember thinking, “Damn, I should have just taken a hit; they would have liked me more.”
While a student at San Jose State I didn’t dabble in drugs at all. My roommates didn’t partake, and I had very few friends in the beginning, so it was mostly a matter of availability. Newly 21, I was more interested in alcohol; easily accessible, and it liberated me and made me feel and act funny and witty, drawing laughs from my roommates and friends. Yes, I actually wore a lampshade several times.
On a side note, my roommate Kevin — in the Graphic Design program at State, like me — was doing a photography project and he suggested I put on an old bridesmaid dress and some roller skates and coast around our apartment complex. Newly into alcohol and needing my inhibitions loosened up, I downed half a bottle of a sweet wine called Piña Coconetta and sailed freely around the area near our apartment. It was a fun project for photographer and subject, and Kevin wound up getting an A.
Once I dropped out of school at age 23, started working fulltime and moved in with a boyfriend, I fell into a different crowd, one where drugs became more available. Just the same, alcohol was my most prominent vice, and drugs offered up were enjoyed briefly and moderately. Normally intimidated about singing in front of others, I do remember singing Desperado to my boyfriend Brent one evening after several lines and half a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream with coffee.
That is until my going-away party prior to my move to L.A. That evening, massive amounts of alcohol, pot and cocaine were ingested and I wound up throwing up on my friend Pam, then passing out.
L.A. opened up a whole new world for me. Although alcohol was still my “drug” of choice, various circumstances exposed me to pot and cocaine. One big circumstance came into my life a couple years later when I began dating a guy right after my move to Redondo Beach. Blair lived in nearby Torrance, but worked as an architect in Beverly Hills. One evening we were discussing cocaine and how I hadn’t done it in a while, yet if I had an opportunity, I would probably partake. He replied with something like, “It may be more accessible than you think.” He made a quick phone call and before I knew it we were pulling up in front of a house somewhere in Redondo Beach. He ran in and came out with a small package. We snorted some in his car, then went out to a dive bar on Pacific Highway in Hermosa Beach, where I played Bob Seger songs on the jukebox and kicked everyone’s butt at Ms. Pac-Man. Still under the influence on the way home, I sang The Main Ingredient’s Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely. It was a dazzling, electrical evening, except for the fact that I had to work at 6:00 a.m. the next morning.
Soon after the 3-month relationship with Blair ended (it was’t the singing; he just turned out to be a player), I realized I had dodged a bullet; my obsessive-compulsive tendencies combined with the antics of a druggy boyfriend had the capability to send me spiraling down a destructive path. It was almost as if the Universe was saying, “Let’s get her out of this mess. She’s got a lot of potential, joie de vivre, intuition — and she’s not ready for rehab just yet.