To grasp hold of a fleeting reality, when all you’ve got for a touch stone is an animal smearing across an intense landscape, barking at us, a person with the love grass in his hand, and an invisible monster sitting on a mountainside smiling at us from where he sat. These were the images of a moment, long ago.
We were presented with these things first, of the all the touch stones to reality we had to hold onto when we were tripping. We walked a long way to find out whether Reggie was home. He was not home, and that fact was no big deal. We walked there out of boredom when we were young men. Did it for the heck of it.
This was a part of the heaviest trip I ever took, a mind boggling experience to have to hang in there with, all day and night, after they took me to the laughing academy for detox. I had to relearn how to sleep. Still not very good at it forty years later. Turned out the illusive Reggie was not home at all.
We had to hitch hike back to campus with the whole Twilight Zone behind the wheel. I had to sit right next to him, too. That guy was a circus clown, with a few days growth of beard on his face, some sort of clown hat and a bottle to suck on. I wanted a bottle like that one. I didn’t know what was in it, and didn’t care.
I did not want to drink after the guy, off the same bottle. Didn’t want to imagine what kind of koodies were in his bottle anyway. I wanted to go to – what was it called – an ABC store? Get a hold of my own bottle. I was hoping the old man was not a pervert for boys and not flat out molest me in that car of his.
My buddy was talking like he was messing around with my girlfriend, when we got back to campus. I started pounding on his shoulder out of rage. Later, he said his shoulder was all black and blue for a couple of months after that. Serves him right. Watch out how you talk about my girlfriend, buddy.
To make a long story short, they treated me to my first experience with an isolation chamber of a laughing academy, right away when I arrived. It was all so heavy. They’d come in and wrestle me to the mattress on the floor, fight me until they’d gotten my pants down. I was a scared twenty year old boy, who fought back, tooth and claw.
As it turns out, they were giving me needles of major tranquillizers, to bring me down. I’ve said things one way and then said them another. As it was, I have no idea what happened at that hospital, when I arrived, or when I left. I only have images of what it was like to have acute toxic psychosis.
From the hospital I went home to grandma with mom in a jet airliner, where I smoked cigarettes on the plane. I crocheted scarves and made picture puzzles, trying to relax. I was still very sick. I can’t imagine what I should have done. I was afraid to sit in the living room without the blinds pulled.
The major tranquillizers didn’t help, since they were the wrong chemicals. It was just that they were the only chemicals available to doctors then. I couldn’t resist mother helping me take them. My mind played a lot of tricks on me in those early years of suffering because of chronic schizo-affect disorder.
I’ve got a brother who is helpful and kind. He and I share a neighborhood. He was an EMT, but up-graded his medical skills to paramedic quite awhile ago. He ran rescue around here for a long time. He’s been working in a hospital for quite awhile, doing telemetry. He’s smart as a whip.
I have another brother who has a problem. He’s been unstable since college. He says negative things to others, about himself, and used to expect mother to set him straight, which she did. He predicates his self-worth on the responses of other people. But mother’s gone now. He’s not very happy.
I don’t think I had the heart to tell grandma I took drugs. She found out though. In those days I don’t think grandma could have understood. Grandma was old fashioned. She was born in 1885. I smoked cigarettes in her house whenever I wanted. It was an assumed privilege. No one contested it.
The chemists have made marvelous strides developing medications for the treatment of mental illnesses in the past 42 years. The doctors have plenty of medication options to try out on a person, in response to chemical data. The old, major tranquillizers are almost never prescribed anymore.
There’s an illness a patient can contract, simply by taking major tranquillizers a long time. I’ve got the bug, too. I took that stuff for ten years. Oh well. I did not take the chemical in ignorance. I knew. That chemical was the most effective medication for treatment of my problem for all that time.
Doctors rely heavily on blood tests in achieving a balance in a patient’s brain chemistry, when a person’s chemistry is out of whack. Many of the older medications I can’t take anymore, because my system rejects them. I even have obvious allergy reactions to some medicines I took for a long time. I’ll be going to psych wards forever.