I’d go to bed at dawn and wake up at the next dawn. That’s when the pain would start.
There is a process, an art, to putting anything up your nose … especially cocaine.
First, I crushed it in its plastic bag, using the back of a credit card or a heavy book. Then I cut the smaller pieces with the edge of a credit card or a razor blade (as seen in too many movies). I’d make sure it was crushed into a fine powder, or else a big chunk might drip down the back of my throat and turn my stomach.
Then I’d pour a bit of powder out on something flat by tapping lightly on the bag. A CD case will do, or a flat table without wood grain. I’d arrange the tiny mountain of powder into lines using my credit card and lick the edge — waste not, want not.
I’d take a straw I swiped from a restaurant, cut it down to a reasonable length, and stick one end into my nostril, while holding the other side of my nostril closed. Then I'd inhale. Deeply.
It feels like taking a shot of vodka or whiskey, only through your sinuses. There is a burn, then a slow drip down the back of the throat. And I can’t forget to eat first. I won’t once I’ve started, but I will want cigarettes and booze. And once I’ve started, I won’t stop for a long while.
For six months I was a heavy user, a big spender, the girl who let her boyfriend snort lines off her ass and tits. For six months, I fell into cocaine culture, and then, just as suddenly, I fell back out.
It began when an addict friend wanted to get rid of his leftovers. He was dropping out of college and, presumably, his Wall Street internship, to go to rehab and I was experimenting with pills and powders, most recently Molly (MDMA). Cocaine felt like an experimental, dirty-glamorous lateral move.
It was not. It was a big move up.
For one thing, a line of Molly would last me all night. I felt the burn of the powder and knew that I was good to go for six hours. I’d still want many drinks and cigarettes, especially cigarettes. But with coke, a line lasted me only 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how big I cut it. And it was a needy son of a bitch too.