Windowpane to the Soul

January 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

"The peppers are grinning..."

“The peppers are grinning…”

From the bus, I texted Dr T. “I wish you could hear the conversation I’m having with you in my head right now.”

Followed by, “Your first hint: If you think I’ve converted to Mormonism, then I’ve misspelled.” The world looked candy-coated, and I was bursting out in spontaneous grins. Were the Latter Day Saints big in Kentucky?

It was middle of the night for Dr T, he was probably not snapping on all cylinders. “Those references are as abstruse as a Pythagorean hypotenuse. Hmm…”

He’ll figure it out when he sees this picture of smiling green peppers.

Boy, you’re up to something…

It was date night with Rain. I have been piling on the overtime, having no social life to speak of. Rain has been doing her own thing across town, in her new apartment near The Pearl. We are in a great place in our relationship. Our own place! I keed, I miss her, but not all the time. It’s nice to have my hideaway. But I miss my girl and just hanging out, doing nothing. I could do that at her place, and since I was out of heavy drugs I could smoke some weed and watch whatever I can find on broadcast TV. When I arrived with flowers of a rolled variety, she thanked me and set her joint aside. “I’ll smoke that after things wind down.”

She’ll need it, because it may be a long night.

Rain’s friend Salty has been staying with her, a couch-surfing affair. It took some getting used to, coming over and finding random scary black dudes sitting around with my girlfriend, but I have come to understand the dynamic. It’s family-style, not sexual. They help each other, like friends do. And the guys are cool. When I show up, they ask, “Should we take off for a little while?” I appreciate that. Although it may have less to do with chivalry and more with Rain letting them know they need to beat it when I come around. I am not going to make time with my girl in front of a wise-cracking audience.

So it was no surprise when the door buzzer went off about the time Rain stepped out of the bathtub. She unlocked the door and went back to getting dressed, and Salty let himself in. Salty is a big galoot of a human, 6’4″, 350 pounds. He was sweating like a whore in church, but happy. “How ya doing, Charles?” He fried himself a bacon sandwich, skipping the bread. Then he was messing with something, and Rain came over and looked.

“Oh, I ain’t touching that. Go ask him, he knows about that stuff.” She nodded back at me and returned to the bathroom.

“Whatcha got?” I asked.

“Check this out.” He was holding something tiny. I couldn’t see it, so I held my palm up for him to drop it onto.

An angel’s choir sounded in the distance, and the room changed color. The room changed color. This was the real deal.

I was holding an honest to god hit of windowpane LSD.

“Well, the first thing you shouldn’t be doing is handling it so much. I copped a feel just touching it.”

“C’mon, drop it and trip with me. It’s yours.”

I know better than to drop acid without a proper wind-up. Plan for familiar, happy surroundings. Calm, little conflict. Salty took my deferment in stride, “Well, I just ate two, so I guess I’ll just go find something to do.”

He left, and I squirreled away my hit. But then I got to thinking, I don’t have another day off this week, and it sure was pretty how the room changed like that. Rain looked on in quiet amusement as I cut the little piece of gelatin in half. It tasted like a breath strip, and worked the same, bonding to the jawbone under my tongue. I waited an hour, and was starting to feel something.

“So babe, I know you wanted some booty time, but I need to go to Safeway. You want to hurry up and get it out of the way, or go shopping and do it when we get back?”

Hurrying up meant I get some. Waiting meant she got to go shopping, so I get some with extra sugar! I popped the other half-hit and said, “I can handle going for a walk…”

An hour later, as we waited for the streetcar, things were getting interesting. The candy-coating was already starting, but no tracers to speak of. I was more worried about anxiety, because when we go out in public Rain talks to everybody, and I like to be a quiet observer when I’m, how you say, trippin’ balls. Some of these guys don’t like me, because of work-related incidents. I try to leave work at work, but you never know. My imagination was working overtime.

Our first encounter was with a former Clean & Safe officer. He complained for a minute about how Master P’s Newsstands don’t sell newspapers anymore, even Busted! Magazine or The Oregonian. I told him, “Yeah, the internet won. We don’t even sell porno anymore. We just sell you stuff to keep you awake while you play with your phone.” He rambled on about other injustices in the world. He was always an odd duck, running around in cut-off jeans like Tobias the Never-Nude from Arrested Development. I cozied up to Rain, and he got the hint. He bid adieu and moved to the opposite end of the streetcar.

Next stop was The Mothership, for cigarette coupon night. I no longer smoke cigarettes, but, much like jail, cigarettes are a wonderful bargaining chip on the streets of downtown. I have done magic! I have turned a Camel into a pink oxy! Voila! Plus, having a girlfriend who smokes can get expensive. Even though she buys her own cigarettes, my coming up with the occasional pack makes me Hero of the Day.

It’s always a spectacular shit-show outside the Mothership. MAX stops there, and there’s a large overhang where street people go to get out of the rain. Add in bargain tobacco, and the crowd goes wild! It got bad enough that when the cigarette reps come, we pay an extra worker to manage the line and crowd. This job has fallen into Festus’ lap, and he has an in with the rep. Plus, being a worker, I can skip the line of CHUDs and slip in and out.

Festus gave me a quizzical look, but didn’t seem to notice any difference. Good, I must be maintaining. No horns growing out of my head, and I’m not really sporting red tights and a tail. I did feel devilish, though. I thought of the fun waiting back at Rain’s, and felt the delicious squirm in my nether regions. Being horny on acid is a wonderful feeling.

We got though the store visit without conflict, emerging two packs of cigarettes richer. Next stop, Safeway. Which one? The Pearl? Or Psycho-Safeway?

Due to time constraints, we chose The Pearl. I’d not been to this one. The streetcar had lost most of the Pearlies, and homeless kids and junkies filled the back of the car with stinky loudness. We bailed a couple blocks away, so I could sneak a puff while Rain smoked a cigarette. The rainy streets of The Pearl were beautiful, flickering and twinkling.

"He's got legs..."

“He’s got legs…”

Ah, there is nothing like Safeway when you’re approaching the peak of an acid trip. I spent time staring at the fire in the bakery section, (contained) and mused in the seafood section over the seven-dollar frog for sale. I made a point of doing nothing shifty. Store security paid us no mind, but the sharp-dressed black woman and the crazy-eyed redhead got stares from the more affluent customers. It must be horrible for rich people to have to come out at night and go to the humble Safeway. “I told you, Phyllis. We should have gone to Whole Foods after the soiree!” Zallright. I stared right back.

Rain made her choices, and spent $29.69 of her $30 allowance. We hauled the groceries home, and as she put the key lime pie in the freezer and I started eyeing the king-sized bed I’d yet to stretch out upon, the fucking door-buzzer went off.

“Shit, Charlie. It’s always something.” She pushed the door latch and let Salty in. “Sorry, babe.”

“Charles, thank god you’re still here. man, this has been the worst trip of my life.” I considered how my head felt at the moment, about ready to peak. Then doubled it and added an hour. I’ll BET he’s having one hell of an evening. “Man, I went to a bar, then I got lost, then I had a small accident. I think I need to take a shower…”

Rain for once seemed more irritated than me over losing our privacy. Salty got up, ready to go. “You don’t have to leave. Can you just sit there and be quiet? You already crazy, I ain’t letting you trip out on me.”

“I’ll be cool, I promise.” Salty isn’t usually so meek and mild. “I just want a safe place to chill for a while. I got a bunch of money on me, and I don’t want to get jumped.”

She laid out clothes and a towel in the bathroom. “You know I’ll take care of ya,” she sighed. She gave me a weak smile. “Sorry, Charlie.”

“Hey, ain’t no thing. believe me, I’ve been there.” I gave her some advice for dealing with him.

“I used to do acid too, ya know.” She sighed again. “Babysitting grown men. My kid wasn’t this much work.”

I realized I had many rivers to cross, and was approaching peak status. I kissed Rain, thanked Salty for an entertaining evening, and made fast feet for the streetcar.

The Candyland effect had intensified since my last journey. A glittery glaze covered the world. I kept waiting for tracers, but they were evading me. I stared at my hand. Nope, couldn’t count the pores on my hand. But then, I’d only done one hit. Salty was probably watching cartoons on the ceiling by now.

Having not much for dinner, I decided to stop at Psycho Safeway, the one in downtown proper. This is where I saw the smiling peppers. I snapped a picture and sent it to Dr T, along with a note to Rain with advice and calming thoughts, just in case. I wasted no time, but appreciated how much more colorful this Safeway seemed than any other.

It was probably all in my head.

The rest of the ride home was spent in quiet reflection, staring out the window of the Hawthorne bus. The left and right brain melted into each other, with all the wonderful epiphanies that I wish I could remember. I have missed this, and it was just what the doctor ordered. I got home, cooked dinner with appropriate distractions, had some wonderful-tasting barbecued pork, took a couple shots of medicated cough syrup to ensure at least a small nap, and fell asleep until about 5 AM. At which point I awoke, fresh as a daisy. I was due on deck for a 10 AM shift in front of bosses and sales reps. My math skills had returned, and I was still baked just enough to find marvel in everything as the morning wore on.

Hello acid, my old friend. We should get together more often.

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1 Comment

  1. 8of9 said,

    Join us next week when Timothy Leary’s hologram directs the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 4 acts, starting with “Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Magic Underwear”. in E flat minor. Brought to you by our friends at LDS.LSD.INC.!
    -Thanks for sharing your wacky adventures DBG! Always a good read!

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