Posts Tagged ‘mescaline’

Got an email last night reminding me that I promised to tell the mescaline camping story a few weeks ago. So, here it is.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Really, when someone asks you about your experiences with hallucinogenic drugs, that’s a pretty good answer. You win some, you lose some. When the L column starts outnumbering the W column, you call it quits.

This was the 70’s. Most of our drug use involved using bongs made out of household products, sitting around in someone’s art deco basement discussing Syd Barrett’s sanity or Jim Morrison’s dick. Every bong hit was chased with piss warm Miller Lite stolen from someone’s garage. Sometimes there was hash – smooth, blessed hash – and sometimes – ok, a lot of times, there was acid and mescaline.

Oh, mescaline. To this day, whenever I think of that beautiful purple microdot, I can almost feel that metallic taste form on my tongue, that signal that the mesc was working its way through my body and I was about to fly. Most of my friends preferred LSD as their means of flying; I preferred the mesc. Never a bad trip. Never a dull moment. And never a feeling of disappointment when you realize that the Mickey Mouse blotter you just licked was a fake, which is the price you pay for trusting your drug money to hippies camped outside a Hot Tuna concert. I knew that when I drove all the way to Alley Pond Park and placed my bills in Fat Albert’s hands, I was getting the real deal. Fat Al didn’t mess around. Fat Al had a reputation to uphold. And I’m sure he’s still upholding it on Riker’s Island. But that’s another story.

Let me just cut right to the camping trip. Guys, I am not a camper. Do I seem like a camper to you? Hell no. I need electricity. I need a real bed. I need to not have to take a piss in the middle of some godforsaken woods in upstate New York. I need to not hear someone reprimand me for not using “nature’s toilet paper” a/k/a, a leaf, and using a page from their notebook instead. Yet, I went on a camping trip. They talked me into it. I don’t know how the hell they did it, but they talked me into it.

Bear Mountain, New York. April, also known as the rainy season around here. I swear, the second we got up there it started pouring on and off. We sat in this thin, falling apart tent watching the water seep in. Gee, I’m so glad I came on this camping trip with you. How else would I get the experience of drowning in my sleep?

I spent about two hours cursing my decision before I said, the hell with this. I know we were supposed to save the mesc for the next night, but I was going to make this camping trip work somehow. If I had to trip to do it, so be it.

I was finally able to convince everyone that tonight was the night to have our big party because if this rain kept up, we’d all be boarding an ark the next day and asking Noah to make us breakfast. Let’s live while we can. So we did. We broke out the beers, broke out the bongs, broke out the mescaline. All at once. I’m not going to say how many tabs we had each. Suffice it to say it was more than the daily recommended dosage.

Let me tell you, when you are high and drunk and feeling the beginnings of a drug induced euphoria, you don’t care if it’s raining piss from heaven. You just don’t care. You open your mouth and catch the drops and think jesus christ himself is feeding you liquid gold. We cranked the tunes and listened to Shine On You Crazy Diamond echo around the mountains. We were all kind of floating.

And then I heard it. What the hell was that? Singing? Guys singing? Huh? Was that… 99 bottles of beer on the wall? Except they weren’t saying beer….”98 bottles of”…….”97 bottles of..”….we turned down the Pink Floyd and listened. Hell, I was so relieved everyone else had heard it too because if this was going to be my hallucination for the night, I was gonna be pissed. Fat Albert would pay. But no, we all heard it. “95 bottles of Pepsi on the wall, 95 bottles of Pepsi…….if one of those bottles just happens to fall, what a waste of…..soda?” SODA?

A few of us started walking in the general direction of the singing. I stopped short when I got to the clearing where the singing guys were. I stared. No. No fucking way. Bad mesc. Bad trip. No bueno. I shook my head to clear it. You ever do that when you’re tripping out? boyscouts.jpgYou think you can rattle your brains back to reality. But I shook and shook and those guys were still standing there. Boy scouts. No, not boy scouts. Men scouts. And it wasn’t bad drugs. It was real. They were sitting around a raging campfire in full boy scout regalia, the tie and cap and shorts and knee socks, I kid you not. They stared up at us, a couple of teenagers all messed up on drugs, wearing soaking wet clothes, staring with incredulity at these guys. And they just stared back at us until we were caught in some bizarre showdown of the stares with these dorks. Finally, I broke the contest and just blurted out, “It’s boy scouts!” The lead scout (you can tell he was the lead guy because he was holding the lantern) stood up and said, kind of obnoxiously, “That’s Eagle Scouts, young lady. Eagle Scouts.” Well holy fuck, we were in the presence of super scouts! I mean, there’s nothing wrong with being an Eagle Scout, but there’s something wrong with being an Eagle Scout in full uniform on a camping trip singing 95 bottles of Pepsi on the wall at 10 pm on a Friday night. Something seriously wrong. So I did what anyone else would have done under the circumstances. I said, “Hey guys. Wanna party?”

Something about reporting us to the authorities. Something about disrespect for the wonders of our natural habitat. Something about bears coming down from the mountain and eating us for breakfast. We got bored with their lecture and headed down toward the lake. By this time the mesc was really starting to take hold. That familiar taste on my tongue, the light buzz in my head, the feeling that this all may or may not be a dream and that I was suddenly sure I had the answer to life, the universe and everything and it wasn’t 42. No, it was…….the Statue of Liberty. What?

Oh yea. There it was. See, I had somehow found myself sitting on this huge boulder that was sticking out of the lake. And I was piloting this boulder because it was gonna lift off and take us toward…toward there. You see it? Up there on the top of Bear Mountain? It’s Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty waving her torch and she’s whispering to me. It’s like a Neil Diamond song come to life. What? You don’t see that? How can you not see it, it’s like 700 feet tall? I start humming America the Beautiful. And I think about the Eagles Scouts and how I disrespected nature by making a bong out of a tree branch and I may have a tear rolling down my cheek like that Indian in the commercial.

I think it’s when I shouted Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute, that they pulled me off the boulder and dragged me up to the tent. I was repeating over and over, Lady Liberty loves you, Lady Liberty loves you and then guys, tell her to put out her torch cause she’s gonna start a forest fire and Smoky is gonna be pissed the fuck off. I had to make a break for it. I had to get over there and put out the torch before Lady Liberty fell asleep, like that time my grandfather fell asleep with a cigar in his hand and almost burned the kitchen down. I was just about to devise a plan to escape the clutches of my friends when a wave of bliss hit me. Oh yea, Buddha was calling. Buddha was calling. Buddha was saying…..chill out, dude. Relax. I went limp. I laid down on the grass and stared up and oh yes, it had stopped raining. The sky had cleared. Hallelujah and all that. I stared up at the stars and thought I could count them. I started singing softly, “one billion stars in the sky, one billion stars in the sky, if one of those stars just happen to fall……..” and then I shit you not, I am not making this up, I swear on the heart of Neil Diamond, a shooting star streaked across the sky. Wish, wish, I gotta make a wish, what the hell would I wish for? Oh yea. Music would be nice. Waste of a wish, but I was in this alternate universe high. Ok, buddah of the shooting stars, I wish for some music and no more Pink Floyd please.

And I heard it. A harmonica, softly playing something familiar, something that brought back memories of a hot summer day on the back lawn of the local church, lots of kids and…oh, hell. This is what I wished for? Kumbaya on a harmonica with backing vocals by Eagle and the Scouts? Yea, this is where it ends. This is where I find the warm beer and drink enough to put me to sleep. The bliss of mescaline can only take you so far. When you got overgrown boy scouts serenading you with church songs in the middle of a mountain, there’s only so far Fat Albert’s product can take you.

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Before, during, after. We’re not quite done yet, and I’ll have some better before/after pictures later in the week. And that ugly ass couch is going very soon.

When I woke up this morning and walked into the living room, I was almost surprised. This is not what I’m used to walking into every day. It’s so different. So…nice.

My daughter remarked the other day that our house has finally become a home. That’s not just cosmetic. It’s a lot of things in the mix that made her say that. But that’s for another day. Right now I just want to sit back and enjoy what we’ve done without thinking of the emotional ramifications of tearing down your old life and building a new one.

The best part about all this renovation (and forthcoming renovations) is that we have done 98% of the work ourselves. We only called in a professional twice – for the carpet installation and for some heavy duty spackling work that had to be done when we ripped the ceiling molding down. Everything so far, both inside and outside the house, was done with our own hands. The sense of satisfaction from that is a beautiful thing. Our Home Depot bill, not so much.

Another new addition to our home is my sister and her baby. Well, not really new. She has always lived upstairs (we bought this house together three years ago), but she has been staying at my parents house since her husband died in April. She finally came back home this week.

It’s great to have my nephew upstairs. He’s 16 months old. Kids are pretty entertaining at that age. The best part is, I can go up and play with him then bail out when he gets cranky.

Yesterday, he was watching some weird show. Wonder Pets. What the hell? When did kids programs get so creepy? Classroom pets that suddenly take on human traits when everyone leaves the school. On the episode I watched, they were rescuing a chimpanzee who was lost in space. Hello? How many classrooms keep a chimpanzee? And how far into space can you travel inside a school? Am I reading too much into this? Did you know I have a weird hang up about anthropomorphism?

There’s something really bizarre about the way this show is animated. They use real pictures of animals, not cartoons. And everything is done in song, like a freaky opera performed by strange woodland creatures who suffer from delusions of grandeur. It feels more like an Adult Swim program than a children’s show. Between that and Lazy Town and I have to wonder what the hell happened to all the good stuff? Don’t kids watch Sesame Street anymore? Whatever happened to simplicity? Counting to ten? Where is the love for Super Grover??

Sure, my kids grew up on Barney. But looking back, being forced to watch the purple dino wasn’t so bad compared to the shit parents have to look at today. Have you seen Lazy Town? It’s like watching someone else’s acid trip. “Hey kids, look at this! This is what life looks like when you take ten hits of mescaline and drink a bottle of Boones Farm wine!” Eh, maybe it’s a good life lesson (did I ever tell you my mescaline story? do you want to read it?).

Maybe there’s too many choices for kids out there. Too many channels devoted to mesmerizing your child all day long. Too many shows dedicated to teaching your children how to be consumer whores. Love the show? Buy the cereal! Buy the figures! See the movie! Wear the pajamas! Eat the ice pops! Guzzle the beer!

Wait. That’s not a half bad idea. So many parents get wrapped up in what their kids love (I did see a minivan festooned with dozens of I Heart Harry Potter stickers the other day) that they buy these products more for themselves than the kids (no, I am not pointing the finger AWAY from myself here. Remind me to tell you the Power Rangers story. Really, remind me) that marketing beer with beloved children’s characters would be all kinds of awesome. Jimmy Neutron 40 oz malt liquor! Dora the Explorer Tequila!

I came a long way from talking about what we’ve done to our living room. How did I get here? How much coffee have I had today?

Too much, is always the answer.

I think I need a Hannah Montana Wine Cooler (five awesome flavors!) to relax.

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