I was fast asleep when suddenly I was awoken by a pounding on the door. This was not a knock like, “Hey, what’s up?” or even, “I really need to talk to you.” This was a knock that said, “I am going to get in there, and when I do, it’s gonna suck to be you.” The person outside the door was screaming for my roommate. I looked over to him.
"Don't open the door!"
I asked who it was.
"Just don't open the door."
I've never been so terrified in my life.
My roommate called the cops, but it took a while for them to get there. The knocking stopped—a ploy. We could still see the shadow of two feet under the door. He stood out there, stark still and silent. Then the knob started to slowly turn. He was trying to get in. A few minutes before the cops arrived, he left. Honestly, that night had been coming
a long time.
When I first met my roommate freshman year, I was cautiously optimistic. He seemed nice enough. I thought I could chill with him, even after he starting talking about drugs the first week of class. I had never done any. The first time he had ever smoked weed was during senior week, and he began to smoke more regularly over the summer. When I met him he smoked twice a week.
Eventually, he was smoking almost every night out the window of the men’s bathroom. He would come back giggling and stay up all night playing online poker. He also experimented with other substances, like Adderall—to help him stay awake for gambling and more weed.
He and his buddies would even strangle each other to the point of passing out to get high off the oxygen deprivation. I’m not exactly sure when he started dealing.
He would get visits from strange girls, beautiful girls who he would bang that night then never see again. Most of them brought little gifts: cigarettes, teddy bears, etc. I thought he just had serious game.
During the third month of school I talked to the resident assistant (RA) and, without naming specifics, told him that I was very uncomfortable with my roommate. My RA told me my only recourse was to file a formal complaint, but my roommate was popular on the floor. I didn’t want to be the one getting him thrown out. Not to mention the paperwork; finals were coming up.
Then, one night, early in the spring semester, he and his buddies were in my room again, high, watching the movie Blow. Then, “Let’s get some coke!” I told him no way, no way are you doing coke in my room. He ran out of the room with his “connection” on the phone and didn’t come back that night.
One day I came back from class and he and his buddies were doing lines off one of his textbooks and asked if I wanted a hit. It was the first time I had ever seen cocaine in real life, and it was far from the last.
He continued to deal weed, coke too for all I know, even to strangers from the neighborhood. Many times during the next weeks I would corner him and demand that he stop doing drugs and stop dealing. The answer was always the same: “Yeah, man. I know. These drugs are really messing up my life. I’m going to stop this week. I really need to stop.” And, within a few days, he’d be snorting in my room again. He never even made an effort. He just gave me the same speech to get me off his back, and it worked.
Honestly, he had a good racket, getting laid by a different beautiful girl every night, money rolling in. He didn’t even have to go to class because he had ringers going and taking his tests for him in exchange for drugs. But the low point came the night of the knocking on our door.
Days after the incident, the RA pulled me aside. He told me he knew what was going on in our room. He told me my roommate was smoking out of the floor’s bathroom window. He had strangers coming to our room at all hours. He told me that it was only a matter of time before my roommate got busted, and he told me if my roommate went down and I knew about his activities and hadn’t
reported them, I’d be expelled with him and probably subject to legal action.
Then I was approached by the cops, who told me the same thing. But they also told me they wanted to catch him in the act. And they wanted me to be the rat.
I didn't want to be a snitch. Not because of some “Stop Snitching” code, but because I knew what would happen to me. I would be completely ostracized from the campus community, hated in the entire building. And my roommate might send someone after me.
But the cops were persistent, and eventually wore me down. We worked out this elaborate plot, seemingly straight from the movies. When a deal went down in the room I’d call the cops on speed dial and hang up. Minutes later, cops would burst into the room and bust both of us. I would be thrown into a cop car, taken to jail and fill out paper work. I would spend the night in jail, just enough time to convince my roommate and the other residents that I wasn’t in on it. Then they’d slip me out the back door and home.
I sat through several deals, but was too scared to make that call. Once, I had my finger on the button, but the buyer left too quickly. And I never did get the chance. His parents somehow caught wind of his addiction and pulled him out of housing to get him into rehab.
He had put me through hell my freshman year. He went from a casual user, to a dealer, to a completely dependent addict and near convict in less than a year. And I had front row seats to the whole episode. D.A.R.E. can never give you an education like that.
My ex-roommate called me a few months ago. Of course I never returned it. But I’ve heard he’s dropped out of school to play cards in Baltimore.
College Drug Busts
The sale of illicit substances on college campuses nationwide is more prevalent than you might think. That point was made shockingly clear by the May bust of a massive drug ring at San Diego State University. Ninety-six people, including seventy-five students, were arrested in the largest campus drug bust in U.S. history. While this was the largest bust, the raid on SDSU was far from an isolated incident.