The one time I lost my cool in public... Why drugs shouldn't be underestimated.
It was a number of things, a succession of events, as usual. It was what some call the cherry on the cake...
My best buddy had just been taken to jail for something I didn't think he was at fault for, later I would learn that he was kind of at fault, and I kinda knew, even then, I too was at fault for not warning him.
He comes home one day after what he tells me was his first mushroom adventure and he's going at a completely different speed, way too fast, all over the place. I get fast but god, to me, is organized or at least balanced. He was telling me that he found god at the beach, in the sunset, and I thought his excitement was just beautiful.
More than god, apparently he had found the deeply rooted desire to return to nature, and he planned to give me his car as a gift so he could depart for the hills and live a more peaceful life.
At this point I'm happy for us both, he's going to go pursue his happiness where he feels he is being called and I'm getting a new car...for a moment I start going through my calendar in my head to figure out when I can go and get my driver's license.
But then he starts talking about how he's only going to wear a loincloth and how he wants to plant all his favorite flowers by his hut in the hills to be able to give pretty flowers to all his friends. And at this point, I become disappointed that I can't take the free car in good conscious.
I don't have a problem with nudity but he never expressed to me any discomfort with clothing and we barely wore any clothing anyways. It's the 3rd world and we don't have to impress anyone. We have enough money to keep you from getting in trouble if you have a secret inkling to show yourself or some other problem fetish. And if he was still high, which he absolutely was, and was feeling warm then the logical thing is to stop pacing in circles and get buck naked in the shower if that's what it takes to cool off.
There goes my car, this guy is out of it and he needs time to come down... I can't even take the thing for a spin because I don't have his actual permission and I don't want him thinking he should be getting inside any cars the way he's acting either.
He kept talking and pacing and before I knew it he had left. For the next week or so he kept coming to the house only for about 20 minutes to shower...not before talking and pacing some more.
By day 4 or 5 I was pacing too.
What was he talking about? Well...he was talking about how wonderful the world and everyone in it was and how all we need is to love each other. How could I have stopped him? As long as he wasn't giving the car away to someone else I didn't think he had any other property to protect.
The problem was that he did have a little money to party with the wrong people while he was completely vulnerable, a raw human. I had little understanding of psychedelics then and was too busy with work to get much involved, but I should have at least physically grabbed him and told him he was going too fast.
But the flowers...there is a young man in front of me who wants to plant flowers to give to all his friends independently of gender and he means it with every fiber of his body. Why can we not have this more in the world? How can I make more of this? How can I replicate what is happening to my friend? I chased him in circles around the living room unable to control what I was doing after I caught myself...
It didn't take long before he started talking to me about money...It was around day 3 that he began to speak of these people he had met and how cool they were and how they were going to make tons of money. I rarely exaggerate, when I say tons I mean it, he was throwing crazy numbers in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and again, we live in the third world.
At least 100 million alarms go off in my head at once, but when I asked him about the car keys, worried that he might take off and sell it to give to scammers, he told me that the vehicle had just stopped working. This dude doesn't have anything to lose, I think to myself, I'll just let him discover that he's not prepared to make 1 million, let alone hundreds.
I underestimated the damage that he could do to himself because I underestimated the damage that others could do to him.
Long story short, and I didn't know this until after he was arrested the first time, he had been convinced he was handling dirty money but in a way "earned" money, when he in fact was being used as a gateway for hacked bank accounts.
So they had this guy running around probably thinking he was cleaning drug money, and since it was a drug that helped him see god on the beach I guess that wasn't such a big deal to him at the time. Instead, he was finding people who'd give out their banking information in exchange for a minuscule portion of the money transferred...they would take the person to pick up the money at the bank and later go to Western Union to send it to its final, changing, destination.
If I had known Western Union was involved I wouldn't have hesitated to tell him he needed to stop immediately. But when he would talk to me he was hard to keep up with, I'd only ever get bits and pieces of what he was doing between talks about what the shrooms had shown him.
The reality of it is I knew if he was in fact getting money he had to have been doing something illegal, I just had no idea he'd be as stupid as to take from a bank.
Ideally, no one would steal, but if you're going to then make it big but not huge, and never ever ever ever ever steal from banks, governments, casinos or any religious organization however small. And if you're going to steal from a charity why not do it at the board level instead? Have you seen how much the CEO from Goodwill makes? LOL. You guys know I can't pass up a shot like that one, haha.
Anyways, of course, the banks got them and they got them quick. Amazingly, however, he only spent 1 night in jail and was released the next day...I missed all of this, I was in the country of Panama for a political event at the time. But when I returned home he told me he had been dragged out of the bank by his hair while screaming and told me some of what got him there, whatever he could remember, I just remember beating myself over it because I had a very strong feeling that was going to happen and didn't warn him before I left the country.
Why did I not warn him about this gut feeling? Well, that's what it was, a feeling, I had no way to justify it rationally other than to say I thought he was speeding through life. Since he knew I hadn't taken the same drugs he had said repeatedly that I couldn't understand or imagine, I didn't think I'd get through to him, but in retrospect I should have tried.
I should have tried because if he was willing to give me his one possession, his car, then he must have had me in higher esteem than the rest.
We were just at different speeds, he was doing his thing and I was doing mine, I was REALLY busy, 2 and 3 political events per day, I was exhausted.
I waited until he told me everything before I spoke, how he got dragged out of the mall where the bank was, how he threw his brand new phone, his only profit from the whole thing, out what was easily an 8 story building and it would still turn on when they went and got it. He told me that all the cops did was make fun of his messy hair and pressure him to unlock his phone, but since the screen was broken they couldn't tell whether he couldn't actually open or it was the damage that made it impossible.
He even told me about how while in there they teamed up and threatened a Haitian for 68 cents to buy coffee and a cigarette to share while in the cell...at that point I couldn't contain myself and I reprimanded him for stealing that poor guy's money, but then he went on to explain to me that he too got a few puffs from the cigarette and he also made sure to buy a full meal for the Haitian before he left and once his family came to his rescue.
After he was done telling me everything he could remember, once he told me that they had released him because someone else from those involved was taking the blame, the first thing I responded with was "You do know they're not done with you, right?"
And he just said that he was glad to be out of that cell and back home, and said that it was all that mattered to him at the time. I should have insisted then too.
Completely forgot about the whole thing because this time I had clearly warned him that no one steals from banks and gets away with it, maybe in the wild wild west but not these days.
And there I was, back in my country, with this new love interest in this very exotic girl I had just met. She was the first attractive woman to ever pursue me first, I had an amazingly well-paid job, a new apartment, and maybe even a new-broken car...we hadn't revisited that conversation.
The night before his second arrest I had been at a very VIP cocktail party that required clearance...couldn't even pay attention to what was happening there because I wanted to go home to this new girlfriend who was sending me nudes while she knows I'm supposed to be talking to the Ambassador. Bad, bad, girl...
So I actually check out of the party early because I wasn't getting paid to be there anyway and I don't even drink or like politics...None of the people in there or their plans or ambitions really interested me, my only interest was actually on my bed and I wanted to get there ASAP. That was my first adult sleepover. Needless to say the next morning I was king of the world.
Beautiful morning to wake and bake, sit down in the living room because I wake up in stages, got this magnificent girl I just spent the night with sitting on my lap and everything is well in the world...until I hear a knock on the door, and I know it's trouble right away because the knock is too loud as it's easy to tell from the outside that people are sitting right across that door.
I look outside the front door glass to see who it is, right away I know they're cops because they're too stiff and it's several men. They are here to steal from us, that's all I know even though I don't see weapons...they are too stiff because they are trying to hide weapons, people don't stand like that and a cop with good training should know that.
But these guys don't have much training or procedure, much less accountability, these guys barely make USD$200 per month.
I quickly glance at my friend and open the door without hesitation as one of the younger cops makes a sound as if he just now (the oscar goes to...) smelled something and said "Ha! Ya'll were smoking!" and I look at him like "Do I look like I care that you point out that it smells like weed?" Mind you, it's not that I'm being brave, I just know I make enough to bail myself out and hire a good lawyer. That cop did not like the look I gave him though, I guess he expected me to be afraid but I wasn't in acting mode, I'd just woken up, if it had been up to him I would have been booked as well based on the fact that he didn't like my face.
When he pointed out the smell I didn't say a thing, nothing, I just looked at each of them in the eye and asked who they were.
Another one of the dudes says "It's the police!" and I say "okay, well what do you want?" and they said my friend's name. He was less than 10 feet away from me at the time, I couldn't have signaled him to jump out the window or something, I just turned to him and said goodbye with a look.
I did not invite the cops in but one of them pushed his way in, while their leader, a man almost as short as me and I'm basically a midget, asked me if I smoke.
Darn thing was still on when ya'll knocked on the door and you can see my huge eyes are red as hell and the people across the street can probably smell me. I paused to see if he was seriously asking me that and when I realized he was for real I told him something along the lines of "everyone does a little something from time to time."
Had I denied it, even if I hadn't touched the thing, he would have ordered to take me too even though there was no warrant for me. He would had probably beat me himself or let the dude that was out for me have his way.
When I noticed that they didn't just take my friend but started roaming through my house I asked, again, who they were. They said police, and I responded asking which department. The minute I asked which department of the police I was placed in handcuffs, just like that, first time in handcuffs and there's no reason to even try to fight it because it's 3 armed men against someone who just woke up after a long and active night.
I was way more preoccupied about my girl never staying on a sleepover again than I was about my friend or myself.
They didn't check my ID or nothing, they just interrogated me to see what I knew but all I knew is that I hadn't seen my friend in a while and he told me he spent the night in a cell the week prior. I knew a little more, sure, but nothing that could help them solve the case. My own friend didn't know who had set him up, who had really involved him, they were working for a friend of a friend of some guy he met at a bar. I didn't know a single name or location, nothing, and I wasn't about to lose my afternoon when I had nothing to do with it and couldn't even testify in his favor.
The leader, at one point, thought he could scare me into confessing or revealing more. He said he was going to take me to the jail and I immediately told him he was more than welcome take me anywhere he wants, but I stated, and this wasn't a question, that I was going to make a phone call or send an email first because I was working. I firmly demanded a call because all my time was accounted for, I was confident in this knowledge.
I guess he saw that I wasn't at all concerned about going to jail and he just uncuffed me after while, not before they sexually harrassed my girl while they were holding me on a different room in my house and stole our pot along with any lose money they could find. And the 8th they took, I'm absolutely certain one of the cops smoked it, because he was wayyyyy too happy about that find and even smelled it. Of course, that weed never showed up on the report, nothing was officially removed from the premises except for the subject of the warrant.
Sent the girl away, she was great about the whole thing by the way, called his family, went through the house to see what all was stolen, and just tried to remain available throughout the day and evening as much as possible in case I was needed for something.
Best morning ever turned into the worst, now I see why some people become afraid when they think things are going too well. The next morning came by and I tried to resume my life as best as possible, still alert to what my friend might need, but I'm headed to some sort of legislative meeting.
I get there a little late, but they still haven't begun. Sit at my assigned table, we're supposed to be there to make sure a certain minority is taken into consideration when writing a new set of laws. It's supposed to be a "consultation" and I'm supposed to be an "expert" but when the government representative assigned to our table sat down, I knew right away he had not come to listen.
The public sector needs to train their people better, this is vital, if the people don't think the government listens then they will make more and more noise and at one point things can get very unstable. The government can't afford to seem deaf, and this guy was as deaf as they come, the late Beethoven had better hearing.
He was sterile, inaccessible, he made himself that way. He started to take over the conversation on the table when I told him that I was there to make sure the name of a minority group got on paper, because they couldn't begin to be represented or even studied unless they legally exist first. I was very clear that my only purpose there was to add 3 words to legislation, just three, regardless of context.
But he wasn't having it, he wanted us to go line by line on a 100-page long document when we had no interest or say in its final contents outside those three words.
I'm thinking about my friend, my girl, my smoke, my broken car, my unrealized driver's license and how I'm likely gonna have to cook on my own going forward... and now this dude right here is making me waste my time by leading me to believe there's a point in talking to him?
I straight up asked him, will you allow those three words? He started going around the bushes. I asked again, will you allow those three words anywhere? Again he started trying to change the subject. But I didn't let him, I had better things to do, so I asked a third time in a row "Will you ever allow those 3 words in any legislation yes or no?" and just as the stinking shit started to come out of his mouth I slammed the giant folder with the proposed legislation on the table and sat back in visible discontent, turning my head away from the government dude, and crossing my arms.
I've never seen a bigger bunch of pussies than the people who were also sitting at that table, they were so scared of being excluded or something. These were supposed human rights activists fighting for my rights and they couldn't even fight for their own time. If you can't demand respect for yourself how can you demand it for others?
I didn't mean to slam the book, that's like the only time I can think where I've actually lost my temper in public and I didn't even say a word, not even a "fuck this shit!." I did with the document what I thought I needed to do which was get rid of it because it was worthless, at least for me. I was just upset to be taken for a fool, to be put into a useless situation I hadn't asked to be in, and accidentally slammed it. But when I didn't apologize and decisively sat back allowing everyone to see I was upset I did lose my temper.
I didn't plan it, but I did allow it. I could have apologized like those so-called activists seem wanted me to, I think one of them even tried apologizing for me, lol. No way I was going to apologize to a roocky shadow politician who was disrespecting my time...I bet you a few people there thought I had lost my mind, but I was aware I was had shown clear disapproval and knew it could be misinterpreted as disrespect, but I wasn't backing down because I asked three times in a row...he could have made me believe those 3 words would be included, or simply tell me that he didn't know if they'd be included, but he was avoiding my question while acting like he was giving me answers but somehow it was supposed to be a consultation when it wasn't even a conversation.
If I am there as a consultant then you will listen, else I'm not consulting and I'm just there so that you can seem inclusive for the cameras...
In that dude's attitude I saw something that reminded me of the one cop who wanted me to be afraid, and if the prospect of jail in the third world being innocent and a sexual minority doesn't scare me...why would anyone ever think I'd have the slightest concern over a Richy Rich white man in politics who likely got there because of his parents? The dude probably, to this day, hasn't seen guts spilled...and I'm supposed to be afraid of that? Afraid of making him upset? I wouldn't even fear him in a street fight if he had a knife and I was unarmed and barefoot.
I lost my cool and to this day I still think about it from time to time, I'm not proud but maybe that's what I had to do.
Richy Rich actually apologized and gave me his card, which only had a metallic-looking engraving of the country's coat of arms and a Twitter handle on the back. And then I went on my way never to wonder again whether those three words were ever included because I knew they wouldn't be.
But I did get something from the meeting...I got to see myself as more human and I showed the rest of the consultants what being real looks like. I showed them, I hope, that dignity is non-negotiable, and that when people insult their intelligence they shouldn't just ignore that and play along.
As for my friend, I sure do hope he learned what he needed to learn because this particular lesson was priced at six months of his life, reparations for the bank, traveling impediments and that's not even all of it. I can't even hire him for my own company because he has a digital fraud record even though he can barely work a phone let alone a computer.
While he was in prison he told me found god once again...I would regularly put minutes on his phone, inmates can have personal phones. They are not supposed to on paper but everyone that can afford a phone in a Dominican jail has one.
He said that week he had managed to rent (Yes, rent. They even make them buy water to drink yet don't offer jobs.) a nicer place to sleep in the same wing, he said that his bunk had a small hole to the outside through which a soothing breeze was coming in. At a distance, he could see an adult rooster that was happy. The rooster was just himself, picking at the ground like he does every day, looking for his next meal as he usually does, unconcerned with anything else but the now.
That bird had work to do, a purpose to his movement, and he was fulfilled in that act of just going with his nature and nothing else.
All this is fiction, of course, or is it? We might never know if god was in the sun or in the chicken...or was god the worm for the birds? Could it have been the hole? Hard to tell at this point what's real and what's not. Don't do drugs you don't actually need, leave more for the rest of us crazies who keep writing when no one reads.