It was early June, 1973. School was out for the summer, and though i didn't go to graduation(was punishing the parents), nevertheless got the diploma.
i was sitting behind the steering wheel of my graduation gift, a second-or-third-hand red Corvair my dad had given me, thinking i'd been ripped off. After all, the guy who sold me the white blotter said i'd get off anywhere from a half hour to 45 minutes after taking it, and it had been three hours already.
It was an overcast day; a few sprinkles had spattered onto the yellow Spring pollen which coated the hood and windshield - then i felt the car lift up and to the left about 30 degrees, turn slowly to the right and set back down gently again. i felt a "reverse peristaltic" sensation coming up my neck and out through my face, and i began to smile, then giggle; i was trippin'!
i got out of the car, shutting the door behind me, and looked at all the trees surrounding the swimming club across the steaming parking lot; the leaves were intensely green, and dancing with life. i could understand how the trees felt that day, rejoicing in the life they were sharing and creating, supremely happy knowing their place and purpose in the Universe, joyfully living. The sun came out from behind the clouds. i felt it's radiant warmth in a way i'd never felt it before, going into the core of my being, not just my body.
"Wow," i murmured cogently, feeling the sensation of the word resonating throughout my whole body, enjoying the vibrations i was feeling. i went up into the park area and sat at one of the picnic tables. i was alone, then, and greatly enjoyed looking up through the still-joyfully-dancing green leaves, feeling the strength and power of the wood which supported them, both above and below ground. Not too long after, i found a kitten, and felt i had some amazing insight into it's little kitten brain, it's alertness, it's curiousity, it's playfulness...a kind of "grok"-ing feeling, assuming anyone has a passing familiarity with Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land."
Not long after, my friends arrived, and it didn't take much time before they noticed the dilated pupils and recognized the giggling laughter, at which point they began to have fun pushing their hands toward my face then backing off, knowing i was watching the trails of their hands like the flashing of a strobe light. Then i was pushed to the ground and pulled along by my feet, still laughing like a crazy man.
i began to feel as though i could see into their souls, as well, suddenly gaining an impression as to their life's experiences, what made them who they were that day - and it was hilarious. i felt like i gained much insight into myself that day, as well, gaining understandings of just why I was the way i was, too. There was a time when i felt like i'd been given the word-sound key to Universal Knowledge, then promptly forgot what it was - but it didn't really matter. It was all just too funny.
Later, we decided to walk to a sebm-lebm(southern-speak for 7-11) to get some munchies, and although i wasn't hungry in the slightest, decided to walk along with them and enjoy these new sensations and feelings. During that walk, i remember distinctly hearing a ticking clock approach my right side from a distance, then recede, Doppler-effect-like, into the distance behind me...and the thought crossed my mind that time had just passed me by.
But that was all during the most enjoyable phase, the peaking; as i began to come down from those glorious, ecstatic heights of wisdom, insight, and great laughter, "reality" began to intrude from time to time, as the effects faded. Many years later i was to recall the feeling of coming down, well-expressed in a Stone Temple Pilots song called "Big Empty:" "Too much walkin', shoes worn thin; too much trippin' and my soul's worn thin."
It was fun climbing up, but too much work coming down...the opposite of reality, isn't it?
But then, reality is overrated; every now and then, it's a good idea to leave it behind for a time, just to experience life in a different way. This is why children spin themselves in circles, or why alcoholics get drunk, or hippies trip - to see and experience things their normal consciousness could never grasp, could never even have imagined, generally a Good Thing, imo - well, at least until the behavior becomes addictive.
It was a bit more than 20 more years before i'd leave the drug-life entirely behind, but i've often told people that i'd be tempted if i could find some good blotter again. i tried just about everything under the sun at that time - speed and downers(didn't like either, thank goodness), reefer, of course(i found out later that people who have "bi-polar"/manic-depressive phases generally do not experience relaxation and munchiness from the high, but experience what i did - paranoia, racing thoughts, and a strong desire to be alone - though i did enjoy being able to explore things on guitar that i would not ordinarily have occurred to me to try, as the mj seemed to open up a different way to feel music), at least a dozen more trips, probably all on acid, though sometimes it was called "chocolate mesc" or "strawberry mesc", then there were the trips on 'shrooms which i found enjoyable, as the coming-down phase was nowhere near as intense. Even tried "green" a few times(PCP, or "Phencyclidine powder," if memory serves) - though i didn't like it much. My younger brother loved it, but it didn't do much for me, so i left it alone. Later, mostly in the 80's, i got into powder coke - then lost a good job because of it and the drinking - then later, got into the crack. Been clean and sober now since Jan 17, 1994, but feel the better for having been able to overcome the addictions.
Ran across a woman once who looked with contempt on me for having tried all that stuff(though never the needle or any kind of heroin), since she'd ALWAYS been "clean"(she said); personally, i think it shows much more character-development to have dared to try, to have become an addict, then to have overcome the addiction. To me, she remains a poor soul, stuck in her version of reality that includes unwarranted contempt for fellow beings...but maybe that's just me.
Don't know why i felt like sharing this story; perhaps it was due to the plethora of threads recently on the experiences of 17-yr. olds. Much water has flowed under bridge since then, Choctaw.