Inside the bathroom,
Nate, "What the fuck. He told us he was a cop. So if we go through with this, we couldn't cite entrapment in our defense, right?."
Sky, "It reminds me of the Bene Thielaxu of Dune. They have many evil reasons to entrap you, but always give you one escape route in advance.."
Nate, "Yeah, we're out of here. We're ditching old Cooter there. HE can walk."
Sky, "Well, shit. Let's at least see the field. No laws are broken by doing that much. We can always just decide not to pick and come back later by ourselves."
Nate, "Think about this for a moment, do you even want to take that much of a chance?"
Sky, "I think we should."
Nate, "O.k., then when you or I start talking about my sister who doesn't exist.."
Nate, "Yeah, Katie, when either of us starts talking about my sister Katie, that's the Q to ditch them and split."
Jim walks into the bathroom.
Jim, "You guys ready?"
Sky, "Yeah, we'll wait for you out at the car."
At the car,
Nate, "Listen, we've got to take the secret of what we're about to do to our graves. If any of the Buffalo Family ever found out we knowingly went picking with a cop…Oh my Christ!"
Sky, "Totally. Agreed."
They pull up to a park & rest stop off the road. Pete's truck is already parked. Jim, Sky and Nate hop a barbed wire fence and proceed into cow fields. Jim spies a trio of cubensis mushrooms and picks them.
Jim, "One for you, one for you and one for me."
They get deeper into the woods where humidity is high.
Jim, "Alright, you can follow me, or just follow your bliss and the mushrooms will reveal themselves to you."
They split up. We follow Sky, who talks to himself as he picks many mushrooms.
Sky, "Oh, yes. It's like a carpet of mushrooms."
In the woods among cow dung and mushrooms. The sun is in a different position. Pete, Justin and Jim sit on logs as Sky and Nate walk up.
Jim, "I figure we can pick for another hour. After that we'll have pretty much gotten everything. How much do you have in your bags?"
They all compare bags.
Jim, "Not bad, not bad at all. You guys probably have a half pound dry."
Sky, "Nate… … NNate, Innate – Mushrooms are in my blood, it's innate picking them. Um" He pauses, trying to remember what name to call his friend. "Jeff, don't you wish Katie was here to see this?"
Nate, "Oh, she'd be very excited."
Justin, "Well, I'm gonna head that way. You guys should try the next glen over on the other side of those trees."
Sky, "O.k., thanks."
They all split up again. Nate and Sky walk together.
They walk through one field.
Sky, "I think it's this way."
They walk through another field. They are sweating profusely.
They're in the middle of a field.
Nate, "I think I'm getting heat stroke." He drinks water, pours some on his head.
Sky, "Heat exhaustion anyways. I'm saying we're fucking lost. We need them to show us the way back."
Nate, "No freaking way!"
Back in the woods Jim and the two young men are waiting, smoking cigarettes as Nate and Sky approach.
Jim, "I don't expect you found too many out in the middle of those fields. I told you that you need to stick to the woods by day. Out in the sun they just get shriveled up into nothing."
Justin, "Well, we're about ready. We can always come back after a rain."
Back at the rest stop.
Sky, "You know what, I just remembered I have some friends in Tampa. If you don't mind, we're going to go stay with them tonight. We'll come to see you in a few days."
Jim, "Oh, well, sure. Damn that's going to be a tight fit in Pete's truck."
Nate and Sky play at rearranging things in the car. Jim and company pile in and drive off. Simultaneously Sky and Nate look at each other and exclaim "Ho – lee Shit!"
Sky, "Well, go ahead and eat some, find out how they are."
Nate, "I was so dreading arriving back here to find cop cars! Hey yeah I'll eat some."
Nate eats three medium sized mushrooms. Smiling, he says "Well, I'll just eat two more little ones. I can't believe we're free!"
Sky, "Free to leave. C'mon, let's go."
The car is in motion, windows down. Nate is in the
passenger seat moving his hands rhythmically.
Sky, "So, they're good?"
Pulling into Tampa. Near a college they stop at a posh restaurant.
Sky, "You've got to be starving; I know I am."
Seated at a table. They eat pasta.
Sky, "Look at her, the waitress. I dare you to ask her if she'll put us up for the night."
Sky, "Oh my god, you're going to do it. I'll give you fifty dollars if you get her to say yes."
To the waitress, Nate, "Hello. My friend and I are just down from New York. We don't have anywhere to stay. Would you happen to have room for two very dirty boys?"
The waitress laughs. "I don't, I have several very large dogs who don't like strangers. Try the Dublin Inn. It's a bar down the street. A lot of hippies hang out there, you might find someone."
Nate, "Thank you."
Sky, "Shot you down?"
They pull out from the restaurant parking lot and are driving down the street. They see a pony-tailed kid jive walkin' down the street. He's wearing baggy pants, a Seedless t-shirt, Birks and sports a phat hemp necklace.
Sky, "Let's ask him."
They pull the car over. Nate jumps out and walks quickly up to him.
Nate, "Hi brother-bear, how's it goin'?"
Nate, "My friend and I just got into town today. We came down from Buffalo, New York. Do you know anyone there?"
Kid, "I know Theresa and Jack."
Sky walks up.
Nate, "Awesome. Aaron, he knows Jack and Theresa. They're old housemates of mine. Where do you know them from?"
Kid, "I've known Jack from tour for years now. We were at Hookaville in Ohio this July. We all snuck under the fence with their dog, Tripper."
Sky, "We're so glad we ran into you. We're down here picking mushrooms. We picked a few bagfuls today. Would you like some?"
Kid, "Yeah, sure, thanks."
They walk over to the car and Nate gives the kid a handful, then another few.
Nate, "I'm Nate."
Kid, "I'm Smokey."
Sky, "We need a place to stay for the night, maybe a few days. Where are you staying?"
Smokey, "I'm from Orlando. I've been staying over at Ganja-ville Farm, a commune a few miles that way, out of town."
Nate, "Do you think they'll let us stay?"
Smokey, "Oh yeah, Rob's really cool with travelers camping out. There are trailers and two houses, busses. My bags are up the street in some bushes by the bank. I was on my way to get them and then go to the Dublin."
Sky, "Let us give you a ride."
Smokey: "Sure." Munching his last mushroom.
Sky and Nate look at each other and smile.
Pulling into the bank parking lot.
Sky, "Smokey, do you know of any good fields to pick?"
Smokey, "Yeah, man, there are a few around here. I'll
show you guys around tomorrow."
Smokey gets out, gets his bags and hops back in.
Smokey, "You guys in the mood for some techno vibes? They're spinning good stuff at the Dublin tonight."
Nate, "Yeah, I ate today, too, so I want to dance."
They park behind the bar. Sky strips to the waist and rummages for a clean shirt.
Nate, "We should get some ice for the 'shrooms."
Smokey, "There's a gas station two doors down, let's go."
Smokey and Nate return with a bag of ice. Nate fills the cooler with ice.
Nate, "I love cubensis. They are the most exquisite exogenous neurotransmitter. You spend your whole life watching and learning; you keep searching for more meaning, transcendence, the next step towards
enlightenment. What could that next step be? How do you get closer to your fellow Earthlings? And then you eat these and behold the elysian key. Ah-ha! They are an ultimate entheogen."
Smokey's eyebrows raise.
Nate, "'En' from the Greek meaning to manifest, 'theo' also from the Greek meaning divine spirit and gen or genic meaning to generate or bring forth."
Smokey, "They're a lot like acid trips."
Nate, "Well, psilocin and psilocybin are similar to lysergic acid diethylamide to some extent, in that they are each indole based molecules similar to serotonin and other native human neurotransmitters, but I think the sacred fungi are more elegant and natural and harmonized in the visions they produce; more so than LSD. Our native neurotransmitters get us bye, but – golly – do these psilocybin molecules which we ingest by choice ever get us high. Sat Chit Ananda – Being plus Awareness equals Bliss ."
Sky to Smokey, "You are going to love this guy. My friend here knows more about psychedelic drugs than anyone alive. Nate,.. you remind me of the best virtues of the 17th century young nobility."
Smokey nods his head respectfully, nicely not intimidated.
All tidied up, they walk stylin'ly into the bar.
Nate and Smokey and Sky are in the bar dancing. Smokey looks flush with good feelings. He turns to Nate.
Smokey, "Let me buy you guys a Guinness."
Soon enough they are driving up to the Farm.
Smokey, "Make a right here."
They pull up a dirt road. Houses become visible. They pull up and get out of the car. A pack of dogs come out barking.
Smokey, "Hey John, Rob, Bret, these are Sky and Nate, they're down from New York."
Nate, "Hey. Hey puppy dog, you're a great dog, hello."
Smokey, "I'm going to be riding with them and they need a place to stay."
Bret and Rob, "C'mon in. How's it in New York?"
Nate, "Pretty nice. Cold in the winter, but…"
Bret, "New York City or…"
Sky, "Upstate, from around Buffalo."
Nate, "Oh, no thanks, we just ate a little while ago. Would you guys like to eat some mushrooms? Picked today."
Rob, "Hey, that sounds good. Maybe this weekend, or Friday you could bring some around."
Sky, "Would love to."
Nate, "Would you guys happen to have a dehydrator?"
Bret, "Yes we do."
Sky goes for the shrooms in a scene of efficiency as the racks are laid out by Bret.
Bret, "I expect you'll be wanting to smoke then."
Nate's eyes light up. They smoke, passing the pipe around.
Sky, "So, how long have you had this farm?"
Rob, "Since '76. We used to have some cows, and our own mushrooms, but they all wandered off. We have potbellied pigs running around. They're good to munch on. The litter of puppies is complements of Curl and Hunk. That one is Hunk."
Nate, "He looks to be part Heeler."
Bret, "He is, and Pointer and Shepherd. He's very noble."
Rob, "If you guys want to eat here, you'll have to supply your own food and do all your own dishes. There are three showers you can use."
Sky, "Hey, I'm pretty beat, I'm going to go sleep in the car. Goodnight."
Smokey, "Goodnight Bro'."
Rob, Bret, "Goodnight."
Nate, "Have you been to many Rainbow Gatherings?"
Bret, "Oh yeah. All over the country. In the last few years only the Ocala regional in December."
Smokey, "I figure fifteen I've been to Ocala five times. And to Rainbows in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Oregon."
Nate, "I'd like to see New Mexico, perhaps settle there for a
while along the Colorado River south of Belen."
Smokey, "I own five acres there – outside of Taos. Got
trees and a well and a geodesic dome. Four buddies and
me went in on a parcel, cost to me was two grand. That's
where they make Native American Spirit tobacco."
Nate, "I don't smoke tobacco, not usually."
Smokey, "Spirits are all organic. A cylinder of roll
your own is $5."
Nate, "Theresa smokes those."
Smokey, "Oh, she's great. She's my sister. Jack's my brother. I love those kids."
Nate, "For sure."
Nate wakes to the bustle of breakfast preparations. He walks to the car and gets an apple and cheese. Sky wakes. Sky goes and checks the bloomers. They are still wet. He exits the main building with mushrooms on racks.
Sky, "We'll sun dry these on the cars."
Nate hops to and loads up. Sky gets the rest in one more trip into
the house. There are more mushrooms than would fit on the dehydrator racks, so he also uses metal sheets and pans. They wait for the sun to dry the mushrooms. They play with wild running pigs, feeding them crackers. Nate takes pictures. Time elapses. When the mushrooms are dry they load them into baggies and put these inside of a Federal Express
package. They drive off to the Federal express office.
Outside the FedEx office Building.
Sky, "Flip a coin to see who goes in."
Nate: "I've got tails, you flip it."
Sky flips a coin. Tails.
Sky goes into the Federal Express building carrying the package. After a few moments Sky returns to the car.
Sky, "Right, that's done. Smokey, could I have a
Nate, "How much money do we have left?"
Sky counts it out.
Smokey, "You guys expect to get all the way back to New York on $80.00?"
Sky, "We have a friend who is going to Western Union us money."
Smokey, "Where's he?"
They drive past a parking lot where three very pretty girls are gathered, talking.
Sky, "So Smokes, where are the good fields?"
Smokey, "There are some by the fish market. Let's stop for some smokes."
They pull up to a convenience store. All three go in. Nate eyes the girl clerk, gets a drink. Smokey buys pork rinds, chips, a slushy, asks for a pack of Camels. Nate eyes the counter clerk again. Sky puts down a magazine. Nate, smiling at the counter girl, pays for his soda. They get in the car.
Nate, "She was nice."
Smokey, "Yeah, there are a lot of pretty females in this town."
Sky, "She had a little Hope thang goin' on." To Smokey, Sky: "Hope, or as I call her, the Hopeless, his EX-girlfriend."
Nate, "Hope's not that bad, …she's"
Sky, "She's a waste of your time. She's pretty, I'll give you that, but damaged goods. I just can't think of her as family. I'd be so deeply disappointed if you ever had a child with her."
Smokey, "I've got a kid. In Orlando. The mom's really cool; gives me things. Her family's rich. I've also got a check waiting for me at the 7-11 there. It should be about $200.00. That'll get us to New York.
And I know some fields down there."
Sky, "Let's go. The fields we went to yesterday are probably picked out for another day."
Nate, "Yeah. But how far is that? First let's call Dane."
They pull into a Win Dixie Super Market. Smokey and Nate go in. Nate talks to the clerk. He leaves to find a pay phone phone. Nate refers to his calling card and dials. Two rings.
Nate, "Hi mom. Sorry I didn't call sooner." Nate smiles at Smokey.
Nate, "What? Yeah, we're in Florida… I don't know, we just did… We're staying at a commune. We'll get to New Orleans later… Sky's good. He's off some distance in the car. I love you, gotta go… We're safe. Bye. I've got to go meet my friend, but I wanted to get a call to you.
Love you. Bye."
Nate consults his phone book and dials some numbers. Three rings.
Nate, "Hey buddy, how are you?"
Dane, "Hey, I just got in. Good timing."
Nate, "It's nice on this latitude."
Dane, "Yeah? How are the cows treating you?"
Nate, "Nice. We've picked about a pound so far. We've been to three fields. Only one had any action. Has not been raining enough I fear. How've you been?"
Dane, "Good, good. There's someone here who'd like to say 'Hi'."
Beth, "Do you know who this is?"
Beth, "How are you doing?"
Nate, "Good. Having a fine time. Life is good. As I didn't get a chance to tell your brother, my friend and I picked up this southern hippie kid, Smokey, he's very funny. He got us a place to stay. What's new with you?"
Beth, "Oh, lots. School, boys. I forgot to tell you the last time we spoke – I ate some of those cacti you recommended to me. It was heavenly. I decided on the spot to go through with my master's degree and not take time off. Really, it was a peak experience for me, thank you. How long do you think you'll be down there?"
Nate, "I dunno, as long as it takes and money holds."
Beth, "Be sure to send me a care package!"
Nate, "Will do!"
Beth, "Here's Dane."
Nate, "Bye. Hey."
Dane, "So you've been running low on flow."
Nate, "Yeah-ugh, $80.00 left."
Dane, "Well, my trust fund check didn't come yet. Can you get by on $200.00 for a few days? I'll send you more later in a few more days."
Nate, "Hey, that's super. Western Union, Tampa, Florida 94327 secret code question 'What's your dog's name…"
Dane, "Full name?"
Dane, "No problem. You going picking today?"
Nate, "Oh yeah, in Orlando."
Dane, "O.k., let me run to the store and get that out to you so you can get a move on."
Nate, "Cool. Bye for now then. I'll call you when I get it. Will Beth still be over?"
Dane, "Yeah, I expect. Peace out."
Nate walks over to the car where Sky and Smokey are hacky sacking. He joins them.
Sky, "So, you got a hold of him?"
Nate, "Yeah. So, give it an hour. He's got to run to the store."
After a little while Nate exits the Win Dixie with wad of twenties.
Highway miles. A conversation inside the car.
Smokey, "So, you guys grow pot?"
Sky, "I grew one plant, when I was 15. I've never really had the space."
Nate, "I've grown crops four times, all four got stolen. At least twice though, the bastards left me with something. The first one was a female plant of about three feet which I just stuck in the middle of some potted plants – citrus, bananas, macadamia nuts, chocolate trees which I was growing in my parents' backyard. I brought a girl over one day and showed her - a few days later it was gone." A pause, "The second time was in '95. My buddy and I started thirty five plants each while we were dorming in college. We went to different schools. We got an apartment together back in Buffalo for the summer. By June we had seventy four and a half foot dank plants about ready to harvest. My friend had the room well sealed off, but people did come over. My partner wouldn't leave the apartment. He was on constant guard. But I
went out, went to shows. I had so much fun at the Dead show in Philly that the next weekend when they played RFK in D.C. my friend wanted to go. Of course we had a ball. You've been to shows?"
Smokey, "Oh yeah, there wasn't nothing like the good old Grateful Dead."
Nate, "Yeah. But when we returned from the show we found our front door open and a trail of foliage leading out of it. The window of the grow room was broken. Sixty-two plants ready for harvest were gone. They
also took two GT Mountain bikes, a $700.00 stereo. My friend flipped shit. We stood to make $50K at least …He went down into a fetal position and didn't come out of it until we told him eight big plants were left untouched."
Smokey, "Zoikes. That's rough."
Nate, "Oh, it get's worse. We moved into a new, swankier apartment and then kids started coming round with smoke – we were getting smoked on dank Kush X Northernlights buds – exactly what we'd been growing! We couldn't be sure if they'd bought it, or were the sons of bitches who robbed us."
15 seconds of silence.
Nate, "Then the next year in college I set off with fifty clones. They were just budding in November when campus security came knocking at my on campus apartment. They knew I had a dog and demanded entrance. They found two dogs, three cats, a hedgehog and an electrical cord running into my closet. Actually, there was a lot of stuff they didn't find. I got off easy. They called my advisor and the agreement we reached was they'd confiscate all I had going, including the light, but they wouldn't call in the real cops. No charges, no court, no probation."
Sky, "You were lucky. At a lot of colleges they wouldn't do that."
Nate, "Yeah. I was. What about you, Smokey?"
Smokey, "I've grown a few pounds here and there. In fields and closets. The last time I grew was outside. Somebody knew about it and clipped two-thirds of my buds a couple days before I went to. But at least they left me something."
Nate, "Huh..Yeah. That happened to me the last time, too. I had four three footers. Somebody put rocks on them so they wouldn't stick out and would send out side branches. I have no idea who. They harvested before I did, but they left half."
They arrive at a nice house in Orlando.
Smokey, "Welcome to Orlando. They'll treat us well."
Smokey goes to the door and talks with his approximate mother in law. He returns to the car.
Smokey, "My girl's in California with the baby. They said I could stay, but they don't want you two guys hanging around.. lets go get my check."
Nate and Sky wait in 7-11 parking lot while Smokey goes in. He returns.
Smokey, "Check ain't here. It should be at the main office."
7-11 Headquarters, Orlando, Florida. Smokey goes in and comes out.
Smokey, "They lost my check somewhere."
Sky, "I knew this would happen."
Smokey, "Alright, head east on this street, I know a field not far from here."
They pull up on a rural road, bordered by barbed wire fencing.
Sky, "I'll lift the hood in case anyone drives bye."
Nate, "Right." He hops the fence and explores. He returns.
Nate, "Too hot, too dry."
Sky, "I have a bad feeling about Orlando. Let's just get something to eat and head back to Tampa. We'll pick that field the Mushroom Magician showed us tomorrow and find out where it's raining."
Smokey, "It hasn't rained in two weeks. That's very weird for anywhere in Florida. Usually it rains twice a day. I know a field about twenty miles from here that has woods and a stream."
Sky, "Well then, let's try there."
They arrive. Nate pulls over, pops the hood. Sky and Smokey venture out. In ten minutes they return.
Sky, "Not a single trace, no signs of mycelium."
Smokey, "I'm sorry guys."
They arrive in Orlando proper around 5pm. They park on a downtown street and set out. One restaurant/bar offers $2.00 margaritas. But the special was over at 5, it's 5:20. They head on down the street and into a posh establishment. They're given menus and order veggie entrées. Smokey orders a steak, dank beer and appetizer. Sky and Nate eye each other briefly. Apparently they're paying.
Smokey, "I used to be a vegetarian, but started getting sick, my body just needed the animal proteins."
Nate, "I'm doing just fine without meats."
The waitress arrives with their food.
Nate, "Could we have some Tabasco?"
Silence until it arrives.
Sky, "We should take that with us."
Smokey, "I don't think I've ever bought a bottle of Tabasco – I always get them at restaurants."
Nate, "So, what's to do in Orlando, Smokester?"
Smokey, "Oh, there are clubs, raves. This is a nice town."
Sky and Nate have finished eating; Smokey is still mowing.
Sky, "I've got to shit."
Smokey finishes, smokes a cigarette. Camera notes time elapse in changes in posture. Smokey lights another cigarette off of a burning one. Thirty-five minutes have elapsed when Sky returns.
Smokey, "So, how was War and Peace?"
Walking, they turn a corner and are on a street with many bars. Twilight. An attractive girl approaches Sky.
Girl, "Oh my god, you are so gorgeous."
Girl, "Let me buy you a drink."
The trio go into a bar. Smokey orders a beer at the bar. The girl and Sky sit off to the side and have mixed drinks.
When Sky returns to his male companions, he directs his attention solely to Nate, "What do you say we head back to the farm in Tampa and get some sleep. Old Cooter and his crew may decide to pick tomorrow and I'd like to beat them to it."
Smokey, "You didn't make it with that girl?"
Sky, "She invited me to stay at her place tonight, but that's not what I'm down here for. I caught the weather on the TV. They're forecasting cloudless, sunny skies for the next four days here. I just want to
Nate, "Yeah, we've got to make our dollars last."
A Win Dixie Super Market is viewable down the road and off to the left from where the car drives.
Sky, "Let's get a case of beer for the Farm, and a 12 pack of something nicer for ourselves."
Nate, "I'm going to call Oatmeal in Georgia and find out what the weather is doing."
The car is parked. Nate goes to a phone, Smokey and Sky enter the store.
Inside the car a 24 pack of beer rests on Smokey's lap. Nate drives while Sky drinks a beer in the backseat.
Nate, "Oatmeal said it hasn't rained in over a week and they haven't forecasted any."
They pull up the dirt road of Ganja-ville Farm. The dogs come out barking as the three walk up to the house. We follow them into the house amid barking dogs.
Nate, "Hey Hulk, it's us, it's all good, boy."
Bret, "That you, Smokey?"
Smokey, "Hey Bret."
John, "How's it been?"
Smokey, "Kinda bunk. All the way to Orlando, three fields and nothing. No finds."
Nate, "What have you all been up to?"
John reflects a moment, "Not a fucking thing."
Sky, "We brought you guys a case of beer."
Bret, "Good men!"
Sky, "Enjoy. We're pretty tired. I'll sleep in the car again."
Bret, "You're not drinking?"
Sky, "Not tonight."
Nate, "I'll be asleep as soon as my eyelids close."
Smokey, "I'll have some with you!"
They dig in. Nate takes the couch.
Morning, before the sun has risen. A rooster crows. A couch eye view of the room. One light is on and a clock is illuminated to show the time at 5:34. Darkness. A rooster crows again. Now it is dim light. Sky enters. One dog barks.
Sky, "Shhhhh." Then in a whisper, "Nate!"
Nate rolls off the couch, goes to Smokey who is on another couch and jostles him on the arm. Smokey opens his eyes, then closes them. Nate gets up and goes into the kitchen. He selects a large frying pan, puts it on the stove and slices in a half stick of butter. He breaks six eggs. While they cook he toasts twelve pieces of bread.
Nate, "Sky, could you get the Tabasco from the car?"
Nate makes sandwiches, putting Tabasco on his own.
He takes a sandwich to Smokey.
Nate, "You want Tabasco?"
Nate, "Let's get going."
They finish their sandwiches and leave the house. They pile into the station wagon and drive off down the farm's dirt road.
They arrive at the small parking & resting area. They see signs permitting fishing. Nate and Sky carry knapsacks, all three have paper bags. In plastic bags the fresh mushrooms would rot in the high summertime temperatures of Florida. The young men climb the barbed wire fence and hike down a hedgerow towards some cow fields.
Smokey, "There's one." He picks it.
Nate, "Yup. Even though it hasn't rained, there is some permanent swampiness hereabouts. We should find plenty."
Smokey, "I haven't done this in ages."
Sky, "Hello! Big patch."
Smokey, "Oh, awesome. Look." He holds up a rock. "I found a fossil – ooh, another one. You never find fossils in Florida. Way cool, I'm keeping these."
Sky, "I'm going to head off to the woods to pick."
Nate, "O.k., let me get a few gulps of water."
Sky, "Here, you can keep it if you want."
Smokey, "I'll take it."
They go a picking.
Nate finds a box turtle; he offers it a mushroom; lets him go.
Sky and Nate and Smokey's paths converge.
Sky, "Have you been picking off ticks? I've picked off thirty of them. I'm freakin' out!"
Nate, "Yeah, I've had at least as many."
Smokey, "Don't worry, ticks down here don't carry Lyme disease."
Sky, "Still, their fucking gross."
They share water and resume picking. Scenes of such.
An armadillo passes by Nate.
Nate is picking a few scattered mushrooms, stuffing them into a very full bag, as Sky and Smokey come strolling up.
Sky: "Well, I think we've pretty much picked these fields clean. That's a pretty hefty bagful, Natty."
Nate, "Probably a pound and a half dry, maybe two."
Sky, "Let's get going. Oh MY God!"
Smokey, crouching, in a whisper asks, "What is it?"
Sky, nearly shouting, "I am loaded in ticks! This is totally fucking disgusting. I can pick off the larger ones, but I've just realized there are untold hundreds of dust sized of the bastages on me. I'll never get them all off. I'll be driving back to New York with the fuckers on me."
They walk from the forest through an open field.
Nate, "Want to eat some?"
Smokey, "Yeah, sure."
Sky, "AAAieee!! I've got a tick on my ball sack!"
Smokey laughs and eats a mushroom.
Sky, "Well, if you lived up north, you'd understand our mortal dread of ticks.."
Nate, "Lyme disease will lower your IQ, cause terrible physical pain, change your whole life."
Nate eats another mushroom, then another. The lights and scenery get more interesting. The forest appears to him as in wavelengths, similar to an impressionist painting in 3-D; Monet or Cezanne.
Sky, "I don't even want to think about how many ticks are in my hair."
Smokey, "You still goin' on about ticks? Eat a mushroom."
Sky, "I'd have a bad trip. I am not going picking again in anything short of a full SCUBA suit!!"
Smokey, "That would be some sight, you walkin' around pickin' mushrooms in full SCUBA gear. I could just picture the farmer ridin' up to check his cows and seein' you picking... 'That spun mutherfucker's been out in my fields a little too long.'"
All three laugh.
Sky, "So, you guys noticing any woodland sea creatures yet?"
Smokey, "I picked two fossils.. oh, Ha."
Nate, "Did you see that shrimp-pixie flying by, Smokes? Yeah, they're good fungi."
Smokey, "Nate, you sure you know the way? Sky, why is the spun kid leading?"
They get to the car. Sky drives. Along the way the wind blows their hair around. The radio is not on. Smokey and Nate just seem to carry on a conversation with knowing grins and nods.
Sky, "You guys feel like dancing? I want to eat some too. Shall we go to the Dublin? You should be good to drive by the time we leave, Nate, yeah?"
Nate, "That would be fine." Nate reaches in back and gets six mushrooms for Sky, who eats them. They pull up to the Dublin, in the back. Many kids are milling about. There is a car with what looks like a necklace of marijuana buds hanging from the rear view mirror.
Nate, "Check this out!"
Sky, "What the.."
Smokey, "Well I'll be. Did we miss the announcement? Did Marijuana get legalized while we were out pickin' mushrooms?"
Random hippie, "I saw that too. It's dried broccoli."
Sky rolls his head. Tryptaminic visuals. Trails. A big smile. The sun is going down, he's coming up.
They go in the bar. Dancing. Beer. Visuals.
Sky, "This has been really clarifying. Aren't minds and bodies great!"
Nate, "Yes. These are much groovier than L-25. Every time I see someone looking unhappy, or lost I want to mother them with love and hope and interest. I've said a few words of 'hey' or smiled. But I don't want to
come off as some holy roller, either. I'd love to hear 'Eyes of the World' now."
Sky: "What shall we do tomorrow?"
Nate, "We should see what the weather in Tallahassee is like."
Nate gets up.
Nate, "I'm going to the gas station for a paper."
Nate re-enters the bar with a newspaper. He is smiling.
Nate, "It's raining in Tallahassee! And is expected to
do so for the next four days!"
Sky, "Great! Do you want to head back to the farm now and get some sleep? I think I could sleep now."
Nate, "I think that would be a good idea."
Nate, "Smokey, can I talk with you for a moment. Hi."
("Hi" is directed to the female Smokey is sitting with)
Smokey, "Hey bro', this is Becca. We've been having a really fine conversation."
Nate, "What's on your minds?"
Smokey, "Well, Becca ate some fungus today, too. We were instantly drawn to talk to one another. There are only a few people in this bar tonight who have. Our bemushroomed minds just picked up on the other's
wavelengths. We each saw spots and ripples around each others heads."
Nate, "Cool. Where'd you pick?"
Becca, "I don't know where they're from. My friend's brother had some."
Nate, "Smokey, we're going to head to Tallahassee tomorrow, I just read the weather forecast, and it's raining there now. So we were fixin' to head back to the farm for sleep pretty soon."
Smokey, "Oh, alright. We gotta dry what we got today. Becca, I hope I run into you the next time I'm in town, it was fun talking."
Becca, "O.k. yeah, see you when you're back?"
They pile into the station wagon and drive away from the parking lot behind the bar.
They pull down the dirt road of Ganja-ville Farm.
Morning inside the house at Ganja-ville Farm. Nate checks the mushrooms in the dehydrator. They are still moist.
Sky, "Let's just take those with us in the cooler. I
want to get to Tallahassee ASAP."
Nate, "We could sun dry them and ship them off." They dry as many as can fit into the pans. They bag these up and put them in a FedEx box. There is still a half cooler filled with wet mushrooms.
Sky, "Let's just ship these off and take the rest with us. We'll find a place to dry in Tallahassee. You're going to send them this time."
Nate fills a plastic shopping bag half full of wet mushrooms and gives these to Rob.
Nate, "Here, man. We're heading to Tallahassee today. I don't know when we'll be back. Enjoy these."
Rob, "Thank you. You and your friends are welcomed to stay here anytime."
Nate, Sky and Smokey pack up, get in the car and drive off from Ganja-ville Farm.
Nate goes into the FedEx office and comes out.
Nate, "Those went off to Susie."
Sky, "I'm so hungry. Where should we stop."