Gwen, "So, I was thinking we should go out tonight, see the town. You guys are my guests, so, my treat. There's this great little section of the city called Five-Points; it's a really happening district – music, boutiques, bars, art galleries. We could check it out."
Sky, "Sounds cool. Natty, would you mind very much being our designated driver?"
Nate, "I suppose I could play that role."
Gwen, "Oh thank you Natty. I so want to trip with Sky. You'll have fun in Five-Points sober – there's lots to do and many hip people."
Nate, "O.k., no problem."
Gwen, "How about we make smoothies out of a quarter ounce and split it?"
Nate produces the plastic baggie of mushrooms and dishes out a quarter ounce. Gwen gets out her blender, frozen yogurt, juice. She breaks the dried mushrooms apart with her fingers and then prepares smoothies, pouring them into tall glasses. This accomplished, she serves Sky and clinks cheers with him.
Gwen, "So, shall we venture out into the evening?"
Sky, "We shall."
Gwen, "We can take my car."
They exit the apartment, make their way down the stairs and hop into her newer BMW. Nate adjusts mirrors, looks back and pulls out.
On an Atlanta highway, Sky's eyes light up and he says, "I'm starting to feel good."
Gwen, "Me, too."
A little further down the highway the car gets off a ramp.
Gwen, "Left up here, hon."
Nate turns the car left.
Gwen, "O.k, now turn right at the next light."
The car turns and rolls into the Five-Points district of Atlanta. The road curves to the right and there, leaning against a Volkswagen bus with four other people is the most beatific girl Nate and Sky have ever seen. Her hair is long, below the middle of her back. She looks like she's well accustomed to being the cats' meow. Her face is as pretty as it is sagacious and astute. Her body is to live for. Nate knows an ancient longing.
Quite oblivious to Gwen, Sky: "Oh my God, she's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. She's more beautiful than Theresa!"
Nate, "I'm going to talk to THAT girl."
Sky, "I'll give you mad credit if you do bro'. I want to talk to her."
Gwen, "No, don't stop here, I want to take you further into Five-Points before we stop."
Nate lands a parking space not far ahead of where the girl is standing and as Gwen says: "Well, alright, I guess..." he is already out of the BMW and at a frisk prance up to the girl.
Approaching THAT girl… tingles Natty.
Nate, exuberantly: "Hiii!!!"
Nods from the quintet
Nate, "We're not from around here. We're from New York. We've been down south for three weeks now doing some mycological reconnaissance… in the fields collecting pounds of mushrooms. We're on our way back home and stopped in Atlanta for the night. I was hoping you could recommend a good hippie bar."
THAT Girl: "I'm not from around here either."
Nate, "Where are *you* from?"
THAT girl: "I just flew in from France today… I'm just stopping over here in Atlanta for the night with my friend until I head back home to Louisiana tomorrow. Interesting. I like my indoles, too."
Nate: "Yeah. They demonstrate that things are connected in all sorts of amazing ways. What were you doing in France?"
THAT Girl: "I was there seven years. Finishing up my Art History Degree with some comparative religion, philosophy, itinerant teknival performances, dance, ethnography and much ethnobotany – all interconnected stuff!"
Nate: "Sounds amazing."
THAT girl: "It really was. Do you travel a bit?"
Nate: "Quite a bit. As much as time allows. When I'm not in school."
An older man standing by the Volkswagen: "Whu… mushrooms. That's some crazy shit…"
THAT girl: "No, not crazy. They're a useful teaching agent; I've learned a lot from them, and in doing so never lost my senses. In fact, I find them ultra clarifying. The indole drugs give us immediate knowingness of intricate macro and micro modalities of awareness. Try them and you'll "Be" there, which is where you have to go, because ultimately words fall short of telling what it is to trace and picture the Mind under indole lights."
Nate: "I hear some of the finest mushrooms in North America grow in Louisiana."
THAT Girl: "Golly, it's been a while since I've picked. They're good, I suppose. I got spoiled with Amsterdam being so handy. I can't really be sure our native strains were superior."
Nate: "We have abundant Amanita muscaria in New York, but as lovely as they are they don't fit the same key hole that Psilocybes do."
THAT girl: "I know. Psilocybes have been sooo very useful in my quests for enlightenment. Mmmm…" She twirls around and looks up at the sky with knowing and love in her eyes. "I tried Amanita muscaria once, they made me sleepy."
Nate: "The effects of different strains of those can vary quite a lot…
Teknivals, tell me more about those."
THAT Girl: "Oh, they're traveling outdoor raves and film festivals, similar I suppose to a Rainbow Gathering but different in that they couldn't be so inveterately anti-tech. An interesting dichotomy, it seems to me, is that at Rainbow they're not anti technique of mind, but just anti- tech of machine implements."
Nate: "Rainbow's been my most enjoyable gathering since Jerry Garcia's passing. I definitely knew a strong patriotism to the Nation of the Grateful Dead. We were the largest nomadic population of people in human history. Dead tour was my mind and heart's delight. When I wasn't touring, I was thinking constantly about creative ideas to bring to Tour. Furthur is a weak comparison to me.
I do enjoy the no or low tech policy and thereby accentuated celebration of abilities human at Rainbow… But, I'm eager to know the European festival scene; teknivals - that's new to me. A mixture of primal humanism and highest tech ... is lovely to me. S'pose one could get very caught up in tech, as in anything else. I really enjoy, now that the ugly industrial revolution's past, the juxtaposition of highest tech telescopes, computers, and thinking with ancient, tribal – drum circle - ceremonies...."
THAT Girl: "What is your name?"
THAT Girl: "I'm Sprite."
Nate: "Very pleased to meet you."
Sprite: "Nathaniel, you're soft, like a mushroom high."
Nate: "Thank you."
Sprite: "It's good to be soft, supple and fluid… Have you been to Europe?"
Nate: "Once, to Italy when I was 15. School trip. I hope to be in Hungary this summer, and hence, with the Eurorail - or my friend Crazy Lou's car - most of Europe. My very excellent friend's been to Europe several times, his father's Hungarian, living there now, and we've
been fixin' to travel together for some time. Who knows... his Dad will most likely kick us a car. After Europe, we might just drive to Nepal,
then up through Siberia to ferry the Bering Strait to and down from Alaska... wouldn't that be an ass-kicking way to get home from a first European tour?"
Sprite: "Yes it would be a kick ass way to return from a first European tour."
Nate: "But I've been fantasizing about loping through the ancient forests of the Northwest US for years as well. I haven't yet. Maybe I'll join up with EarthFirst! ...maybe I'll just hang out for a long while in Vancouver !, Seattle! and other interesting centers of cultural activity. My good buddy Morph's there in Seattle, and a few other kids I know and bus loads I don't know yet. And Bigfoot. Oh and my oh my the mushrooms - no fewer than eight species of interest."
Sprite: "Hah ha! And Bigfoot. I think you should do both, when time permits. I love Europe."
Sprite's male friend has begun fidgeting. Sky has approached and stands beside Nathaniel.
Sky: "Hi, I'm Sky."
Sprite: "I'm Sprite."
Sprite's Friend: "I'm Tim."
Sky: "What's that on your forehead?"
Sprite wears an up arrow sticker on her lovely forehead.
Sprite: "I got it from a belly dancer at a party we were at tonight."
Tim: "Sprite, I really think we should be going."
Sprite: "Oh, o.k. Nathaniel, let me give you my e-mail address. Give me your's?"
Nate: "Yeah, good thinking."
Sprite: "I want to continue this conversation later."
Nate: "Me too!"
Sky: "Yeah, we should get moving, too. Gwen and I are hungry."
Sprite: "Good luck finding a hippie bar. Forget what they told you in school: Keep talking to strangers!"
Sprite and Tim climb into the Volkswagen Bus.
Sky: "You totally made it with that girl. I'm so jealous. That guy she was with was sooo hating you."
Nate: "Yeah. She's beautiful."
The Bus pulls away and Sprite waves to Nate.
A long haired young man, a hippie, walks up to the duo.
Young Man: "Did you hear about this in today's paper?"
He holds a photocopy of an article from the day's paper.
Nate: "No, what's up?"
Young Man: "A gigantic hole has been discovered in the ozone layer above Alaska. Unlike anything previously observed there, this one's huge."
Sky: "That's terrible."
Young Man: "Yeah, I heard you mention EarthFirst! to that sister and thought you might be interested to hear."
Sky: "What can we do about it?"
Young Man: "Massive consumer restructuring, tighten emissions controls on cars, refrigeration, factories, household goods. That's what we need to do. We could do it, we must do it, but with the government in this country I doubt we will. Other countries will sign pieces of legislation tightening emissions, but the fat cats who rule American politics don't seem to care about future generations upon the Earth, it's a crying shame. The U.S. government won't even commit to signing onto the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for governments world wide to commit to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, PFCs and nitrous oxide by 7 to 8 percent of 1990 emissions rates by 2012!!!! WHAT the FUCK?!!! Seven to eight percent is such a small amount to ask for."
Nate: "Yeah, that is something to cry about."
Young Man: "Well, I'll let you get back to your evening."
Nate: "O.k., bro'."
Seated at an outdoor table at a restaurant in Five Points Atlanta.
Gwen: "So Natty, did you get that hot girl's phone number?"
Nate: "We had a really sweet little conversation. She gave me her e-mail address."
Gwen: "Pretty good. Must have been a sweet conversation, Sky had to practically pull you two apart."
Nate: "That was the luckiest coin toss I ever lost back in Tallahassee!"
Sky: "Nate wanted to stay in Tallahassee, I wanted to come to Atlanta. It came down to a coin toss. It looks now like he really won! See, I told you back in Tallahassee that I had a gut feeling that going to Atlanta right away would be a great thing!"
Gwen: "Yeah, that girl is hot. I think you're imagining the membranes of her labias swollen in undulating arousal over you right now."
Nate: "Ha. Yes."
A waitress arrives.
Waitress: "Can I get you'all something to drink?"
Gwen: "We'll go with a pitcher of Margaritas. And for Nate…?"
Nate: "I'll have iced tea."
Waitress: "Very good."
Gwen: "So, I hope I'll not be offending anybody, but I think I will have the Filet Mignon."
Nate: "Salmon Filet for me."
Sky: "Mmmm, Salmon sounds good."
Gwen: "So Natty, Sky is a vegetarian for religious reasons, but why don't you eat red meat?"
Nate: "I've never seen this, but've heard from reliable friends reports of deer eating Amanita muscarias, and cows chewing cubensis. This is pretty much why I'm a vegetarian. Meat's yummy, but, as I realized, one muscaria trip in fact, I myself go from godhead/piercing mentation one moment, to basically just being content in my mammalian juices for a while. A cow or deer might have the same sort of experience, in its way. How can I deny a creature who's had even just moments of enlightenment continued existence, and the chance for more enlightenment, simply because its flesh tastes good. Because it's mostly on a lower level of awareness? Animals know love, lust, fear, feel the need for companionship just as we humans do. I'm pretty confident there're races functioning at altogether higher frequencies than I do - people right here on this planet, some of whom I know, in fact. I might be just a mammal happy in his juices' imagery compared to what they're up to; I really began to suspect that was so on that one particular trip. I certainly appreciate that higher intelligences don't wipe me out for a snack."
Gwen pours a Margarita from the pitcher which the waitress has brought. She takes a gulp.
Gwen: "Yeah, I went up to a cow one day and asked it how the Universe was. It didn't say anything. So I asked it 'How are you?' It said 'Mooo.' So I had it shot and ate it later that day."
Nate: "I really can't savor meat anymore. I get queasy thinking about consuming the flesh of a dead mammal. I'll eat eggs, and fish, because I recognize that I do need the proteins, but I don't even want to eat birds. I had a pet parrot once."
Gwen: "What happened to that bird?"
Nate: "The door to its' outdoor aviary got left open, it escaped to a tree on our front lawn and a hawk swooped in and made a meal of him."
Gwen: "See, it's not survival of the smartest or most enlightened, it's survival of the toughest – the hawk."
Sky: "I hope not."
Gwen: "So you don't like eating mammal flesh."
Gwen: "I can appreciate that. I actually never went up to a cow. I've only seen them from a distance. Do you really like them?"
Nate: "Actually, I do. They are very gentle, serene creatures, at peace with their own ways. Some very much love being petted. I think I have some insight into why Hindus revere cows. They may not be smart like a monkey or dog, but they are very blissful."
Gwen: "Don't tell me any more, I want to enjoy my filet!"
Their meal finished, empty plates and empty Margarita pitcher remain on the table. The waitress brings the bill and Gwen takes care of it.
Gwen: "We should head out and walk if we're going to see Five Points."
The trio are walking where THAT girl, Sprite, and her bus were.
Sky: "Hey, listen, there's Grateful Dead playing somewhere."
They walk on down the street to a club where Dead is playing.
Sky: "How much to get in?"
Doorwoman: "It's $15.00 per person."
Sky: "How much longer will they play?"
Doorwoman: "Another hour, maybe more."
Sky: "It's not worth it, guys."
Gwen: "Oh. There was a nice looking bar back there a little ways; want to check it out?"
Nate dawdles for a while looking back at the exact spot where he and Sprite met. Future potentialities swirl in his activated mind.
Sky: "C'mon Natty."
They make their way to the bar and enter.
Later, back at Gwen's condo, Sky helps a very drunk Gwen out of the car and up the stairs.
Morning in Gwen's condo. Gwen enters her living room while brushing her teeth. She smiles at the boys and returns to the bathroom. She gurgles a while. She re-enters the living room.
Gwen: "Hey, I had fun last night. I love tripping. It had been TOO long. I want to trip with you guys again, with Natty, too, this time. We should order some San Pedro cactus. A little heavier trip. How long can you guys stay?"
Sky: "Actually, sweetheart, we have to be moving on. We should leave today. We have to stop at my parents, get back to Buffalo and sell all these pounds of mushrooms before Burning Man Festival in Nevada. We ARE going to be cutting it close as it is. I'm sorry."
Gwen: "No, hey, for a chance to go to Burning Man – if I didn't have to work…"
Sky: "Sweetie… I need to borrow about $200.00 from you. I will pay you back as soon as we sell some mushrooms. We aren't going to have enough cash to make it back to New York."
Gwen: "No problem."
Gwen and Sky stand together in front of her condo. Nate snaps two pictures. They all hug, the boys get into their car and drive off.
Nighttime. New Jersey rest stop.
Sky: "Damn it all. Gas is so fucking expensive up North. We only have $35.00 left, bro'"
Nate: "Enough to get us to your folks."
Sky: "I CANNOT ask my parents for money. I'm twenty-six years old."
Nate: "You hang out at your parents', I'll shoot up to Woodstock and stay with this chick I know. I'll sell all the mushrooms I have on us there."
Sky: "O.k., cool."
Dusk settles upon the land. Soon they are pulling into Sky's parent's driveway.
Sky: "You have to come in to meet my parents."
They enter the three story purple, green and orange house. Sky's father greets them both with hugs in turn.
Joel: "Are you boys hungry? We had a party yesterday, there are many delicious leftovers."
The three go into the kitchen and the boys heap leftovers from a banquet table onto plates. Both eat heartily. After they finish, they take coffee in the parlor.
Joel: "So, how go the growing projects."
Sky: "We aren't growing anything, dad. We just got back from Florida where we were picking wild cubensis mushrooms. We scored about twelve pounds."
Joel: "Excellent. Do you have some on you?"
Nate opens his backpack and produces a ziplock baggie of three ounces. He lifts out a hefty handful and gives them to Joel.
Joel: "Muchas gracias."
Nate: "Que nada."
Nate reverses out of Sky's parents' driveway. He flies down the roads leading to the Tacomic Highway, accelerating even faster once on this roadway.
Driving through Woodstock, New York. The town is beautiful. Nate takes a left, then a right. He pulls left into the driveway of a large white farm house which he thinks is his chick friend Sierra's.
Knocking on the door.
Gruff voice of a man: "Who the hell wants what?"
Nate: "I'm looking for Sierra Wickwire."
Gruff man: "The Wickwires sold us this house. They moved to California. Hang on a minute, I'll get you the address. Come on in."
Inside there is a wolf hybrid dog shaved in the fashion of a French Poodle. There is the most enormous Dalmation. A monkey scuttles across the cupboards.
Gruffy: "So, who are you?"
Nate: "I'm Nate Wentworth, an old high school friend of the Wickwire girl."
Gruffy: "Man, she is a beauty. Sorry she's not here and it's just me. What I'd give to mouth her fair young titties."
Gruffy: "I'm Al. Al Romano. I used to be vice president of Smith-West Publishing in New York City, but my wife the doctor got her heart set on a job teaching at the local high school here. So now we live in hippie land. Want some wine?"
Nate: "It's a little early."
Gruff Al: "Not for me, son."
He pours himself a large glass, gulps it down, then pours himself another.
Al: "Well, here's their addy."
Nate: "You said you worked for Smith-West. I'm working on a manuscript about my adventures hunting wild psychedelic mushrooms, having wild ass adventures with plenty of witty dialogue. My book would put Easy Rider and On the Road to shame."
Al writes his name and address down on the paper containing Sierra's.
Al: "When can you get me a copy?"
Nate: "Well, I have a lot of mushrooms to sell, then I'm off to Burning Man Festival in Nevada. So, give me three months."
Al: "Don't blow smoke kid. Do it. And write about Burning Man."
Nate: "Awesome. I'm glad to have met you. "
Al: "You selling mushrooms here in Woodstock?"
Nate: "Plan to."
Al: "You know this house?"
Nate: "Like the back of my hand."
Al: "Lucky little son of a bitch. I'll bet you fucked her a million times. Wish I had once – I never have seen such a sweet little ass as Sierra's. Well, if you need a place to stay for the night… I don't suppose you will, this being the vagabond capitol of the North East.. but if you don't get lucky, I'll leave the garage apartment door open. Nobody lives there right now, so feel at home."
Nate: "Thanks Al."
Al: "Well, are you hungry."
Nate: "No, not really."
Al: "Go sell some 'shrooms."
Nate parks the car on Main Street in Woodstock. He gets out of the car and is amidst about twenty-five milling hippies, brightly dressed people just congregating around talking to each other.
Nate, loudly: "Hello all, I'm traveling through town and I brought fungus with me. Who needs Mushrooms?"
Several people approach him.
Beautiful girl: "Shit, bro'.. it's been a drought around here. I haven't seen ANY mushrooms in like two months! I'll buy a bag."
Longhaired guy: "Fucking yuppie."
Nate: "O.k….. $25.00 a bag."
In turn seven people buy eighth ounce baggies from him.
Nate conspicuously looks off fifty feet at a longhaired, black haired hippie walking into a health food store.
Another hippie head: "There's a party tonight at Bagwam Das'. A lot of older heads will be there. You will be able to sell all you have there tonight. A lot of people in this town like to fertilize the lily pads, lotus flowers of their minds with Psilocybe nutrients."
Another hippie sucks up a bongload. He looks at Nate and says: "Hey, it's Salvia divinorum. It's still legal."
Two more people approach Nate and say they heard he had mushrooms. He sells them a half ounce for $80.00.
Nate walks further down the street. There are many beautiful girls around and Nate looks a little gawking.
A homely girl rushes up to Nate and starts talking.
Homely: "Hey, I know you. You're a friend of Sierra Wickwire's. I met you at her senior party."
Nate: "Did you now…"
Homely: "Yeah, you and two other guys supplied all the acid. I ate seven hits that night. I was in a goddamned impressionist movie for three days. The clouds were actually morphing into skeletons and talking to me about the hereafter."
Nate: "Do you need some mushrooms?"
Homely: "You ARE the man!!! YES!"
Amazingly, she has a boyfriend. To him she says, "Honey, give me $40.00. I'll take a quarter."
In plain sight Nate estimates a quarter ounce of illegal teonanacatl into a bag for her.
Nate: "Who's this Bagwam Das I hear is having a party?"
Homely: "Oh, he's a guru who studied with Ram Das, Richard Alpert, in India in the '70s. He's doing a ceremony on a little girl tonight. I don't much go in for the Hindu stuff… I'm a Christian."
Nate: "Oh. I'll go to it. Say, is there somewhere I could bathe?"
Homely: "There's a creek down that street."
Nate: "Cool. Thank you, sister. I feel grimy as hell. I'll see you later."
Nate goes down to the creek and strips down. He hops in. There are other bathers. Finished, he dresses and climbs up the bank. He walks back to town. He passes a drunk guy.
Drunky: "Hey brother, you got a ride you can give me to Rainbow in Ontario?"
Nate: "Sorry bro, I'm all booked up heading west."
Drunky: "Shit, I gotta get to Canada. Problem is I have two garbage bags full of weed I want to bring with me. You want a beer?"
Drunky cracks open a can of beer for Nate and hands it to him.
Nate: "Thank you."
Drunky: "Well, see you."
Nate walks on. He arrives in a shops district. Passing a massage parlor, a middle aged woman looks at him and walks up.
Lady: "Hi, are you hitching through town?"
Nate: "No, I have a ride."
Lady: "You look tight. Would you like a free massage?'
He enters her store and she pleasures him on the back and shoulders for a good long while. She finishes.
Lady: "Have a beautiful day."
Nate hikes to the top of the hill in Woodstock, up by the Buddhist Monastery. He goes in and chants with some people for a while. Exiting, he lingers by an attractive blonde who is smoking a joint.
She, "Would you like some, traveler?"
She speaks in a thick Polish accent.
Nate, "Thank you."
They smoke the joint down to the roach and when it is extinguished she puts the roach in a little bag that hangs around her neck.
Nate, "Are you going to Bagwam Das' party tonight?"
She, "No, I'll be here."
Nate, "Well, thanks for the chiba. I have to ask, where are you from?"
She, "Poland. Around Biowavesha, in the East."
Nate, "Oh, cool, I've heard of that place. How do you say it?"
Prayer bells ring.
She, "Come on, more chanting and praying."
Nate, "I have to meet someone. I'm sorry, I have to go."
She, "Oh, shit. Bye."
Nate walks down the hill towards town. He spots the black haired hippie who caught his attention earlier.
Nate: "How's it going brother."
Hippie: "I ain't your brother."
Nate: "Whoaaa, sorry."
Hippie: "Unless you have a ride for me through Furthur tour. Then I'd be your aunt, your cousin, your grandmother."
Nate: "I'm going to Buffalo and then to Burning Man."
Nate: "I'll take you as far as Buffalo."
Hippie: "I know some people there. I'll take the ride. C'mon, let's go."
Nate: "Whoa, hold on. I want to check out Bagwam Das' party tonight. I have mushrooms I have to sell."
Hippie: "I'm John."
Nat: "I'm Nate. Who all do you know in Buffalo?"
John: "This doofy kid, Alaska."
Nate: "That's my housemate."
John: "No shit!! I saw you staring at me in town. You must have ESP."
Nate: "I'm sure I do."
Nate and John arrive at the bottom of the hill, just outside of town.
John: "I know those kids over there. They'll want mushrooms. How much do you have?"
Nate: "About an ounce and a half."
John: "Good. They'll buy that many. Then we can skip Das' and go straight to Furthur. I have some weed I can hook you up with to sell out on tour."
Nate: "I'm going to BM."
John: "Yeah? Don't do it here, find a bathroom. Do tour."
Nate: "Can't. And just offer those kids eighths or quarters. I need to make profit for gas money."
They sell fungus to the group of kids.
John: "Are you hungry?"
John: "Let's go to the Woodstock Free Store and get something."
They walk a block over to the Free Store, get bread, soup and Nate scores himself a Guatemalan style hooded sweatshirt. They eat their bread and soup on a bench in front of the store. An ancient hippie patriarch walks buy them wearing no pants nor underwear. He smiles and waves to John.
John: "Hello Grandpa."
Grandpa goes into the store.
Nighttime is good to Nate. Exiting Bagwam Das', he has sold all his mushrooms.
Nate asks John, "Where do you stay to sleep?"
John replies, "Up behind the monastery. I'm their grounds keeper when I'm in town."
Nate, "I've got an apartment to stay at."
John, "I'll come with you. I don't want to miss my ride."
They spend a few hours discussing Hinduism, Christianity, Dead Tour, Rainbow Gatherings and then sleep.
Morning. Pulling into Sky's parents' driveway. Sky comes out.
Sky, "C'mon in and eat if you're hungry."
Nate, "Hey, this is John. I sold all the mushrooms. We have $500.00. John is an old friend of Alaska's."
John to Sky: "Yeah, last year me and his dumb ass girlfriend traveled all up and down the west coast."
Sky, "C'mon in."
They go in and Nate and John take plates.
John, "Do you have anything vegan?"
Sky, "Not here in this house."
John, "No offense, but I'll just eat what I have in the car."
Nate loads up a plate and begins eating.
Driving west on a highway through New York, three men sing loudly in a whizzing car with the windows down, "…For the BEST in life, you just KEEP truckin' on ….and on."
Buffalo. Early morning. They pull off the highway and onto another street. Soon they are on Nate's street. They park the car in front of Susie's and slink on up to Nate's house. They go in.
Evidently, the rest of the house hold is still asleep. Sky turns on the T.V.
Eventually, Alaska emerges from his back lair. Nate sprints over to him in the kitchen to give greetings, "Hey Alaska!"
Nate: "I have a surprise for you."
Nate, "That, and something better."
Nate leads Alaska into the living room.
John and Alaska hug.
Nate, "I picked him up in Woodstock. Something just drew me to him."
Later that evening, in Susie's apartment, Nate walks in the front door.
Nate, "I had no trouble borrowing this scale from Big Charlie. He said he'd buy quantity off of us."
Sky, "Yeah? I want to sling small quantities for higher prices."
Susie, "When are we leaving for Burning Man?"
Sky, "Next Saturday. Five days from now."
Nate, "The Furthur Show is Saturday. We'll leave Sunday morning."
Sky, "We'll see."
Brie and Karen have already brought their mushrooms over. They are in Nate's house.
Sky, "I'll go get Brie and Karen."
He does this. In the few minutes during which Susie smiles mischievously at Nate, Karen, Brie and Sky return to Susie's house.
Brie, commanding but overwhelmingly exuberant, "Let's do this, bitches!"
They weigh Karen's package and weigh out a quarter of it. Nate gives this quarter percentage to Karen. They do the same with Brie's. Receiving it, Brie gives Nate a hard sucking kiss followed with a bite on the lower lip. Her voluptuous breasts are practically falling out of the cups of her bikini top.
Brie eyes Nate, "Boy, I want to fuck the shit out of you when you get done bagging up your mushrooms tonight. I'll be over at your place."
She and Karen leave.
Susie, "And I want to fuck the shit out of both you and Sky at the same time tonight!"
Sky, "Pray for stamina, Natty."
They embark on a nighttime of weighing out baggies of mushrooms. This takes over two hours.
Sky counts out loud, "That's six hundred and forty eighths for each of us. Holy Shit, but we are going to make some serious fucking loot."
Susie, "Let's fuck to that!"
Nate, "Sweetheart, I know Sky would be down with shining my sweet behind, but I just can't swing that way."
Sky, "Oh Nate, you fuck her in the mouth and I'll fuck her from behind."
Susie begins stripping.
Sky strips down, pushes Susie on to her hands and knees and says,
Sky, "C'mon, pal, let's open your lower lips."
He enters her vagina from behind. Nate watches. Eventually he gets up, whips out his huge nine and three-quarters inch cock and she accepts it into her mouth. Sky finishes first, and when he exits her she gets very voracious sucking on Nate's cock. Finally Nate comes. She slurps it down. He lets out a happy sigh. As Nate pulls up his cargo pants, naked Susie reclines into Sky's embrace. He hugs her and kisses her cheek.
Sky, "I liked doing that. I feel very close to both you guys right now. This is quite a moment."
Susie beams a very satisfied smile. Her eyes are aglow. Nate bows his head to the both of them, but Nate has the imperative to fuck again running through himself.
Fifteen minutes later, over at Nate's old house, gorgeous Brie is led back into Nate's bedroom by a smiling Nathaniel. They have a passionate, fondling, mutually appreciative fuck.
Afternoon. Sky is on a street corner exchanging three bags of mushrooms for $75.00 to some young college students.
Saturday. Darien Lakes Amusement Park. Outside of Buffalo, the Furthur show is beginning. Inside Nate's truck, Sky and Nate wait in a line of vehicles for admission to the park.
Sky, "And here comes the part I hate: slinging contraband in the open at an amusement park."
Nate, "Just watch your back if you value your ass."
At various points in the afternoon and evening, Nathaniel and Sky exchange money for mushrooms to people dressed in tie dyes all thinking they are mavericks of self expression.
Nate and Sky meet up at the truck at dusk.
Nate, "I sold two hundred and eighty four eighths. I have over $8,500."
Sky, "I have about three hundred eighths left; no more than three hundred and fifty left. But I have about the same money."
Nate, "Want to buy tickets?"
Sky, "Not really."
Nate, "I could use a beer."
Sky, "Yeah, what the hell."
They enter the stadium. Devotees of the Grateful Dead twirl dance spun minds.
A couple of days later, Nate, Alaska, Sky, Theresa, Chris, Jeff, Jonah, Emma and a fat red headed girl climb into a car, the truck and the piece of shit Buick.
Alaska, "These mushrooms are strong."
Theresa, "No shit."
Nate, "Follow me, I know the way."
The hippie children make their way through the hills of Upstate, Western New York to frolick in the waters of Letchworth Gorge where Nate and Dane swam weeks before. Theresa looks gorgeous and one can see her tits through her wet white t-shirt. Nate walks up to her and just smiles.
Theresa, brightly, "Natty, I want to go with you the next time you harvest mushrooms down South."
Nate, "Well, I'm gonna go to Burning Man in a day or two and then..." Nate swallows using a throat which is, like the rest of him, experiencing psilocybin ecstacy. He continues, "...travel out West for a bit, look into EarthFirst! ...but I'll be back in Buffalo at some point ... I'll let you know if and when I head south for more fungus. I'd love to travel with you. I've wondered what it could be like traveling with you..."
Chris runs up to Theresa and Nate.
Chris, "There's a huge beaver swimming in that pool over there. He swam by three feet away from me. It was a little scarry being so close to such a huge rodent. I don't think he wanted to hurt me... am I interupting something?"
Theresa, "Yes, you are! No, not really. I was just about to tell Nate that I would love to go to Burning Man with him, but I just put down a security deposit and first month's rent on a new apartment, and I feel like I ought to stick around and keep that, and my job! But if he were going to go for a couple of weeks to harvest more 'shrooms, I'd be down with doing that."
Chris, "That sounds reasonable to me."
Nate skips some flat stones across the surface of the river. Theresa starts walking toward the fat red headed girl.
Chris speaks to Nate, "We've laid down together, in bed, Theresa and me. We've kissed a bunch of times - real sweet, experimental kisses. No sex - she stopes me from fondling her much. But she's been hugging me like ... like I mean something very special to her. I can feel her thing for me, I can feel her desire, her curiosity about where its going to lead to. I get so ga ga smiley in the warm-cool light of her eyes. Man, I don't need to tell you about the light of that girl's eyes!!!... It could support a whole new solar system. Just don't think you can have her love too. Don't try and fuck this up for me just because you're rich with drug money now and all confident about yourself. I mean it, asshole - I don't want you around too much. Go to Burning Man and get lost for a while. Find a chick somewhere else. Hook up with Susie, or Brie, or someboidy new."
Nate, "Yeah, I'll do something."
Nate walks along beside the river. He takes in the scenery with great pleasure. A mile down from where Chris, Theresa and the obese red head were camped, unexpectedly, Alaska rushes out of the woods on the side of the hill. His eyes, like Nate's, are now sharply focused on everything because of the psilocybin humming within him.
Alaska, "What's up commando?"
Nate, "Ready for anything: dance or fight; friend or foe. I'm ready to take an exam, give a dissertation, fight with guns, knife, hand, stick; I'm ready to paint a picture, teach a class, start a new village, ready to learn something new. God, I'm ready."
Alaska, "I've been running for miles. I just started sprinting over logs, up hills, under brush, and its turned into a marathon. C'mon."
They jog up the wooded hill.
Alaska, "Wanna go get Chris?"
Nate, "He told me to get lost. He doesn't want me infringing on his thing with Theresa."
Alaska, "They have a thing?"
Nate, "He says they've been kissing, hugging, seeing something building up."
Alaska, "Huh... I was hoping to build something up with her. But Chris can be a real psycho if you do something to piss him off. I bet if he were jogging with us, he'd have to outrun us, out jump us, outclimb us. Sometimes he's real warm, brotherly - like part of my own family. Sometimes I feel like I can tell him anything, confide in him..." Alaska hawks a loogie "...But then he'll take things I've said and try to be a comedian about my intimate personal feelings in front of strangers.
I'd like to start a village. Something between a village and a commune. People would own their own land, but there'd be communal land, too. A co-operative store, sharing of the work load. Mutual defense. I bought a gun."
Nate, "What kind?"
Alaska, "A Remmington .38 caliber pistol."
Nate, "Wise choise, living in the city with beautiful girls and expensive equiptment to protect."
Nate, "I've seen too many break-ins, muggings, rapes. Some so called 'humans' have no respect for other people. I will not sit by helplessly while these creatures perpetrate their foul acts. I will be a defender. I am a survivalist."
Alaska, "It would be so fucking awesome to live out here... I'd still carry a gun, but I'd feel so much freer. But, I have live near to where I work. There aren't as many jobs out here in the boondocks. Do you have enough money from the 'shroom run to buy a farm?"
Nate, "I will, after I sell what's left."
Alaska, "Cool." Alaska means it when he tells Nate that he thinks that is cool.
Alaska, "Oooh, look, a Red Eft. You don't see those little critters in the city."
Nate, "Too few habitats left. Too much pollution where the habitats do remain."
Alaska, "I know you're going to make your farm the best possible wildlife sanctuary. If you do move up and settle in Washington State or Oregon, I will come visit you. Where ever you land, you are going to have so much fun living off the land. Build a bomb shelter."
Nate's truck pulls into the driveway of his city house. Chris's Buick follows. Everyone gets out of the car.
Alaska walks up to Nate holding a half empty beer.
Alaska, "Thanks for the trip, bro.'"
Nate, "My pleasure."
Alaska, "What to do now?"
Nate, "I'm going up to the college library to check my e-mail."
Alaska, "Have fun."
Nate gets Gypsy, puts the harness and leash on her and hops on his skateboard. He pushes off a few paces until the dog begins mushing on her own. From there he just steers the dog. We follow them rapidly through the city streets to the college campus.
Nate, "That'll do, Gyp!!"
The dog halts and Nate flips his skateboard up into his hands. He throws the skateboard down in some bushes and points for the dog.
Nate, "Stay Gypsy."
He enters the library where we first set eyes on shaggy Nate.
He checks his e-mail. There is a message: "Hello, we met in Atlanta, remember me?" The message is sixteen pages long. Through it Nate realizes the perfect female beauty with whom to bond himself for worship of life. The prophecy by the mosaic orbed tinkerbell on Gwen's balcony is revealed to him. Nate responds with twelve pages, "Of course I remember". When finished, he walks out of the library with a big grin on his face. Sky is standing outside the library.
Sky, "Alaska told me I could find you here."
Nate, "Have much fun at Burning Man my brother. I have found my soul mate. THAT girl, Sprite, from Five-Points, Atlanta wrote me six pages of her life and gave me her phone number. I wrote her back twelve. I've got to go call her."
Sky, "Bro', do you even faintly realize how much dank pussy will be available to us in Nevada?!"
Nate, "None as sweet as hers."
Sky, "Go to Louisiana after Burning Man. C'mon, I want to leave tonight."
Nate, "Let me call her first."
Nate and Sky sit on couches in Susie's apartment. Susie is no-where in sight.
Nate gets off the phone, "Sprite wants me to stop in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana to pick her up on our way to Burning Man."
Nate, "Let's leave tomorrow. I am going to go back to the library and write something down for this guy Al Romano I met in Woodstock."
Sky, "You met Al Romano and Bagwam Das in Woodstock?! I am SOOOO jealous. Go, do it. Be here by morning. I'll pack."
Nate hooks Gypsy up and they make for the library.
Nate, Sky, Susie and Sprite had a really good time at Burning Man! and multitudes of times thereafter. Nate and Sky took with them to Burning Man about three hundred eighth ounce bags of mushrooms each. They were not stopped on the way from New York to Nevada and quickly dispensed all the sacred fungi at the festival. So, the boys earned around $16,000 each through their mycological venture.
Nate and Sprite are probably engrossed in each other this very moment. That is another epic. Yet another epic is that of Nathaniel and Sprite's life in the Pacific Northwest, where they like to say Pacific as an adjective. Sometimes, however, they must get very riled up defending the sacred old growth forests and water systems from commercial loggers.
There are eight varieties of entheogenic mushrooms growing around outdoors up there, including Psilocybe, Panaeolus, Amanita and Gymnopilus. Rest assured, their psychedelic metabolisms are well provided for by Nature. Thanks for reading this to the end, Al Romano.
Opening poem by Gibran: THE EYE
Said the Eye one day, "I see beyond these valleys a
veiled with blue mist. Is it not beautiful?"
The Ear listened, and after listening intently awhile,
"But where is any mountain? I do not hear."
Then the Hand spoke and said, "I am trying in vain to
or touch it, and I can find no mountain."
And the Nose said, "There is no mountain, I cannot
Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all began
together about the Eye's strange delusion. And they
"Something must be the matter with the Eye."
God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.
God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.
God has made sleep so
that it erases every thought.
God made Majnun love Layla so much that
just her dog would cause confusion in him.
There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.
Don't think all ecstasies
are the same!
Jesus was lost in his love for God.
His donkey was drunk with barley.
Drink from the presence of saints,
not from those other jars.
Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.
Be a connoisseur,
and taste with caution.
Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,
the ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed."
Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,
and is just ambling about.
Mathnawi IV, 2683-96
The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks
The point of all evolution up to this stage is the
creation of a collective organism of Mind. Peirre
Teilhard de Chardin