No outlet – foto Smith
I’m reading my memoir and now that I know it’s available to be seen by others, it has greatly changed the tenor of the read — it’s like, “Wow, I actually included that?”
I’m doomed to be mocked by many, and occasionally reviled.
Here’s the episode of *the Big Blue U in the road* from 1976.
I got tired of the stress of working for NCR in Baltimore and decided to move to Michigan to work for Pappy as his manual laborer. As I left NCR on my last day, the guy who’d hired me asked if I needed any grass. I drove out to his houseboat at dusk and felt like I was in a black and white film as I walked onto the houseboat in dusky light, the world all grays and shadows bobbing on the waves. He brought out a bag ocrushed f parsley and I said, “You’ve got to be kidding, I know what grass looks like, and this is parsley.”
“I know,” he said. “Try it.”
The parsley was soaked in hallucinogenic DMT. One toke and I immediately bought the whole bag. I walked across the film noir dock back to the beach and stepped into a telephone booth to call my brother to tell him what a treasure I’d scored for the trip to Michigan. As I hung up the phone, it had become dark enough that the wharf lights came on, illuminating the outside of the phone booth which was covered in hundreds of large spiders. I flung open the door and ran to the car, shuddering.
Driving through the hills of Pennsylvania at night on my way to Michigan, I took too deep a toke of the DMT-soaked parsley and my vision blacked out. “Well, this is interesting,” I said to reality, “but if you’re going to change the rules, you have to give me a clue.”
A big blue U appeared and hovered over the highway in front of the car. When the top of the U tilted to the left, I turned the steering wheel to the right to make the U straight again, and vice versa. When my vision came back I was right where I was supposed to be, in the middle of my lane going around a curve.
As I got past Detroit, I stopped by the side of the freeway for another toke of DMT. A state trooper stopped on the berm on the other side of the freeway, probably to see if I were in trouble. He turned on his flashing lights and drove down to the next crossover to return and check me out. I couldn’t wait because the car was filled with illegal smoke and my eyes were redder than a mad hen. I took off for the next exit, got off, went across the highway, got back on, and sped back down the section of highway the cop car had just been on. When I got to where the cop had been, the cop was where I had been, and he didn’t look happy when he saw me. We took off again. I sped to the next exit and hid behind a dead service station.
Smoking too much DMT and driving too long, I fantasized I was escaping Baltimore after all these years and that THEY were going to try to stop me. I feared a big hairy foot would drop down from the sky and stomp me into the road. I drove with one eye on the road and the other eye on the sky for a long while. I was as deeply fried as I’d ever been and became so paranoid that when I’d get off the highway for food or gas, I’d drive through the area to see what the people there looked like and then go into my bag and disguise myself to look as much like them as possible.
When I arrived at my folk’s trailer, I couldn’t stand up straight because I’d driven in the same hunched over position from Baltimore to Brahman. I lurched in all crouched over, sat down in the kitchen, swung both arms atop the table, looked at my parents, and started to speak. Total gibberish came out, and we all looked at each other in silence. None of us had any idea what I’d said. “You should just go look at yourself,” Pappy said, disapprovingly.
I walked into the bathroom and put my hands on the edge of the trailer sink counter, leaned forward to stare deeply into my eyes, and RIPPED the sink cabinet right off the wall with my weight. Pappy was furious until he saw it had only been held to the wall with four large staples.
This DMT I had was so good, everyone was impressed. I started selling it as Radish Rust and drove back to Baltimore to score more, the only successful drug deal I’ve ever done.
After I moved to Michigan, I collected unemployment and worked for Pappy under the table. On the way to Luddington to sign up for unemployment, I saw a sign for the hamlet of Nirvana. I wanted so badly to steal it. The road it was on was route MD 20, which we called Mad Dog 20 because it curved so much we figured the person laying it out had to have been drunk on Mad Dog wine. Through the Unemployment Bureau I got an interview for a sludge flow management position for which I felt sure I was qualified because I was smart, educated, and knew my shit; but I didn’t get the shit job, and I never stole Nirvana.
~ ~ ~
The memoir Stations of the Lost & Found by Smith & Lady is available for $20 at https://www.createspace.com/3903652. We’ll have 20 physical copies in a week for first come first serve.
Bio danger – foto Smith