72-Hour Party People

Meth: It's not just for the white-trash crowd.

The statuette on Nick's coffee table, cut into tiny pieces and smoked, holds about 250 hits.

Like opium, Shabu is relatively exotic in the United States (except for Hawaii, where it rivals cocaine in popularity), but in Asia, it's cheap and prevalent. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency claimed earlier this year that 11 percent of the Philippine population uses Shabu. The drug is popular in Japan and Thailand and is so pervasive among the professional classes in Indonesia that the government of that country last year instituted mandatory Shabu-specific drug testing of all public officials.

Nick discovered Shabu during a 1999 vacation in Bali at a full-moon beach rave. He took one hit, danced all night, frolicked in the sand and surf the next day, and didn't do the drug again for more than three years -- until early this year, when he learned of his amigo's Hawaiian connection.

Since then, he's become a Shabu vector in his social set.

Shabu is radically addictive. Yet Nick seems unfazed by his own estimate that in less than half a year, he has personally introduced the drug to more than a dozen people who now smoke it with him all weekend long at least once a month, if not twice. He and his party posse burn through a 25-gram chunk of Shabu every three or four weekends, which means they've each cultivated about a $300-per-month habit.

Nick doesn't see himself as a drug dealer so much as the self-appointed ringleader of his own private Cirque de Shabu.

He's thrown nine Shabu parties since March.

The tenth begins tonight.


HOUR 1

The seven eager speed smokers who converge on Nick's pad during the two hours before sunset defy the myth that crystal meth is a white-trash drug. They have cool hair and stylish attire. They have college degrees. They have all their teeth.

They do their lift-off hits upstairs, kneeling around the steel coffee table alone or in pairs, shaving flakes off the statuette, melting them in the pipes with a mini-torch, inhaling, holding, holding, holding and then blowing out colorless vapors that smell subtly of rotten roses.

Invariably, a second after they exhale they grin a wide, scheming grin, not unlike the demon's. And then they begin to jabber, free-associating at warp 9.

"Oh, my God, you know the fucking war, right? The liberation, the occupation, whatever? And the Palestinians, right? And the Israelis and the Muslims and Hindus and all the hate and the fucking guns and the bombs and the, uh, the, uh, you know, all the children with their legs blown off by land mines in Afghanistan, right? You see what I'm saying? I mean, you all know, you've all seen like a million times that one picture of that little boy from Afghanistan, right? And he's in his little purple robe, with his little white sheepherder's hat, and his little Christmas Carol, um, what do you call it? His Tiny Tim crutches, you know, right? And he's got these, like, you know, like these little sad, brown, puppy dog, fucking abused-animal, dog-pound, take-me-home-please eyes, right? I mean, God...okay, right now, let's get online, and let's find out who he is and where he lives and, and, and, let's find out what we need to do to buy him a new leg, right now! Who's got a laptop?"

Bonnie is 27 and a florist. She has her own business arranging and delivering flowers for high-end caterers. This marks her second weekend at Nick's. She's done cocaine before, but had never tried any form of speed until her boyfriend brought her to this place for an after-party the morning following Rave on the Rocks, the electronic dance-music festival at Red Rocks this past July. Shabu, she says, is "like sticking your brain in a huge pencil sharpener and grinding it and grinding it and grinding it until everything you see and think is just super, super sharp."


HOUR 5

The one-legged Afghan child was quickly forgotten.

Bonnie did, however, locate a laptop with a wireless Internet connection and has now been reclining in a black leather Eames chair, bug-eyed before the glowing sixteen-inch screen, chain-munching Otter Pops and Net-surfing, for more than four uninterrupted hours.

She accosts anyone who walks by the door to the room with the same request: "Hey, could you bring me another Otter Pop?"

In the next room are Marcus, a custom interior house painter, and his wife, Heather, who works in marketing for a popular brand of whiskey. The happy couple is viewing a bootlegged DVD of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on a big-screen TV while frantically flipping through a leather-bound edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classic of the same name, trying to match the text to the movie. Whenever a line of dialogue is altered, a scene cut or a plot point relocated in the film, Marcus and Heather call it out to Sasha, a dreadlocked artist who's drawing a huge, elaborate pen-and-ink diagram on a sheet of butcher paper. The diagram's title is "Two Towers: Film vs. Book, a Deconstruction."

Aha, Heather exclaims, her voice charged with the thrill of discovery. "The Wold Riders never dragged Aragorn over the cliff on their way to Helm's Deep. That is total fucking Hollywood bullshit! Sasha, you got it?"

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117 comments
Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

From back when WW wrote actual articles and had a physical paper and not just a web site...

Glen Dehahn
Glen Dehahn

They aren't promoting anything. Why is everyone such a whiney bitch. This is just a good article written to please the masses. It's no different the. Every time you pass fear and loathing over on Starz. You don't feel the need to spew pissyness about that do you? Jesus Christ go read an article about how dogs are mistreated and bitch about that.

Sarah Orlowsky
Sarah Orlowsky

So they have 5k to blow on good drugs, another with another 5k on party favors......... anything original here?

Kris Denton
Kris Denton

Well It Seems Like A Chord Was Struck With Some. To the long time reader lol deuces. The one who submitted a book over a year ago for review.. do I need to say more? Yeah please let's have another article about the green and microbrew lifestyle so we can all nap through it. Also not only Meth ruins lives. Alcohol, cigarettes and even women ruin lives.

Chris Perkins
Chris Perkins

I submitted a book to the Westword for a review over a year ago. Why don't you try fitting that in somewhere?

Ashley McSwain
Ashley McSwain

Wow, Hannah. Impressive that your vocabulary and spelling is pathetic and yet I'm the (brain cell void one of us) imbecile who doesn't understand the point of the article. If you read the article fully (which you don't seem capable of) you'd notice that not once does the author note the health hazards or risks associated with this kind of "partying". Instead the author celebrates the fact that the host and his cohorts choose to voluntarily spend three days high beyond comprehension, and since no one wants a Debbie Downer they stock the pantry with more illegal pills to bring you back from the brink...you're right I'm sorry I missed the part where we were bringing awareness to the using problem... As far as "stupid" I'm far from that my uneducated keyboard opponent. I actually hold a college degree and a full time job. What do you do? O.o

Hannah Bear
Hannah Bear

ashley, did you ever stop to think (im sorry...all your brain cells are dead from all the mary jane you smoked, so thats probably impossible), the reporter is bringing awareness to what this type of addiction does to people, rather than promoting it? O.o go smoke another blunt you stupid bitch, not like you can get any more stupid than you already are. you've done hit the wall on that.

Molon Labe
Molon Labe

Westword is going downhill fast.

Molly Louise
Molly Louise

I enjoy reading about green lifestyle and microbrew culture. But what kind of well-written garbage is this? Klassy. Bye, Westword.

Casey Allan
Casey Allan

Where are the good current articles? Haven't read one of those on here in quite some time

Randy Smith
Randy Smith

You just lost a long time reader,goodbye.

Ashley McSwain
Ashley McSwain

Pretty sure I said illegal and illicit. I smoke green, whatever. But meth? I mean cover your face in sores, not even once, hide yo kids shit and they're posting an article about how funny it is? I mean come on?? You're telling me you think that we should promote meth use now?

Erica Truskolaski
Erica Truskolaski

Yeah! Let's keep it all very secret. In fact, let's just tell them all drugs are the same level of BAD. Totally worked for the 90s kids and DARE! \U0001f611

Katies Mind
Katies Mind

There's wayy cooler stories in this city

Jr Montour
Jr Montour

I wanna hear the rest of the story, like what happened that weekend? How does the rest of his life go?

Guerilla Garden
Guerilla Garden

That was interesting…Why do I like reading stuff like this…I don't know but I dig the willingness of Westword to get grimy.

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

Wtf!! The only shit you found to cover as a story!! You will write a story about anything!! Come to my house and spend the weekend with me and hang out in bathroom everytime i shit!!

William Halley
William Halley

What an incredible tale of modern decadence. A well represented microcosm of the ennui suffusing society.

Ryan Hatfield
Ryan Hatfield

It's a story of users on a binge. Much like On The Road by Jack Kerouac. They used 'bennies,' which essentially is meth, but it was found in inhalers back in the 40's and 50's. Drugs have always been an interesting part of American culture. I have never used meth myself, but this was a great story. Despite the fact that meth is a terrible drug, but it doesn't change the fact that this was well written and a fact of life is that dark, strange things live in the most unexpected places.

Christy Articola
Christy Articola

Meth is evil but that was a great article. Very well written - answers the question "how could anyone get hooked on that shit?" The answer is, everything can be fun at first - and almost anyone can innocently be susceptible to the allure of even the most devastating of substances - thanks westword.

Ashley McSwain
Ashley McSwain

Hey Westword, how about you don't post an article that glamorizes and encourages illegal and illicit activities that'll kill our kids. Mmmmkkk thanks :)

John Smith
John Smith

Rodrigo Araya. Dan Doesthespeedlimit. Wtf

Conrad Luethy
Conrad Luethy

Drooling damn I've been clean for seven years and now I feel like getting high

Stephen Felt
Stephen Felt

Why are you glamorizing Meth? Denver Westword

Rachel Eastwood
Rachel Eastwood

I used to do this. Hang around me stoned pals and mess with 'em

Korina Rojo
Korina Rojo

Ah I would've loved to photograph this.

Divya Patel
Divya Patel

My response to this is, the article made it clear that the participants in this orgy of stupidity was both increasing in number and frequency. They are also using other drugs in addition to the meth. Pure or not, it is a highly addictive drug, and very, very expensive. So these "wealthy" people get a habit, and spend thousands of dollars a month on this. This is glorifying drug use because it shows young, stupid people with more income than sense- They can afford multiple illegal drugs, to take off to Vegas and party at the drop of a hat. People will over look what the author down played- smoking out of light bulbs, neurotic obsessive behaviors, and gross negligence of people traveling, driving, etc., while high as fuck. This is no better than a back alley meth addict who steals hub caps for drugs.

Shari Walsh
Shari Walsh

Morbidly fascinating. Like watching a train wreck.

 
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