This new elation seemed to be what I was looking for at the time. Being with the guys and each one of us reassuring the other of the situation and the surrounding war. The first steps had been taken, yet there was no new or noticeable change in my composure. The joint receded into a roach and he placed it in his mouth and ate it. This seemed a strange thing to do but latter I found out that this part of the joint could get you higher. It had the built up resin and tar that contained the stuff that made you high. All this was new and mind expanding to me. The act of extinguishing a cigarette in an ash tray always seemed thenormal course of action. Further, I learned that if you baked or ate the stuff, you could gain the same high as if you smoked it.
There still seemedno difference in the way that I felt. Everything was the same and I told him how I felt. He said, it takes a few minutes to enterthe bloodstream and affect the centers of the brain. It was reasonable and intelligent the answer.. There was still some fears that refused to leave mytrain of thought. The insecurity of smoking and the past learning of my childhood. The thoughts of doing something really bad seemed to be the childish thoughts of yesterday haunting my being.
There was a narrow river that paralleled the main river. It was shallow and came up to the knees. The surrounding trees afforded shade that kept the direct rays of the sun from strikingyou.My air-mattress was along side my right hip. I had let one of the edges drag in the water. While continuing to walk in the water, I looked down at the air-mattress making a flowing wave in the water.. My mind started to imagine that I was on a boat or ship gliding through the water.
This image and illusion stayed with me for a few moments. Soon I stopped walking and remained transfixed, looking at the air-mattress making that flowing motion in the river current. It was strange and yet frightening. Inside myself there was a calm and tranquil feeling. All thoughts of Viet Nam and war seemed erased from my mind. The only thought that remained was the flowing of the water against the air-mattress. The color of the air-mattress and the water seemed to take on a new and exciting realism. My eyes seemed to capture every ripple of the water and surrounding color. Everything seemed much more vivid than I had ever realized. It seemed as ifmy mind was ten feet above myself and I was getting a view in an entirely different perspective. Know I knew what Sinbad the sailor felt while riding on a magic carpet. My mind seemed detached frommy body. There was a general relaxing that I had never felt before.
Inside myself there was no real thoughts. Everything had seem to take on a visual stimulation. Soon he asked if I was coming with him or staying in that same position. Then my mind snapped back into a new and different reality. There seemed to be no moment except the present. I told him that I thought I was on a ship and was cruising up the river. He said, that I was probably tripping and gothung up on something. He further explained thatthe grass in Viet Nam was verystrong and had the power to make one hallucinate. He said, that things would take on a fantasy affect and sometimes unreal. My mind heard the words but didn't comprehend what the real meaning was all about.
While further walking up the river my eyes noticed things that I had never seen before or thought about. The color of the trees and the leaves of the surrounding brush had a beautiful color and quality. Everything seemed to be alive and full of life. There was a new dimension to my reality. One that I had never seen or thought could exist. All of my inner tensions seemed to have disappeared into night.
For the firsttime since my arrival in Viet Nam, everything seemed at peace. The war had faded into the back ground. Loneliness was forgotten, isolation seemed only a remote idea. There was this new and colorful world before me. A euphoric feeling was all about me. There came a sensation to laugh right out loud, It came from nowhere and seemed to go no place. All of Viet Nam seemed like an unreality to my present state of feeling. There was only the present moment to contend with within myself.
The same feeling of my minds detachment from my body persisted. The water flowing around my shins took on a new feeling of sensuality. This also gave me a euphoric feeling that seemed of a new light. The guys that I was stationed with seemed to takeon a new quality. They all became my friends for some strange reason. There was that closeness of social being that one feels when surrounded by people in the same place and situation. In my subconscious and emerging to the surface of my thoughts, I began to empathise with them. My attitude towardeverything seemed to take on a radical change. Grass seemed like the least harmful drug in the world. How could something that gave one such a euphoria, be ostracized by the American society in such a way. This kind of thinking had never crossed my mind before. Surely some sort of happening was going on.
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