April 29, 2006

It's a Matter of Perception

By Falstaff © 2006

Do you have any idea what this is talking about?

I looked to the left, and hanging out in midair beside my chair, was a brain. I knew it unmistakably as my brain, because it had my eyes. None of the rest of the things that comprise a face, or even a head, just a brain floating in midair with my eyes in front. I was only a little surprised to see it there, and that might have been part of the problem.

There may have been drinking involved. Actually, there was definitely drinking involved, but no alcohol. We couldn't afford it. Not even the 18-pack for $6 Milwaukee's Beast from the gas station on the corner. Underage was beside the point, underfunded was the obstacle. So we went to the next resort – acid. Nothing. Couldn't find a tab on campus at all for less than $10, a friggin' travesty given the quality we had been experiencing – that shit should have definitely been in the drug dealer’s equivalent of a dollar store. So the last resort sent us across the less-than-busy four-lane road that was the main drag in Rock Hill, SC to the grocery store across from campus. We knew the route well enough to have walked it blindfolded – in the front door, turn left, 10 steps, halfway down the aisle, middle shelf – Tussin DM.

You wanna talk about white trash hallucinogens, you can't really go any further into the trailer park than chuggin a whole bottle of cough syrup with a Dr. Pepper chaser at 1PM on a Tuesday. So there was me and Chris, swaying a little at the foulness we'd just ingested, trying not to puke, and failing miserably. Didn't matter, even with the puke, a whole bottle of tussin was still good for about seven hours of seriously bent reality.

So what do two 18-year-old kids gakked outta their minds on cough syrup do on a winter's afternoon? Go to the mall and look at the pretty lights, of course. Now we weren't satisfied with the local Trasheria Mall in Rock Hill. Oh no, we had to put the rubber to the road on the interstate to truck it up to the big two-story mall in Charlotte. Great fuckin' idea. I'm sure there was driving, but my next recollection is looking at all the coooooolllllll shit in the Everything's A Dollar store in the mall, then I see the really neat texture on the wall. Cool fleckstone paint always deserves a closer look, right?

This is when I realized one of the great truths of physics – matter isn't really solid. We all know that there are really far greater spaces between atoms in a wall than appear to the naked eye, right? Well at that point, at 1:47 PM on a Tuesday afternoon in 1992, I could see the precise molecular alignment of not just the wall of the Dollar Store, but also of my hand. I had found how to pass through solid matter, and it was time to try it out, right now!

I slowly extended my arm towards the wall, being very careful not to move too quickly, lest I misalign my molecules with those of the wall. Closer, less than a foot from the wall, I could see everything lining up for me to be able to reach through the wall and wave at Chris from outside while part of me stays inside. Closer, six inches from the wall, moving, moving...

"Hey, you okay over there?"


The bright lights of the mall go off like sirens in my head screaming, "They all know you're fucked up! Act straight! Act like you're not tripping daisies!"

"Dude, he just got out of the hospital, leave him alone," Chris to my rescue. And we bolt, giggling like 8-year old girls (albeit really, really fucked up 8-year old girls). And as we settle into the car for the return trip to campus, I look over at Chris with a look of absolute terror on my face.

"Dude, what if he'd done that while my hand was in the wall?"





"I got an English exam in an hour."

"That oughta be interesting."


And that's where I was when I looked over, saw my brain floating just to the left of my head, asking me if I had any idea what the prof was asking for in that essay.

"Nah dude, you?"

"Not a clue."

"Then get back in there where you belong before you get me in trouble."

"That flushing sound? Any chance of the dean's list for that semester."

Falstaff is a poker player and writer from Charlotte, NC. He can usually be found at Poker Stage.

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