Sleeping at a Violent Drug Addict house in LA: Surviving DIY HELL

Los Angeles, California - March 2017

Drug addicts are stepping over my body as I pretend to be asleep on the cold living room floor in Los Angeles. Strange men wander in and out of the unlocked front door, making their way to the bedroom to score. I'm grateful for a floor to sleep on, but night three in LA is proving to be a rough one. My friends have been gracious in letting me stay there, but their roommates are an angry drug dealing couple named Lizzie and Duff. They are coming down from their cocaine, whiskey, and nicotine buzz. 


It's 2 am. Their fifth customer has walked in the unlocked front door and over my air mattress into their bedroom. I continue to fake sleep. Bad techno is blasting thru the walls.


Lizzie and Duffs overweight, neglected cat is attempting to sit on my face as I sleep. My pillow is covered in cat hair. Their cat, Rex, is well known around the neighborhood for peeing on guests bags. I sleep with one eye open, gripping my pillow tight. Rex is clawing at my air mattress, as if intentionally trying to pop it so I'll wake up on the cold hard floor. I push Rex off my "bed". Lizzie sees this and flips out on me. Her bloodshot eyes explode out of her head as she yells over the loud techno. 


Note: this is a different house I stayed in with some VERY NICE PEOPLE in Johannesburg, S Africa.

Note: this is a different house I stayed in with some VERY NICE PEOPLE in Johannesburg, S Africa.

"What are you even doing here!? We don't want you here! If you don't like cats, you can leave. There are five that live here!" She walks over and kisses the cat repeatedly on the head, cuddling him like a crying baby while mean mugging me with her resting bitch face (RBF). 


I hide under my blankets, praying for morning. Lizzie turns on the lights in the house and begins to wrap shipping packages as loudly as possible, the sound of packing tape screeches as it rolls off the reel. There is a computer printer next to my head. She turns it on and begins printing stuff relentlessly. It's 3 am. I pretend to find the good in this dark moment. This will make a good chapter of a book, I thought. 


Lizzie slams on her keyboard, pretending to type emails. 

"Please don't be mean to me", I said. 

photo: Kevin Goss Ross

photo: Kevin Goss Ross

"I'm not being mean!", Lizzie scoffs. Her coked out brain in a schitzofrenic rage. I hold my tounge, afraid that some trust-fund LA druggie will pummel me with a Louisville Slugger while I sleep.


My friends had informed me that Lizzie and Duff once sprinkled low grade LSD all over a parking ticket in order to poison the government clerk who opened their mail. They had also been known to roofie each other just to get fucked up on the cheap buzz. I'd seen stuff like this only in "Trainspotting". Lizzie and Duff were major-league ass holes. They would sell any drug under the sun to keep the habit alive. I drifted off to sleep as Lizzie hammered on her keyboard and ripped thru another cigarette, the computer printer buzzing above my head. 


I woke at 7am, estatic that the sun came up. Lizzie and Duff hadn't gone to sleep. Their eyes were cracked out and rabid. "I need some fuckin nails and a hammer!", Duff said at me. "We need to fuck up this city truck that makes us move our cars for street cleaning." Man, was Duff mad that he had to move his car from 8-10am on Thursdays. 


I laughed nervously. Was this psychopath seriously intending to explode the tires of a government vehicle? I scrambled to get all of my stuff together and escape Duffs rat hole forever. Cheap techno was still bumping thru the walls. I gave Rex the cat a middle finger goodbye. Lizzie and Duff were hammering nails into sand paper to place all over the street. They would indeed destroy the tires on the city truck as it swept up their cocaine bags and schringes. 



It's inevitable to find dangerous people along the road at some point. You cannot reason with people on drugs. It's critical to never mouth off to them, as tempting as it is. You have too much to lose. They have nothing to lose. 


If you're a musician touring the DIY circuit, I recommend melatonin as a natural sleep-aid. Putting in headphones and drifting off to a podcast is a great way to escape a scary lodging situation.

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