By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
A grandfather clock strikes midnight.
In the living room, Nick is seated across a marble chess set from Jason, a landscape architect wearing orange-tinted sunglasses. Surrounded by computer printouts, the pair have been playing for hours, re-creating 1997's epic seven-game rematch between world chess champion Garry Kasparov and the IBM computer Deep Blue move for move, playing each game all the way through, precisely as it was played by man against machine.
"This is so intense," declares Jason. "It's like I know what the computer was thinking."
The light of the sun rising outside is totally blocked by the tapestries pinned over the closed drapes and blinds covering all of the windows in Nick's house, creating the timeless vibe of a casino.
For three hours now, Marcus and Nick have taken turns mixing records behind the set of dual turntables in the parlor. Their selections have proven quite eclectic: Michael Jackson mashed with Iron Maiden, Jamaican dancehall fading into French hip-hop, recordings of 1960s Black Panther rallies laid over "Sweet Home Alabama."
More Shabu was smoked somewhere in the nether region of time between two and five this Friday morning. Now it's a few minutes after seven. Bonnie is back on the laptop. The weird music blasting downstairs has entranced Jason, who is lying on a couch, eyes closed, fists clenched, doing leg lifts in halved time with the beat. The remainder of the crew -- Sasha, Heather, Emile, a graphic designer, and Ike, who deals cocaine -- have fled upstairs, where they sit in a circle in the Shabu smoking room, jabbering.
They talk over and across each other constantly, their conversations cross-pollinating, topics bursting into side topics and tangents: Malcolm X, Andy Warhol, West Nile virus, Alaskan salmon, cruise ships, Rastafarians, back-in-the-day MTV videos, Schoolhouse Rock cartoons, drug laws, gun laws, cop shootings, the Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Sins. It goes on and on, ever-changing, devoid of weight. It is chitchat mania, right up until the discussion turns to why they're doing this, why they're sitting in a candlelit room on a workday morning, geeked out of their skulls.
Faced with this question, they fall silent for a few seconds, then take turns.
"I do it to feel like a kid again, to feel new again," says Emile, eliciting nods.
"Because I like to live fast and full," offers Sasha, who is licking her lips unconsciously and constantly.
Heather: "I guess I do it mostly because I get bored, and because of the extremeness of it, because I don't have to work today, and because fucking my husband when were both like this is godhead."
Ike: "Because I have really low self-esteem."
The room blows up in laughter.
Ike again: "No, seriously, I do it because I love to get high, pure and simple. I love to get high. I've got the gene. I just say yes."
Emile has barricaded himself in the television room.
Two hours ago, he muttered something about needing to run an errand, then left the house in a rush. He returned about 45 minutes later carrying a bulging, black plastic bag.
"Don't go out there," he said.
Then he disappeared into the television room, shutting the double doors and shoving furniture up against them from the inside. The doors will budge just enough to display a flickering bluish light indicating the big-screen TV is active.
Now Nick is murmuring through the slim crack in the doors, attempting to persuade Emile to let him inside. Eventually, there is a scraping sound from within the room, and the doors open wide enough for Nick to squeeze through, then shut quickly after him.
Minutes pass. The doors open, and Nick comes back out. The doors close.
"TV room's off limits indefinitely," the party host announces. "Emile needs some privacy."
In a lower voice, he confides the gritty details: "Emile's in there watching porn. He's got like twenty gang-bang DVDs stacked in alphabetical order."
Emile is still watching porn.
Everyone else is packing for Vegas.
It started about four hours ago, when Bonnie, still surfing the Net, came across a Web page covering the Lifestyles Convention, an annual weekend conference and after-hours bacchanalia that draws thousands of free-love swingers from across America and around the world. This summer's convention was held at the Mirage hotel and resort on the Strip in Las Vegas.
"We need to be there," Marcus said. "We should totally go." That sparked a chorus of squeals from the ladies and "Vegas, baby, Vegas!" exhortations from the gents.
Nick dug out the Sunday travel section from his recycling bin, found a discount broker, and within minutes had booked passage on a "worry-free" vacation company's chartered jet to Vegas, leaving Denver first thing the following morning, with a scheduled return early Sunday. He then phoned a car service and scheduled for two sedans to arrive on Saturday at 6 a.m. sharp.
"All the necessary arrangements have been made," he proclaimed.
This announcement set off a hearty round of Shabu smoking (Nick passed a loaded pipe into the TV room to Emile), champagne toasting and Otter Pop munching, followed by an hour-long discussion of what one should wear in Vegas in mid-August. Which was quickly followed by a sudden, overpowering and panic-inducing group realization that no one in the group was wearing what they needed to be wearing in Vegas. And then a frenzied series of calls to cab companies to come get them right now so they could go home and raid their closets. And then finally another series of calls back to the taxi companies to cancel the cabs because Marcus decided he was fine, just fine, to drive and could definitely, absolutely, no problem fit everyone into his Pathfinder.
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.
So they have 5k to blow on good drugs, another with another 5k on party favors......... anything original here?
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.
I submitted a book to the Westword for a review over a year ago. Why don't you try fitting that in somewhere?
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
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.
I enjoy reading about green lifestyle and microbrew culture. But what kind of well-written garbage is this? Klassy. Bye, Westword.
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?
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
I wanna hear the rest of the story, like what happened that weekend? How does the rest of his life go?
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.
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!!
What an incredible tale of modern decadence. A well represented microcosm of the ennui suffusing society.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.