A light bulb went on in my head the first time coke hit my brain; I remember everything about the moment like a lost lover finding their soul mate. Someone handed me a bullet in a crowded club in New York City. It was NYE, 2007.
“Sniff this,” they said over the pounding mass of inaudible music.
“Okay,” I yelled back without thinking twice.
It was instant elation, like everything lit up and slowed down at the same time. The club transformed from a confined, sweaty, claustrophobic hell into good beats, pretty lights, and a dance floor; there was no pushing or shoving as I moved my way through the crowd with a confidence I’d never had before. Cigarettes tasted amazing. Alcohol felt hydrating and the drinks could keep coming all night without a worry of typical stumbling sloppiness.
The first time I heard about addicts “chasing the first high,” aka the perpetual return to a substance hoping to duplicate the same euphoric experience, I realized that cocaine wasn’t the same after that New Years night, and never once in the following six years. It’s a chase that every addict will lose, and it’s hard to stop running.