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Purple Barrels - LSD 1985
The story you are about to read may seem somewhat unbelievable, however; this is a true story. The events occurred exactly the way they're being told - just over 30 years ago.
Growing up is the 80's seemed much simmpler than today, in so many ways. No cell phones, no social media, no "lol" (Shit! No internet). If you wanted to disappear - no problem, but if you wanted to get some weed, shrooms or acid, you had to grab the phone off the wall or go searching. There wasn't much else for teenage boys to do while growing up in a small country town in upstate NY anyway. Or so we thought.
So one summer night, four friends went searching. We were all about 16.***
Dressed in jean jackets with patches or leather. Long hair. Definitely not the type of boys that moms would like for their daughters. Ask me how I know. There were two brothers, Mike and Mark. (The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. No one is innocent here. Plus the statute of limitations has run out). Mike had shoulder length light brown hair. He was the oldest of us four. Very outgoing and somewhat flamboyant. Always flipping around as if there was an acrobat trying to escape. I believe, if we performed an exorcism on him, we may have released a trapeze artist. Mark was the opposite. Tall and thin. Very quiet, very burnt. Kinda had a big head like Frankenstein on a stick body. His preferred hairstyle was the infamous 80's mullet. Burnt, redeye Frankenstick with a mullet. (I'm happy to say that I never sold out to that mullet crap. I had more of a sixties style going on). Jason was the most charismatic of our group. Dark hair with piercing light green eyes. Outgoing but reserved at the same time. Kept his look clean. Very athletic. He was somewhat of a tough guy due to abuse by he got from his brother that couldn't stay out of jail. But he was also a great friend to have. A good person. Had your back. Then there's me, Hue. I wore my hair about shoulder length at the time. Dark brown and wavy. Jean jacket with a Zeppelin patch (c'mon! It was the 80s). I was somewhat of a joker. I always enjoyed hearing friends laugh out loud , so I was usually goofing off. Goof ball.
Anyway, off we went on a search for shrooms. We found a ride and got dropped off at the local mall about 8 miles away from our neighborhood. Once there, we began the search for anyone that looked shady enough to be carrying drugs. We fanned out and agreed to meet back at the fountain. 1/2 hour later, I see Mark and Jason at the fountain. A few minutes after, Mike is walking toward us while trailed by a giant black dude with a mustache and unruly hair, and a 5' tall Hispanic dude with long hair and a floppy hat! (The race of these two has no significance. I just wanted to provide an accurate description. The funniest thing was looking at the pair together. What an odd couple! The black dude was huge. Must have been 6'7". Floppy Gonzalez had to be 5' tops). They had the stuff though. Back then, you could get these small purple cylinders. We called them "purple barrels". I don't know if they're still around. It was LSD. $5 each. We got 2 for each of us, got our shit together and got our ride back to the neighborhood. We had to have laughed our asses off the whole ride back because of how strange the 2 looked together.
Once back, it was still early afternoon. We made our plans. The brothers' father worked away from home often. Their mom was in another state. Both Jason and I let our families know that we were staying at the brothers' house over night. No folks, no phones, no worries. We took our purple barrels and prepared for the ride. Here's where things start to get weird. Follow me with this. We take the acid at about 3pm. This isn't our first rodeo, so we're expecting to feel something happening by 4pm the latest. Nothing. 5pm nothing. Seven O'Clock!!! Still nothing. RIPPED OFF! By 9 o'clock, Jason is fed up and decides to walk home. I decide to stay with Mike & Mark. 10:30 rolls around, nothing to do, Mark decides he's going to bed. Then something happens. After Mark went upstairs, Mike opens the mail. Report card. Not good news for him. Now he's down. We don't even have any weed. So we scrape a bowl and hit some of his dad's gin bottle. We just get done smoking resin and then... "Wait", I ask him. "Do you feel something?"
11pm. No f___ing way! 8 hours later??!! Are you kidding??? The only guess I can come up with is that these little purple bastards must have been coated incorrectly. Next thing you know, I've got a case of the giggles starting when I notice Frankenstick (Mark) thumping down the stairs, shirtless and wearing a giant grin. Upon seeing his brother, the acrobat (Mike) leaps up, turns on a vacuum cleaner and starts sucking giant circles onto his brother's torso. (Although it sounded really strange to just write that, at the time it made me cry laughing). Hysterical laughter.
Then the colors kicked in. I always enjoyed spending some time alone reflecting and enjoying visuals. I went into the laundry room and did the "mirror thing" for 5 seconds. That was 4 seconds too much, so I sat on the dryer with my back to the wall and my legs on the washer. The room had a nice echo so I began to "Ohmmm". (Saw it on TV). As I repeated the sound, geometric colors began to appear in front of me. The shapes began to form a translucent wall with rose, gold and jade. The wall was supported by columns that appeared between arches. The arches were shaped like the "Hershey Kiss" shapes - like you see on top of the Taj Mahal. On the tops of each column, between the arches, were skulls with various adornments. (Skull rings were popular in the 80s and you might see a skull with a motorcycle helmet or bandanna...). Walls were breathing and waving. Euphoria had taken hold. The "ohmmm" continued to echo as if I had discovered the frequency of the room so that the vibration from the sound was one with the vibration of the room itself. The wall expanded and became more complex, taking on a life of its own. Then a brother popped in (don't remember which one) and the world re-entered.
"Hey", he said. "You want to go outside with us? We might go to the store"
It was complete black outside and how beautiful! Spread out in my vision, everywhere I looked were colorful geometric patters and fractals. It was as if the air itself was made up of luminescent patterns. In the stars there were fractals that formed and randomly changed shape. I lit a cigarette as we walked and as it moved, it left comet tails and trails that became geometric patters as well. The feeling was incredible while walking through wooded paths at night. It felt and looked as if all of nature crackled with energy.
Then shit got real crazy. Despite waiting 8 hours, we were having a great time. We wondered about Jason but had no way to call without waking his folks. Still - What a great trip until...
We start walking down a grass hill that brings us to the grocery store. There's a well worn path that leads behind the building. We and many others have walked this path one thousand times. It was familiar. From the beginning of the path at the top of the hill, you can see over the roof of the grocery store, into the parking lot with all the lights, and you can also see the road that runs along the front of the shopping plaza. We walk down the hill and through the alley to the grocery store. As we walk in, I begin to giggle again. There's a lady working. It's funny because, it's always the same lady that works the graveyard shift and whenever my friends and I come in, we're always high, she always knows, and she always says something about it. So, here I am cracking up. Now Frankenstick and Acrobat are cracking up as well. Typical. We get up to the check out conveyor and cannot stop the kindergarten from happening. "You guys again. You guys are high. You know that's not good for you. Blah blah blah". As she's talking, a car pulls into the parking lot. Fast. The headlights shine right into the window of the store creating a slight glare. Only car in the lot other than a straggler here or there. We watch wondering who the hell speeds into a grocery store parking lot at 3am. (Hold on girls & boys).
The driver's door opens and out comes Floppy Gonzalez. Keep in mind: We never met these two before today. The mall is eight miles away and in a different town. We left there over 12 hours ago. It's f___ing 3AM!!!
They showed up at the same time we did. The odds must be greater than a lightning strike. The big dude gets out next and it becomes quickly apparent that they're both on way too much of something because when Floppy walks in, he starts throwing canned food cans. But not just anywhere. He lobs a good 3 or 4 cans, from about 35' away, at the lady on the register. Now I know this isn't funny, but we couldn't help it. Laughing so hard. Then, as the lady is yelling at the guy, the big fellah walks up to the store from the car and grabs a shopping cart outside. He picks it up and launches it at the window!!! Again. He launches a shopping cart at the large plate glass window in front of the grocery store. How that window did not break, I'll never know. It surely was a spectacle to observe while tripping out though. Unbelievable! Next, the lady is yelling for the manager. I'll never forget his name: "Bear! Call the cops!! Bear!!" Was it suppose to be Barry?
We heard "cops" - we were out. We left our stuff, took off and ran back through the alley. Once we got to the top of the hill, we could already hear sirens. We sat and watched as cop cars came from all different directions to converge on that parking lot.
We never discovered the fate of Big Fellah and Floppy G. I imagine they both got arrested. We stuck around long enough to see all the cops come. We know that the two did not get back to their car before the cops came. We know they didn't escape from the back of the store. We would have seen them from the top of the hill. Must have gone to jail that night. Tripping!
So like I said, may be somewhat unbelievable. We saw Jason the next day. He claims he went to sleep. I know that I couldn't sleep while tripping. I'm guessing he was asleep before it kicked in. We told him everything that had happened. He said, "You guys are full of shit." But it all happened.
Did the timing and coincidence of seeing those two at the store have anything to do with LSD? (Mental connection). I also wonder if those two dudes took more than they should have, thinking it wasn't working when it was actually just delayed. Bottom line: Just remember. The craziest shit can happen with hallucinogenics. Ask me how I know. Glad I can share. Waited a long time to get this one out. ~ Hue
*** To be clear, I do not condone, suggest or recommend the use of any drug, especially mind altering, for anyone that is not an adult. Young individuals have not yet developed a fully grown brain, therefore; there are many risks.