Part Three: Warm Beer, Lines of Coke, and a Kraken from the Sea

“Just another morning, with shaky hands, pounding head, I guess I did it again.”

Under the Influence – Elle King

It is my freshman year of college. I am known as the “you’re gonna hate me” girl. A signature phrase that I start spouting to my friends as I am drunk crying on the bathroom floor, puking my guts up, only to turn around and drink some more. Alcohol is already stabbing me in the back whether it is due to my drinking or someone else’s. It’s ruined a relationship with my first love, allows me to go home with people I am not interested in sober, and stupidly gives me the confidence to talk back to cops who only want to break up the noisy party. It puts me in too many sketchy situations. “Fun times”


It’s mid-October and I am going to a party with an acquaintance, Amy, who I’ve only met a handful of times. To kickoff the start of the night, we smoke a bowl in broad daylight in front of the Center for the Arts building. It’s the first time I’ve try weed and all it got me is a half paranoid, half giggling feeling that fades after about a half hour.

We go to the last half of the football game before Amy’s friend picks us up and drives us to the party. Immediately, I want to leave. I barely know Amy and I don’t know anyone here. The second we walk in she leaves me to fend for myself while she goes off to chase an old boyfriend. I walk over to the drink table or should I say, the table with the only alcohol available, Keystone Light. I know college kids are cheap, but seriously?

I grab a warm can of pure swill and chug it. Great. This is going to be a long night. I hope somehow I will acquire a buzz strong enough to make me not care about being here. I drink several more in fairly quick succession. A hour later, I have downed quite a few beers, I have 3 beer pong wins under my belt, and no buzz. I look around, Amy is no where to be found. I walk down into the basement, following the sounds of laughter that are echoing from the bottom of the stairs.

There she is sitting in a circle with 4 other people snorting lines of coke off a small mirror. “Here you go.” A boy with long, greasy dark hair passes me the mirror. “Oh, no, I’m ok, thanks”. A small part of me is curious to try it but a bigger part of me is too scared that I’ll die of a heart attack. I did just try pot for the first time only a few hours ago, and the thought of jumping straight to lines of coke with strangers is not super appealing to me.

I never really understood the appeal of drugs in general anyway. What could drugs possibly give me that alcohol couldn’t? Lots of people have answers to that question but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t care what the answer was.

To me, alcohol is the tall, dark, and handsome guy in the leather jacket leaning against the bar picking rock songs out of the juke box. The drugs are the creepers in the white vans driving around offering kids candy. Over the years, I’ve smoked pot, unknowningly did PCP (which was literally a waking nightmare), and mildly got addicted to K2 – I will admit, I had quite the love affair with it. Yet, nothing, not even K2, could lure me away from alcohol.

I walk back upstairs to join some people who are playing more drinking games. Yes! These are my people. What I don’t realize is they are engaging in a fun little activity called Robotripping. What is Robotripping? It’s when you take dangerous amounts of Dextromethorphan, DMX, a common ingredient found in cough syrup. Taking large enough doses causes hallucinations, delusions, and other psychedelic effects similar to ecstacy. It can also make you extremely violent. As you can imagine, mixing DMX with alcohol is less than a good idea. Jesus Christ. What is wrong with these people!! No wonder there isn’t any decent alcohol, everyone’s too busy getting fucked up on drugs.

After asking around, I finally find someone who tells me they think there’s a bottle of vodka in the kitchen. Thank God, they are right. Sprite is the usual mixer at these types of parties so a vodka Sprite it is. It is something I have aquired a taste for. I make myself a drink, go and join in the games for a bit, and then lights out.

The next morning I wake still in my clothes – Jesus, I’m still wearing my shoes. My head is pounding, my throat is dry, the room is spinning, making it difficult to even sit up let alone stand up.  How soon I can get back to my dorm room and into my own bed? There is rustling under the covers next to me. It’s Amy. She’s completely naked, completely strung out, and yells “I’m a kraken from the sea!!!”Fucking drugs.

She stumbles to the bathroom, “Brooke!! Will you please take a shower with me?” “No!” I yell. “But, I will help you so you don’t fall and break your neck!” The girl who drove is so hungover, she’s ignoring all of the commotion. Four hours later, she says she feels ok enough to drive us home. I walk into my dorm room, lay down on the bed, and vow to always have an exit plan for parties.

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