It’s a beautiful summer Friday at the beach and I want to do something on drugs right now.
I should point out that in this post I am 100% condoning drug use. If you want to go skydiving or street-luging, I support that, too. Euthanasia? I won’t stop you. I am very pro-choice when it comes to dangerous or dumb activities.
To demonstrate: As I pondered that last paragraph and marveled at its shortsighted logic, I looked up to see a man walking down the sidewalk. He was typing on his phone while shouting into a Bluetooth headset. He looked like a crazy person. “HEY DUDE, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT STREET I’M ON RIGHT NOW!” I didn’t say anything to him. He kept walking. He kept typing. He kept yelling. I watched.
THWACK. CLANG. FUCK!
He slammed right into the street sign for Brooks and Speedway. He learned a valuable lesson about where, and who, he was. That sort of epiphany is painful in the short term, but tremendously beneficial in the end.
After all, our protagonist had been properly briefed on the hazards of walking. He knew the potential side effects better than most Viagra users. And yet he walked! And failed. Perhaps, in time, he can heal his psychological trauma and walk again. The whole world could benefit from such a heartwarming story of the Human Spirit. I believe in him. I believe in us.
With that preamble out of the way, and the moral statute of limitations exceeded, I confess that I have been under the influence of LSD on precisely one occasion.
I was freshly 21 with a voracious appetite for 1960s American History. On a fateful July evening in Irvine, a small breeze gusted through the palm trees. The moon was full. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked. The breeze picked up and sent a small piece of paper gliding directly into my yawning mouth. My roommate, Phillip, burst through the door. He told me that the SAME THING had just happened to him.
We ran to the internet to ask it what to do. The internet told us we had been poisoned by an extremely strong dose of LSD. The onset was irreversible. All we could do was brace for impact.
Luckily, our fanatical love of 1960s American History meant we’d already spent over 80 cumulative credit hours studying and researching the physiological, psychological, and spiritual effects of this culture-defining drug. If you took into consideration all the extracurricular research (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Ken Kesey, et. al), then our knowledge of what to expect was immense.
Neither of us died. It was very educational. I “get” Pink Floyd now.
We only went crazy once.
We made a mistake. Our decision to watch The Matrix was a poor one. Somewhere about a third into the movie, I felt a brain spider on my frontal lobe.
“I think something is going to be shown to us,” I said to Phillip, “Something that we don’t want to see. I think it’s going to be on that screen and I think it’s going to involveâ€¦ a bug.”
It was hard to explain things. Despite having seen The Matrix a dozen times, neither of us could remember specifics.
“Aâ€¦ bug?” Phillip asked. And at that precise moment, Agent Smith put a gigantic, slithering metal bug into Keanu Reeve’s pasty outie belly button.
I literally ripped the TV’s power cord out of the surge protector. That was the most dangerous activity of the night, but it probably saved our lives.
Next thing I knew, Phillip and I were in the kitchen. It was very, very bright.
“We’re going to eat ice cream,” Phillip said. “And it’s going to make us happy again.” His voice was stilted, but I could tell he wanted to believe it. I wanted to believe it, too.
“Where does the ice cream come from?” I asked.
“The head of the fridge.”
“You’re just going to take it,” I guffawed, “from the brain?”
“We’ll see if it lets me. While I do that, you find us the tools to eat it with.”
“Where are the tools?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Phillip said, not-sarcastically. “Ask a cabinet.”
I spun around and tried to figure out which swirling face to grope at first. I opened a cabinet. Then another. Each was EXACTLY like the portal to John Malkovich’s brain in that John Cusack movie, but with more slime.
“Hurry!” Phillip whimpered behind me.
“I’M TRYING!” I screamed. “BUT EVERYTHING I TOUCH JUST MELTS!”
It was true. My third eye was open wide and pulling focus from the other two.
“That’s just the drugs, dude,” Phillip said, voice like a hostage negotiator. “You gotta look past that.”
That phrase sobered me up. A rush of energy! I felt like Neo when he finally saw The Matrix for what it is. I knew what to do. I knew which drawer to look in. I knew which handle to pull!
I yanked it open, with great expectations.
It was empty.
I was wrong about everything.
My reality shattered.
I spun around.
Phillip was staring at me, eyes the size of Jupiter, mouth and face covered in chocolate goop. In each hand, he clutched a snowball of brown ice cream. An open container sat on the counter and watched the whole thing unfold.
“Well?” Phillip sputtered. His teeth were chocolate coated, too. “What did you find?” he asked.
I was happy again.
I yelled as loud as I could, “THERE IS NO SPOON!”