Taylor was working in Colombia. Bogotá is a bright city upon a mountain. Combined with its equatorial setting, the weather is crisp, sunny, and identically moderate all year round. Those who like their women surgically enhanced enjoy their time in Colombia.
Steve visited Taylor’s hotel room the night before the concert.
“Taylor, check out what I got downtown. This is the old-style cocaine from before they had to resort to extracting from coca using diesel. It’s smooth and delicious without any lingering chemical taste.” Steve was proud of his find and wanted to share socially instead of enjoying it all by himself.
Steve was a degenerate always seeking pleasure in gray areas despite the risks or consequences. His friends were mostly enablers who either looked the other way at his crazed impulses or made money off his compulsions.
“Nah man, I’m many years into rehab and keeping clean,” said Taylor, who was trying to avoid temptation and concerned about self-realizations of his weakness.
“I know, but there’s no way to get hooked. You’ll never be able to get anything as good as this again. We’re in Colombia and this is the only place to get uncut coke of this quality. It’s fine to use it just once. Besides, opiates are your addiction, not stimulants. Just have a taste and you’ll be good to go tomorrow.” Steve could find any reason to justify the conclusion he wanted.
“This probably isn’t a good idea, but I see what you mean. One exception just for tonight won’t hurt anyone, especially if this stuff is as good as you say. It’s important I stay professional so I can put on a top notch show tomorrow.” Taylor was flexible enough to bend the rules when they were just restrictive definitions he didn’t want limiting his pleasure.
“Yeah, just a few bumps and then you can sleep in to get your rest until soundcheck. It’s really no big deal at all.” Steve saw Taylor’s resistance fall away as he stared at the glowing white powder.
Steve cut a few lines and took the first hit up his nose. With a big satisfied smile he leaned back from the table and gestured for Taylor to try.
Taylor paused for a second with doubt, but in his head he reasoned this was just a single solitary lapse from his sobriety, and this wouldn’t fuel any part of his inherently addict motivated traits.
Taylor took the next line and was amazed how easily it went down. It was indeed uncut and delicious.
They took turns with the already poured pile of cocaine. Each sniff called for just one more. When it was cleared away, Steve poured another oversized mound and they began again.
“I feel incredible!” said Taylor, who found peace in the promise that he would be somehow well-rested to play at the stadium tomorrow though his heart and mind were racing at the moment. No one would have to know about his pleasurable consumption.
Steve and Taylor continued to take larger bumps as the pleasure gradually waned, each time trying to get that original feeling back. Steve was more familiar and skilled navigating this roller-coaster as he tried to maximize the euphoria.
Eventually Taylor had taken more into his system than it could handle. He fell to the floor with his mouth foaming. His heart had stopped. He eyes were wide open with awareness of his predicament.
Steve searched frantically for the local emergency number equivalent of 911, finally giving up and calling downstairs to the front desk to summon an ambulance.
Unfortunately Colombian ambulance service was not as amazing as the cocaine. Several major roads between the hotel and hospital were tied up in heavy Friday night traffic as people were making their way to clubs and other amusement. Locals didn’t respect emergency sirens and in any case there wasn’t much room for cars to move out of the way. Local infrastructure hadn’t planned for road shoulders or support of emergency services though these concepts were well established in other countries. It would take over 30 minutes until an emergency response could get to Taylor.
Steve had already fled the hotel room by then, not wanting to be responsible for guiding Taylor into a whirlpool of murky waters that cost him everything for a few short feelings of cheap pleasure.