In 1986 or 7, I forget exactly which, mom moved us 20 miles North to an even smaller town. I was out of school, so I didn't have to worry about that shit anymore. However, there was a tutoring center there that focused on troubled kids trying to get their GEDs. Mom was going to commute to her job 30 miles away and, until the enrollment process was complete - which was a lot of red tape involving school boards and such - I would be left to fend for myself by day.
Naturally, for the first couple of weeks, I took the bus back South to the town where my friends were, where the weed was and where the nonstop party was always happening. I usually ended up spending my return bus fare on soda or candy or whatever, and would then either hit up a friend for a ride home, or hitchhike. Yeah, I was stupid. I was never raped or threatened, miraculously. I was either really fucking lucky, or I have guardian angels built like strip club bouncers.
Anyway, one day I actually went to the trouble of asking my mom for a ride down to the old town, on the premise that I would be going to the mall with Alicia. Mom agreed, and arranged to also pick me up once her work day was over and we would ride home together. Of course, I wasn't going to the mall. I was going out with Alicia to get stoned again.
Alicia had made a lot of new friends since I'd moved away, most of them guys, all of them scummy, god knows how many of which she was fucking. Alicia had already lost her virginity and had sex a lot. I was still a virgin and in no hurry to lose it to anyone who wasn't named Kenny.
I don't know who the guys were who picked Alicia and I up and drove off to find some weed. I don't remember their names, or their faces. They were buying weed and letting us smoke it. The end.
The joint was lit and began making its rounds. We started driving. Alicia, in the front passenger seat, was not smoking the joint, which I briefly wondered about but far more interested in getting a free high to wonder very long. Fuck it, more for me! The stereo was cranked, the joint was smoked...and I remember staring out of the windshield from the backseat and suddenly realizing that something was very wrong.
The view of the horizon did not change, but I felt myself suddenly slide mentally downwards, as if my capability for rational thought had hopped on a carnival slide and was descending into a chemical tar pit. I can't explain it better than that. I remember desperately trying to force myself to NOT be stoned, as if such a thing were possible. I felt that shift, like an axis had tilted within me, or like being inside of a kaleidoscope when it's suddenly slowly spun. You're still physically in the same place, but your motor controls, reasoning skills and speech have all tilted to one side and are as impossible to grasp and reattach to yourself as your own shadow.
I don't remember much of that day. Two very blurry memories hang on. The guy sitting in the back seat with me tried to get me to make out with him, jamming his tongue into my mouth and trying to grab my tits. I immediately ejected the entire contents of my stomach all over him. That cooled his ardor. I remember asking them to stop, getting out of the car and throwing up some more: on the car, on the ground, on myself, reeking of sour, spoiled bile. Having to sit in the hot car with that reek. Unable to focus on anything long enough to care.
I remember being dropped off to meet my mom, still out of my mind on this horrible trip. I staggered to the car, mumbled something about a stomach flu and spent the whole ride home sitting on the passenger seat floor, unable to bear the sight of traffic whirring and blurring past. I don't know if mom believed me or not. She didn't say a word, just allowed me to crawl into bed once home and stay there for the next 48 hours, shaking and terribly afraid that I would never leave this German Expressionistic dimension.
I slept. I puked, I slept some more. Slowly, whatever it was wore off, but I stayed stoned for a good two days afterwards. To this day, I have no idea what that weed had been laced with. Alicia later told me it had smelled "chemical" and she had decided to refrain. (Yeah, thanks for the heads up, twat.) Perhaps one of you can tell me? Was it Angel Dust? Acid? This was 1986, remember. There was no such thing as Molly or whatever back then. So it had to have been one or the other. Any ideas? Anyone?
I never took the bus back down to that city 20 miles South again. As soon as I felt physically able, I went out and got a job - my very first job - at a local deli, about a mile down the road from our new apartment. I was 17. I enrolled in the one-on-one tutor program. I used my newfound income to buy a bike, a white tenspeed, and rode to work and school every day I was scheduled. Alicia still called the house, but I wasn't home much anymore. I was making sandwiches for the busy lunch rushes. I was sweeping up lettuce. I stopped wearing makeup and feathering my hair - I went to work ponytailed and scrubbed clean. I traded my leopard prints for plain blouses. I covered up my more stubborn acne with tinted zit zapping cream, and eventually the worst of it faded away. I never stopped breaking out, not even now in the looming shadow of the Big Five Oh. But I no longer looked like a leper eating pizza.
One day I did happen to pick up the phone as I was getting ready to leave for work. It was Alicia. I suddenly realized I didn't want to be her friend anymore. She was content to be unemployed, angry, slutty and stoned. I wasn't. I had Made Up My Mind - no more Alicia, no more drugs, I was going to grow up, get my GED and be a decent person. I told her I didn't want to talk to her anymore. She screamed something unintelligible at me and slammed the phone down. She never called again. I shrugged, and went to work, and went to school, and was okay with it.
So...who wants to hazard a guess as to what horrible hallucinogen I inhaled that day? Please comment.