Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD

November 28, 2016

Things I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:28 pm


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1.) That I’ve always been in much better health than I have a right to be considering my, um, lifestyle.

2.) That I still have all my teeth except for two in the back that I lost during a meth binge but I don’t really miss them except for when I’m chewing apples.

3.) That I’ve known a lot of really good people over the years.

4.) Those darn feral cats.

5.) Olde English 800.

6.) That I’m on first-name basis with very few of the Berkeley cops.

7.) That even though a lot of my life has been unpleasant, most of it has been extremely interesting.

8.) That the outlet of my art and writing has always been there for me, and it’s helped to keep me sane, or at least helped to keep me from going completely insane.

9.) No more Clintons or Bushes!!!!

10.) Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

11.) The mandolin solo at the end of Maggie May.

12.) That they rarely play the Bob Dylan Christmas Album on the radio.

13.) Im 60 years old and I’ve never once had to hire a goddamn lawyer.

14.) That in spite of it all, I’m still not dead.


Thanksgiving: the aftermath

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:19 pm


After all the turkey I ate on Thanksgiving, the LAST thing I wanted to see when I woke up the next morning at my campsite was THIS!

I’ll say one thing about Berkeley. They go all-out to feed the street people on Thanksgiving. There were at least a dozen different groups that served up complete Thanksgiving dinners over the Thanksgiving weekend. Whenever yet another group hit People’s Park bringing in even more food we’d be going “IN-COMING!! IN-COMING!!” Like we were being invaded with even more turkey bombs.

This was kind of funny and sad at the same time. Around 4 in the afternoon this guy pulls up to People’s Park in his van and announces: “I HAVE FREE TURKEY DINNERS FOR ANYBODY WHO WANTS ONE!!” He has big trays full of turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies and etc. The works. But all the street people are laying on their sides in the grass groaning. I mean, at this point we can’t even LOOK at any more turkey.

But the poor guy is going up to person after person announcing “HEY I GOT FREE FOOD IN MY VAN IF YOU’RE HUNGRY!” But we’re all like. “Yeah yeah. Great. You got any Alka-Seltzer.”

I felt a little sorry for the guy. Standing there all alone by his van with all that food and nobody to eat it. “All revved up and nowhere to go.” So I went over and got a plate. Thanked him profusely. If I can keep the raccoons from getting at it I’ll eat it for breakfast tomorrow morning at my campsite.

Now it’s Sunday evening and I’m sipping my last beer of the night and I’m just thankful that the Thanksgiving weekend is almost over. The holidays are always stressful on the street scene. People fighting and screaming and over-amped with emotions and drinking and drugging even more than usual. It’s crazy.

Maternal instinct. Mom guarding her kitties. Ready to take out any of the wild turkeys that dare to mess with her.



Is it real or is it Memorex?

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:05 pm


One of the weird things about street fights. Whenever I see people punching each other it never seems real to me.  I think it’s because of all the years watching all the fight scenes in all the Hollywood movies and TV shows. Whenever they punched somebody on the screen there’d usually be that loud punching sound effect. P-KKKOWW!!

But in real life you usually don’t hear the punch. Especially if there’s a lot of commotion going on. So it doesn’t seem like a real punch without the punching sound.

I wonder how much stuff is like that in our minds. Where the fake stuff on the screen seems more real than the real stuff in our real lives.







Thanksgiving on the streets

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 10:51 pm

It’s a holiday tradition on the street scene: WHO GETS THEIR ASS BEAT?

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas fights break out. Without fail. You see? Everybody else is celebrating family and home. Two things most street people lack. So a lot of them are bitter about that. And somebody must pay for this injustice.

I hit Hate Camp this Thanksgiving morning and I’m not even half-way through smoking my first cigarette when it breaks out.

This crazy homeless woman who is constantly screaming and cursing for no perceivable reason, is laying in her sleeping bag doing her angry screaming harangue at all of her invisible enemies.

This barrel-chested guy who’s built like a middle linebacker is trying to sleep at his campsite by a tree about 20 yards directly across from her. Suddenly he stands up and shouts: “WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP! I’M SICK OF LISTENING TO YOU!!”

“I’m not talking to you. Mind your own business,” she says.


“Oh fuck off. Have a nice life.”

That sets off Barrel Chest. He suddenly charges towards her like a raging bull. He pulls her tarp out from under her, pulls it over her head, spits at her.

“NO NO LEAVE ME ALONE!!” she screams, cowering in fear.

Then this young street guy who was standing nearby gets into the middle of it. He weighs at least 50 pounds less then Barrel Chest, but he bravely steps in between the two. “Leave her alone.”

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE OR I’LL BEAT YO’ ASS!!” shouts Barrel Chest. They’re jaw-to-jaw, chest-to-chest. The young guy refuses to back down. So they start grappling with each other’s arms, wrestling around trying to prevent each other from throwing a punch. But Barrel Chest gets loose and punches him a hard shot to the side of the head. Followed by several more punches to the head (the ole left right combo).

“STOP STOP STOP!!” everyone is shouting. This other street woman gets into the middle of it to try and break it up. But Barrel Chest gets in one last punch to the head before the young guy finally backs off. A passing car starts honking their horn and shouting at him to stop fighting.


A contingent of street people come running to the scene to cool things down. So Barrel Chest storms off in a rage. And the young guy staggers off in the other direction, trying to shake the cobwebs out of his brain (I gotta give him points, he never went down, the boy can take a punch).

I stubbed out my cigarette and headed off in search of some quieter burg with which to celebrate my Thanksgiving.

I swear to God it never fails. Every holiday.


November 14, 2016

My wallet

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:55 pm
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I’m a pretty introspective person. And I’ve sort of been relentlessly studying myself for nearly 60 years now. In fact, if I was really pressed on it, I’d probably opine that the main point of human existence is to study ourselves and our lives. So I know myself pretty good

But that said, I still have these mysterious compartments in my brain. These parts that I can’t see, that are blocked out from my view. My “blind sides,” as it were.

I’ll give you an example. My wallet.

I’ve had this wallet forever. And it’s been falling apart for years now. At least twice my little sister has bought me new wallets for Christmas presents. But for some mysterious reason I can never get rid of this wallet and replace it with a new wallet. I’ll take out one of the new wallets. And I’ll think of taking all the stuff out of my old wallet (my ID, etc) and putting them in the new wallet. But for some reason, I just can’t do.

And I’m not sure why.

It may be superstitious. The old wallet is a good luck charm, and the new wallet may be jynxed.

Or maybe it’s sentimental. This wallet has been with me every step I’ve taken, for decades. Everything else in my life has come and gone, but that wallet has been a part of me (literally) the whole time.

Or maybe it’s like a comfortable old sofa that you just can’t bare to throw away. It would be like throwing out an old friend.

At any rate, my wallet is almost completely falling apart now. The stuff in my wallet starts to fall out if I’m not careful. And when I buy stuff at stores I always take my money out before I get to the cash register because I don’t want the clerk to see the thing and think I’m some kind of nut. The thing is really hanging by a thread.

I guess I really should get me a new wallet.


November 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday: March 2010 (from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle) Hanging out in People’s Park with that shoulder-pushin’ freak Hate Man

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:49 pm

November 8, 2016

Happy cats

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:43 pm
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November 7, 2016

Another one of those nights


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I had another one of “those nights” last night

It was well after midnight so I headed to the campus to get the cans of cat food I got stashed in the bushes before I headed up to my campsite. But when I bent over to get the cat food I realized — inexplicably! — my glasses were gone!! WHERE DID THEY GO?? They’re usually sitting right there on my face attached to my nose. So it’s one of those “He’d lose his head if it wasn’t attached to his neck” levels of stupidity.

Then I remembered about 100 yards down the road I had stopped at a bench to put on my hoodie. “I bet when I took off my glasses to pull my hoodie over my head I forgot to put them back on!” Sounded plausible. So I rushed back to the bench and searched all around, but no luck.

So I spent the next hour retracing my steps in the hopes of finding them. But still no luck.

“Maybe they fell into my backpack when I opened it up to get my hoodie.” So I go to open up my backpack but the damn zipper is stuck. So I’m tugging and tugging but I tug too hard and rip the zipper off. So now all the stuff is falling out of my pack as I stagger around in the darkness and everything is just going from bad to worse.

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I figure I MUST have lost them by the bench. That’s the only logical explanation. So I go back there and I’m crawling around in the bushes on my hands and knees looking for them. But it’s pitch dark and I’m half blind without my glasses so it’s looking hopeless.

If that wasn’t bad enough a car pulls into the adjacent parking lot and blinds me with their head lights. I’m already pissed as it is and now I gotta deal with this asshole who I want to kill!! So Im glaring at him like I’ll rip his lungs out if he doesn’t get his damn lights out of my face and right now, dude!!

Unfortunately for me, it turned out the car lights were attached to a cop car. So the cop gets out of his car and walks over to me. “Could I see your ID, sir?” So now I got some ‘splaining to do. I’m still on my hands and knees crawling around in the bushes in the dark well after midnight.

“I imagine this looks a little weird from your point of view,” I said. “Some idiot crawling around in the bushes at 2 in the morning.” I figured a little self-deprecating humor couldn’t hurt. “You see I lost my glasses so I’m looking around for them. And yeah I had a little to drink.” Usually the last thing I want to do is admit to a cop that I had been drinking. But in this case I thought it would be better to convey that I was just a harmless idiot drunk, as opposed to a potentially dangerous lunatic crawling around in the bushes at 2 in the morning for no purpose.

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The cop helpfully turned on his flashlight to aid me in my search. But it was hopeless. I thanked the cop for his help and quickly headed back towards Telegraph so the cop would assume I was leaving the campus and getting out of his hair. And then I circled back and spent another hour fruitlessly retracing my steps in vain.

Finally I thought. “Fuck it I’ll just sleep right here in the bushes where I stash my cat food. It’s a fairly secluded spot and I got my sleeping bag. That way I can resume my search first thing in the morning in the light of day.”

So I crawled into my sleeping bag. And, in a seeming blink of an eye, it was suddenly morning. And as I was packing up my sleeping bag — miracle of miracles!! — there were my glasses lying there on the ground. I guess they had fallen off my face when I had bent over to get the cat food. That was the good news. The bad news was that I had slept on top of them and they were mangled and bent out of shape.

But at least I found the damn things!


November 6, 2016

CLINTON – BACKWORDS 2016 “Stranger Together”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:23 pm
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November 3, 2016

Just checking to make sure I can still pass for normal

Obligatory late-night selfie when I’m drunk and hanging out somewhere by myself and cops are circling around and I just want to check and make sure that I don’t look too suspicious or shady and realize that I do.

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