Several stories interwoven around the main theme. Including: Smoking the devil-weed for the first time- A not-so-great first lay – Grappling with a live turkey – Sharon’s initiation rite – Getting lost with Nancy and her wonderous breasts – and Performing under the influence. 1965-1971
I was just out of high school when Mike Wallace moved back to East Islip fresh from four-years in the Navy. Things always got interesting around Mike. The guy had a way with women for one thing. With his exotic part West Indian part Scottish look, and his full lips and curly, not kinky, brown hair, he won over many a sweet young thing. He played a Stratocaster and was a good funk and R&B guitarist who formed a succession of cover bands, playing in various dives in Long Island, Manhattan, and New Jersey.
Mike was the eldest of three brothers, all friends of mine, and something of a mentor, being older and having seen the world. He turned me on to James Brown, and Bobby Blue Bland. And on this particular day, he turned me on to something that changed my view of the world.
I hopped in his ’57 Chevy Bel Air for what I thought was a simple joy ride out to Lake Ronkonkoma. The Crestmen were playing at Tavern on the Lake later in the evening. So I was surprised when he stopped in the middle of a field that looked like it doubled as a trash heap, but I didn’t say anything. He turned off the ignition, looked at me slyly and said, “Hey Al, Try some of this!”
In his hand appeared a thin joint. He sparked it, took a huge drag, and passed it to me as he choked, coughed, and tried to hold his breath at the same time. I took hold of it and didn’t think twice as I inhaled with a mighty pull from my as yet virgin lungs – holding it in as he had done. I started coughing too. About ten seconds later I felt as if my head were expanding and lo and behold I was “high”.
After a few hits the littered field suddenly had an interesting aspect to it; as if I were viewing a painting by a master who’s message was steeped in irony. Even Mike’s droll sense of humor had me splitting my sides. Things took on a slightly different hue, and time appeared to slow down. So went my introduction to marijuana.
In time when I smoked, layers of my creative and introspective nature revealed itself to me, and I could hear a little louder the inner dialog. Not only that, but I could get deeper inside of music once stoned.
There was Columbian, Thai, Panama Red, and Mexican weed. And Lebanese, Moroccan, Afghani, and Nepalese hashish could be found too. I soon found myself wanting to get high more and more, though at that point it wasn’t often that I did, as I didn’t have the connections, or the money. All that would all change and soon.
The innocent ride to the trash heap was the beginning of a long journey not without it’s pinnacles and steep precipices.
Mike had booked his latest band in New Jersey on the outskirts of somewhere; I hesitate to even call it a town. You could say it was in the twilight zone – very rural in any case. The venue of the gig was a dump of a hotel that had it’s own bar replete with two Go Go dancers, and cages suspended from the ceiling for them to GoGo in.
I had gone along with Mike and the band for kicks, and because they would always let me sit in and sing some tunes. It was good practice, and it didn’t cost me a dime, plus there was bound to be some adventure. Mike and I shared a room.
Mike Wallace was a bona fide ladies man. He had been around. He was like the guy in Rick Nelson’s song Travelin’ Man. Before I could even unpack he had the two GoGo dancers in our room; a joint in one hand, and a bottle of tequila in the other. It was like three in the afternoon. This was looking like a promising gig.
Within minutes Mike was in bed with Marcy, humping away like it was the end of the world. Her screams were deafening and her girlfriend, Mildred gave me the arched eyebrow go-ahead sign, so we lay down on my bed. It would have been nice if my first time could have been with someone I was in love with, but that wasn’t in the cards.
We didn’t kiss, or if we did I don’t remember, we just threw off our clothes and jumped into bed. I don’t know if the weed made my sense of smell more acute, but she smelled like she hadn’t showered in a week, and covered it with a cheap, sickeningly sweet perfume. I wasn’t turned on to her in the least, even with the Tequilla and joint, but I figured this was my golden opportunity so I better try to get some of this. My member however refused to cooperate and felt more like an al dente wet noodle than the rake handle I’d known it to be when fantasizing about this very much-anticipated moment.
I did manage to gain entrance in time, but found her to be wide and cavernous, as if many others had been there before me, and recently. It was the only time I can say I was glad it was over quickly and for that I was grateful. Lying there, Marcy’s voice still filling the room, I knew there had to be more to it than what I just sampled.
A few weeks later Mike and I were itching to score some weed. After smoking with him that first time, I had the urge to get high as much as possible, but pot was tricky to find in those days, especially out in Suffolk County Long Island. The boondocks.
I had been to Brooklyn a few weeks prior with a friend where we scored a nickel bag from a dealer who lived in a brownstone in a dangerous part of Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant, better known as Bed Sty.
We had to walk up to the door of the house – a brownstone – and place our order through a metal barred window, sort of the MacDonald’s of the pot world. Or like the modern day crack outlet, only this was 1965.
I told Mike about the Bed Sty stash house and we drove southwest some fifty miles from East Islip, just to score a little weed. When we got into the neighborhood I couldn’t remember which brownstone it was, and to make things worse they all looked the same.
At this juncture in our misguided endeavor we stopped at a streetlight and saw a dude that seemed straight-up. We took a chance and asked him if he knew where the pot dealer’s place was. Was that naive or what? Asking a total stranger in a heavy section of Brooklyn if he knew where to score some weed. Of course he knew where to score.
“Hey, he said, give me a ride over there and I’ll get it for you.”
After getting in the back seat he gave us directions, but at the last minute changed his mind,
“Oh, I just remembered the dealer is in Otis’s bar down the street.”
He seemed trustworthy enough, though we should have read the signs, but because we were so hungry to score we’d have believed anything or anyone.
We gave him the money – seven bucks, all we had. As he got out of the car he told us to drive around the corner so as not to look too suspicious – two white guys in the hood – and he would come back with the weed in five minutes. With that we watched him slouch-off towards the bar. Mike and I parked the car and waited, and waited, and then we waited some more. Finally we decided one of us should go and look for him and as usual, I was the chosen one.
Hesitantly I walked up to the bar and poked my head in the doorway. The inside of the place resembled the bar in the Star Wars movie; all these big bad wacko looking dudes of varied shapes and colors, just waiting for a punk like me to come stumbling in. I didn’t see the nice fella who had our seven bucks; I didn’t see anything, as I was too busy putting distance between myself and that den of cutthroats and bad-asses.
I ran to where the car should have been but it was gone. Or was I lost? This really freaked me out. This is one place not to get lost in if you’re a young white boy.
I started running around that neighborhood like a chicken with its head cut off, frantically searching for my car and my buddy.
Where the hell was he? Did he meet a beautiful black girl, and go off with her, forgetting me, his bro? Maybe, I sure wouldn’t put it past him, the pussy-mad bastard. Before long I was lost. Paranoid, panic-stricken, and thinking that any second I would be jumped and beaten to death, I saw the whole thing playing in my mind like a B grade movie.
The nightmare went on for about twenty minutes but of course it felt like hours. When I finally saw Mike pull up in the car, I could have kissed him, well not really, but you get the drift. Having surmised the situation he went looking for me and somehow through one of those quirks of fate we missed each other. Never mind, we were just glad to get our butts out of Bed Sty never to try to score weed there again.
It was late August, a windless, humid as a green house Sunday. We sat on the stoop of the Wallace family’s split-level trying to come up with a plan for the day. Stan Wallace – Mike’s younger brother – our cohort Rusty Britt, and I.
Russ, ever the inventive one, came up with the brilliant idea of stealing a turkey from the local turkey farm. Somehow that sounded like a fun idea. You know like one of those ideas that sound great before you do it, but later turns out to be completely lame. We didn’t even have a clue as to what we were going to do with the poor thing; we just thought it would be stimulating to make off with a turkey. What can I say, bored teenagers. These days a teenager gets bored he starts shooting someone. How often do we find ourselves saying; “What was I thinking?”
We drove out to Patchogue – all Indian names here – thankful for the wind in our faces. The turkey farm, such as it was, was sprawled next to the busy Sunrise Highway. The area was old farm country gradually becoming small towns.
After spocking out the place and spotting no one, we concocted our plan, furtively, as if we were doing a gem heist or something. Stan would keep watch in case the cops or a turkey-farm worker should show up, while Russ and I did the dirty work.
Imagining we were invisible to all the cars rolling by at 40MPH, we made our way over the barbed wire fence, well actually I’m making us look better than we were because Russ had actually caught his pant leg on the barbed wire and fell on his face into a steaming a pile of turkey shit. I never saw him get so riled up. He practically threw a fit, and looked ready to take it out on anyone or anything that got in his way. Unfortunately the only thing that could have gotten in his way was the sorry looking turkey.
Eyeing us like we were aliens, clucking and gobbling in terror, as if the earth had given way, the hundred or so turkey ran around mindlessly making a terrible commotion. This made us antsy to get the job done and get the hell out of there before anyone of the zillion cars on the highway noticed us and called the cops. We tried to grab one but it was more difficult than we’d imagined. Russ finally tackled a big Tom, his football experience coming in handily, and ran with it to the fence, the thing flapping its piteous wings and fighting for its life. In his haste to scale the fence, Russ pulled the bird so hard he broke its neck. Shit, now we had a dead turkey on our hands, and to make things worse, it got stuck on the barbed wire.
What if a cop came along right now, what the hell could we say?
Curious Cop: “Hey just what the hell do you boy’s think you’re doing?”
Me: “Us? Oh hi officer, well, we were driving by and saw this poor old turkey stuck here on the fence so we decided to pull over and get him off.”
Pissed off Cop: “Well is that so, Good Samaritans are you? Get in the paddy wagon you little assholes!”
I helped Russ pull the limp carcass off the fence, and for a second we looked at each other as if to say, “Now what? Should we just leave it here and call it a day?” but we didn’t speak a word, we just took the bird and threw it into the car and told Stan who was watching this whole circus show to step on it. Not the bird, the gas.
We drove around for a while tossing ideas back and forth about what we could do with this dead turkey. Guess you could say we talked turkey. Sorry. We sure as shit weren’t going to go home to our mothers and say,
“Hey mom what’s up? I’ve got this bloody, deceased turkey with all it’s feathers still attached, would you like to cook it for us?”
But once again Russ saved the day with another one of his oh so clever ideas. “Lets put the turkey in Mike’s car.”
As we didn’t have any better ideas and because we’d already gone through so much trouble that sounded pretty good to Stan and I.
Upon driving back to the Wallace home we found brother Mike’s car was locked. He was probably sleeping late from an all-night gig or party. Undaunted, we opened the hood of his car, put the turkey’s body on top of the engine, closed the hood, and left it’s long neck and head dangling out over the grill of the car. A nice ’57 Chevy replete with turkey head.
We laughed so hard we could hardly stand. Seeing the car, and envisioning what Mike’s face would look like when he discovered the new hood ornament his precious Chevy had grown overnight.
One of Mike’s neighbors was just pulling into his driveway next door, coming back from church with his entire family. I’ll never forget the look on their eyes as they noticed the limp turkey neck sticking out of the grill of Mike’s car.
Now you know why I break out into a stupid grin on Thanksgiving when someone carving the bird invariably says, “Try some of this?”
As an adolescent I often felt way left of center, like an outsider – a stranger in a strange land. But I loved to dance at parties; it was a way for me to get out of mind and into my body. Little Richard, The Coasters, Chuck Berry, and Dusty Springfield, bring it on. It seemed like everyone was light and carefree when cutting loose on the dance floor. I didn’t dig the uptight dances at the brightly lit school gym; it was the small intimate house parties that gave me the confidence to lose myself.
I used to hop in my Pontiac, and go to dance clubs on Long Island or in Manhattan. Uptown on West 55th Street was the Cheetah. Downtown on Eighth Street in the East Village was The Electric Circus, that’s where I saw her.
I’d driven into Manhattan alone. The Circus was a dance club where most of the patrons came to get high and dance hard all night long. It would open and at around 11pm, and close about 4am. Kids came in from all the boroughs tripping on acid, high on up’s, or down’s – or one thing or another – and just partied. You could buy an LSD sugar cube for around five bucks, and you’d be drenched in sweat and hallucinating your brains out before the night was over.
People like the Chambers Brothers would play. On some nights they’d sing their hit ‘Time’, for up to an hour or more. Or there would be a DJ spinning the up to the moment dance hits.
Some months before, about four-am after a full night of tripping and dancing at the Cheetah, I remember driving home. It looked as though the elevated highways were suspended in a mist with nothing below: a highway in the sky. Get a grip. This is the state of mind I was in when I came home to my mother and fathers house. And I had forgotten my key.
I knocked lightly on the front door, hoping my brother Richard would hear me – and not my mother. The last person I wanted to see while high on psychedelics was my mother. But no, it had to be her who woke up. She hated being woken up in the middle of the night, and she was livid.
“O.K. mom it won’t happen again, let me be already.” I pleaded with her. Once in the safety of my room I could just finish my trip in peace, hallucinating on the visions that appeared in my head. Diamond Kaleidoscope’s gleaming and twirling on the ceiling until I finally drifted off to sleep – just as the newspaper boy throws the Sunday paper at the door.
Back to the Electric Circus: Her name was Sharon, she had short red hair done up in the latest Vidal Sassoon style and seemed very animated. Later I would find out she had ingested a heady concoction of acid and methamphetamine.
She was extremely alluring to me, a naive eighteen year old with an intrinsic eye for beauty. With her Beatle boots, and her tight bellbottomed polka dot pants she had my complete attention.
I walked right up to her and asked her to dance, and she gave me a searing look, which I took for a yes because she stepped out on the dance floor with me. We did the Boogaloo, the Watusi, we Shingalinged, and did the Strand, we even had a slow dance or two which rocked my world, as her tight little body was so delectable and fit so nicely against mine. She smelled good too, a scent that woke something in me. I loved watching her face, like an actress emoting a silent passion play: agony and ecstasy, haughty and proud.
Sharon had a flair for the dramatic, and intrigued me immensely with her Lauren Bacall low and throaty voice, and her big, caramel, doe like eyes. She was nineteen, older than me, but I wouldn’t let that stop me, heck older women were supposed to have more experience from what I’d heard! We made what small talk we could over the throbbing music. I was getting swept away, and she sensed it. She held the power to rearrange my perception of life as I’d known it, and I had the feeling she might do just that. When they started to close the place down she asked me to drive her home.
I was harboring a hope. What did I know? I was still at the very beginning of that treacherous road, from which over the next forty years I would go careening off from time to time. Call it the rocky road of relationships, the lost highway of love. Whatever you call it, this was one of my first excursions.
There was something about her that made her seem wise. I don’t know if it was her city sensibility or that she was an old soul in a young body, but I definitely felt like she was the leader in our little outfit of two. I didn’t mind too much either, as I would gladly have followed her anywhere if at the end of that journey I’d somehow find her naked.
She lived in Red Hook Brooklyn, and she hushed me to be quiet as we entered her apartment. “Nice place for a nineteen year old,” I thought, as I peered around the nicely appointed one bedroom flat. I didn’t have time to think of much else as she drew me into her queen-sized bed and initiated me into her wondrous charms. This was more like it, exactly what I’d been hoping for. I still had a sour taste in my mouth from my first sexual encounter with the GO GO dancer, but no longer.
My first girlfriend Eileen and I never went all the way in the three years we had gone steady. We messed around quite a bit, but we were so scared of her getting pregnant, like so many of our friends, that we never crossed over that moat to the palace of pleasure that lie just beyond. I think of that missed opportunity now and kick myself, but otherwise I’d have a forty-year old son or daughter right now, because I sure hated rubbers, still do.
Sharon changed all that in one long night and I rose to the occasion. I became a true believer in the gospel of a young woman’s sweet and tender body. I would come to worship here seven days a week if I could.
The erotic sounds she made that evening were the sweetest sounds I’d ever heard, bar none, and I was already hoping I’d be hearing lots more.
At dawn she suggested I go back home to Long Island, as she didn’t want her neighbors seeing me leave. “How modest.” I thought. Then she dropped the bomb, telling me that she was married, and that her husband was in Vietnam, in the Army. Oh great, I’m falling all over myself for this undeniable beauty only to have my dream of endless sexual fulfillment crushed by the stone-cold reality of her marriage. Did I feel guilt that I was there in her husband’s bed, his young nubile wife in my hungry arms while he was being shot at in the jungles of Vietnam? Nope.
Well, I thought, at least I had this one rapturous night to remember. But as I was leaving she asked for my phone number. She wouldn’t give me hers fearing I’d call when her husband was home. I scribbled it down.
Once in my Star Chief I found my way to the Belt Parkway and headed east. Dawn was coming on and I was woozy from the long and eventful evening. I became drowsy. Suddenly my car was bouncing against the furthest left lane’s guardrail. I woke just in time to veer off to the right luckily no one was in the other lane. That was a wake up call; I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and went to sleep in the car, erotic dreams dancing in my head, and her intoxicating scent all over me.
Evidently Sharon’s husband didn’t come back immediately because she called me and we began seeing each other every weekend or so. A walking pharmacy, she had every drug known to man in her purse. I never knew what she was on, or what she was thinking in that beautiful head of hers, but she always seemed to have it together and be one step ahead of me. But I was mainly interested in pot, and she always had a good stash of the best.
One night we drove to a nightclub called Dean’s in Nassau County Long Island, half way between East Islip and Brooklyn. I was invited there to sit in with a popular rock/dance band called the Down Five. As we drove towards the venue she lit a fat joint of Panama Red, and said, “Here baby, try some of this.” Thinking nothing of it I puffed along with her. But after a few minutes I started to feel it’s strong affects slowly creeping up on me. Before too long I was actually hallucinating on the powerful reefer. I remember driving under an overpass and thinking it looked like a giant turtle!
I should have turned the car around right then and there but we were already in motion and I thought I’d just play this one out. When we entered the club I felt super self-conscious. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye; something I always do. I was paranoid thinking people could read my mind. Everything I said or saw was being blown way out of proportion and I could hardly hold it together, but Sharon, my guide in these matters of the head, told me to concentrate on the positive – easy to say…
Sharon was what we called a ‘head’, a ‘stoner’. I had the feeling that she had put in quite a few hours in the stoned zone, but she was always composed, in charge, and wildly attractive on top of it. I trusted her. I also had a huge crush on this Brooklyn girl.
It was show time and the band introduced me. My legs felt ungainly – like a newborn colt – as I took my place on stage. I fumbled the words to the introduction of the song, and then the band started the groove. I kept having an inner dialog while trying to render the tune. “Are they listening? Do they like me? Do they know that I’m stoned out of my mind? Are the girls trying to guess the size of my penis? Shit I knew I should have put that big Del Monte banana down in my pants like Sharon suggested!”
It was like there were two of me, one singing and desperately trying to remember the words, and the other having this incessant conversation with myself about all the doubts I was having. Never again, I swore to myself. I was glad to finish the short set and get the hell out of that club and away from all those watchful eyes.
In reality no one was interested in my dilemma in the least I’m sure. It was just me being delusional from the strong pot. But you couldn’t tell me that then. I just wanted to crawl into bed with Sharon and forget about everything. And that is what we did as soon as we drove under all those huge turtles on the highway.
I know that pot is way stronger today, but back then smoking it was still a new experience, so it affected me in a powerful way. Like with so many first time experiences, later, we’re always trying to recreate that first time. But it’s difficult if not impossible.
A couple of times Sharon came out to spend the night with me in my parent’s split-level house. I used to share a convertible couch/bed with my brother Richard in the basement. In the day it would be a couch, then at night we would pull out the bottom section and viola, a double bed. Richard was fourteen at the time and probably masturbating nineteen times a day like most kids that age. You can imagine his glee and surprise to see the 5’6” and stacked Sharon in her nightgown crawling into bed with me only inches from his lustful eyes.
We tried to keep our lovemaking as quiet as possible, when we thought Richard was fast asleep, but my poor brother had to endure the squeaks of the springs, and the occasional cry of ecstasy deep in the night. He always looked at me differently in the morning when Sharon had slept over. I didn’t know whether he was thinking “You lucky bastard!” or “You asshole, I couldn’t sleep a wink last night!” It was probably the former.
A few months later Sharon’s husband came home and we stopped seeing each other. A Year or two flew by and I ran into her at the Electric Circus. She was a shadow of her former self: thin, pale, and sickly looking. A mutual friend told me she was using junk. I was saddened by the news, but glad she didn’t take me down that dark endless road with her.
As much as I had fallen for her, I don’t know if I would have had the willpower to say no to the harder stuff if she had offered it. But at least she had initiated me, made me a lover, and for that I’d always remember her with gratitude and affection.
While I’m on the subject of performing while under the influence, I thought I’d skip ahead four or five years, and uncover this little gem.
In December of 1970, I was seeing Nancy P. while on one of my visits back to New York. She had gone to the same high school as I, out in Long Island, and was a very attractive warm-hearted girl. But since she was a few years younger I didn’t bother asking her out. Besides, I knew her older brother and it would have been awkward going out with her with him watching our every move. In high school life was difficult enough with out complicating it further.
It was serendipitous bumping into her in Greenwich Village about five years after seeing her last. She had filled in rather nicely and had retained her sweetness, but was now a gorgeous woman as well. Now our age difference didn’t mean diddlysquat. Nancy had an easy-going manner, and her laugh was infectious. I saw that she was attracted to me somewhat, and pressed that to my advantage by asking her out. She accepted and we soon after became lovers.
That was one of the good things about the seventies; on the first or second date if you resonated with someone, you jumped in the sack and became acquainted over pillow talk, a joint, and a bottle of Lancers wine. There was none of this talk about saving it for the future, we didn’t think of the future, there was only now. There were no worries about AIDS either!
Nancy was working as a secretary in Manhattan, and living on the upper west side. Since I was playing music and hanging out a lot in the Village, downtown, she gave me an open invitation to come and sleep with her if I was in the city, should my heart so desire. Well my heart did so desire at least a couple of times a week, and for a couple of wonderful months we carried on like this. Nice arrangement I must say. Nancy with her spiffy little uptown apartment was a nice oasis in the bustling and frenetic city.
Nancy P. had long straight chestnut-brown hair almost down to her waist, with large hands and long fingers. She also owned the most beautifully shaped full breasts. The kind of breasts a young man just wants to just snuggle up to, leaving the fucking crazy world behind.
“I’m here finding solace in the soft confines of Nancy’s sweet full breasts world, so please just fuck off and leave me alone, can’t you see I’m content for a minute?”
Not that breast size ever mattered to me; I could care less, contrary to the widely held belief that all men are big-breast enthusiasts. Don’t get me wrong here, I love big breasts too, but not to the exclusion of the smaller variety as well. As they say nowadays, it’s all good.
With thick eyebrows, long lashes above her bittersweet chocolate brown eyes, and a wide, full mouth, Nancy had the classically beautiful models face. She stood about 5’10 or so and was a very happy-go lucky person, at least then. You know what I mean, before life grabs you and twists you this way and that and throws every fastball imaginable and some not even imaginable, and then bends you all out of shape. She must have been twenty while I was twenty-three.
One night I had a ten-o’clock, twenty minute set to perform at Café Fenjon, on MacDougal Street. MacDougal Street was in the heart of the West Village coffee house scene. Within two blocks were some of the best places to play, or to hear great music. A musician friend had turned me on to some Mescaline, saying, “If you want a really great high, try some of this!”
We planned it so that Nancy and I would take the mescaline just as I was starting my set. Figuring it would take about an hour for it’s affects to start. And then Nancy and I would take the subway back up to her place and have a wingding of a time.
All went according to plan and at 9:55 Nancy and I downed the Mescaline with a shot of espresso. About two minutes later the manager of the Fenjon rushed up to me and told me that I had to go on forty-five minutes later because Eric Anderson had to sing during my slot. I tried my best to talk him out of it, but club owners and managers are notoriously thickheaded so it was like trying to talk to a corpse. I had to do the show. I could have just bagged the whole thing and called it off, but I wanted to make a good impression with the booking agent with the hopes of landing a weekly paying gig at this coffee house. So I made up my mind that I could do it, no sweat.
I was enjoying Eric Anderson’s set immensely, as he was a great folk singer songwriter in the early Bob Dylan mold, but about halfway through his set his hands and fingers started looking as if they were melting. Not the best of signs, not a real confidence builder. And suddenly it was time for me to go on.
As I stepped on stage the first thing I noticed were the lights: overly bright – it was like the floodlights at a penitentiary – I was squinting out into the audience where it had been comfortably dark and dingy. I started tuning my guitar, but for the life of me I couldn’t get it in tune. Being a real stickler about tuning, I just went at it for a while. It felt like an hour went by just trying to tune the damn thing. At the same time I became aware of all the noise in the room; the sound of people breathing, eating, and talking, the vibration of the fans in the room, the sound of the espresso maker in the other room; it was very disconcerting.
I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the performance and I hadn’t even sung a note. That was coming. I looked to Nancy for support but she was in her own reveries, long gone. I somehow got it together enough to play one of my songs, but now I wanted to rewrite it – the words just weren’t right. My fingers felt like rolling pins. A long delay hung between everything I sang and the next phrase. When my guitar started sounding like a tuba I knew it was time to quit. I mumbled something about having to catch a plane and wandered off the stage like a blind man in search of a cane, desperately trying to steady my legs and not to trip over myself.
Nancy woke from her time travels as I grabbed her hand, and we left that place in a hurry. Now we were in the mean streets of New York City at night, and this was normally my stomping-grounds but I didn’t recognize it on mescaline. The streets were filthy, rotten smelling, loathsome and noisy – and I just wanted to be at Nancy’s apartment, losing myself in her wondrous breasts. That’s what kept me going. We dropped down into the bowels of cement and grime and took the subway, a mistake, but it was already too late.
These were some of my thoughts: “What the heck is that high frequency sound down here, doesn’t anybody hear it?” It was a florescent light bulb!
“Look at all the homeless people sleeping on the ground, don’t they have a bed to sleep in?” The usual.
“What on earth is all that earth-shattering rumble?” It was the next train. Everything was magnified a hundred fold.
Finally we got on the A train and sat down. More undesirable thoughts tumbled out of the Mescaline addled corridors of my mind:
“Why are all these people looking at us?” No one could give a shit.
“How come that man is all sprawled out on the seat, spit dribbling from his mouth?” It was just a normal drunk. It was business as usual, but everything looked so different.
After what seemed an eternity we made it into Nancy’s oasis, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to have at long last made it there. Nancy lit some candles, sandalwood incense, and wasted no time in opening a nice bottle of Rose. I fired up a fat joint of Columbian and we took a luxurious hot bath together.
Nancy went back into her reverie, and me, you guessed it, I was as comfy as a suckling new born, content, my head resting ever so nicely on the soft pillows of her warm inviting bosom. Peace at last.
That would be the last time I performed under the influence of a strong powder, by mistake or otherwise, though I know plenty of other musicians who get away with it on a daily basis. I just can’t handle it; I can pass on that experience, thank you.
I never did like tripping in the city either, just too freaky, un-natural. The next time someone says; “Hey try some of this” I’ll think twice about it, especially if I have a gig to play.