Furthermore, the apartment was convenient in that it was only two miles from the newspaper where he worked. It also meant that he and his girlfriend Darlene could be alone. Darlene worked at the club and she wasn't the sort of girl one would want to take home to meet mom and dad. She also introduced him to a whole new world--the world of drugs. At first Johnny refused to have anything to do with the scene, but one day she convinced him into trying a new "psychedelic" drug called "LSD." A week earlier he watched her for three hours on a "trip," and listened to her rave about its mind‑opening qualities. When she showed him a newspaper cutting of a number of respected doctors actually recommending it for therapy, he succumbed.
She had also introduced him to Jack, the owner of the Ruby’s nightclub. Mr. Ruby was a quiet man, about 5'6" tall. He was originally a "hustler" from Chicago who liked to wear his black‑banded hat everywhere he went.
It wasn't long before Johnny found himself taking more and more LSD, and during that time there was a subtle change in his personality. It was truly a "mind‑altering" drug. It turned a bright outward personality inward. He also found himself in direct contact with drug dealers who sold more than "acid." They were forever encouraging him to try "smack," the ultimate "rush." Johnny vowed that he had too much self-respect to put a needle into his body, but as time passed LSD changed him even more. He found that without it, life was dull; so dull it became depressing. It didn't occur to him that the drug was causing his depression. Rather, he saw it as the cure.
It was during one of his times of despondency that he decided to go down to the club during the day, rather than to go to work.
The door was partly open, so he walked in to find a man he knew who talked with a lisp. It was because of his lisp that his friends called him "Lips." Lips was a pusher, who, by the way he dressed was obviously successful in his profession. When he saw Johnny open the door he stood to his feet and said,
"Hey Johnny, good to sthee you. What are you doing here at thith time of the day?"
Johnny managed a smile and said,
"I got sick of work. It is boring. Besides, my cash is a little low and I can't afford any acid."
Lips smiled warmly and said,
"Hey man, what are you doing on that junk anyway! I told you, you gotta give sthmack a chanth. It'th the ultimate buzth, I'm not lying to ya."
Johnny didn't say a thing. He just sat there and listened to the salesman do his thing.
"I'll tell you what. I will give you sthome at no costht. " He reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a small folded piece of white paper and an outfit wrapped in plastic, put it on the table and walked off.
To be continued.