Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sunday Scribbling - "Organic" - 1/11/09

This week’s Sunday Scribblings is my 200th post. I wanted to do something special to commemorate this achievement, as it exceeds my talents and expectations by about 199 posts. I asked my son, Josh, if he could think of a Wainright story that must be told. He mentioned a few events and caveated his input by “no one is going to believe some of these.” He likened me to Forrest Gump. Admittedly, I have had some remarkable occurrences, many of which will never be documented. When I saw that the prompt was “organic”, the first thing that came to my mind was a story that only two people in the world know about. I am certain I will have a unique take on this prompt.

At 17, in the fall of 1970 I enrolled at the University of Idaho, to study I have no idea what. I was assigned a dorm room in Willis Sweet Hall in the Theophilus Tower. At eleven stories, it was the tallest building in the state of Idaho at the time. It was a brand new coed dorm. That is not as exciting as it sounds, the men had the bottom six floors and the women occupied the top five. However, the experiment must have failed because it was changed to an all-female dormitory in 1982. I probably share some responsibility for that change.

My roommate was Mike Craner from Saint Maries, Idaho. Mike was at the UofI on scholarship to wrestle. I was a walk-on baseball player. I made the team and played fall ball until academically disqualified after first semester grades were revealed. But that is another blog in itself. Mike and I immediately became close friends (which is not always the case with roomies). We were both very straight-laced and naïve. The whole campus was heavily involved in drug and alcohol consumption. We held out for a while, but soon decided we wanted to experiment.

We had a suite-mate who was a Native American from the Coeurd'Alene Indian reservation in Plummer, Idaho. He told us about peyote buttons. His tribe used them in ceremonies and was his drug of choice. The drawback was that they tasted horrible and made you sick. That was not appealing to first-time drug users. He said that we could get it in another form. It was called brown “organic” mescaline. It was ground up into capsules, thereby eliminating the nasty taste issue and resulting gag reflex. The word organic was a bit deceiving, because most poisons and addictive drugs are also organic. But, it still appealed to us. And I was an avid reader of Carlos Castenada. Unfortunately, the experience I relate here is much less spiritual than those recounted in his books.
Often, on the weekends, Mike and I would hitchhike to either St Maries or Kellogg. It was a lot shorter trip to St Maries, but often harder to get a ride, as Kellogg is on Interstate 90 and St Maries is out in the boonies. In those days, hitchhiking was a perfectly legitimate mode of travel (particularly for college freshmen, who had no car). Once home, we would have access to a parent’s car, which would give us access to girls. College guys returning to either small town was nearly as much of a draw to high school girls as a car radio to Amish girls. Even a guy as physically unappealing as I could get some play. On campus, we had to compete with guys with money, looks, and cars.

So we bought two hits of mescaline each and set out Friday night for whichever of our home towns we could catch a ride to. They were both basically in the same direction, at least initially. As soon as we put our thumbs out on the shoulder of Highway 95, we each swallowed a capsule. We were giddy with anticipation, as we had heard accounts of the incredible hallucinogenic effect of this wonder-drug. Traffic was light and no ride was immediately acquired. In addition, after 15 minutes (probably 5) we were getting no symphony of color from our mescaline. We had been swindled out of our ten dollars (things were cheap in 1970). Impatiently, I took the second capsule. Big mistake. Mike wisely decided to wait and see.

Within a few minutes we were both experiencing our first trip. It was a very cold night but I was comfortable since the sky was now on fire. I told Mike that I would stop the next car with my mind. I concentrated mightily. Coincidentally, the next car did pick us up. We were both pretty impressed by my psychokinetic abilities. The ride only carried us as far as Potlatch (less than 20 miles). That was a shame as I could actually see the music coming from the radio of the pastor and his wife that had picked us up. At that point, Led Zeppelin and Perry Como sounded the exact same to me. I could rock out to anything. Elevator music would sound like Hendrix.

We got another ride fairly quickly (though my estimation of time was severely flawed. It could have been five minutes or twenty four hours.) If you are still reading, bear with me. This post is much longer than my normal blog, but it is my 200th.

We often met interesting people hitchhiking. But this particular night we thumbed two rides that were among the most memorable. A guy picked us up in a Volkswagen Beetle that had an arrow sticking out of the driver’s side door. He explained to us that he and his wife had an argument and she came after him with her hunting bow. I know, you are thinking that this was a hallucination. The drug affected my perceptions but did not create alternate realities. His car glowed and had an aura around it but the arrow was indeed there.

As the night continued, the intensity of my trip increased. I could feel my heart beat at a furious pace and hear the blood rushing through my veins. Every sound was magnified, colors enhanced, and it was my impression that everyone we met could tell we were high. I could see the knowing look in their eyes.


Our final ride into St Maries was with two very drunk guys in a Cadillac. The driver spent much of the drive turned around talking to us. It seemed he was driving about the speed of the Starship Enterprise just before it accelerates into Warp Factor 5 (he may have been driving 35) and his inattention terrified me. The hard rock was cranked up but I could understand every word they spoke because comic strip balloons provided closed-captioning for the reality impaired. They offered us beers, which we took out of courtesy, but beer would have no affect on me that night. We stopped for the drunk guys to pee and I am not certain whether I did or not. I think some electricity and fire bolts shot out of me, but that is all I am sure of. I am certain that it would have been impossible for me to have sex on mescaline. I could not feel anything in that region of my body whatsoever. I have heard a woman describe a saddle block procedure and I am pretty certain I was similarly anesthetized. I was fairly sure my genitalia were still attached, but I could not have sworn to it in a court of law. The juice freaks (that is what we called them in those days) dropped us safely off at Mike’s house and sometime that weekend we went to sleep. Mike drifted off about 10 hours before I did (or it could have been 30 minutes). I listened to the same LP for several hours, playing over and over and watched the television test pattern, never tiring of it. This is a test pattern. Yes, in those days television actually terminated their broadcast at midnight.

People not viewing it while amped up from a double dose of Organic Mescaline might have become bored with it. Not me. I watched it like it was a feature film about indians.
Mike and I both left school after that year. We partied ourselves out of academia. He stayed local, got married, and took over his dad’s logging operation and I got married and joined the Air Force. He was the best man at my wedding. I have lost track of him over the years, so I hope he gets a chance to read this. I know it would bring back some memories. The important thing is that I did not have any lasting effects from this experience. The important thing is that I didn't have any lasting effects from this experience. The important

29 comments:

Michelle said...

How special! No really!! I enjoyed the read... re-lived a little youth stuffs!

rosey said...

Wow, you were just as bad in the olden days as some young people are today. I of course never ever.... forget that, I really shouldn't lie!

Shadow said...

psycadelic!

anthonynorth said...

Great post. Led Zep and Como sounding the same?
Bad trip!

Redheels said...

When I was younger, I would try anything and everything once. It sounds like you were the same.....lol
Thanks for sharing. :)

Nice 200th!

Mountain Muddah said...

My GAWD, I have GOT to learn not to read your blog at work! I laughed (out loud, mind you), throughout the post. I can sooo envision you out there, "stopping the car with your mind". This post harkened me back to the fried- beyond-all-recognition TV dinners I found in your oven one day. You provided great entertainment to a straight, sober, naive 16 year old girl!

Blondie said...

Wow. THIS kind of story is exactly why I remained a huge PRUDE in college, but I must admit, I enjoyed the laugh!

forgetfulone said...

Great post! And, I believe your story. Why wouldn't I? Congrats on 200 posts. Don't stop writing. We enjoy it!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I never thought about drugs being organic! I'm very much pre-drugs and quite intrigued by the thought of them. But let's hope that dear little granddaughter doesn't experiment too much.

myrtle beached whale said...

It is impossible to be pre-drugs. They have been around since forever. You may have been naive about them, but they always have and always will be in existence. While there are synthetic drugs, many are organic. All the opiates, caffeine, hashish, marijuana, peyote, etc. are all organic. I thought that was common knowledge.

gautami tripathy said...

I have not been here for sometime now. Good to be back and read your posts!

Setting about a routine

Linda Jacobs said...

This is so well written! It took me right back to college and hitch hiking and so many other things!

floreta said...

yes i did read all of this!

happy 200th post!

i think it's funny that your first ride was from a pastor.

i have never tried mescaline or peyote (is that the same thing?). i read a salon article about it and thought it was interesting... interesting how your sense of time is disorienting.

myrtle beached whale said...

Floreta:

Wow, I am a worse writer than I thought if I could not even convey the connection between the two. I mistakenly thought it was clear:

"He told us about peyote buttons. His tribe used them in ceremonies and was his drug of choice. The drawback was that they tasted horrible and made you sick. That was not appealing to first-time drug users. He said that we could get it in another form. It was called brown “organic” mescaline. It was ground up into capsules, thereby eliminating the nasty taste issue and resulting gag reflex."

Tumblewords: said...

Funniest ever. Even though I live in that area I didn't try to buy any of that stuff but I might want to now. Hope I didn't wait too long. LOL

bunnygirl said...

That's a funny story, and I'm glad you had a good trip and not a scary one. I shied away from hallucinogens back when I was of an age for that sort of experimentation. Then, as now, I figured it's hard enough just to cope with what's real.

Marguerite said...

Congratulations on your 200th post! I really enjoyed this one--took me back a few years.

My post is about a humorous incident that occured a few years ago. 100% Horse Hockey

bluebethley said...

I laughed my way all the way through your 200th post for it brought back stories my husband told of smoking opium in Nepal in the 1960s. The effects lasted three days. Thank you also for visiting me. Keep writing. You spin a tale beautifully! Beth

GreenishLady said...

I'm really glad for you there were no lasting effects that affected you in any lasting way beyond the effects at the time!

AND Happy New Year! And congratulations on the new Grandbaby. She's so cute!

floreta said...

myrtle - it could just be me. i tend to have a hard time digesting words sometimes.. orally is even worse! yes, i remember that paragraph. so i guess it's the same as violin and fiddle. same thing different style..

Anonymous said...

Tisk, Tisk Dad. :) Very funny. Love ya Carly

colbertfan said...

Wow. That's why I shied away from that kind of stuff. Just good old pot, maybe a Quaalude, and once in a great while some speed. I was too much of a coward to try hallucinogenics. I remember riding around with people I hardly knew though! Great post!

paisley said...

i am not someone you wanna be around when i am tripping... i am flipped out enough just like drinking... tripping... no way... not since i was 18 and freaked out way too much,, even for me.......

inlandempiregirl said...

"The Tower" is still there in Moscow looking exactly the same...parts of the U.of I. seem frozen in time. My gosh... we thought we were "wild" when a carload of Kelloggians heading home for a week-end stopped on Leo's in Worley for a six pack of beer to get us to Kellogg. That was one beer per person... maybe we bought a half a rack!!!

tsduff said...

I never had such an experience on the mescaline we dropped, but I did have one horrible time on acid (first and only time). Long story short - it was the worst experience I've ever had, and the flash backs lasted years. This is one chick who shouldn't dabble in windowpane.

PS: It was your cute beagle (or is it a fox hound?) icon which drew me to your blog. Nice place.

Anonymous said...

Man, you crack me up! I had a few flashbacks while reading that! Mike would love to relive this story. Thanks for sharing.

myrtle beached whale said...

Writing this piece inspired me to locate Mike, who is now in Montana. Post Falls, Idaho got too big for him. We had a nice phone conversation and relived a few more episodes that will probably never be put in writing.

Nadja said...

When you decide to write a book and it's published, I'm standing in line for an autograph.

Chris said...

Psychedelics and pot are uplifting. Coke, Heroin, Speed, etc. are destructive. Nice story. And Alcohol was the gateway drug for me.