Syracuse Or Bust

This is the third drug story I’ve posted. It’s from my book. This kind of thing did not happen too often.

Thomas and I head to the college fraternity where the party is located. The frat is a group of friendly eccentric guys that are patient with locals hanging around and partying with them.
I take a seat in Jeff’s room. He’s a quiet, intense anthropology major. Jeff is nice and easy to be around.
Jeff passes me a bong. He takes a hit, blows out a cloud of smoke, coughs and says, “Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, at arm’s length. Death is the only wise adviser we have.”
I say, “I’m not a fan of death.”
“The fear of death is not the way of the warrior. These are the Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda.”
A frat guy joins us and takes a bong hit.
I say, “No offense, Jeff, but the death talk is not elevating my buzz.”
The frat guy says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about but I also vote no to the death discussion.”
Jeff moves on to discussing Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy about dream experiences and music while we listen to Sun Ra, an artist whose music sounds like the planets Venus and Saturn took LSD and composed jazz.
Several frat brothers join us. One of them mentions the Grateful Dead is playing in Syracuse, New York tomorrow night. Does anyone want to go? I say, “Sure”. Two frat brothers want to go. It’s 1 am. The driver says we should all do acid so we can stay up all night. We all take a hit of acid.
In retrospect its bat-shit crazy that I got into a car with a driver that took acid at 1 am. Plus, the nickname for his old yellow Pinto is “The Lemon”. We have sixteen hours of driving ahead of us.
We’re in a mountainous area in New York. We’re on our second hit of acid, plenty of beer and joints. The driver is only tripping. We’re all laughing our heads off. Jeff says, “Anyone know what state we’re in?” That causes uncontrollable laughter from everyone. The driver pulls over to a scenic view point. We all jump out of the car and laugh for about fifteen minutes, holding our legs together so we don’t pee.
We have no idea where we are. We go to a gas station. I’m elected to go inside and ask for directions. I stand in line behind a few customers. It’s around 7 am. I want to feel like a normal human should feel at 7 am. Like the customers in front of me purchasing coffee and breakfast.
It takes every ounce of my might to not lose it. I won’t look at The Lemon because I know I will bust of laughing. It’s my turn with the cashier. I say, “Could you please…hahahahahaha…give me…hahahahahahaha…directions…hahahahahaha…to Syracuse? Hahahahaha.”
He says something like turn left out of the parking lot, follow the road for about three miles, turn right onto Route 6, left on such and such road and then take Interstate 81 North.”
I say, “Thank you. Hahahahahahaha.”
I walk to The Lemon and get inside. The guys are all laughing uncontrollably. I say, “I can’t remember anything he told me.”
That causes us all to get outside of the car and run around the parking lot laughing. Customers are staring at us. I walk back in and ask the clerk to write down the directions. He smiles and looks at me like, “I want some of what you’re on.”
We arrive to Syracuse. There’s a bar in town that is filled with Deadheads, the name of Grateful Dead fans.
Everyone is dancing to a live recording of the Grateful Dead. I’m having big fun. Around 4 pm we all take another hit of acid. We head to the Syracuse Dome. There’s a group of Deadheads jumping in a wind tunnel that occurs when you open a door to the Dome. It’s like a miniature tornado that we can fly in. It doesn’t take much to fully entertain us.
During the concert I wander off from the guys. It doesn’t occur to me that I may not find them in the crowd of 50,000 people. I panic towards the end of the concert. I don’t remember where we parked.
I want to cry. I’m sleep-deprived and high – not a good combination. I’m sitting against a wall while hordes of Deadheads rush by me because they know where they are going.
The guys walk up to me and say, “You ready to go?”
I’m in shock. “How did you find me?”
“We were walking by and we saw you.”
“That’s a goddamned miracle.”
On the drive home we take turns driving. The owner of The Lemon requests that we pull over because he’s sick to his stomach. He runs over to the woods. When he comes back to The Lemon he notices the tire is about to fall off. He gets a wrench out of the trunk and tightens the tire. Another miracle.

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