ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.

3.22.2005

here we go again.

If I was a bastard, I would bore you with the day-to-day details of everything that's gone on since I last posted here. But when have you ever known me to be a bastard? Perhaps that question should go unanswered...anywho...

Here's a quick rundown of what's gone on since the last time I frequented this strange cybernetic place. The night of my last post I saw a mediocre Apollo Sunshine show - the boys were WASTED and it showed. Their cover of Built to Spill's Big Dipper was beautifully messy. The next night proved to be a much better show as we caught the Epochs, who blew me away with what I thought was truly original sound, and then HOOD who played a mellow psychedelic set. Johnny gave me and Lucy a pot cookie to split for that one, but I don't know if anything happened.

I spent that weekend visiting my mom at home, smoking a late night bowl out my window and watching the Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. I shut it off halfway through and went to sleep, then woke the next day and decided to go to Bedford to visit Lucy a day early. I got really stoned before the train ride up there, had a burst of inspiration while listening to Explosions in the Sky, and came up with ... well, more on that some other time. Monday morning I woke up and snagged me and Lucy a couple of floor seats for U2 @ MSG which was definitely a nice consolation prize for poor Lucy who, that morning, had had all four (plus a bonus fifth) wisdom teeth pulled out of her mouth. So we spent the rest of the week doing NOTHING - hanging out with Gizmo the love-pod-dog while Lucy ate vicodin to numb the pain. For a true synopsis of Monday-Thursday, I give you the movies we watched, with brief reviews and links to iMDB:

Fatal Attraction - Always a classic, always fun to watch. Plus, Johnny Beach has a cameo in it, where could you go wrong renting this flick?

In the Bedroom - I had been waiting a long time to see this film and I'm glad I finally did. Some excellent insights into the nature of grief, and a story that moves slowly but surely.

Traffic - The first time I saw this film I was in the company of hecklers and simply could not enjoy it, but watching it with Lucy in front of the Beach fireplace was perfect and I absolutely loved it. Two thumbs up.

Riding Giants - Ever listen to surfers talk about surfing and wish they would shut up? Sometimes it drives me crazy. But this documentary was great and made me truly amazed by surfing. It focuses on breakthroughs in Big Wave surfing, and the last 20 minutes is PHENOMENAL!

American History X - Lucy hadn't seen this before and I was excited for her to see it but I must say it was the weirdest viewing of this I've ever had. I kind of realized that Edward Norton is disproportionately the single strongest aspect of the entire movie.

Ladybugs - 'Nuff said.

Shattered Glass - Hayden Christiansen was a big bag of SUCK in Star Wars Episode II but he totally rocked this movie. I've been resisting seeing it for a while but finally Lucy convinced me too and boy was I glad.

There were some others which I've now forgotten, and Lucy isn't around to refresh my memory, so I guess that's that. Lucy slowly recovered, eating apple sauce and mashed potatoes while I used my teeth the way they were meant to be used, ripping apart burger meat and chomping down on eggs and bacon and the like. Finally on Thursday night I headed home, renting the Sopranos and I finally lost my Sopranos virginity. What a cool fucking show! I really enjoyed it. Friday night Lucy returned to the city and we watched Collateral, which was awesome for about 40 minutes and then went down a vortex of suck. Like Lucy said, too much flies in that movie that could never really go down.

So then it was Saturday. And if you're ready to read about Saturday, then get ready. It's long, and it's intense. And I want you to read the whole thing, I think you'll find it entertaining. Ready? Step inside.

The Vernal Equinox (or
how i lost my mind)

It all began at one AM, but the waiting game had gone on far longer than that. Lucy's apartment, waiting to drop acid. She wasn't going to drop with me - but soon my friend Ani arrived, and with her a girl named Julia. Now all that was left was Larry. Larry, who was in town for the weekend from Pittsburgh, my best friend who I get to see about twice a year, who was also the first person I ever took LSD with. He was aiming to get to Lucy's about 10 PM and didn't get there until 1 AM, which meant it was officially the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring, a day for rebirth.

All night something strange had been in the air - outside you could hear people hooting and hollering, and after two bowls and a gin and tonic we all agreed that we felt fucked up in a way that was stranger than being stoned and a little drunk. There was energy in the New York City atmosphere, and you could feel it coursing through everything around us. Finally the clock hit 1 AM, we were all exasperated from playing the waiting game, and Larry rang the doorbell. When he came in, Lucy Ani and Julia grabbed him by the arms and restrained him. I approached him slowly, and he grinned, pretending to struggle as he opened up his mouth and I placed two tabs of acid on his tongue. Then I took my own 2, then Ani took hers, and Julia took hers. We were ready to begin.

We smoked a bowl, waiting to feel weird. It was about 30 minutes later that I first felt an undeniable quiver in the deep down center of my soul. I was restless and couldn't hang out in the kitchen with everyone just standing around. I wandered around the apartment, watching things, waiting for the slightest changes, while the Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin played from Lucy's stereo. Things were definitely getting strange. I walked by the bar, which has a mirror mounted above it, and watched the reflection of a trippy drawing of the word "STRETCH" . . . as I walked by it, it did just that, stretching outwards into the mirror-world, and I knew that something was certainly beginning. Soft Bulletin ended, we listened to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, and then I put in The Arcade Fire's awesome album, Funeral.

At this point I was feeling what I can only describe as glittery and jittery. I was shaking a little bit, my heart was almost racing, and I felt it coming on in a rush. Antsy and needing a change of scenery, I suggested that we all move into the ultra-trippy living room which Lucy and Eileen had decorated to be a very chill smoking den. The CD was playing on the stereo in there, and the room was covered in psychedelic tapestries and posters, with no windows, and multi-colored lights. We were in a tripping box.

Once we settled into that room, the acid started taking full effect. Ani and Julia weren't sure if they were tripping, seemed to have a tough time settling into it at first, but Larry and I would make eye contact that silently said, "Wow. We're back."

Lucy was taking awesome care of all of us, just watching over us and making sure we were comfortable, and she gave me a necklace of hers - a suede necklace with a large glass heart hanging from it, full of bubbles inside. I knew immediately that this was my tripping toy, my buddy, the thing that would always keep me safe, and I clutched it, feeling like it was giving me such good energy. Then Lucy gave us her Game Boy Advance, and Larry and I started taking turns playing Ms. Pac-Man while Ani played Mario Kart Double Dash!! on the GameCube. As usual, videogames were fun while tripping but at the same time felt a little too artificial, and I soon started to be a bit annoyed by all the electronic screens I felt surrounded by. And then, as the Arcade Fire CD came close to its finish, everything went BONZO.

Eileen came home, and with her came a whole troupe of people, about six in all. I knew that this was going to happen but was completely unprepared for it. It was a really emotional moment for me, too, because as soon as Eileen knew that we were tripping I knew she was upset we hadn't done it with her. I knew she'd be relieved to know that Lucy hadn't eaten any, and I couldn't bring myself to say anything to her except that. Eileen and I had shared the acid experience so many times - half the times I've done it, actually - and I was completely overwhelmed by the very thought of her.

Lucy put on the Hockey Night CD, which bugged us all out during track 4 or 5, when a voice on the CD suddenly says "Hi Danny." We laughed a lot. Things were getting extremely visual. Eileen's DJ poster was vibrating with every single bass beat, and the tapestries in the room were shifting and flowing like wild, but our time in that room was soon to come to a close, because some of Eileen's pack of friends were going to go to sleep in there, so we moved to Lucy's room, which was to be our psychedelic headquarters for the next couple of hours.

Everything seemed really shaken up at this point, and everyone was sort of scattered, though I felt really connected to Lucy and really excited to see her playing DJ on the stereo in her bedroom, picking awesome rock music for us to trip out too, Led Zeppelin and the like. Like I said, the four trippers all seemed scattered, and suddenly Lucy decided to play that Parliament song that goes "We Want the Funk..Gotta have that funk, ow!" And it was like the entire universe converged on her room. Suddenly Ani and Julia and Larry were all near me and we were all bouncing and dancing to the song, and it seemed to me that we all understood that YES! This was our SONG! We want the FUNK! Larry stayed standing for a while but Ani and Julia and myself got comfy on Lucy's big bed, and I started really looking around, clutching Lucy's favorite stuffed animal, a beautiful soft white owl named Ivan. I was holding Ivan in one hand, and my good-trip glass heart in the other, watching her tapestry swim in its reflection in the mirror on her wall, and watching Bjork move in and out of her poster.

It was time to listen to another full album, and we put on Phish's JUNTA, disc one, and this my friends is when I truly had the absolute LSD experience. It is almost impossible to convey what actually happened, the conversations we had, people moving in and out of the room, but it seemed to me that in between every single word that was spoken, and every single note of every song coming from the CD, that a million other moments were transpiring just for the four of us on LSD. Sometimes the rest of the world would actually move in super-slow-motion and I would feel like I could do a dance in the time it took for someone not tripping to pick up a glass of a water. Everything was completely connected, everything flowed into each other and I just basked in the glory of it, feeling like I was traveling along the story that the songs were telling.

Lucy had been taking great care of us as I said, and anything I asked for she would get for me and didn't seem the slightest bit annoyed which made me so grateful, because I felt pretty useless beyond laying there and simply being. So I asked her to bring me a book I had brought, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and I started reading it out loud while we all watched the pictures. But it was as if I didn't even need to look at the pictures, because as I said the words the entire story seemed to be created in my mind - I felt like I was a caveman creating a story for the first time, and that just by saying it, the story was coming into being. It was beautiful.

As Phish kept playing I felt like entire conversations were happening that no one besides us could possibly here. It was like I was shifting back and forth between millions of possibilities for the same moment in time. We were amazed, looking at these Wildly Emotional Monkeys.

I took my first trip to the bathroom, and was immediately freaked out by the sight of the toilet and the sink. I knew that trying to aim while standing up was simply a bad idea so I resigned myself to sitting down on the toilet and waited what seemed like forever till I felt like I could comfortably go to the bathroom. While I went, I stared ahead at the bathroom door and put out my hands, staring at them, and revelation after revelation poured down on me, making me feel endlessly lucky just to be alive. It was there, in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet that I felt pure and utter ego loss, losing myself to the flow of things and feeling a true understanding of the light moving between all things.

Then I returned to Lucy's room, and took a spot on the bed beside her, clutching my glass heart while putting my head against her hip. Larry seemed absolutely normal, as if tripping on acid was equivalent to his state of normality, and he kept on talking about lots of things that were just kinda blowing my mind. Then Phish ended and it was time for another CD. And another world.

Ani was doing something at the stereo and then I heard her press play and the opening notes to Radiohead's Hail to the Thief began. I shot Lucy a sideways glance and she understood just from that one look that I did not want to hear this album..it immediately reminded me of the hardest mushroom trip I'd ever had, with Ani and Larry, during which I went completely crazy to that very same album. I took a deep breath and got ready to listen to it. When the second song started, it really scared me, and I laid down on the bed next to Lucy , putting my head next to her lap and hugging her legs. She was playing with my hair, putting me at ease, tickling me now and then, and when I just thought about the fact that I was holding her and she was holding me, everything would be okay.

I thought of Timothy Leary, and felt all my limbs, and how I was experiencing life down to its deepest level. I was no longer me at those moments, I was just the latest incarnation of this role that had been played for millennia - the male. The male being, amazed to be alive. And Lucy was playing the other role, the female, and it made me love that duality, that need for a complementary half to one's own soul, and in my mind I placed Lucy and myself in every role. Mother and son, nurse and patient, sister and brother, lovers, anything I could imagine. She was the all-woman and I was the all-man, she was the earth-mother and I was the first man to walk the brown soil and wonder at the grass, and she just stroked my hair and said "Explore."

But between those moments of ego-less bliss, Radiohead was freaking me the hell out. And then it happened - during track 3, Sail to the Moon, Ani started saying why she loved that particular song. And I listened to her, and then sat up and interrupted her and said "We've had this exact conversation before." And we had. That time I had a semi-bad-trip on mushrooms. And it bugged me out, so we stopped talking about it, but the album continued to scare me. Lucy would make me feel a lot better but I was getting nervous and nervous, and as Myxomatosis was playing, suddenly I got up and ran to the bathroom, dropped to my knees, and puked into the toilet.

I'd never thrown up tripping before, and frankly, it blew my damn mind. I looked at my chicken and vegetable soup sitting in the toilet, looking purple and disgusting, and leaned my head out to the door. "Lucy, could you come in here please?"

Lucy came and I was so grateful for her to be there, and I just wanted her to take care of me and make me feel better. She touched my head and smiled so sincerely that I felt like I was melting, and then she turned the sink on and started splashing water all over my face and my chest. She was literally just throwing water at me, and then smearing it across my forehead and my face, and it felt utterly beautiful. I felt like I was shedding skin, like she was washing away all these levels of myself down to this inner being, this inner child deep within that was coming out to the foreground. I felt baptized, ready to begin anew, and we went back out to her room.

I was still bugging out a little bit and we all decided it would be a good idea to go to the roof. Eileen and her whole big group of friends had all retired for the night and so we crept out onto the fire escape quietly and climbed up one flight of stairs to the roof and some of the most beautiful visuals that I have EVER experienced. The city was wild and from Lucy's roof you could see it stretching out forever in all directions. Buildings were rising and shrinking, stretching and shifting, and I walked arm and arm with Lucy across the roof to the ledge overlooking 9th st.

We hugged, and I opened my eyes looking over her shoulder, squeezing her tight, and I could see waves of energy rippling the entire city, rushing towards that one rooftop, that one spot where the two of us were standing embracing each other, like we were the center of all gravity. I cried a bunch. Ani Julia and Larry came over and we stood there watching the city in the early morning - at this point it was around 6 AM - and all the pigeons swarming over downtown. As the pigeons landed on the buildings they would turn the color of whatever paint they were nearest too and melt into the faces of the buildings as if they were a part of them. Then they would become themselves again and fly off. It was insanely beautiful.

Ani and Julia went downstairs and Larry Lucy and I stuck around on the roof for a bit, talking. Finally we rejoined Ani and Julia, and I was struck with a sense of need-to-get-out-of-here. I felt like I had spent so much of my soul in Lucy and Eileen's apartment that I couldn't bear to be there any longer. I had touched God there in that room and now I couldn't stay. We all got our shoes on and went down to street level and took a walk to Tompkins Square Park. We split up again, Larry Ani and Julia taking one route while Lucy and I walked arm-in-arm and talked. I cried a bunch more, and we sat down on a bench in the huge clearing near the southeast corner of the park, right in front of two humongous tangled arching trees, I wish I knew what kind they were. The rest of the crew joined us and Ani wandered around listening to her iPod while Larry, Julia, Lucy and myself sat there watching everything.

In the distance two men walked by, and one of them threw his arms up to the sky, saying "God! God!" and I thought, "I know exactly how you feel." All of us did. Finally we got up to walk on, but first, in girl-boy-girl-boy-girl order, we all hooked arms, and walked in the shape of an infinity sign around and between the two trees. When we were coming towards the intersection point that marked our making a full figure-8, we all braced ourselves and I swear you could feel that we were sealing some sort of grand and eternal deal.

We couldn't go back to Lucy's apartment - or at least, I couldn't - and so we just picked up our pot and our bags and headed to mine instead, which was just up the block. On the way I threw up water outside a deli, and felt pretty shaken up. We went to my apartment and smoked and Lucy made me some tea. I drank a couple of sips of it, crying (Good tears, Good tears) while Larry played Neil Young and Interpol and all sorts of good songs. I needed to lie down and I asked Lucy if she would lay with me and we went to my bedroom and got under the comforter, just laying there and thinking about everything that had happened, talking about all of it. I felt completely happy, but at the same time it seemed so hard at that moment to still be tripping, so I just clutched my glass heart in one hand and Lucy in the other and breathed deeply for a few hours.

We could hear the rest of them in the other room, listening to music and eventually watching I Heart Huckabees, but I only got up a couple of times to go to the bathroom. I had to stay in bed, I don't know why, but I just needed to rest everything, body and soul. Eventually Julia left. Then Lucy went home. I went to sleep, and woke up when Ani left and stayed up with Larry for a while, then left to rejoin Lucy and see how I could go about rejoining the real world. It turned out that Indian Food and a Led Zeppelin DVD were the answer.

I slept through my first post-spring break of classes, needing to recoup, and then finally felt like I was back in reality after a hearty Boca Chica dinner and a night of rock at the Mercury Lounge. Jay spun good tunes, The Big Sleep and The Mobius Band were great, and the Mobius Band had a nice big audience for their show. The Go! Team...well...whatever. It was a grand night. A grand weekend.

3 Comments:

  • At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So you had to sit down to pee?

     
  • At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    first time i read that - i didnt realize it was so fuckin emotional. now im not as excited as i was...... i really do not need to cry, bc i dont have someone to pet my hair and smile at me and assure me everything is gonna be ok. UGH!

     
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