I’m in Oakland dealing with my court case. Repaying my debt to society, as it were, for my “open container” ticket (i.e. drinking in public). With a lesser ticket like that, the judge gives you the option of paying a $280 fine, or going to a two-hour Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Which is a great deal. The guy who runs the program is this zany black guy, a former drug addict who runs the show like a stand-up comedian. “YOU again!” he said as soon as he saw me (this is like my fifth or sixth time through the program).
The program is sort of like an AA meeting-for-beginners. An introductory deal. The black guy tells about his experiences with drugs and alcohol. And then we watch this hour-long movie, this Narcotics Anonymous documentary. The first half of the movie is great! All these former drug addicts talk about how they used to party with drugs and alcohol, and all the great times they had, and the wild adventures, etc. And most of them can’t resist letting this big smile creep across their faces as they describe, in some detail, all the different times when they got REALLY high.
But then the second half of the movie isn’t nearly as compelling. That’s when they talk about how their lives all crashed and burned become of that ole’ debbil’ dope! Lost their jobs, lost their relationships, lost their health, lost their homes, etc. Kind of depressing. They need to re-edit that movie. The pacing is all wrong.
But what was interesting was how the all addicts in the movie come from all the different races and sexes and creeds and ages and social status. I guess the need to alter our consciousness is a pretty universal drive with human beings.