He had no idea
why they made him go to these.
He didn’t have the slightest intention
of taking drugs.
He was a “good” kid.
Polite. Well spoken.
A reader. Preferred the
company of girls
to that of boys,
which worried his father
and a couple of teachers,
never part of a crowd
because always new to
the crowd from forever.
He’d rather stay up all night
working through Martin Gardner’s
“Mathematical Games” in
Scientific American (this was before
they dumbed it down
than go to a party or
hang out with a group.
But he had to go, so he went.
Besides, it was during school.
This isn’t to say he was obedient,
or that he never did anything
he was forbidden to do,
in fact he often did, but was
very good at not getting caught.
Even so, there were those
in the current school administration
who seemed to have his number.
While most of the other kids
either fully complied or
openly rebelled, he argued the
point with anyone who interfered
with his behavior, seeking to prove
that it was his right to act in this way. So they
had the quasi Christian group
“Teen Challenge” come
and talk to all of them, I mean the whole
school. This was what? ’69..? 8th grade.
Fascinating stuff. They brought
kids in little groups one by one
to talk about their experiences
with drugs, letting us know that
drugs were a big mistake,
a very bad thing, the devil’s work,
and they wished they’d never
taken any. But Jesus forgave them.
Hearing a bunch of kids
on more than one occaision
talk about speed and LSD
was very interesting to him. Very.
Rhosonny Jerkedjiff — virtually all kids
thought his name was funny and frequently
laughed at it — found himself
working to get a clear distinction
between, a full understanding of
both speed and LSD.
The more they talked, the more
he thought. The more he thought
the closer he got to requiring
directly perceivable definitions
about the drugs. Yeah, the
chemical formulas, whatever –
no — that’s not what he was looking for –
he wanted to know the
Lugging his math text, history text,
big binder, and English text under one arm
he saw Jimmy. Jimmy was a year older
than anyone in Rhosonny’s class,
a tough guy. “Excuse me, Jimmy,” he said.
“Can you get me some LSD?”
Jimmy starts laughing.
“Yeah? Got fifty cents?
Here.” Handing over a small
orange pill, B-12 size or so.
“Is it really strong? I mean,
should I just take half?”
“No man, go ahead, just take
the whole thing.”
He popped it in his mouth.
One class left for the day: History, i.e.
American history as told by a major
text book manufacturer. He went
to class and sat in the back
and the desktops became a
single coherent plane of blond wood
bright and shimmering
not so much changing colors
as changing frequencies
and the other kids were
strange beings, only the
half of them above the desk
visible on the wood plane,
the teacher walking around the room
cut off at the waist by this solid
and infinite lake of desks.
He was riveted, an attentive student.
On the way home he realized that
the blacktop of the streets
is written in some kind of character-
based language, similar to Chinese,
and thought that just possibly he could
figure out for himself how to read it, so the
few blocks home took quite a while
to traverse since it was little more
than a larger sample of this mysterious
language from block to block. The entire world
was inside a gigantic ship hangar
on an enclosed harbor
with ceiling fans the size of moons
hidden behind round grates that
pulsed and purred. Lying on the carpet
in his bedroom, hand on the floor
a ripple in the liquid carpet came toward
his hand, and his hand felt it ripple
underneath it. And the kids playing
handball with a big round ball
against a garage door across the street
streamed off in perfectly timed echoes to interact
with the waves and the tides.
Next day, “Jimmy, do you have any speed?”
“Speed? You just bought acid.”
“Yeah, it was great. I loved it. Now
I want to try speed.”
“Really? You liked it?”
descriptions, a slow dawning…
“Wow, man. That was a 4-way hit
of sunshine, I figured it would flip
Then the speed. More carnal but
less sensual. Being
part of the higher order of things
benevolently engaging with others
until you start coming down….
acid the next day, speed the
next and so on and so on for
for the next 4 years, give or take.
And for now, here ends this section. These are even more like notebook fragments
than usual. But it’s the program I decided to follow: share things as I write them. This one’s in a very early stage of a process. It will grow to much larger proportions.