All Photographs + Text Copyright 2012 Christopher Keeley

When I returned to the United States from Kampala Uganda, I had to have a complete health physical at the State Department. When tests came back, they wanted me to come in for more blood work because my white-cell blood count was way low or wacky. Now I didn't tell the nurse or doctor that I smoked Marijuana everyday. I did make the mistake of disclosing that I tried Marijuana, which resulted in me having to talk to a psychologist of some kind. They took more tests with the same wacky results and the outcome was basically we don't know what's wrong. It did frighten me, but it didn't stop me from smoking pot everyday. I was fourteen.

Pygmyies smoking Bhangi.

When I was sixteen, in Princeton, New Jersey, I was arrested with six other youths and approximately 10 pounds of low quality Mexican weed. My sister who had no connection with the event felt guilty and somewhat responsible for telling my parents that both of us smoked weed daily and that we both smuggled weed from Uganda. She wanted to prepare my parents for the responsibility that she felt being the older sibling. I had been expelled from my boarding school, Northfield Mount Hermon right after Christmas break in ninth grade.

I was expelled for stealing food from the cafeteria, having a hash pipe in a carved out bible in my room and being found in a homemade lean-to in the woods by the Dean on cross-country skies. Little did I know they would search my room while I was vacationing in Uganda. I started the school year three weeks late from having been evacuated from Uganda from the perils of Idi Amin Dada. So that's how I ended up at Princeton High School for the later part of my freshman year. I was a ninth grader dealer to the older students. I hung out with these guys, Chucky S. who had an orange Afro like Mitch Mitchell and Jimmie Hendrix. His father was English and he made Chucky play the violin. Chucky turned me on to cocaine for the first time. Peter F. and this other guy whose names fails me was like a large Jiminy Cricket. I was already boozing during school hours.

We would party in the Unitarian Church woods. We would get high and climb up in these pines trees purposefully falling out and landing on the pine needles. We decided to pool our cash and buy the 10 pounds of weed. As we were distributing the weed, I was sitting in a rubber tire and the others sitting around me. So when the undercover detectives arrived they found the weed closest to me and me sitting in the tire made me look like the kingpin. I was shocked that these cops could just show up in the woods like this and bust us. I was sixteen. The cops had been tailing these two juvenile delinquents who were truant from school. Real bad kids, one was a disillusioned American Indian kid, that I felt got all the breaks at school because he was Native American and got special treatment and didn't have to follow all the rules.

I went to Court in Trenton New Jersey with the six other youths. They divided the weed charges amongst us and I got 6 months probation. I was sixteen. I went to court with a quarter pound on me because I didnÕt know where I was going to end up. I forgot to say that I took my share home and went back to the scene of the crime before the cops arrived so the weed confiscated was none of mine, but by me sitting closet to the weed and sitting in the throne, I was charged because I was with the others and we were all observed by the cops getting high.

My uncle taking me to court, got pulled over for speeding and I had to tell the cop as my knees were shaking, that my uncle only had two brandies for Lunch because he reeked of booze and may have been a little tipsy. My uncle died later from Alcohol withdrawal in a hospital that didn't treat him correctly. We got a ticket for speeding and made it to court on time. The unfortunate thing was that were following about four cars in our jeep and we got pulled over probably for weaving.

A few years later when we were being posted to Harare, Zimbabwe in 1980, I had to take the same type of physical at the State Department. I was not aware that I had to do this and my mother says come on we are going to the State department for our physicals. I had previously about half an hour earlier shot up some heroin and was fearful about what my blood work would produce. I neglected to admit to any drug use as my previous experience of being interrogated by the psychologist had turned me off because had I admitted to any drug use I would be required to attend some type of counseling.

My addiction had progressed pretty badly by this point. I lost my driving privileges some 3 or four yearÕs prior. I didn't even make it past learners permit before I received two Driving while intoxicated offenses and driving after revocation. I totaled three cars in a matter of a few weeks. Anyway now that I wasn't driving it didnÕt matter what kind of state that I would end up in.

While my mother was playing bridge with some ladies at lunchtime in our home, I would sneak into her purse and steal money to buy, Dilaudid, Bam (Preludin) Š diet pills, or even heroin if I was lucky. I would also sneak into her purse and take her car keys and dive downtown to 12th and U streets NW, which was a good half hour trip. I was so bold and never got caught.

One time, a street hustler wanted my money without giving me the drugs and I refused to hand over the cash. He took the car keys out of the ignition and fled. There I was stuck in the cop zone with my Mother's car and no keys. So I had the car towed back to our house on Livingston Street and pushed the car back into the garage and then went to Chinese laundry to copy another set of car and house keys. I don't recall how I got around the key tag or holder, but to this day my mother has no clue of me borrowing her car all those times. Another tome a drug dealer refused to get out of the car and wanted me to trade the car for drugs. I was lucky the dope he had was so strong that when he fixed he nodded out and I pushed him out of the car. Again this was a time when I needed to return the car during my Mother's bridge game.

During this period, if I didn't have very much money I would settle for Bam, which is Preludin, diet pills for obese people. I believe the drug is banned today. I would shoot this Bam, and then decide to clean the garage and then paint the basement, wash all the cars, and all these obsessive tasks. I would carve the sugarcoated pills, which was this hideous orange chalk. I taught myself most of these drug habits but as I progressed down the path of degradation and dereliction I learned new tricks from the street hustlers. Like one day, there wasn't any dilaudid on the streets and I hooked up with this Bam addict who showed me that I didn't have to carve the orange sugar cover of the casing of the Bam pill that all I needed to do was put the pill under steaming hot water and the coating would peel right off. I had no appetite and would have to throw away my meals so they no one would know. It is amazing because I was only going to smoke marijuana. I ended up using all these hard drugs that I preached against

  • Chapters of the Paradise Life Book

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  • The Disappointment

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  • Whitepipes, Weed and the Wild Coast.

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  • Three Nasty Letters.

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  • Thanksgiving weekend 1974, my first Acid Trip.

  • Instances of Trouble Two

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  • journal september 1995

  • Catskill Mountains Photographs - Trees - Spiritual gathering place cultivating a heightened awareness of the connectedness of, and spiritual essence in, all things. A Journey outside ordinary time and space into a parallel reality.


  • Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Moment, Light and Sympony 2007

  • Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Moment


  • Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Light


  • Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Symphony


  • Georgetown glimpses of memory January Photographs


  • March on the Capitol to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 2007

    Washington DC

  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 1


  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 2


  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 3


  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 4


  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 5


  • March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 6


  • Martin luther King Jr. Holiday Washington DC Photographs


  • Martin luther King Jr. Holiday Photographs Washington DC


  • Orlando

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    Orlando Florida

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    Orlando Florida

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    Portland Oregon

  • Edward's Angelina
    copyright 2007 Le Poulin
    © Le Poulin 2007
    New York City Angelina + Brad
    peace and love Edward

    New York City

  • Chris at the Argo Bar drinking a Tuborg soda water wearing a WaxTrax t-shirt circa 1991

    Sifnos Island

  • Looking in the mirror - Sara cannot see herself as beautiful

    Portland Oregon

  • Antoinette lost her leg while intoxicated stumbling and tragically falling down into traffic

    New York City

  • Three days after a Suicide attempt

    Portland Oregon

  • New Years Day Washington DC Photographs


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  • Selection of Favorite Photographs


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    -- HON. TOM LANTOS ( November 02, 1990)

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