PCP – The Other White Meat

PCP – The Other White Meat

We all know that D.A.R.E. and “Just Say No” are jokes when it comes to keeping kids off drugs. They don’t work because they treat kids like idiots instead of treating them like creatures capable of reasoning. If you make a strong enough case, you should be able to keep most people off the harsh stuff (heroin, meth, etc.) Anecdotes are pretty good at instilling the proper fear of other drugs. Let me give you a story of my own about the time I took PCP.

As a general rule, any drug with initials is pretty sketchy. The first (and only) time I took PCP, I did way too much and ended up locked in someone’s closet with a broken hand. I was hanging out in Gulf Shores, Alabama for no good reason other than I didn’t want to be at home. I was crashing on the floor of a busted up beach hotel with a friend of mine on leave from the Navy. He called his dealer to buy some weed. His dealer had stumbled onto a `little treat’ and offered Navy guy a pretty good deal on some angel dust. He’d done it a few times and highly recommended it. I was into trying something new so I agreed and we got some. When it came time to smoke the shit, Navy guy thought it would be funny to give me way too much and see me flip out. “Dude, that won’t do anything. Take some more.” He didn’t take any of it himself, even though he paid for most of it.

After dusting, we went over to some apartment that belonged to a bunch of meathead friends of his. They were the kind of guys who had been out of high school for 3 or 4 years but still had their football trophies as the central focus of every room, rooms decorated exclusively with tattered pictures of airbrushed bimbos on Budweiser cutouts, and posters of hot cars. They were pretty stupid and not at all the kind of people I’d ever hang out with on purpose, but I’d give them a chance. After a few racist jokes and a rundown of what famous girls they’d `totally like to do’ that chance I gave them was revoked and I decided it was OK to hate them.

After what seemed like a trillion years of sitting in the hot apartment listening to the same Public Enemy CD over and over, we all went out to a bar down the street. It was probably about 9pm by this time. The shit started really kicking in. I can’t really explain what I felt, other than that it was like that feeling you get if you think a cop is pulling you over, or if you’re getting chased by someone who wants to kill you. I didn’t want to drink, I didn’t want to sit, I didn’t want to go outside, I didn’t want to be inside. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to be alone. I just remember sitting in this bar hating everyone who wasn’t as fucked up as me, wishing I could be soberly sipping my first beer of the evening.

It was pretty soon after that when I went completely out of control. Some guy bumped into me and I smashed him in the face, no warning, nothing. Bam! Meaningless violence isn’t something that I usually support, but it felt good at the time. The guy looked at me (and all the big guys I was with) and left. I remember wanting to chase him down and kill him for not wanting to fight back. The guys at my table were pretty entertained (they had since given me the nickname “Scruffy”) and were egging me on to chase the guy into the parking lot. I almost did.

After a string of stupid fights at some other neighborhood bars (in HIS neighborhood thank God), I really freaked out. I had to get away from everyone and everything. I took off and ran to the shitty apartment I had hung out in before going out. When I got there, I punched and kicked my way through the front door (breaking my already bruised hand in the process) and ran into the bathroom to puke. I had my head underneath the shower nozzle and was drowning myself in cold water when the occupants of the apartment caught up to me. They tried to wrestle me out of the tub; I struggled free and nailed my head on the toilet, stunning myself even further.

It took all four linebacker-sized dudes to hold me down. I was screaming and doing my best to gouge out an eye, kick a throat, whatever. They ended up hog tying me and giving me a pretty decent beating to `calm me down’. I still wouldn’t shut up, so they threw me in the closet, threatening to keep me inside until I stopped yelling. My Navy `friend’ wouldn’t let them gag me because he was afraid I’d choke to death on my puke.

The closet was pitch black and stank of extremely ripe laundry. The twine they used to tie me tightened on my wrists and ankles with every struggle. My right hand was broken and swollen purple to twice its original size. I was completely bruised from various beatings. It was probably the most pain I had felt up to that point in my life, except for the time I got pulled off my bike by a pit bull in 6th grade. Even though I hurt all over, It was this really strange detached pain, like I knew it was there, but somehow it wasn’t mine. But I still felt like hell. I kept blacking out and waking up (like that jolt you get when you almost fall asleep sitting up) for what seemed like a day. My `friends’ let me out about 3 pm the following afternoon. I wasn’t flipping out anymore, but I was still pretty fucked up, even aside from my injuries.

Things were rather uncomfortable after I was untied. Mr. Navy was feeling guilty for overdosing me and feeling embarrassed because I trashed his friends’ apartment. His friends were pissed that I fucked their apartment up, feeling guilty for beating my ass, and probably feeling slightly criminal for keeping me tied up in a closet for 9 hours. I was in pain, embarrassed for breaking everything, and pissed that I was so beat up. We decided that since I didn’t have any money, they’d report to the landlord that someone broke into their apartment so he’d fix the door. I tried to clean up some of my blood, but my right hand was completely useless and I could barely bend over (or even walk).

I ended up just kinda walking out, finding my car, and going back home to New Orleans. I stopped at a rest area to clean myself up. I looked like a bad Night of the Living Dead extra, bruised, cut up, limping, blood caked in my hair and eyebrows. I changed clothes and tried to wash my hair in the sink while a steady line of plaid-shorted tourists with ugly children gawked or pretended to ignore me. When I finally got back home, my parents freaked out and took me to the hospital. I told them I got mugged.

My cuts and bones healed before my brain ever got over that weekend. It was one of those sick experiences that only loses its edge after a few months of constantly pretending it never happened. Kinda like waking up next to a person you shouldn’t have slept with – times a million. I never tried PCP, or GHB, or STP, or LSD (well, maybe a little LSD) or any other strange shit after that. My Navy friend has since given up physical drugs and turned to the emotional drug of religion. He was given a desk job, and is prone to spells of blindness.

In hindsight, I was pretty lucky. I didn’t kill anyone, no one killed me, my hand healed, and I learned some very important things about drugs:

1) Don’t take stuff that you don’t understand. 2) Don’t take stuff from people you don’t trust. 3) There are fun drugs and there are DRUGS. Fun drugs are booze and pot. PCP falls into the DRUGS category. 4) Don’t hang out with people bigger than you.

So take that to heart kiddies. In anything you do – drugs, sex, or rock-n-roll -be smart. The drunk you save may be yourself.