I remember this one time when the acid was a little too pure, a little too powerful. And my brain was completely overwhelmed by the wattage…..
I was walking down Telegraph Avenue when that first rush hit. That mind-boggling wave when all of reality seems up for grabs. When I suddenly noticed these two guys, these two very suspicious looking guys in trenchcoats. Dark-complexioned. Foreigner-looking. And they were staring at me, and pointing at me, and whispering something back and forth to each other. I immediately realized it was Them. And they were On To Me!!!
I rushed back to my apartment building in a panic. Quickly checked my mailbox in the lobby — there was a single postcard in the box with this sinister hand-written message that basically said: “WE WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!”
I rushed upstairs to my second floor apartment, slammed the front door shut, and locked and bolted it. Thinking I was safe at last. But when I looked out my window I was shocked to find out that the two guys in trenchcoats had followed me all the way down to my apartment. They were in the motel across the street, peering up at me from between the slats of the venetian blinds in the motel window. And pointing some kind of device at me, some kind of recording device or mind-control machine that they were beaming directly at me.
I pulled down all the shades and stood there in the middle of my apartment in a panic. I considered making a run for it. But I knew they would surely catch me.
And then at that exact moment my phone rang. I stood there pouring sweat, debating whether I should answer it. For I knew it was all connected. Finally I realized I had no choice. I cautiously picked up the receiver and said, “Hello?”
“Well hi there!!” said the voice. Dripping with menace. “I was calling to see if you got the postcard I sent you.”
“Yes I GOT it!!” I exclaimed.
And I immediately knew it was Him. The Leader. He began talking to me on the phone. And while I couldn’t fully comprehend what he was saying, I knew it was bad. I desperately listened to every word, every syllable he said with a manic intensity. Clutching the phone in my fist. Trying to make sense of it all. Trying to figure out what his game was. And what he wanted from me. And if there was any way out. His eerie, tinny, almost subhuman voice coming into my ear as if from another dimension of time and space.
Finally I angrily confronted him about the two goons in the motel across the street that he had sent to spy on me. He denied the accusation, pretended like he didn’t know what i was talking about. But I could tell he was lying. Every word he said was a lie.
I slammed the phone down and stood there pondering my next move. I suddenly concluded — in a rare moment of clarity — that my only hope was to rush down to the 7-11 on the corner, and purchase two 6-packs of Budweiser beer in the bottles. And drink as many of the bottles as quickly as I could until my brain started to come back down to earth. And that’s what I did.
The next day, when I had straightened up (sort of), I realized the guy on the phone was actually the editor of IN THESE TIMES, this leftwing magazine from Chicago, and he was trying to interview me about this article he was working on.
LSD really is a stupid drug.