By Paul McGuire © 2010
Uncle Louie attempted to board a Greyhound bus in Denver with 2,200 hits of LSD. That's what the DEA said in their statement. How they came up with that number, no one will ever know. But the part about attempting to board a bus with LSD was true. That incident was the first time that Uncle Louie ever got pinched. He had soaked the pages of a seventeen bibles with liquid sunshine which was quickly confiscated.
Someone tipped off the feds. Uncle Louie suspected that it was his own mother, a devout Shaker, who condemned his lifestyle of drugs and carefree sex. I saw his mugshot from an article in the newspapers. Sinister profile. Angry eyes. Unshaven. Steel scowl.
Uncle Louie had connections and didn't spend too much time in jail. I don't know if he called in a favor or bribed the judge (everyone has skeletons in the closet they'd like to keep there). Somehow, Uncle Louie magically evaded incarceration and got off with a slap on the wrist. He perform several hundred hours of community service to repay his debt to society. Uncle Louie even taught a GED course in Denver to a bunch of reform school kids from the wrong side of the tracks. At heart, he was always an educator and trying to push his students towards achieving a higher consciousness. He liked to share knowledge. LSD was his way of sharing enlightenment.
From 1973 through 1988, Uncle Louie concentrated on the manufacturing of LSD. He set up mobile labs in Oregon and Kansas for a couple of former chemical engineers. After his bust on St. Patrick's Day in 1988, Uncle Louie disappeared from the scene before he returned in the mid 1990s with a brand new business -- mobile meth labs. He was a consultant, engineer, and genius. His set up mobile labs for a hefty fee. His mobile units were scattered all over rural America. He even set up kitchen labs in cold water pads in Spanish Harlem to cricket-infested bungalows in West Hollywood.
Uncle Louie laundered his money through old money heiresses in the Hudson Valley.The wealthy widows in Saratoga were Uncle Louie's former bed partners during the free lovin' days in the 60s and the swinging 70s. They introduced him to international bankers (a.k.a. professional money lauderers) who squirreled away his money in various Caribbean banks and shell companies.
Uncle Louie originally cooked LSD to help broaden the consciousness of the human species. But things changed. The world changed drastically. The hippies lost and Uncle Louie embraced capitalism. He was also embracing the apocolypse. He constructed a massive Armageddon compound just north of Missoula, all of which was funded through his meth lab consulting company.
I don't think Uncle Louie ever snorted a single line of meth, but he had no qualms about taking money from addicts, even if they happened to be spending their entire disability checks from the VA. Uncle Louie never blinked. He didn't care anymore. He used to be full of life and love and generosity, but no more. These days, he was capable of saying horrendous things that made you feel like you were three inches tall. He had the madness of an angry blind dog. He used to give away his acid for free who transformed into a ruthless businessman with a martyr complex.
I knew Uncle Louie through his nephew, One-eyed Pete. At the time, One-eyed Pete was living with Colby, an old prep school chum of mine. They were both low level dealers. Wastoids. All of their profits were pissed away by lavish parties that they hosted in a loft in Chinatown. I never missed one of their ragers. The gallons of free-flowing booze and endless white lines attracted every coke slut south of Union Square. I offered up an exchange of sexual favors for an encyclopedia of drugs. Only one of them was interested, but she was a lesbian who had no problems whoring herself out for a few bumps and free drinks. She had a firm grasp on trickle down economics and was surprisingly well-versed in fellatio.
"As a principle, I hate men," the lebso preached. "However, I'll suck cock for coke any day."
We'd stay up for days on end in a paranoid stupor, often sipping warm beer from bottles leftover the night before and trying to convince prep school girls to ditch class so we could do vile things to them. We spent too many late nights tweaking out at an empty diner off Delancy, while eating a fresh batch of glazed donuts and sipping tepid coffee.
I met Uncle Louie for the first time in the Monet Water Lilies gallery at the Museum of Modern Art. He was sitting down and said only a few words before he asked me to sit with him while he meditated with his eyes open. After about ten minutes, I got up and left. He never noticed that I was gone.
Paul McGuire is the author of Lost Vegas.