"It takes between 30 and 45 minutes for the drug to take noticeable effect;
give it time."
I am waiting. We are all sitting and waiting. I swing a glance around
the circle of fools; some knowing enough to wait patiently, some not
caring anymore, some simply not knowing at all. I swing my feet, I
whistle and tap my fingers. I say nothing; I am waiting.
As my teeth go numb, people start to gather themselves up and wander off.
"Ten minutes to take off, and counting." I swing my weight out over
trembling knees and meander off into the infinite playland .
"There is no reason to expect anything inparticular from the trip. It is
all totally unpredictable, like life. The trip is simply intensified
Wandering through funhouse halls, Indian faces, hard as stone, gadgets
and trinkets, the creation of gnomes, well tanned leather, carved up
wood, bright colored sweet-treats, and a stock of dry goods. Storefront
after storefront woven into a maze of cattle fences, built sturdy to hold
the bulk of tourists guided and prodded through the show:
"Keep it moving folks, we've got lots more behind you"
"$5 gets you a picture with the Indian chief"
"Step right up, you won't want to miss this. Step right up, what can I
get you today? -two for one, half off, and free with a purchase of the same!"
"World's largest hairball! See it while it's fresh. Coughed up only ten
minutes ago (you'll smell the steam rising off it)!"
"Live baby bear!"
I can see the ghosts of a thousand barkers, candy stripe suites and straw
hats, drawing in crowds and shoving them back out into the flow, with
money falling out of their pockets, dollar bills shoved up their ass.
Each store like a sack-gut animal, sucking in and then vomiting out
tourists, drawing green nutrients out of them.
I can only hide between the fences.
"Because of the intensity of the experience, meaning can be drawn from
things like water from a tap. Allegory is everything."
I climb between the fences, over barriers and through locked doors. A
rusty iron stairway takes me up and away from the open market circus
below. Who is that in the rafters? A doorway. Onward and upward, I ram
myself into the jammed door and stumble into a pile onto a roof that
immediately breaks into a thousand pieces and flies away. A flock of
sparrows swoops and swirls above my head. The birds have come, my vision
blurs as an overwhelming wave of LSD hits me square in the head. No
turning back now.
As I follow the stairs back down a drumbeat hammers echoing through my
ears, a heavy, crashing beat comes from every direction, reverberating in
my head. At the bottom of the steps I realize what it was. A sign
stands, most of it beaten apart by one of the lunatics loose in the
halls, pounding on anything and everything. It is a sign for a theater.
Dancehall shows and such, complete with the flowery vaudeville script. It
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It's good to know I've finally arrived. I walk past the torn up sign, feeling the very moment wash over me, turn the corner and bounce off the glass, only inches from the snake eyed man. The rim of my vision goes black and I can only focus in on his smiling face. Turn and run; there are no thoughts in panic. Deep breaths (don't let it get you, stay between the fences, you've got control) Skins hanging everywhere, I'm surrounded by draperies of flesh. I'm in a BUTCHERY! No, no, something
about that doesn't seem quite right. A leather shop, yes the leather shop, the one I left my tool in. The fear of being surrounded by the coverings of the dead vanish as I see the boots and coats, chaps and pants all lining the walls. A wash of surrealism comes back over me and the garments turn back into one hanging blanket of torn skin. With great effort I focus one last rational thought. "Fight".
The scenery is now changing too fast to describe. But I have found
focus. I begin to peel my clothes off, shedding layers of skin. Now
sifting through the piles of living fabric I pull a new skin over
myself. Metamorphosis! I am prepared. As I go searching for my tool,
the soundtrack from the A-team rises in my head. In the midst of tanned
leather I find a small drum, and a glass lamp that I had connected a small
hose to back when such things seemed useful. With a quick, one-handed
search through my bag for cigarettes I march out to meet the enemy. I
will take on the world!
"LSD is totally safe, as long as you can keep in mind two things no
matter what happens. 1) don't hurt anyone 2)don't hurt yourself."
I mounted the cage. The snake eyed man was trapped. How it happened I don't know. Who could have gotten him in there, I'll never guess, but this is the kind of place that could manage something like that. No matter, he's in a fix, and now I am too. So we work together. The world attacks, offering no time to prepare, sending a tidal wave
through the wall. I barely manage to reach the top and plug myself in. But now I'm hooked into the main vein, sitting above the king of the underworld sucking confidence from him like a leech sucking blood through
Another attack, the floor drops out from below me. How high up am I? I
can't fall from here, can I? No, I parry with a lit cigarette and focus
on the tracers.
The empty sound of absolute silence begins to resonate in my ears, it is
deafening, and i realize that the fight has only begun. In an effort to
call the bluff, I pull out my homespun hookah pipe and light up.
The world scores a crushing blow as in front of me appears, a child
dressed in blue, she is feeding the snake eyed man.
What did she say? What does that mean? What could that possibly mean?
She's got me; She knows! In my head I scream, like calling the wind,
but the voice comes out calm through an acid haze, "What do you want?"
I blow smoke across her face, wiping off the mask and turn her back into
Sally. A hearty blow.
As Sally wanders off, safe again from the swooning demons off this room,
Suffocation approaches from a long dark hallway. He is large and dark
himself and the serpents from is shoulders have no poison but strangle
their victims to death. His body creates a wall that nothing can pass, not
even the wind. He moves slowly and steadily, approaching calmly and
enveloping me into a death embrace. This is no time for bravery, naive
stupidity is the only defense from a certain demise. I attack with an
open hand and strangle the serpent, watching it wither into the shadows
as the darkness washes of Rob. He grabs me and squeezes lovingly.
Rob's face melts away as he continues down the hall looking for Chris and laughing like a child. The room seems to be coming back into a steady
focus, when suddenly a final lunge, one last desperate attack, from the world sends it spinning and every dark corner is exaggerated. Every shadow creeping closer, and all safety drifting away. I can feel secret eyes on me. The walls are circling faster and faster as I turn,
constantly trying to see behind my back. Did They get in? They Know! I search the shadows and see something new in each one, but the devils
always scamper away before I can crush them under my heel. The rafters. The stairs, the rafters, I saw something in the rafters. Slowly I turn my eyes up watching the vines and vermin sliding and crawling over one another, shapes fading in and out. A pair of eyes, white eyes not
shifting and fading like the rest, and a smile, a real shit-eatin grin, white teeth and eyes steady and staring at me. The panic wells as the silence revs again. I must get away, it's gone to far. I've got to turn
myself in. "Full of drugs, officer, full of drugs".
I bolt across the room, desperate to find an EXIT sign, and in the
stirring of my wake I hear "You might want to get down for this". I turn
my head to see Ryan's arms and legs hanging from the rafters like monkeys
in the trees holding up the log of his body. He swings and drops down
onto my level and the final throes of the heavy acid dreams fade into a
great trip. The world sinks back into the abyss, leaving me to live my
own dreams and nightmares.
"There's something about tripping with someone. You feel a certain link
that you could never feel otherwise. A security, a connection."
The sound of banging through the halls rose and died again as the crazies
raced through nearby hallways. I lit a cigarette and picked up the drum
I had found, tapping out the rhythm I'd heard. Ryan and I talked about
all that had happened so far as he scrounged up a garbage can and started
beating it with his hands.
I start humming out a little chant I learned in a drum workshop I took once.
na na nya
na na nya
na na nya
I don't know the exact translation, but it is a gathering song, meaning
"Come now, people.
Drop your business, it is time to
gather and celebrate"
-the gilded frame-
--Letters from a Savior; Offer for a few--