Its time for an obligatory drug story, as Amy Poehler says in her book “Yes Please”.
We had scoured the town for affordable acid, dismissing some guy who had tried to sell us some for $50 bucks. This would be my first time with acid, and just about anything would “blow my mind.” Whatever.
The guy we got the acid from stepped into the apartment confidently, like a salesperson who truly believed in his product. Money changed hands, like $20-$30, and we got four groovy bears pre-wrapped in old Post Office paper.
Hoss quickly unwrapped his first one, popped it in his mouth, and licked its wrapping. I hesitated for a minute, took a breath, and followed his lead.
It was great acid, according to him. We walked out of the apartment and onto the balcony for a smoke. He started to feel it sooner than I did. When I asked him about it, he said, “Take a look at your hand.” I waved my hand in front of my face: just a perfectly normal evolutionary miracle, nothing trippy about it.
After a couple more nerve-calming cigarettes, we watched the Adams Family movie to pass the time. Hoss was already well on his way to la-la land, leaving me to slowly watch the red, green, and blue on the low-def TV melt together in a chromatic mish-mash.
After an hour of Thing crawling around, we started watching The Office, disturbing because of the static quality of the characters speaking in the forefront of a swirly background. The Netflix buffered between episodes, and there was a deafening silence for what seemed to be eons but must have only been minutes. I asked, feverishly, if we could listen to some music.
We started listening to Oppenheimer’s Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It with Jim and Pam flirting in the background, and it lined up pretty nicely. I started walking miles around the apartment to the electronic beeping of the synthesizer, not knowing that I was already starting to loose it; i.e, the plaster had started sliding off the wall, the tapestries had lives of their own. We finished the album and started listening to Loveless, an album that still haunts me.
We went out for yet another cigarette on a balcony that overlooked the other apartments that I couldn’t feel in my throat. I flicked my lighter, and I peaked. The lights from the living rooms of the apartments bulged out of the window panes in vibrant gibberish. Of course I screamed to Hoss, “Dude, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls.” He calmed me down, we finished smoking. The journey back inside included striding on the moving walkway of the hallway carpet pattern.
Hoss flipped the switch on the blacklight, illuminating the posters we put above it in garish colors, with a breasted Lady Death on top. We put a Dandies album on, and I fell to the floor with a notebook, scribbling “ephemeral, ephemeral, ephemeral…”, drooling, becoming the floor. Then And Then I Dreamt of Yes came on, and the acid got weird. I fell inside myself, finding a black nothing, which turned into everything. I woke up, or something, and starting drawing spiraling fractals. When the album was finished, Hoss and I were both over the peak.
We decided to go for a walk on a nearby college campus. Our pupils were as large as discs, and I had an extreme feeling of agency, which is a douchey way to say that, I realize. I don’t know. We started smoking Camel Wides.
We came to our destination. A statue of a poet writing a famous poem sitting on a bench. We sat with him for a while, fucked out of our minds, smoking endlessly. I positioned my eyes at the poet’s level, and discerned that he was only looking at a tree. Wacky.
On the way back some college students were screaming something, and Hoss looked me and said, “They’re talking about acid, but we’re on it. The world.” When we were finishing the loop, a bunch of kids blasting Top Forty disco music walked with us, which made us both nervous.
We finished the night with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Hoss was traumatized by the scene where Hal dies. I mostly stared out the window, looking at the way the street light fell.
The next day it felt like we were hit by a train.