For my first column, I really wanted to hit the ground running. I really wanted something that would "zing". Something that would be so good, so entertaining, so thought-provoking, that all future attempts by me to fill this space here would be put to shame right from the very beginning.
But the muse is a fickle mistress, gentle reader, and I am left with only one thing, one solitary tale, that keeps bouncing around and about inside my cranium, just begging to be let free.
My favorite drug story.
This all takes place on the last day of my third semester, the day before Christmas break, while I was attending a private school in Iowa. I had just finished up finals that last day, and needed a ride home to Kansas. So I called up a buddy of mine in Topeka that morning, told him if he picked me up I would show him a good time, told him to bring a drug dealer friend of mine, and basically begged my little heart out for a ride. So finally, and very reluctantly, this friend of mine named Carl agreed. When he got off work at 6ish that day, he would bring Kat with him, and they would be in Des Moines to pick me up around Midnight.
Well, I couldn't wait THAT long to start the party. I had about a dozen microdots of acid, an eight ball of cocaine, some weed, and a helluva lot of booze. And while I didn't particularly want to be all whacked out on drugs when my friends arrived, some things just can't be helped.
So I started drinking around 4ish that day.
A bit of background, at the time in college, I belonged to a fraternity. This was not your regular fraternity of Abercrombie and Fich-ites, however. Closer to Animal House then any other example I can think of. A greater hive of scum and villainy could not be found in the entire galaxy. So I spent most of that day over there, at least when I wasn't at whatever bar I stumbled into.
At one point, just before 6, I remember calling Kat, drunk and high as a person can be while still maintaining a degree of consciousness that sometimes allowed standing. The conversation went something like this.
Me: BRING MORE ACID!
Kat: What? Brad, is that you?
Me: BRING MORE ACID!
Kat: Stop yelling.
Me: Okay. Furble grundum furble furble guh.
Me: You are coming HERE WITH CARL TONIGHT, RIGHT!?
Kat: Yes. And I said quit yelling.
Me: Bring lots of acid when you come.
Me: AND ANYTHING ELSE….
Me: Anything else you can think of.
Kat: Okay. Bye.
Around 9ish, a bunch of my more, errr, none-straightedge friends of mine decided to go back to my dorm room for some acid. This was about 6 of us. My dorm room was approximately 6' x 6' x 6', BTW. But we all managed to squeeze in, and so, despite the considerable handicap of all being absolutely drunk and stoned, somehow managed to get the cap off the microdot vial (how many drugs addicts does it take to….), and dropped the acid.
I really don't remember much of the following night itself, although you can be sure it was an epic display of hedonism which few could fathom, much less match. The cocaine was keeping me more or less awake, while the other drugs were keeping me more or less loopy.
Finally, at around 11ish, I was still in my room with my friends tripping balls, when I got a call from Carl and Kat. They were in the convenience down the block.
So, I wandered over there on foot, despite the considerable handicap of figuring that the snow was as solid as cement, and that it was about 12 degrees and I was sweating like a pig at a roast.
But, I managed to find the place (a single Kum and Go ((yes, that was the name of the store) on an empty street.)). And I saw Kat, obviously in a similar shape as myself, pawing around the candy aisle of the mart and Carl sitting in the car, with a pissed off expression on his face, trying to stay warm.
Well, I won't go into too much detail of the night itself. We did everything we could get our hands on and more, and ended up with Carl passing out from cocaine come-down, me and Kat dropping acid at about 5 AM, and then promptly passing out half-naked on a couch 15 minutes later.
Kat and I were awakened at about 6:30 AM at gunpoint. Carl had brought an air rifle with him and was poking us with the nozzle to get us awake. He had bloodshot eyes, looked a bit unstable, was shaking slightly, and was very stubborn about the fact that we had to get back to Topeka RIGHT NOW.
So, the three of us piled into Carl's car. Kat, who was in somewhat of a daze, wearing her nightgown and a heavy winter coat, slumped into the backseat in a fetal position around the air rifle, Carl driving, and me in the passenger side playing with a pair of binoculars I had acquired the night before from God-knows-where. Acid and an expensive pair of binoculars whilst tooling across barren Iowa highways at 95 miles an hour is great, great fun. I was hanging out of the window, looking at everything through the wrong end, and screaming at Carl to go faster so we can catch up to the road.
Some more background.
Carl was about 27 when this all took place. He was a grizzled old addict, set in his ways, and not at all happy about having to pick up a raving lunatic in Iowa and transport him to Kansas during the wee hours of a friggin cold December morn. I was 19 at the time. Kat was at an undetermined age, probably about 16 or 17.
Carl was dead tired from the cocaine and whiskey the night before, but he, like so many loonies, has a little button that goes off inside his head once drug consumption reaches critical max. The button flips, and the message "GO HOME GO HOME GO HOME" begins cycling through the psyche at an alarmingly loud and obnoxious rate. This is my theory on why so many people drive drunk even when they know they should not. It's all about that button, man.
He hasn't shaven in about two weeks for whatever reason, eyes bloodshot, and is snorting cocaine off the dashboard whenever no other cars are in site, produced via some sort of beaker he keeps with him at all times for just such occasions. He is in a foul mood, to say the least.
Cut to me.
I am frantically rousing Kat awake with one hand, while my other hand steadfastly holds the binoculars to my face at all times (it's IMPORTANT, dammit!). Kat awakens, fresh as a daisy, and produces more acid from her coat pocket within seconds of regaining consciousness.
It is about 8 AM at this point. We both drop about 4 hits each, that compounded with all the stuff we drank, smoked, snorted, and dropped only hours before in Des Moines. I also have my trusty bottle of Jim Beam with me, which we pull off of when we feel like it.
An hour of calm, then the acid starts to take hold, along with the whiskey. This is VERY good acid, mind you. We were reduced to raving lunatics. And Kat is like Silent Bob in Mallrats. Her coat was a bottomless pit of depravity.
"Boy, I wish I had some coke," I murmur.
"Keep your goddamned hands off my stuff," Carl shouts, "I need it to drive!"
"Here Brad, I have some!" says Kat as she produces a folded up ounce from God knows where.
You had to love this girl.
This is NOT Carl's idea of a good time. He is tired, strung out, and is in a car with enough drugs to make Hunter S. Thompson envious, not to mention a half naked underage girl and a car that may or may not be stolen.
So at some point, when he just can't take it anymore, he pulls over in some small town in Missouri, and tells us to get the fuck out of the car for an hour while he catches some zzzzs.
He passes out before we have a chance to argue.
Now, something about Missouri is that it is nothing BUT small podunk towns, with populations in the hundreds. Small farming communities, backwater sorts of places, which boast a stoplight and a bar and that's about it. This was such a town. We were parked at a gas station that had yet to open, and nothing but a dirt road and small shops and farms as far as the eye can see. That and it is about –25 degrees at this point, and the wind chill wasn't helping any.
But, he had the air rifle, he was the only one with even a modicum of capacity to drive, so we had no place to argue. Besides, he was already asleep.
So, off we go. Kat in her nightgown and wintercoat, myself in my cords, t-shirt and windbreaker.
We walk up this road, turning blue with teeth chattering, and watching as the stores begin to open and farmers on tractors pass us by to start their day's labor, giving us very strange looks as they passed.
Something about the Midwest that very few people realize is how cold it really gets. When I moved from Kansas to Maine, people would scoff when I would relate to them the freezing winds of the Great Plains. We had an exchange student around that time from Sweden. My mother told him to bring winter clothes, and he laughed that suggestion off. When winter hit, he nearly froze to death, and ended up buying more long underwear than he had ever owned. He noted before he left, "It NEVER gets this cold in Sweden. It is cold for longer, and it snows more, but I have never seen winds this cold in my entire life."
So here we were, about 3 miles down the road, freezing to death. Kat is starting to get signs of frostbite on her calves, and I am blue and my teeth are chattering.
Well, this was a situation which called for more whiskey, and certainly more acid.
We ended up dropping inside somebody's barn while petting a cow.
We named the cow "Dopey".
That is the extent of my recollection about this part of the trip.
We got back to the car, and Carl was awake, snorting coke of the dash once more, but in much better spirits.
So off we go once more.
When we near the Missouri border, Carl mumbles something about needing to pick up some eggplants. Fair enough, we think to ourselves. That sounds pretty harmless.
It was not.
Carl is a very strange man, with very strange tastes, and the ONLY eggplants in the STATE that are worth eating can apparently only be found in a certain international marketplace in downtown Kansas City.
He takes us there.
He parks in the middle of a scene out of Indiana Jones. People of indiscernible nationality are throwing fish and chickens, live ones both, at one another. People are shouting at each other in various languages. And an ethnicity resembling Morlocks seem to be running the majority of stands. This is Little China, Little Italy, Little Zimbabwe, Little RiverWorld, Little everything, all combined onto one downtown city block, though it resembles more closely an alley. And we hit it at the peak time of the week.
Carl immediately departs from the car, parked on the sidewalk next to a chicken stand (again, live chickens) and disappears into the crowd, on his mad quest of the elusive eggplants, while Kat and I sit in the car dumbfounded, befuddled at the scene that awaits us once we step out of the car.
But of course, we didn't let that stop us.
I suppose the scene that we stepped into would be best conveyed visually then through text. Stands on both side of a narrow street, droves of people of various nationalities and chattering and shouting in unknown languages everywhere, fares that ranged from vegetables I couldn't place as being indigenous to Earth to live goats shackled up in rickety wooden cages. And the Morlocks. Sweet Christ, the Morlocks!
In any case, it was quite a trip.
Kat and I got separated more than once, which was a terrifying experience, as she was the one carrying the drugs and I was in desperate need of some horse tranquilizers at this point.
We found each other in what was apparently the live animal section of the market.
We decide we need to buy a rabbit.
When we returned to the car, Carl was already there with the various things he had acquired, and we show up carrying a wooden cage with a 12-pound rabbit inside. He doesn't even blink.
We get in the car and head for Topeka once more.
Now this time I was in the back seat and Kat was munching on Kim Chee in the passenger seat. We had bought the rabbit with some crazed notion that we would save it from a boiling pot and make it into a cuddly little bunny pet thing. However, those Morlocks must have treated this rabbit in quite the dastardly and masochistic manner (the strange Arabic sign branded into it's rump should have clued me into this), and he was absolutely terrified.
So we drop more acid and I open the cage to pet the widdle bunny.
The widdle bunny suddenly comes alive in a crazed frenzy, first biting me, opening an inch long gap on the back of my hand, and then going into spasms of rage with enough force behind them to utterly break apart the wooden cage.
I start screaming like a little girl.
Carl starts swerving all over the two-lane highway, doing about 105 mph.
Kat goes into fits of laughter.
"Brad, what the FUCK are you doing!?!?!" Carl shouts at me over his shoulder as he regains control of the car and goes for more cocaine.
"Don't worry, I'll get this under control!" I shout back.
Mind you, there is the largest and meanest rabbit I have ever seen, loose on the floor in the backseat of the car, in a frenzied rampage. This is no ordinary rabbit, mind you. This is a Morlock rabbit!
So, I grab the air rifle and begin loading it furiously.
Now, again, I have to defer to the story visually. Try to picture the half naked underage girl in the passenger seat turning blue from laughing so hard, the grizzled coke addict driver screaming at me, and me, all hopped up, crouching on the seat, firing an air rifle at the floor of the car trying to kill that fucking wascally wabbit.
A rifle is very hard to aim in close quarters.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!!!???!?!" screams Carl.
"Don't worry, I think I have it cornered this time!"
"No, I got him now!"
sounds of rabbit screeching
"I wounded him! I wounded him! Yeah, who's the man!"
"DAMMIT! This fucker is FAST!"
At which point Carl brings the car to a screeching halt in the middle of the deserted Kansas highway, gets out of the car, opens the back door, and watches as the screeching bloodied bunny FLIES out of the car in a flurry of fur and blood, disappearing in the tall grass on the side of the road. He looks at the blood, the bullet holes, and the fur all over the car floor, and me holding the air rifle with a sheepish look on my face, muttering something about damn dirty Morlock rabbits.
It was at this point where Carl took the gun from me and began to hit me in the face with the butt of it repeatedly until I was sedated to his satisfaction.
I don't remember much of the trip after that. Not that I remembered a helluva lot before, mind you. This trip normally takes 6 hours or so. It took us about 24, if that tells you anything.
But we got home okay. I remember it was the day that the House voted to impeach president Clinton, and I slouched down on my couch in my Topeka home, with a head still full of acid and an icepack on my face, SURE that I could read Al Gore's mind while the House Democrats and Clinton were making their lengthy announcement.
After that, Carl refused to come pick me up anymore. From anywhere. Period.
Kat, on the other hand, subsequently came and visited me about a half dozen times, claiming she had the best time of her life.
No word yet on the Morlock rabbit.
That is all.