moomonster77 40M
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8/29/2006 8:21 am

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8/29/2006 9:09 am


Who’s that homeless man with Hunter S. Thompson?

One method of quickly riding oneself of a wine-in-the-box, ether, sleep deprived, car exhaust hangover is to drop some acid purchased from a nameless man, working for minimum wage at the local Sainsbury’s sometime after dark the previous evening ‒ the apostrophe is grammatically correct. Still, its presence is difficult to comprehend in the context of a supermarket geared toward your local, stroller toting chav; that is an English term for a track-suit redneck. Well maybe not that difficult for a culture that enjoys consuming spotted dick without a cotton swab test after the main course. But alas, I am just an American living in a foreign land; even if we have a special relationship.

Back to the acid. Or so we hoped.

The homeless man was sprawled on his faded red, mid 1970s couch, writhing in pain from the previously mentioned hangover. That poor thing, the couch that is, spent its formative years entertaining THE w. on one of his 3 trips outside the 46, no wait, 47 contagious united states. Three trips!!! As for the homeless man, his fault. No sympathy.

“Wake up, fool!!!!” I peered over him, as the smell of small time debauchery drifted upwards. “Fuck off.” Small time, because this was Canterbury. Only tourists and tweed could be found here.

“It’s half five in Washington. Time to get the day rolling. The world awaits.”

“Fuck off you capitalist. I just got to bed at 8.” Translation: You got laid, and I jacked off the cat. “Your problem not mine.” Translation: life is short, more drugs.

I pried the man upright with the promise of breakfast. Well, more like a grade-A, blocked coronary, gone real soon, death sandwich. Toast buttered, then fired on both sides. Three large strips of real bacon, not that Canadian shit, fat included. Layer(s) of mayonnaise ‒leave the French alone, mmmm goodness ‒ with sausage. More sausage. Two sunny-side up, cheese eggs, fried in the bacon and sausage grease, along with oil and butter. Finished with more bacon, butter, sausage and served on a glass plate. If McDonalds is no longer going to super size their meals, then fuck them. Plus, the 27 year old homeless man wanted to join Hendricks, Joplin and Cobain. DEAD. Boun Appiet.

“MMMMM. Brilliant. I love the glass plate.” The little things. Made myself a sandwich. I was already 28.

As my insurance company shrieked in horror ‒ while Uncle Sam gleefully smiled ‒ while the sandwich settled, George Michael harassed us with some later 80s serenade masquerading as a music video. People, were/are you that fucking clueless?!?

“I think this asshole is stalking me,” remarked the man on the couch. He had a point. For all of the buxom, voluminous cleavage, top and bottom, consuming the boob-tube, Mr. Michael seemed to occupy a disproportionate amount of time on the tele. What was MTV telling me? Am I using the correct shaving cream? Should I shop at the Gap and/or the French Connection? Also known as, FCUK. Pussies. If you want to piss someone off, just where a shirt that says ‘I voted for Harold Stasson. All 7 times.’ Damnit, that twit distracted me. One big distraction. We had more pressing matters at hand.

“Better?” “Much” “Ready?” “Yes”

That is an actual drug conversation. That simple. Hey, who has time? People don’t believe this. Somehow between Hollywood, the DEA and Marion Barry, all verbal discourse involves complicated, elaborate rituals that are caught on a security tape that is stuffed into the ceiling fan in a forth-rate motel. All those police videos are shot in black and white. $500 billion on defence and a prosecutor uses evidence that has the Leave it to Beaver look, with Black people. Maybe we feel guilty.

Acid is a top-five. Unlike the legal, let’s-crack-my-wife’s-skull-open-with-a-tire-iron-and-fuck-the-dog-who’s-in-heat liquid concoction, you never know with acid. The blotter paper had the appearance of a bed sheet stained by a newborn child ‒ a possibility that the homeless man openly, and actively considered. I felt the concern in his voice. Alcohol comes in nicely labelled, friendly, marketed, government endorsed containers. Acid, though, is usually sold by (insert dealer’s name) wrapped in aluminium foil ‒ or as said over here, ALY-MIN-I-MUM ‒ which may, or may not have been used at junior’s 3rd grade, he just passed the first half of science class without killing one of his classmates, graduation cookout ceremony, extravaganza, bonanza. I am going with the latter. Needless to say, you never know. Tab. Water. Swallow. (Or swallow, water … user’s choice). Now wait. (Not an option.)

Last time was State-side. The CITY. Starring at locals and foreigners alike scatter pass ground zero can make any twelve hours seem like worth the wait. I liked the foreigners. Foreigners ‒ anyone west of the Hudson and north of 92nd ‒ attempted to conceal their joy. Sure, people were burned, crushed and plummeted to death on this site. Innocence was lost. Cherries popped. But we saw Die Hard. No worries. The important part was to get a photograph. Look, there’s the family, smile, with the locals. Great pickles here. The kind that you have to photograph.

I watched the Event unfold in the heart of evil-doer land. Holiday Inn, Amman, Jordan. 18:51 local time. A crowd of dark looking people ‒ you really can’t be too sure with all of these tanning booths in operation ‒ initiate the wave. This wave was almost similar to the one found at Fenway Park on lazy summer afternoons. Not quite. There was True joy in air on this day. Remember, in 2001 the Sox had not yet won the World Series. This, for the time being, was pure elation.

Being a 6 foot (185cm, give or take, for non-Anglo-Americans) WHITE guy, schlepping around with lots of thrilled, brown, flag burning people is unnerving, at first. Terrifying. Then liberating. And enema for the soul. Messy. But after a few days, the benefits can be felt. If I can survive this, no worries until death do me part.

There was no anger in the crowd. No remorse. No guilt ‒ the Christian and Jews got that one. More of, ‘finally, we got you. Finally.’ A mix of relief and accomplishment. What comes next? Someone offered me a Coke.

“No thanks. On a diet. What’s cooking here?”

“Not sure, needed a stretch. You an infidel?”

“No. Never accepted the membership. Check my wallet.” He seemed satisfied.

“What are you doing later?”

“Dinner. Maybe a falafel. Maybe abusing my hotel bill. An infidel, atheist, american, godless, JEW is paying all expenses.”

“Enjoy! Have a drink for me” Never had the falafel.

“Here?” The bench looked like a start. I sat down next to the homeless man. The drug hadn’t kicked in, yet, we prayed it would, soon. But still, the sun felt refreshing. When taking acid it is critical to find a comfortable place, near home, so if the dragons, demons or Richard Simmons appeared, you could run back for semi-sanctuary.

Hopefully, no sweaty, weight lost videos would be dancing in my head. Wait, did that pigeon talk to me? No. It was talking to the homeless man. I, other hand, was shaking the hand of an adjacent tree.

“What is he saying?”

“Something about green semen being the key. And the cactus?”

“She told me to beware of pigeons talking about green semen. It most likely means the bird has influenza.”

“Really? Neither the brochure or the news report mentioned that. Thank her for the tip.”

“Thanks maim.” Always be polite when talking to cactus-trees in non-desert environments. Rule number 2.

For reasons escaping us then, now and before, we left the safe confines of the bench for the great unknown: Main Street ‒ also known as the High Street. Large crowds zipped up and down this consumer, specialized speedway. Cheap shoes next to designer coffee. Oxfam abutting Jaguars. And my favourite, get your clit pierced, followed by a Canterbury Tales tour. Hideous people are getting the former. Dumb the later. Fun both.

This was the wrong day to be trapped in public. Saturday. Beginning of April. Everyone was out, and in view. Odd looking couples that hadn’t quite shed their winter hibernation layers of fat. French tourists laughing at the English. Germans laughing at the French. Spring fashions and food vendors. Both of which made the plus sized drool. Mom and Dad dragging 3.57 obnoxious teenagers around for a little culture; then onto Pizza Hut culinary delights. Americans screaming that no one spoke English.

We carefully made our way through the madness. Me clinging to his sleeve; him to the air. For those that noticed and starred, they assumed were we drunk. Two odd looking, students wasting their lives on illicit and depraved kicks. So immature. Grow up, knock someone up and buy a flip-phone that (1) has an address book large enough to hold the names of 2,000 of your closet friends and second, allows you to surf the web for great travel deals to exotic shopping destinations while eating sushi at IKEA. Hide.

“Need to get away from this madness. I’m going into the comic book store.”

“You’re off your rocker. Not me. Go in and terrify yourself.” He carefully opened the door. Disappeared into the darkness. I waited at the front window, decorated with Star Wars action figures. 15 quid for Han Solo. George could plot, but he prefers the quietness of wine country. Lucky us.

“I couldn’t hack it. Too many faces.” He was sweating.

“I told you. Stan Lee tells it the way it is. ” Reality is so much easier sober.

Now, if we could only make it to the pub that sells that 8.1% cider. Moonshine, without Boss Hog. But, first, we had to navigate the parade of Spanish senior citizens. The homeless man tried to blend in by turning the newspaper the pigeon made him pick up, into confetti and showering the participants. Small children laughed.

Adults have it wrong when they yammer out about how smart little Missy or Johnny is. They think that pointing at dog shit and saying ‘stinky’ is a sign of gross, disproportionate, retirement-funding intelligence. Wrong. However, unlike adults, kids know a drug user when they see one. Adults see Budweiser, if anything off the glass reflection. Kids see the acid. Or whatever the drug du juir is.

They smile. Almost winking to say, ‘you have an extra my sister and I can split? We are small. Can’t hack a full one. Mom and dad are fucking annoying us by making us try on clothes that will not fit us in two weeks.’ They see through the sunglasses. Pass the dilation. Another giggle and …

“Mom? Who’s the homeless man with Hunter S. Thompson?” The little pigtailed girl points in our direction. A smile plastered to her face. The jig is up.

“Leave that man alone!” mom shrikes and in a hurried attempt to prevent us from damaging her Precious, she yanks the little monsters arm. Hair flails. Mom dashes down an alley, into the safety of Cathedral. No molesters in this branch of Jesus. Always liked Henry.

“Quick stop at home.”

“How the fuck did we get back here?” The 18th century Georgian was just a pit stop. But I wasn’t aware that we had even arrived.

“Shit. It’s my housemates father. No time to talk. Don’t worry, I hid the MDMA.” He hid it alright. In the middle of the living room, in a clear plastic bag that had a giant green marijuana leaf stamped on the outside. X never marks the spot.

We were on the road, again. Quickly. Our sanctuary had been tainted. The roommates’, red BMW driving father had hexed the place. This was no time for a confrontation - run, run, run. Actually, don’t run. Two large men, one of them homeless, the other from the wrong side of the pond, running down the street in sunglasses, telling the plants about green semen, could possibly draw attention. This is not Bangkok. No guarantees, but Arabs get shot for jumping turnstiles 100 miles to the north. However, the lamppost that was of prime concern.

“That goddamn thing is following us.” “Maybe BMW had it follow us.” “No, it was that women.” “No, Han Solo.” Were we screwed?

In order to safely and as inconspicuously as possible traverse our way to the pub, I walked on the inner part of the sidewalk as to protect the homeless man from lampposts and talking plants, and he on the outer part keeping the evil cars a bay. CO2 emissions aren’t the only weapons automobiles use to humiliate us. Fuckers.

“He’s following us.”

“Quick. Now!” A quick no place like home click of the heels, we skipped a fence and into a field. Safety. We had eluded capture. For now. The pub was in sight.

Fortunately, only a handful of souls occupied the second oldest pub, this side of the southern railroad tracks. I slide outside, while the homeless man bought pints. No one to bother us out here. Prime seating options. The choice was easy, but took a few minutes. Don’t act rashly. They could report us. The covered shed, with one exposed side, facing the sun, gave us a great vantage point in which to observe and prepare. I ducked in and rested my back against the brick wall. I waited.

“What lovely hair!”

“Give me my beer. We don’t have time for blonde bar maidens.” I noticed her on my way through the pub/ Beer garden sounds better than patio. Drinking is acceptable in a beer garden. She seemed good enough. Australian. Not worth the risk though. Especially from a country of criminals. They can’t be trusted.


“Look over there.” “Damnit. It’s the post.” “She may be working for him. Or visa versa.” The wall between us and the street made a nice barrier. “Good point, give me the MDMA.”

The powers to be constantly remind us consumers to not mix prescription drugs and alcohol. Apparently it makes you feel too good. Can’t have that. Additionally, ‘liquor before beer, in the clear. Beer before liquor, never been sicker’ provides another safety tip. Fools. This was neither. We wanted the Holy Trinity. Stimulates, depressants and hallucinogens. This final piece was the holy ghost. The sweet Belgian beer washed away the rough taste of the powdery substance, wrapped in wax paper that had moments earlier undertook the ten second plunge toward the stomach. The father and son paid no attention.

We leaned against the wall. With the sun pounding against my face, I felt like the fried egg I ate for breakfast. Actually more like the bread. Baking. Sweet radiation. The homeless man echoed my feelings, without any reference to eggs or bread. He, like me, was not hungry.

1pm became 16:00. Than six. One more beer.

“I’ll get them.” “Thanks man.” We nodded in unison.

The boy and girl had arrived at 5. He swore off drugs ‒ last week. For the third time. Claimed they were bad for his health and made him paranoid. Lifting weights and running left no time for irresponsible, reckless and honest behaviour. Who needs to ruin your liver with booze when Creitine is available. The girl was tall.

The young couple and the homeless man had been friends for several years. Like all University originated relationships, after 2 months they, not the homeless man, operated under an umbrella of safety: sex once a week and someone to eat three meals a day with. Married couples don’t have lunch with each other.

Still, we were getting drinks and I ‒ maybe we ‒ could stare at the girl. Being high meant we had amnesty. This was the 11th Commandment. The one Moses never wanted us to see.

“Plans for the evening?” He deposited the final two pints.

“A little wine tasting. Some French, Italian and Bulgarian.” “Avoiding the post.” “Yeah. That too. Looking forward to the Bulgarian red. ”

“We are off home for the Easter break. She hasn’t meet my parents.” Not entirely sure which is funnier. Young, college couple meeting parents. Or Easter. No wait, I do. Easter. The spring festival celebrated with chocolate eggs and a sadder plate, and nothing for the Muslims. Fucking brilliant. And if Jesus comes out of his cave and doesn’t see his shadow, six more weeks of sales at the local car dealership. Don’t forget he is Jewish, even if Mel Gibson is in denial. Remember, never trust criminals.

The MDMA kicked in, as the sun went down. As the sun went down, the MDMA kicked in. I heard a similar song as a child. Block out the nostalgia. No time to waste. We got into the car. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Like all European cars, this was 4 sizes too small. Which made everything speed up as we buzzed along. A glorified RC car without the decals and gigantic antenna. The couple was kind enough to drop us home. The post left us for good. The size of the car fooled it.

“Say hi to your folks and drive safely.” I didn’t know the parents or his driving style or even the couple, but it was polite. Free, unsolicited rides are hard to come by in the best of conditions.

My heart was racing. This acid came in waves. Momentarily, every minute (or second or hour), you‘d think sobriety was back, then, wham. Nope, still out to lunch. Much like the mindless conversation at the abortion clinic. It’s coming, but you pretend to ignore it. So the MDMA only made the rush even more intense. Freefall. Do not operate heavy machinery. Actually, don’t even deal with a simple household bender. Or even a corkscrew. But I had no choice. Bulgarians are known for their wine prowess.

“Rubbish. It’s skunked.” In our incapacitated capacity, we both knew this bottle was fucked. Half of the cork was soaked in wine. And when swirling the wine around, counter-clockwise, in the appropriate long-stemmed, wide, open-faced, thin-rimmed Irish crystal, probing for palatable subtleties of divine inspiration, whose genesis can be traced back to the age of Isaac/Abraham and Fred/Barney, and with the bated hope of spiritual awaking and renaissance, the cascading effect gave away its foul position. We opened the second bottle in the case. There’s the spot. Much better. It was the bottle, not the Bulgarians. The pride of the Iron Curtain revealed its character.

“Nutty. A touch almond, dash of lilac, and the faintest hint of rose petals which allows the discovery of a subtle under-layer of lavender.” I agreed. Our pallets came alive. T-minus two hours. My nose tingled. Cocaine rush. Sphincter loosened. Ten and half more bottles, and 30, unopened, Czech pilsners to follow. Safer, cheaper and better than sex. Even sex with the 6 foot, 14 year old Scandinavian girl, Hinki. Everything is purer up there.

“They taste nutty, too.”

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