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William Lowenkamp

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Maria's World of Ecstasy
By William Lowenkamp
Posted: Saturday, August 23, 2003
Last edited: Saturday, August 23, 2003


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Recent stories by William Lowenkamp
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A short story, published in the CIS, Welcome-Moldova Magazine, September 2001, as a result of knowing about the incident, with the names, of course, changed.

©2001 William Löwenkamp

 

 

Maria’s World of Ecstasy


 

The snow fell softly from a darkened sky on the ground below as teenagers by the dozens entered the weekend hideaway called the “Frog” in Stampede, anywhere USA.

 

The Rage party was on and inside the “Frog” you are about to enter a most cynical environment be laden with psychedelic lighting and music to make your ear drums ache and your head feel like it was being pounded with a rubber mallet.  Amidst all this you could see the young people sipping on soft drinks and fruit drinks of all types as there were no alcoholic beverages served and none allowed on the premises.

 

Frequently you could recognize the exchange of tablets and different forms of substances, which were definitely not cigarettes and such.  The majority of “Ecstasy” was made in the open and other substances, like Math, were generally made at a table amongst friends, which seem to be popular at these Rage parties.  Rarely did you see any money exchanged except during the purchase of drinks and the entrance fee of $10 for guys – and women were free. 

 

Drugs, drugs and more drugs.  Does anyone really have good statistics on the usage and abuse drugs?  Or, is everything we do statistically just a crapshoot in the dark.  I often wonder how law enforcement people deal with these abuses of drug substances, especially since the concentration is on Heroin, Cocaine, drug labs for crystal math and other substances.  Rarely do you hear have a Rage party being raided and drugs confiscated.

 

Maria is just one human soul lost in an out of control scenario of degenerative social structure.  She was from an upper class family and had everything a child or young adult could ask for, except she was bored with life and her surroundings, so she frequented the “Frog” in an attempt to expel her emotional sociologic problems.  Her many friends were also a part of the Rage scene and frequented these parties on weekends to meet dance and get high.  You can find a very wide age spread at one of these parties with the majority from 16 to 28 and a handful of individuals from the 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s, 60’s.

 

As a dance club environment, the “Frog” was fine.  It offered a place for young adults to go and unwind, but it had no control over the use of any form of drugs.  It served no alcoholic beverages and would not allow smoking within the establishment.  It was well known around a tri-state area and was frequented by drug dealers selling “Ecstasy” the famed happy drug because it was easily made, obtained and affordable.  Even in some establishments the drug was given away as part of the entertainment process.

 

Maria had used “Ecstasy” many times to let her emotions run wild and allow her anxieties to relax and it allowed her to be part of an increasing world of drug abuse.  Her many friends also shared the same experience and on the night of a big Rage party no one expected anyone to die in an agonizing death from “bad Ecstasy."

 

Maria and her friends were living it up and enjoying the moment of loud music and wild dance.  During the evening they had had many fruit drinks and a round of “Ecstasy” to enhance their enjoyment of activity and extend their ability to dance for long periods of time.  This night was a non-stop night of music and dance and when Maria returned to the dance floor she began to fly like a bird, hands and arms swirling in the air around her dance partner, her eyes became big and with the look of fear, she dropped to the floor on her knees and then fell on her back with legs, arms and body twitching violently with her big glass looking eyes staring up to nowhere.

 

People gathered around and a call for help went out.  Watching in dumb founded and confused horror as one of their friends fell ill from a dose of bad “Ecstasy?”  No, Maria’s biological system was shutting down, ever so slowly and how painfully we will never know, but within the hour and before medical help arrived Maria lay, not in a coma as thought, but at the doorstep of death.  She died in her happy place, on the dance floor.  She left, not in her car, but in a body bag on a hospital gurney.  The “Frog” still operates its rage parties and it is still a favorite spot for young people of all ages.

 

I wonder how the current statistics stack up for drug OD, drug abuse as compared to death and other induced medical problems.  I have not found much information on comparison of Heroin, Cocaine, Marijuana and other drugs as compared to man made synthetic drugs.  It would also be an interesting study to compare and link alcohol abuse, drug abuse with social trends, trafficking, general abuse and related issues. 

 

As the Law Enforcement community concentrates on the normal drug trade involving heroin, cocaine, opium and other drugs as well as some synthetic drugs, many drugs that can be home made are becoming increasingly popular and the cost can be low in many countries, depending on the social climate and affordability.  It might be a nice thought by some governments, that the drug trade is good for the economy, but in the long term such an attitude produces permanent damage to those who use drugs making them partially to totally useless in normal society.  How much international criminal activity will be tolerated by governments in the future should be interesting to watch, or more important, how much of the new drug trade activities will be tolerated before society begins to cripple itself.  The drug epidemic and the comparison to AIDS is an interesting topic.  I believe there are hundreds of thousands of young people with mutated brains, and other body organs that will pass on to new born degenerative problems if the drug abuse problem continues to grow.

 

 

©2001 William Löwenkamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Reviews for "Maria's World of Ecstasy"


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Reviewed by Gavin O'Callaghan (Reader) 6/29/2005
I must admit, I found this "story" quite perplexing. Is there an intended audience? If the author is targeting the young I believe he will be intensely disappointed with the reaction received. I believe the content is badly researched and frankly comes across as written by no more than an inexperienced well meaning frightened parent. From the onset a proud expression of distinguished distance is expressed by the author between himself and the attendees of the “Rage” party. This distance is evident throughout the story in the failures to convey accurate terminology or descriptions which eliminates completely the reader writer bond. “Rage”, surely “Rave”? “Crystal Math”, surely Crystal Methamphetamine or “Crystal Meth”? Free drugs, not likely? Did the author once walk by such a “cynical” party, or maybe sneak a glance through an open window before the “rubber mallet” music had him running to the nearest church?



There is talk of statistics and the lack thereof, yet by failing to provide Maria with any human substance she becomes merely an automaton and her demise a faceless statistic in itself? I believe the subject matter to be of extreme importance with drug abuse an escalating issue in almost every culture. I also believe the morality expressed in this story to be true and authentic, although imprudent and simplistic in delivery. The youth, both abusers and otherwise will see through the transparent lack of understanding on the subject matter and the frightened parents will yet again be mis-educated thus furthering the gap. A noble attempt at a short story, but misses the mark completely hitting instead the misguided journalism target….....



I have never before read any of Lowencamps work but hope it is alot more convincing.

Reviewed by Sheldon James 6/20/2005
I agree with Sarah's assessment of the story, actually of many of Lowencamp's stories. I do however have to say that this is a short story so character development is going to be limited in any sense. I guess you just have to get Lowencamp's public service announcement style of writing. If you do you'll be treated to some good stories.. A good job overall William..
Reviewed by Sarah McCarty (Reader) 11/28/2003
William Lowencamp's story of a young girl's succumb to ecstasy is a tragic picture of a problem that lures millions every year. Though Lowencamp addresses a serious topic, his story is void of several appealing characteristics of popular fiction.

Lowencamp sorely neglects character development. Maria, despite the potential to become a martyr for anti-drug activists, is little more than a body with a name tag. Dialogue and description would have made Maria a little more realistic. Learning about Maria's dreams, hopes, and relationships would make her more realistic to readers.

The voice the author uses is overstarched and almost preachy. Though he comes across as sincere, his detachment from readers is apparent and off-putting. To draw readers in more, Lowencamp could address them using a narrative voice that is noncommittal or at least omnipresent to the events that happen is this fictional account of a true life incident.

Finally the plot is overly simplified. Girl gets bored, girl goes to party, girl takes drug, girl dies. There is little complexity or event to the story. While Lowencamp's main goal is to record the events and declare a warning, his message would have a greater impact in the guise of an articulate story. Little conscience or conflict is present to convince the reader that Maria didn't really want to overdose on ecstasy.

I really like Lowencamp's story though, because it bears the distinct badge of purpose that a writer must have to be successful. Readers who come across Lowencamp's story must keep in mind that he writes, not for the art of writing, but for the purpose of educating. While his style and format certainly could benefit from adjustment, Lowencamp is an example of a pen that is truly mightier than the sword.


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Of Life and Love

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