I was watching the movie “The Wolf Of Wall Street” and for the first time in decades I heard the drug name, “Quaaludes”. I haven’t heard that name mentioned since the early 1980’s. Like the dodo bird and the dinosaur, Quaaludes have been extinct for quite some time now. Ludes were what rocked the world there for a while, and it’s one of the few drugs I’m happy they quit making when they did.
My first clue that something was wrong, terribly and horribly wrong with Quaaludes came when someone threw a Frisbee to me right after I took my first one. It was coming in, gliding gently through the air and it was an easy catch. I stuck my hand out, thought to myself, you might want to get off center of that thing, because…
The flying disc ricocheted off my nose.
Reality and Quaalude time were a few seconds apart. And that was only the beginning. We discovered fairly quickly that if a woman had inhibitions when it came to sex a lude would dissolve them. Of course, the downside to this was it also removed any inhibitions anyone had when it came to sex and regrettable actions could and would ensue. A woman I knew, who wasn’t interested in doing anything with me but ludes, wound up having sex with me on the shore of a lake. The damning thing about this is we were no more than twenty feet from a party that was going on and we were hidden by the bank of the lake. Anyone who walked over, or stumbled over, to that side of the party could have seen us. She wasn’t on the pill and she called me every day for two weeks, terrified she was pregnant, until at least her period arrived. She and I still aren’t on speaking terms. That was 1980.
The Night Of Three Wrecks was the point in time we should have realized we were in well over our heads. If nothing else, the fact that out of the dozen or so people who took ludes out of the batch that came in that night, there were three wrecks, ought to have spoken to us, but it didn’t. I ditched my car on a dirt road trying to go around a tractor. A friend of mine got hit making a right turn on a red traffic light. But the thing that happened that ought to have shocked us all into better sense was my best friend went off a curve at seventy miles an hour. The car flew through the air, hit a utility pole ten feet up on the pole, and rolled. He was okay but his girlfriend spent a week in ICU with a skull fracture.
We were very young and we were very stupid. We jumped of bridges in the dark and we took our chances with nothing to be gained in return. Young women got pregnant and young men were killed or maimed, sometimes. And only by sheer dumb luck did any of us walk away from that time in history. The lucky ones walked away from ludes with a few scars and a few fuzzy memories.