Since I’m not presently welcome at the in-laws’ residence, I told Sophia’s visiting nephew, Nunzio, he could stop by our house today and throw a ball around. In the midst of playing catch, the 15-year-old surprised me with a bunch of questions about drugs. No kid had ever posed those inquiries to me before; nor did I have a clue as to the experts’ recommendations under such circumstances. Not seeing any better alternative, I decided to give him the unvarnished truth. Here’s the meat of our conversation.
“Uncle Richard, did you ever do drugs?”
“Sure Nunzio; back in college.”
“Which ones did you take?”
“Hmm, let me see: acid; cocaine; magic mushrooms; Quaaludes; speed; hashish; and of course marijuana. Probably a few others too, though I can’t recall them at the moment.”
“Did you like them?”
Admittedly, even I saw the warning flags in that question. But “in for a penny in for a pound,” as the old saying goes: “Well Nunzio, I liked most of them and I loved some of them.”
I won’t repeat the rest of our conversation verbatim. Suffice it to say, at the boy’s insistent urging, I recited several of my extremely enjoyable experiences with illegal substances. I did attempt to stress my rather abrupt decision to quit drug experimentation altogether; however, I’m afraid that message didn’t sink in quite as well as I would’ve liked. Nonetheless, I commended my own honesty, figuring that’s all anyone could ask.
I apparently have a lot to learn about talking to teenagers, as Nunzio’s mother informed me at high volume during the recently concluded, half-hour tongue lashing she imparted. Her tirade began and ended with the same incredulous question: “How could you tell a 15-year-old you tried drugs, and liked them!!!?”
When I finally got a word in edgewise, I offered her the benefit of my logic: “I told him the truth. What else was I supposed to do, lie?”
She sounded even more outraged as she replied: “My son’s first words after telling me about your conversation were: ‘I can’t wait to go to college!’ So I’d have to say yes, that’s exactly what you should’ve done!!!”
Just a few of the drugs no 15-year-old should ever try