Silvia introduced me to so much. I met her at the beginning of high school after giving up on the TWO people who I had known in Middle School. One, because he was too nerdy and the other after he tried to molest me in a dark hallway when I was leaving my first detention EVER.
Silvia was odd. She wore John Lennon glasses and Grateful Dead shirts and her hair was dyed jet black. She always looked bored and her skin was like a porcelain doll. She, Sam and I got paired up in our honors English class in ninth grade to do some project on “Animal Farm”. A book that all of us were way too cool to read. (By the grace of God, we got an A although I don’t remember ever doing a damn thing.) And Silvia asked me to hang out with her and go to “THE BEST PLACE EVER” with her on Friday. So, my dad dropped me off at her house and she and I walked to a convenience store, stole 87 packs of cigarettes and stuffed them into the arms of my flannel, and we went. It was dark and smoky and loud and the two of us sat in a booth most of the night. People that I didn’t know would stop over and talk to Silvia (and nod at me) and she would say something mean or sarcastic and they would either laugh and sit down or frown and leave.
When Mark and Bacon came over, my heart melted a little. Mark had a baby face. And he always looked really happy and barely spoke, which I later discovered was because the effort it took for him to make a sentence was rarely worth the time it took to listen. I’d never seen someone stoned before until Mark. And somehow, that made me want to be around him all the time. So, of course, when he asked me if I was going to be there next week, my heart skipped a beat and I said something along the lines of, “Yeskhgldkkyhfe”. Drool. Fawn. Swoooooon.
So, the next week and the week after that, I went to Silvia’s, stole a bunch of cigarettes, and sat in a booth not inhaling and waiting for Mark to walk in. Every week, it was the same. Sometimes, I would get LBG to sneak out and I would bring her with. Sometimes it would just be me and Silvia. The first time LBG came, Mark sat down next to me at the booth and said, “Hey, hold this.” And he pulled a bottle of grape Mad Dog out of his pants. And then we walked to the beach and got hammered. And every time I took a swig I went all Winona Ryder in “Mermaids” and thought, “Now my lips are touching his.”
Unfortunately, Bacon was the interested one. He was tall and awkward and looked like Kevin Bacon (hence the nickname). But…he knew people. So…it wasn’t terrible to be in a place like this with someone like him.
One night, Silvia couldn’t go with me, so “Richard the Sandwich Guy” told me he would drive me (don’t ask me about the nickname, I don’t know…) When I saw Bacon walk in alone, my heart sank. And he walked over and sat down next to me.
“Oh, he’s with his girlfriend, he’ll be here soon. You ever done ‘cid?”
GIRLFRIEND?! WHAT?! What the hell is he talking about? What do I do? What the hell is ‘cid? If I say no, he is totally gonna tell Mark that I am not cool.
“Cool. Look, I got you some. It’s Grateful Dead.”
He handed me a tiny square piece of paper and I thought, “what in the name of Jeebus do I do with THIS?” And then he took another one out, unwrapped it from some foil and popped it into his mouth. So, naturally, I did the same.
And then nothing happened. Hours and hours went by. Mark came and went. RTSG sat outside and smoked cigarettes with me as I became more and more bored. And then Silvia walked up and pulled me inside. As soon as I stepped inside, my world flipped upside-down. Colors were brighter, sounds were louder, sharper, more violent. And then I saw Bacon who was sitting in a booth in the fetal position, rocking back and forth. YAY! That’s what I am gonna be doing soon!!! Mark threw ice at me, and I watched it melt as it made its way across the room towards me.
The next thing I remember, I was outside again staring at a girl named Leah who was, at that moment, morphing into a giant Grateful Dead bear. When she started to come towards me, I just giggled at the sight of her, but the closer she got, the more I felt I needed to run. So…I ran. And she followed. And I ran some more. And she was still right behind me. And then, when I got to the pier, I stopped, looked at her, realized she wasn’t a giant purple bear, and walked back to my friends with her. I had never run so much in my life. And I didn’t feel winded or tired. I just felt like…breathing. And it felt good.
So…needless to say, I loved acid. And once I found out what it was, it was too late. But if I learned one thing and that was: If you ever want to run very fast for a very long time, take acid. Just don’t listen to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” or you will stay up all night playing with water faucets and writing notes to your best friend about the demons who have crept into your room. And I learned that if boys like you where I’m from, they buy you drugs, not flowers. (And then they curl up in a corner and spaz out all night.)
The next week, I got half of my eyelashes singed off while trying to smoke pot on the windy beach. Good times.