Having a druggy boyfriend out of my life did not leave me without opportunities to still indulge now and then. One evening after my waitress shift I was sitting alone in the Redondo Beach townhouse I shared with my roommate Holly (who was working as Events Coordinator at the Sheraton Anaheim). I kept seeing people walk by, and toward the end unit upstairs, a small one-bedroom apartment rented by a somewhat burly, rumpled 20-something guy I had only said hello to in passing (picture a young Philip Seymour-Hoffman). Lonely, curious and fueled by a couple glasses of cheap chenin blanc, I threw caution to the wind and went up to the apartment and knocked on the door. The burly guy, Jeff, answered the door and, beaming, invited me in. There were about seven or eight people there, alcohol flowing (tequila, mostly) and lines of cocaine on the glass coffee table.
It turned out to be a pretty crazy evening. The crowd was friendly and vivacious. I remember I kept telling one woman that she had the nicest breasts I had ever seen —causing one guest to accuse me of being a lesbian — and asking if they were real (turns out they were, and she was very flattered by my compliments).
Upon returning from work, my roommate Holly and her boyfriend Mike wound up coming by as well. Unbeknownst to me until the following day, host Jeff apparently kept saying to Holly, “I have had the biggest crush on Kelly ever since you guys moved in; when I opened the door and saw her standing there, I said to myself, ‘My prayers have been answered!’”
I felt like crap the next day, but since it was a Saturday and I didn’t have to waitress until 5:00, I had most of the day to recover.
Jeff — a line cook at an upscale restaurant on the water — and I became platonic friends, not doing many drugs, but still partying to a certain extent. I appreciated the fact that he respected my choice not to date him, but to instead let him take me around on his motorcycle to various dive bars like Toes Tavern in Redondo Beach where we would drink, and play pool and darts (I sucked at both, but didn’t care).
The last person I recall doing any drugs with in the L.A. area was my friend Robin, on her last night in town. Having had it with Southern California, plus missing the four seasons, she was moving back to Boston. The night before she left, she, her ex-boyfriend Tony and I all went to dinner, then stopped at a house somewhere in Torrance so Tony could score some coke. I remember Tony taking a very roundabout route in getting there, then the dealer being very paranoid and uncomfortable with us during the transaction. (I figured later that the dealer had probably instructed Tony to take that roundabout way to in order for him to stay somewhat under the radar, with people — especially with cops — not being able to find their way back. Just my suspicions, anyway.
After the deal, Tony, Robin and I came back to my new one-bedroom apartment in Torrance and partied most of the night, playing John Mellencamp, Al Jarreau and Supertramp records. It was a helluva send-off for Robin, and by the time I went to work the next morning I was still feeling high as a kite.
Chuck and I were dating by then — long-distance, as he was living in San Diego — and, after sharing details of the evening with him, he told me he would prefer if I didn’t do drugs. I obliged, as it truly wasn’t that big a sacrifice. Besides, we became engaged shortly after, so any high I got from drugs would only take a backseat to the natural high I was feeling.
That was then.
Around 1992 on a visit to some friends’ in San Jose, the wife and I did Ecstasy, and, in a nutshell, it turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. Chuck and the husband, Ron had driven to San Francisco for some reason, so Laura, her friend Amy and I all got drunk and popped the Ex, and although it was truly a euphoric experience for a few hours, things went sour later; I got into an argument with Chuck when they returned, and also spilled wine on a painting that Ron had done in college (Laura had brought it out to show us). Ugh. It’s painful just writing about it.
Chuck thought it was only the alcohol, but once back at our home in Westminster, I told him about the Ex. He asked, “What about your promise?” I answered with something like, “I’m sorry; it just turned out not to be a realistic one. It won’t happen again.”
But that truly was the last time I did Ecstasy, and I only did cocaine once after that, and that was at my 35th birthday party; a fun friend (who was also our bartender at Brewski’s downtown) named Suzanne surprised me with some, late in the evening after the rest of our guests had left, and Chuck and our guest Craig were asleep. Fortified by numerous lines, we wound up staying up all night laughing and talking while Craig slept on the couch nearby. He farted once and we both quietly snickered like a couple of school girls.
The next morning Chuck and I hopped a plane and went to Las Vegas to continue my birthday celebration. He never knew about my indulgent evening with Suzanne.