Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Ecstasy And The Agony

Kids, don't do drugs.

But if you feel that you must do them, do your homework first, like I did. That's rebellion for you – study up on your drug, and then take a small dose of it under controlled experimental conditions.

Yes, stretching myself into all sorts of new things in the wake of my involuntary liberation from Girlfriend #1 in 1986, I took the wildest of plunges and tried a tiny bit of what was alleged to have been 3,4 Methylene-dioxy-N-methylamphetamine or "ecstasy." Oh yeah – watch out, man! I was a real bad-ass, trying a pinch of powdered ecstasy as part of my research for an English 102 paper at Montgomery College. Well, it was illegal. So I got that goin' for me. It was, and still is, rather controversial. Psychotherapists, researchers and the DEA and FDA couldn't seem to agree as to whether it was simply dangerous or incredibly useful. I couldn't very well write a paper about the hotly debated decision to make it as illegal as heroin without actually trying it for myself, could I? I say nay, nay.

I saved my notes. Yes, I took notes. Had to follow scientific protocol, you know…

12:35 I'm all set. I've got my cheese balls, gum (just in case I experience the teeth-clenching and facial muscle cramps described in the research), my video of "Kentucky Fried Movie" and my best tapes. I've got the recommended empty stomach. I'm a little nervous.

12:40 Eight ounces of Cherry Coke and it's gone. I don’t know if it’s the drug or my nerves, but I do feel kind of strange. Too soon to be the drug, yet. I’m just tense. I can’t believe I’m doing this. Mr. Professor had just damn well better give me an A.

12:47 A little tightness in my stomach. I’m hungry. This is stupid. What could that tiny pinch of powder do? What if it was just aspirin? Or sugar?

1:00 Not much going on. They say it’s an extremely subtle drug. I feel pretty good, but nothing spectacular.

1:01 MY ARM IS GONE!!!! Where the hell is it??? Oh my God – I’m so screwed. How am I going to get to work tonight if I can’t shift gears? Oh there it is – what is it doing over there? Sound formed in a vacuum is a complete waste of time. How could that not be as blatantly obvious to everyone on the planet as it is to everyone in this room? Dummies. Plastic showroom dummies. Wait – Mannequins. I’ll be a one-armed mannequin and not move a muscle until all three Fripp and Eno songs are over. Then I’ll stand on my toes until New Order comes on. “I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls?” That’s odd – I don’t remember there being vocals in these songs. The TV is on. Duh! It appears as though Ecstasy impairs one’s ability to discern the source of sounds – I could swear the singing was coming from the stereo. Interesting…

1:08 Stubbed my toe.

1:10 Still a little tightness in my stomach and jaw. A slight headache. I feel strange, but severely ripped off. I’ll try to be patient.

1:12 Stubbed my toe.

1:15 Feeling kind of spunky, but that could just be the caffeine in the Cherry Coke. I ate a ton of cheese balls just in case, but the expected nausea hasn’t really materialized. They sure did taste good, though.

1:20 Stubbed my toe.

1:23 Stubbed my toe.

1:24 Stubbed my toe.

1:28 Getting tired of stubbing my poor toe. Realized I’ve been sitting still for the past twenty minutes.

1:30 Brian Eno sounded incredible and New Order is giving me goosebumps. Can’t stop smiling. Nothing dramatic is happening - I just feel really good. I can, however, see how a bigger dose of this stuff could make you feel like, REAL GOOD!

1:32 Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.

1:33 [illegible]

1:35 I am the son and heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar. I’m the sonandheir. My forehead fell off. Now it’s a bowl, suitable for serving steaming shark fin soup to hungry Japanese business travelers in Portland. I knew plaster of Paris was the wrong material with which to fashion elegant spoons, but what choice did you give me? Only now that they’ve disintegrated in the clutches of our brethren from Nippon, leaving them to drizzle 165-degree soup across their laps, do you see the folly of your ways. Dummies. Why is the room green? It’s never been green. Mom is definitely going to notice that. Timothy Leary would’ve loved this stuff. Timothy Leary’s dead. No – no no no he’s outside, looking in – and brandishing a scimitar with an Indian corn-studded hilt and wearing an Erol’s nametag! He ordered me out into the side yard, where he ranted for a spittle-laden eternity about the merits of the AMC Pacer versus the Ford Pinto. He has no idea who Andy McClusky is, and he doesn’t care. He thinks I’m not listening. Oh, I’m listening, old man. I just think you’re high. “You have no idea,” he says with a wink, then severs my head with one tremendous swing of his sword. I run about the yard hunched over, trying to feel around on the ground for my head. Whose dog is this? Tell him to let go of my head – I have notes to write, before I start forgetting stuff. Oh. My head is still right where it’s supposed to be. Write that down. My ice cream is smoking the entire pack of Marlboro Lights I stole from Sally. One long drag – gone. Even the filters - gone. Wow. I step back into the duty-free shop at the Nuku’alofa International Airport of Tonga to buy her another pack. “Malo e lelei!” chirps the four-foot tall man behind the counter. “The usual, my man,” I say, and he tosses a box of Lights over the register in a graceful arc as I launch a dollar bill paper airplane towards him. He loves dollars, and catches it and just grins and grins. “Okay bye-bye then, okay bye-bye!” My spirit creature, the Scarlet Macaw, soars over me as I make my way through the throng on the ice at Rockefeller Center. Tom Brokaw is doing triple-lutzes again. That explains the crowd, and the frequent disappointed “aww” sounds everyone keeps emitting in unison. My eyes freeze solid and fall out of my face. I catch one, but the other is surely lost forever amid the thousands of legs and skates and plastic Rubbermaid colanders. The car screams to a stop and I fling the door open, cutting a nasty dent into the fiberglass bobsled we’ve parked way way way way way way too close to. That’s no reason to hunt me with Super-Soakers filled with queso, amigo! No lyrics, no movement, no color – just silence. I’m having a lot of trouble with this application form. They sure don’t make it easy for an ordinary citizen like me to change his name to Parts Is Parts, do they? How did every single thing in the whole room get broken??? And what’s all over the floor? Looks like legos made of green and yellow cookie dough. And how did those holes get in the couch? I’m just sitting here. I must have built the perfect beast. Try to split the script, he says. And if I refuse? I see a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s, and – no, it’s a Mai Tai – no, too yellow – perhaps a banana daiquiri. Anyway, his hair is perfect. Take that, Lon Chaney! This is a big waste of time. I’m going to have to make some stuff up, so it sounds like something actually happened.

1:36 My veins are gone. Odd. Plus, I can’t seem to find a pulse in either my neck or my wrist or my nose. That’s hilarious. This drug is supposed to increase pulse rate and blood pressure. I still feel tons of energy. Perhaps all I took was an amphetamine.

1:45 [drawing of a pig with three legs, two heads] Look – I drew a piggie!

2:03 My hat is acting like a complete jerk. All I did was take its girlfriend home from intramural floor hockey practice. It’s not like anything happened. Jerk. I’m not wearing that hat again until it apologizes to me.

2:25 Time is flying. “Kentucky Fried Movie” has never been funnier. Genius. Bringing tears to my eyes. That Jackie Chan [sic] has got to be the funniest, best-looking martial arts bad-ass I’ve ever seen. Damn, he’s hot! Incredible piece of filmmaking. I can’t believe how funny that fake preview for “Catholic High School Girls in Trouble” is, after all these years. Brilliant.

3:00 I’m bored. What a crock! Sixteen thousand dollars, and all he wanted to do was dip us in plaster.

4:30 WhatEVER. I want my money back. I’m going to have to invoke some serious artistic license (to kill) on this paper. I don’t think they give licenses for artistic embellishmentarianism on research papers. But man, I feel like running. How am I going to get to sleep? I know – poetry. Come sweet slumber, enshroud me in thy purple cloak… Hmph. Doesn’t even rhyme.

5:00 I guess I did take something. I got to work and Shawn the Erol's druggie said my pupils looked like dinner plates. Whatever.

So kids, you can weigh the facts and make your own decisions about whether or not to try drugs. I’d just recommend not trying this drug. It's just way too subtle.

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