Monday, January 01, 2007

True confessions - BWI epilogue

Happy New Year dear readers. I hope you all enjoyed last night's celebrations and woke up feeling as good as I did. Good old Moet came through again. When I checked this morning, I discovered that I had managed to drink about 3/4 of the bottle by myself over the course of the evening, yet as I predicted -- no hangover. My head feels fine. My stomach on the other hand didn't fare quite so well after chowing down on a ton of brie and crackers for dinner. My system apparently lost its tolerance for rich foods since I've gone on this health kick. Still, overall, I feel surprising great today.

I was thinking some more today about my "psychedelic phase" of life. I was eighteen and I took a lot of acid at that time. For a few weeks, I ate LSD for breakfast every single day. I rarely dropped a whole tab at once though. I would nibble at it, like Alice in Wonderland nibbling on the mushroom, so I didn't walk around with that goofy grin you get when you're peaking and the world melts around you. In those tiny amounts, taken throughout the day at intervals, I merely maintained the level where the ordinary world looks a little brighter and mundane interactions could feel profound.

One day I just stopped taking it and never took a chemical psychedelic again. Over the years, I very occassionally ingested shrooms. I took my last trip on those at a hot air balloon rally which turned out to be a really magical trip. There were four of us sitting a big rock just outside of the general bustle on the field. We were giggling and goofing on the colors and the Wizard of Oz-like roar of the burners when a pilot approached us and asked if we wanted to crew for him since his people didn't show up. He was a local important businessman with a known propensity for drinking so in retrospect, I figure he must have hitting the champagne himself that morning. A sober person would not have searched the crowd and deliberately chosen the most whacked out group on the grounds for this job.

In any event, two of us took him up on it and we gave tether rides for a hour or so. It was a little breezy and the field was crowded so I worked the ropes on the ground. I can't begin to describe what it's like to be tripping on shrooms and towing around a giant balloon on a rope like it was some mutant party favor. It was a life changing moment. It was after that I became a regular crew member for another balloon that I flew with for many years. Those were the glory days of the sport when it was so new, they didn't have so many rules and only slighty crazy people were on the circuit. We had some fun for sure.

Eventually the sport changed and the rallies became more businesslike and regulated. Took all the fun out it. Now it's been decades since I've flown by hot air or psychedelic substances, but I don't regret either. I think it added a rich dimension to my life experience that most people don't get the benefit of and it made me a better person in the end.


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