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My Recent Cocaine Encounter – Ashley Hamilton


I was back in La La Land to snoop around the 74th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 3 and 4, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.

I was not invited, of course, I had not been invited to one of these shindigs for decades.

My best selling book and all the rage gossip column got me into all the best parties for years, but that time had long since passed and I was old news now, much forgotten.

Who knew Hollywood friends could be so fickle. 

Much of that is my fault, of course, for refusing to tow the Commie Party Line when most of my so called ‘Liberal’ friends started turning full fascist.  So I ventured back to South Africa in 2008, to finally work on ‘My Great American Novel’.

Fifteen years later I still had not started my epic novel, but I did clear out a space in a bottom sock drawer for the manuscript when it is done, the pages to be encrypted among my Argyle socks after it is rejected by multiple publishers.

I had booked a lovely suite for two days at the InterContinental on Wilshire Boulevard.
My plan was to hang around the hotel bar the next two evenings and wait for the celebs and the wannabes to drift in, to get even more drunk than they could manage at the Emmys.
I had given up alcohol myself decades ago but I could buy drinks for The Big Talkers and gather information to perhaps get back into the Gossip Game on some level, thought there is no money in it.
So I was wearing my custom tuxedo and black Ferragamo oxfords.
I looked quite dapper, a Silver Fox on the prowl.
I carried a Gin Ricky with no alcohol as I mingled, so the other alcoholics would not notice I was sober.

Let the games begin.

I was eves dropping on a few boring conversations before the call of nature led me to the utterly spotless bathroom. I chose the last stall for privacy and an old friend/enemy was lying in wait for me to say hello.

A fat line of Cocaine was lined up on the back of the commode, waiting for someone to ingest it.

My first thought was to reach for a twenty, roll it into a tube, and snort the Cocaine, to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

But I had given up Cocaine forever a year before I quit drinking, so that was a crazy train I did not wish to ride on again. I may not be able to disembark the ride next time.



My love/hate relationship with Cocaine began in Narbonne France in 1977.

I was twenty five years old and a raging alcoholic, traveling Europe for experiences to call from in later in life when I write The Great American Novel.


I rented a room beside the Canal de la Robine, which featured a stunning view.

My second evening I was dining in a cafe near the train station when I had the feeling of being observed.

I glanced at the booth in the corner.

A striking young lady in a white Twiggy style dress was staring at me through a stream of cigarette smoke.

Her dyed blond hair was the classic Twiggy style, which suited her body type perfectly. But Twiggy did not have blazing red roots at her hairline, not he deep set eyes that seldom blinked.

My first thought was sex, she had that vibe about her, and she was staring into me.

My hopes were dashed when a man in cowboy boots and a black leather jacket emerged from the loo and plopped down in the booth beside the girl.

She gave him a look and he looked at me, into me, and he raised an eyebrow and grinned subtly.

“You simply must have drinks with us at out flat!”

“Her name is Madaline, Mad Maddy, and yes, you simply can not say no. are you an American?”

Both of them seemed wired like high tension lines. I still had not had time to speak.

“My boyfriends name is Ricky, he’s going to be in American TV shows some day!”

“Ricky Fastlane, that’s not my real name, I could be in Western TV shows, you know?”

“He’s got the looks and he can act, he can mimic any accent! Do one, Ricky!”

Ricky had the looks is a massive understatement. Jet black hair with too much gel but it worked with dark hypnotic eyes that looked into your soul without blinking. 

A movie star face, clean shaven, about five foot ten I would guess but much taller in the boots.  I suspect he added lifts inside the boots to add another inch.

Skin tight Levi jeans and a James Dean looking leather jacket with a muscle filled white T-shirt.

My heart started pounding and I felt flushed.  I reached for my cig and Ricky put his hand over mine and Maddy’s hand went over his and we were suddenly out the door with each of them clutching an arm, chattering and leading me to adventure.



“Ricky would be perfect for those American western shows, he can ride a horse!”

“And I’ve got the boots – real snakeskin, man!”

“Ricky can do the American Western accent, say something in Western, Ricky!”

“I’m a fixin’ ta ride inta town and fetch me, um, a sack of beans for the long ride!”


Ricky’s writing was awful but his accent was really spot on for those type of shows.

“I learned from watching television, man, my acting school!”

“Ricky is a natural talent! He can walk like John Wayne! And Richard Boone!”


We would go on long into the nights like that, planning the trek to America to break Ricky into Western television shows.

We changed Ricky’s stage name to Ricky Fairlaine and he loved it.

I knew a vast number of extras and stunt men in the TV world and I knew I could get Ricky an agent quickly.

He most probably would never be a star but he would find much work with his looks and acting skills at a mid-level at least, I was certain of it.

Now to just get us all out of France and off the damn cocaine before we all destroyed ourselves.



It was suddenly and abruptly two weeks later.

I woke up in the floor beside the bed with my nose bleeding from the right nostril.  Smoked a cig with black coffee and Ricky wandered into the kitchen naked to bum a smoke. 

Maddie was still sleeping off our latest cocaine binge and the wine and marijuana brownies didn’t help. The first night in Ricky’s flat he pulled out a cold cream jar with cocaine, 98% pure cocaine from Bolivia. Ricky had a connection.


I had never tried it before so I only used my right nostril to snort, just to avoid the burning.

Now two weeks later I was thinking about cocaine way too much and I had nasal damage.

I should have left.

But the cocaine.

And the sex was otherworldly.

We were coke addicted alcoholic hedonist libertarians having the most marvelous time on the cocaine crazy train.

I knew I had to get off. 

I knew where this crazy train was heading, ever increasing speed as it headed to the broken bridge over the gorge.

But the sex was so good.

And the cocaine was so good.

The cigarettes and the wine and the music was just so where I

wanted to be, this was living, man!

I knew I would die at this pace. 

So would Ricky and Maddie.

We were dying to have fun.

So this story has went on far too long.


Ricky died with his boots on two days later in Dijon.

While dropping off his earnings for dealing cocaine, Ricky was gunned down in a crossfire when the Police moved in on his coke distributer’s home.

Police raided Ricky’s flat but the cocaine was gone, just Maddie and I stoned watching TV when the police burst in and we found out about Ricky.

I was told to leave France that day to avoid any ‘difficulties’ and Maddie’s parents spirited her away to Switzerland for cocaine detox.

I returned to South Africa for a year and then back to America, never to snort cocaine ever again.


Ten years later I got a letter from Maddie who had tracked me down through my gossip column.

Maddie had married to a famous art dealer and had two children.

She sent news clippings about her most famous piece of work.


She had painted a portrait from the photo she had taken of Ricky leaning on his red sports car.

Now her canvas was hanging in her husband’s art gallery in Switzerland and has garnered critical acclaim.


A year later I viewed the painting in person, a six feet long five feet tall canvas titled ‘Ricky Fastlane and Car’.

It was a misty eyed moment, the whole affair far too personal a story to ever go into my Great American Novel.


So I’m telling it here and now and leaving out the naughty bits that are none of your business.

And that is the story of how I got off the damned Cocaine.


                                               Ashley J. Hamilton






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