Michael Cavadias once starred opposite Robert Downey Jr., one of the most public faces of addiction in recent memory. Since quitting a few years ago, he’s bloomed creatively—writing a screenplay, DJ’ing around town, and performing with the Citizens Band. Throughout the conversation at Café Mogador, he’s nervous—it’s almost like coming out, publicly admitting that he’s sober. After a few fits and starts, he eloquently explains why being dry is the biggest high. “Not doing drugs is the most unpredictable and totally psychedelic experience I have ever had. It’s an amazing existence,” he says and smiles. “Life on its own is really wild.”
Not that there aren’t moments of regret and pangs of temptation. Tee can still smell coke at the mere mention of it, and Kenny Kenny says that when he catches a whiff of beer from a tap, he has to walk away. But sometimes it’s just the feeling of being left behind that hurts most.
“I went to Paris, and I had a boyfriend, I was dressed up, and the waiters were like, ‘Oh mademoiselle, Marilyn Monroe!’ and they gave me complimentary champagne,” recalls *BOB*, who with her curled blond hair, heart-shaped lips, and pink sweater set, looks like a bosom buddy of the late actress. “And I bit my lip and started crying. Because it was in Paris, I was with the guy I was in love with. And I couldn’t drink the champagne. When I got home I made a list of why I miss champagne.”
She ticks off the reasons on her fingers: “It’s celebratory. It’s bubbly. It’s glamorous. I realized these are things that I am to myself if I don’t drink it. Those are things I naturally am.” She says triumphantly, “I am pink champagne.”
Research assistance: Ryan McWilliams, Karoline Eriksson, Elizabeth Thompson, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Laura Buckholz, and Max Berry.