Let’s just get it out there – I did drugs when I was younger. My first husband, The Loser, was a big fan of all drugs, legal and illegal. And being young and stupid, I joined in. It wasn’t a great decision as my thinking wasn’t really clear when I was high and I often made foolish decisions. For example, one day when stoned, I had decided that if my first child was a boy, I would name him “Leo Blaze”. It sounded so manly and cool – until I sobered up and realized that people would either think that my son was a forward for an NBA team or the hero in a book titled “Love’s Raging Passion.”
Mainly the drugs were pot and sometimes coke, but occasionally The Loser opted for something more exotic – like acid. I really didn’t want to use acid. I had paid attention when they showed us the drug films in junior high school and I had read Go Ask Alice for God’s sake. I didn’t want to have a bad trip and “fly” out of a window or scratch my eyeballs out. Granted, we lived in a one-story duplex, so flying out the window probably wouldn’t have killed me – but there were plenty of other scary things that could happen!
The Loser insisted that this was “good acid” and that nothing bad would happen. So I joined him on his psychedelic journey. At first, things seemed fine – we chatted and consumed Cheetos balls, which we found to be hilarious for some reason. Then The Loser decided that we should go and see the new Star Wars film that was opening that day. God help me, we did drive to the theater (I’m grateful to this day that we did not kill anyone) and we managed to buy our tickets and make it inside.
I was a huge Star Wars fan – I had seen the first film 15 times (I’m sorry to say, that is not a typo). I could recite along with the dialog and had a major crush on Luke Skywalker. I don’t know what I was thinking, because any fool could see that Han Solo was where it was at – but I was foolish in my youth. I thoroughly enjoyed the new episode (although I did have to go back and see it again when I was sober, as I didn’t remember much about it later).
The show ended and we entered the theater lobby – and then I saw it! Standing by the door was a life-size Chewbacca, waving and occasionally letting out a “HHHHRRRRRROOAAAAANNNNKKKKK!” I took a step back in alarm, but then took a deep breath and reminded myself I was on acid and this was only a hallucination. As I started forward again, I felt a touch on my shoulder and turned to see Darth Vader looming above me. He didn’t say a word – but the breathing was terrifying! I screeched and jumped away in alarm, looking around for The Loser to protect me, but he was nowhere to be found! Oh, this was a very bad, bad trip! I searched the lobby to see if there were any windows I might be compelled to throw myself out of and then caught sight of Princess Leah hanging out next to Han Solo. My eyes, which were bugging out already, widened a fraction more and then….WAAAAIIITTTT a minute! That wasn’t REALLY Princess Leah and Han Solo! I HAD seen the first Star Wars 15 times – I KNEW what the princess and the bad boy pilot looked like and that was SO not them! What kind of acid trip would give me hallucinations of strangers trying to pass themselves off as Star Wars characters? With a healthy dose of skepticism now running through my veins, I took another look around the lobby and saw that all of the other theater-goers ALSO saw the characters and were pointing at them with wide smiles or even shaking their hands. It was then I realized that I was not hallucinating at all and that this was a promotional stunt the theater had put on to celebrate the opening of the new show.
A few minutes later, The Loser sauntered out of the restroom, where he had been totally distracted by the play of light on the water that was shooting from the faucet (I guess I should just have been grateful that he opted to wash his hands before exiting). The characters had moved to another part of the theater by that point and when I tried to tell him what I had seen, he patted my head as if I was a puppy and told me that acid affected people in different ways.
I never did acid again – opting instead to stand as a sober guard when The Loser felt he needed to imbibe. Because, why did I need acid when what happened in real life was already so strange and surreal?