I Wanted Heroin
A substance-loving suburbanite ventures into the city on his maiden deal for a big-time street drug.
I grew up in an affluent, mind-warpingly dull town in suburban Connecticut. On a quest for some kind of meaning, as a cure for boredom, as a substitute for genuine rebellion, as a panacea for adolescent angst or premature clichéd bourgeoisie alienation, my friend J and I made a habit of imbibing a cornucopia of mind-bending Substances.
Weekends were spent smoking filched cigarettes at the mall. We chugged medicinal cherry red cough syrup, which I can still somehow taste in the back of my mouth. On one particularly desperate day we took turns trying to inhale smoke from a burning cone of incense. We ordered pure DXM powder (the active ingredient in cough syrup and a potent dissociative) from a vendor of bulk research chemicals. It arrived from Hong Kong in a sealed plastic baggie stamped “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION” and was tucked into the pages of what looked like a Chinese glamour magazine. We ordered painkillers from Habeeb—a guy we found on a now-defunct…
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