Recently I’ve been writing autobiographical posts in chronological order using the places I’ve lived as a stepping off point for each moment in time. I’m doing this for my kids and grandchilden, including the ones that have yet to arrive. Passing forward a history that allows them to know who I was before they existed feels important to me. My mother told me stories about her early years throughout my life. Some are so deeply imbedded in my memory that I can see her living each event. I was always trying to get her to write them down, hoping that process would elicit more details and perhaps even more memories. She couldn’t get herself to do that, except for a very short time, and I always wished she had. My family will know a lot more about me than I did about her.
So far I’ve gotten to 1970, the end of my sophomore year in college. I was 19 years old. I was deeply engaged in the convulsive political activities of that time, attending many demonstrations and working hard to get educated about the pressing social issues affecting many young people across the country. I was also working hard on myself, trying to understand who I was before I decided to change my young life, who I was in that moment and who I wanted to be in the future. I was a curious mixture of cautious and brave. Except for my careful approach to romantic relationships, I was intellectually and emotionally bold, open to trying new things. I was particularly interested in the mystique surrounding the use of psychedelic drugs. Were people who used them really reaching a new plane of consciousness? Would “tripping” permanently and fundamentally change a person? I was skeptical about all that cosmic stuff. But I was curious. I decided that I’d give acid, LSD, a try. My personal caveat was that while doing it, I’d write as I went along, trying to keep a record of what happened to me. That made sense as journaling was something I did as a matter of course. On this recent autobiographical journey, I found that piece of acid trip writing which vividly evoked my experience of 50 years ago. I thought it deserved its own space, shining a light back on my young self at a unique moment. So here it is. Oh my…
Your eyes are burning holes in my face and your crunching hands look like sculptured clay. Aquiline features chiseled inside my head blotting away my thoughts that I don’t want to keep but I know they‘ll come back anyway. A familiar voice I’ve heard for years and who how is she feeling I’m worried.
Basket shooters and weavers.
This apartment is a huge throbbing peanut shell with chipped candle all over the table.
I know that he doesn’t want to share experiences with me so I must learn to forget that I want to share things with him.
My head is stiff and filled and I can barely move this pen across the paper. I’m not looking at what I’m doing but my hand is moving and this is the most incredible feeling I’ve ever had. I want to vomit except I know I hate it.
Your hand was so big in front of my eyes. Everything is so much slower and steadier when I look at something for too long my vision clouds and I feel all apart each limb some other than part of me what is me? I’m floating inside my head how am I doing this. I see you moving and watching me I see shadows your cigarette I see S. breathing.
It’s music I’m floating I’m moving all sensation a ghost I’m bouncing. They’re not moving it’s me. I’ve heard this music before. I’m so disciplined I’m writing, I’m writing, I’m writing. I hear everything I feel everything inside me. I hear my smile.
I want my sounds on the paper. I have to keep my paper. I’m floating. All mine all mine. Paranoid.
A jay, hooray.
It’s so long to smoke cigarettes.
Putting our ashes in peanut shells.
I just got angry and thought I’d lose control.
Maybe I’d better be alone away from all these people do I like them or don’t I? I don’t know I have to concentrate on my thinking.
I’d like to smile.
Only physical things I feel like I’m falling apart and I can feel it all.
I need to write this down. How can I be trying to discipline myself like this. I’m hurting the revolution.
I’m wild too wild menthol cigarettes. I. My face is frozen.
I can’t get anywhere and I can’t get to anyone. I thought I liked all sensations but I’m choking on these. I’m living this life like I always live no by myself I can’t turn to anyone even though I’d like to Albert where are you. I shouldn’t think of him. How am I writing this.
I want to drown to him in this music and￼￼ maybe if I was holding him I wouldn’t feel like I was drowning. Faces names flying my training literary instinct. This is bad good M. is tapping my ear I hear I hear I hear. I feel tears behind￼ my eyes do I control them or not.
I can’t run away.
I can’t look at anyone without feeling they’re judging me.
The inside of my mouth I feel everything. This writing is the only link I can’t look up or down or I’ll be lost.
I’m hallucinating and realizing it and loving it and the paper is jelly and quivering. How is my pen staying between the lines.
What￼ level is this? Talking about her California vacation.
Pictures at an exhibition. Observations of a tripping mind encompassing everything too fast thoughts that couldn’t ever be written down.
This is an exaggerated reality how could I sum it all up before the thing￼ even began. So many people so many things all passed through too fast￼ for me to remember. How far away￼ was I from reality?
Albert I￼ never reached him all night though I was headed there from the￼ start. Does everyone feel as paranoid as me. That my subjectiveness will make everyone hate me. Am I bumming anyone out. How could this happen and will it all be insignificant tomorrow and if it is how sad. That I never shared this with him. The paper is swimming and quivering and I’m so physical.
Why didn’t Albert want to trip with me how could it matter anything bad would melt away like everything else no matter how bad people faces.
I love the music I heard this dream. Poor P alone and I’m not helping at all. I can’t stop at all. I can’t sing at all.
Renee is the never ending gesture of always being naked.
Well, there it is. About 10 hours of my drug-induced stream of consciousness writing, hardly the stuff of Bloom in Ulysses, but mine nonetheless. A lot of it reveals my obsession with Albert, my first adult love with whom the timing was always wrong. The rest is in keeping with the internal analysis that has been my constant life companion. Next, I’ll go back to the chronology, junior year of college. In the meantime, this ragged piece of writing stands as my youthful testimony, slightly embarrassing, but worth remembering.