How Cocaine helped me improve my GPA
When I first showed up at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, I was a big fish out of water, thrown helplessly into the middle of a very large sandbox filled with turtles (this is intended as a mix of several clichés). I was an atheist, you see, not a Christian. At the age of thirteen I'd been adopted from years of foster care into a deeply evangelical Virginia family. When I graduated from high school, my adopted parents insisted that I attend Liberty University. They wanted me to major in Biology and eventually prove once and for all that Darwin was wrong and that the world was actually created in six days by an anthropomorphic god.
A typical day at Liberty wasn't the sort of thing most punk rock atheist guys like me could stomach. We'd wake up bright and early every morning at 6:00 AM, put on our coats and ties and report for morning service. Jesus would be praised, the devil would be mocked, and then we'd be off to calculus. But for me, the most humiliating class of the day was Biology, which came just before lunch. As my blood glucose level gradually dipped into the red, I'd have to sit through 55 minute lectures about the fossil evidence for Noah's Ark and the evolutionary impossibility of the human eye. At first I thought it was amusing, and I used to occasionally chuckle softly to myself. But gradually it grew to be a bore, especially when we'd have whole lectures focusing upon the "begat lists" of Genesis. I'd find myself nodding off in class and doing poorly on pop quizzes. My grades began to slip.
Then I met Jessica Sue. Two weeks into the semester, following an administrative restructuring, her seating placement was moved to directly beside mine in Biology 101. Superficially, she was like all the other girls at Liberty. She had long mousey-brown hair, wore knee-length skirts, and fervently believed in the imminent arrival of Christ Jesus. But there was something about her that I really liked. It might have been that Listerine breath. It might have been those scented feminine hygiene pads on those special days every month. Practically the only thing keeping me awake in Biology was the sexual tension I'd stir up by "inadvertently" touching her foot with mine. One day I got up my nerve and invited her to eat lunch with me. I could feel the serotonin surging in my veins as she graciously agreed.
The lunch was unremarkable, except for the enormity of Jessica Sue's appetite. For such a scrawny coal miner's daughter, she could sure pack away the "steak" and "gravy." Then, after lunch, she took me for a little ride to pick up "necessities" at the Lynchburg Walmart.
I suppose I should have had my suspicions the moment I saw the car. It was a Trans Am with no top. But it wasn't a convertible; the car had once belonged to an old boyfriend and he had sawed its roof off in a desperate ploy to come across as dashing and unique in the stifling, repressive scene of some nameless Southwest Virginia mining town. The upholstery smelled slightly of milldew, but aside from that the car was in great shape.
Jessica Sue was a maniac behind the wheel. She ignored red lights and sped up for pedestrians in the crosswalk, dismissing them with "they're probably Jewish or otherwise of the Devil." But she was skilled at maniacal driving. Never before had I seen someone successfully parallel park into a tight spot at 20 miles per hour.
Then, before we entered the Walmart, she introduced me to the key to her incredible energy. From beneath the driver's seat she produced a 35 mm film canister. She opened it up and poured a small amount of white powder onto a circular shaving mirror. Using her Liberty University Student ID, she cut it into four little piles. Then, with a rolled-up religious tract, she inhaled the stuff into her nose.
"Isn't that cocaine?" I asked.
"Sure is," she replied, "Here, I saved two lines for you!"
"But hold on, isn't that stuff of the Devil?" I asked.
"Oh no," she said, "The Bible is very clear about this stuff."
Then she quoted Song of Solomon 3:6:
"Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?"
"So it's okay?" I asked.
"It sure is!" she proclaimed.
I never really hit it off romantically with Jessica Sue, but from that day forth, she kept me supplied with cocaine. She sold it to me for only 10% more than it cost her, which (from what I've heard) is a pretty nice thing to do.
I never again fell asleep in Biology class, and on nights before exams, I was able to study productively until five in the morning. Not only did my grades begin to improve in Biology, they improved across the board. I was even doing better in bowling class, which I was taking to fulfill my physical education requirement.
Whenever I snorted those little piles of white dust, I felt like the world was entirely mine, like I was its grand master. Even Christ Jesus Himself seemed to be doing my bidding. Over time I began to question my abhorrent atheism. You see, the rewards in all my Christian classes seemed to demonstrate that cocaine was doing a great deal of good for my soul, gradually making me a better Christian. I began to study Biology ever more fervently, staying up all night reading and re-reading Genesis trying to discover the proofs I needed.
Now, several years later, I've assembled the evidence and I've reached my conclusions. As I write, I'm putting the finishing touches on a thesis that will once and for all prove Darwin wrong. Check back with me in a month or two.
July 5th, 1999