It started out innocently enough in the early 90s. The one person I loved in the world, truly, died as she tried to help a dog that had been hit by a car just off a freeway off-ramp. As she tried to move the hurt dog off the ramp, she was struck by a car coming up off the freeway. Someone distracted. Someone her age. If it happened now, people would have blamed it on a cell phone or texting. But the only excuse this girl had was that she was returning from a very relaxing massage. In any case, in an instant, this girl took the girl I loved away from me. It took me months just to get the energy to return to work. I used to look at her picture in bed, right before trying to sleep and usually failing. One night it felt as if she were really there with me in my dream. I spent months after that trying to make it happen again, failing each time. I recalled the vivid dreams I experienced when I was trying to quit smoking with the nicotine patch, so on some nights I’d refrain from smoking for a few hours before bed and throw a patch on, hoping to have a more vivid and memorable encounter with my dream-Rebecca. I had plenty of vivid dreams on those nights, but none of them featured her in any form. After months of this I gave up, but still looked at her picture before bed. Usually more out of habit than hope.
One of my friends talked me into going to a party one weekend. It was really more like a party-rave hybrid of sorts. Lots of neo-hippies mixed in with hipsters and actual, real, older hippies. I ran into an old acid-head friend of mine and we got on the subject of dreams. I told him about my experiments with the patch. He reached into his pocket and came out with a plastic bag. Inside the bag was a small perforated sheet of paper with a cartoon Kurt Cobain face on each small perforated square. I gave him a puzzled look.
“Yeah, I know. Too soon, huh? The last batch had a picture of Barney and I swear I saw flying Barneys in my trip. But subtle flying Barneys, you know. Like they weren’t really there most of the time. I’d look to my left and a flying Barney would land on a street sign or fly out of a car’s sun-roof. It was okay, but it wasn’t fun either. Sure didn’t inspire me or anything.”
I laughed. He gave me a serious look.
“You know this shit isn’t healthy, right? But screw it. I get it. I don’t blame you. But I swear, if you snap off about a quarter of one of these before you flop down to sleep tonight, after you spend a few minutes looking at her picture, she WILL show up. And you’ve done this shit before, right? I mean you have, I was there. And at that low a dose, it’s not only as safe as 800 micrgrams, it’s practically like not taking any at all. These hits are pretty low dose anyway. So you’ll be taking like 50 micrograms, tops. Not even a trip, more like a deep thought or something. Here, take half the sheet and tell me what happens, man.”
He paused and looked out into empty space.
“I miss her, too. She was always fun to be around and you sure as shit were more fun to be around while she was walking amongst. ”
“No, I couldn’t.” I replied motioning for him to put it away.
“Yes, you could and will. Look, try it once and if it doesn’t work out you can flush the rest. Blockbuster doesn’t check for LSD last time I heard, right? I mean, if they did you’d be out of a job by now. I know you’ve dropped at least twice since you started there. Just try it!”
I nodded and took the sheet from him, placing it in my jacket pocket.
“And if you plan on dancing, trust me, don’t just leave those in there, bare.”
I slipped the outer cellophane off my pack of cigarettes and put the hits into it, folding the illicit package carefully and tightly before putting it in my wallet.
“That’s better, man. Have fun out there tonight. I’m going off to meet some friends that are bringing a party bus down into the canyon. Big speakers and shit. Beds, a roof you can hang out on, should be fun. If you see us come down the road and we set up, come on by.”
“Thanks, I think I’m gonna call it a night though. I’m not ready for being social yet, not on this level. Too hyper, too intimate.”
“Yeah, I hear that. Gets to me sometimes, too. But I have a duty.”
We both laughed and I started toward my car, waving to him as I walked away.
“No prob. Sweet dreams.”
I got home, watched TV for a couple of hours, put on the patch, placed a quarter dose under my tongue and drifted off to sleep.
and it worked.