In the fun-time madness of youth and drugs, I decided to swallow two tabs instead of one. The weather was warming up and the classrooms were thinning out. At that point, many of the students I was friendly with were removed from my small school. As it was, the school was an alternative to the regular classroom experience.
The schoolhouse itself was once the upper levels of a barn. There were horse stables below the classrooms and a pasture to the south side. To the north was the wooded area where longhaired students ran off to kill their brain cells and make their eyes bloodshot and half-closed.
We were surrounded by a college campus. And by we, I mean the students and teachers of a school named P.A.C.E.
The views were scenic and the driveway was long with a wooden fence at the sides to keep the horses in. The classrooms were sectioned off by cheap dividers and half-walls. There was no cafeteria or gymnasium. There was no school pride or pep rallies for school teams. There was nothing but bleeding-heart teachers that believed they could help and the refused students that never wanted their help in the first place.
By refused, I mean students that were refused from anyplace else. I mean the students that refused to conform and produce in normal classroom surroundings. Each of us (and by us, I mean the kids in the classrooms) were thrown out of our local schools.
We were removed for our environment and drug-accused behavior. Some were removed due to outbursts in their previous schools; I was removed because I took too much LSD and flipped out on a substitute teacher named Mr. Rowley.
They removed me from my environment; however, they did not remove me from myself. And since my discomforts and unsatisfied feelings remained, and since drugs were easily found, I placed two paper tablets on my tongue a few hours before leaving on the afternoon bus to my vocational school.
The LSD took hold by the time my lunch period was finished. I began to hear the imaginary sound of bells and whistles ringing in my ears. Next was the visions of fireworks exploding behind the walls of my eyelids.
Then my stomach began to turn; it turned more so with mescaline, but LSD had a similar effect. Both hallucinogens left me with a nervous feeling inside my stomach. But with either brand, I felt my adrenaline intensify, or better, I felt my adrenaline detach as I entered into a distorted version of myself.
In the beginning stages, I felt an uncontrollable smile, followed by and insane flow of unstoppable laughter. I became all too aware of my surroundings. I noticed every flaw and imperfection. I noticed the bizarre and pronounced features of people’s faces.
Then I felt aware of my own imperfections…..and this is where the paranoia set in.
I had one class before heading off to the trade school. I think it was math…
I sat in the back of the classroom to avoid attention, however, the far out expression on my face was clear and obvious.
My pupils were large and my eyes were slivered into puffy almond shapes with red veins blushing through the whites of my eyeballs.
My face was red and my confusion was blatant. There was no hiding what I did….but yet…the school’s staff never said anything.
The teacher for this class was short with short curly hair. She was troll-like and her voice was high-pitched. During sober moments I found her to be odd looking, but add the amounts of LSD, and her looks became worse.
I thought to myself, “I got to get out of here!”
I wanted to leave, but in a classroom so small and mostly empty, there was no way for me to slip out without being noticed. Instead, I excused myself to the small, one toilet, one sink bathroom, and I hid there for the remainder of class.
By this time, the affects from the drug were in full swing. I saw lines behind every moving object. I called these trails because everything that moved left a trail behind itself.
I loved these visions, but they came too strong, and I was not in the right place to enjoy them. I wished I were anyplace else. Instead, I was handling my temporary case of schizophrenia and riding on a short bus to my trade school.
Rather than learn a trade, I decided to take photography. I took this class because I thought it would be easy. And in times like this, I would hide inside the darkroom while students developed their film. During my time in this class, I never completed one roll of film. I never developed any pictures, and I rarely attended.
During my last LSD experience in class, I sat in the darkroom and watched the cartoon-like hallucinations that took place in the blackness. I enjoyed the roaming second hand on the glow in the dark clock, and while the other students complained, I sat in my drug induced trance.
After several loud complaints, the teacher marched in. She flipped the lights on and in a loud, angry voice, she asked, “What the hell is going on in here.”
And there I was…..giggling with a line of drool hanging from my chin.
I was sitting cross-legged with a demented smile and pointing at the clock.
The teacher was on the younger side of middle-aged. Her hair was brown and shoulder length. She never wore makeup, or dressed well, and her hair always appeared to be slightly greasy. But cleaned up, I always assumed she could be pretty. But she was not pretty when she was angry.
She asked, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
All I could do was laugh and say, “The clock glows in the dark!”
I pointed, “Did ya see it? It glows in the dark and the second hand moves around in a circle…”
She was not amused.
The teacher knew what I was on. She threatened, “Next time you come to my class in this condition, I’m calling the cops.”
So not to repeat the process, I did what I usually did. I cut class.
The idea was to leave and then return before the busses arrived to take the students to their local bus stops. This way, I could leave school and still have a ride home.
I left the school grounds and found myself sitting in a park, counting blades of grass, and talking to myself. If I remember correctly, I think I was singing, “Walking in a winter wonderland,” while playing with the grass, but that might be from a different story altogether.
When I returned, I sat in the smoking corridor. Also known as the “Smoke hallway,” the floor was painted a glossy shade of gray. The walls were white, and there were multi-colored chairs bolted on benches across from the double exit doors. All of the benches had an ashtray bolted next to the first and last seat. This long stretch of hallway was the only designated smoking area in the building. This was also the exit to the bus ramps and where I needed to be if I wanted to catch the bus to go home
To me, the floor looked like water. I could see the reflection of the posters and the ceiling on its surface. In addition, the hallway echoed with a psychedelic whisper.
This caused me to slip in a hallucinatory trance. Everything sounded with an echo and everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.
I watched the floor ripple like the glassy surface of a gray lake. It was too odd to compare with anything I had ever seen before.
There were classrooms on the left end of the hallway, and classrooms to the right as well. There were two bells before the end of class. One was for students with special needs. This included the hearing impaired and physically challenged. Some were accompanied with aides and some were alone, or with their fellow classmates in need. The second bell came several minutes after. (That’s when the other students came out)
I was lost in my trance when the first bell went off. I heard the bell ring, but the ringing seemed more like a part of my fantasy. But the bell was not fantasy.
It was real.
Suddenly, I heard the sounds of people walking. I heard the sounds of the deaf students speaking in their hard to understand voices. This dragged in my ears and sounded haunting.
I saw them coming from either side of the smoke hallway and they were about to step on the glassy floor, which looked like water. Accompanying the hearing impaired were the physically challenged. Some had their hands curled; some walked poorly, some were curled in wheelchairs, and most if not all made some kind of guttural sound as they approached the hallway.
I felt like I was in a bad horror movie….
Next thing I knew is they were all coming my way; they were coming at me from both sides and walking on what seemed like water. It was horrifying. Each step splashed and sent ripples across the shiny gray floor. Their bodies reflected against the watery surface and their guttural sounds echoed in the hallway. Gripped with an immobile fear, I watched them all pass in what seemed like slow motion.
Here I was, supposedly healthy or otherwise, “Normal,” and there I was cringed on one of the seats with my fists up to my face, and trying to hide my eyes as the so-called “Special needs” kids passed by, perhaps looking at me as if to say, “What the hell is wrong with that asshole?”
That was the last time I took LSD in school.
As a matter of fact, I think that was the last time I went to that school…