We were always in a high state of intoxication. Well, Norman and some others were, I had a family, I spent some time with them straight, some, and we all had jobs where we were mostly straight, at least in the morning. Norman always had the best grass, he’d drive to the ends of Los Angeles to get it and he smoked about an ounce per week. For reference, I was loaded pretty much of the time and it came to a little more than an ounce per month.
Norman also smoked cigarettes, strong ones in red boxes, two packs per day; the smoking was his downfall. Against the constant background of marijuana we partook of acid, ups, downs, speed, minor tranquilizers, mushrooms, and any specialty items that came along. For almost a year, we had an opium connection, $10 per gram, finger-like sticks wrapped in Chinese newspapers. Of course we drank too, carefully, so as not to lose the effects of the drugs, unless of course the object of the exercise was drinking.
We were interested in things and engaged, in our way, with our world, so we avoided Heroin because it took over your entire life and we had things to do, places to go, movies to watch, rock bands to listen to, driving was involved. Of course we liked it, and cocaine too, but cocaine, besides being too expensive and generally of poor quality, cocaine is for horses.
In our milieu, we were stars, and Norman was our Achilles. His chariot was an AMC Pacer, like a fish bowl on wheels, license plate “MANTIS,” Ohio.