Tales of a Zany Mystic

Chapter Four
Becoming a Drug Dealer

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Oscar Wilde

It took forever to sell my house. The market had collapsed.

Besides, I had no idea where to go, and thoughts about moving drove me crazy. I was driving near Don's old apartment and saw a handsome blonde man working in the garage of a charming apartment building. I slowed down, to get a better look, and we talked. It seems there was a very small apartment available soon, in the front of the building. Small wasn't the word. Postage stamp size was more like it. Still, it was only two blocks away, and it was a nice complex, gated and clean. I was first to apply and lucked out. This was my last apartment in San Francisco.

I'd just finished a one year program to get clean. Things began to improve, as always. I took a job in a florist shop to keep busy. An Italian Family needed someone to convert their "house accounts" to a new computer, so I was hired. The Rossi & Rovetti Flower Shop had started over 30 years prior, and Mr. Rovetti had bought out Mr. Rossi. He was a powerful Italian man who loved the business, and I became part of their family.


As usual, my attention to detail and organizational skills paid off, though I didn't want them to. They increasingly relied on me to handle accounting, computing, order taking, tax matters, computer installations and busy periods like Valentine's Day. Within a year I was doing all their books. Vince Rovetti treated me like gold, perhaps so he wouldn't have to pay me gold! A wonderful soul, he was Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, instrumental in creating the AIDS Memorial Grove. When his wife wanted to become an Art Commissioner, I helped her "fudge", I mean write, a resume, and she got her wish. I’ve always been an effective writer.

A tall young florist named Joe was hired. He looked like Mark Spitz, the swimmer and we became friends. By this time, my father was approaching his golden years on a small ranch in Northern California, so I drove up on weekends to take him grocery shopping and would rent movies for entertainment. His favorite movies were male pornography. With Parkinson's Disease and a touch of Altzheimer’s, it was a handful. Joe suggested one weekend that we get together and "party". All those years of drinking and using prescription drugs, starting and stopping pain killers and muscle relaxants on my own, each a horrific detox, I had yet to discover speed. We came up with the fun idea to get some. We did. It was.

Thus began a "ritual" as inviolate as Sunday Mass. Like clockwork each Friday, we snorted lines and philosophized about spiritual and paranormal matters. He was no apprentice when it came to psychic abilities, and sensed similar in me. I don't know if it was the energy of doing so much, the speed, or the nature of what we were doing, but this was a very special time. I only used on weekends. This lasted about 4 months. By 6 months, my partying began spilling into the beginning of the week as well as Thursday. It didn't take long before I needed a little "snort" at work to pick me up. I had a small vial with speed in it, and I did "inhale". Spirituality was always at the core of my life and the paranormal intrigued me. I had metaphysical experiences on LSD, but that was many years prior. I was still involved with Stella's online group for former Fellowship of Friends members. She pioneered this "jumping off' place which was an emotional safety net for many who left the school. I remember getting into an argument with one member who was a Psychologist with a Ph.D. I said something like, "we create our reality". He replied, "I can't stand that new age CRAP!" We got into a verbal pissing match, and I chose to leave the group in a huff. Today, quantum physics has sufficiently “proven” this and many other theories including our own non locality.

I discovered the Intuition Network created and run by Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D. He got his doctorate in metaphysical studies from Berkeley, and offered about 25 different groups. I signed up for all of them. It was "nuts", of course, but my intuition told me to do it. By eliminating groups that didn't appeal to me, I was left with an incredible handful of groups with very special souls. This is where I learned about some of the bizarre paranormal events that happen every day to everyday people. Most won't allow themselves to believe or entertain the possibility of something outside their own limited paradigm, so unusual experiences are often ignored or buried. Rarely do we trust our closest friends to speak to about "those subjects”. Seeing objects moving by themselves, ghosts, orbs, UFO's - there's a cornucopia of "strange experiences" which expands daily. We're not crazy, and it's important to share our experiences. The part of us that doesn’t want to be “thought poorly of” is ego, and needs to be dropped like a hot potato. Others are having similar moments, so we can broaden our scope of knowledge, or "database", and begin connecting the dots together. Secreting information does no one any good, and leads to mistrust and the collapse of unity. Despots, criminals and dictators know "divide and conquer" is a winning formula. If we cannot get information, within an information society such as ours, the very fabric begins to unravel. "We're only as sick as our secrets".

About that time, I met a very funny guy from Oklahoma who sounded like a Southern Belle, with an "Okie twang". Thin, whacky and crazy, he threw "parties" at his small apartment in the tenderloin. This is where I got my "stuff'. It was always a major hassle to find anything when we wanted it. Not only that, the quality was inconsistent or bad. He had AIDS, and some of the stuff, which looked like peanut butter, would make him sick. One day, I said "If I find a decent connection, would you be interested in buying it from me? I'll add a little profit for my costs, but it would be quality." He agreed. It didn't take long to find someone I liked and somewhat trusted. His guests often wanted "party supplies", and within a short time I was dealing to supply his guests. Mine, of course, was paid for. I decided to treat it like any other business that I had trained in: professionally, openly and with courtesy. After all, the customer comes first. I'd noticed that people who were secretive and manipulative became dealers who cheated. I would do exactly the opposite. Slowly, over about two years, I discreetly built up a nice group of clients, upwardly mobile gay men who owned huge homes, expensive cars and businesses. They partied hard on weekends. From them, I was introduced to many new and bizarre lifestyles.

The underground gay "party and play" scene in San Francisco is comprised of circles within circles. Having been exposed early to the true meaning of "esoteric circles", I knew cutting out the "middle men" and going directly to the "top" was simply good business. This applies equally to spirituality. Along the way, I met a lot of "big players" who, like me, stumbled into this "secret society". All are dead, but they were an eclectic group of rebellious fun characters, qualities I admire. The fence between "good guys" and "bad guys" is largely a matter of perception. The higher up one goes, the more the lines blur between criminality and justice. It's no secret that the very leaders who run the world also have ties to every major crime syndicate on the globe. It's called "family", and it makes strange bedfellows. Our own government is the largest importer of drugs in the world. Just because it's concealed with alphabet soup agencies doesn't make it "right" or moral. People die from drug abuse and lives are ruined. Ultimately, what we do to another we are doing to ourselves.

There were times when I needed supplies and I drove someone I knew to meet someone I didn't know, who took us to someone else I didn't know, who made us wait for hours, only to get the name of another person who was a "dead end". That was not uncommon. Other times, I stumbled into drugs like the Fool in the Tarot Deck. Once, when I was almost out of supplies for myself, let alone anyone else, I figured it was "in the cards" and decided to stop using. The party was "over", so why chase after it and wear myself out? While getting groceries at Safeway, a guy passed by who did a "double take". That seems to have paid off before, and this was no exception. I played coy, in the best manner of flirting, waited until I sensed he was at the end of the aisle before turning around to look. He was still looking. As I had acknowledged him, he came back to meet me. Here we go again! I was charmed to hear that my “energy was magnetic". Well, given my state of mind, he could have said anything and I would have been lifted up to magical realms. He gave me his number and I said I'd call. Though sincere, he didn't attract me much, and he had a limp to boot. A month passed before discovering his number in my pants pocket and I pondered, "Should I call him?" The answer was clear: I said that I'd call. There was no question involved. I am a person of my word.

I asked him over, and it was awkward mentioning that I was low on drugs, as no one wants to be considered a drug addict. I did mention that I had some supplies, and he was welcome to them. He said something about bringing something, and I cooked dinner in my one room apartment. Without expectations we ate. He turned out to be very funny. I liked him in a strange indescribable way. I discovered later he was a shaman. After dinner, I pulled out my meager "stash", and he lifted up a tackle box which he'd placed under the table. I figured it was medicine or something, as everyone had a back pack or a bag. He opened the lid, and began pulling out the most dazzling and enormous collection of quality crystal that I'd ever seen in my life. He removed one huge bag after another, each weighing at least half an ounce. I could tell he was having fun bedazzling me, so we proceeded to get very high. No sex was involved. He was a "gentleman", but he asked me over a day or two later, and I accepted; not because of the drugs, although I can honestly say that didn't hurt, but I was intrigued by this mysterious man. I always enjoy a good mystery.

During the year we knew each other, I learned that he began in New York as a disc jockey who had worked his way up to the top. When he came to California, he spun for clubs, but was really a major drug dealer. I never met his connections or learned more, but if his supplies were any clue, he had been very big indeed. I remember one time at his house when he asked me if I'd ever done a “hot rail”. I replied "no". Again, with a bit of childish glee, we went over to his desk where an acetylene torch three feet high stood, the kind welders used. He poured out a "teenager" or more, which he haphazardly broke into chunks. Then he brought out a glass tube about a foot long and heated it with the torch. There were four lines sitting there, each a foot long. I had no desire to do so much crystal, but being a professional alcoholic, I prided myself on being able to slug anything down with the best He did an entire line, blowing billows of white smoke through his nostrils and mouth. He said the crystals were vaporized by the heat on the glass, which glowed red. I did half a line, which was as much as my lungs could hold, and blew out. Oh my God. High hardly describes it. We continued, then smoked some primo Hawaiian pot. By then I was floating on Cloud Nine almost comatose!

I learned by listening to people, to catch gems of wisdom between the lines. He was good at delivery. While talking about something mundane, usually music, there was a sudden flash of insight embedded in the words, as if meant to hit some distant place within. The arrows struck home and I absorbed whatever I could like a sponge. He had taken me under his wing, and I was to learn that he was dying of AIDS. About my third visit, he asked me downstairs to a very private space in the garage which was enclosed, muffled, and set up for spinning and recording music. There were three turntables, CD players and a barrage of electronic doodahs. In the far corner sat an old, overstuffed dusty chair. He told me to sit there and keep quiet, and that I ouldn't get up to pee once he started.http://www.nightowlaudio.com/sitemap.html

Obedient, I sat. I've always loved great dance music, house music, and trance. He began spinning some Euro trance. On the second turntable began fading in with another trance beat which built on the first. A third source began melding in the background, and by that time I was transported into outer and inner space. Hours passed, and to this day his music was the best I've ever heard. It was no wonder he made it to the top in New York. He was a very private person, and I always respected that. I think I was his only friend by that time. As he became ill, he declined seeing people for business. When I met him, he was essentially "retired". He allowed me to continue buying from him for almost a year. My using escalated to the point where I was not enjoying sex, I was on the verge of losing my job, and I was using daily, though not "shooting up" - yet. The last time I saw him, to "pick up", he met me in the garage downstairs and told me point blank: "You're going to lose your job, your friends and your car. You probably don't even enjoy sex anymore, and masturbate for hours, trying to "get off'. Your health will go down the tubes and you'll be left with nothing." Shocked by his warning, in my heart I knew he was seeing clearly, watching the ravages of drugs which he must have witnessed over and over during years of dealing. Guilt-ridden, I walked away and never saw him again. His phone remained unanswered, the house closed up. Not long after, I heard that he had passed. His prophetic warning was a gift of tough love. I know he cared about me as a person, and I him. On a soul level, he taught me all he could, and I was to learn the rest on my own - the hard way, as usual. Everything he said came true, yet I felt inexorably driven forward, like a cog in a machine.

It didn't take long for his "predictions" to begin fulfilling themselves. I lost my job first, but that was expected. I didn't have the nerve to quit. Rather than being truthful with myself, I created a drug problem to avoid inner confrontation. At that time, I swore I'd never work for another person again. I kept that promise. I went full time into dealing from a tiny, 200 square foot apartment on Portrero Hill. It's never been a problem for me to keep a secret, having been raised in an environment where living in a "secret world" of my own was the only choice. When I discovered the website "Men for Sex Now", sex became my new obsession. The connection between sex and speed finally hit me - right between the legs.

My only real "confidante" or friend would be the Dealer above me. After my shaman friend passed, I met someone else fun and crazy. He was dealing on about the same level as I was so we sold to each other. The tables tipped one day when he "tripped into" a major connection. This came out of the blue, and we were startled at the quality and quantity. He'd come over and dump several ounces of crystal meth, the size of golf balls or small oranges on the table. He enjoyed watching my eyeballs pop out of my head! I began learning the real ropes: as the game gets bigger, the more trust and dope you're given. I considered it a challenge to see if I could "move" larger quantities which were fronted. There was only a matter of a couple of weeks before he'd be by "to pick up the money" and one thing I learned fast: don't mess with the dealer man (or woman). I worked my ass off dealing and having sex.

I always had the money ready. More drugs were dropped off. Once in a blue moon, I was given something "substandard" to move. I told my clients it was mediocre, and cut all kinds of deals to get rid of it. It wasn't about the money, and I never knowingly lied to anyone. That was what "others" did, and I'd been at the effect of hoity toity lying cheating scum bags for years. I swore I'd never sink to that level, and didn't. Everyone got full value or more, of the best stuff available. I bought from several people, and shopped around for special "deals". Once, when speed was not flowing, I took a loss selling what I could find in order to keep my client base. On another occasion I stumbled across an ounce of yellowish speed that crumbled like cake. My God. It was the Cadillac of dope. By that time, I was injecting, and enjoyed "turning on" close friends to "test it out". There were a few people I trusted more than others, and they were as close as you can get.

Someone wise told me, "It takes a very special person to sit in that chair", and I knew what they meant. It's no picnic. You have no real friends, you can't talk to anyone, and it's necessary to always watch your back, front and sides. Everyone you meet is a potential snitch, and many are. It becomes difficult to cover your tracks when people "come over" constantly, often during sexual escapades. The phone rings off the wall, and trying to juggle it all is a royal pain in the ass. Had I not been trained to do so under pressure, with high level accounting jobs, I never would have held up. As it was, I barely did. Things were beginning to slip and slide.

There was no time to worry about my health. The decision had been made that I was going to die, and I'd go with a smile on my face, having burned the candle at both ends. The only wax left would be in my ears! I met many interesting dealers, very nice people with complex personalities, from whom I learned much. Dealers can let their hair down to some extent with each other. You are the company you keep, and I liked those who I dealt with above and below. I kept my integrity. In 1999 I met a "trick" off the phone sex line named Michael. Part Black, German and "other", he was with me for over a year, on and off. He would mysteriously "show up" in my life to my delight then disappear. I didn't know that he left to go into recovery each time, and that I was his "big slip". We partied and carried on like there was no tomorrow, consuming large quantities of GHB, the "date rape drug", but mostly speed. He always shot himself up. I watched for about 5 months, swearing I would "never cross that line". One night, he asked me out of the blue: "Would you like me to be your Doctor?" I knew what that meant. He would inject me with speed. I agreed.

The first "rush" was so intense I couldn't get up off the chair. Once we were both able to stand up, he helped me to the bed where all we could do is lay side-by-side and talk dirty while watching porn. Our fantasies knew no boundaries. From that day forward, I shot up at least once daily, sometimes twice. I let him have all he wanted, and he returned the "favor" by doing whatever pleased me sexually. It all came crashing down when I got into my second car accident and had to stop driving. The "prophetic vision" of my previous dealer was coming true. It was simply a matter of seeing the handwriting on the wall, something I eventually did for others. A kind of "wisdom from experience" develops when dealing, as life intertwines closely with members of this loosely knit underground private club. For many, I was on the top; in more ways than one.http://www.bible.ca/s-homo-vaccine.htm

My dog J.J. was getting old, my best friend and companion since Don's death 4 or 5 years prior. She had pulled me out of so many dark spirals by jumping up on the bed, crawling on my chest, and looking into my tear-filled eyes. She absorbed grief and anguish from of my body and always got me to laugh. She was the love of my life. Now it was her time to depart. For days she was unable to move, me too high and paranoid to help. Taking her to the Vet was like walking to the moon. I was beside myself, trying everything to ease her pain, including mashing up my own pain killers in her food. Muscle relaxants didn't work either. Her howls of pain tore the heart out of my chest. She lay on the kitchen rug, panting and crying as her last loud cries of anguish penetrated the silent room. Michael was in the bathroom, unable to deal. I cried, pleading with him, "She's dying, Michael..." but he couldn't bear it. He came in after she experienced a laborious and horrifying death. Both sobbing uncontrollably, he comforted me and her, and we performed some rituals to capture her "essence" in special stones. That little girl was a Saint. She went through Don's agonizing death, and now I had to bear witness to hers. I will always cherish her unconditional love.

The next day, we wrapped her body in layers of baking powder and black garbage bags. I couldn't deal with her little body so we put her in the empty freezer in the garage, where she remained for many months. My grief was all-consuming. Michael walked out on me again soon after. I was alone, no money, no food stamps, terrified to leave my cubicle, and uninterested in living. I went into a descending spiral which felt like Hell itself had opened to swallow me up. Perhaps it had. I grieved their loss for months, sobbing and using. Weeks passed in deep depression, unable to get out of bed. The apartment was empty, I was running out of food, and bills stacked up. I couldn't face the simplest task. One afternoon while sobbing my eyes out, images of recent "losses" flew by my inner eye, as if to torture me. My dead dog's body lay in the empty fridge below. It was as if a crossroad sat in front of me. I was waiting to be saved.

In a flash of clarity, I realized that my whole life had been about being rescued. I was rescued at birth, rescued from the draft, from Mexico; in short I was rescued from one event after another, and now I waited again for that moment. I realized that no one would rescue me this time. I could rely on no one but myself. There was only one way out of the deep morass I'd dug for myself, and that was up and out the same way I had gotten there: one step at a time. It entailed reversing a process that was in my control. In fact, it was all that was left me; control of the pace at which I rescued myself. An enormous burden was lifted. Perhaps it was my "version" of a spiritual moment. I have no doubt today that angels were working overtime. The harder you fall, the greater the ascent. No depth is too deep to make a "comeback". Ask any aging star. If you got there, you can turn around and go in the other direction. Bette Davis said it best, "Fasten your seat belts it's going to be a bumpy ride!"

I put one foot in front of another.

During this period, I established health care at St. Mary's Hospital. My T-cell count remained slightly over 200, with a modest viral load. This was no different than 5 years prior, the date of my previous hospital care. I couldn't understand how or why I remained alive. Several times over the years I "maxed out" credit cards anticipating death. When it didn't arrive, I was stuck with another financial mess. This happened 3 times over a period of 15 years. To this day, remnants of my past still haunt me. The difference now is that my life is in other hands besides mine. When it's your time, you gotta go but not one moment before.

I kept getting calls for speed. I decided to go "whole hog including the postage". With renewed vigor I applied myself to building a business. Being fair helped. I'd lost contact with my second pal, whose prices were too high. Bumbling around, I connected with a blonde dealer from Los Angeles. He was a hoot! By the time 2000 ended, one of my close friends, who lived in Washington, D.C., was selling my product which I shipped via various "express agencies". In return, the same day, I received bundles of cash in excess of $20,000.00. The price in D.C. was astronomically high, with little available of any quality. Our little "scheme" put him on the map, unfortunately, as it did me!

I cut back on small deals, frightened that the traffic would be the end of me. That's what usually "gets" most dealers: foot trade. This is no easy task. I had one friend who dealt, and guys would go to his apartment building at all hours of the night yelling that they wanted to "buy something". It's a double edged sword. Those who put you in business can as easily take you out. Most snitches are clients. Tales like this made me shiver. One of my clients was an out of work airplane engineer who began driving cabs to survive. This became a wonderful opportunity to get out of the house, and to have clandestine meetings in the cab itself. He would get a van with dark windows, I'd call my connection, and we'd drive around the block, exchange goods, and drop him off a block away. This worked relatively well, except that it interfered with my sex life. I began to view being tied down to shipments, purchases, and clandestine meetings as if someone was pouring cement around my feet. I'm not one to enjoy being boxed in, though sex had roped and tied me down for the count. I began offering to train dealers, an unheard of opportunity. They were practically buying that much already, and for a few bucks more I could move a greater quantity and manage to keep my head above water. This is how a dealer gets "sucked in". Once close to the source, larger supplies are fronted which must be paid for within days. This meant coming up with $20,000.00 within a week. By training people I trusted who were stable and responsible, I figured I could keep on going. It worked - for a minute. Not many stay stable or responsible with even the smallest usage. Pyramiding is a good idea, except with drugs when everyone is using the product. I was living in a dream world; sometimes a James Bond thriller, at times a nightmare. I knew I was probably making money, but not how much. Who had time to count? There were so many men, and so little time.

Image Ref: 04-28-47 - US Dollar Bills

Money changed hands so rapidly that it hardly sat still long enough to be counted. Besides, it cannot be shown or spent, as one is always aware of being watched. You can't spend it, and you're stuck in a business in which you can't hire or trust help. A few "assistants" gradually make their way into your life, and every dealer has his "private helper" and fuck buddy. I cringed when I walked into an unknown dealer's residence filled with mangy dogs, people lying around "trashed", and the dealer preparing to rip me off. I got burned many times, and several worked their way into my life with intent to steal. A dealer friend had brought over a “friend” who I tricked with. He was a “hottie” who tried to hustle me. News got around that he was attempting to hire a hit man to rob me of "vast sums". I heard about it in time to make a difficult decision. As a dealer I couldn't let him get away with it. I made inquiries into having him removed. Before it reached that point, I created in my mind a peaceful solution, not wanting to hurt a fly. That week he called me, and we made a mutual agreement to halt our plans. He'd heard "on the street" what I was doing, and knew it would mean the end of him. That's the only time I had to do anything totally against my innate sense of morality.

Still, I wanted out of the biz. It's ultimately a slimy, dirty affair that reveals man at his worst, not his best. I saw many people "go down the tubes" from using. Some were clients, but most were boys I met on the internet called "bag whores". They slept around from party to party, dealer to dealer, charming their way into a free ride for days, weeks or months. They lived to use and used to live. Some start stealing. Finally, I saw through the eyes of wisdom what my old shaman friend had tried to tell me. What he said had come true, and now I saw it happening to others on a daily basis. It's an entire subculture within a subculture, and continues to go deeper into “fun” depravity the longer one remains. After Michael left me, I finally got the courage to "shoot myself up", and would pray to God for forgiveness just before the needle punctured the Holy Temple of my own hungry arm. I had no idea that I was about to receive a warning from someone in person: a living angel.

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