My first year in Tampa was so much fun!!! My new best friend Techie and I were inseparable, I had bought a brand new 1997 VW Cabrio convertible and my job with AT&T was going great. When it was time to renew my lease I upgraded to a one bedroom not only on the Gulf, but also right next to the pool, it was perfect. My bills now with the expensive car payment and the raise in rent were more than I made in a month, but somehow I always managed to stay above water. Dating was getting much easier for me mostly because I was keeping my heart out of it and just having a good time. Then I met Darren, who would soon introduce me to a whole new way to party.
He lived in Clearwater so most weekends I would pack a bag and my Mr. Travis and I would head to his place for the weekend. Up until now I had no idea about life on the water. We would take his boat to sandbars, anchor and then party with all of his friends, and he had a lot of them. Little did I know the majority of the people around me were not drunk although it seemed like they were.
Then one weekend, about a month after we started dating, a few of his friends and I were hanging in the water when I noticed one of them acting very strange. She was rubbing the ocean water all over her body like it was lotion then would go over to the others and start rubbing on them very lovingly, all of them. She kept saying how soft the water was and how it felt like butter. I didn’t want to be rude so I chose not to ask what the hell was going on, but soon it would be very clear.
I’ll never forget that day. It was a beautiful outside, not a cloud in the sky, music was playing, people were dancing, swimming, and laughing all around me while I sat in awe of my new life. Then Darren called me over to his boat, sat me down with a very serious look on his face and proceeded to ask me if I knew what ‘X’ was. I did and I had tried it once, but was ashamed because it was an illegal drug and I didn’t want anyone to know that I had anything to do with that. Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that I tried it?
Let’s take a stroll back to Orlando for a minute, circa 1995. Back in the day I loved to call radio stations to see if I could get on the air, I know, lame, but it was so much fun. This one time the DJ and I kept chatting once we were off the air. He thought I sounded really cute and asked me if I wanted to meet him at a small party that night? Well duh, of course I did, he sounded cute too so I accepted and brought my friend Kim. To my surprise this was not a normal party, there were only about 10 people and no alcohol. How in the world do you throw a party with no alcohol? Once Kim found out what was going on she was elated and couldn’t wait to participate. Participate? Participate in what?
How many would you like said a long haired, hippie styled, thin man, with a very comforting voice? Pills, what pills, I hated pills?? I wanted Vodka not pain killers. But they didn’t have pain killers; they had ecstasy, better known as X!!!!
I had heard about this drug and from what I knew, it was bad, especially with a name like X. They all seemed to get a good laugh at my expense but I was scared, I didn’t want to be at a party with drugs, what if the cops came? After a lot of reassurance from Kim who had done it many times I agreed to pay $25 for one which at the time was a lot of money for me.
Much like my neighbor’s Marijuana layer, the scene in this apartment was set as well. There were lollipops, water bottles, glow sticks, black lights, techno music, massage oil and pillows and blankets scattered all throughout the living room. I’m sure there are many of you out there who know exactly what those things are for but I was clueless and soon to find out how they all help to make the experience better.
I was terrified as he handed me that pill but having Kim there was great and everyone was so, let’s say ‘helpful’ with my experience that I figured it would be ok. Once again I was the virgin in the room which made it even more fun as they all waited to see how I handled my first ecstasy experience. The lights were low, the music was high and at first it was odd, but each of us paired up as we all started giving back massages to help ‘kick it in’! Then it happened…! There is really no way to describe the sensation you feel but in a nutshell, it was wonderful.
Your mind and body go through all kinds of feelings and sensations but mostly you feel a lot of love and affection, I wasn’t expecting that at all. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely messed up but it seemed all I wanted to do was hug on everyone. Your sense of touch is heightened which explained the massage oil, your jaw tends to wiggle back and forth a lot so the lollipops were a big help, dehydration is a big side effect and until then, I did not like techno music, but that night, I couldn’t get enough of it. The music was a big part of the experience as well, it tends to increase your buzz, can’t explain it, but it does. After a few hours I was starting to come down from this unbelievable high and I wanted more but didn’t have any cash, just my checkbook. Being new to the drug scene I didn’t realize how dumb I looked when I asked the dealer if I could write him a check for another one, but he was cool and gave me a free one.
This brings us to the next day, the reason I never had any interest in doing it again. My body felt like it weighed a million pounds, I was exhausted, a kind of tiredness I’ve never felt before and I didn’t like it. I spent the entire Sunday in bed chugging water while going through a serious depression, which come to find out, was all part of the process.
So when Darren asked me that day on the sandbar if I wanted to try ecstasy, I said absolutely not, it was Sunday and I knew I had to work the next day. But he was very convincing and I knew I had plenty of sick days I could use to call off work, so after a bit of coaxing by him and every other person there, I gave in and so began a whole new way to party…