A buddhist that loves cocaine…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

“Are you F***ing kidding me? You want me to go in there???

~ It was late on a Friday night during one of the recent stops I made on my yearlong Drinking in the Culture Tour, a coffee house tour that gives me an excuse to experience the local culture of various cities throughout the Western World

I had arrived earlier in the evening at one of those mermaid coffee houses and the two baristas behind the counter (a guy and girl both in their late 20’s) were totally cool in the way they were interacting with me and wanted to tell me everything about their city, “Kenneth, do you have plans tonight? We want to take you to a party we know of that’s going on” they said

A couple hours later I found myself sitting in some strange dude’s house in the suburbs; it was clearly NOT a party. In fact, it was just me, the one female barista and this weird middle class dude wearing a dark blue designer suit. I don’t know what happened to the male barista dude, either he couldn’t come or he got busy doing something else, or perhaps he knew that designer suit guy was a weirdo, something I would find out as the night progressed.

The house was barren of furniture except for a giant fish tank that glowed in the dimly lit emptiness and a black leather oversized sofa and love seat that sat situated in his living room around a glass coffee table which boasted the largest jar of marijuana I’d ever seen. Imagine a mason jar that has been blown up to epic proportions and filled with a bunch of pot; I couldn’t imagine where you’d even get that much pot unless you’re a drug dealer or something. Through the open door to the bedroom I could make out a single mattress lying on the floor with a black comforter sprawled out upon it. Everything in this damn house was either black or white; it’s why we had to take our shoes off when we came in, the carpet was stark white and the dude said he didn’t want it messed up.

Also sitting on the glass coffee table were a number of Buddhist books and literature, “Yea man, I’ve given up the ways of the West and now I’m a Buddhist” said the weird man in the suit. He had jet black hair and looked annoyed that I was there, I think that he was hoping to have scored with the mermaid barista and I had somehow gotten in his way. He must have talked about his Buddhist beliefs for 10 or 15 minutes but barista girl wasn’t listening; she looked like all she could think about was smoking the pot.

So do you two wanna smoke or what?” he asked,

actually, I thought I was being invited to a party, and I feel like I’m intruding on you two” I said, I had a weird image in my head of Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction and some weird guy locked up in Designer-Suit-Guy’s basement and simply wanted to get out of there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a car and I needed barista girl to drive me; and she was dead set on getting high.

Oh yea man, I’m sorry. She said you guys wanted to go to the party. I’m a little out of it, I took some pills before you got here and I’m not right in the head. Jump in your car and follow me” he said

It was beyond strange that we had sat there for 30 minutes in the dude’s living room and with a mere order of ‘jump in your car’ the next thing I knew we were driving through what looked like a really sketchy part of town until his car stopped at an abandoned concrete block commercial building…..and he got out.

Where the hell are we going?” I asked barista girl

To the party silly. It’s in that building” she said

Uh, the one with that looks like it’s a leftover shelter from a nuclear holocaust? What kind of party is this?” I asked

Stop being a worrywart and just go with the flow” she said. She had swallowed some pills along our ride and when she offered me some but didn’t know what they were I flat out refused, “you crack me up, nobody cares what kind of pills they are, you just swallow them and hope for the best. You’ve got to live a little” she said

Actually, the building where the ‘party’ was did not happen to be the empty looking building we parked in front of; it was an even uglier and more decrepit cinder block warehouse eight blocks down the road, and yes I counted every block we walked. At that point I was like a secret agent making note of all of my surroundings in the event that I needed to get the hell out of there. All I could surmise is that designer-suit-guy felt it wasn’t safe to park right in front of the building where this party was (at that point it was obvious they were taking me to some underground club or party of sorts) so that the cops couldn’t case the place.

By now it was about midnight and I simply wanted to get out of there. I had no desire whatsoever to hang out in the ghetto with a couple of wanna-be drug adrenaline junkies (designer suit guy and barista girl were about as white-yuppish as you can get and I had the distinct impression that they were simply trying to ‘find themselves’ by seeking out underground parties in the ghetto. I’d known plenty of people like them throughout my life; bored suburban people looking for some kind of thrill to add spice to their lives. Of course, some people might ask why I was there, to which I have a simple answer; I thought I had been invited to a party.

When they knocked on the door of the warehouse there was no answer, “Maybe nobody’s home” I volunteered,

shut up” said designer suit guy


——to be continued


Categories: Culture & Society

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134 replies

  1. Ok, as a motherly type I have to say. You need to be more careful. I’m all for community, but even Jesus when he went and ate at strange people’s houses had his disciples with him. I’ll pray you continue to be safe. Please don’t leave your brains at home. REALLY??? (Spoken out of love and concern.)

  2. Looking forward to Part II of this story. Wow!!

  3. ROFL!!!!!!!!! The tone of this post is much different from the other stuff I read by you. I like it! Not that I didn’t like your other stuff 😛

  4. Can’t wait to hear what happened next! Really!!!! 🙂

  5. I knew it! It was only a matter of time before you encountered some seemingly nice but actually very suspicious people bent on dragging you into the underground. You’re out of the underground, now, right? Your not typing this quickly on a dim computer in the corner during a brief moment when all your captors are passed out, right?

    I don’t know how you stuck with them for this long. The second I entered the house, saw no party and lots of pot, I would be calling a taxi. I’m terrified to read what happens next.

    • TK, lol wouldn’t it be funny if I was locked up in some basement somewhere typing my blog because I found a single bar of free internet….. but what would make it funny is instead of trying to get out I was simply trying to stick to my daily routine of posting an article every morning! Lol

  6. All I can think is – you should have never left Philadelphia. Sheesh. I think your angels are working overtime on this trip.

  7. The minute drugs are involved, people’s definition of events change. I was once asked to give someone a ride to a friend’s house, 30 miles later I found out they just wanted to buy drugs. After we got there they didn’t even have what the person wanted…it was not a good night, I was very uncomfortable and it was the last time I ever did a favor for a friend of a friend. I’m grateful that I had such little interest in drugs because seeing people in that lifestyle is depressing. I am, however, looking forward to the rest of your story.

    • Yea you are so right; drugs change events quite a bit. Its funny how people are so wrapped up into drugs; being an ex rehab counselor I’ve seen a lot……

  8. Why do people have to be high? I have thought about this question for many many years. It turns out that they think that sober clear brains are not capable of euphoria. It turns out that they are mostly numb and dopey. That it is a illusion that they are funny and interesting. Actually they are repetitive and forgetful. It turns out that the “thrills” they seek is to not face up to being in a rut and not really living. I saw a film yesterday where a teen was visiting his father in Paris. He was sitting on his bed smoking joint after joint and swigging on whiskey. He said that staying high helps him tolerate being stuck there. In Paris! Addicts can’t see all the world there is to live in. They are always chasing the party that is always a bust.

    • Ellen, there are so many answers to why people want to be high and probably most of those answers are right. I like what you said, that there is an “illusion that they are funny and interesting”.

      Some people are simply bored, others are looking to hide from their problems, so many reasons for sure.

    • Once upon a time I worked for a publisher ghost writing a book (unfortunately never published) with the working title of Understanding the Why of Substance Abuse. Primates get high. Our primate forebears got high on somewhat rotted, alcohol-laden fruit. Every society around the world has one way or the other of getting high (disassociating). Some people do it through communion with nature (see Walden Pond) and some through drugs. The book encouraged teachers, parents, and students to consider alternative ways of transcending reality – exercise based endorphins, meditation, etc. But drugs – including sugar/food are easier than learning how to let go through other methods of achieving being blessed out. 😦

      I don’t like being around people who are intoxicated – no matter what the substance.

    • ABB,
      Thank you for your comment. I was sharing what I personally discovered when I no longer needed to be high. What a wonderful idea to teach children alternative ways of transcending reality. I am grieving my friend’s suicide on Feb 14. The pain is unbearable. My reality is very difficult to bear and my nerves are fried. I am not in my right mind so to speak. I rely on lots and lots of venting.Writing my piddly little snarky blog helps me in ways I can not explain. It just does. (by the way I never talked with any other blogger but one until a year ago)

  9. Kenneth…I want to wring your scrawny little neck! Actually, I wanted to say something else but in this day and age, harmless comments made on-line can cause some serious trouble.

    First…you start in code. I had to read the second paragraph THREE times, trying to decipher what you were talking about! Only then did I finally figured our we were not talking about this past weekend and the identity of the “mermaid coffee houses”. It’s too damn early to think in riddles…I don’t get “secret agent” first thing in the morning…I read your blog as I am getting my daily caffeine infusion and it hadn’t hit the bloodstream yet…then…THEN…when I have finally wrapped my wits around it…and am hanging on to your every word in suspense…you leave it…To Be Continued…after taking me along on a wild, scary…what were you thinking…I never would have done that…tale. At any moment, I am sure that you are going to tell me how you became “_______ cities” latest murder victim…reminding myself that you are writing the post today…your still alive…couldn’t have happened…

    • Rx. Go back to bed. Get up on other side. 🙂

    • Mrs. P, Perhaps I take it for granted that everybody knows what the ‘mermaid coffee house’ means lol! Its such a recognizable logo and they are the most famous of all coffee houses, but perhaps not everyone realizes its a mermaid in their logo.

      Secondly, I’ve been wondering for some time if people want to hear some of the more ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ tales of my adventure this year, so this week is my test-case of finding out if I should just stick to my more serious jargon….. or throw a little spice in every now and then. I meet a lot of unique characters to say the least 😉

  10. Risky night, but love to know whats next.. Hope you remember the whole party.. Lol important part: party is over.

  11. Well, I know you lived to write about it, but did you have to leave us with a cliffhanger? 🙂 Sounds like the kind of night my mother would have warned me about had she had a clue about nights like that!

  12. C’mon! You simply can’t stop this one here! I’m intrigued; let part two be no more than a day away. Wonderfully written!

  13. looking forward to read the second part of your story …

  14. REALLY??? fact or fiction, no doubt about it you are an excellent writer 🙂

  15. Eeks. You really are a daring guy. I’m from a place exactly between Chicago and Madison, so I was all excited to read your Madison story. You’re having a very different experience there than I had last time I was there! I actually have an almost exact replica of your picture of the state house, but I took it after attending a Wisconsin cheese-themed wedding reception.

    Let me echo the please be safe calls. I tend to trust people, but …. eep.

    • Rory, hmmm, a Wisconsin cheese-themed wedding reception is just a tad bit different than the experience I had there last weekend 😉 I must have passed by your house on my drive between Chicago & Madison over the weekend!

  16. I cannot wait for the rest of this story! I see a lot of comments above telling you to be more careful. I agree. But, what a great story it made! Sometimes we NEED to experience things to say we have lived. If we were always careful and never got into difficult situations, we would surely live a boring life. Great work!

  17. Looking forward to part II, I do hope that your guardien angels will keep you safe. Most people are nice BUT……

  18. This sounds like the start to a heinous movie, and now I’m hooked. You gotta finish the story!

  19. I know you survived, but I’h half hoping it’s because you decided that this part of the evenings entertainment ended there and then and you went to find another coffee house instead.

  20. I can only echo all of the above 🙂 and thank God your guardian angels had their wits about them even if you didn’t! Still, if you played safe all the time, you’d never have stories like this one to tell!

    • Catterel,

      EXACTLY! If I only ever sit at a coffee table and never leave it…. well, I will get a lot of great conversations and meet a lot interesting people; but sometimes its nice to spice things up 😀

  21. Gnarley Dude! When I finished reading your post, I felt I needed to look around to make sure I was in a safe place. I understand that drive that allows you to put your fears aside to experience life as it is: raw, gritty, unscripted and often magnificent. The rewards, in terms of experience, are high. It all comes with a price tag. We are left to ask ourselves, did I pay enough to play or did I pay too much.

    • “raw, gritty, unscripted, and often magnificent”

      Thank you dude I appreciate it. I like experiences such as the one I wrote about today because to be perfectly honest; I like not knowing what is around the corner.

  22. Real Life Cliffhanger, awesome!

  23. Hahahahahaha! Kenny, you sure are getting into some mighty interesting situations on your coffee house tour. I can’t wait to read what else happens. You’re lucky that a cop didn’t stop you guys….those two yuppies sound like idiots.

  24. All I can say is…….Sh–, Kenneth, Holy Sh–.
    (and these words are coming from a sweet grey-haired little old lady of 60).

    Since you’re writing this story and posting it online, I presume you exited this scary situation in safety.

    Suddenly, I just remembered a similar time in my life when a drink at a ‘real’ party resulted in me being literally paralysed and lying on the party giver’s bed for the rest of the night. My drink had been drugged. Now that must have been about 32 years ago. I hope the ending to your story was as good as mine.

  25. Uh, OK – I’m in…… waiting on the edge of the couch to hear more……

  26. There are a lot of nutzos out there.

  27. Ack, you left us hanging! Beware, the last time a writer did that to me, I went all Kathy Bates and Misery on him. Just teasing you. I wanted to go all Kathy Bates on him but I simply sent a strident email.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the crazy people and all is chaos around me….Be careful out there will you?

    • OUCH! Kathy Bates and Misery scares me to death!!!! I haven’t seen that film in forever. I need to remember to steer clear of people like Kathy for sure!………….. although, it would make for a good blog article now that I think about it.

  28. Omg…this is scary stuff. Stay safe!

  29. This is funny and worrisome! HAHA! I can’t wait for the rest of the story!

  30. Ok, that is some scary stuff. Can’t wait to read the rest.

  31. This reminds me of something… Kenneth gets bored sitting at the coffee house and sees a white rabbit with a pocket watch run past. He follows the white rabbit down the rabbit hole…eventually there’s a caterpillar smoking a hookah. Next Kenneth will be playing croquet with a flamingo…can’t wait for the continuation 🙂

  32. Stay in the coffee houses.

  33. Kenny,

    You are a beautiful writer! I thought something was peeking out yesterday 🙂 we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

    I just heard a mother speak about the loss of her teenage son to an overdose of heroine and your post here is hitting a troubled place in my heart. Being the mom of a teenage boy, one of my very biggest fears is that he doesn’t know how beautiful and strong he is or that he one day looks for it outside of himself with drugs or artificial highs.

    What I wouldn’t give to protect him, to instill the breadth of love I have for him into his love for himself. Do you think people just need to escape pain and loneliness and don’t know how else to do it? There are too many tragic stories of lives lost or wasted. And it’s everywhere. I can’t help but feel like we as a society are missing something BIG.

    Sorry to get heavy – just a hot topic for me.

    Thank you so much for sharing ~

    Peace, guy, always.

    • “we are in Kansas anymore”

      Ha ha LOVE IT!!! fucking awesome Alison 🙂

      Intense story!! whoa. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really have any secret motivation behind sharing today’s story, but now that you’ve written that I guess my story serves as a reminder to people that drugs and what not are a very real part of life for so many people.

      Perhaps I should audition for the role of sidekick for my adventures…. wanna apply? Role includes; rolling with the punches, hanging with people who wear weird suits, and carrying mace in case people get too rowdy 😉

    • Shut up I always wanted to be a sidekick! My inner Charlie’s Angel is stoked! (then trips over her own high heel – don’t sweat it, I got you buddy.) Let’s rock this mother. Now take off that ridiculous suit.

      lol this is so fun 🙂 We should do culture monk role play Wednesday.

    • Lmao! “culture monk role play Wednesday” oh dude, that doesn’t sound right! It sounds like some kind of fucked up perverted sexual thing!!!! ROFL

    • Fuck, I’m sorry!! Lol you can’t take me anywhere – is there a rating on blog comments??? LMFAO

  34. Did you start watching Breaking Bad before or after this? I always enjoy your writing, this one was scary! I kind of love the “to be continued…”

    • Lol! I saw my first episode of breaking bad yesterday and wrote this article a few days ago……. and I’m glad you like the ‘to be continued’ I thought it gave it a nice little ending,……

  35. I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow. 🙂

  36. P.S. If you die, please leave a last post.

  37. Wow. Flashbacks of my twenties. If that was me now i’d have ducked down an alley and skedaddled until I found a street sign, then called a cab to come get me.

    But I’m riveted; I wonder what will happen next?

  38. You couldn’t pay me to be in my 20’s again. That being said, my stomach was in a knot for you the entire post. I’ve never been much of a party person in general, so I’m a bad judge of them. However, even I would recognize any one of the red flags waving in this situation.

    • Red flags Kira, I laugh at red flags…. lol, I’m just joking……. imagine me talking in a whiny voice, “but I REALLY wanted to know what was going on inside the building” 😉

  39. In that you’re still writing I guess we can assume it didn’t end too badly, which is good! Sounds like the script from a strange b movie so far 🙂 can’t wait for part 2

  40. Awful experience, Kenneth! Tell me what happened with the bloggers you supposed to meet there?This touring looks like a thriller now…

    • Dana, ya know one of the unexpected problems Ive run into recently is that a few bloggers I’ve met on the last couple trips haven’t wanted me to write about them. They ended up sharing some pretty personal stories about their lives and asked if I not mention them…… so I decided I might write about a few things that happened while I’ve been touring that didn’t involve bloggers 🙂

  41. “you crack me up, nobody cares what kind of pills they are, you just swallow them and hope for the best. You’ve got to live a little”

    My response would have been something like “nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, I’ve already lived, being f***** up on psych meds prescribed to me legally, and I don’t mean like good f**** up, I mean, ‘holy s***, I’m gonna die’ f***** up, and at least I knew what they were supposed to do, so why the hell am I gonna take some pills where I have no idea?”

    Definitely going for the guerrilla journalism angle here, Kenneth, I would assume as an ex-rehab counselor, you (mostly) knew what you were doing. Forget balls of steel; you’ve got balls of titanium, man.

    • Yea, I’m trying something a bit different Jak, I’m not sure what I think about it completely…. but we’ll see how it goes. Most likely I’ll revert back to my normal posts since it is what I’m kinda known for 🙂

  42. Man Kenneth, this is starting to read like an episode of 24. I am waiting for Jack Bauer to pop out any minute now!! LOL

    Be safe brother!

    Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

  43. Taking notes like the CIA? Dude you sound scared as hades….what is going on w/u? I did those type of things when I was in my teens and I had my siblings as back up. wow is all I will say about where you are going with this. You did say you have kids right? vw

  44. Does this have something to do with whyI my mother and father said not to get in a car with a stranger?

  45. There wasn’t a choice between a red pill and a blue pill?

  46. You are an amazing story teller! Praying you got out ok and dying to know what happened next, and a little angry you left us hanging! We’re hooked, hurry and go on!

  47. Thank you for liking “Fluffy Bunny Overload.” I thought the story about the pot vending machine I read yesterday was weird until I read this post. Wow, this is a great story, but all kinds of alarm bells went off in my head as I read it. You are much more daring than I am. There is no way I would accept a party invitation from people I did not know very well. I hope you did not forget your shoes. 😉

  48. You can definitely write a book! You get into EVERYTHING. I look forward to your posts. This one has me craving more! I can’t wait!!

  49. Cool

  50. This is really cool. You’re delivering a real adventure here. Reminds me of this:

  51. Crikey! Oh that sounds very scary. Maybe you should get a phone number for a local taxi company whenever you arrive somewhere new, so you can get outta there! I went to art college ( a long time ago!) and met lots of eejits who thought they were very clever, trying to push us into taking things. Being older and wiser has lots of benefits. :0)

  52. Throw in the spice……….. But take care. I don’t want to read about jailhouse tales!

  53. Whoa! Sounds freaky. Can’t wait to read the sequel.

  54. Haha… welcome to my life. I look forward to meeting you next weekend and I’m glad that you are getting this out of your system. I think it’s an important part of the journey but not one which I was looking to share with you. Now onto Part two…

  55. Dude…that was dangerous as heck. Not the seedy neighborhood scene, but just how the entire evening played out. Lol. Popping pills is one thing, but ingesting what you have no idea of its origin…wow. I look forward to reading part 2. I am sure I it’ll be a treat.


  1. If bloggers unite…REALLY??? « The Culture Monk
  2. A buddhist that loves cocaine…REALLY??? (part two) « The Culture Monk
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