Another never again moment. I’ve had way too many of them, late nights hugging the toilet bowl somehow empting more contents from my stomach than went in. How many times was I thinking I may have just thrown up my liver or pancreas? How may times have I said never again? Well at least this time I’m saying never again not because I’m puking up my internal organs from mixing every alcohol I could get my lips around. Nope not this time, this particular never again moment is because my hallucinations are over the top. Never again will JT take five hits of barrel acid, a favorite tripping substance for LSD users like myself. One is sufficient for a fantastic trip because barrel acid is pretty powerful, two is pushing it a bit closer to the edge and not normally recommended. Taking three hits is unusual and dangerously close to going over that edge but its not unheard of. But five?! That’s just fucking insane man, something that even the most seasoned tripper stacked with frequent flying miles wouldn’t do that on purpose. To be honest clinical insanity was what I feared most.
So how is it that I am laying in bed in a room I share with my brother tripping like McMurtreys cast of loonies in the cuckoos nest? Because in a moment of sheer marijuana driven panic I made an ill advised choice. My Mom came back unexpectedly and I had five hits of premium trip-worthy barrel acid on the table. I was looking longingly at my freshly acquired controlled substance contemplating who I would abuse them with when I heard the door open. In a rush of paranoia I grabbed all five and shoved them quickly in my mouth. Not in my pocket where they would have been safely stowed from sight but in my mouth! I heard her threatening heels clanking closer as she approached the kitchen and I did the only thing I could think of. I swallowed. Mom came in and glared at me, “What are you doing here in the kitchen? What are you up to now young man?” As I swallowed the tabs I nervously responded, “What do you mean up to? I ain’t doing nothing.” Mom believed that parenting was a responsibility in which she was obliged to constantly belittle me and correct my English. She was relentless at making me feel like shit, “You aren’t doing anything JT, and don’t lie to me I can tell when you’re up to something, you look like the cat that swallowed the canary.” I had recently smoked a joint blowing the smoke out my window and I almost chuckled thinking about Tweedy Pie and Sylvester but I needed to keep it together and switch the focus, “Okay, okay I’m not doing anything mother, just looking for a snack. Why are you back so early anyway?” she stared at me in an all too familiar way, deadpan suspicion “Yea well I forgot something and your dad is outside waiting. But if you don’t want to tell me what’s going on maybe I should just stay home.” Jesus Christ no! Just the thought of that made me shiver perceptibly. Time to use my ultimate teen weapon, the disdainful you never trust me sarcasm, “Yea sure Mom, I’m planning an mass murder, I was just in here choosing which of your knives will make the cleanest stab! Why is it you always think I‘m up to something? You never trust me.” I knew I sold it. Mom shook her head in mock disgust and started towards the door, “One of these days JT you’re gonna say something you’ll regret and someone will take you serious. For gods sake grow up. You stay out of trouble and we’ll see about lifting your grounding tomorrow. Go clean your room and then we can talk about trust!” As she walked out the door I sneered while under my breath I spoke bravely, “Yea fucking right, my groundation! What a fucking joke!”
I was pissed off because most everyone else I know is at the Civic Center at the Jethro Tull concert and I’m stuck here because I missed and assignment in social studies. Social Studies, another joke! Anyway this acid is gonna start coming on in a while so I need to prepare. Time to head up into my sanctuary away from this screwed up world. Up to my bedroom which I share with my older brother who just won’t move out so I can have it to myself. 22years old and still living home the damn loser. Not me man as soon as I turn eighteen I’m outta this shithole of a house. Fuck it, at least I will be tripping my brains out tonight. Little did I know how close to literal that would become.
The cid was kicking in so I got settled in. What to do? First things first. I lit some patchouli incense and turned on my blacklight to make my psychedelic posters burst with colors and movement. I pranced over to my cheap stereo to choose an album. Being in a Jimi mood I put on Bold As Love, side A. It starts off with a funny UFO spoof then quickly kicks into a typical Jimi Hendrix guitar explosion. The album was awesome and premium tripping material. I laid back on my bed and began seeing some very strange visions. The ceiling was normally blank but because of the LSD I perceived it to be full of images, most of which were moving like a film strips. Popeye strangling Brutus, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote running in circles like a dog chasing its tail, and that sort of thing. High def hallucinations. After watching these assorted hallucinations awhile I had to keep reminding myself that they weren’t real. Then I focused on one in particular, Wimpy humping Olive Oyl and he was pumping away to the music. Popeye, Brutus, and an array of cartoon character I don’t remember were all watching and cheering them on. Olive was panting and moaning her skinny and boney legs way up in the air, and Wimpy had lost some weight and was unbelievably in time with the music, thrusting along with the chords. Other characters were clapping, Olive was screaming “Ohhhh Popppppeye!!!“ and Wimpy kept saying “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a good fucking today” still pumping as if dancing. I laughed out loud until I realized something strange. Not that the scene wasn’t already strange enough but this was scary strange. The music Wimpy was humping to was not the album I put on. As a matter of fact it was music I never heard of before, filled with really weird electronic sounds. I jumped up, the hallucinations disappeared and I ran to my stereo. The album was over and I had no clue how long ago it ended.
I shook my head trying to get straight and flip the album over. I stood to reassure myself, “Its just a trip JT, you’re tripping and everything’s okay. Only a trip, it’s the acid, none of this is real.” Feeling only slightly better I headed back to my bed but someone stopped the album. When I looked over it started again, then happened once more. I was certain my asshole brother had come home, knew I was tripping and thought it would be funny to goof on me. “hey cut it out man, that’s not funny!” No response. I looked around. No sign of Robert, no one anywhere, but the music was now playing normal. I turned to get back to my bed when one of my posters, an American Indian chief with tie dye colors all around him began moving. He was breathing and flexing his muscles, holding up a tomahawk. “Holy fuck! This isn’t fucking real man, it can’t be.”
The full force of the five hits of acid were hitting me now. I slinked back into bed and closed my eyes tight but they kept popping open. I had to keep reminding myself I was tripping so I wouldn’t flip out. Can’t sleep, no one to talk to, I gotta see myself through this. But right now I have to take a pee. Off to the bathroom. One of the things about tripping is it intensifies every feeling, whether its making love like never before, hearing music that pulls at your soul, or even pissing. Even better than that pee held in during a long road trip waiting for the next rest top. But there is another oddity when tripping, when you see am image of yourself and its distorted you need to focus and look away before you begin to freak out thinking its how you really look. As I turned from the toilet bowl I was confronted with a full length mirror that had a most frightening and imposing figure staring back at me.
Everything seemed to come to a halt, even time itself. I was staring at a foreboding image of myself painted like a warrior of some sort complete with a bizarre war paint. Split directly down the center of my face and body was a line, on the right side everything yellow except two stripes of dark brown war paint on my forehead angling upwards, a semi circle around my eye, and two more stripes on my cheek in a downward angle. My left side was a dark brown yang to the bright yellow yin. I must say I looked fierce. I stared for a few seconds trying to intellectualize the event and put it into perspective but my perspective had gone out for a walk in the woods and I wasn’t sure it would ever return. The war paint began breathing, or pulsating and changing colors. War paint of dark brown, bright yellow, and dayglo orange were spinning around my face. My cheeks were drooping, my nose twisted and my forehead protruded immensely. I was hideous, a worse image than finding a face full of pimples the day of a date. I issued a long drawn out “Ohhhh My God” and forced myself away from the image. Like I was a Piccaso portrait escaping from a Salvador Dali landscape Nothing was real, I had never come close to hallucinating this hard. I trembled and forced myself to head back to my sanctuary feeling like I was stepping on feathered mattresses repeating “that wasn’t you. That wasn’t you” as my Mantra.
“Shit man, I gotta get a hold of myself here and start enjoying this again. Where the fuck is Popeye and shit?” I thought I was alone but to my surprise I received an answer. “maybe I can help.” I looked about the room, no one here, only me. Oh Jesus now I’m hearing hallucinations. I walked over to the stereo thinking it may have come from the speakers. Nothing. I laid down and tried meditating when a butterfly fluttered in front of me and landed on my chest. I stared in confusion when out of nowhere it began to talk to me. That is to say it communicated to me, it didn’t actually move its lips and speak. It communicated in an unspoken language it called the language of the cosmos.