Summer of Santa Cruz: Just an LSD Freak in a Tree

June drifted into July. Periwinkle and I got part-time jobs with the Census. It was the easiest, dumbest job I’d ever had. I’d get stoned and walk around my own neighborhood and “enumerate” how many people lived there. That was the word we used: “enumerate.” Once, a fat guy slammed the door in my face right in the middle of my pitch.

Fuck you,” I mumbled, under my breath.

Three seconds later, he threw the door open, his face twisted with rage.

“You wanna go, chump? My mom just died. I’ll kick your fucking ass, right now!”

I danced away nimbly. He was big and crazy. I scampered on home.

On Periwinkle’s 41st birthday, he invited me to go to his favorite spot on the Santa Cruz River and do mushrooms with him. Honored, I agreed to go. We drove along Highway 9 up to Boulder Creek, until we found a spot where the Redwood forest split and gave way to a secret stretch of shadowed creek that boasted long sandy banks hemmed by lush tangles of primeval foliage. Peri and I got naked and put on straw hats and gobbled up his mushrooms.

He’d been storing the psilocybin in the freezer for months, labeling it as “delicious tofu” so nobody would disturb it, and I don’t know if it was the long stretch in the box or what, but the mushrooms seemed very weak. I tried doing special pranayamic breathing techniques to catalyze the process, but nothing exceptional came of it. I lay down in the sand naked and pouted. Out of nowhere, a half-Jewish folksinger named Jaya Brown appeared and tried to feed me grapes. I disliked that whole grape thing, even though I pretended to be okay with it. It was too cute by half.

Periwinkle bathed in the algid water, tripping his balls off (in my absence, he had swallowed a capsule of pure MDMA – it was his birthday) and chatting happily with a tall, cherubic professional banjo player named Carl Sprawl. Carl Sprawl was dating Jaya Brown. They made love nightly in the seclusion of Carl’s VW camper van. I took a closer look at Jaya Brown’s 20-year-old body. It was superb. I wanted to do it in a camper van with her, too.

Determinedly, I continued trying to catalyze some sort of intoxicated state. I had a miserable pouch of rolling tobacco that I kept fashioning into filthy little sticks and smoking even though it tasted like poison, hoping that would do the trick. I stooped low into a tense, miserable ball, biting my lip. Jaya Brown stretched out languidly on a rock, watching me.

“Do you ever do yoga?”

“Sometimes,” I mumbled.

“Try this one,” she suggested, falling into Adho Mukha Svasana – Downward Facing Dog. Her amazing hips stretched towards the sky and her black hair burned in the sun and her tanned buttocks ripened into loaves of awesomely fertile hippie-flesh. She came to her feet, casually. “There’s a really great class tomorrow at the Vet’s Hall at 5:00,” she said, smiling. “Maybe I’ll see you there.” Then she and Carl sprawled away.

Periwinkle seemed enormously sad to see them go. “Life’s a mystery,” he intoned. The water had risen up to his chin. Some of it seeped into his mouth when he talked. His pupils were so dilated that his entire eyeball was black.

“Yes,” I responded sagely. “I think I’ll go home now.”

I went to yoga the next day. Jaya was there. She cuddled me during Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. I was astounded by her nerve. “What about Carl Sprawl?” I asked.

“I’m in love with him,” she admitted.

But she accompanied me back to my house, where I confessed my porno aspirations. She wasn’t as impressed as I wanted her to be.

“I once made a porn,” she remarked, absent-mindedly.

“You did?” I frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“It was for a guy named Casey,” she explained. ” ‘Casey’s Cumshots.’ His thing was huge, fake cum shots. He had this big dildo that he’d hollowed out, with a turkey baster inside it. He’d just blast me with about a gallon of Pina Colada mix! It was gigantic! Covered my whole face, my tits, got in my hair, everything.”

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