Slaps of Blue, Pearls of Acid, P2.

In the sad outcome that you didn’t read Part 1 of the short story, you can find it here.

Freud was high on cocaine. Nixon was high on power. I know, who’d I prefer to flush down margaritas with in a wooden boat somewhere near the pacific. Freud would do a line, hand me one. A midget would approach us, with a call waiting—a black midget, since pale midgets are too creepy. It was the type of  midget that would signal an obscene sense of audacity, they way only a black midget could. That specific type of audacity you’d only find in a resort that would play Tom Jones or Django Reinhardt. In strict comparison, you’d find a Caucasian midget in a glossy white-coated palace packed to the brim with teenagers with bad taste and polyester shoes. Not my kind of poison, thank you very much. Let the tasteless keep their polyester.

The force that controlled the light, its source could not be determined. But, I had a feeling I would soon find out. This place, in this pocket of time, was the center of the tsunami that would stir up an impenetrable crust from the steep tidal waves, and guide my demons onto the shore for everyone to see. Faceless ghosts of people I forgot ever existed. Denial is the drug of the sober man. Never mind! Enough thinking! Now, was the time for discovery; to find the source! My suspicion was it was the same force that melted the paint from the hallway canvases, the one that controlled every acid head. The force that didn’t give a shit about the coke heads. Suddenly, I was the sole man in the living room in a hurdle of heated bodies, gasping bursts of joy and gazing at my fingers that would color the air. Incredible.

9 hours passed and my body felt a sleepless day older. The acid was wearing off. And the force, the origin of it, that is, seemed clearer in the light of day. The force was me, not a higher one, it erupted from me. And that was the fallacy of the acid in the first place. It fools you, it fools a greater truth, a unity of some sort across all elements and entities – nature and the people around you. Poor is the man who buys into all that crap. Man  will never be united, in the first place. The promise of unity is something you use to sell records or force people to flock to the movies. Luring them into binging popcorn in narrow hallways, paved with crumbs and soda stains, seduced by the gospel of Hollywood. The wisdom of the acid, on the other hand, is the same as its fallacy: it melted down our barriers, just like the paintings on the wall… I could stare into the abyss that was my reflection; I didn’t look too bad, I thought. I didn’t like myself, but I approved of myself. The acid—the all-consuming force—had banished my selfhate. Replaced it with faint numbness of the soul.

We drove back to the city, the day after. Back to my streets, inhabited by its myriad of whores and corporate suits. My eyeliner was a mess.

***

My phone rang at 4.30 PM. I was overlooking the terrace, with its cluster of clouds and pearls of sunlight. There it was: God’s callous creation. The day had carved itself out nicely.

It was a PR agency. They wanted me to write a story. I tightened the grip on my phone: “A story about what?” I resonated.

“Jazz,” she said.

The Miles Davis incident, the force, the trips, all of them led to this point, I instantly thought. This was the golden ticket!

“I’ll do it!” I responded in a heart beat, “but tickets, I need tickets. There are shows and booze and we need to catch ’em all! Wait, you’ve seen my writing, haven’t you. I can’t write press stuff…”

“I’ve seen it. Don’t worry. You write how you choose.”

Who was this god send? This angel who promised me tickets to jazz shows in exchange for my artistic liberty? Gary Peacock was a legend. He’ll be slapping the bass, licking his thumb, at the night of my attendance. I better start outlining a thorough and timely drinking regimen.

I grabbed a pen, opened my burgundy notebook. Fresh page, 1st paragraph: “Old fashioned, starters, call a pusher, no, call a friend, THEN have him book the drugs. No uppers. It’s a sitting concert, for CHRIST sakes! Perhaps, 3 joints, 2 stamps of LSD (in case I bring Betty – write Betty in advance, so the offer doesn’t seem too imposing. Women are unreliable). CORRECTION: 1 gram of blow to cut the acid, when it becomes too much. Wear classic attire not to arouse suspicion. Black bow-tie (colored ones are for fruits). The whole shebang! AND brown shoes.

Now, I need a sponsor for the small pharmacy I’ll carry in my pocket. The risks were too big. The stakes were high. But god-damn, it was Peacock! The man who jammed alongside Miles Davis and Bill Evans. An 80-year old dinosaur in a plaid shirt slapping his bass. Who wants to miss out? Not me, that’s for damn’ sure!

Come Friday, I met with my contact, stuffed the goods in my inner pocket, and headed for The Standard. A jazz club for the pretentious, the suits and the retired. I was an alien at the edge of an executive lounge toned spaceship. Beam me up, Gary. But first, prepare the stamp.

Outer space can be a dull journey without the proper fuel.

———

Tune in next week for the last part of “Slaps of Blue, Pearls of Acid.”
Based on real events. The names, specific events have been distorted for narrative purposes.