Now that I think about it, it was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I suppose some might pass it off as just another crazy youthful stunt (I’ve certainly participated in my share) and I don’t think I could throw a rock in this town without hitting at least three old coots who’ve done a whole lot worse, but I can’t think of one other time when I was more liable to have gone down the road to ruin, than that summer back in 1980.
I was pretending to be a student at The University of Iowa at the time. They were just about to elect Ronald Reagan to the presidency and my new friends in the burgeoning Progressive Student Network would be pretty unhappy about that. Ha! if we’d only known then, about the kind of bastards that would get into office on a regular basis these days, we might not have bothered to give a shit about ol’ Ronnie. Anyway, I had this summer job that just wasn’t bringing in the money I’d expected it to. I needed tuition AND a new guitar, so I decided to make my meager student loan work for me in ways not exactly approved of by the financial aids department. If you know what I mean.
There was this guy. I can’t remember his name so I’ll just call him Guy. I didn’t know him too well but he’d come to see me playing down at The Sheep’s Head Cafe on more than one occasion with my friend Keith, so I guess he thought that made us friends too. I didn’t like him at all. He had scumbag written all over his puffy little pock-marked face and if Keith hadn’t vouched for him, I wouldn’t have given him the time of day. Guy had money though, nothing big time, but he always seemed to have plenty of it to spread around amongst his “friends”.
No big stretch of the imagination as to where he got it from either. He was a classic dealer type if ever there was one and I was the classic hypocrite “recreational” user who thought that as long as it was all between friends, then it was no big deal. But of course, I was about to compromise my idea of friendship and ignore the risk in what was obviously a pretty big deal (by midwestern college student standards anyway) to get something I wanted, and I was completely unaware of what that might get me.
I was unaware of how getting what I wanted might just also get me…
On the wrong road.
To be continued…