After My First Kiss A Punch to The Heart

 

(from The continuing stories of JT and his quest for Culinary Nirvana)
I stopped off to see Kathy and bought a nickel of gold weed then went to the magazine store to buy a pack of big bamboo rolling papers. I was feeling a bit frisky, which is adolescent code for horny, so I decided I was the one who would set the tone tonight. The four musketeers met up by the corner of the schoolyard near the woods where many of us underage derelicts quench our mind thirsts with beer or wine or sometimes both. I hoped Ken would get out of being grounded, he almost always did, but this time he was busted with weed which was like the ultimate crime of the century or something. Felony pot smoking! Every suburban parent’s nightmare, a child that has been turned into a stoned out zombie from doing the “reefer madness.” Maybe his old man was just too drunk to remember what happened. Or maybe just beating Ken was lesson enough. I flipped when he showed up carrying a six-pack. “ Hey Ken man, give me the cardboard from the six pack, I gotta clean some weed.” This was a ritual in the neighborhood, copping some beer from an older brother of a friend outside the stores then rolling a few joints to get even higher. It was just another night in the land they call suburbia. On this eve we were a group of 12 strong all pounding down alcohol and puffing away on yellow gold high-quality marijuana. Someone suggested heading over to Beth’s because she was having a party and there in an instant and unanimous agreement. Ken grabbed me and pulled me to the side. “JT, did you take those pills I gave you last night?” “Of course I did bro it was awesome. I did the red ones and brought the other 4 with me. I figure I’ll do one and give one to Carrie and you and Sue can have the other two” Ken thought for a moment then said “Lets you and me do the tuies and give the girls one yellow each. The tuies are a lot stronger.” It was decided. We called over the ditz sisters and offered them each a Nembutal. Carrie took it without question and washed it down with some of my beer. A foreign feeling came over me, and somehow I just knew the moment was now. I grabbed her hand and held it like a boyfriend would feeling the sparks instantly. I knew Carrie could sense it too by the smile on her face and the odd twinkle in her eyes. I pulled Carrie in front of me and peered into her soul through her beautiful ocular portals. Without one single word spoken, with just one seemingly small act of mysterious energy, the whole of the cosmos shifted to a slightly uncomfortably yet fully confident and happy alignment. We exchanged nervous glances at first, and then looked deeply into each other’s eyes searching each other desires. Our eyes engaged in the only conversation necessary. With a sensuous and tender movement, our faces shifted slightly and slowly, very very gradually as we moved closer to each other. Maybe she was born with it, or perhaps it was Maybelline, but at that moment no other female had ever looked so amazingly beautiful, and for a brief few moments, no one else in the world existed. I felt a tingling that emanated from my groin and echoed through my entire body out through my fingertips as our mouths opened and our lips met with a furious and gentle tango explosion. All the blood in my body seemed to take the elevator straight to the top and made me wobble so that I nearly lost my balance. With our mouths locked tightly to each other, our tongues danced that tango, tossing and toggling inside each other’s mouths in a desperate search of our new raison d’etre. With slippery hormonal precision, our mouths performed the minute waltz in ten seconds as our tongues danced the entire Swan Lake to artistic perfection. Jesus shit man we were embracing in a wet and desperate lovelock of synergetic bliss. Eyes closed and mouths now hermetically sealed to each other our faces rocked gently as we both drank in the most incredible love infected chemical secretion either of us had ever experienced. We kissed and swapped salivary gland fluids for four or five minutes utterly oblivious to any lifeform outside are now combined nucleus.

My endoreticulum was running amok and scratching my back while it tickled my soul. I loved it! (see? I did pay attention in biology) The only sound in the universe was the soft panting and moaning of Carrie’s throat and the slightly louder moaning of mine. After what seemed like two lifetimes the magic was shattered by a familiar voice when Ken broke up the vibe. “Well, it’s about fucking time you guys.” We broke our lip lock and looked at each other knowing exactly what he meant, and we knew he was right. I think we both felt glad we waited because that was the most perfect kiss and saliva exchange in the history of Cupidon.
From that moment on Carrie and I would become inseparable, holding hands or walking with my arm around her shoulder. We were high from weed and beer, and soon the pills would be kicking in, and even if they didn’t fuck it, I’m in love which as of right now is the best high I have ever felt. Our friends looked at us as if this was how it had always been, no one even seemed to notice how different we felt. We, however, could not stop looking at each other, smiling and kissing the night away. The music was loud, the party was crowded, yet nothing existed outside of Carrie and me. We continued drinking and smoking whenever something came our way, and I gave the weed and papers to Ken and left him in charge. It was getting late, and we were very stoned and delighted. But time was running out in the evening.
No sooner did we decide to leave than a strange tension built up between us. Well not really between us but more like inside the both of us. A sense of anticipation and curiosity filled the small portion of our private universe. Ah, the moment of truth. Should we continue our adventure into adulthood or just take it easy? I felt that awkward feeling because we were headed to that moment we would say goodnight to each other and figure out what the next step of our relationship was going to be. Should I try to cop a feel and touch her breast, maybe take it further tonight or be happy where we are and wait? Suave and cool operator or caring respectful dude? The pills had one scenario and my mind had another. Should I make a move? Fuck man, what if I try for the tit and she gets pissed? Oh my god so much fucking pressure. Tuinols on one shoulder and my conscience on the other. As we walked closer to her house we chatted nervously and pointlessly about nothing. That’s when I realized she was sweating it out too. Well its time to make my move, be a man, do what a real man would do. But what man? Be like my asshole Dad? I’ll never get laid if I’m like him. Like Artie, the scumbag? No, he would probably rape her though I would never say that in front of Ken. Fuck man I have no role model since James got drafted. That’s it. What the fuck would Jameson do? He was caught having sex with his girlfriend once when her old man came home unexpectedly and caught them. They had to break up and James was a mess for months afterward. They got back together of course because they really do love each other but they had to steer clear of her parents. What kind of shit is that? He’s in the army defending I don’t know what an has to hide his relationship. What bullshit! But James was my hero so that was it. I’ll do like James would do. I stopped walking, grabbed Carrie and pulled her close to me. Our eyes met and I could see the look she had was curiosity with a side order of apprehension. “Carrie, I really dig you a lot, and I want us to have a long relationship. This love shit is so fucking confusing! Well if it is love we should be able to talk about shit like this so here it goes. “I want to have sex with you really bad right here and right now.” Her eyes narrowed and she seemed to be contemplating what would be next. I took a deep breath and continued. “But I want it to be right, the right place and time and the right reason. I just don’t think tonight is that time.” Now her eyes began to smile and I think I heard a breath of relief. She smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Without a single word we both knew it was the perfect choice. “Jesus shit JT, I want to have sex with you right now too but I don’t think, no, I know I’m not ready. But I would have if you asked me to.”

My relief was evident too, and I smiled and said “You would have?? God damn it, now you tell me.” We laughed and embraced each other holding tightly, and I am pretty sure she felt that uncontrollable male muscle pulsating slow and hard up against her hip. Life was beautiful, we were in love, and this new high we found was the best ever. We walked up to her house and stopped just out of sight should anyone be spying on us. We swapped spit, sucked face, made out, French kissed, toggled tongues, whatever the fuck you want to call it for 15 minutes before we said good night. I walked home like each step was taken on a carpet of foam rubber with my head so high in the clouds it took a special request from gravity to keep me on earth. I can’t wait to tell Ken. Jesus shit I hope this lasts.
I’m not sure if the incredible feelings I was experiencing was from love, beer, pot or pills. Most likely it was a combination of all the above but to say my head was spinning would be an understatement. I could feel the effects of all of them having a group hug in my cerebellum, but all I could think about was Carrie. Damn man, I hung out with her as friends almost every day and now all of a sudden I can’t stop thinking about her. I walked straight into my special little spot in the universe past my Mom who was mumbling something about the time, past the dinner table which generally beckoned me over for a tempting bowl of cocoa puffs, utterly oblivious to all the sights and sounds surrounding me. It felt like the giant smile not only went from ear to ear but wrapped around my head a few times. Fuck man, I’m in love!

For the first time in ever, I woke up happy and wide awake. I am ready to start the day a teenager in love. Think I’ll go into the kitchen and surprise my Mom with a kiss. The surprise was on me though because as soon as I got to the kitchen my dear mom was sitting at the table with a bucketload of tears in her eyes and my dickhead old man pacing and just mumbling over and over how “Everything’s gonna be alright.” Mom’s head was shaking, and all she could let out was a desperate sounding sob. She kept trying to catch her breath but sounded like she was going to choke. I looked at my mom, but my words were directed at my Dad. “What’s going on?” My old man looked at me with a shut the fuck up look on his face and spoke forcefully when he said, “Its not a big deal. Jameson has been shipped off to Viet Nam and is headed to a place called Quang Tri. He will be defending the honor of the entire country and our family because he is a brave son doing the right thing.” I knew it was half trying to convince mom, validate his hawkish war stance, and most importantly to him send a dig at my anti-war friends and me.

Mom was becoming increasingly more hysterical, so I chose to let that shit slide for the time being. In the calmest voice I had used with my Dad in some time I intoned outside of Moms audible range, “Dad, Jameson is going to Nam. He is going to risk his life for nothing. Not a big deal? No big deal?” Unfortunately my brazen in love self-began growing balls and my voice raised a few octaves. “ What the hell do you mean no big deal? James is going to fight in a bloody and senseless war halfway around the world.” I was using every ounce of Zen energy to remain composed, but the old shit was feeling guilty and believed increasing his own volume gave him some warped sense of authority. “First of all watch your language young man, you’re still living under my roof. We live in the United States of America and our country needs our help.” I rolled my eyes, yet he continued, “Just because you are a pansy ass chicken who’s afraid to fight doesn’t mean both my sons have to be.” The Old shit felt that his drunken slurring statement was in need of an exclamation point, so he slapped me hard in my face. I was stunned.

The shock converted quickly to anger, and it took every ounce Karma I had to not punch the shit out of his old drunk ass. Mom let out a little scream as my eyes burned holes in the wallpaper and my fingers began to ache from clenching. Being the better person, I headed back to my sanctuary to worship my stereo headphones and pretend I didn’t live in this hell hole of a house. My dickhead father, my wailing mother, and the thought of my brother shipping off to Vietnam for real had completely destroyed the fantastic feeling of love from my first kiss. Fuck them, I’m outta here on my eighteenth birthday!
TBC

High Crimes and Mister Meaner, A Tale Noir (pt1)

high crime

by J.T. Hilltop
The story I am about to tell is true, the names have been changed to protect the guilty
Prologue
The year 1971, the town Centerlawn, a thriving little Long Island community in the suburbs of New York City where four youths chose to show blatant disregard of the law and engage in the heinous crime of sharing a marijuana cigarette. In an attempt to prevent these youths from throwing their lives away down the illegal drug drain two police officers arrested the four miscreant hoodlum youths and took them to the precinct for some instant “wake the fuck up” real world advice dispensing. That’s how things rolled in 1971 suburbia.…

My name is JT Hilltop and I was one of those miscreant hoodlum youths who narrowly averted a lifetime of penal institutions for a taste of the forbidden fumes. We weren’t hardened criminals or anything, just a couple of teens out on the prowl hunting for some fun. Me and my three cohorts were typical suburban kids looking for some cheap kicks to break up the boredom of living in our mundane cookie cutter neighborhood. Our way of escaping the doldrums of our mind numbing existences was to engage in the mind altering practice of smoking anything containing THC. Opting to gamble our futures away for a few puffs on the magic dragon we engaged acts of refer madness that can only be described as….One helluva crazy fun time! This is our story:

Part I
“Hey look, here comes Monty, he got his car back.” Monty, short for Montebello, was one of the cool kids in high school who had a car. Me, Streak, and Jimbo were just hanging around “The Stores”, a local meeting place where youths gathered to plan their evening of hijinx and carousing. Rolling across the tedium of a warm summers eve Monty pulled up in his recently repaired Plymouth Valiant. Not an especially hot car but it beat the Hell out of anything we had, which was actually two sting ray bicycles and a ten speed. In our defense though the sting ray bikes were tricked out with Ape hanger handlebars and Banana seats. One even had a sissy bar. Monty pulled up alongside us rolling down the window, “Hey man, you guys got any buzz?” Buzz! That’s what we lived for, a taste of escape from the unified conformity in Centerlawn that shaped our lives. Buzz was how we described anything that got us high, marijuana, hash, colored capsules from our parents medicine cabinets, or whatever we could get our hands on. “I got some weed man, you got papers?” Streak had some weed. Streak almost always had weed, I could never figure out how he did it but it wasn’t a surprise when he spoke up. We shared buzz all the time because none of us felt like getting high alone. I guess relief from misery loves company as much as misery itself. From the tiniest chunk of hash to the biggest five finger ounce of pot if one of us was holding, all of us high. “Of course I have papers. Get in guys.” Streak got in the front, because with having buzz comes privilege. Jimbo and I filed into the back. “Where ya wanna go to get high?” Streak was already rolling a joint, “Lets go up to the school parking lot man, we can hide in the back corner.” The sound mind of Jimbo, the most rational thinker of our crowd (actually the only rational one) broke in quickly, “No man, not a good idea. There’s no way to escape from there.” Streak overruled his objection, “No ones even gonna see us Jimbo, we can puff all we want, no one will ever know.” Monty and I agreed so Jimbo gave in reluctantly.
Now if we had seriously thought this whole thing out we would have realized that Jimbo was absolutely correct. “The school” was our old Elementary school and far beyond the parking lot in the corner of the playground was where we first learned the virtues of partying. It had been a safe place for us to guzzle Budweisers, or Schlitz if we were low on cashola, or Ripple or Boones Farm wine when we felt all upscale suburban. The cops patrolled it periodically but we were located in a perfect position to run in different directions into the woods. No one ever got caught there and it must have pissed off the cops because they never gave up trying. Or maybe they didn’t really care because it was only beer but there in lay the real problem. We had graduated to the hard stuff, smoking the devils weed, which puts everyone Heroin Highway, a dead end road for drug users. Now we were not just sneaking in a little alcohol to get drunk, we were committing high crimes that suck the soul of youth out of every neighborhood. That only made the police more desperate to catch us. But Hell, we were indestructible and would never get caught. Did I say never? Despite our dark out of the way hiding spot and being unseen by any passing traffic we failed to realize that the cops still made periodic runs through the school. Maybe we were too eager or too stoned but it never occurred to us we were far from the corner of the playground without our safety net. In hindsight the cops had to get to the corner of the playground somehow, and as we would shortly find out, they used the most logical path, straight through the parking lot.
“Just got my car back from the shop, cost me fifty bucks man. So what you guys been up to?” I always liked Monty so I answered him then gave him an offer, “Work mostly man. Keeping it real at the Nursing home, hanging at the beach when I’m off. But I was vacuuming the floor in the nurses office and noticed the medicine box unlocked. I five fingered a dozen Darvon man, got two with me now man, you want?” Monty accepted the two pills and placed them in his pocket as he slipped Jethro Tull’s Aqualung tape into his eight track. We had already passed the joint three times and I was flying, “Fuckin A Streak, where’d you get this shit man, its killer?” Streak took a deep hit answering without exhaling, “It…sss…we chair wee igha fra mahbaath Bobba” We all understood stoner speak, the language spoken while trying to keep your hit of weed in your lungs. He said “its wheelchair weed I got from my brother Bobby” Any weed that was super potent we called wheelchair weed, because after puffing it you felt like you couldn’t walk. The kept the car was full of smoke with the windows up because we didn’t like to waste the smoky sweetness and thought if it hung around it would continue to ply its magic on us. Mistake number two!
Streak took out his baggie of herb getting ready to roll another joint when we noticed two blaring white lights right in front of us bearing down like mini rockets. Because of the smoke we couldn’t tell it was a cop car sneaking up on us but in hindsight it wouldn’t have mattered if we did. The cops were on us within seconds so we reacted in typical stoner fashion. We totally froze trying to make sense of anything while wondering what the Hell was happening. After a few seconds we all three noticed two men running out from the two glaring lights. The message finally made its way past all the smoke and up to our brains so we instinctively began a frantic attempt to roll down the windows. Streak in a fit of panic tossed his baggie of weed with seeming super strength across the lawn. The doors of Monty’s car were flung open and the sight of two men in blue uniforms pointing actual guns at us made us damn near shit our pants. “Get the fuck out of the car and put your hands on the roof!” The voice was scarily authoritative and our “highs” were the only things that had a chance to run away. Now straight and shaking we obediently placed our hands on the roof of Monty’s car. “Hmmmm, smells like you boys are smoking some of that marry-wanna. You boys getting high here?” Desperate to find an excuse Streak replied weakly, “No, ah no, we were just, ah um, we were just talking and listening to music.” As he spoke we all saw the cloud of smoke rolling out of Monty’s Valiant making good on its attempt to completely discredit the story. One of the cops grabbed Streak by the arm and forcefully walked away with him. We could pretty much make out what the cop was saying, “You some kind of wise ass punk? You think we’re idiots?” I prayed Streak didn’t answer truthfully to that question because we considered the cops dopey drop outs. It was obvious he was really just trying to scare the shit out of us. Thinking back, he was pretty successful. The other three of us stood like petrified mannequins with our hands Velcroed to the roof as he pushed Streak back up against the car. Then the other cop came walking over holding something in his hands. He held up the baggie of weed Streak had tossed like it was a prize twelve point deer in a hunting contest, “Well lookie here Finch, seems we got us some Mary Jane here. Are you boys reefer addicts or something?” Then he walked around talking in his ‘I gotcha ya little fuckheads’ voice meant for us, “This here is what we call felony weight boys. Any of you young hoodlums know what felony weight is? I’ll tell you what it is, its over one quarter ounce of a controlled substance like this here bag of marijuana which raises this heinous crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. That means some hard time for whoever owns this shit and I aim to find out which one of you punks owns the dope!”
I was shivering like a naked beachcomber in January despite it being a beautiful warm summer evening. The cops took each one of us for a walk and talk and when returned put handcuffs on. Shit was getting real and I was no longer feeling any kind of buzz. That is aside from the paranoia buzzing in my ears. I was the last to go for the perilous perp walk and by this point they knew my brother was a cop. “Son your brother is gonna be real ashamed once he finds out what a low life criminal his hairbag little brother is. You putting him in a bad spot.” To accentuate the point the had been squeezing my bicep muscle between his thumb and forefinger like he was crushing a peanut shell. “You know what a felony is there Justin?” A million thoughts were flooding through my mind, jail, big bad strong criminals in jail, big bad strong horny criminals in jail, going to jail as fresh meat, and facing Mom and Dad. Jesus I was in deeper shit than ever before. I was hoping he was nicer than Mr. ‘Lookie what I got’ over there so I tried to sound remorseful as I pleaded, “Please officer, I’m not a bad kid, its just a little weed, we weren’t hurting anyone. Have a heart sir, I’m only sixteen and I” He cut me off as he now pinched my arm hard enough to cause a bruise. Apparently he wasn’t the nice cop, he was Mr. Meaner. Not fully satisfied at my wincing he then pushed me hard making me take a few steps to keep from falling on my stoned face. “Have a heart? You’re a cimm ee naal boy, you broke the law! This here is illegal and you did it anyway. Your brother is gonna get a lot of shit for having a felon for a brother. Tell you what though, since your brother is on the job I’ll cut you some slack. All you gotta do is tell me who’s stuff this is and we can work something out.” Shit! Jesus H shit! A rat. He wants me to be a rat. Well there’s no way man, I can’t turn on Streak. “I-I’m sorry officer, I never saw that baggie of weed, all we had was this one joint one of us found, I can’t even remember which of us….” The pain shot through my arm up into my shoulder. Now he was twisting and squeezing my arm pinching the bone as he literally tossed me back towards the car with the others. His voice was trembling he was so angry “Bunch of fucking idiots, all of you. I want to know who’s pot this is and you’re gonna tell me you little shits. Each one of you hairbags are going to jail.” They were rather well versed at intimidating four teenagers with bully tactics that fell just short of abuse in those pre I’m calling DYFS days. The one asshole cop, Mr. Meaner, who had a particular problem with me ruining my brothers cop reputation was eyeing me with evil intent. I saw him move his right foot and the moment his government issue hard leather flatfoot shoe found its target I yelped like a beaten puppy. I could tell there was already a huge lump as I fell to the ground in pain. My calf was throbbing as the other cop, Fitch or Finch or something grabbed both of my arms lifting me up. He flung me like a rag doll against the cop car. I could hear the slight clinking of metal as the criminal containment bracelets slipped around my wrists locking in place. The sharp pain of metal stunned me and I let out a gurgle. “Oh I’m sorry, is that too tight?” Finally some compassion, I nodded and managed a squeaky “A little”. With the ease of a man who more than likely has trouble in bed but found courage and a sense of real manhood wearing a badge of authority, the douchebag tightened the cuffs digging into the flesh at the outer edges of my wrists. Tears welled up in my eyes while they loaded us into the back seat of the police car and proceeded to escort us to the fourth precinct. Apparently what we had here was a failure to communicate.

Behind The Music, Stoned-henge Stock , 420 BC

hhh

Woodstock is considered to be the first ever mass gathering of a rock an roll concert although many, myself included would argue it began at The Monterey Pop Festival during the summer of love. But recent discoveries by archeologist show that we are all wrong, the true first weekend of peace love and music was put on by the Pagans in the UK at a place called Stone-henge in 420 BC. Before Alan Freed the rebellious music wasn’t called rock and roll, it was called stone and stumble and it was a big part of their counter culture. Take this recently found papyrus music sheet with song lyric scribed by Lady Joni of Mitchell for the popular Pagan harmonizing genius’s Crossbow, Whiskystills, and Nash-hash:
Stonehengestock
I came upon a child in the fields
Whilst walking along the path
I enquired “where dost thou walk to”
And this is what he told me
I walk along to Maximus Yasgurwoods farm
To join in a stone and stumble band
Set our camp along the henge
To seteth thy soul free
(Chorus)
Thou art starburst
Thou art goldstone
And we got to plant ourselves back in our garden

By the time we got to Stonehenge
We were a couple thousand strong
And everywhere was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw a sun god
Riding shotgun in the sky
And we all turned into whippoorwills
Above the nation
(Chorus)

This relic was found with other ancient artifacts including a lute believed to be owned by Jimi Henbicks which he played with his teeth during a searing rendition of “Castles Made Of Sandstone”, and a clown nose belonging to Wavy-Ravey. The discoveries hve led scientists to believe that Stoned-henge was originally built as a stage for Stone and Stumble bands across the UK back in the day. WAY back in the day, 420BC, The Flintstone years, 10 million strong…. and growing. The Stoners Age when Bedrockpalooza and Occupy Rock Quarry were popular. Archeologists now believe that the Stonehenge ruins are all that’s left of an enormous soundstage which played to thousands of young partying Pagans, some who danced naked and took to frolicking openly, many while under the influence of barleycorn weed, a popular and tasty intoxicant when smoked. That weekend celebration of love, life, sex, drugs and stumble and stone music changed their world forever. Well actually it changed it only until the brutal Roman soldiers invaded the lands of the Pagans forcing them into chains of Roman rule but that’s another documentary. Before that devastating event the only event anyone spoke of was the three days of Love, Peace, and Music (and rain) on Maximus Yasgurwoods sheep farm known as Stoned-henge Stock.

Stoned-henge Stock was the brainstorm of childhood friends Ian Kellerlay and Declan Mc Intyre of Brea Scarra Off the coast of Scotland. They had the incredible insight to create a venue that could unite all the various pagan music styling’s of the UK. With top acts like the blues singer Janus, Canned Campfire, Dublin Bay Dirtwater Revival, Countryside Joe McDougal and the 12 fishermen, Bronze Zeppelin, The Ungracious Dead, Jefferson Chariot, The Immobile Stones, and The Salisbury Hill Stompers, nine music scenes in all would be represented. Each of the nine music scenes were represented by a giant stone indicative of its region to “represent“!

It’s believed the festival lasted three days and nights showcasing some 30 Stone and Stumble acts to almost 40,000 jubilant attendees. The crowd was so large the New English Chariot Thru-way was closed. Lotta freaks man! Tremendous efforts were made to feed the crowds, nearly 500 pounds of haggis was prepared for crowd consumption. Breakfast in bed for 40 thousand! Two children were born, a number of rug burns and other sex related casualties occurred, and one person died but all in all the festival was considered a life changing success. Or disaster, depending which news media you paid attention to. This is Behind The Music, the truth behind Stoned-henge Stock 420BC, The two part series presented by our sponsor, “Be My Bud“, the leaders in the legal marijuana industry. “We grow em so you can roll em.” So set your DVR for the upcoming mini series. Watch hundreds of pagans drinking, smoking, and flipping out on pebble peyote, get the inside story from some of the acts, and find out what happened to this sheep farming community when the music stopped.

The All Time Favoreite Classic Festivus Poem

night before

A Festivus visit
J.T. Hilltop

T’was the night before Festivus
When all through the house
The computer was not working
I couldn’t find the mouse

The stalkers were hung by their necks with such care
In the hopes that the end of their peeping was near
The children ate Nestles they snuck in their beds
And bounced wall to wall, banging their heads

Mom in sexy teddy straddling my lap
Had just bound my hands with a Festivus strap
When down in the kids room there arose such a clatter
I had to get dressed, see what was the matter

Away to the window I flew like a dash
Dropped my full baggie losing my stash
It fell on the breast of the new fallen snow
I watched as my reefer was falling below

When what to my bloodshot eyes should appear
A hallucination of eight tiny reindeer
With a leprechaun in red so lively and quick
I knew in a moment my eyes played a trick

A rainbow of eagles his coursers they came
He yelled at all eight and he called them by name
Yo Bashful yo Sleepy yo Doc and yo Sneezey
Hey Dopey and Grumpy and Happy and Sleezy

Hidden in the dresser where Mom keeps her thong
Now dash away dash away while I get my bong
Then in a twinkling they climbed on the roof
A dancing red leprechaun this must be a goof

As I drew in a hit and was turning around
I opened my hand the bong dropped to the ground
The dude dressed in fur from his head to his foot
Was laughing so hard and he was covered in soot

Bundles of herb buds there on top of his back
Just like a drug peddler carrying a sack
His eyes how they twinkled, and dimples they sank
His cheeks red as roses but his stare was so blank

His droll little mouth drawn up like a joke
His beard on his chin was snow white from some coke
The stump of a chamber pipe he clenched in his teeth
Second hand smoke circled my head like a wreath

He had a broad face and a little round belly
I aired my first grievance and said he was smelly
He was also too chubby and a right fat old elf
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head
He rolled a sweet fatty he bought from a dread
He spoke not a word but played his big role
In the middle of the room placed an aluminum pole

With a feat of strength placed a finger to his nose
An sniffed up more coke through a dollar bill hose
His grievances he aired till his team blew the whistle
And feats of great strength had broken the thistle
But I heard him exclaim the aluminum pole out of sight
Happy Festivus to all, and to all a good night

Enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate and take time to laugh
PEACE

Cuz I only Have Pies, For You

only pies

Is the dough out tonight?
I don’t know if I rolled it out right
But I ONLY HAVE PIES
Foooooor You

Ah yes, holidays are here and its time to get pie baking. Apple pies, mincemeat pies (which is what my Mom once threatened to make out of me), cream pie, chicken pot pie. Wait, what? Is that a three course meal, chicken…pot…and pie? Or is there a reason they call them pot pies? It begs the question, is it possible to use the same rolling technique I learned as a teen to roll out my pie dough? Perhaps. I remember the first time I learned to roll my own back in the day, so maybe it’s like riding a bike and one never forgets. In fact I believe if I had some rolling papers and something to roll in them this second I would till be able to create the perfect fatty. (Do I mean hypothetically? Perhaps)The real question is this, can I use that same long ago learned skill to make my pies for the holidays? Well The Existential Baker has never been one to give up without giving it the old culinary college try, so lets investigate. Nothing to lose anyway, if it doesn’t work I will just fall back to the old school daze of rolling when I was on the honor roll of joint rolling and set myself up with a good old fashioned doob. (definitely not hypothetic)
First I want to investigate the commonalities of smoking herb and baking. Here we go. Cakes are like the baggies of herb in weed world. A half ounce is like a six inch cake, a lid (very old term for between a half and an ounce) is an eight inch cake, and the five finger ounce is a huge ten inch cake. Quarter pound is a half sheet, and well you get the picture. The higher the quality the higher the cost. You can get a cheap store bought pre made cake for the price of Mexican green weed, a home-style bakery fresh cake for the price of Acapulco gold pot, or a custom made baked to order cake in the shape of just about anything which is like a purchase of killer Thai Stick. All of them taste great and make you feel good but the Thai Stick is by far the most enjoyable and impressive of highs. I specialize in cupcakes, which is more like smoking from a bowl of a multiple hose hookah pipe.
Picture this, a giant mushroom, a tie dye colored humongous caterpillar sitting on top of it smoking from a hookah pipe. He offers you a hit and you smile like a Cheshire cat. Either you’re referencing Alice in Wonderland or your doing hallucinogens not weed. Ease up on your THC levels. But back to the hookah. The multiple hose hookah he offers you is a pipe designed to offer a smooth smoke for multiple users, more than likely a must have in the good old opium dens where Eastern Mystics went to light up and chillax. That’s kinda what happens with the cupcakes, you sit around a table and everyone is empowered to enjoy whatever flavor they chose, unlike the basic chocolate layer cake which needs to be cut and portioned. And everyone get the same buzz. (From chocolate) With cupcakes the user, or eater, just picks whichever one they want and its all ready for them, in a nice neat self contained package. I also make bite size mini’s, which is like a set of one-hitters. Anyway, around the table you sit with the cupcake of your choice and you can use a fork or just stuff the dynamic flavored treat directly into your mouth. By using the best and freshest ingredients we bake our little treats then offer them up for consumption. Cupcakes may also be used for medicinal purposes, having properties which help combat depression and other mood related afflictions. No prescription is needed, just an okay from Web-MD or a simple self-diagnosis will do. But please use in moderation, cupcake withdrawal can be a bitch. That’s how a warped mind like The EB views his cupcake creations, like high grade pleasure inducing treats made individually for each one to indulge as they choose. We create preamo organic mind teasers and palate pleasers for your recreational or medicinal enjoyment. (for private parties I have been known to enhance them with ……. Lets just say more organics). But I’m off on a tangent which happens often when the mind is distracted by weed, I mean cupcakes, so back to rolling.
Back in the day the rolling papers were too small to make a proper fatty. We had to get resourceful sticking two papers together. The same concept applies with pies. Two separate discs of rolled dough for a fatty of a pie. Its important to get the dough to the proper thickness and size for the desired result. Once rolled its time to put the product inside. Lets say its some high quality sliced Washington State G-Mama Smith apples cut with some sugar and spices. Too much filling will rip the paper, so proportion is important but you want that mother stuffed to the max with a nice mountain of sweet surrender. Oh to live on, Sugar Mountain! Now we need to stick the two shells together. I’m not going to lick the pie dough because….well gross, so in place of my saliva I will use some whipped eggs and brush the edges gently just as I would have licked the glue. Using a rolling pin replaces the art of holding your product between index fingers and thumbs to roll it up. You won’t need that to roll out the dough but remember that skill because it will come in handy when you need to pick it up and place it on top of the apple mountain. Roll the dough in a circle a tad bigger than what you need then fold it in half. (use plenty of the white powdery stuff to prevent sticking) Then using thumbs and index fingers pick it up and place it on top of the apples with the crease across the middle. Use the aforementioned pinch method and flip it over the apple creating a pleasuredome. Gently press along the edges to seal, cut off the excess dough and crimp for a perfect fatty of an apple pie. Now its time to bake. Matter of fact, let’s put it in the oven and we’ll all get baked!
This may be a bit of a stretch, but when you get down to it many of the skills I acquired back in the days have come in handy working in kitchens. Cutting and portioning with a spatula or knife instead of a credit card, sifting flour at an angle just like cleaning weed on an album cover, or rolling dough the way we rolled joints. So when you get down to it, my youth was clearly not misspent, and I received a valuable education at school outside of the classrooms……PEACE

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In The Shadow Of The Moon…. Remembering The Dead

boys

In Loving Memory Of My First Grateful Dead Concert
J.T. Hilltop

Lets not get too technical here, maybe I should call it the potential memory of my first Grateful Dead concert because it was after all over 40 years ago, and I was perceptually challenged in a profound way during that era from the fumes of heated cannabis plants and the ingestion of an array of mind altering substances. But its worth a stumble down memory lane just the same so here to the best of my recollection is my most sincere if somewhat warped and faded reflection. This is my account of the surreal experience of the very first of many Grateful Dead shows.

My best bud Kevin and I went to A&S to the Ticketron booth and chipped in to purchase one general admission ticket to see the Grateful Dead at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Even though it was only $6.50 at the time to us that was a lot of money. Over twelve lunch periods of not eating to stash the fifty cents from Mom. Sounds like no big deal but let me tell you not eating lunch when you’re in high school while studying the effects of smoking biodegradable sativa plants resulting in a case of perpetual munchies is quite a sacrifice. Besides that, we needed whatever money we could store away to buy some good pot and maybe a hit or two of something for enhancement. We were planning to weed and speed throughout the concert.

With only one ticket it was time for us to become resourceful and put our high school education to some good use. We took our one ticket to the school library where they had a copy machine which was free for students. Using our deductive reasoning we hatched a plan to copy the back and front of our one ticket. We then took the two pages to art class where we carefully cut the ticket front and back using what looked like an ancient hand guillotine or torture device from the dark ages for a very precise cut. Two sides of this cloned ticket were duco-cemented together. Using the blue and yellow colored pencils we colored in the bogus ticket to make an exact replica. Now we each had a ticket and could use the cash we saved for some buzz.

Neither of us could drive at night because we only had Jr. operators licenses so on the evening of the show we had to hitch a ride to the Coliseum. I was well seasoned at traveling BMT (By My Thumb) and while I wasn’t quite as prolific as say Sissy Hankshaw I usually fared very well at copping rides. It was a different era and hitch hiking was pretty common. Our first ride came quick but was with an off duty cop which sent shivers of paranoia down our spines. He turned out to be really cool and just lectured us a little on behavior of teens, littering, (or was it loitering?) and mundane teen crap. The second ride took a bit longer than we hoped in snagging but it was a lucky hit. We caught a ride with a van load of Deadheads that brought us all the way to the Coliseum laughing and smoking pot the whole ride. Kevin had brought a dime chunk of Blond Lebanese hash and a pipe but he kept that in his pocket. I had a two finger baggie of Hawaiian Gold weed from which I rolled two fat doobies to share with our hosts. By the time we got to the parking lot we all were pretty buzzed, and that’s when Kevin handed me the surprise hit of blotter acid. We were primed and ready to rock and within an hour we would begin tripping. Thanking our ride we split and surfed the lot in search of any friends that may be at the show so we could share our get high.

Having found no one we smoked a bowl or two of Kevin’s hash and went inside, moving quickly so the attendant had no time to inspect our tickets. Once inside it was time to find a place as close to the stage as possible to hear The New Riders Of The Purple Sage. We didn’t work too hard on positioning yet because that struggle would come later when the Dead played. We lit our weed and our hash sharing it with all around us an got lots to smoke from them in return. N.R.P.S. played a great set and Jerry came on playing steel guitar for a few tunes. It was pretty awesome but that’s not what we came for. As their set came close to its end the LSD began its magic by transporting us to another planet both visually and mentally. When the set finally came to its close we were tripping proper and had some time to kill.

We went out to the corridors around the arena to do some people watching which is normally cool, but has a heightened sense of uber coolness at a Dead show. A group of totally tripped out people were doing a trippers version of interpretive dance, making strange gestures that if done anywhere else most assuredly would have gained them admission to the loony bin. People everywhere with unusually huge smiles stuck on their faces talking, sharing one type of get high or another. Whippets, bongs, chamber pipes, chillums, joints, one or two 12 inch joints rolled in an Esmeralda papers, pills, tabs, or chemical laced paper being put in mouths and swallowed. Conversations involving what the boys would play or what they played the evening before at The Fillmore abounded. A communal sense of intense excitement as we all became as one, one group of collective conscientiousness anticipating the start of the real show, what we all came for. After a half hour of watching and chatting with strangers, and some even stranger strangers, it was time to find our spiritual spot inside.

After fifteen minutes of strategic jostling, finding holes in the crowd and slipping in a shoulder or a leg to fill in a void and get closer to the stage we had our sweet spot. Just about center a bit to the right about 20 head lengths from the stage, great cosmic vibe and situated in between the massive speaker system. We staked claim to our territory by lighting some hash and proceeded to engage in copious amounts of smoking and toking, sharing it with all in our magic circle of Dead fans. As the lights dimmed drum beats broke through the crowd buzz and some guitar riffs filtered through the speakers. We were stoked now and the acid was in full flight. The universe was perfectly balance in that arena and everyone inside knew. The music began and it was a collective aura of Zen emanating from the crowd, nary a soul left unstoked nor untoked. I’m not gonna try and bullshit you about remembering the set list, so for the sake of my memorial account I will allow a collage of concerts speak to me as I generalize.

I was very fortunate to have caught the Dead while Pigpen was still with us and right at the onset he stole the show working us into a frenzy. The sound had a raw country edge to it with an accent of blues, Pigpen making his harmonica cry in emotional distress. The arena was dark with rolling flashes or colored lights, red, blue, yellow, purple all splattered about randomly reaching out into the crowds and moving around in huge oval patterns. The lights changed around us making our minds eyes congeal into a spin art of vision. Beach balls, balloons, Frisbees all hovered or soared overhead before moving on in some sort of cosmic endless search. The speaker system was blaring loud yet precise, I could hear and sense every note from every instrument. By the third or fourth song the mood had taken a slight turn as China Cat Sunflower began. Or maybe it was St. Stephan, either way the very moment Jerry hit the first notes my entire essence was sucked into another world. Of course the acid heightened my senses and I was tripping pretty heavy at that moment but Jerry’s guitar work infiltrated my soul and took over my body. Nothing else in the world existed, nothing but this magic pied pipers guitar solo. Jerry’s strings took on life, began breathing and pulsing, inter-twining its spiritually mesmerizing complexities with my hemoglobin and the music flowed freely through my circulatory being, now a part of my DNA leaving me feeling nothing short of ecstatic. Each note etched deeper and deeper into my soul and filled me with a sense of belonging, of completion as I became a small part of a living breathing concert with The Grateful Dead being the heart, pumping us life. I bobbed and writhed to the music along with thousands of other jubilant fans. I looked at Kevin and he was in his zone, oblivious to anything else, and a quick look around revealed a vast array of transfixed smiling faces all finding their very own space in time. The concert had been elevated from just another rock show to the ultimate rock concert.

They played about two hours and I never knew if we were in the middle of one song or at the end of another, and that was because they played songs within songs flowing back and forth as if in parallel dimensions. I can’t be 100% sure but I believe the last tune they played was the hippie anthem “Dancing In The Streets” with their own twist on it. They left the stage with everyone still pumped up an buzzed half out of our minds. The collective culture that pervaded took over our minds and our instincts kicked in as the entire crowd clapped, roared, whistled, and screamed begging for more more more!!!!! The level of our collective accolades escalated quickly to an almost ear shattering level, when the band returned. The screams of pure and genuine gratitude rumbled through my inner ears tickling the hammer and anvil, pounding on my eardrums, and trickling melodically down into my Eustachian tube forcing a good feeling over my soul and once again the band brought the music to life.

That was the first time I had ever heard the song “Morning Dew” and it was a gift of galactic proportions. What I found out later was the tune is about a post apocalyptic walk in the aftermath of rapture and the boys created the most haunting and mesmerizing sound I have ever encountered. It oozed apocalypse before I knew what the tune was about, again Jerry’s strings grabbing me and lifting me to another plane, an audio astral projection of the third, fourth, and fifth kind. It was followed up with a few more tunes as the band treated us to a lengthy encore fittingly ending with “And We Bid You Good-Night” It was an experience that even the most eloquent and descriptive words could barely hint at. One of the unifying chants of Deadheads is “There Is Nothing Like A Grateful Dead Concert” words to live by and I have chanted those words over and over ever since. I couldn’t possibly tell you which Dead show was my favorite but I can tell you this, after years and years of concert going when asked what my favorite show ever was I reply it’s a Grateful Dead concert, which one I’m not sure but definitely The Dead. I’m not an elitist, I love many other bands and artists, and many memorable shows including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones, and Neil Young, to name a few. I even took my son to some LollaPalooza Tours and a Warped Tour and I have always loved rock and roll and always will. I don’t get to nearly the amount of rock concerts I used to, but I go to as many as I can. Memorable recent shows include the Beach Boys reunion, Waters “The Wall” tour, an Phil Lesh an Friends, but in the end, as anyone who was lucky enough to have been to one Dead concert can attest, “There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert”…..Peace

da boyz

Camp Stoned-Henge

cheech-and-chong

Fresh shipment of skunk weed just hit town and I rolled the mothah of all joints. I fired that bad boy up, filled my lungs to capacity and passed it to Mario. Its been dry for almost two months now with nothing around. No red or gold grass, no Jamaican Ganja, no hashish, no Canibinol, not even any shit Mexican dirt weed. We’d resorted to puffing seeds and stems or the occasional resonated tar like lump of whatever the hell we were able to scrape out of our pipes. The first real hit in weeks and its some of the finest wacky tobacky skunk weed we around. Skunk weed, as its name implies, stinks like shit. Not shit exactly, closer to its namesake skunk, but either way when you stick your nose in the baggie it stinks of ass. But the smoke tastes sweet as could be and more importantly this shit FUCKS YOU UP!! The marijuana drought of 72 was now officially over so we were puffing our stone free asses off. “Oh my gawd JT, this shit is kickin’ my ass” Mario exhaled as he was exclaiming what we all were thinking after only one hit. When my turn came around for seconds I inhaled even deeper and held it as long as I could until my lungs waved the white flag and I surrendered a cough agreeing whole heartedly. “You ain’t shitting pickles my man, this is some killer ass weed. I am so stoned! I just wish Jimbo D was here to share it with us.” Jimbo D was a good friend and the fourth musketeer of our gang who moved up to the Catskills. He dropped out of school because his girlfriend was pregnant. They opted to move to Monticello to work for Jimbo’s uncle so now it was just me, Mario, and Shadow hanging around town struggling to finish school. Out of nowhere Shadow blurted out “Hey, my old man has a four man tent.”
The three of us broke out laughing wildly each holding our sides as if they may actually split and continued until we realized none of us knew what was funny. Shadow recovered first, “Haha, what in the hell are we laughing at?” I composed myself a little and looked back at Shadow to answer. “I think it was you Shadow, something about your old man pitching tents in his bedroom.” Shadow laughed again but Mario scratched his head in confusion, “Pitching tents? No he said his Dad has tents, like four of them.” At that point I understood how stoned we were as our conversations were lacking any semblance of lucidity but I needed to know what Shadow meant. “You say you have a four person tent? What did you have in mind?” Shadow exhaled another cloud of sweet second hand smoke, “Well, maybe we could drive up to Monticello to visit Jimbo and Debs and camp out in a tent. That way it’ll just cost us money for food, beer, and weed. We can split the cost of gas.” Amazingly sound proposition from someone so buzzed, and it was almost instantly that all three agreed. A plan began incubating.
That gave us three days to gather together as much drugs and money we could rustle up on short notice and get out of work or whatever else we needed to do. Shadow said he’d call in sick, Mario didn’t work, and this is my weekend off so it was perfect. We chose to leave early Friday afternoon so we would still have enough light to set up the tent. Shadow researched and found a state owned campground just about fifteen minutes from Monticello where we could campout for free. So off to the upstate New York town of Sundown we go.
“Checklist guys. I got a half ounce of weed, a full tank, and a cooler waiting to fill up with beer before we split.” I looked over at Shadow who was supplying the tent, “I got the tent, a coulpa sleeping bags, and a gas lantern. Plus a hatchet and Swiss army knife.” Shadow had a smug proud smile because like most times it was he that thought of the practical shit. Like some kind of real boyscout or something. We both looked at Mario not expecting anything but he shocked the shit out of us. “Well, I got a little cash here, and I also managed to score 6 hits of Bounty Acid.” He held out his hand and in it was a ripped up sheet of what looked like a stained paper towel. Shadow and I let out a simultaneous “Bounty Acid?” Mario chuckled, “its some clinical LSD dripped on paper towels, kinda like the new sugar cube LSD. I got it from my brother and he swears it’s some really good shit man. He’s never let us down before right? When we find Jimbo and Debs we can all trip our asses off.” Me and Shadow exchanged elated approvals. Our weekend was gonna rock and roll.
Monticello was only three hours away in normal traffic but it was Friday afternoon so it took us over an hour just to get on the Throggs Neck Bridge. But once we got through the Bronx it was clear sailing and we located our free campground area just around eight. We surveyed our temporary home, a mountainous forest with a few large clearings and an ice cold stream. We figured out what a preserve is. An isolated place in the woods with no bathroom, no shower, not much of anything but that running ice cold communal stream and a lot of wildlife. Not like Lions and Tigers and Bears and shit, but woodchucks, raccoons, possums, beavers, and foxes. Not the beavers and foxes we were hoping for, real ones. WTF, at least we may find out how much wood a woodchuck can chuck. No matter, its free, we are always open for an adventure, and we had lots of shit for our heads so we worked together and got the tent set up.
Shadow was beaming with pride over our accomplishment and I gotta say the tent looked professional. I stated happily, “All the comforts of home.” Mario was not as enthusiastic not being much of an outdoorsy kinda dude, “Yea ‘cept television a kitchen and a place to shit in peace. JT, light up a joint will ya?” I reached into my cigarette package for the ready to puff fat doob and struck it up, “Capital idea my most awesome brother, lets commence to getting stoned.” Before the joint even reached its destiny of being fastened to a roachclip I lit a second one and Shadow got us each a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. Now we were feeling good and buzzed and not caring about the lack of amenities in our camp, which we baptized as “Camp Stoned-henge”
Time to begin our search for Jimbo. We had an address, no idea what part of Monticello it was, but being naïve young stoners we believed if we drove around town we would eventually find the street, surprise Jimbo and Deb with some weed, LSD, and beer an have a big ole party. That was the plan anyway. Mario was by far the best driver especially when we were all stoned so I handed him the keys to my little red Simca “La Bomba”. “Okay Mario, the coolers is packed, I rolled eight doobs, and you got the acid. Here’s the keys bro, take us away.” With that the three of us headed out into the higher regions of the Catskill Mountains smoking joints and having fun. We laughed and drove and drove and laughed and we all three were in a great mood. The sun had just gone down to what they call sunset, but sunset way up in the mountains can be very different, and with the thick fog settling in it was more like horror movie cliché at dusk. It was nearly impossible to see but fortunately not many other cars were out on this foggy eve. Then we hit the road that would alter the complexion of our trip in ways we could never have foreseen. Twist Run Mountain Road. The road was long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where. Mario was doing his best to negotiate the twists and turns but between the fog in the mountain and the fog in his stoned out head his driving was far more erratic than normal. More than once he crossed or straddled the double yellow line and we couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of us. We kept moving, but at the speed of an old man in a wheelchair. We prayed we would not be noticed.
Prayers are funny things. Sometime they are answered, and sometimes they act like they are intercepted by the Karma police. None of us were very religious so instead of being answered they became some kind of karmic retribution, some sort payback for being evil Long Island suburban kids smoking devils weed. With the bright white headlights being refracted in the fog it was easy to see the contrasting rays of red strobe like lights which bounced off of everything. “Oh fuck man, I’m getting pulled over.“ Paranoia can make you freeze or give you paranormal quickness of thought. My panic first kicked in frozen as vision of an upstate New York prison until intuition filled my brain. Paranormal quickness took center stage as I immediately pulled the remaining joints out of my cigarette box and handed each of the boys two, leaving me with two. “Quick Mario, take out the cid an toss it out the window.” As Mario grabbed them from his pocket the always frugal and efficient Shadow pulled them from his hand and yelled “No wait, lets eat the acid first then the joints. We don’t wanna get busted tossing shit out of the window way the fuck up here. Besides Mario spent good money on it, hate to waste that.” At the time it seemed like a great idea. Mario stalled by pulling over slowly and we each ate two hits of LSD then began chewing the pot. Funny thing about skunk weed, and a fact I had previously been unaware of is it not only smells like skunk ass, it tastes like skunk ass too. Not to say I have eaten skunk ass before, but using my imagination that’s what it would taste like. I chewed and swallowed my two rodent shit tasting big bamboo sticks, Shadow ate his two, but Mario could only finish one. “Hey man, I can’t get this down it tastes horrible. JT, ya gotta take it man.” I grabbed the stick shoved it in my mouth and began chewing just as the cop came up to the window shining his flashlight on us. “Whatcha boyz a dewn up here, eh?“ He shined the light around our eyes and I stopped chewing, allowing the skunk ass flavor to proliferate around my cheeks awhile. Mario took control. “Um, sorry officer, we, uh we’re like here looking for our friend who lives up here in Monticello and like we got like lost in the mountains, he he, and well like the fog is like I mean like I can‘t like even see” Suddenly realizing he told a cop he couldn‘t see yet was still driving Mario made an attempt at a save and blurted, “I mean not like CAN“T see, but like not like really well, I mean this fog is like I mean can’t.. How do you do it officer?” The cop began searching our faces using his flashlight like a spotlight while I frantically tried to swallow inconspicuously the last of the skunk weed and rolling paper. He looked directly at me and suddenly that was me in the spot-light, nearly losing my biological functions. “Y’all looking fer a friend ya say? In Monticello? Well you boys’r in Ellenville now. I think maybe Y’all aughtta step on out the car.” He stepped back and shone his light on Mario and I took the opportunity to swallow the last of the wad of pastey skunk ass saliva soaked crap in my mouth. I was sure my breath stunk like a skunks ass and that’s something I wouldn’t want to try and explain to a hick cop way up in the Catskill Mountains. I wished I has a mint or something but at least we had no drugs to get busted with now. The cop frisked each of us then made us open the trunk of the car. Inside we had a cooler and my Moms wicker picnic basket. The lawman focused on the basket and said, “That’s a helluva nice basket there boys. My wife sure’d like something like that.” I said nothing, but Shadow was quick on the draw. He picked it up and handed it to the cop, “Well officer, why don’t you take this back to the Mrs. We’d be honored if you would take this as a token of our appreciation for helping us figure out where we are and how we can get back home.” Between Shadows charm and my Moms basket the cop took the bribe, smiled and said, “Well thank you boys, that sure is awful nice. My wife is gonna be right happy tonight. Now why don’t y’all get on back in your car, don’t move for about one hour an let the fog settle down. Make sure y’all go straight to where your staying” I looked at Shadow then at Mario and thought about how pissed my Mom was gonna be when she finds out I, or rather Shadow gave away her wicker basket. Anyway the cop was leaving, both Shadow and I mumbled good bye but Mario thought he would add to our new found friendly relation with the officer. With his goofiest big smile he added “We call it Camp Stoned-henge” The cop stopped glared in our direction and paused for a brief moment, then just shook his head as put his prize in his car. “You boys just get on back to your camp whatever, I sure don’t wanna run into y’all again tonight. Unnerstand?” No answer was necessary, we got into La Bomba, waited until the cop was out of sight and split.
Now there was some considerable silence in the car, each of us processing what just happened, and wondering what two hits of acid was gonna be like once it kicked in. Mario was driving and spoke first, “Lets just do like he said and head back to camp. Maybe tomorrow in the light we can find Jimbo.” As obvious and sensible as that was I still wanted to talk about my Moms basket, “Man, why the fuck did you give him My Moms basket? She’s gonna fucking kill me!” Shadow was already prepared with his answer, “Dude chill! It got us out of trouble, what if he kept us there and we all started tripping? We’ll chip in and get a new one, just tell her you left it somewhere.” Satisfied but not happy I had to agree, and off we drove back to Camp Stoned-henge in relative quiet.
No sooner did we get back to our tent did the tingling feeling of an oncoming LSD trip began. We popped open some brews, and waited. I don’t think I ever hallucinated so much before. I was seeing animals that weren’t there, probably not seeing animals that were, and we laughed for about three hours straight all the time having no idea whatsoever why we were laughing. Trees grew extra branches then bent over and kissed the ground. The sounds of the wilderness were symphonic, and even in the dark the colors were magnificent. Time seemed suspended and life looked distorted as if through a kaleidoscope tube but it was okay, even humorous for some bizarre reason. The acid changed the complexion of the evening and we had a blast.
We knew we were never gonna find Jimbo and Debs now, but we were high as shit, tripping and laughing away. We got lost in a mountain fog, had to eat almost all of our weekend supply of drugs including two hits each of acid, got pulled over by a corrupt hick cop almost getting busted, gave away my Moms wicker basket, but at least we’re safe, and happily tripping. Would be for at least the next 5 or 6 hours. We were laughing uncontrollably, happy as clams and the worst was over. Then something fell on the top our temporary canvas abode. Maybe a small twig or something. Then another, and another. Shadow peeked through the tent opening and gave us the news, “Oh oh, looks like rain guys” As the words began to sink in the rat a tat tat on the tent picked up speed and decibels. Within seconds the light rain morphed into a mountain downpour and I felt the earth move under my feet-I felt the sky a tumbling. Before we knew what happened we had wall to wall mud carpeting. Mario began freaking out, I began laughing harder, and Shadow stared out to tent opening and with a prophecy told us the wind was kicking up which reminded him of a time he and his Dad were camping, got caught in a storm so bad that the wind yanked the tent spikes out and one stuck in his leg.
The last lucid memory I had was Shadow showing us this little scar on his calf. Less lucid is a memory as vague as the mud carpet, of three tripped out stoners laughing with a mixture of delight and horror as we became part of a canvas blob of a soaking wet mudpack. We managed to pop our heads out of the openings, Mario found some cans of mud crusted PBR’s and we partied until well after sunrise. At some point we finally fell asleep.
We slept clear through to Sunday morning and when the Sunday morning sun menacingly shook us awake we looked like burnt and crusted Woodstock wash outs, completely covered in dried mud and probably woodchuck piss. We rummaged through what was left of our campsite, the weed was MIA, the cooler had tipped over but still had a few warm beers in it, and the sleeping bags and everything else including the tent were a damp collaboration of musty half dried shit. We tossed it all in the trunk where my Moms wicker basket once resided, went down and bathed in the ice cold stream. We set out home to Long Island and despite having a ton and a half of fun each vowed to never return to Camp Stoned-henge…..PEACE