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The cake — it’s melting…

Posted by Richard on January 14, 2006

I might have missed this story if a partner in illicit activities from many years ago hadn’t tipped me off. Albert Hofmann turned 100 the other day:

GENEVA — LSD is an unlikely subject for a 100th birthday party. Yet the Swiss chemist who discovered the mind-altering drug and was its first human guinea pig is celebrating his centenary Wednesday _ in good health and with plans to attend an international seminar on the hallucinogenic.

"I had wonderful visions," Albert Hofmann said, recalling his first accidental consumption of the drug.

Didn’t we all? I’m still waiting for those flashbacks they promised me 30+ years ago. I want my free flashbacks!

Yes, I know — I’m not supposed to make light; some people died and many ruined their lives using "recreational" drugs in the 60s and 70s. But you know what? Most of us didn’t. The ones who did were reckless and irresponsible and/or had serious psychological problems long before "experimenting" with marijuana, hash, LSD, mushrooms, etc. Those things are, by any objective criteria, actually remarkably safe substances.

I was pretty immersed in the 70s drug culture (this was Tennessee; we were a bit behind California, you understand, so the 70s were our 60s), and I don’t regret it a bit — except for a couple of drinking and driving incidents that I’m just glad I survived. Most of the people I knew who really messed up their lives did so with alcohol. A few did it with pills or needle drugs. No one with pot or hallucinogenics.

The people who held down regular jobs or were good students or both, but smoked a joint while watching Saturday Night Live or ate mushrooms at the farm on a Saturday afternoon — we didn’t have a problem and didn’t mess up our lives. We just had some fun experiences that we like to reminisce about now that we’re getting old. And frankly, many of us would be willing to repeat those experiences if it weren’t for the legal risks and the fact that we’ve got more to lose these days. (It’s amazing how blasé you can be when you have no mortgage, your furniture is mostly cinder blocks and boards, and all your possessions fit into your VW bus.)

I still fondly remember one glorious fall evening on windowpane acid. Several of us were at a friend’s house out in the country, and we went out wandering through the adjacent fields enjoying the sounds and sights. We lost track of one of our cohorts, whom I’ll call Albert (his real name).

After a while we found him lying flat on his back under a small tree, gripping a tree root tightly with his outstretched right hand, and staring wide-eyed straight up into the night sky at the stars and moon above him.

"Hey, Albert," we said, "come on back to the house with us. It’s getting cool out here."

"I can’t," Albert replied. "If I let go, I’ll fall off."

We laughed until tears ran down our cheeks.

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2 Responses to “The cake — it’s melting…”

  1. Brass said

    My buddy and I tripping hard at the lake when a few ducks came up to us to feed them.

    Not having any bread, my buddy pulled out a dollar and said,”Go buy it yourselves.”

    A duck took the dollar in his mouth and walked off. We fell into the lake laughing our asses off.

  2. Anonymous said

    Your buddy must have been one of those free-market libertarian types. 😉

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