Monday, August 29, 2011

August, 1991: What a trip!

I do recall stating that I would devote a post to the subject of LSD, and that post begins, now....

If you feel that drugs are not one of the most, if not THE most crucial influences in the lives of most forms of entertainment, I want you to do me a big favor.....throw away every single bit of recorded music, every painting, every movie and every book you own. You should also throw away every product made or influenced by Apple (this means your iPod, iPhone, and iPad). THAT is how much of a role drugs have influenced and inspired most artists of the past century, and this century could certainly use it, especially in average recorded music. I wish most of these hacks from American Idol, and the like, would take SOMETHING. They desparately need it.

The first time I did LSD, I was 15. I was a little apprehensive, but everyone else was doing it (yes, I know about the scenario of "If everyone else was jumping off a river bridge, would you?"....I know of plenty who did just that, and I did not. Thank you very much.). Anyway, I took my 1/3 of a hit of LSD, as everyone else did. That was all we could afford, between the 6 of us. Originally, it didn't seem as if anything was going to happen but suddenly, color began to seem more vivid, thoughts more profound, philosophy contained more depth and the degree of laughter was immeasurable. I LOVED IT!!!

I did not dose again until 1988, when the availability of LSD began to flood the area of where I lived. It was a mountain of discovery, philosophy, fun, inspiration came freely, all good music had much more depth and sex under that influence was truly incredible. I was not hooked on the drug, itself. I was hooked on what it began to do FOR me...and in spite of what would happen only 3 years later, I indulged to a great degree.

MTV was much more fun to watch, parties were even MORE fun, what was already funny was roll on the floor hilarious, and heart to heart conversations were had with more mental connection. If you did not do LSD, you can't fully understand what I'm saying. And then, it all changed.

In August, 1991, everything awesome about LSD came to an abrupt end. One evening, I purchased 5 hits from a mutual acquaintance and took 2 of them, before leaving. Within approximately 4 hours, I began to have what is known as a 'bad trip'. What all began to happen within my mind and body is something I can't put to words, no matter how hard I try. All that I CAN say is that I had what is commonly referred to as an 'out of body experience'.....and it is one of the most horrifying sensations I have ever dealt with. For the next several days, I spoke only of what had happened. But, everything I tried to explain to others made absolutely no sense. Don't get me wrong; The people I attempted to explain this to were the same ones I tripped with, on a regular basis. But, because none of them had been hit with a bad trip, AND since I couldn't explain what happened, it just didn't register...with ANYONE. I felt completely alone and knew one thing, for an absolute fact: I could never, EVER, do LSD again. Twenty years later, and to this day, I have not.

I miss having that degree of fun. I miss the indepth conversations, the overwhelming laughter, the inspiration I received from it, as well as overall positives from every nuance, by way of it. But, risking an absolute meltdown, from another bad trip, would certainly mean me being institutionalized and that is something I am simply not willing to do.

I had my fun. I had my inspiration. I had my youth, with typical ignorant fearlessness, and those are the days in which most people benefit from LSD.....until the day comes when someone wants to alter it where there could be other benefits, which are already known. Every experience on LSD is different. That's the beauty of it, same as any other drug. That's also the curse and again, same as any other drug. But, there's something special about LSD. See the examples, below. If these examples don't make my point for me, nothing will.

From paintings......

to musicians that changed how we hear music, and will continue inspiring musicians for generations to come....

to events which introduced new instruments (Moog organ, new stage microphones, etc), new artists and entire new cultures.....

and book authors who changed people's lives, entirely.....

Even the software you're now using to view this post, since Bill Gates forgot to trademark it, in the 1980s.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goodbye, Tennessee! Hello, Florida!

Back in July, after finding out the hard way that the tombstone company was getting away with legally stealing from me, and discovering I would have to sell something from my estate which I never wanted to sell, I decided that I would leave Knoxville, as soon as logically possible. But, as we know, logic will not always follow a physical act.....
Before leaving Knoxville, I had planned to renew the year decal on my license plate, get with my insurance company to see if anything additional information needed to be given before temporarily transferring to a new location, get the front and rear tires switched on the vehicle (front tires are much too bald, on the corners from not having them rotated and balanced, when Jack was in the hospital), front end alignent, etc. July 21 was supposed to be the day I left Knoxville, to stay with 2 very close friends in Pensacola, Florida. Instead, I woke up around 3:15 AM, on the morning of July 20, and was rather disgusted with the fact that I had not slept, yet again, for more than a couple of hours. Had my coffee, then sat and watched some local news. Once that was over, I made a quick breakfast. After that, I sat back down and began putting my list together on what loose ends needed to be tied, before leaving the following day. I began losing concentration, thinking about so many things from the past 4 years that had brought me down to such a low point, what all had caused me to age so terribly, what all had brought my mind to the point where I should not have been able to take my dosage of meds down to the bare minimum (but somehow, it managed to happen), wondering just how numb my mind had become, or if any of the aforementioned played a part in taking me to where I had ended up, or not.
As I continued sitting in my recliner, pondering the bombardment of questions, something in the back of my mind kept inching and budging its way up toward the front. In the beginning of the bombardment, I wasn't aware of what the intrusion was. For a short while beyond the beginning, I still didn't know, because question after question began cropping out spots of my mind. As always, I had allowed my mind to address and/or entertain the scenarios behind questions about my life, be it about the past or the present. The drawback to be doing that is how my mind will almost always end up neglecting what is truly important, because my mind suddenly became occupied from entertaining and/or addressing the past or present. That day is when a change came about.
It was not very long before the unknown something, from the back of my mind, had inched beyond halfway through my mind, and was fast approaching the front. Little by little, the phrase, "GET OUT. GET OUT, NOW!!" began shouting to me, from a distance, though getting louder with each 'scream out' of the phrase, as the passing of time began to fly, and it often does.
By 10:45 AM, the phrase was at the peak of volume and urgency: "GET OUT! GET OUT, NOW!!!!" And, when the shout of that phrase was close enough to the front of my mind, all I could no longer think about what loose ends needed to be tied up, what last minute items needed to be addressed, or even washing the skillet and plate that I used for breakfast.
I stopped just short of jumping out of my chair, and began angrily cramming everything from that room into one bag, after another. I found one of the workers in housekeeping and asked if she wanted a perfectly good 32 inch color television for $20. She called her son to bring the money to her, and he arrived within 15 minutes. Away it went. Had I been thinking any better, I could have sold my recliner for around the same price....a $1200.00 La-Z-Boy recliner, albeit quite an oldie, but in near perfect condition, despite a minimal amount of discoloration along the very front. Since the idea of thinking had left the building, I told the lady in housekeeping to either take it home, or find someone who would, because it was simply too nice to end up in a dumpster. To my knowledge, it was taken.
Suffice to say, I ignored every single loose end that I should have tied up, I ignored doing anything and everything to my vehicle, simply filled up the gas tank and hit Interstate 40/75 around 12:45 PM, to leave Knoxville.
My biggest regret of leaving the state with such a degree of urgency was, is, and always will be the fact that I did not pay a visit to Jack's grave to at least say 'goodbye', in person, ask for blessings as I began my journey south, clean any weeds around the tombstone, then leave. I still feel bad about not making that detour, but I can't turn back the clock.
Once I hit the interstate to head south for Florida, I only made one stop for the entire trip and that was only to refill the gas tank. That took all of less than 10 minutes, and I was back on the interstate, again. Keep in mind that I don't own a GPS, I did not use a map or atlas, and I still pulled into the apartment complex of my destination at 8:00 PM, Central time....just as the sun disappeared from the sky, for the evening. I had my moments of fear, while driving down here....fears about a tire blowing out, fears about a possible coolant leak and/or the oil pump quitting on me, etc, just the average vehicle stuff which us adults over 25 years old begin to think about, while travelling. But, I made it here without a single problem. If there was ever a time when I KNOW Jack was closely watching over me, it was on July 20, 2011. Other than the occassional fear, I went through my route down here as if the vehicle was brand new and drove fast enough that the front tires caused most of the vehicle to slightly jitter. Did I care, at the time (at least for 95% of it)? Hell no. Would I do that, again? Probably not, but then again, I'm not sure because I haven't been presented with that situation again, yet....I would prefer not to ever be presented with a message from the back of my mind that loudly, again, or at least for a very long time.
Within a few days after my arrival, all of who I know in the area came together and took me to the beach for a few hours. Though I was tired beyond belief, I had a wonderful time at the beach, surrounded by 2 people I have known since childhood, and another whom I have known for 15 years. That beach trip, in my opinion, was the ice breaker to my new beginning of life, chapter 2. It was time to happen, I have been through more than enough hell, and I will remember that day at the beach as long as my memory will allow me to recall how good it felt to make a toast, with all involved, to a new beginning.
I still don't know, 100%, if I will be living here or not. What I do know, 100%, is that I will not live in Tennessee, least not in Knoxville. For now, Pensacola is being an incredibly welcoming community and I have already met a few people here. I have a feeling I will like it, here. I hope the feeling will continue. This is now 23 moves in 25 years. My body and mind are so tired, but I am so ready to begin filling up the last half of my life with good memories, great friends, laughter to echo through my mind, peace and happiness, and love for all.
So, here is a repeat of the post title and I mean it: Goodbye, Tennessee! Hello, Florida!