Sometime around 1991 or 1992 I took a couple hits of acid with Melody and her friend whose name I no longer remember. I have several stories which start this way, but this is the one where we ended up in the back of a car with a bunch of drunk punks.
I was in love with Melody. She had somewhat sharp features and the long hair on top with shaved sides haircut which was popular at the time. I’m not sure that most people would have described her as pretty, but I thought she was one of the most attractive girls I had ever met. There was something about her eyes, her lips, the way she moved, that made me fascinated.
She was dating my friend Ryan, but any time that we were all together, usually with a larger group of friends, Melody and I would end up talking together, and often even separating ourselves somewhat from the rest of the group. This would eventually end my friendship with Ryan. I would say that this is another story, but really there isn’t much more to it.
Melody’s friend was quiet, maybe even more quiet than me. She was thin and had a mostly shaved head. She had a single long lock of hair which she grew from a small patch at the front of her head, in the center. It was a light brown color. She was one of the few people who I ever would describe as mousy. I don’t mean anything negative by that. She had moved to Columbus recently from Chicago. When she moved she took on the punk look that I knew her to have, but one time I saw a picture of her in Chicago with 80’s style big hair. Apparently she had been really into country music in her previous life.
If I remember correctly we took the acid at Melody’s Mom’s house. Robin was a middle aged woman whose much younger girlfriend was often around. I believe that she had been married to Melody’s father when Melody was born. I sometimes wondered if she had ever been actually been attracted to men, or if she knew she was only really interested in women when they were married. Robin liked me though, and it was apparent to me that she liked me more than she liked Ryan.
Robin kept at least one, maybe more, decorative double-headed battle axes around the house. She also had a parrot and a couple dogs. One of the dogs would get excited whenever I came over and put her paws on my chest and bounce excitedly. One time I said to her “okay, you’re here, what are you going to do now?” Robin was in the room and remarked “that’s exactly what I say to her.” After that she always pointed out to Melody how much the dogs liked me.
I may have some details of this acid trip confused with another. That is, some of the events I describe may have actually happened on a different acid trip with Melody. But all of the events happened, as far as I know.
This particular night was cold and snowy. December I believe, but for some reason I really want it to have happened in December so maybe I’m making that part up. We walked for a while after dropping the acid, going nowhere in particular. I remember the thick virgin snow on the ground was beautiful on LSD. Shimmering an array of impossible colors under the low pressure sodium lamp street lights.
Fairly early in the night we went to an apartment near the OSU campus where Melody knew some people. A bunch of gutter punks. I don’t think this place was a squat but I’m not sure. One of the few things I remember from this place is that there was a very large guy, a few years older than me and rather overweight, wearing a solid blue onesie. He looked like a giant smurf, and I think his housemates may have referred to him this way as well. Most of the people in the house were high on heroin and I sat in a chair for a while next to a guy talking on the phone. He was taking a really long time to get each word out and even then could barely get across whatever it was he needed to communicate. After he put the phone down and turned to me saying “would you like a hit, it’ll make you like me.” I passed.
After some time, a couple hours I think, we moved on. At some point we met the Cinci Drunk Punx. I think we just ran into these guys, who knew Melody. I don’t remember clearly though. Maybe they were at the heroin apartment, maybe she had planned to meet them. But I think it was a random occurrence. There were three of them and they had a car. The car had the words Cinci Drunk Punx written in sharpie on the dashboard and on the back of the driver’s seat. They said that they were in fact from Cincinnati and were obviously drunk as advertised. The punk part should go without saying at this point.
For some reason we all decided that going for a ride in the car would be a great idea. I usually do not have particularly impaired judgement while on LSD and have always been against drunk driving. But we did it. We took the car to an empty parking lot. Under the thick layer of snow was a nearly as thick layer of ice. We did donuts in the parking lot for what seemed like hours. All the time though I remember just thinking how amazing the snow looked and how ugly the dingy, dirty, beige car upholstery was. I was also somewhat aware that the edge of the parking lot had a chain link fence. Beyond that fence was a 20 foot drop to the freeway which ran below the street level in this part of town. Even though I was aware of it, aware of the driver being drunk, and aware that some of our wild spins took us quite close to the fence, I don’t remember feeling fear. I just saw the glittering snow and sickening car interior
After a while we stopped and the three of us not from Cincinnati got out of the car. The Drunk Punx went on their way and I never encountered them again. My small party, still consisting of myself, Melody, and her friend, decided to go back to Melody’s house. We wanted orange juice first, likely because of the old urban legend that it makes LSD stronger, so we stopped in a 7-11 and bought a gallon. We walked about a dozen blocks drinking this juice. All of us wearing coats not quite heavy enough for the cold. None of us with gloves or hats. When we got to Melody’s we noticed ice crystals in the juice. Somehow none of us had frostbite from this night out.
I slowly lost contact with Melody, but not before being hissed at by a statue of the virgin Mary and staying a night in a squat with some of her other friends. It had been nearly a year since I talked to her when I found out that she had been murdered while hitchhiking. The night I discovered that I nearly drank myself to death, but these really are other stories which I’ll tell another time.