I rolled out of bed at about 10 AM. It was a beautiful day. I grabbed my trusty bong and sucked down a bonghit before I even scratched my ass. It was thanksgiving! It was a crisp fall day, late in November of 1983, the sun was shining and the birds were crapping on a BMW parked across the street. I had planned for this day. I had supplies. Beer. Weed. Magic mushrooms. A turkey potpie and a package of chipped turkey Yeah.
In retrospect I realize that I spent at least ten times as much money on drugs as I did on food. The sad fact was those magic mushrooms were kind of hard to come by. When presented with the opportunity I wasted no time in decision. I exchanged my hard earned cash for psilocybin. It seemed the only logical choice at the time. I had a deal worked out with a guy at a liquor store, I think it was called Campus Corner, or something like that. I was managing Pizza Bobs and I would give him pizza for beer. It was a cool deal. I had beer. I always had weed. I cant remember how, but I always had weed.
The Truthhouse would host exclusive holiday events for all the local disenfranchised youth. These events were usually well attended. We provided loud music, good weed, and lots of beer. Usually our guests would bring either beer or money and we had raging bashes on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The idea was to give the kids an excuse to leave a boring family gathering. I think it sometimes was used in that fashion, Sorry Aunt Bertha, Im expected at another event, thanks for the grub, bye. It was nice for me because it provided some content to the holidays. It was also an excuse for a party during a time when no one had to work.
After thoroughly scratching my ass and performing my other morning rituals I dressed and checked my supplies. Beer. Mushrooms. Weed. My turkey potpie and the small packet of chipped turkey were carefully inscribed with a skull and crossbones and the works NO EAT. This usually worked at the Truthhouse. It clearly indicated that this was to be my thanksgiving feast and no one was to touch it. The threat of violence was clear but I can remember only one time when I actually hit one of my housemates. It was because I was cleaning the house. The problem was that I was wearing my engineer boots and clomping about rather noisily. I was not intentionally making undue noise, but I was certainly guilty of clomping about within the confines of a domestic household in an area that would have been directly over the basement bedroom. The occupant of the bedroom was clearly pissed off. Clearly. He came up the stairs clad only in a towel and started to smash things about and go into a sort of an incoherent rage. When he bashed my guitar I punched him in the arm and stated, rather redundantly, Thats my guitar, man! He returned to his basement lair seething. I stopped cleaning. But I digress.
A beautiful day! My leather jacket was more than a match for the crisp November breeze. The tore out knee on my jeans was letting a bit of the chill in, but it was not bad. I slowly ate my magic mushrooms as I ambled my way along the several miles to Nichols Arboretum. The stuff tasted awful but I chewed slowly and carefully as I made my trek to the magical place we called the Arb. I knew the arb well. I knew the hills and the trees. Hash oil hill. Elephants Graveyard. The pines. The hidden arb. The arb was a peaceful and magical place. I wound my way down the trail past the oaks and into the meadow. The arb was fairly empty because all the normal people were doing normal thanksgiving stuff.
I started tripping.
The effect of the mushrooms took over my brain and crowded out the weakened residue of the early morning bonghits. I started to feel a little paranoid. I didnt like the way an older gentleman, out for his morning constitutional walk, was looking at me. I had to walk past two young lovers. They were holding hands. The female was pretty cute. The male had the look of a primate protecting his mate. I managed a nod. Thank God they didnt actually talk to me. I made my way to the Gorge. There, in the bottom of the Gorge, I was away from the prying eyes of the humans. It was one of the wildest places in the arb. Perhaps I should use the term natural instead of wild. I have had some wild times in the arb. It was not very accessible and so it was not really pruned and mowed or landscaped. The designers and caretakers of the arb just had to kind of work around it. A tree had fallen. It made a wonderful seat. It was obvious that running water had shaped the land and large rocks and boulders were underneath the lush growth. The sun was coming through the leaves and speckling the ground. It was a beautiful day.
I sat there tripping out of my mind. Just sitting and letting my mind wander. It was a very peaceful and natural trip. I had taken natural hallucinogen and I was in a very natural spot. I spoke with God. I asked him if he had any weed. He said he didnt, he didnt need any. I laughed and said that I didnt really need any either. We spent the afternoon together, there in the bottom of the Gorge.
Eventually I started coming down. God had other duties to attend to. It must be a hard job being God. Im glad I dont have to do it. I started to feel hungry. All I had eaten that day was a little bit of magic mushroom. I roused myself and climbed out of the Gorge. The daylight was fading fast. With my hands thrust deep within my pockets I made the long journey homeward to the Truthhouse.
Upon my arrival I did a bonghit and grabbed a beer. My friends and housemates greeted me and everyone was in a cheery mood. A few of the people had parents that they could relate to and had eaten some feasts. I turned on the oven as I listened to stories of tables laden with delicious foods. I pulled my turkey potpie out of the freezer and took it out of the box with the skull and crossbones on it. The time had come. It was a beautiful day. I was going to eat.
I needed to cook my potpie for 30 minutes. To a man who has hiked to the arb, around the arb, and back from the arb, 30 minutes can be a long time to wait. Especially considering the lack of physical sustenance I had enjoyed. Feed your head first, I guess. During my wait I was treated to my erstwhile friends comparing stories of their feasts. It almost seemed like a competition. Whos family could set the best table? Certain specialties were described in detail. Ancient family recipes were compared.
Finally my turkey potpie was done. With trembling hands I removed it from the oven, carefully so as not to burn myself. I placed my thirty-nine cent feast on a plate and removed the top crust with a fork. There was absolutely no turkey inside. It looked like some kind of yellow liquid in a piecrust. It smelled vaguely of chicken. I looked at the picture on the box underneath the skull and crossbones. The photo showed a steaming golden crust filled with tender morsels of turkey and fresh vegetables in a thick gravy. I looked at the piecrust with the pale yellow liquid in it. I threw it out. Thirty-nine cents wasted. But all was not lost! I had my package of chipped turkey. Considering it cost seventy-nine cents it should be almost twice as good as the potpie. Even better, I would not need to cook it! I attempted to open the package. Modern packaging methods were proving to be a bit of a problem for me. The package would not tear open. Vainly I attacked the plastic with my bare hands to no avail. I searched for a tool. With all the punks, thugs, and various hoodlums about, someone should have a knife. I finally found a pair of scissors. Triumphant, I looked inside my freshly open package to view my prize. I saw mold. Furry mold. Turkey is supposed to have feathers, not hair. I threw it out. Nothing left to do but get drunk. And stoned. So that is what I did. I proceeded to drink beer but it did little to assuage my hunger. I had been out all day walking around and I had developed quite an appetite. Still, there was partying to be done and I rose to the occasion. People started showing up early and the music was loud and fast! Many people enjoyed beer, bonghits, and whiskey that night. The events at the Truthhouse were always well attended.
I was found later that evening sitting in a corner. I was a little bummed out because I was still hungry. It was a rather attractive young lady that found me there. We spoke of our respective holiday events. She said she had a boring time at her grandmothers. Although she loves her grandmother very much, there are a lot of differences between them. I told her of my adventures in the arb and of my failed attempt at a feast for under a dollar. She laughed and after a moment she left. I had no idea where she went, but soon she returned. She was carrying a plate of food. Food!! From Grandmothers house! She gave it to me and I removed the aluminum foil and there on the plate was the most luscious array of gastronomical delights I had ever witnessed. Carved turkey breast covered in homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, and some kind of cranberry bread.
Imagine a swarm of locusts. Sharks in a feeding frenzy. A pack of wolves that have just pulled down a deer. I think you get the idea. The beautiful young lady was smiling indulgently at me as I devoured her leftovers. It was good. Real Good. A real thanksgiving dinner made by somebodys grandmother. Wow. I licked that plate clean. We talked and laughed late into the night. The food had put me in a great mood. The party started to die down fairly early for a Truthhouse event. I found myself in my bedroom alone with the beautiful young lady who had shared her food with me. She shared other things with me. She was a very comfortable person to be with. There was an unspoken understanding that this was a special evening and not a huge commitment. We made passionate love for hours. Around four oclock in the morning I awoke to see her getting dressed. She leaned over and tenderly kissed me on the cheek. She said goodbye and left. I lay there in my bed for a while thinking. It was a beautiful day. JB