I realized the other day when I asked for requests that I neglected to fulfill one from long ago, and no- I'm not referring to that dude in high school who asked me to play his "skin flute". Lord, I can't even play the triangle- that dude was seriously confused.
Anyways...Someone (I believe it was you, Patti) asked me to tell the whole story of my one and only experience with a certain illegal substance.
Fine, here you go:
If my less-than-stellar memory is correct, this would have been the summer of maybe 1990, right before I made my first move to the bustling Twin cities area and moved in with the former competitive roller skater. (The pic is the only one I could find from approximately that time, so you can have a visual. My eyebrows seem to be multiplying at an amazing rate and threatening to stage a coup here.)
The Rainbow Gathering was in town that year, and many of my substance-inclined friends had basically moved to the woods or wherever the hell those hippies were spending the summer wiping their butts with leaves and stuff. It was quiet in Duluth, and my roommates and I were spending most of our time hanging out at our apartment drinking wine coolers, eating McDonald's and watching MTV.
Our apartment was an old three-bedroom, second-floor deal on third & eleventh in Duluth. We rarely locked the doors (and even if we had it didn't matter as it seemed like everyone in town had a key), so we seemed to have a steady stream of riff-raff, potential boy-toys, people needing a place to crash, and pretty much anyone looking for some semblance of a "party". We were nothing if not good hostesses. The decor was early "thrift store", including the obligatory scary couch and rickety, mismatched tables and chairs. We had a mannequin, Olivia, at the top of the stairs whose outfits changed almost as often as ours did. And yes, on occasion, both Olivia and ourselves would greet the morning after a particularly blurry party wearing a t-shirt, boxer shorts and high heels.
The night in question found a few of us hanging around, drinking vodka & kool-aid and just sitting around wondering if we were missing out on something better to do. We discussed stories we had started hearing trickle out from the Rainbow Gathering- stories of a dizzying merry-go-round of hook-ups, near-death experience drug use, and dirty, naked hippies talking about their "auras". We were repulsed, enthralled, and slightly aroused. We were party girls, but our upbringings prevented us from taking our rebellion THAT far. Plus, I was scared to death of catching an STD of any sort, and I was convinced that herpes was airbourne and gonorrhea flowed like water at the Rainbow Fest. I didn't need or want to go there to find out for sure.
My friend, who I'll call "Dizzy", and I were in a squirrely mood. We were sitting around with our friend Slimy (who, coincidentally, we had both messed around with at one point or another. Duluth is nothing if not incestuous), getting a bit past the point of tipsy. Slimy had a reputation for kind of smarmily (is that a word?) trying to seduce women, especially the drunk ones. It was a weeknight, but we all stayed up talking, drinking and trying to figure out what other sort of trouble we could get into.
Before we could even finish our thoughts, Slimy pulls out a little plastic box from his pocket, and from the box he pulled out a small piece of paper.
"Know what this is?" he asked.
Dizzy and I just looked at it- we were still a bit naive in the ways of drugs, but we hated looking like rubes so we kept our mouths shut. I looked at him and raised my substantial eyebrows warily.
"Well..." he went on, "this is Rainbow Acid from the Rainbow Gathering. It's pretty strong but a lot of fun- you guys wanna give it a try?"
Normally, I would have thought about this long and hard, because- and I have mentioned this before- my being raised on a steady diet of ABC "afterschool specials" pretty much had me convinced that most drugs would either kill you instantly the first time you tried them, or you would surely end up in a wheelchair eating cheeseburgers through a straw and having your Mom take you to prom out of pity. Our parents drank, and other than that one time my dad slept on the lawn, booze seemed- to us- to be fairly fun and benign. Drugs? Not so much.
But, as we were 3/4 in the bag already and I had the day off tomorrow...why not? How bad can it be, I thought as I took the tiny square of paper and stuck it on my tongue. Really- how bad?
For an hour or so, I felt nothing. Nada. We sat around, had another kool-aid cocktail, and waited. I started to get kind of antsy. "What should I be feeling? I don't feel anything", I said.
"Just wait", Slimy said with a smirk. My guess is that Slimy thought he had a fun evening ahead with either one or both of us giving into our wonton hippie-girl sides and deciding that maybe tonight was a good time to give that whole "bisexual" thing a try that was seeming to be so popular lately.
Not so much.
For me, it started out with all of the colors that I saw kind of getting a Southwestern hue- terra cottas, dark green, hazy gold. I sat and stared out the window for what seemed like an eternity going "Santa Fe coooolllooorrrrrssss..." Slimy was transfixed with staring at his hands in-between telling me what he thought would happen to me next. Dizzy had disappeared.
After a long stretch of staring at the sky through our dirty windows, I snapped up and decided that Dizzy had to see the Santa Fe colors as well- so I went looking for her. Where the hell was she?
I heard noise coming from our bathroom, and the door was closed. I knocked. "Dizzy? You OK in there? Can I come in?"
I heard a warbly reply that sounded like yes, so I went right in.
There she was, naked, laying on her side in six inches of water trying to swim. "Im in the wooooomb", she kept saying. "I'm in the wooooomb."
Even in my state, I knew this was funny.
"Dizzy- you are NOT in the womb- you're in my bathtub. And you're naked. Why are you naked?" I giggled.
All I got was more splashing and "wooooomb..."
Slimy looked like a wolf at an all-you-can-eat sheep buffet.
Slimy and I (after much giggling and pouring cold water on Dizzy) went to the back porch where I kept a perma-grin on my face and stared at the sky like an idiot. He hit on me repeatedly, I may have kissed him to shut him up, I don't remember for sure. Yuk.
After a while, Dizzy emerged from the womb, wearing her unders and bra. Then, it started to rain.
I think I had the brilliant idea to go out and splash in puddles. Problem was, in our state the closest we could get to an actual "outfit" was our unders, our Chuck Taylor lo-tops and our biker jackets.
So, there we were, in front of our apartment on a normally fairly busy street, jumping in puddles in our underwear and giggling like idiots. It was awesome. Being a weeknight and absurdly late, there wasn't a soul around (well, not that we noticed anyways).
After much splashing, and once our shoes were soaked through, we went across the street and laid down in the grass by a parking lot and just stared at the trees, still in our unders. I was still deep into my "Santa Fe" thing still, and Dizzy was muttering about "people" and "butterflies" or something. Slimy had gone inside.
I don't know how long we laid there, but after a while something started to go wrong for me. My belly was all topsy-turvy and my "Santa Fe" thing started turning into a "Rosemary's Baby" sort of thing. I got a bit paranoid and discombobulated. I ran inside, not bothering to see if Dizzy was with me. I ran into my room and laid on the bed, muttering about if I was going to die or not. Slimy sat there and both comforted me and tried to cop a feel at the same time- like Prince Charming, that guy was.
The best part was, for what ever reason- the combo of acid and booze started giving me the worst bloating and gas I had ever felt. I was drugged-out, paranoid and farty, and all I had was some douche who gives acid to drunk chicks to keep me company. The most awesome part about this is he STAYED and STILL TRIED TO GET SOME ACTION even though there was a light fog hanging in the air from all of the mostly-silent farts I was slowly and painfully releasing.
I. Was. Miserable.
At some point I fell asleep, and when I woke up to the phone ringing. Slimy and Dizzy were both gone, thankfully.
My Mom was on the phone and wanted to get lunch (it was noon already). Argh.
I couldn't say no even though I was still feeling the effects of the acid, so I hopped in my car and took my Mom to Perkins for lunch. All I can say is having lunch with a parent, on acid, is one of the stranger things I have ever done. Her words seemed to come out reeeaaally slowly, and my pauses before speaking seemed to last 5 minutes each and were accompanied by the light jingling of imaginary bells in my head.
Two days later I was still sick.
Never again, I said, and never again I did.
Oh, and as a postscript, Slimy is now a city council member in one of our lovely Twin Cities' suburbs and married with kids. Dizzy is still Dizzy. You know where I am.