A personal story about my time in lockdown while living with a struggling drug addict. Drugs, Psychedelics, Gangs and friendship.
Chapter One: The Beginning
*Cracks his fingers, gets out the typewriter and pours himself a glass of Merlot *
So on the 28th of December I found someone to move in. His name was Moby, I tattooed him about a year prior. Very smart guy, interesting. He came round to inspect the house with his friend Aiden. Moby was 24 and a lot of his oddities were transparent. They were both excited to hear I had a drum kit because they could both play drums. This got me excited too because I had been struggling to find a drummer to play music with and share the recording/music space I had been setting up for a year and a bit.
This was my Achilles Heel: I rushed the screening processes out of despiration to find someone and the idea that I might have a drummer to play with.
Moby moved in, I sent him the bank details to pay 4xweeks rent in bond and start the first week of rent. This was also a mistake, I know better than to have someone move in before paying the bond but once again I was optimistic that this person was the type of person I wanted to meet in life. I asked Moby to put the money in, he siad he had and I left it for a week. One day I thought; I should really check up on that. I look at the B.a, and no bond or rent was put in there.
Chapter Two: The Truth is revealed and it is Lies.
I hit Moby up about it and it became clear through the conversation that he wasn't exactly the most honest type. This dramatically changed my high expectations I had of him. I realised I had a problem. I told him straight up he'd be out at the end of two weeks if bond and rent wasnt in the account and up to date. He pawned his ps4 to get the money while he made withdrawals from his 'families trust fund' and money from ACC (he is on it for a knee injury: Apparently he has had two failed operations on it).
Money was promptly put in my acc and I had some relief knowing I had 4x rent up my sleave from him if shit went down. I continued working on my lil studio - solving the problem of attaching foam sound insulation on plaster; using velcro dots, adhesive spray - any solution that wouldnt destroy the rough plastered surface. The house is own by my very good friend and I try to keep it in tact. During this time, Moby was keen to help out, go to Mitre 10 mega with me and help me find things. He was enthusiastic to see it turn into a studio. He was in a band with his friend Aiden called Scenic. He played bass and wanted to see that space become a reality.
Moby likes to play video games like League of Legends. He has a strong attachment to his online friends. He plays late at night because he has friends in Perth. His computer first went in the lounge, which I could tell was not going to work. He had been trying hard to get it downstairs in the studio. To me this could work. He can make noise down there late at night and I wont be able to hear him. It also gives me some space from him because I could tell his intense nature would be hard to handle in our small house. I offered him an ultimatum: Install Logic (a recording software owned by apple and only on IOS) on his PC. He had assured me that he had the capability to partition his PC to run PC and Mac - therefore allowing Logic to be installed in the half that was running Mac IOS. We had an agreement. And from the evidence I was seeing he was working to get it done. It was hard and he was dragging it out but he was trying so I wasnt too annoyed when it failed to happen.
Chapter Three: The death of Eden Studios
When I moved back from Melbourne, I resinated with the somber nature of Dunedin. It was quiet and beautiful. I had just left a house in Melbourne where I saw a very good friend turn quite evil from alcohol resulting in three fist fights in the house - all on the same night. I remember how horrible it was to go into my room after that event and not have a way to lock my door. I cried, I was shaking and it made me feel incredibly sad for the people who have to put up with domestic abuse constantly. In fact, those people have been on my mind a lot during this lock down period.
My alcoholic friend was a good person and I tried for two years to help him: To be patient, listen, be brave enough to confront him when he needs confronting. We made music together in a garage that he poured his heart and soul into to make into a beautiful space. He is the most prolific musician I know, writing on average a song a week which he would record, with bass drums and guitar in that same week.
When I moved back to Dunedin I was lucky enough to move into my friend Andy's quiet home. It was exactly what I needed and I promised myself I would not get caught up in helping someone who does not want to be helped. I have sacrificed enough to go through it again. Andy's house had a downstairs space perfect for a studio. I would finally have my own area. With an atmosphere I can control so that it may create energy and positivity in a comfortable isolated space that was my own. Perfect for writing music - where I wasn't burdened by anyone else.
I lost that space when Moby moved in. Initially I tried really hard to ground him with some rules like keeping the area clean. That was an impossible outcome. I frequently had discussions with Moby about it - exposing his childish manner of dealing with critism and his inability to act on his part to be a responsible flatmate. I realised after my third conversation on these subjects that he will simply tell you what you need to hear so that the conversation will end and you will walk away. I have never lived with such a messy person so much so that I felt lucky that the mess was only contained within the studio. I became very on edge and tried hard to maintain some control of that space. I ended up making the right decision and taking anything of value to me out of that space and store it in my room. Eden Studio, named after the Garden of Eden, a space that was private and removed from the outside world was destroyed. I had let the snake in when it had offered me a drummer.
Chapter Four: Money for Drugs
At about week four I had learnt a lot about Moby and his friend Aiden who was constantly by his side. I learnt that Moby (24) and Aiden (18) sold drugs to their respective circle of customers. Mostly pot but never Heroin or Ice - some pills like BZP etc has meth in them so I cannot technically say they weren't dealing meth. This was obviously a problem but I put more time into trying to understand these people and see if I can help them off the road they were on. I had regained some trust for Moby and I liked Aiden. Like Moby, Aiden had a rough upbringing.
Around the end of January, I got the news that my lovely flatmate Tasman was going to be moving out and moving in with her partner. Aiden wanted desperately to move in. He was on a path for music and we had much in common because of it. I allowed him to move in. At this point in time, we were all working fairly well and I had the idea that I could help improve both their situations by being a caring human being.
Chapter Five: Aiden
Aiden grew up in Mosgiel near the outskirts on a property that had its farmland beside it. His Mum (lets called her Carol) was adopted from America and brought back to New Zealand where she was raised. She had been with several partners all abusive until she met her most recent partner - a pretty average farmer guy from what I can tell. I visited his house one day when I was giving Aiden a ride. His dad, Joe (lets call him Joe) fixed amps and tinkered with electronics and his little workspace is about 60 years old and needs to be photographed. Every inch of it is a beautiful sight. A 1950's telephone hangs on the wall. Along with ancient amps that deserve to be in a museum. Aiden isn't the son of Joe. Joe and Carol couldn't have babies the normal way so they got a man to donate his sperm for their egg. They used the same guy for their second child, Aiden's younger sister.
Aiden met his real Dad for the first time at Splendor in the Grass or some musical festival like that. I think Aiden and Mobys band were playing. As they met for the first time since he was a little baby, his real father offered him a cone. This wasn't anything new to Aiden, he had been a strange kid who didn't really talk to many people. His mother took out her insecurity of not being cared for on him and Joe often hit him. During this time he met a guy that talked to him. He was much older than 14 year old Aiden at the time. He introduced him to drugs like pot and then meth. His new friend was in a local gang and Aiden came to realise that this guy was just introducing him to drugs to get him hooked. He then started dealing for them to feed his habit. Through his networks he met some strange people. Some very desperate, some very connected to the drug scene. One in particular dealt with Acid. Huge tubs of it. Aiden began experimenting with that and Heroin.
At the time that I knew Aiden, I learnt that he avoids Crystal Meth and will not ever touch Heroin again and from my perspective, I believe him. He would take massive doses of LSD. He once showed me five tabs on his tongue, still attached together. These amounts are what his body needs to get him high enough that it's worth his time.
From whatever happened to him in his history - however true, or however false, he has made an array of recordings that were really good. They show someone who is truly skilled and has the ability to stay focussed on the project because he loves making music. You can't create something like that without it. He has been in two bands. One called Bark like a Dog and now this one; Scenic. He works hard to push his band and does 85% of the work. He writes all the parts and records them before giving it to his band. In a house that cannot rely on trust, Aiden's music is a grounding fact that helps me see who the real person is.
Chapter Six: What is Moby's given name?
Moby is an enigma. Aiden once stated this and he could not be more right. "Ask me anything man, I'm an open book" was once something Moby said to me when we were driving to Mitre 10 one Saturday morning.
Moby told me that his Dad was a heroin addict and left home when Moby was 14. Moby has a big family, some of his brothers and sisters are step brothers and sisters. He grew up in Dunedin. He used to be really into downhill longboarding and injured himself doing it. I won't say much more about Moby, he has told me much but I doubt much of it is true. I truely believe that everything he says is laced in a lie. I believe the abusive father to be true, this information seems to reinforce itself through his idiosyncratic behaviours. His longboarding is also true because I can see that on his facebook. Apart from that, who knows.
Moby has told Aiden a lot more about himself than he has me. Aiden and I will often start talking about him with the intention of trying to figure him out. Aiden has learnt a lot more about Moby from what others has said about him which you could imagine.
Chapter Seven: The spiked cocktail.
One night, a few days before the lockdown, Moby was having a hard time. Apparently he had been handling some Acid and the acid had come through onto his hands. He was having a bad trip so we lit the fire, watched Uncut Gems and tried to feed him something. He couldn't stomach anything which is often the case when he is at high levels of stress and anxiety.
The next day wasn't too much better. He was still in a bad way - which is very strange considering an acid trip, even a strong one, should only take 8 hrs max. From my understanding of Acid and the odd times I have taken it, it changes your perspective on things, makes you see things from different angles and if you are lucky which I have never been in this instance, you will see visual distortions. I believe Moby had either been exposed to LSD, had a trip, then realised he isn't a very good person, or what could be worse, allowed his own belief that he was exposed to acid drive him into a paranoia based placebo trip. One that could last for as long as he believes it to.
So with him in this state, he comes to me with the absolute certainty that Aiden has spiked him with LSD and that he is crazy. This all surfaced in the evening, when Aiden had just gotten home with a date and was hanging with her in the studio downstairs. Aiden had requested Moby not go down there, and Moby was arguing that it was a communal space and that he was in his right to disturb them so he may smoke his weed and play on his computer. I successfully coaxed him out of this action. Later that night, I heard a disturbance between Moby and Aiden. They were verbally fighting. We all sat down in the living room and tried to work it out - to speak openly about things.
Throughout that open discussion I saw a side of Moby come out that I often saw glimpses of when he was mad at Aiden for not being honest about their shared business arrangements. Moby get's nasty and will try to bring Aiden down as much as he can. Weighing his issues on him as much as possible. He would call him stupid, an addict and try to persuade him that he isn't fit for society and that because he has so many problems, staying close to Moby is the only thing that can help him. It is simply put; abuse. I also learnt that Moby had sex with a 16 year old sometime last year. He casually mentioned it when he was talking about something relating to the subject of woman. I found this disturbing. I wondered afterwards what I had allowed myself to get into when I accepted to let him to live with me and how much I didn't deserve this.
I learnt a lot about the people I was living with in that conversation. I learnt the true dynamics of the Aiden and Moby relationship: A 24 year old who had a history of hanging out with people younger than himself so that he remain in control and remain immune to criticism. I saw an 18 year old who had known that Moby was an awful person, but wanted a confidant - someone to hang out with and accept his unique position as an 18 year old struggling with addiction. I learnt that I will not get on top of this situation through believing anything that either of them say. Not because I didn't believe Aiden, but because when you are asked to judge people for what they have done, or their history, you simply don't know. It became clear to me after the conversation that Moby will have to leave. I gave him a month and he was very surprised to find that I would be kicking him out and not the accused drug spiker.
Moby and Aiden's partnership was over. I witnessed Moby act like a child and totally rip Aiden off in the split. Moby was to have no more part in the dealing. From his account, Aiden had entangled him into the whole mess - manipulating him in a way that made it impossible for Moby to get out. I was fine with the unfair split of cash and stock. It meant Moby could not complain that Aiden still owed him anything. I told Aiden to find a job within the month and to stop dealing drugs. If he was to not meet these terms, he would go also.
Chapter Eight: The Lockdown.
The next day, we hear from Jacinda that she will take swift action against the spread of Covid-19. We were to remain in isolation in our own homes - only leaving for essential runs for supplies. Moby quickly used this as an excuse not to move out. And in his defence, its a pretty good excuse. That was two weeks ago.
The dynamic in the house has shifted considerably. Moby was instructed to move his computer out of the studio and into his room. He was to make no loud communication to his online mates after 11pm.
Aiden has turned downstairs back into a working studio. It is something that I could have never done on my own. It's an incredibly efficient space. All of the drums are mic'd up, along with the guitar amps. He has created processes for production that are odd at times but relatively streamlined. Aiden will usually get up at 11am and go down to work on his music. I have seen a change in him. He is more present and I grow to trust him more each day. He is still dealing to sustain himself a supply. I have treated his drug addiction like this:
He can't go cold turkey. He has been smoking weed for years non stop everyday. So that will stay but everything else must go. And from my knowledge, he has. He used to take BZP or ecstacy as it often contained traces of Meth or Morphine. Ketamine was another drug of choice. I'm fairly certain he has irradicated that and something like Ketamine is easy to pick. I allow him to continue to deal. Not because I want him to but because its the realistic outcome - during this odd time in history, I cannot threaten him with moving out, and it would be unwise to disrupt a person who is recovering from hard habits of drug abuse. He is also smart about it. He never brings people to the house and makes it anyone's problem except for his own.
The same does not go for Moby. I have caught him red handed doing some shifty activity a couple of days after the business split. A young guy - probably 18, was placing some chocolate milk and money into our letterbox. When I hit Moby up, he said he was only selling the last of his stock. I told him that I would through him out tomorrow if I were to suspect that he was bringing unwelcomed visitors up to where we lived again.
Moby's habits are becoming more unhealthy as of late. He avoids me and Aiden and any dialog I've had with him has been absolute madness - both in emotion and sense. He feels victim and still feels effected by the 'spiking'. He wakes up at 5pm and goes to bed at 10am. He has not left the house in two weeks. Any conversation about going outside will be dismissed with his usual excuse - his injury permits him to walk on it.
Today I asked if he wanted to go to the supermarket as he has no licence because he's used to relying on Aiden and before that, other young people to drive him around and do things for him. I had no idea how he was going emotionally and I think that he needs to know that people are concerned for him. The car ride down was layered with lies. Talks of going to the doctor the day before and getting his blood tested positive for trace amounts of LSD. I asked for a medical report but he dismissed that.
I reestablished to him that he will most certainly be moving out but only after the lockdown has been lifted as I believe that the stress for a human - especially in his state, will be very overwhelming in this strange time. He doesn't want to leave and makes that obvious by threatening to go to the authority because it is illegal to kick someone out for no reason. Comments like that scare me and reinforce another thing Aiden has told me; "Moby has told me he is a psychopath" whether Moby told Aiden that or not, there is no doubt in my mind that this paranoid person, this horrendous human being, who feels threatened and trapped - inside a small house three bedroom house would be clinically diagnosed as a psychopath.
Chapter Nine: Help
I am doing fine. I am emotionally fairly sound. I have made mistakes that has led me into this horrific situation but now I need to be smart and calculating to get out of this situation on top. I want to let people in on this situation so they can help me make the best decisions. Moby is calculating and I do not see him moving out smoothly. He believes so passionately that he has been so hard done by that this will be hard and now I am his enemy. Aiden has mentioned that he has been kicked out of his last three places and they have all been ugly times. I'm worried about my things and yes, slightly concerned for my safety although I feel that this person will not want to harm me as it would not be consistent to his personality. Moby likes to manipulate people who can be manipulated, I have no doubt he won't want to be around me but he is conflicted and wants to stay in the flat. If he was to get kicked out of yet another flat, it would reinforce feelings of isolation, abandonment and the truth that anyone who gets to know him inevitably realise he is a horrible human being.
Where to go from here? At the moment my plan is to wait for this isolation period to end and kick him out as soon as legally possible. I don't care about finding a person to fill the room, that is a much less important problem
Chapter 10: Aiden met with Moby
I had spent the morning sleeping. My cat had finally slept next to me on the bed at around 10am. I didn't want to get up but I thought of my saying; make lemonade out of lemons.
I decided to get a collar for my cat, who had killed 4 native birds in the last week and a half. The birds that describe its endangered colours still remain on my old persian rug. I called NEV Vets or whatever it was called and was directed on to call 'Animates' who had a system which allowed you to buy items online. So I bought a blue one. With a bell of course. I picked it up from Animates on Princes street right after I filled up my back right tire at BP. It had a slow leak. I asked for a pie at the lady behind the perspex. "Are you selling pies?" She looked at me warmingly and said no 'we aren't selling pies'. I wanted to get a Mexitarian, they are a great choice.
I approached 'Animates 'and was welcomed to a closed door. This was to be expected; I expected something strange. Another very nice lady opened the door and let me in or so I assumed. I was redirected out the door and when she extended the item of purchase I was interrupted from doing the next logical thing; taking it from her. "I'm actually suppose to put this on the ground," She said. But instead of doing so, she froze as if her brain was still processing her next decision. It was understandable that the new protocol’s of Level 4 lockdown were hard to justify sometimes. She broke from her brain fart and handed me the Collar, which was welcoming. I did not want to pick up a cat collar off the ground for not too much of a reason. That afternoon the sun was still warming so decided to cut the grass with the electric weedwacker. Its blue chord was a prick and often got stuck. The point for cutting the grass was to stop Fresh from using it to stalk birds. I had often seen him stalking birds in the long grass situated out on the other side of the drive. I once saw him get one. The bird was like a buzzing bee, I sat and watched because I new if he got it, I wouldn't be angry; I'd be impressed. I saw a preditor hunting an animal oblivious to its death.
For the passed few days drums have been beating down in the studio. At around 5pm. Aiden had been recording constantly. After I finished placing the Collar on Fresh I went down into the studio. I brought my 12 pack of Speights Summit. I was hoping for a Saturday night of some sort. As I expected, Aiden was there. He showed me 5 songs that he had recorded in the last five days. He spent the next three hours showing me each one. Sometimes I would veer off trying to change the tone. I did not care for his songs enough to keep me talking about it as a subject. It’s the unfortunate truth in most cases; people like art half as much as the person who created it.
We talked about Moby, but very naturally. About an hour and a half in. Aiden was concerned about Mobys mental health. His shift in position had changed. He felt sympathy for him. My stance was very black and white and I was not prepared to forgive him for being such an angry and unstable person. Whether it’s a good personality trait or not; I have high expectations of people and he was not going to gain my respect back as easily.
Chapter 11: The Shift
In the weeks that followed, Moby was a ghost who could only be heard late at night when he would emerge from his room for food or a shit. He was playing League of Legends with his overseas friends - all of whom start playing around 11pm and go on through to the early morning. This wasn’t the only reason for the odd sleep cycles; he was avoiding us as a way to deal with his instability. We left him alone and never thought to knock on his door or enter. If there was to be a sacred space where only he is allowed, it should at least be his bedroom. I knew he was frustrated with me for not being on his side. He knew I didn’t believe him so kept to himself. For me, the space was definitely appreciated. Our house was small and we were legally obliged to stay in it for an undetermined length of time. During this time, Aiden’s business selling drugs was thriving. Lockdown hadn’t stopped Dunedinites from smoking or inducing drugs. He worked more or less a nine to five job and he was proud of it. I realised one night when talking to him that he was robbed of any satisfaction of this because of the stigma attached to selling drugs. His environment had always attached negativity towards him for this which I knew was unfair and he respected me for that. However, I did let him know that he has a responsibility to the people he sells these substances to, and that selling highly addictive drugs like Amphetamines and Opiates can really destroy peoples lives. He assured me that he does not have clients that buy those sorts of drugs; “I want to get away from that scene,” He told me. “I want to be around different people.”
Aiden’s mood shifted to that of a person who never wanted to shut down, as if he found no reason to feel satisfied with the world he was placed in. He started to take acid more regularly, sometimes showing me five tabs of acid on his tongue - the five squares still attached to each other, the printed pattern slowly dissolving. He had met a new friend and would stay at his house. I no longer saw him much. Which would have been odd considering we were in Lockdown Level 4 but I was not surprised by his lack of care for what the government had put in place. Aiden had been a piece of chewing tobacco, thrown into the mouth of his environment without will, chewed and slowly spat out in dark globules of saliva every so often. He didn’t give a shit about ‘lockdown level 4’ and neither did his new friends.
His new friend was also a musician; he had a set of decks and was a DJ. He also began dosing himself heavily with LSD at a young age - 14 years old he later told me. So I wasnt too surprised to notice my Audio Interface missing from the studio one night. I took $850 from his stash as collateral. Aiden had given Moby $2500 to look after so he wouldn’t spend it on drugs for himself. Moby had then come to me and let me know; he didn't want to bare this burden alone, he knew that inevitably Aiden will come after that money at the height of a binge. For that is what it represented, or more specifically, for what it didn’t represent - money that shouldn’t be spent on drugs. Moby and I hid the money in fat book in our pathetic bookcase in the living room. One night at around 11pm, after days of absence, Aiden turns up. He powers into the house without decorum. “Where is my money?” I hear him say to Moby from the hall. Next I hear a knock on my door. I open the door to see Aiden standing in front of me. He is not in a space I have seen him before, his eyes are dead and it is clear that he is sleep deprived. “Where is my money?” He repeats to me. “I’ll give you your money once I see my Audio Interface” I reply. He quickly turns and heads back out the door in agreement. He returns with the interface. I notice some chocolate had melted and was rimmed around one of the ports at the back. “And the USB cable?” I ask. He turns and leaves the house in agreeance and returns momentarily with the USB cable. I head to the living room to give him his $850 left under a ceramic bowl on the windowsill. “Where’s the rest of it?” He asks. I was wasn’t sure, it didn’t make sense. He had seen Moby, so I assumed that he had the $2500. I checked the bookcase in a panic. Nothing there. I couldn’t hide my anxiety for this situation. He was missing more than half of his stash. I look at him with no answer. His presence becomes more powerful instantly, “where is the money?” He asks again, his eyes piercing into mine. I have no answer except “woah, woah, woah’ like a cowboy trying to calm a wild horse down to a slow trot. He instantly suspects Moby and moves towards his room, he swings the door open and I see him leap into the room. ‘Woah, woah, woah!’ I repeat with inconsequence. The room sounds like a fox let loose in a chicken coop. As quick as it begun, Aiden emerged and left the house without a word.
Chapter 12: Aiden moves out.
I gave Aiden a week to move out and when the weekend came he said hi. He had been slowly moving his music gear out from the downstairs studio with his mate throughout the week and now he was here to get the rest of his stuff from his bedroom. I had a station wagon, so I offered to take down his mattress. After stuffing it in my Subaru Legacy I got it to his new flat. It was a student flat. Perfect for him. I helped him move it into his room where he had already set up his drums. He let me know before hand that he had ‘mistakenly’ taking a bunch of my leads but it was apparent that was not the only thing he had accidentally grabbed. Two mic stands and an unpackaged square of sound insulation foam was also occupying his new room. I let him know that I had noticed the unauthorized goods and let him keep everything except for the leads. Those add up. I was planning to keep his bond and the rent that he had paid in a lump sum so it wasn’t too big of a deal. I had strategically moved any item of significance to me out of the studio when I had alerted him of his need to move out and I was glad I did. The other Mic stands that had not been taken were missing the attachment and would have been pointless to take. It would seem Aiden did need some payback and I don’t hate him for that. He is 18 and still believes that the world is out to get him. I found it fitting that in the week Aiden moved out, the New Zealand Government moved into Level 3 of Lockdown. The Era of Level 4 and living with Aiden had come to a peaceful end.
Chapter 13: The Quiet Oasis
Both Moby and I were quietly celebrating the end to the drama by keeping to ourselves. The house was peaceful and we were both recovering well. We were even taking daily walks together which was a massive step for Moby as he is quick to blame any resistance to exercise on his knee.
I had been enjoying my end of day ritual of having a small toke on my tiny metal cone after work. It was the only device I had for smoking weed but I was glad it was that. It didn’t allow me to pack much into it which was a good thing. Weed typically blasted me into the cosmos so I only needed a small amount. Infact the effectiveness weed had on me was one of the reason’s I had started to buy a small quantity. Its very common for a lot of people to only experiment with weed in a social setting - usually when a person offers it to them. The problem with this scenario is that the high is always connected with socializing and of course, weed can place people into a state where they have absolutely no need to socialize. I had my oasis. Where I could smoke weed after work and listen to music with my heater on. I would try to do nothing. Which is impossible for me, but the act of trying to do nothing was enough to recharge me for the next day. I had been listening to a lot of Joe Rogan’s podcasts. And like a boy around a campfire, I listened to the elders that Joe invited to the show. I especially enjoyed Duncan Trussell. He was a fascinating creature that filled his vocabulary with such enjoyable analogies and similes. He communicated with such a creative competency, as if it was the inspiration for a concept found in Rick and Morty. He was incredibly spiritual also, which I connected to greatly. He saw the universe that we see to be merely the tip of the iceberg. As if there were a thousand realities happening at the same time and we are only able to see one because of the way the chemicals in our brain work and the physical limitations of our body. I would have to agree with that, the reality a bat that uses sonar is something incomprehensible to ours. Just think about being a bat and then gaining the senses that we have. What represents it’s reality, would be absolutely alien to it. A few years back when I was living in Melbourne, my friend’s boyfriend Tom gave me a chance to do some DMT in the form of ‘Changa’. An australian term for the plant extract left over from producing Dimethyltryptamine. Usually this Changa is also coated with the concentrated, crystallized DMT. As I began inhaling this substance in our Garage/recording studio, I was transported to a spaceship. Where I was no longer in my reality. It was as clear as day. Every inch of what I was seeing was altered. Colours were incredibly vibrant, and everything had a fresh shine to it, like a polished, crisp apple. My friends boyfriend beside me was still holding the bong he had helped me smoke and was looking at me in a way that communicated “Do you get it?” Luckily for me, I did “get it” for this man was no longer human but a shiny green lizard man wearing a beautiful silk gown of purples, greens, pinks and blues. My reality was bubbling as if what I knew was slowly melting away to reveal a greater truth that lies just behind it. Afterwards, I sat by the pool with my friends and laughed at the experience. We all felt an overwhelming sense of love and compassion between us and I came away with a mind that was unaltered except for the openness I had for the idea that everything is not all what it seems. I became fascinated with the drug after spending that New Years talking to an interesting gentleman on the sand dunes of South Australia at a wonderful concert he and a large collection of friends had put together. We got talking about DMT and the gentleman started to ask me if he saw a certain someone. He began describing the exact creature who was sitting beside me; the Lizard person with the beautiful silky gown. “Yeah man, that guys called the gatekeeper. Once you ascend higher in enlightenment, you’ll start to see angels and gold”. This rang true, a few of my friends have seen angels, a few have been lifted up into the sky to meet them. The consistencies in the hallucinations were hard to ignore although there were always some outstanding cases like when my friend Brooksy took it and got fucked in the face by the devil. “Yeah, it was pretty buzzy ae, the Devil came down from the sky laughing maniacally as he began fucking my face with his big red dick”. Some people have bad trips, which should always remind people that doing psychedelics is not a cure for deep seeded issues and you must always enter that state of thinking with an acceptance for your situation and at least the acknowledgement of the things in yourself that you have to one day address.
As the last of my weed began to dwindle, after about a month of smoking from this one fiddy bag, I decided that I better get some more. So I hit up Aiden on SnapChat. He would alway’s ask my friend Sam to do the same so I thought I’d respect that. He replied with ‘Download Wickr, I use Wickr now,’. I had heard of that sometime before. A guy at a party told me to get it so I could buy some acid off him. I never got round to it. I asked Aiden for a ‘hundy of the green monster’s pubes’ and he replied with ‘sweet. I've also got some ‘Changa, It’s 50 a point and 300 a gram’.
Chapter 14: DMT
I arrived at Aiden’s new flat around 7pm after grabbing some cash lying around my room. I had $160 left over from the door charge we made on a gig and had never got round to dividing it up to the band so decided to do the right thing and spend it. I needed $150. $100 for the hundy, and $50 for the changa. I entered Aiden’s flat and was welcomed into a warm bedroom where is flatmate was chilling. He had a great set up, his bed was low to the floor and had an array of pillows propping him up. He was sporting a ‘scullet’ which I was informed was a mullet but with the sides shaved to the skin. His scullet was dreaded. With the acid drum and bass blearing, he reminded me of a Sultan. A Sultan that had found himself aboard this crazy technological spaceship called 2020 and was doing well to exert a mystical presence while being inundated with electronic equipment. I haded Aiden the $150 which caused some confusion. I had messaged him back saying I will have a ‘gram’ for the Changa but only arrived with $50. Before leaving my house I had looked up what a ‘point’ meant on urban dictionary and misread it’s description. A ‘point’ is ‘point one’ of a gram. Not a gram. After seeing a small but valuable gram of this weird mystical drug in a baggie I couldn’t leave without it all. I went back out into the night to find an ATM to find the extra $250. Upon return, the room had become a room of four people. There was a petite young woman sitting on the edge of the sultan’s bed and an attractive dark haired and skinned man in his early 20’s on the seat next to me. I was unsure if he was Maori, Indian or both. I found him very pretty so I assumed a bit of both.
At this stage I knew what was going to happen. I was going to take it there. It was an idiotic idea of course, but for some reason, I cannot help but be influences by the people around me. Even if those people did not want me to do it there, the suggestion that I can just do it in the Sultan’s warm Spaceship was enough. I also knew that I should be the one dosing myself, after all I did just spend $300 on it, but as with a lot of decisions based around fear, I wanted someone else to be put in charge and appoint them with the responsibility. I was scared, there was no doubt, but I am a scared person. I base a lot of my life decisions around comfort and self preservation. I saw the options I had infront of me as, ‘I do this now, or I don’t do this.’ I drove there with the intention of buying it and doing it by myself, but the stigma around DMT was still very influential to me so I wanted to be somewhere with some potential support. This said, I knew that my bag would soon dissipate with Aiden serving me up. The Changa was flaky so Aiden added some marijuana to it. This came with some resistance; I wanted a DMT high, not some concoction! It was either that or Tabacco so reluctantly I chose the weed.
The idea of it is to do a lot, all at once. You don’t hold it in for long, you just take multiple ‘breaths’ of it. Apparently this meant having three bongs lined up, all having a 5:1 ratio of weed to DMT. Even I knew that that was a dumb idea and once again I thought about my hopelessness to stay completely in control when afraid. Really, I wanted to say ‘Look, to be honest, I should on my own time,’ but I didn’t want to look weak so I stuck with my decision. ‘DMT comes at a price’, the nice looking man next to me said. I had heard about how Dimethyltryptamine was only released when you are born and when you die, but he added a new plot twist; ‘It takes away your high when you die.’ He exclaimed. Like he somehow knew. Still, there was truth in his former statement, it did come at a price, $300 to be exact. Once the bongs were lined up, I had a few minutes of limbo as I tried to analyse my life decisions so far. Inevitably, I was to do it in this room so I decided to get on with it. Aiden helped me with the first bong which was packed with weed. My first thought as I inhaled was, ‘this is a fucking dumb idea, the weed alone is going to fuck me up’. After breathing out the first toke I felt the world around me grow sharp prickles. My senses were being intruded upon by something foreign. I instantly started to see hallucinations; geometric patterns started to form on my hand and on the bong and forms started oscillating like a soundwave. Aiden shoved the next one in my face, but it was already too late, I couldn’t even see the bong. I still had my mind, and I knew where I was so I reached out in the dark geometric void in search for the second bong. There was an intensity in the air, the Sultan had decided to get high on nitrous oxide at the same moment I took a hit and he and Aiden were shouting at me to do more so I would have enough to ‘break through’ and hopefully see some lizard people, angels or the red veiny schlong of the devil. The reality was that I was being bombarded with bongs while in some other universe. I could hear the Sultan of Nangs inhaling and exhaling on his balloon while Aiden’s hyped up state of excitement was pushing me to ‘breakthrough’. After two giant bongs, I couldn’t even breath let alone see the bongs so doing the final last bong was out of the question. The trip had been successful, it came on in the first hit and I felt like I had rudely knocked on the door to this other universe but was denied access due to my actions leading up to it. It wasn’t the way I should have taken it. Aiden had dosed it for how he would do it, it was like repeating the lesson with smoking weed in a social environment; I was not in control of the dose of this mystical medicine. I also lost track of the last bong so it had also been a waste of the valuable substance. I tried to make up my loses by asking Aiden if he could shout me a Nang, and he kindly accepted. I had taken nitrous Oxide many times. Typically, you would use a device used to crack the metal vessel containing the pressurized Nitrous Oxide and instead of using the gas to whip cream etc. you fill up a balloon which you can use to breath in and out with. It was a very heady high, like your brain had just expanded to 200% its size and with it, your consciousness, but only for a brief moment, around 15 seconds. It certainly helped bring back some of the DMT trip but it was ultimately lost. I did start using the balloon as a meditation device, synchronously breathing in and out of it with the music, mimicking some sort of music equalizer. I could see this as being some sort of ritual practice. A weird meditation in breathing except a bit harder. Like doing press ups for your lungs ‘Hey man, that’s the only balloon I got,’ I heard the Sultan say. With the realization of what he had just said, I decided to end my meditation session and go home.
Chapter 15: Monday, 15th of June
Weeks passed and all was well, as I write this I cannot think of anything that presided in that time frame. Some might say I that fuck-all happened.
I decided that I wanted to use Aiden’s room for something. “You could make it into a studio” Moby had said. I was now beginning to think that was a good idea. It still had a bed base and Shelves - along with a deodorant bottle and some tissues. Aiden’s of course. I had been hounding him about getting it out for a while, even offering to rent a trailer and take it to his place. I had given him a deadline of Monday to get it out. Frank and Aiden arrived around 11 to get the stuff. Frank seemed less easy than he normally was. He was probably right to be disappointed in this occasion, both Aiden and Frank were losing the last connection they had to me. At the time I didn’t realise what this day meant. The plan was to take Mobys bed as that was Aiden’s, along with an electric blanket. Luckily Moby was not home. I had no trouble copping some blame for letting Aiden take his bed back.
About two hours later, the door opened and in walked Moby. Except it was not Moby it was Aiden. He knocked on my door and I was surprised to see him there instead of Moby. “Hey man, is Moby home?” Beside him was a big white guy a bit above 6 foot. Before I could even ask who he was, Moby walked in the door. I presumed it was Moby because Aiden reacted with, “Oh look who it is.” In a voice of contained anger and fear. Aiden began backing Moby into his own room. Followed by big-guy and I. Aiden wanted money that Moby had supposedly taken. The figure of 10k was thrown around. Moby answered with, ‘I have nothing’, ‘You didn’t give me 10k’ and ‘I’ve given you all your money’ under the repeating line, ‘pay up, pay up bro,’ from the big guy. They were after Mobys computer and monitor, the only thing of value he had. In total, they were worth around 3k. Moby produced his phone and said, “I’m calling the Police.” Aiden quickly grabbed at it and began swinging down onto Moby.
As big-guy and I watched outside the door, I looked in like a stunned spectator, Moby and Aiden tumbled around the room kicking up boxes of clothes and old plates. It seemed more or less harmless, Moby was not fighting back and Aiden was missing most of the time. Making the most of the opportunity; Big-guy grabbed an old laptop on the ground and put it under his wing. I assumed that Big-guy had just been there for intimidation, but it seemed he was more than happy to help with the move. It was when Moby tumbled for the door way that Big-guy, the opportunist that he was, threw a few shots of his own. His were more controlled and were more dangerous. I got an arm in the way and he ceased fire. I promoted the idea that they needed this. It was between Aiden and Moby and he seemed to agree. Twenty seconds later, the fight was exhausted and Aiden had lost his glasses. Big-guy ordered Moby to help look for the glasses. I had seen his glasses come off when both their bodies had smashed into the leaning mirror near the window so I walked in and began looking. They were underneath some crap. I handed them back to Aiden.
I remember Aiden mentioning that I don’t own him anything. ‘That I know of’, he had said. I found that an interesting piece of information to add and scoffed at it. I did not like the proposal that I am a fair candidate to be robbed.
Aiden and Big-guy grabbed at the Computer and Monitor. They were still connected and there were hanging cables everywhere. There was a pause as they thought about unplugging it all but they didnt. Like clueless pirates off a comedy movie, they scurried out the door with their plunders. I didn’t try to stop them. In fact I offered to help them unplug it properly. If they were there to take it, may as well keep it in good condition.
Looking back, I find it odd I didn’t follow them out the door and continue watching the show. To see what car they got into. Where they parked. And how much scuttling they had to do before getting into their getaway Corolla. I hope Ngari got to see the commotion, it would have been right outside her house. I have a feeling she is fairly oblivious to those sorts of things these days. Moby had lost his phone and asked for mine. I hesitated. I wanted to sit and think about this. Somewhere in the robbery, Aiden had mentioned that the “88” had targeted this house and would come around here if we called the cops. I had never heard of the “88”. Aiden had told me a few months back that gangs usually get kids addicted before getting them to sell. That way they were always needing to pay off their growing drug habits. Aiden had also mentioned that he was in debt to a local gang and had been robbed a few times. Whether or not this was true is unknown. He could have also ingested too much of his own stock and needed to repay his investors. I wasn’t sure. I’m inherently selfish so I thought of my Telecaster and my drum kit and did not want to end this story with those getting stolen by the gang that thought ‘88’ was a cool number. Inevitably I handed my cell phone over to Moby. I wasn’t going to be a dick. He had been beaten and robbed after all. I felt bad for Aiden. He was in a bad patch of his addiction. He had said to me one time when I was angry at Moby acting like an unstable arshole after the drug spiking incident; ‘I’m worried what you’re going to be like when I’m in a bad patch with my addiction’. I had most likely been the catalyst of the burglary when I pushed him to remove the rest of his stuff. I wanted to do it myself, it made sense for me to; it would have kept Moby and Aiden away from each other but Aiden was adamant he had to do it. Although when he arrived with Frank he looked like a deranged ghost. I asked how he was doing and he responded, ‘good, haven’t touched anything for two months. The last thing I did was Dmt. I saved myself when I was drowning as a baby.’ His trip was referring to the time he had almost drowned as a baby in a stream. Whether or not taking his own bed out of Moby's room was the reason for the second arrival is of course unknown. I can’t help thinking it would have helped. Aiden certainly believed that Moby owed him something. Before handing over the cellphone, I sent a text saying; ‘You know I can’t stop Moby from calling the cops, don’t you?’ A part of me sent that text so I might be exempt from further robbery, another part of me wanted him to know that I didn’t betray him. I had helped him move his bed out earlier that day so maybe that was untrue. Two police officers showed up. One a fair headed man, the other a woman with hair shaved up the sides. They took our statements and left. An hour later I got a call; they had found Aiden but not Big-guy and Aiden wasn’t snitchn’. Mobys possessions weren’t with him either. We were told to try locate Big-guy on facebook. I left my phone with Moby and went off to rom-hack 3D environments into Ocarina of Time. “Is this him?” Moby said an hour or so later as he shoved the facebook photo up to my face. It didn’t look like him at first. But as I went through the photos he started to look very familiar.
The female police officer had asked if he had any tattoos. I thought I had seen the edge of a mandala on his right wrist. His top was hiding 88% of it. Sure enough, this guy had something similar in the facebook photos. I text back his name and ‘88% sure,’ which was a reserved estimate.
Connor is still on the run and Aiden was summoned to court the next day for immediate charges. He now has a restraining order against both Moby and I, an enforced curfew and his passport revoked. He will be returning to court for more charges if Moby decides to press charges.
Chapter 16: Lockdown Level 4 2021
Tonight New Zealand enters it’s first full lockdown of 2021. As my friends and I reminisced about lockdown in 2020, I read this story. And now, it seems only fitting to put a pin in it by concluding the outcome of Aiden’s Sentence:
After Aiden was given his immediate charges, he was once again met by the Police. He was caught carrying class A drugs. Apparently the Police had been monitoring him before we gave them a call that fateful night of the computer robbery. This second incident with the Police was the nail in the coffin. “Class A, that’s a minimum of 8 years” Moby explained in the Kitchen of my new house. Aiden eventually was charged with 3 years in prison by the Dunedin Court after he wheeled in a shopping trolly of Mobys stolen computer; presuming that if he looked deranged, the judge might feel some pity on him, who knows.
I for one do feel pity on him. I had got to know a human being, a human who told me that he does not feel emotions properly because of the chemical abuse he has exposed his brain to at such a young age, a human who told me that he has to create concoctions via illegal chemicals to create feelings of joy and excitement and use LSD and Ketamine to pacify his need for Meth or Heroin. He was a boy who got manipulated by another poor soul into trying drugs that changed him forever. In the last few months of living at Fairy Creek, I didn’t see much of the human and saw more of an animal motivated by his desire to keep going, to keep consuming the chemicals that he was initially enchanted by. I saw it in his eyes. It was extremely sad to see, also quite intimidating. These relapses would always subdue and the human would return but the fight of addiction would be on going. “I want to go to prison” he once told me, “either that or lock me up in Wakari”. Aiden just wanted a way out. I hope that his time in prison helps him with his recovery. As I write this, I ask myself why haven’t I visited? I certainly feel some guilt in letting him down; a personal reflection that I know is completely unwarranted but still, its hard for that feeling not to emerge.