The high and mighty
It was a Saturday night and they were headed in a boat to Sully’s yacht ‘Item Girl’ parked in the greasy waters at Keamari.
Samra’s hop into the yacht clutching her fiancé’s hand firmly was not a very elegant move. Binges were not really her style but she had to keep up with the Jones at the pre-party! She was in no mood to slip and make a mess of her designer tousled hair, her Dolce and Gabbana dress bought in New York with her Salvatore Ferragamo purse and Nine West stilettos. Her Svarovsky earrings caught the flashing party lights. She smiled up at him and he winked at her. Plastered, she thought, and it was only 11pm. Pupils dilated, his eyes look lighter.
While she puffed away at her joints all evening, he was shooting up his newly bought stash of white powder that he was using up faster than ever. Sully should stop but why would he, she thought. Sully was a party animal, and they called him Chemical Daddy in the high school which he dropped out of to manage a car showroom that his dad had acquired as a payback on a business deal. The higher Sully got, the harder he rocked. Sully’s birthday party tonight was going to be the biggest bash of the season. Techno music blared in the air which was a curious mix of salt, sea, sewage, expensive perfume and hash.
Looking at him you would never take him for a junkie. Sully was tall, well-built — muscular almost — and well groomed. His clothes and his poise spoke of money and privilege. His tone and manner suggested a background of the best schools and probably a high ranking job. He should have been the centre of attention at his own party. But before arriving he had visited his dealer and got 15g of coke; he could probably sell 12g and make a little profit. But first things first, he needed his coke now so he looked around for a less crowded room, settled down in a corner and took out his wallet that always had at least half a gram of powder, a bill and a card to smash up and break it and a coloured straw. He sighed. He wasn’t proud of himself, somewhere in his mind he knew he wanted and needed help but couldn’t quite work out how to go about it.
Sully picked up his first cigarette when he was 10 (or maybe younger). “My parents smoked so stealing a fag now and then was no problem — and it gave me huge status with my school friends.” By his teens he had found himself a bootlegger and had moved quickly from beer to hard liqueur. No wonder that now, in his thirties, his liver was shot to pieces and alcohol is a no-no.
As he talked, Sully discreetly wipes his nose with a tissue every so often; the odd bloodstain on the tissue revealed the truth. He had an appointment with an ENT surgeon the next day for fixing his nosebleeds. One nostril at a time, he says, so he can continue snorting during recovery.
The guy with the BMW and the girl flaunting the Chanel bag followed him into the secluded corner and methodically rolled their currency notes to greet their only friend in the world: cocaine.
Not all of Sully’s friends are here for a coke fix and there’s something for everyone. From quail to caviar to calamari, shapely, twenty-something girls from Lahore, stylish transsexual bartenders, crystal bowls of punch for you to help yourself, cigars, and the choicest selection of guests including designers, models, businessmen, advertising gurus and VIPs. However, the one common denominator here was getting stoned, buzzed, high. It was a ‘bring your own drug’ (BYOD) party, but you could enjoy the luxury of drinking, smoking, snorting, shooting up on deck or in any of the luxurious salons indoor. Hash was on the house but coke and ecstasy were the latest ‘status symbols’. Beg, borrow, steal or kill, you had to have the pill or powder. Whatever your reason for popping pills or creasing powder was, you could keep that private but what you felt afterwards made a juicier discussion.
Samra felt closer to nature and felt she could fly away with the breeze, Neeza felt more sensual and beautiful, the chiffon sleeves covering the horrible needle and rubber cord marks on her skin. Zara felt liberated and contemplated going skinny dipping.
Shanzay always felt a bizarre love for feathers when she was stoned and hence her handbags were always made of soft feathers.
Umair could concentrate more, Osman thought there was a woman in his scrawny body, Shiraz thought he was the only real man on the yacht hence went round making sure that all women knew that by doing a surprise strip tease on the Bollywood hit the DJ put on.
Euphoric, hallucinating, lying, confessing, dancing or dizzy, some wanted to be touched, others couldn’t stop laughing, one wanted to cry and while another was getting scared of monsters in the sea. Psychedelic music and lights, love, hate, secrets, kisses, hugs, slaps, melodrama, laughter, tears, proposals decent and indecent, business deals, date rape hushed but filmed, dope to burn, money to blow, the fun lasted till the wee hours of the morning. It was a beginning for some, an end for others so some left happy, some sad, some satiated, some wanting more, some cheated, some triumphant, others puked and drained, but all high and loving it. n —Fouzia Nasir Ahmad & Shagufta Naaz Names have been changed to maintain privacy.