Too much had happened for me to turn out a healthy, balanced, innocent thirteen year old girl. Too much of the world had revealed itself. Too many drinks drunk, too many locked psych wards visited (no not me, though that was just luck of the genetic draw) too much separation, too much death and too many rooms broken down and boxed up.

I would like to make it clear that I don’t fancy myself a victim of any of it. It is just the way things went down in my story and this is the report. 1988 brought the wrath of what I now believe was Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. My body shut down. My ability to function in the world collapsed. I dropped to 80 pounds, my gut and back went into spasms every hour on the hour that prevented me from being able to walk for months.
I couldn’t bath myself, I could barely eat. I cried, writhed in pain on the island of the living room couch for the back half of my freshman year into the first half of my sophmore.  With the exception of the excruciating pain that only subsided when someone’s hand, other my own, was on my belly, (and did I mention that I had braces?) I was kind of ……. happy to be stranded on it.

Before any desperate need for healing, I was an escapist. I came out that way. I was addicted to soap opera’s by the time I was 5. I would watch Ryans Hope, Days of Our Lives, and General Hospital almost everyday, though later on I betrayed it for Santa Barbara. I had been faking sick since I learned that I had to get out of bed, walk to the bus stop in the freezing cold and sit in a fucking desk all day for the next 13 years of my life.  By third grade one of my teachers began to catch on, so like any good future alcoholic I “laid off” my drug of choice for a while till the heat was off me. I was addicted to my bed, my couch, roller skating, and anything on the tube. Yes, I was the last of 4 and a half children (foster brother came on the scene when I was 5 and left when I was 12) My Mom was tired.

After months of tutors, home visiting healers, psychics, massage therapist’s (both shiatsu and deep tissue) being lifted and transported by my roommate Zion who read to me, watched television with me, carried me to the bath tub and rubbed my feet everyday (thank you Zion), one of the only things that brought about an hour of relief before the spasms kicked in again, was a visit to a team of chiropractic twins, soft spoken, patient, generous, and squeaky bald. Bless my Mom she tried everything! Thank you Mom.

The thing is, I just wasn’t getting any better, but looking back there are reasons for this.

There would be brief times where it appeared that the spasms were gone for good. It would allow me to begin being a teenager. Leave the house, have a sleep over, try and catch up, but things move fast when your 14 and 15. While I was at home on couch island, the friends I had left were having “experiences” going “all the way”, doing beer funnels at parties help at big Wellesley mansions, sitting with circles of friends in large linen closets getting high off quarter ounces of horrible Mexican shwag. For fucksake I was missing out and I wanted in!

One night I slept over my friend’s house. I slept there as often as I could. I loved her. We would sit on her screened in porch for hours smoking Camel Lights. We never got in trouble because in her house there were “secrets”. The threat of there surfacing was held and used as collateral when necessary if we were given any shit from her parental’s. My friend possessed a darkness that was just as potent as her brightness. I attracted many of these kinds of people through out my life, for I posses the same.

On this particular night at around midnight my friend asked if I wanted to do some acid. She had four hits of some cartoon, covered blotter from the Dead show she went to while I was stranded. At this point I was a smoker, I drank whenever I could, and I’d smoked some pot, but ACID? What the fuck was acid anyways? I just had no fucking idea of what I was getting myself into.
“Whatever, sure.”
Was my answer.

Two hits under the tongue, and down the throat. No taste, NOOOOOOO clue what was about to happen. We parked it in her basement. Parents upstairs asleep, seventy five pound, seventeen year old anorexic sister in the bedroom next to theirs. Let’s just say the vibes in the house were heavy to begin with, there were obstacles on our journey. She lived in bum-fuck, and we had 6 cigarettes to last us between the two of us for the entire trip.

She began out journey with James Taylor. Ok I can hang with this, a little Van Morrison, all right…….I feel groovy, melted into a yellow bean bag, and a giant vat of Christmas popcorn to my right. The kind that when you open the lid it has three different sections: Plain, cheese, and my favorite of the night: caramel.

The trails began to hit. The psychedelic colors warmed the room. It all started to pulsate.
said the room.

I grabbed a piece of caramel popcorn and began a stare off with it. It had little faces all over it like in Peter Gabriels “Sledgehammer” video when the hill erupts into heads of troll faces. I looked up at the ceiling, (the popcorn kind of course) for it was calling to me.

“Amy, hey Amy”
Some kind of acid demon had come and carved millions of jagged irredesent skulls into it.
“WOW” was all I could muster.

Two hits of acid in a 14 year old 85 pound body. I hadn’t even gotten my period yet.
Gut spasms? What gut Spasms? I’ll be just fine.


Midnight gave way to morning, when I got up the courage to leave the basement and have an adventure upstairs to watch the sun rise in the living room, though I told my friend that I just had to pee. I remembered that in their living room was a bright yellow shag wall to wall carpet, with baby blue couches, floral, orange curtains, with matching chairs and pillows.

It was stunning.

I arrived at it’s threshold, the house silent. It had just snowed. It was perfect. I kneeled down on the sunny fur, and began to pet it like a lion. I fell in love.
I was in deep acid hazed communion with the color yellow, I think I was expressing my love verbally like you do to a newborn baby, all mushy and instant. I thought it was responding back to me like the whispers from the ceiling downstairs, but it wasn’t, the voice was too deep. Reality had the balls to cross me.

“Amy? What are you doing on floor talking to the rug?” inquired my friends terrifying father.

I hoped that he was aware that I knew their ugly secrets, that I could without saying anything, get him to move along with one look, like his daughter could, show him I had some collateral too.

“I don’t know” Was all I could say. I got up and went back downstairs to the basement, where things began, in rapid succession to go down hill.

“When does this stuff wear off?” I asked my friend
“It’s different for everyone,  just relax and let it happen.”

But we were on hour nine or ten, the cigarettes were gone and the scary trolls upstairs were beginning to wake from their slumber.  I was officially tweeking.

I heard the front door close, my friend’s father went on his morning run, and I made a dash for it up two flights of stairs to my friend’s bedroom. My little brain was on overload. Maybe it was knowing all the dark secrets that were held in these walls, my angry, beautiful, experienced friend in the basement. Maybe it was the water bed, maybe it was the orange colored walls of her bedroom, with a big yellow arrow wrapping around the entire surface of it. Maybe it was the acid Aim!
The thoughts became dynamic and quickened in pace. I thought my eyes were going to explode in their sockets. Can you pass out from aggressive thinking? Some with Manic Depression say yes, well you can on acid too, and I did.

Nothing worse than tricking yourself into thinking that you can just sleep it off, that it will be over when you wake up. Nothing, except waking up still tripping your face off 5 hours later.

I awoke to foul smell of scrambled eggs. I knew I had to show my face without somehow showing my pupils. I crept downstairs a peered into the kitchen. Even if you weren’t trying to come off of two hits of acid you would find the scene….squeamish.
My friend was staring into a frying pan full of gooey, runny eggs, (GROSS) and a nearly dead anorexic teenager sitting at the table trying to get a piece of quiche down, and a mother pretending that everything was just perfect. It was fucking horrifying.

Needless to say this experience put me back on couch island, though now we had cable and in true Amy form I became addicted to MTV (when they still had something to do with music). A new duo was gaining momentum that year called Indigo Girls. There single “Closer to Fine” was on heavy rotation, along with Belinda Carlisle. The GOGO’s? cool. Belinda? Not so good.

I’ll tell you about the trip to California that followed, to see the crystal wand waving, chakra measuring, witch doctor, who told my Mom that my chakras were dead.

Yes, another time I think……

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