It was the beginning of spring break, and I drove to my mother's house to spend a few days. She had already left for work when I arrived, so I had the house all to myself for the day. I had brought my last hit of acid with me, and proceeded to consume it -- there was no way I was going to just store it in the freezer. "Son, what's this piece of paper doing here? Oh, look at that pretty little cartoon on it! Seems a shame to just throw it away..."

I did the hit, but fell asleep soon after, for about a half hour -- I had gotten up early to make the drive, and the loss of sleep caught up with me. I woke up to McHale's Navy on the TV, and spent the next while just channel surfing, stopping here and there for a change of pace.

At the peak part of the trip, I was in the mood for some music. I had my nylon-string guitar with me, and just randomly played a bit. Then I played the opening part of "Lucifer Sam", but had a hankerin' to hear the real thing -- I could almost hear, in my head, "Lucifer Sam" and "Interstellar Overdrive", and "Pow R Toc H" playing for real. Almost. Unfortunately, my records were back in the dorm. I played the piano for a few minutes, but it couldn't quite compare to the sound of old Pink Floyd.

As I was coming down, I went to the kitchen to make some pancakes. Wanting to hear some music, my only recourse was to grab a portable AM/FM radio and plop it on the counter. It was tuned to the local "Mix foo" FM station, so I left it there and got on with the pancakes. At some point, they played a Sheena Easton song, I guess it was the theme for some James Bond film. It sounded great. Sweet 3-D sounds filled the kitchen, emanating from this tiny radio.

I didn't become a Sheena fan-for-life, and I've never heard the song since that day -- it was all just one of those "set and setting" things that Timothy Leary used to harp on about. Under the right circumstances, anything can sound great. It doesn't even need drugs to make it work -- whatever great thing is going on will color your experience of the music, if that great thing is great enough; it can be a great acid trip, or the love of a loved one, or driving down the interstate on a road trip with the stereo blazing. The music might suck for you if it's just a dry listen, but it can sound like the greatest thing in the world, if only for a Sheena moment.

Let's turn this into an Everything Poll : what was your favorite Sheena moment?

I can't remember where we were headed, after we had picked Sheena up. It was a Friday night, Prom Night, I think, which I wasn't attending. For untold aeons (to me, anyways... time is subjective) I had told myself that I ain't gonna go the the prom, nuh-uh, no way, Jose. And I found myself that night sitting in the back seat of a Sentra, sitting next to the girl that I had (have?) an entirely unhealthy crush on, hearing a tape loop in my head as I looked the other way : "You should have asked her to the prom. You should have asked her to the prom. It woulda been your only chance, you know. You should have asked her to the prom." and on & on.

It was dark in the car, full moon not making a dent in the darkness; maybe my eyes just hadn't adjusted yet. With Sheena right next to me, I was bugging out a bit; I needed needed needed to look at her, just one look is all, but I couldn't let myself get caught staring - she was unaware of the crush and by gum, she wasn't ever gonna find out. I had to look, though. I had to look. I (breath caught in throat) tried to sneak a peek at her, who had been complaining of a headache all day and who probably just wanted to be left alone at that point.

I tried to make it a quick glance, just a few milliseconds, but I think it lasted hours.

Her head was tilted back,
hair spilling short onto the headrest,
a dark, glittering Niagara on upholstered rocks,
and the full moon, barely visible overhead through the window,
illuminated, no, illustrated the outline of her face,
six blue-white brushstrokes, elegant,
the gentle curve of her forehead
and her nose
and her lips
and her neck, my god, her neck,
and I wasn't looking at Sheena,
I was seeing a marbled statue, Aphrodite,
only smooth, carefully polished stone could be this perfect,
and then I remembered myself.

I resumed my activities looking out the window. All I remember is the drone of road-noise, a perfect match for the sudden wash of static in my head. Too many emotions : elated, ashamed, somewhat horny, but mostly depressed. The tape loop again, faster. I'd missed my chance. I'd missed my chance. I'd missed my chance. I'd missed god, will I please just shut up?

Lots of things happened that night, many things I still haven't forgotten, but this memory is still fresh, still new, it happened somewhere outside of the normal flow of time, it was timeless.

I've tried to reproduce the image, as an exercise in brush control; black canvas, blue-white paint. It's impossible.

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