Thursday, February 18, 2010

LSD 2...Desperation

Speaking of LSD, I was reminded of an earlier incident in which I was "unknowingly" flooded with LSD. It was so much that I tripped for two days. It was two of the most bizarre and excruciating days I have ever endured.

It was Jazz Fest, which is always one of the best times in New Orleans. The city is packed with all kinds of hippies and other music aficionados. The music rocks, the people are all ecstatic, and the drugs are flowing freely. The Jazz Fest was always one of my favorite times of the year.

Liam and I had been out at the fest most of the day. We had been steadily drinking and snorting both coke and heroin. We returned home briefly to change and head out to the Quarter for the night. Our coke was getting low, and the mission at hand was to find more. As well as getting as drunk as possible, that is.

Of course we headed straight to The Abbey, knowing that we can always find someone with coke there. When we get there, we start off with two shots of Jameson and a couple of beers. The man is not there, but he should be there shortly. As we wait, we are steadily drinking whiskey and snorting heroin. The wait gets longer and longer and we get drunker and drunker. It gets to the point we can barely hold our heads up. (We have been at it since before noon, although it is not quite ten o'clock.)

We are desperate now, and we leave The Abbey on a mission in search of something to wake us up. There are hippies everywhere. We walk to all the usual spots, and no cocaine is to be found. We figure our best bet is to head back to The Abbey. We know everyone there, and the coke man will DEFINITELY show up there eventually.

We pass the Hideout on the way back, and there are all kinds of stinky dready kids lingering around that corner at Decatur and Ursuline. I look down on the ground and see a sweet breath bottle. You know, the tiny bottles that minty breath freshener comes in. Reminded of the days long ago on Phish tour when I used to get the acid I sold in these containers, I bend down to pick it up. Casually, I just put it in my pocket and keep walking.

A block further, and we enter The Abbey...hopeful for some coke. Nothing yet, the bartender tells us. We sit down, ordering two more shots and two more beers. (Which was stupid considering the shape we were in, but that is how we used to roll.) I pull the sweet breath container out of my pocket to inspect it.

Sure as shit, it looks like LSD. The liquid inside is a dark brown rather than a bright green. There is hardly anything left in there it seems, just a little thick brown liquid hovering around the bottom. I look at Liam, and our desperation fuels our imagination. This LSD would give us the fuel we needed to wait for the cocaine to arrive.
There did not seem to be enough liquid in the vial to do much to either of us, and then how could we get this thick liquid out of there? I went into the dirty little Abbey bathroom, and held the bottle under the sink filling it with water. I headed back to the bar and sat next to Liam. I handed him the bottle, which he simply turned up and sucked on it. He handed it back to me and I did the same. Instantly, we both seemed to wake up which I am sure now was all in our minds.
After that I am not sure how much time passed. The events thereafter become foggy for a while. I am sure we sat there and drank more. Now, I am also sure we eventually ran into the man and purchased cocaine. (I am sure of that fact because two days later I reached into my pocket and found several unopened bags.) What happened next is kind of a confusing blur, yet all the images still remain with me crystal clear.
I am not sure when we decided to leave the bar, or why. I do know that suddenly we were at home, and Liam was screaming, "Why the fuck am I tripping? What is going on?" It is suddenly obvious to me he has no recollection of sipping on the vial, and when I try to tell him he is in complete denial.
His mood is highly agitated and seems to get more and more agitated as he paces through the house. He is ranting and raving about nothing that makes any sense. This creature reminds me not of my dearly beloved, but instead of a rabid, caged animal. I gather money and a few things and proceed to go for a walk.
At first, I have to drag Liam away from his ranting. He says he has never tripped this hard before and swears someone also must have dosed him. My jaw is feeling clenched and the lights are getting sparkly. There are trails on everything and I know the acid is really kicking in. We have to get out side, take a walk, I beg.
Outside, the air seems cool and refreshing compared to the stifling air of inside. The stars seem to shine even brighter overhead than they do in Texas, and the sounds of the city echo in my ears. Instead of the normal soft fuzzy edges, everything is sharp and contrasting. Even in the dark, the houses of the Marigny and Bywater seem to be brighter than they are in the day. A Virgin Mary statue on a lawn seems to be basking in the moonlight. I start to relax as the world looks beautiful. The impending acid trip seems less foreboding and more inviting. I know I have to just sit back and try to enjoy the ride. There is nothing I can do but take the ride at this point.
Liam, on the other hand, is a basket case. In all our years of getting high, I have never seen him so fucked up. He is babbling incoherently and wandering off every chance he can. I think we should head to the river, for her vast beauty should calm him down.
It is a grueling trip there as we walk through the Marigny and into the Quarter through Frenchman street. Several bars on Frenchman are hopping. Not like the area hops today, back then it was just getting popular. Liam is freaking out at the sight of people. He starts yelling and staring, just acting completely bizarre. And it is starting to freak me out...the last thing I am capable of right now is babysitting.
We head into the Quarter at Esplanade and Decatur. We are probably headed to The Abbey out of sheer instinct. Lower Decatur is jam packed. I duck into The Abbey, but Liam refuses. I am partly scared to leave him outside as he yells at passerby. Then, I am also too embarrassed to go in. The bartenders eyes are just as glazed as mine. When we do a shot together, she reveals she thinks someone has dosed her as well. Did she suck on that vial, too? Not that she remembers. Maybe someone was dosing people at the bar, which would explain why Liam and I are way too fucked up to have just done a rinse off the vial. I have to get back outside before Liam goes to jail...or the mental ward.
I am relieved to see he is still outside the bar. He is sitting on the sidewalk with a menacing look on his face. Thankfully, he has stopped yelling and is just muttering under his breath. I think I heard him barking, too. The river, I think. We have to get up to the river. Oh, how beautiful the Mississippi is going to look on acid!
We walk up through the market to the river. We come up at the end of the brick walk, just by the port area. We sit down on the bricks with our backs rested on the large planter all the way at the end of the walk...right where it becomes dirt. Right by the pier that so many gutter punks get drunk at. The light of the moon is leaping off the water. The river seems so much bigger, and it seems to be flowing so hard that the sound of it is deafening. Liam is quiet, finally. I start to relax again a little as I notice his shoulders slump slightly, losing some of their immense tension.
But, that relaxation is about to end as the roller coaster comes slowly to another peak. Hold on, all you can do is ride the coaster. I hear a squeaky sound and look down by my hand. I see a rat, just standing there looking at me. He must be the size of a small dog, or at least it seems that way. And I am sure he is breathing right on my hand. The rats in the Quarter are some bold motherfuckers!
I scream, and Liam is off again. He is shrieking and babbling senseless things all over again. Shit, I cannot deal with this. I get him up and we head down the brick path towards some crazy lights I see. We make our way up into the grass, as I feel it will be softer on my feet. When we pass a group of drunk guys, Liam falls to the ground. He is kicking and screaming and laughing like a madman. The passersby are just staring. Get up, you fool...I do not want to get arrested.
We make our way down the river a ways. We stop several times to look at the river. She really is beautiful. The lights reflecting in a rainbow of primary colors with every ripple. Liam finally started to calm down again. Staring out onto the river, we both kept getting lost in our own acid filled thoughts. The silence was nice.
We stopped to watch a welder on a riverboat. Sparks seemed to fly for miles, cascading all over the rippling water, colors flying and reflecting everywhere. The welding tool would crank up, screeching like a banshee, and then the sparks were flying. Sparks changing from gold to pink to purple. Sparks flying in all shades of green and red, dying as they fell into the water. We just stared and stared in wonderment. It was really beautiful.
We wandered further down, sitting in a gazebo. Then we stumbled upon some bronze statues on a bench. An old man with 30s style glasses talking to a young boy. I think the plaque says something about education, but I am not sure. Liam sits next to the boy on the bench, and I wander up to the river again.
As I stare, amazed at the beauty, I hear Liam talking quietly behind me. At first, I think he is talking to me. I turn to look and I realize he is talking to the statues. "Education is so vital, so important for our young people..." He continues on and on, talking to the old man about the values of education and the importance of youth. I look back to the river.
Then, I hear his harsh voice again. I turn, and he is glaring at the little boy. "What? What?" he says. " You just need to shut your mouth you little motherfucker. I am serious, you need to shut the fuck up, NOW!" I am laughing uncontrollably now.
We wander through the Quarter and surrounding areas for hours on end. Bouncing between laughter, quiet reflections, and just pure insanity. We get home hours after the sun has come up, but we are still tripping. Liam has to go to work, and I have tickets to the Panic show that night. We hole up in our house for a while hoping to come down a little.
But, of course, the acid still rages. Liam heads off to work, somewhat calmed down but still wasted. I head to the parking lot of the show. I need to keep my head together, as I am still fighting the acid and now extreme tiredness. I take a couple of methadone wafers to try and calm down. It takes the edge off a little. I score a couple of bags of heroin and get a 5th of Jameson. I end up selling my tickets to the show because I just cannot seem to bear the crowd. By the end of the night, I am standing in the parking lot of the Memorial Auditorium with a bag of dope in one hand and a bottle of Jameson in the other. I am convinced at this point that these items are now my only connection to reality.
Thankfully, I make my way home and eventually drink enough to pass out. When I wake up, I feel like crap. My whole body is sore from being up for days, and my head is pounding from a hangover. My guts are wrenching, begging for another line of heroin. I get up, sifting insanely through my pockets for dope. I find several bags of cocaine that I have not even touched. This is when I realize I must have scored two days ago, but by then my mind was so far in space I did not use them. Thankfully, I have two bags of dope in the other pocket. I split one bag into two big, fat lines. I do one and leave the other for Liam.
Ahhhhhh, much better. Now, I curl up on the couch and turn on the stereo. Blind Melon, of course. My body relaxes, as I ponder the evils of acid. I remember all the reasons I swore it off years ago. I can honestly say I never touched that shit again. I can also say I think my mind is slightly changed forever from that night.


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