I have been introduced to a lot of famous people, but this story is not about any of those. I have also tried to be as honest as possible with my stories, and this one will be no different. I only ask that you don't think any less of me after reading it. And, if you put it into the context of my life during college and beyond, then it might make more sense. So, here goes.
My Mother once told me that I have an addictive personality. Little did she know how much of that was true. When I was around 14, I discovered cigarettes. I would ride my bike over to Flora and find half-smoked cigarettes in the parking lot. Students would go out to their cars between classes to smoke, but they couldn't finish them, so they threw them on the ground. I would find those and smoke the rest. I know that wasn't too sanitary, but it was still a kick. I also would look for cars in neighborhoods with cigarette packs on the dashboards. If the cars were unlocked, I stole the packs. My favorites were Salems and Winstons. I smoked off and on until 1984. For a time in college, I smoked those small cigars. I could buy those legally. They made me look cool.
When I got to college, I discovered a few more things. First was cocaine laced snuff. They would put cocaine in snuff flavored with strawberry or cherry. I didn't do that much, but it did give me a rush. The downside was that I got nosebleeds. One was so severe in my Sophomore year that it looked like the horse head scene from "The Godfather". After that incident, I didn't do it any more. The other things I discovered in my Sophomore year was speed and downers. When I would do plays, the play would usually go until around 11pm. I would take legal speed called "No-Doz". This stuff was pure caffeine, and it was designed to keep you awake. The normal dose was one pill. Usually, I would take two. Yes, it kept me awake, but then I needed something to sleep, so I took sleeping pills. This was a regular habit. Often, I would wake up the next morning and have a headache, so I would have to take aspirin--a lot of aspirin. That did a number on my stomach. I had this routine for several years, when doing plays. I had to stop it, when I started drinking.
The only alcohol I had was the wine in Rome, which was covered earlier. When I got to PC, alcohol was more prevalent. One night, I went with some friends to a forest outside of Clinton, and I had my first taste of beer. I didn't like the taste, so someone told me to think of it as "banana juice". I know that sounds gross, but it worked. During my Senior year, I drank a lot of beer. One night, I drank 22 beers over a three-hour period. I passed out for two days. I went to a fraternity party and got very drunk. I pinched a girl's butt with ice tongs, and she told me that she had problems sitting down for a week. I also discovered daiquiris in Atlanta during this time. I liked those and Tom Collins mostly. Anything with Vodka was the best, since it didn't smell on my breath. I will address the Atlanta trip later, at least what I can remember of it. Alcohol was a part of my life until around 2000. I can't have any alcohol now without getting sick.
During that trip to the forest, I was also introduced to Marijuana. I didn't feel anything at first. No buzz. I tried it again in Atlanta and really got stoned. So much so that I went for a walk one night and found myself floating down the sidewalk. The last time I did grass was 1981. Another drug during this time was LSD. I think I only did two hits of that, but it caused me to have flashbacks for many years afterwards. Thankfully, the flashbacks never happened while I was driving. They would come every three months. Then every six months. Then every nine months. I haven't had any for about five years. I hope I have outgrown them. I never did Heroin. I had two friends die from overdoses during high school, so I had no desire to do that.
So, I had several introductions to things over a period of about 7 years. Some remained longer than others. If you look at the time frame, most of the stuff I did was during my hippie years. Most were more acceptable back then, even if much was illegal. When I reached 21, I could legally go into a liquor store, but by then it was anti-climatic, because I had already been drinking by then. I also just want to say that I do not want to suggest that it is cool to drink or take drugs. I am suffering now, in many ways, because of what I did many years before. As you read subsequent stories, you will see some things I did, which I am not proud of. They seemed fun at the time. I wouldn't even think about doing them now. I guess we all have things in our past that we are not proud of. I just wish that I had the power of being able to see the future, and then maybe I would not have done so much in the past.