The years between sixteen and eighteen were wonderful. With the exception of playing guitar on the high school stairs, ditching school, and bidding my time getting stoned, there was little worthy of an dishonorable mention.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. I was sent to a juvenile detention facility twice as a direct result of persons bearing false witness against me. Six months per incident.
While I do not remember which occurrence was first. Once was because a friend of mine shot some kid in the face with one of those dry-chem fire extinguisher. The unfortunate schlemile had been hanging himself, from a second story window, whilst hurling antagonisms streetward.
One half of a pair of the twins," Fra-lan"... Frank and Alan, I do not remember which, Were the one responsible. I took the rap. That same day, however, I had shot the front drivers side window out of a parked Cadillac, with a pellet gun, just to see what would happen.
The second time was truly undeserved. Some lady fingered me for stealing a purse from her car. It had been parked in the horse stables at the end of my street. I had nothing to do with it. My mother even went to court and testified that I had been upstairs in my room on restriction at the time... But to no avail.
There were a lot of parties during those years. The unlucky guys would pass out and wake up in the morning covered in permanent marker tattoos and facial makeup. One time this kid named Eric, we called him "Uncle horse-laugh" , had fallen asleep on a couch in a friends driveway. A bunch of us picked up the couch, put it in the back of a pickup truck, and drove it down the hill about a mile. The cops woke him up the next morning and all he could say was that he didn't know how he'd gotten there.
One day, I went to say hey to my pal Ray. It may have been May in 1985... or maybe it was September... I do not remember.
We were bored and I came up with the brilliant idea "lets take some acid". "We don't even know where to get any" Ray said. "well lets go for a walk and we'll find some" I responded. "Yah right... your trippin already if you think we're gonna go for a walk and just find some acid" said Ray in response. I said "come on... lets go" and off we went.
We walked down the street and past the park. Within five minutes we had reached El Camino Real, which is the main street, running through San Clemente. We turned right and walked about a block.
We were in front of "La Siesta" mexican Restaurant when some kid, about twelve or thirteen years of age, came sliding up on his bike. The first words out of his mouth were "hey! you guys wanna buy some acid?" I looked at Ray and he looked at me and we both started laughing hysterically.
For seven dollars we got something like twenty hits of purple micro-dot acid. They looked sorta like over-sized burgundy cake sprinkles. Ray said I bet they aren't even real.
Ray was holding them when we went behind the restaurant. He started cracking up so hard that he spilled them all over the worn asphalt. We got down on our hands and knees and collected as many as we could.
After fifteen minutes or so of pecking at the ground we had retrieved about twelve. We took six hits each... I think. Not only did they turn out to be real but they turned out to be strong.
We journeyed down to the stairs that lead to the beach. I don't know exactly how many hours we spent there playing guitar and frying balls. I do know that it was about two o'clock in the morning when one of us said "whoa... the stars just cracked open and fell like rainbows to the sea".
I remember it started to get kinda cold so we walked back up the street to Ray's house. The plan was to smoke a bowl of weed and hang out in the garage. It was pretty dark in there and, with the hallucinations and all, I decided to sit down on the couch so I didn't hurt myself.
Ray had a small dog at this point in time. It was an Italian miniature greyhound by the name of "Olps". That damn tremulous little rat had shat on the couch... of course I sat in it.
After the lights came on it was probably about an hour or two before I realized what had happened. I asked Ray if he had anything I could wear. This was kind of a stupid question as I outweighed him by about fifty pounds at the time. He generously provided me with a bed sheet.
The next morning I went to the laundromat wrapped up like a gift. It took me probably about an hour to panhandle enough change to wash my clothes. I must have been quite a sight to see... standing there, tripping on LSD, begging for change, in a toga. What a bitchin trip. That day, by the way, has earned itself a song all its own and mention in another.
One of the dudes who we used to hang out with a lot was named Roger. Roger was on the tall side. He had a fair and freckled complexion with a sort of elongated, oval, face. He had a big bright orange loosely curled afro. He looked sort of like "Ronald McDonald" gone horribly, horribly, wrong.
One fine day Ray and I had accompanied Roger over to his parents house. He had told us that he was going to get some pot. Shortly after we had arrived he asked his mom for fifty bucks so he could get some ganja.
Apparently she had given him some money for grass, the day before, and she told him no. they argued, back and forth, for about a half an hour before Roger came storming back into his bedroom. He was a whole new hue of red.
Ray and I sat there and listened to him rant for a few minutes. At some point his mom made the mistake of coming up to his door to rekindle the fire. The event that followed has become a legend.
"Ronald McFreakinpsycho" grabbed a hunting knife off of his dresser. Ray gave me a look of "uh oh... here we go". We didn't know what was going to happen... but we knew it wasn't going to be pretty.
Roger said "give me the money mom... or I'll cut myself". I guess she didn't believe him. She said no. Holding the knife in his right hand, he began to hack away at the top of his left forearm, like he was trying to chop through a log.
Chanting a mantra of "give me the money mom" he struck himself hard, at least fifty or sixty times, before his poor mother relented. We sat there in silence, staring at the ground, while Rogers mom counted out the money... Unfreakingbelievable.
Thankfully the knife had been fairly dull. Roger still managed to cut himself up pretty good nonetheless. Whatever particular insanity Roger was adrift in that day never reared its ugly head again.
A few years later Ray acquired a Ronald McDonald action figure. He cut the left forearm off of it, removed its clothes, and wrote "Roger the red headed freak show" on it. He fashioned a noose out off string and hung it in his garage.