The time I bought fake cocaine

I once went clubbing with a friend in Montreal. I told him I knew where to buy drugs, including cocaine.

“Let’s buy cocaine, Paaaaul!” he whined. “It’ll be fun!”

So at around 1am, I took him to Place Émilie-Gamelin, which is a park that doubles as a drug-dealer hotspot. By day it’s a nice spot to sit and enjoy the sun, but right now it was terrifying. The wind was rustling the leaves of the dark trees. The shadows fuelled my fears of drug addicts with sharp knives.

I saw a dealer and asked him for $30 worth of cocaine. “Only $30?” he cried. “But I have a $50 bag here. That means I’m gonna have to split the bag”. He went to a wall and emptied his small bag of cocaine onto it. “Keep a look out for cops!” he urged us. Then the wind blew about half the powder away. “You see what happens when I have to split the bag!” he cried. His friends came over to see what was happening, but he shouted at them to go away.

Finally, the dealer finished splitting the cocaine – or whatever was left of it. But then the dealer realised another dilemma. “I don’t have a spare bag to put this in”. So he searched his pockets and found some card packaging to put the powder in.

At home, I tipped out the cocaine and I immediately saw it was fake – it was some kind of metal dust. The card packaging was from a photobooth, and in it was a photo of the dealer; he had accidentally given me his passport-style photo by mistake. I’ve kept it to this day.

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