The summer after my freshman year of college was wild. No, actually my whole freshman year of college including the summer after I graduated was crazy. I had followed all of the rules while in high school. I think I tried alcohol once that wasn’t at a family dinner. I was the perfect little Greek Orthodox girl. I went to church every week with the whole family; I actually still believed in all of that religion stuff.

Then I graduated and no longer had a curfew to obey. I still lived with my parents, but since I wasn’t in high school any more they let me life rather freely. I guess they trusted me because I had been so good up until that point. During my senior year of high school I became very good friends with my younger brother. He was a year behind me in school, and when I turned 18 in November he would be waiting for me after school so I could buy cigarettes for him. I started hanging out with his circle of friends. They were way more exciting than the few friends I had in high school. They all smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol, and smoked weed whenever they could score it. These people were more welcoming than anyone I’ve ever known. Soon I was one of the group.

A few highlights from my freshman year of college: had two day long party at parents house when they were out of town, brother forgot to put cooler back in the storage room, parents found one measly can of beer in said cooler when searching for car keys in his room, brother gets grounded, I get kicked out of parents house, I get apartment with a friend from work, two weeks later her boyfriend moves in, halloween decorations go up, halloween comes and goes and decorations stay up, I ask about them and my roommate informs me that they are not decorations but rather religious effects, I tell parents that roommates are devil worshippers (it was true), I move back home, I lose job, stop going to classes regularly, fail music theory, drink every weekend, smoke cigarettes heavily, smoke weed regularly.

After school got out in May I was pretty much a wreck. I chalked it up to being a musician. Musicians did crazy things, right? In June my brother and a few other friends started frequenting an apartment in a dumpy old building downtown. Every night there was something else crazy going on there. Pot smoking was a given, but you never knew when you’d see someone shooting heroin or whatever else they were doing in the back. There was a pet iguana that would go crazy when you blew a hit in his face. Oh, and a cat that would get the munchies after being in the smoke filled room for too long then proceed to vomit all over the iguana. We had a system going. I was working at a pizza place and would bring the “fuck up pizzas” for everyone to munch on. They were the pizzas that were made wrong thoughout the night and never tasted very good considering the length of time they sat under the warming lights. In return for the “tasty” pizza I never had to buy weed. I never actually paid for the stuff, but I was getting high whenever I wanted to.

Every night I’d show up and there would be different people, but always the same core group. There was the two girls who lived in the dump, my brother, me, another friend of ours, and the rest rotated in and out depending on who was in town to sell what, or who was in jail at the time.