CHAPTER 7


                              HIGH SCHOOL






               "It's your turn to make breakfast for everyone Phil."
               "Come on MaryAnn," I yawned,  pulling at my covers, "no body
          eats breakfast this early in the morning do they?"
               "Yes they do,"  she said laughing, "and you  have the honors
          of making it for everyone that wants it, too."
               After she  left the  room, I  stepped to  the other bed  and
          nudged Leroy.  "Wait up McGee.  We gotta eat breakfast."
               Leroy  was an unusual  kid.  He was,  I discovered later, an
          accomplished guitarist and song writer, but his dream in life was
          to be a police officer.  I was awakened often AT NIGHT during the
          three weeks we lived together because  he had failed to turn  off
          his police scanner.   He even owned a 38 and had  a target set up
          in his basement.   A few  years later, when I  was employed as  a
          social worker, my partner announced his intentions of  going over
          to Leroy McGee's home for a visit in order to update his file.
               "Better take your bullet proof vest then," I said casually.
               "What you mean by that," Fred wanted to know.
               "Well," I said, yawning, "Leroy packs a 38."
               "Oh, sure,"  Fred said laughing but he  wasn't laughing when
          he returned.
               Leroy and  I debated his desire to be  a cop once.  "Leroy,"
          how you gonna be a cop when you can't see to drive?"
               ""Oh," he said as though someone had just pricked him with a
          pin,  "I'll always  be  ridin'  with a  partner...he  can do  the
          driven."
               Well,  shoot, he had  me on that  one.  "But,"  I protested,
          "what if you have to shoot your gun?"
               "I can shoot a gun," Leroy said with finality, as though the
          conversation was over.
               Though  all who knew  Leroy made fun  of his desire  to be a
          cop, the joke was on us.   He eventually got a job with the Omaha
          Police Department as a dispatcher.
               "Come on, McGee,"  I said a little too loudly and poking him
          a little too  sharply in the  side, "MaryAnn says  we got to  get
          up."    Sounds  came from  his  side  of  the  room that  sounded
          something like a bear awakening from hibernation so I vacated the
          room.
               When  I walked  into the  library Four months  earlier, Mrs.
          Adams said, "Phil,  I hear  you are going  to public school  next
          fall."
               Finding my  seat at  the long table  and dumping  my Braille
          writer and  books on the hard surface,  I said, "Yeah, that's the
          plan right now anyway."
               "How did you decide upon this?" she said curiously.
               "Well, I knew I would be taking classes at the Nebraska City
          high school in a  year or so and after mentioning that to my Mom,
          she suggested we consider trying  to work something out whereby I
          could attend the public high school in my neighborhood.  I agreed
          to that  idea,  since I'd  get to  live at  home, and  we made  a
          contact with  some people in  the Omaha Public School  system and
          they're working on it right now."
               "Well," she said, "that sounds  great.  I don't think anyone
          else has done that in Nebraska yet."
               "Yeah," I replied, "there are a couple of kids in elementary
          grades in  Omaha that are blind  but the schools are  not regular
          public schools and  I think there's one  girl going to West  High
          next year, too."
               "We wish you well and we'll miss you around here," she  said
          sitting down at the head of the table to begin the English class.
               "Why we  got to do this thing MaryAnn?   I don't know how to
          cook."
               Clearing  her  throat,  she  proudly  announced,  "You,  and
          everyone else  for that  matter in this  three week  program, are
          going to learn how to cook."
               "But..."
               "No buts  about it, Phil.  We're going  to help you so don't
          worry about that part."
               Setting down at  the kitchen table, MaryAnn had  me write in
          Braille a schedule of who would be serving breakfast each day for
          the next three  weeks.  As I  recall, there were three  girls and
          two boys, Leroy and me, in  this summer rehab program.  The  idea
          was to give us some specialized training before the coming school
          year.  Rita,  Patty, and Leroy,  were already in  some kind of  a
          public school program  but Rita and  I would be  the first  blind
          students  in Omaha  public high  schools.  The  other girl  was a
          possible candidate for public school in a year.
               We had been  given a house to live in by ourselves for three
          weeks across the street from Omaha tech High.  An adult  was with
          us at all times but we were encourage to do as much for ourselves
          alone as possible.   Each morning was spent  in mobility training
          by at least  one member of the  group while the others  did house
          chores.   The  mobility consisted  of making  our way  around the
          technical school building  facilities across the street  and then
          later cane travel, in doors and out, was taught.
               The  afternoons were spent  working with crafts  and sitting
          with  the adult  rehabilitation   counselors,  two of  which were
          blind,   and  discussing how  to handle  situations faced  by the
          blind when traveling  in public, eating in restaurants, and other
          social  situations as  well as  techniques used  by the  blind in
          handling daily  tasks.   Each evening we  teamed up  with sighted
          teenagers of the  counselors involved with  the program and  went
          out to eat.   We visited parks,  went to the Omaha  symphony, and
          even took Missouri River paddle boat trips.
               Two   days  before  school  began,  we  were  finally  given
          permission to inter Benson High School; the school in which I was
          enrolled.   The school  officials were doubtful  they could  cope
          with a  blind student and  refused access to their  building till
          the last  minute.   Mr. Leguard, the  mobility instructor,  and I
          spent several hours those two days learning the complete building
          and although I  did not know the  entire building, I was  able to
          get to any place I needed without assistance.
               The first  day of school  MaryAnn, an employee of  the Omaha
          Public Schools, accompanied me to all my classes.  She introduced
          herself as  a resource teacher  who traveled to  different public
          schools  in  the city  to  assist  handicapped  students as  they
          attended public institutions.  I  was introduced to the class and
          it was explained how I would function as any other student in the
          school.  It was likewise mentioned that I would require volunteer
          readers and if anyone wished to do  some reading, to let me know.
          I  made some  immediate  friends this  way  and obtained  several
          readers.
               I used a white cane to travel about the building and because
          the facilities were built to house only fifteen hundred students,
          though over twenty-six hundred were enrolled, it was decided that
          I  would be allowed to leave each  class a minute or two early in
          order  to  beat  the  rush  of  kids  in  the  crowded  hallways.
          Fortunately the  building was easy  to traverse and I  had little
          trouble making it from one class to another.
               Students came  and joined me during my assigned study halls.
          A separate room  was provided so I could keep  the needed Braille
          writing equipment and tape recorders, not  to mention the Braille
          books, all together in one place.  It also afforded privacy so my
          volunteers could read aloud.
               Those first  few days at  Benson High were as  difficult, if
          not more so, than going to the school for the blind.  Since there
          were over  two thousand students, and  I the only blind  pupil, I
          felt conspicuous wherever I went.   I had never been more  afraid
          in my life.   Though I made  friends with my readers  right away,
          the rest  of the school kept their distance.   I joined the radio
          club  and made  a couple  of additional  friends but  they became
          interested in other things and we  drifted apart.  I likewise had
          two friends from church who also attended the high school and one
          of them became my closest.  Ryan  and I spent many hours together
          and even  shared many classes.   He was  one of my  most faithful
          readers and  we  likewise walked  the mile  home together  nearly
          every afternoon.  We spent most afternoons playing with ham radio
          equipment, reading Mad Magazines,  and generally horsing  around.
          Once he obtained his driver's license, he picked me up for school
          each morning and during the warmer months, we rode his  Honda 350
          to school.  I often wondered what people thought when they saw us
          whiz by as I held my books and white cane under one arm.
               My spiritual  interests began to  fade as the weeks  of high
          school rolled by.  I had felt the call to the ministry many years
          earlier at the age of thirteen but  now that I was sixteen, I was
          concerned about what  I would do in  life.  Following a  four day
          weekend in  the mountains of Colorado at a teen's church camp, my
          interest was  renewed in  the ministry and  I was  dedicated more
          than ever to full  time ministry work.  After a  couple of weeks,
          however, I felt empty and purposeless.  Although I was now living
          at  home with my  family, no more  to return to  just checking in
          over the  weekends, and though  I had several friends,  I somehow
          felt alone.  It was then I met Sharon.
               "Hello  Mrs. Scovell, Sharon said cheerfully, "we're here to
          pick up Phil.  Is he ready?"
               "Come  on in,"  Mom  said.   "I'll call  him upstairs.   I'm
          pretty sure he's ready."
               Mom had  given me  permission to  go with  Sharon to a  rock
          concert.  She,  too, was concerned that I had few friends and she
          reluctantly allowed me to go; not knowing exactly what it was all
          about.
               "Hi Phil," Sharon said.  "Are you ready to go?"
               "Yeah," I replied and took hold of her arm.
               "We'll  be  back  about   midnight  Mrs.  Scovell,"   Sharon
          announced, "and we  have to go home  to my place first  to change
          clothes," she continued conciliatorially. 
               "Have a good time," Mom said but  I heard the concern in her
          voice.
               In  the  car I  said, "Are  we  really goin'  to  your house
          Sharon?"
               "Naw," she laughed, "I just  said that because I didn't want
          your mom wondering why we were dressed so funny."
               "Good idea," I agreed.
               The  car  pulled  away   and  Sharon  and  her  friend   lit
          cigarettes.   "Phil, this is Doug.  We've  known each other for a
          long time and he offered to give us a ride to the concert."
               We exchanged greetings and Sharon offered me a cigarette.  I
          had smoked a cigarette once when I was about nine years  old with
          some other kids of the neighborhood out in the orchard.  Though I
          had no desire to do  so again, I had decided that no  matter what
          Sharon and  her friends  asked me to  do this  night, I  would be
          willing; even if it meant taking drugs.
               Killing time,  we drove  around the  city  and rapped  about
          anything that came to mind.  Finally Sharon said, "I brought some
          grass Phil.  You wanna try some?"
               "Sure," I said, my voice shaking slightly.
               After rolling a joint, she explained that I needed to inhale
          and  hold the  smoke  in my  lungs  as  long as  possible  before
          releasing.  Though I took  several drags, I never experienced any
          effects from  the  marijuana because  I had  never inhaled  smoke
          before.  By the time we had reached the Music Box, Sharon and her
          friend were high.
               The  rock group we  went to hear was  called The Pacific Gas
          and Electric.  Sharon described each of the performers with their
          bright psychedelic clothes and flaming  guitars and we sat on the
          floor smoking  and talking.   There were probably fewer  than two
          hundred teenagers  at the concert.   All,  or most, were  high on
          marijuana, hashish, speed, or LSD.
               "How'd  you like  the concert  Friday  night," Sharon  asked
          entering my study room the next Monday morning.
               "I liked it," I said without hesitation.
               "Would you like to go again some time?"
               "You bet.  Why not."
               After  setting   beside  me,   Sharon   lowered  her   voice
          conspiratorially and said,  "Would you be interested  in dropping
          acid some time Phil?"
               "Sure," I  said mechanically.   "I've  always wondered  what
          it'd would be like."
               "Well, if you'd  like to, why  don't we  arrange for you  to
          come home  with me some  Friday night after school  and I'll turn
          you  on to it  at my house.   Then my  boyfriend will  pick us up
          after he  gets off work and we can go over to Mike's house."  She
          had told me about Mike a few days earlier and how his mother left
          each weekend; leaving him home alone for nearly three days.  Mike
          was sixteen and had  grown his hair long and dropped  out of high
          school.  He was an acid  head and tripped on LSD every week;  and
          stayed stoned nearly all weekend.
               "I'd like  to try it  Sharon.  I'll  talk to my  Mom and see
          when I can get permission  to go home with you."  Two weeks later
          I negotiated my first LSD trip.
               I listened to the preacher each night.  I really didn't want
          to go; preferring to remain  home and either play around  with my
          ham  radio  equipment  or  listen  to  rock  albums  I  had  been
          collecting.   Mom had insisted  though and  to keep peace  in the
          family, I had agreed.
               The  final night of  the revival  meeting, I  felt strangely
          moved by the sermon.   In my heart I really  desired to serve God
          with my life but the magnetism of the new friends, the enraptured
          experiences  of the  LSD and  marijuana,  and the  thrill of  the
          secrecy had polarized  my emotions.  This man,  though, said some
          pretty  thought  provoking  things and  I  listened  closely that
          night.
               During the time he had  requested all heads to be  bowed, he
          asked if anyone had  a special need in there life.   I knew I was
          held fast  by what  I had  gotten into  and I  felt my  hand lift
          slowly.   During  the altar  call,  and as  the organ  and  piano
          played, I stood my ground and refused to walk forward for prayer.
          "After  all," I  thought, "I'm  not ready to  give this  all up."
          Suddenly he  was standing  by my  seat, his  arm  around me,  and
          speaking into my ear.
               "Son,  I saw you  raise your hand.   Won't you  come and let
          someone pray with you?"
               I moved silently  from my seat, allowing him  to guide me to
          the front,  and my pastor  said Al Scott, the  church's assistant
          pastor, would take me to a side room to talk.
               "Phil," Al began as we found chairs to sit on  in one of the
          Sunday school  rooms, "I'm glad  you came tonight.   Is something
          bothering you?"
               I tried for  nearly an hour to  explain to this man,  whom I
          had known for many  years as I was growing up, what I was facing.
          Actually, though, I felt as though  I were playing a game; trying
          to get  him to guess what I  was doing in my life.   I used hippy
          jargon, spoke of my hippy friends, the love I had for rock music,
          my dislike  for church, but  never mentioned directly that  I was
          using drugs.
               "Well, Phil," Al said after an hour, "I don't know what else
          to say.  I hear everything you are trying to tell me but I  don't
          know how to answer you.  Why don't we pray and I'll keep in touch
          with you."
               For  some reason, I suddenly  heard myself telling this long
          time friend of the family that  I was using LSD and other  drugs.
          I wasn't guilty, I didn't feel like a sinner, and I did  not have
          any desire to quit...I was bragging.
               A  few days later  Al called  me at home  and asked me  if I
          would consider  coming to the church a couple of times during the
          week for a little Bible  study with him.   I agreed and the  next
          day Ryan and I  stopped in on our way home from  school to see Al
          in his office.
               After discovering the  purpose of our meeting,  Ryan decided
          to remain  and study the  Scriptures with us.   We continued  our
          Bible studies for several sessions; Ryan eventually dropping out.
               "Phil,"  Al said  one afternoon upon  closing his  Bible, "I
          don't feel adequate counseling with you concerning your feelings.
          I would like your permission to discuss this with Pastor Anderson
          and if you'll  permit it, I'd  like you to  spend some time  with
          him."
               "You haven't told my Mom, have you Al?"
               "No,  Phil,  I haven't,"  he  said  matter  of factly.    "I
          promised you I  wouldn't tell your mom and I won't unless you say
          otherwise.   I feel, however, it would be  better for you and the
          pastor to spend some time together for awhile."
               Over the next few weeks I  spent many hours with my  Pastor.
          I detailed in  depth my feelings but I never  felt any conviction
          about what I was doing.   I admitted such to him  and confirmed I
          wasn't planning on changing a thing.   He tried to gain a  deeper
          understanding of me personally and of the hippy culture by asking
          a lot of questions.  I  told him of the music I listened  to, the
          drugs  I had taken and their effects,  and discussed with him the
          philosophy of unity and love I felt with my new friends.
               One day my  pastor called  and asked  me if I  would go  and
          listen to a youth speaker in  another church with him.  I  agreed
          and a few nights later we went.
               The speaker's name was Tex Yearout and he had been traveling
          the country  speaking in  many public schools  on the  subject of
          rock music, drugs, and other such topics of interest to America's
          teens.   I could identify  with everything he  said and  yet felt
          absolutely no guilt or any  desire to stop what I was  doing.  In
          fact, my  pastor thought  the preacher had  gotten through  to me
          with the  scary stories  of drug addictions,  bad LSD  trips, and
          accidental deaths  from drug use.   A  few months later  he would
          discover how wrong he had been.
               "Where we going?" I questioned as I climbed into Rick's car.
               "Well," sharon  said, "you said  you wanted to  try shooting
          some speed so lets go over to Mike's and shoot up."
               For some  reason Mike's mom  wasn't home, though it  was mid
          week,  but  since it  was summer,  she was  probably out  for the
          evening.  I  had made friends with  a next door neighbor  whom we
          called  Glee.    We had  gotten  to know  him  one  afternoon and
          discovered he,  too, was  a  head.   He  mostly smoked  dope  but
          occasionally did speed in pill form.
               "Hey,  Phil,"  Sharon said  from the  living room,  "Glee is
          coming across the yard."
               "Well," I called from the kitchen, "let him in."
               "Hey, you guys," Glee said entering the living room, "what's
          happenin'"
               "Not much," Sharon replied, "just hangin' out."
               "Crazy!  Hey,"  he said triumphantly, "I just  got back from
          being out of state for a few days and guess what I brun ya's"
               "What," I said, coming in from the kitchen.
               "I have some  quality hash  here.  Wanna  try it?"   Without
          waiting for  a reply, he  pulled his  hash pipe from  his pocket,
          place the tiny cylinder shaped object in the end of the  pipe and
          struck  a match.   After a  few puffs,  he held  it too  my lips.
          "Take  a hit Phil."   I breathed deeply,  inhaling the smoke, and
          held the smoke in my lungs as long as I could before exhaling.
               Colors floated up from the bottom of the sea like tiny space
          ships; green,  blue, gold,  yellow, and orange.   I  watched them
          slowly rise to  the surface and as  they touched the edge  of the
          water, they burst into  tiny electric points of  light; showering
          the carpet in shimmering curtains of phosphorescence.  I released
          the smoke through my nose and laughed.  "Wow!"
               A cloud floated  by.  A face popped from  its amorphus shape
          and smiled.  "Pretty good stuff, hey?" Sharon said softly.
               "Pretty good stuff," I agreed.
               "Hello Mike," we all said in harmony.
               "This here is Glee," Sharon announced.
               "Hello Glee.   Come on  downstairs where it's  cooler," Mike
          said gesturing to the back of the house.
               We descended the  stairs to the basement and  Mike turned on
          the stereo.  "Anything you guys wanna here?" he asked.
               "You got Iron Butterfly?" I requested.
               "Sure," he replied, "coming right up."
               As the  music flowed over  the room, Mike said,  "What's you
          guys doin' out tonight?"
               Holding  up a  syringe, Rick  said, "We  came to  shoot some
          dope."
               "Be my guest," Mike said adjusting the sound.
               "How is this done?" I asked.
               "Well,"  Rick  explained,  "I bought  this  over-the-counter
          stuff at  the drug store  on the way  over to  pick you up.   I'm
          taking the thing  apart and I'll soak the inside of it with water
          to get as  much of the chemical out as possible.   Then I'll suck
          the liquid up the needle,  find a nice fat vain on your harm, and
          give you a little poke."
               "What's this stuff called," Glee wanted to know.
               Rick told him.
               "Okay," he announced, "who wants to go first?"
               "I will," Glee said, rolling up his sleeve.
               As Rick  found a  vein and inserted  the needle,  Glee said,
          "How long does it..." but his  words were cut off as he  coughed.
          Catching him,  Rick lowered him  to the floor as  the rush struck
          his head like a sludge hammer.
               "You're next, Philip," he said,  "but I think you better sit
          down on the floor Glee almost cracked his head."
               I felt  Ricks fingers probing my  arm.  "I'm really  good at
          this Phil," he said; his  fingers touching my veins lightly.   "I
          shot  speed  like this  for  six months  and  got really  good at
          hitting veins."
               "That's   good,"  I  said  without  any  concern,  "I'm  not
          worried."
               "I'm going to stick you now so get ready."
               The needle  pricked my skin.   I heard the  rushing of water
          far off  in the distance.   It sounded like  wind blowing through
          Rocky Mouton pines; fresh, cool, and aromatic.    Then I felt the
          spray  of the  title wave  just before  it broke  on the  cliffs.
          Something hit my throat and I coughed.   The top of my head burst
          into the sunlight and I felt back on the floor.  It was like  Old
          Faithful had just irrupted in my head.  I teetered on the edge of
          consciousness for several minutes but never tipped  over the fine
          line of reality.
               "Are you all right?"  Sharon was  kneeling over me; her face
          close to mine.
               "I'm just great," I whispered.  "It's like my body is filled
          with power,"  and I sat  up.  I  was totally alive;  high voltage
          energy  surged through  my veins.    Every thought  was perfectly
          clear; sharp;  well defined.   I could understand things  so much
          better now.  I stood and began moving because it was so wonderful
          to be alive.
               "Well, how is it?" Rick said.
               "Man,"  I   sighed,  "this  is   powerful.    I   love  this
          stuff...it's even better than acid."
               They all laughed.
               "Are  you sure you feel all  right Philip?" Mom asked.  "You
          sure look pail."
               "Oh," I smiled, "I feel great; fine; nothin' wrong Mom.  I'm
          gonna go downstairs and fool around," and I left before she could
          become even more suspicious. 
               Glee and I spent the entire night  unable to sleep.  I tried
          many  times to  count  myself to  sleep,  something which  always
          worked,  but I  never drifted  off for even  a moment.   Thoughts
          traveled my opened mind at light speed villosities; crisscrossing
          the  universe; touching  every star;  absorbing  vast amounts  of
          wisdom.  The power was so electric.  Every word I spoke seemed as
          though spoken  with the wisdom  of the ancients.   I  knew myself
          better  than ever before  and I couldn't  wait to try  this speed
          again.
               "How'd you  like the speed  last night," Sharon said  on the
          telephone.
               "I really liked it Sharon.  Can you take that stuff by mouth
          or do you always have to shoot it?"
               "Well, I guess you  could soak it like Rick  did and swallow
          it but it probably tastes horrible because it smells pretty bad."
               I filed that information away for future use.
               "Hey," she  said, "I'm going  with my older  sister shopping
          day after tomorrow, Saturday.  Would you like to come along?"
               "I  don't know,"  I  said  hesitantly,  "I was  planning  on
          dropping that orange acid we  scored on the other day  with John.
          I've been  wantin' to trip  by myself some Saturday  morning just
          for the fun of it."
               "Well," she said, "you think  about it and if you wanna  go,
          let me know."
               Waking early, I rolled  off my bed and shoved  my hands deep
          under the mattress  and felt for the  tinfoil package.   There it
          was!  Extracting it from  its hiding place, I carefully unwrapped
          it; feeling for  the tablet  of LSD.   Pulling my  knife from  my
          pocket,  I opened the  blade and laid  the tablet on my  desk.  I
          carefully  sliced it in  half.  Picking  one of the  halves up, I
          placed it on my tongue and let  it dissolve slowly as I rewrapped
          the remaining piece  and returned it to its hiding place.  It was
          7:00 A.M.
               After going upstairs  and fixing some  breakfast, I went  to
          the basement  and lay on  my bed waiting  for the orange  acid to
          begin taking  effect on  my mind.   "I  wonder why  they call  it
          orange acid,"  I pondered.   Sharon  had once  told me  that many
          times  LSD dealers  purchased a  few ounces  of the  chemical for
          several hundred  dollars.  A  bathtub full of LSd  could keep the
          whole country stoned  for a year.   The pusher  then used an  eye
          dropper  to squeeze  a single drop  of the  drug on to  vitamin C
          tablets purchased  from any drugstore.   "That could be  true," I
          thought, "since the  substance I had just swallowed  tasted a lot
          like  something orange.   My first trip  had taken  well over two
          hours before  I felt the  effects.  Since then,  however, usually
          forty-five minutes to an hour was all  that was needed.  I sprang
          the  lid on  my Braille watch  and felt  the time.   It  was 8:00
          o'clock.    "how  much  longer  this  time,"  I  said  to  myself
          impatiently; snapping the  crystal shut.   The tiny snap  sounded
          like a canon boom.  "Well, it's starting," I said with a grin.
               I noticed the birds outside my basement window.  Their songs
          sounded  as though  they were  coming from  a deep  canyon; their
          echoing whistles painting the sky with green, blue, and red silky
          ribbons.   As I listened,  their songs with their  colorful notes
          covered the globe circuitously until the earth was wrapped with a
          decorous web.  I smiled as their songs comforted me.  A blue bird
          flapped into the powdery  blue dome of the sky  and continued his
          song.   Everything  suddenly became  three-dimensional;  his song
          spray painting everything blue, green, and violet.
               Setting up,  I noticed my bed for the  first time.  "Who had
          made it," I wondered.   "Apparently I had," I said  to myself, my
          voice sounding  as though I  were speaking through a  long hallow
          tube.  I  let my  fingers glide over  the spread.   I could  feel
          every  fiber; large and course.  "Why  hadn't I ever noticed them
          before?"   Dropping my legs  over the side  of the bed,  like two
          huge heavy  logs, my bear feet crashed to  the floor.  The carpet
          design felt flowery beneath my bear feet, like flower petals, and
          I could likewise distinguish the design with my toes.  "Strange,"
          I thought, "I'd never noticed that before.
               Crossing to my desk,  I sat and placed my hands  on the flat
          surface.  The grain in the wood stood out and it seemed as though
          I could trace every line  with my exploring fingers including the
          nickel-sized knot in the desk's center.
               I touched the cool metal of my radio equipment.  It felt icy
          as if it had just been pulled from the freezer; frosty and chill.
          Switching the  equipment on, I  heard the familiar sounds  as the
          radio came to  life.  I marveled at all the unique sounds signals
          had as I  tuned the frequencies;  some even looking like  red and
          white peppermint sticks as they curled about my thoughts.
               Suddenly  I heard  some familiar  voices  coming through  my
          speaker.  I saw tiny miniatures  of my friends standing inside my
          speaker with tiny microphones talking back and forth.  I laughed.
          Picking  up my  mic, I broke  in; giving  my call sign:  "This is
          WA0ORO."
               "Hey,  Phil,"  Bill  said from  Miami,  "his  voice sounding
          robotic.  "How you doin'?"
               I listened and talked for  an hour with my friends; laughing
          uncontrollably at  times at  remarks made in  jest.   Their words
          popped  out of my speaker like small tickets from a machine which
          I tore  off and read  individually.  Their sideband  signals made
          them sound like they were calling  from outer space.  Foam pumped
          from my  speaker at  times, bubbles drifted  to the  ceiling, and
          ribbons  crisscrossed  before my  eyes  as  I listened  to  their
          conversations.
               "Time to listen to some music," I announced over my radio as
          though I were a DJ on a local radio station.
               "You gonna leave us Phil?" Bob asked from the Canal Zone.
               "Yeah,  I'm gonna go  play some music.   I haven't done that
          for awhile," I said as though confessing a secret sin.
               "Okay," he replied, "see you later.
               "I wanna talk to you on the phone later, Phil," Ron said his
          house just a mile from mine.  "Ok?"
               "I  can  dig   it,"  I  sang  and  reciting   my  call  sign
          perfunctorily,  I switched off the equipment  and laughed.  "they
          didn't even know I'm stoned."
               Feeling my  way across the room,  I found my  open reel tape
          recorder.   I had some  Country Joe  and the Fish  on one  of the
          tapes  I'd recently recorded  and feeling  about the  recorder, I
          found  it.   Threading the  tape through  the heads,  something I
          thought would  be nearly impossible  to do stoned, I  switched on
          the recorder and let it  warm up.  The  air that rushed out  from
          beneath the machine as the cooling fan began to spin was cool.  A
          tiny  tornado  slipped  from  beneath  the  machine  and  drifted
          silently by  my hand.   I pinched  it between  my fingers  and it
          vanished.   I pressed the  play button and turned  up the volume.
          Nothing but a his came from the speakers built into the  machine.
          It sounded like  the ocean rolling into  my room.  I  watched the
          wave as  it approached  the beach and  heard sea  galls squeaking
          over head.   The rush of the  wave grew louder as  it approached.
          The damp  sand felt warm beneath my feet.  The wave was almost on
          me.
               Suddenly the  wave rolled over  the beach, ran up  the beach
          and swelled about my legs; bubbling, boiling, foaming into sheets
          of  musical sound.   Voices  mingled with  the music,  the lyrics
          floating on the  waters shiny surface, and I  suddenly realized a
          song had begun on the tape.   The rushing sound had only been the
          hiss  on the  tape before  the  song began  to play;  amplified a
          thousand times by the hallucinogenic effects of the drug.
               I watch the music unfold from the sides of the tape recorder
          as though it was paint pealing from the wall.  I noticed for  the
          first  time I could  see through the  tiny wholes  drilled in the
          sides of  the recorder which allowed sound  to escape.  I watched
          all the moving parts  of the mechanism through the  tiny holes as
          the belts pulled  the gears and turned the  capstan and miniature
          turn  tables  on which  the  reels  sat.   "How  fascinating,"  I
          thought.  I even  thought I saw tiny little men  at work laboring
          to make each part work correctly.  "Whadda you  know about that,"
          I hummed.   "I  never knew  they were  in there,"  and I  laughed
          loudly.  I placed my hands on  either side of the speaker outlets
          and felt  the music bounce  off my palms.   My pores  dilated and
          drank  in the musical  notes spilling from the  machine.  "What a
          wonderful device," I considered, "I can drink sound."
               Leaning forward,  I placed my  hands on top of  the recorder
          and listened  not only to the music drifting  up to touch my ears
          but felt the vibration  of the machine itself.  I  could feel the
          electricity pass from the  machine to my body and I  tingled from
          the sensation.     "I'm getting my  battery charged,"  I giggled.
          Electrons popped from the  pores of my  skin and burst into  tiny
          atomic  explosions flashing  the  room into  brilliance.   When I
          laughed at the  feeling, a cloud of blue  translucent butterflies
          flew from my lips and drifted across the room.
               Suddenly, the  room began to  melt.  The music  was dripping
          off  the  side of  the  recorder and  dropping  on to  the floor.
          Everything that was plastic had been super heated and was melting
          before my very  eyes.  The heat  flashed white from  the recorder
          and I stepped back from the flames.  Instantly, everything popped
          back into place, as though a large  rubber band had snapped,  and
          the music continued playing.  I had inadvertently placed my hands
          on top of the revolving reels and slowed the tape.  To my ears it
          had sounded as though everything was melting.
               Opening my watch once again,  I noticed, if my fingers could
          be trusted, it was  nearly noon.  Mom would be  home from her job
          at the doctor's office soon.  I decided to eat some lunch and see
          what  food tasted  like  stoned.   Snapping  my  watch closed,  I
          listened  to the  thunder  it  created roll  over  the earth  and
          laughed surreptitiously.
               Finding a bag of potato  chips, I touched the crinkly paper.
          It sounded like ice breaking.  Pulling the bag open, I  heard the
          sky split.   Retrieving a  single chip which  took both  hands to
          lift  because of  its massive size  and weight,  I held it  to my
          mouth.  I bit into the monstrous chip and heard thousands of pain
          glass windows breaking.  Colors popped like fireworks all  around
          me and swallowing the sharp pieces felt like I had eaten a window
          pain.   "Amazing," I said  to myself.   "They never  cut me."   I
          tried milk, water, pop, and orange juice one after another.   The
          milk felt thick,  the water tasted like mountain  stream, the pop
          too sweet,  and the orange juice made me  laugh.  Feeling for the
          breakfast food  boxes on top of the refrigerator, I found one and
          pulling it  down, I opened  the lid.   Slipping my hand  into the
          box,  I  retrieved something  that  looked  as  large as  a  life
          preserver.  I thrust  it into my  mouth; not expecting the  whole
          thing to fit,  and bit  down.  It sounded like a board  snapping.
          "Cheereos." I announced proudly.
               There was an explosion at the front  of the house.  I closed
          the refrigerator  door; its  slam a whisper  and held  my breath.
          "An airplane must have crashed in our front yard," I thought.   A
          huge  ball rolled  around the  living room  and crashed  into the
          kitchen.
               "Oh, hello, Philip," Mom said.  I was going to fix  you some
          lunch when I got home from work  but it looks like you've already
          had something," my  Mom said seeing the open bag of chips and the
          bottle of pop on the counter.  "Why is the water running though?"
          she asked shutting it off.
               I had  wondered where the  sound of that waterfall  had been
          coming  from for the  past few minutes but  never once thought it
          might be water  running in the sink.   "Oh," I said  casually, "I
          was getting  a drink.   Guess  I'll  go downstairs  for awhile  I
          said," my voice sounding way too loud.
               Stumbling into my bed and falling into it, I rolled over and
          laughed.  "She  had no idea in  the world that  I was stoned,"  I
          giggled to  myself.  tiny  bubbles escape my lips  and floated to
          the ceiling.
               I lay  quiet for awhile listening to the sounds of the house
          as it creaked and groaned  from Mom's footsteps upstairs.  "Hey,"
          I thought, a sun bursting in  my head, "what's it like outdoors?"
          and I got up to see.
               We had a  walk-out basement and  I pulled at the  back door.
          It  creaked and I stepped  out.  The  breeze kissed me sensuously
          and was perfumed with a sweet  scent which I, at first,  couldn't
          identify.   "No  wonder they  refer  to the  earth as  a  she," I
          thought.  Then I realized  the lilacs were in bloom.   I drank in
          the sweet  smell and felt  my head fill with  the powerful scent.
          The top  of my  head opened to  the sunshine  and bloomed  like a
          giant flower; its peddles waving in the warm breeze.
               A jet  began slowly  trekking across  the sky;  its powerful
          engine sucking in huge amounts of  cold air and thrashing it into
          ebullient red flames which leaped from the back of the tiny metal
          plane someone  had painted on the sky.   "Strange," I mused, "the
          sky  was only about  twenty feet high."   I watched  the twin red
          tails  of the jet as  they drew a line across  the horizon and as
          the sounds of the engine evanesce, I wondered how it was possible
          that  one could see sound.  I heard  the trees moving in the warm
          breeze; their branches  creaking.  Watching  them turn into  huge
          up-side-down green brooms, I realized trees were for sweeping the
          sky clean.      Fearing  I might be  drawn into  the yard  by the
          magnetism of the sweet scent of the blooming flowers and becoming
          hopelessly lost in my own backyard,  I retreated to the safety of
          my room.   "What a trip," I said  with awe.  I wonder  how long I
          was out there."   Though it had  been less than five  minutes, it
          seemed an hour.
               The  basement was  cool and  I embraced  its freshness  as I
          passed  through to  my bedroom  once again.   Finding  my bed,  I
          crawled over it's bouncing  surface and lay on my back;  my hands
          behind  my  head.   My  thoughts  drifted  in electric  waves  of
          flashing rainbows and I watched  in fascination as they moved and
          whirled like a vortex about the   room.  As I watched, they  were
          sucked into the center  of the room and  disappeared and I  found
          myself wondering  where they  had gone.   "This  is kind  of like
          being in a  fish bowl," I said  to myself, not  knowing if I  had
          spoken out loud or not.
               Suddenly I  noticed luminous  fish floating in  my room.   I
          looked over  the edge  of my  bed and  sure  enough, golden  sand
          blanketed the floor.  Chrome  plated sea shells dotted the bottom
          of  the  fish  bowl  and  upon  closer  examination,  I  spied  a
          shimmering castle looming  up out of the shadows  on the opposite
          side of  the room.  Swimming toward the castle, I floated through
          the large oak doors  and landed on my feet.   The cavernous rooms
          glowed with the luster of gold and red fish darted in and out.  I
          found the home bereft of all life except for a large green turtle
          slowly crawling laboriously over the ivory floors.
               Returning to the  main window of the castle,  I floated out;
          narrowly missing  a  friendly pink  seahorse with  a shiny  black
          mane.  "Hey," I called, waving my arm.  He swam over and climbing
          on his back, we returned to  my bed.  When I turned to  thank him
          for the ride, he was gone.
               fish floated in slow motion before me blinking bright colors
          of emerald, ruby, silver, orange, pink, green, blue,  violet, and
          yellow;  their mouths  opening and  closing  as though  in silent
          prayer.   Seaweed drifted  like green  aluminum Christmas  tinsel
          just below  the  surface of  the water  and the  sun pierced  one
          corner  of the  room; its  brilliant yellow  creating a  shaft of
          solid light.  One fish,  swimming right through the golden shaft,
          turned and with his body bent, smiled at me.   I smiled back.  An
          electric  purple  octopus  floated by;  his  large  eyes flashing
          green; and yellow.   He looked exactly like a blow-up  toy I once
          saw in a store.   He was so close I reached out  and touched him.
          "Ouch,"  he yelped  and sucking  in  a gallon  of blue  water, he
          pumped it from his tubes and shot away.
               As  I watched, the colors began to  fade and the water began
          to swirl toward the center of the room.  I  looked down and saw a
          huge  bathroom plug being  pulled away from the  drain.  "Hey," I
          called,  "but it was too late.   The plug came free and the water
          was rushing toward the hole with tremendous force.  Two fish were
          immediately sucked into the hole and  seaweed began drifting from
          the  ceiling toward  the opening.   The  rush of  the water  grew
          louder and I grabbed the edges of my mattress to keep  from being
          sucked into  the boiling water  at the room's center.   I watched
          helplessly as each fish disappeared in to the drain.  The  castle
          bent toward the hole from the powerful force of the rushing water
          against  it's  thick  walls.    Suddenly it  broke  free  of  its
          foundation and hurled itself into the  large hole.  The sand slid
          toward the  opening and disappeared;  leaving the room  clean and
          totally void.   I closed  my eyes,  not wanting to  see what  had
          happened, and felt the remaining water rushing over my flesh.  It
          tickled and I began to laugh.  When I ceased my  laughing moments
          later, the water was gone and  my room was back in place.   There
          was my desk, my radio equipment, my  typewriter and telephone.  I
          uncurled my  aching fingers from  the covers of my  bed slowly to
          insure  it was  over.  I  felt no  movement about me  and sat up.
          Getting to  my feet,  I felt  for my  desk and  feeling its  hard
          surface, I  breathed a  sigh of relief.   I  laughed again.   The
          dream was over and I still had one trip on my orange acid left.
               "Philip,"  Mom said  from  the couch,  "have  you given  any
          thought to what you're going to do after you graduate?"
               I  lay on  the carpeted  floor in the  middle of  our living
          room.  The  LSD was subsiding slowly  like a small  summer shower
          drifting toward the  distant horizon. I saw my  Mom's words drift
          from  the  couch  in  faint  pastels.    The  hallucinations  had
          dissipated but I wasn't in full thought control.   "I think about
          it some  Mom I guess but so far I  don't know what I'm gonna do."
          Ruth, my  youngest sister, now  thirteen, was also in  the living
          room.
               "Well, I wish you'd think a little more about it and give me
          some idea  of what you want  to do.   Next year at this  time you
          should be  ready to go  to college somewhere.   Have you  thought
          about going to Bible college?"
               "Yeah," I muttered,  noticing the pink  sheen of our  living
          room walls for the first time in my life.  "I don't know for sure
          yet Ma..."  I almost said,  "Besides, they won't  let me  do dope
          there," and laughed out loud.
               "What's so funny," Mom wanted to know.
               My sister  and Mom  began to argue  about something.   Their
          words  were  fuzzy cotton  balls  popping from  their  mouths and
          floating about the room.  I began to laugh about the funny sounds
          their words made...like mice arguing.  My  sister stopped talking
          and looked down at me as I lay on my back on  the floor.  "You've
          been acting  weird all  day and you've  had that stupid  smile on
          your face too.  It wouldn't surprise me if you were  smoking dope
          or something."
               Laughing even louder, I got to my feet."Well, I can tell I'm
          not wanted around  here.  I think  I'll just go  back to where  I
          belong," and humming a few bars of a Doors song, I left the room,
          heading for the basement.
               Mom  had  touched  a  tender  spot  when she  had  mentioned
          college.  "What was I going to do," I wondered later that evening
          after the effects of the hallucinogen had subsided.  In  my heart
          I really wanted  to serve God; I  wanted to preach the  Gospel; I
          wanted to care for people.  "How," I pondered, "was I going to be
          able to  do that if I was doing dope.  Well, I'll give it up some
          day.  I'm not really hooked on  it."  Snapping on my ham radio, I
          tuned the dial; trying to clear my thoughts of worry.


                            End Of Chapter 7

                             LIQUID PURPLE

                                   BY

                              PHIL SCOVELL




                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
          and sold  for financial gain  without written  permission of  the
          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
          distributed freely  but this  copyright notice  must remain  with
          each  copy and  the  text cannot  be  altered in  any  way.   For
          convenience, this copyright notification may be placed at the end
          of the document  if reproduced electronically.   If chapters  and
          sections  of the  book entitled  "Liquid Purple" is  separated in
          file  form   for  convenience  of  electronic   reproduction  and
          distribution,  this copyright notice must appear somewhere within
          each individual file.


          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Email:  phil@redwhiteandblue.org
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
Go To HOME: The Zenith Tube Website: RedWhiteAndBlue.org