Blink

June 15, 2012

 

Angela was over again and we were happy for the minute. My parents were there from the dead and from the life. I haven’t seen my dead father since the last time I dreamed he was alive. He had never died in the last one. This time I knew he died and came back over and over. Sometimes I acknowledged he was back from the dead. Like this one. They were mad at me and they kept riding my ass. Angela was there and I didn’t want to say or do anything stupid so of course I did. I started screaming at my parents about all and nothing. When my father started back on me I yelled back.

 

“Yeah, well you’re the one that keeps coming back from the dead!” I screamed.

 

Angela was crying. Everything stopped. I felt so bad.

 

“You know I hate when you yell at your parents. You know I have problems with that.” She said.

 

Angela walked to my porch as if she was leaving. I kept apologizing to her and turned my head to apologize to my parents.  I felt so bad my knees cracked with tears. My bones trembled with fear of loss of what I might have had if only I was a tolerant kinder person. She. She was breaking up with me and I was helpless like in those dreams when I find my self naked in the middle of a department store.

 

Blink.

 

Angela and I are at an old movie theater and all is swell. Swollen you can say. I said. No kinks in the love. All smiles whilst holding hands like professional lovers that have been at this game longer than each of us has lived. I catch her catching me catching her looking at me and we laugh until we smell smoke. Someone burnt popcorn I thought. Flames came up through the floors I carried her down the charred rippled weak stairway to uncertainty. She held me tight with a magical look of “if we go down at least it’s together.” We made it just in time as the Fire People squirted. Squirted the last flame out.

 

Out of nowhere a white man dressed as Jimi Hendrix appears in the lobby as Angela and I are trying to leave the burnt building. It turns out to be my friend Tony and he is with Rolland and Jesse. I didn’t question why he was dressed in his garb or colored face. I accept too many things at face value (no pun intended) too much. Too many times. Like why was I with this beautiful girl as my eternal lover out of the blue pink and red?

 

“I wonder if I can buy the posters and movie star cut outs in the movie theater?” Rolland asked with no greetings or concern of our health or the fire.

 

Jesse was silent and patted us on the back with a “it’s going to be ok” vibe.

 

It was ok. I still had a friend and I had Angela.

 

I’m so grateful in my dreams.

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Dreams of Stains, Refrains and Delorians on Film

May 4, 2012

Yeah. I haven’t had writer’s block per say. I’ve been busy having my 19th nervous breakdown and drawing to pay rent. I love drawing but I miss writing as much as I normally do.

So, here’s a well something I wrote based on a few dreamses.

It was group therapy. It was forced therapy. It was a family reunion of the family that never was but perhaps should be. Grammar school orgy. Grammer school orgy. It was a film making table reading in a locked room. Forced filmmaking. Script reading. It was confusion. Both of my, well 3 of my (2 are brothers) friends who made make write score create direct films -William Hellfire and the Martin Brothers-Andy and Jim Martin were there as counselors or doctors or caretakers or leaders or patients taking charge. They had their latest cast or character actors who belonged here with me along with Kat Dennings with the personality of her character Max in the non-hit TV show 2 Broke Girls, another friend Cherie, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Andy’s friends Rick and Pat and Hellfire’s latest young hot sultry actresses ready to do anything. Anything. Non of the other girls mattered. I liked Kat. I was really into her this time and not the average young skinny wild ready for anything models (although she was young and not fat-she was older than and heavier than most girls I dream about and the ones in the room).

 

The reading was tedious. Repetition and such. Words. Just words. I kept thinking. The padded walls became more apparent. Was it part of the set or part of the prison? The cell. The reading? The words. There was a window in the corner left right over the top wall. I was padded and bars decorated the outside. I think it a was plastic window. No glass for the loons. This loon.

 

We could hear the heavy storm a coming. Rolling round the bend. A hurricane. An avalanche? The doors were bolted shut and we hung out in the lobby of the built in movie theater we found though a secret compartment and sneaked in and ate popcorn and drank coffee and soda. Mr Hellfire always had a stash of liquor with him to share and some took some and some turned it down. This was our scared straight therapy I proposed in my mind. The party was just beginning and I felt like I just begun as well. I never began. I never stopped or started. No one understood why we were there and most of us didn’t care or cared too much. We fluctuated back and forth. An orgy. An evening of days spread across the calendar of my subconscious or maybe I was part of someone else’s dreams.

The storm subsided eventually and I dreamed my way onward onto a floatation vehicle. A car. A Delorian. A delirium. Ruins of the storm maintain the balance somehow and the roads –Who needs roads?- I see foreign flying vehicles. Ed Woodian saucers like whipped by me on the way to Gary’s house. Flight attendants offer my navigational gal Friday pills for the ride and I steer along seamlessly despite the nausea.

 

“Go ahead and vomit” I tell Gary but Gary never gets sick.

 

We arrive in his underground tavern. Cavern to find his equipment ready to go. We park. Hang out forgetting the therapy of filmmaking and ballet dancing. When he’s ready for me to leave the BitchCave Gary confidently hands me a package. I knew what to do as I climb into a new flight device. Airplane maybe?

Flight of the dead. Dead musicians, friends, loves and my own life obliterated into one pile of ashes from the exhaust flames of a flying saucer. I’m still high from the flames and the guilt.


My First Acid Trip

March 11, 2012

 

“Rich, I just took a shit. I think I shit the acid out of my system.” Matt said.

 

“Is that possible?” I said watching the old-fashioned land line telephone bend and almost melt on my distorted hand.

 

Matt was freaking out and obviously still tripping on the acid we took a couple hours earlier. We shouldn’t have parted ways. Maybe I should have told him he better not flush it and find the hit of acid in his shit but I had my own demons to deal with. I was home with my family and on acid for the first time. I hid in my room trying to enjoy the trip.

 

It started earlier that day in High School. It was my Sophomore Year. By then I did drugs like candy when it was available.  Whenever the candy man came around with different pills, powders, types of marijuana and hashish or basically anything I tried it. Everything was cheap enough and I loved new experiences. So when he showed up at lunch time with a sheet of paper cut into tiny smaller than quarter inch squares of what was called blotter acid I was one of the first of our 15- 20 members of the “freak” gang to try it.

 

All of the kids that hung out across the street from the school before and after school smoking cigarettes and doing drugs when we had them were labeled as “freaks”. I liked the nickname and as Jimi Hendrix advised I wore my “Freak Flag high”. When I finally saw the 1931 Todd Browning’s film Freaks years later I appreciated the title even more. I even understood the lyrics to “Freaks by Alice Cooper and “Pinhead” by the Ramones after seeing the movie.

 

The group of us put the little square of paper on our tongues, some of us not knowing what to expect but looking forward to it, right after lunch. We made it to 7th period before it kicked in. Around 5 or 6 of us were in the same class taking a test for a health class. Back then they used the computer print out cards to fill out our multiple choice answers with out number 2 pencils now waving up and down in my hand as I stared at the yellow card morphing into various types of paper and creatures. I didn’t panic. I was just hoping that the teacher and other students wouldn’t notice but me acting weird in High School would have been no surprise at that point anyway. I didn’t bother trying to read the test questions at that point. I just drew designs that intrigued me on the yellow card with the red circled multiple choices with my pencil and handed it in and waited to be dismissed. The 6 of us watched each other and gave the smile saying “Wow. This is awesome.” Except for the one kid who was freaking and looking around the classroom. I learned a new term that day- “bad trip.” I also learned that some people can’t handle some drugs and some can’t handle any. I, of course, was superior and handled mine fine. By fine I mean I enjoyed the drug of the day.

 

The last period of school was study hall and we ditched sitting in the cafeteria and hung in the senior lounge with the Juniors and Seniors who were cool about it most of the time. We sat quietly and watched tv for the most part. Everything was moving that’s not supposed to move. As much as it freaked me out I was loved it. I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring so I could leave school and experience . . .

 

I walked home with my best friend of the year and band mate (which makes us family in the Rock n Roll world) Matt and another friend Mark my future best friend and band mate and to become more of an expert on drugs than Matt and myself combined. We cut through the woods and smoked cigarettes and pot. As we re-entered the streets of suburbia we ran into the keyboardist of our band, Alex who was straighter than a clichéd arrow that wasn’t bending if we saw one. He was Mr honor roll and advanced classes and all that ear morphing jazz and we were trying to conceal our psychedelic hallucinations and reality stretches as he talked his large teeth grew larger and larger and they looked there was another set of teeth coming out of his mouth like the alien in the movie Alien. When he started hissing and resembling the alien entirely I mumbled something and motioned Matt and Mark to follow me but they were busy staring and talking to rocks and bushes. Our jig was up. Alex knew something was sour in the grapevine cement we carefully paced upon. Eventually, we made it out of there safely and my house was only a few blocks away. I knew I could make it. Mark was only a few blocks from me but Matt had another mile to go.

 

Somewhere along the linear curly line to my house from the nappy black tar beneath our feet I lost sight of my destination and my friends. They were gone. I couldn’t see them anyway. I made it home and presented my parental greetings brief as I counted the moving and swerving steps to my safe getaway bedroom. Or so I thought.

 

Music. I wanted to hear some music to trip on acid to. I went for the king of hallucinatory drugs and the greatest guitar player in my teenage world, Jimi Hendrix. I used to hallucinate to his music totally straight and sober. I couldn’t wait to hear the music of a man who was rumored to dip his headband in liquid acid and cut his forehead open to absorb the drug faster. Electric Ladyland or Axis Bold as Love? I couldn’t decide. I still can’t 20 years later. I chose Electric Ladyland because of the right to left to right to left stereo sound designed to make my head spin. I carefully placed the needle on the groove of side 1 of 4 on my archaic record player. I let the genius chaotic madness of “…And the Gods Made Love.”

 

I made it through the opening (some say the greatest opening and I agree, on a rock n roll album) with the distorted voices of Hendrix indistinguishable from my own disfigured voices drifting in my psyche. Painful yet disorienting pleasure filled the room rivaled by electric guitars passing through every manipulative device made and invented at the time before reaching my ears. I made it to the 3rd track “Crosstown Traffic” before I had to turn it off due to the visual and audio hallucinations gone haywire. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the auditory attack but it was new to me and I wanted to calm down. I tried to find the least psychedelic music to listen to and pulled out my copy of the Blues Brothers’ “A Briefcase Full of Blues”, their album before the classic John Landis movie came out, thinking for some reason it would be less hallucinatory. Even the steady beats and blues guitars were no match for what I was experiencing.

 

When I later listened to Jimi Hendrix ask “Have you ever been experienced?” in his song “Are You Experienced?” I not only comprehended the question for the first time, I could answer “Yes.”. For the time I was experiencing and not quite experienced yet.

 

I decided to go with the quiet and draw. I wanted to cram all of artistic clichés into my first acid trip not knowing if I would ever do it again. I attacked drawing first.  I drew a pencil sketch of Jim Morrison once I could concentrate and was way too distracted to finish it. I have it buried somewhere in a drawing pad buried somewhere in my vast art collection of my own work. I tried writing a poem, something about my friend’s alien teeth and it was also too much for me at the time. I went back to listening to music and watching the ceiling tiles breathe until dinnertime.

 

My parents had invited my friend Doug over for dinner. I forgot. Doug was also very straight. He was one of my friends that actually looked the part of what society thought a drug user should look like. Long hair, scraggly half grown beard that wouldn’t quite grow yet. T-shirts and ripped jeans. He was very political and listened to psychedelic bands that the rest o weren’t into like the Jefferson Airplane. I was told he wasn’t always like this. He used to wear suits to school as a kid and bring his brief case. He predicted the weather to his fello 5th graders every morning. He changed by the time I moved to Haddonfield and met him in 8th grade. We bonded over our mutual lack of female attention, our dark sense of humor and our ability to discuss our feelings with another man or boy.

 

He knew I was on acid but my parents didn’t. I had to fake it through the meal and let everyone else do the talking. They did. At one point my father’s head was changing colors and contorting and I almost blew my cover again.

 

“You know, you look like . . . never mind.” I said.

 

That was the extent of my dinner conversation when the phone call from Matt saved the day.

 

 

“Rich, I just took a shit. I think I shit the acid out of my system.” Matt said.

 

“Is that possible?” I said watching the old-fashioned landline telephone bend and almost melt on my distorted hand.

 

At the end of the day when it started to wear off I decided I liked acid. I only did it a few more times in high school. I stuck with what was available the most: alcohol, weed and the occasional amphetamine. I always remembered my great experiences on acid and when I found steady suppliers in college and after I graduated I took it whenever I could. It seemed t have a reverse effect on me. I felt more in control on the drug that made most people feel out of control.

 

I don’t use drugs today except the ones my Doctor prescribes and I take them as directed but it’s not the same. Not to say I miss them. It’s like ex-girlfriends for me. I remember the good times then remember it all comes to an end.

 

Self-proclaimed addicts shouldn’t dream about how great their drugs were without remembering why they quit to begin with or is it end with.

 

Like all of my firsts- my first girlfriend, first time on the honor roll, first award for my art and poetry, first time I had sex and so on, I’ll never forget the first time I took acid.

image © Jon Kroll and Dave Bohn


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