By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Bob AulI never used to put much stock in the dosing anecdotes in OC Weekly. It seems every time Commie Girl gets a bellyache after bar hopping, she writes about how she was "dosed." Don't get me wrong: drugging a woman so you can have sex with her limp, passed-out body is up there with the worst of violent crimes. I just wasn't convinced it's a pervasive practice. To me, the whole dosing thing was just another "scared straight" tactic to keep us from drinking and having sex with people we meet in bars (yes, you'd like that wouldn't you, Mr. Attorney General?). "Storm Watch 2004! Mountain lions are eating mad cows! Girls are getting dosed in bars! Details at 11!" Either that, or "I was dosed" was the newest excuse given by stupid girls who get wasted and fuck someone they later wish they hadn't. At least that's what I thought before last Thursday night.
Maybe if I hadn't been so distracted earlier in the evening by the obnoxiously drunk girl (we'll call her Brandy), I would have noticed something amiss with her pretty friend (we'll call her Candy). The gaggle of girls came into my favorite bar at around midnight. My buddy and I had had a few drinks with them at an earlier cocktail party, but they'd clearly made a few stops in between. There were four or five of them, all in their early 20s, along with one guy in his 30s. He hadn't been at the cocktail party but was clearly part of their group now and seemed to know Candy well, though he seemed out of her league.
Only Brandy was drunk, and because she was in my favorite bar and had screeched my name as she came into it, I felt instantly responsible for keeping her from making a scene. This was difficult, as she refused to sit still and shut up, which is all any of us really wanted. Her friends were fine, drunk only in a "let's all make out at the bar in a three-way girl-girl-girl kiss" sort of way. No slurring of words. No rolling of eyes back into the head or puking in the car. That would come later.
Finally, after one shriek too many, it was time for Brandy to leave. I escorted her out a few seconds before the bar owner would have done the same. I'm not sure how it came that we were driving Brandy and Candy home: you 86 a girl from a bar, you take her home, I guess, and maybe I had designs on Candy. After a ridiculously long ordeal with Brandy in the parking lot, we were ready to leave. But now where the hell was Candy?
Back in the bar, she was sitting by herself in the corner, eyes glazed over and head lolling around on her neck like a bobble-head doll. How'd she get so drunk? I wondered as I guided her out to the car. Finally. Everyone was in the car, ready to go, when Candy started to puke. Great. While she vomited on the floor of my friend's car (suddenly she was so drunk, we couldn't get her out of the car in time), a cab pulled up and Candy's guy friend got out, looked at us in an odd way (I realize later), and, without a word, slammed the cab door and took off.
We drove carefully (nothing says 502 like a drunk girl puking out the car window) to Brandy's apartment complex, where, of course, she'd lost her keys. As we carried Candy's dead weight to the front door, I mused how badly the night had turned out. When I was making out with Candy and the two other girls at the bar, it seemed so full of possibilities. Now I'm carrying her seemingly lifeless body across a parking lot. . . .
Wait. Lifeless. That's not good.
Then it hit me (finally, you're thinking): this isn't drunk. This is drugged. "She's been dosed," I heard myself say. "We're taking her to Hoag." We dashed off to the emergency room with her, where we suffered the suspicious looks of the doctors. GHB, they say. Two hours later, she was as good as new—but couldn't remember much. That guy I thought was her friend? She only met him earlier that night at another bar. I don't know if he dosed her; I don't know for certain anyone did. (This just in: while we were dealing with her friend outside, she spent time in the bathroom with a random guy. Did he dose her? Did they engage in consensual drug-taking, or was he a predator sensing blood in the water?)
Since that night, every woman I've told the story to has a near-miss dosing story. So I was wrong: it happens all the time, apparently. The whole night got me to thinking: I found Candy attractive earlier in the evening, before she got blotto. Clearly when she was unconscious, whether from drink or drugs, she was off-limits. But where on that continuum (assuming consensual alcohol intake only) would I have said no to her attentions? And if it's all but a sliding scale between well-lubricated mutual seduction and rape, how different am I from the doser?