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Twisting all the bad things into good

Feb 16, 2012

EXTRA SCENE: THE PATRON SAINT OF...WHATEVER. Laugh Now, Cry Later

No one will ever see things the way I do
No one will try
All my friends think that I'm gone
But I swear, I swear I'm not
The Almost, Say This Sooner

        
            When the doctor asked how me how many times, I said only a few.
            I'm not sure why I lied.
            Maybe because I knew what it could do the mind.
            If a drug can lead to insanity, this was the one.

            I remember the first time I did acid.
            It was the second drug I ever tried. After a few weeks of smoking weed, I was a completely different person. After a few months, I was ready to take it to the next level.
            Actually I wasn't ready at all. I just thought tripping was going to be like being really stoned for six hours.
            Not so much.


             It was 1993. I was 17. As usual, my parents were away for the weekend, either at our condo in Hutchinson Island or taking my little brother to Disney World. After the first time I got high, I never went away with them again. I wish I would have gone with them that weekend.
             I wish I would have gone with them every weekend.

             When a friend asked me if I wanted him to bring over some acid, I immediately said yes.
             Jeff was already at my house. We had the same conversation that we had almost every weekend.
             "Let me invite some people over", he says with the kitchen phone in his hand.
             'Nah, dude. I don't want a bunch of people over".
             "Yeah you do" he assures me. He's ready to start dialing.
             "No, I don't".
             "Just a few people" he promises.
             I've heard this before. "Yeah, right. You know what happens when we try to invite just a few people over. We start drinking, you start telling everyone who calls "yeah, we're at Jimmy's, we're having a party, come over, call some girls" and then it turns into the Busch Beer Fest".
              "That wasn't me" he says innocently.
              "Whatever". I can't argue since I don't remember how that debacle got started.
              He's still holding the phone when he pulls his beeper out of his pocket. I don't know if it really vibrated or if he just pretended it did. He checks the number. "Look, it's Sandi wanting to know what we're doing". Without waving his hand, Jeff pulls a Jedi Mind Trick. "She's with Jill. You like Jill".
              I just look at him.
              "They're cool girls" he reminds me.
              "I know they're cool. It's not them I'm worried about".
              "So, I'll just tell them to come over and then we just won't answer the phone".
              "If we don't answer the phone, how the fuck are they supposed get through the guard gate?'
              "I'm calling" he says with defiance as he dials the phone. Jeff takes me out of the equation because we go through this same scene three weekends out of the month. Even if I say I don't want to have people over, he knows I really do. He's got the phone to his ear waiting for Sandi to answer.
            I surrender. Before I finish saying,"Fine" to give him permission, he's already started another conversation. He's not looking at me or listening to me. I don't even know why I still waste our time debating this with him anymore. He wins every time, and every time I can hear the giddy excitement in his voice as he starts making the calls. 
            "Hey. It's Jeff. What's up?" He doesn't even look at me. He's laughing. Dick. "You're with Jill?" He looks at me, nodding to tell me what I already know. He turns his back, looking at the floor while pacing as far away from me as the cord will allow. He starts with the laughing again.
            I snap my fingers at him but he pretends not to notice. "Hey". He turns to look at me. As quietly and as clearly as possible, I remind him of what he already knows."Just them".
            "Yeah, we're at Jimmy's. Come by." Jeff looks right in my face. "We're having people over". He can't hold back his smart ass smile. I shake my head as I finally give up trying to hold back my own.

            In less time than it takes to have a pizza delivered, there's a group of 10 gathered around a long glass dining room table. My family only used this table on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since such a beautiful and very expensive table is so rarely enjoyed, I would also use it for only the most special of occasions, such as when we would play a drinking game called "Asshole", when we would have enough weed for gravity bong hits or for passing multiple joints and/or pipes in both directions, and when a drunk girl decided to dance on it. Even though the glass was about an inch thick and she was about how 45 seconds away from making this a really cool story, I reluctantly told her that my family does not even eat dinner on this table that she has mistaken for a dance floor. I reached up to take her hand and help her down while my friends booed me and put their dollar bills back in their wallets. That was a fun night. I'm pretty sure that was the night that her and I both got laid for the first time. Surprisingly, it wasn't by each other. Unsurprisingly, me and the table dancer were not the only drunk and horny teenagers in the house. Yeah, that was a good time.

            Back to a night that, although just as memorable, I would not exactly call a good night. There were no drunk girls dancing on table tops or trying to get back at their parents. There was no 2 liter bottomless Coke bottle floating in a water bucket to be used for gravity bong hits. Not even one piece of my parents silverware would have to be trashed after being permanently blackened as a result of doing hot knives.
             That night, we were being innocent 16 and 17 year old kids. We just sat around the table talking about Catholic School stuff while the guys were binge drinking. I actually forgot all about the LSD until my friend showed up with it. I followed him into the bathroom. He pulled out a small piece of folded tinfoil and opened it up on the sink. Inside was what looked like a small rectangular piece of cream colored construction paper. He used a razor blade to rip it in two even halves, each about the size of my pinky fingernail. He presses down on his half with the tip of his index finger and puts it on his tongue. He points to mine, still in the foil."There you go".
            "What should I do with it?"
            "Take it" he tells me as if I'm a total moron. "Put it on your tongue". He sticks his tongue out for a visual aid.
            "No shit. I didn't think that I was gonna snort the fucking thing. I'm talking about what I should do with it until later".
            'What do you mean, later? " He's about to panic. "I already took mine. Dude, I'm not tripping by myself".
            "I don't wanna be all fucked while the girls are here. I kinda like Jill, I don't want her to know I'm on acid. I don't even want the other guys to know I'm tripping and start fucking with my head. It's not like they're gonna be here all night. I'll drop after the girls leave".
            "Fuck that. You have to drop it now" he says. "If you wait, I'm gonna be coming down while you're peaking. That'll suck. We need to be on the same level. Besides, it takes like three hours before you even start to feel it".
            "Three hours? Really?"
            "At least".
           
             Three hours, my balls.
            About thirty eight minutes later, I'm fucked up. Everybody knows I'm tripping. They all start messing with my head. Even the girls. Even my friend who is also tripping. They're all moving their bodies in little circles. I tell them I know what they are doing and insist that I am not tripping. They insist that they are not doing anything, that it's just me.
              I keep telling them that I'm not tripping while I wipe the tears from my eyes.
              Acid rules.
              I can't stop laughing.
           
              About 4 hours later, I can't stop crying.
              Acid blows.
              The girls left hours ago.
              I think I apologized for being so fucked up.
              Thank God they left before this horror show started.

              Now, I'm sitting in a patio chair out back by my pool. I'm a total mess. I'm sobbing and talking at the same time. Krupp and Kyle are sitting in the chairs on each side of me. Krupp is trying to make me think in a fashion that was logical. He finally gives up trying to maintain his own buzz that I have killed, and tries in vain to say something to comfort me, or at least to get me to stop with the fucking hyperventilating. I kept saying  how much I let my parents down when I totaled my Firebird a few months earlier. I couldn't get over how much of a disappointment I was.
            
             Almost 18 years later, nothing has changed.


             You would think that would have been enough to say to myself, "You know what? I don't think LSD is a good drug for me. I think too much as it is already".
             I never learn. I decided to give another try, and then another, and then another. Kids used to say that if you do acid 7 times, you are considered "legally insane". That's why I told myself I would stop at 6. But I didn't. It was never fun after the uncontrollable laughter ceased. I must have put myself through the torture another 15, maybe 20 times. I stopped counting. More often than not, it was a nightmare.
              After my family fell apart, I never touched acid again. I was afraid of what might happen once I started dwelling on thoughts and feelings that went far beyond the disappointment of teenager whose life was only eighty percent perfect. I knew it would have been too much for me to handle. If I couldn't handle my thoughts at 17, when I had everything, God knows what would happen now.     

      

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