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


Narrator’s View

October 26, 2010

Your not so humble narrator has been out of it for a bit. Not keeping up on the blogging. He’s been writing but not anything for the site. For you to pity or indulge in. For you to read, dear reader. Seems like there was nothing to say and too much to say at the same time. Doing nothing and everything at the same time.

 

Almost a month in the new house and everything has settled for him. He is not having the freak outs and anxiety like before the move. It took a few weeks for him to get back in the groove of writing. Busy unpacking, enjoying the new HD 40’ flat screen TV, getting rejected by women, reading and pretending to look for work. He still wants to avoid it as long as possible. Some days the day is seized and productive and other days are wasted away but overall your self-absorbed narrator’s life is pretty good. Living a day at a time and pretty much working on one project or another.

 

He sees great things in the horizon and knows it’s not going to happen over night and without hard consistent work. Stubborn and determined to see it through until the end and then maintain. New business ventures. New books to be written. New stories to be told. For such an isolating loner your narrator certainly has a lot of stories based on life and fantasy. Thank God. If it wasn’t for art he would have no purpose.

 

Stay tuned as he says “I did it again.” What he did or does or is doing is yet to be determined but I’m sure it will be documented for all to read and see, That’s you the reader.

 

“Thank you for reading and I hope you keep it up.” Says the narrator.


Nicole Died

August 4, 2010

I just found out that my cousin died. Well, she was my ex-cousin. Ex-cousin in-law technically. She was my cousin’s wife. They weren’t officially divorced so I don’t know what to refer to her as. At one time she was considered a friend. She was even my housemate briefly along with my cousin. I stayed in their house while I was down and out in 2003-2004. Weird. I just posted a story on wordpress.com that I wrote in 2004 about going to see the Cramps with her and my friend.

A little family history. When I was in my early 20’s I found my natural father who had left when I was 5 years old. I was quite the partier at the time. I drank a lot and I was always high. He introduced me to his sister. I guess I should say re-introduced me to her. She had around 10 years sober at the time. She told me about my Uncle and my grandmother dying of alcoholism. She was “planting the seed” in my head for when I was ready to get sober. Eventually I did.

Through  her I meet my 3 cousins. Joey. Patrick and Kelly Ann. We got along great but didn’t see each other much but when we did there was a strong bond there. It’s amazing to be so much like a person that you never see. It has to be the genes. I stayed in and out of contact through the years. The male cousins were big partiers. A lot of drinking and drugging. I stopped and they kept going. In 2003 my cousin Patrick died of a drug overdose at the age of 36. Same as me. But for the grace of God there go I. It was hard on the family and tried to remain friends with the remaining cousins. Meanwhile I met Jo’s wife Nicole. She was tattooed and into punk and rockabilly like me. We shared our love for John Waters’ movies and horror. We hung out a lot. My cousin Joe didn’t like to go out much. She was also sober and he was on and off.

I was stuck for a place to live near the end of 2003 and the offered me a room for real cheap so I moved in with them and their 2 dogs and 2 cats. It was a small bedroom but it served my purposes. I still hung out with them at the house. Right before I moved in Nicole had a gastro-bypass surgery and there were complications. Something was wrong with her gall bladder. She started abusing her pain medications as well. Sometimes she was completely incoherent. I dealt with it and moved out in April 2004.

I pretty much lost touch with them after that and they also separated within that year. The last time I saw Nicole she came to visit me at the restaurant I was working at. She was with my dead cousin’s widow who was also known for doing a lot of drugs and partying. They didn’t look too healthy but I was happy to see them. That was at least a few years ago.

Today I joined my natural father for lunch with my aunt. She told us about Nicole’s death. My aunt wasn’t real clear about the exact nature of Nicole’s death. She said it had to do with her neglected gall bladder and her drug use. My cousin Joe isn’t going to go to the funeral. I kind of want to but I don’t think it would be appropriate. She was using her maiden name so I couldn’t find any information on her. I’m not even sure when it happened.

I guess I’m writing this as my way to say of saying goodbye to her. She was a friend and family after all. Rest in Peace Nicole.


The Future is Today or Get a Job

July 6, 2010

Yep. It’ll be six weeks tomorrow since I was fired. Let go. Freed. It’s been up and don since. Sometimes I am so relaxed and productive writing and putting my books together and other times it’s been depressing. I collect unemployment but not much since I didn’t technically make much on my checks. I’ve been living off of my savings but it’s going fast. Living with my mother doesn’t help much either. She doesn’t nag but there is an unsaid pressure for me to be looking for a job. A job. I don’t really want a job but all of this free time for an unorganized person like me can be hell sometimes. I get filled with anxiety and depression from the unsaid pressure and from being un focused. I want to write and that’s it.

Even dating has fallen to the bottom of my list. As I’ve said many times before I am a flake with dating and even my relationship with my friends. It’s become worse since I’ve become unemployed. I don’t want to do anything except write and make videos with the occasional half assed job hunt thrown in here and there.

The few times that I make the effort to sit down and think about what I want to do with my life I come to the same decision. I want to write, I want to make a living from writing. It’s possible but I there’s a long road of rejection and waiting first. I have to keep going at it. Write everyday. Try and get published every day.

I have so many connections to get into the writing field but it’s writing articles and reviews. This isn’t my strong point yet. I usually write journal or blog style or fiction and poetry. I tried writing reviews before and it ended up being stories about my experience with the movie, live band or cd. It worked for Hunter S Thompson in many of his writings so who knows?

As far as jobs go I’ve been keeping my ear out and talking to people I know because you can get the better jobs through word of mouth. That’s how I got my last 3 or 4 jobs. I use the word kob rather than career because that’s all they were. Telemarketing, retail and food service.

I had an opportunity last week that sounded great. I ran into someone I know that works at a pretty big alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. It hit me that I could really get a lot out of doing that. I’ve considered it in the past and it hit me that I should try and get into it. I asked her how I could get into counseling. She replied with enthusiasm. She said that they are always looking for new people. The pay is average but the benefits are great and you get raises often. The only requirement is to be 2 years sober. Shit. I’m 3 months short. She said to mention her name and maybe it wouldn’t be a problem.

I was nervous and excited about calling the next day. I called and talked to the woman in charge and she said that they couldn’t bend on it. I had to have 2 years sober. She said to call back in October. I was disappointed but I figured it was God’s will so I went back to my part-time online surveys and writing.

Everyone I told about this said that I should have lied. It was only 3 months. Besides I had 16 years sober before my relapse in 2008. I didn’t bother mentioning that to the lady hiring because that could be considered a bad thing. How could I in good conscience lie about my sobriety time so I can get a job working with alcoholics teaching them honesty? It made no sense to me.

Now I have to find a “job” to hold me over hoping that they will still be hiring in October.  At least the experience gave me an idea of what I want to do besides write. Meanwhile, I’m going to give it to God and take one day at a time like I’ve been taught. It worked today.


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