Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Orange Caterpillar

One thing about being bipolar is that you put yourself into strange situations and I have put myself into more then a few.

For this story (and the many others to follow) I am changing the names of the people around me only to protect them from judgmental assholes out there. And mainly not to be sued by anyone. Because Christ I don't want to be sued again by "so-called" loved ones.

So the year was April 1988. An old school friend of mine from middle school and his brother asked me to go with them to see the Grateful Dead concert in Louisville Kentucky. Personally I was never into the Dead at all. Being a musician myself I thought they sounded like really bad country music, but I was game and I had a free ticket. So what the hell? It started with a drive from Baltimore to York PA. My friend "Tom's" father worked at a Ford dealer there as a salesman. His father did us a favor and let us use a demo car for the next four days to drive the 300 mile journey to Kentucky. It was a spanking new Ford GT Escort with all the frills and a dealers tag to boot and the price listing in the window. Just so we found any offers I suppose. Tom, after assuring his father that he would be the only one driving the car— I took over the first leg of the journey. Ok, so being bipolar I can stay awake for days unlike the other "normals" out there. We drove until we hit the most western part of West Virginia. After of a lot of complaining from Tom that we should stop. To tell you the truth I could have gone another 200 miles. We stopped at a truck rest stop and held out the night. I was ready to go at first light, but Tom and his brother needed to do the normal morning ritual of peeing and getting themselves together to address the new day. We made it to Tennessee that evening. Looking for a place to stay, unlike the awful truck stop the night before we found ourselves at a Quality Inn. $79 fucking dollars for one night those fucking bastards charged us. But it was a place to take a nice shower and clean ourselves up after 11 hours of driving. Plus to drink a little beer and hit the ounce of pot we had was a good stopping point. The next day we made it to Kentucky After it rained the entire trip there we found ourselves on the outskirts of Freedom Hall, we'd stop at a mini-mart to get food and drink. Coming out of the store we see the Louisville sheriff leaning up against his his car looking at us. Being still high from the days travels we were, let us say a little paranoid. And were trying to be non-approachable to say the least. But then the sheriff shouts out, "excuse me boys". "OH SHIT" we thought, we made it this far. But with the sheriff looking at the borrowed car that he saw us exit from with the dealer tags and the price list in the window asked, "Let me ask you boys a question." "Yes sir", I'd replied. "Did y'all steal that car?" he continued. "Oh no sir, you see my friend Tom's father..." as I tried to explain how we'd became in possession of our car, the sheriff interrupted. "Now it's ok, ok I believe you boys", he stated. "You all here for that Grateful Dead Concert commotion aren't you?". "Yes." Tom said. "Well just to let you know; when this whole shing-ding is over, you boys make sure you get outta here." the sheriff added. "Oh yes sir we promise." "you go on your way, but don't want to see y'all tomorrow y'all hear? " the sheriff said before getting back into his cruiser.

So we make it to Freedom Hall and it's a circus! There was only one way in and one way out with a heavy gate closing all of us in. 10am in the morning and people are parading around with grilled cheese sandwich stands, selling beads, clothing, and drugs. The word around was Purple Dragon was the blotter (acid) to get. We set up our tent in the parking lot next to the car and then medical students in a Geo Storm set up camp next to us. They had a 50lb tank of nitrous oxide making balloons for $5 each. Sitting in the tent I see the outline of a young man with a balloon outside the tent. In the next 30 seconds I see this outline ingest the balloon and passes out falling into our tent collapsing it with us in it. The med students felt bad so as a conciliation they offered us free balloons for the rest of the night. I hated that shit, but hey something free huh?

Needing to set the tent back up and get some fresh air, me and Tom's brother Gary walked around the grounds. In a crowd of thousands a really freaky guy walks by and say the words PURPLE DRAGON in a whisper to me!. I stopped looked at Gary and said ok this is it. Running through the crown I found this guy and said we are looking. And went back to our newly erected tent. Balloons still making the swoosh sound that never ended throughout the night. We bought three of these purple beauties for $10 each. And it was the best acid I have ever had. And unfortunately the bipolar part of me has sampled A LOT.

The gist of this adventure started when I was peaking standing in line to go into the show. That said getting to our seats was a journey. We happened to come in the opposite side of the venue and needed to walk around to the other side for our seats. Walking through the crowds of people with the different smells and looks, walks of all parts of life I really just wanted to find my seat and chill out. Everyone and everything was freaking me out at this point.

A girl dancing in the isle had her neck elongated swinging around like a ball on a string. I was increasingly upset that the crowd was louder the god awful music being played.

After the show (and after Midnight) I got in my head that this was all a scam and we were the bait. The Grateful Dead to my knowledge was from the hippy age and things were to be free and cared for. NOT HERE!!!

For the middle of April in was unseasonably cold, 29 degrees too cold. I had a bright orange mummy sleeping bag that closed up around my face and kept me somewhat warm. I decided to bounce around the parking lot trying to convince anyone that would listen to my rantings that this was a scam and we should all revolt. My friends were some distance behind me trying to get me out of trouble. The last thing I heard them say to a bunch of party goers was, "Did any of you guys see I six foot orange caterpillar come through here?" The entire crowd pointed in my direction and my buddies tackled me and carried me back to the car with me yelling, " This is all a scam we should fight the powers that be!"

No one came to my rescue needless to say and had to succumb to the powers of my friends. After a few hours I did come to my realization that this was all scam and I was part of it. Then I drove 16 hours home muttering to myself this whole thing was a bunch of shit.

But my bipolar nature put me there.

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