"I'm just going to ask you a super straight forward question: Where can we get drugs?" The waiter didn't know shit. Well, he assumed I was talking about a different drug. "Oh, man. This is Miami Beach, baby. Just walk down Ocean Drive and you'll smell it." Then he took our order—some bullshit frozen drink that he promised would knock us on our asses—and walked off like he had actually been helpful. Once my girlfriend, Nicole, and I realized no one at this bar knew the plug, and that the drink he recommended had far less alcohol than promised, we asked for the check. The drinks were $70.

My entire drug career I've looked at Miami as the mecca. I wasn't "of age" for Freeway Rick Ross' reign, but the other Rick Ross had just begun to pop at a very crucial point in my drug development. I was 17-years-old, about to move out of my parents house and I was beginning to see harder drugs all around me. Ross' Port of Miami depicted a city overrun with illegal substances, a city practically defined by its drug trade. Although I wasn't about to go to college down South just to get some A1 shit (I should've gone for the weather, but that's another thinkpiece for another time), I did make a mental note: When in Miami, make sure to do copious amounts of drugs.

So, when I was down there on vacation a few weeks ago, it was definitely on my mind. The original plan was just to take some shrooms on the beach, but that changed after my connect fell through and we had a nice steak dinner and two bottles of Pinot noir. "What're we going to do tonight?" Nicole asked. "Fuck it. Let's get drugs." And just like that, our quest began.

First we went to a downtown Miami bar that a friend from New York recommended. As soon as we walked in, I knew this was not the plug. It was an old school hip-hop spot. They played too much Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, and as much as I love both of those groups, it's always cool when bars throw on music from this millenium. After downing 3 drinks each and rapping all of "Bonita Applebum," we continued our voyage.

We decided that next joint we hit had to be a little fancier if we wanted to accomplish our mission. Typically, ostentatious establishments have the clientele that use hard drugs. We went to an overpriced hotel bar on the water. It was the kind of place where old white men order vodka sodas and cheat on their wives with high-end escorts. The sort of establishment where my OVO/Birdman shirt may not be well-received or even understood. But we went anyways.

We were having one of the best nights ever, discussing how we would scope out the bar like DEA agents, approaching unsuspecting people and prodding them into giving us some motherfucking drugs.

"We're closed for a private event," the doorman said. "Nice shirt, though." I saw that as an opening. I had to ask this gatekeeper for some sort of direction. Dude, where the fuck can we get drugs? "Nigga, you gotta go to the Clevelander," he said. "They'll have what you're looking for."

Nicole and I had suspected this from the jump. Our Airbnb was right next door to the Clevelander, and we knew that therein lied the plug. But goddamn, the place was fucking awful. They blasted EDM from open (10 in the fucking morning) to close (whenever the fuck that was). It had such a bro-y vibe that even I, self-proclaimed NYCbro, was turned off. They also had a girl in a bikini pole dancing at the entrance starting at, like, 11am. Neither of us had the heart to enter the Clevelander.

Instead, we made the 20-block journey to another plush hotel bar. The long trek didn't deter us. We were having one of the best nights ever, discussing how we would scope out the bar like DEA agents, approaching unsuspecting people and prodding them into giving us some motherfucking drugs. We were chasing down expensive sports cars blasting "Coco" and screaming at them, "WHERE IS THE PLUG?!" I'm pretty sure I asked a dude who had just entered high school for his connect. At this point, actually doing drugs to get high seemed foolish. The search had become the high.

We entered the hotel bar without any intention of buying or doing drugs. We legitimately just wanted to keep searching for them. At one point, Nicole asked an older, foreign gentleman if he knew the connect. I can't even imagine what he thought she was referring to. Then, I asked a woman, who was definitely on something, if she had drugs "on her person." That probably sounded like something 5-0 would say, so she got paranoid and literally ran away from me. We bothered countless people, none of who had any drugs to offer whatsoever. Well, willing to offer anyways.

In a weird way, my girlfriend and I were fortunate to have never found the plug. We wouldn't have had an epic journey filled with overpriced drinks, luxury hotels and weird foreigners. Also, we probably would've spent a shit ton of money on sub-par shit and gotten ripped off or straight robbed. You know, just like we did with those $70 drinks.

[Illustration by Veronica Slabicki]

Brian Padilla's girlfriend isn't actually named Nicole. She just doesn't want to be associated with such a degenerate. You can follow Brian on Twitter here.