“A drug is a substance which, if injected into a rabbit, produces a paper.” Otto Loewi
After my LSD post several people asked me how I had got into that world. I have psychoanalysed myself on many occasions; there is no single answer.
Not everyone who gets into the drug scene has suffered a trauma, but in my case I do think a part of my childhood may have put me onto the road to the sphere of mind altering substances.
Everyone has the potential for addiction, but some people are more predisposed to addiction than others.
I was living in the Azores, 1969. My father was in the USAF and we were stationed on the island of Terceira.
I think I was nine or ten years old. I was out biking around with a girlfriend, we were sharing her bike. It was one of those chopper bicycles. It was my turn and I jumped onto it and went down a steep hill. I have no memory of it. I came to in the hospital, with someone putting a needle through my lip. Funnily enough I can remember that, and one of my parents telling me to stay still, the doctor was going to sew my lip up.
I had fallen off of my bike, and as I lay unconscious, the pedals kept turning and hitting me in my mouth. They found a complete tooth, with root, in the street, one of six upper teeth that were badly damaged. I had a hole in my lip you could put three fingers through. I was so incredibly lucky though. On the day that this happened, a plastic surgeon had flown onto the island, to visit with his family. He came to the hospital and repaired my lip for me.
When I think of that now I cry, and wish I could thank him for fixing my face. I still have a small lump and scarring on the inside of my lower lip. I did not look in a mirror for many weeks. I would go on my hands and knees into the bathroom to avoid even passing one. It took eight years until my mouth had matured enough to finally have my teeth permanently fixed. By then I was already smoking weed.
My parents’ marriage had been in difficulty for a while but as a kid I did not know that. Perhaps subconsciously. One day, three or four month after my accident, Mum packed us up, my two siblings and myself, and we boarded an Iranian C130 to London Heathrow. My Dad waving us off at the airport. I did not know I would never see him again. I remember the flight really well, I shared my Enid Blyton book with one of the military men on board, and he showed me his book, which I had to look at back to front, and with letters I did not recognise.
We went to live with my grandmother over the next few months, might have been nearly a year. I cannot remember clearly. My father left the island and went back to California, where I do believe he hoped to take steps to repair the marriage. Daddy suffered from alcoholism, maybe partly due to his days when he was stationed in Korea.
We eventually moved into our own flat with Mum. One morning, December 10, 1971 as we got up to go to school, Mum told us that Daddy had died suddenly, the day before. Diabetic complications; but I now know that you can add a broken heart to that. She then sent us off to school. That was it. Honestly, as I write this I have no idea how we ever began to process this. I wonder if we ever did. I did not recognize how desperately sad this was until many years later.
I neither accuse nor judge my parents.
AN AVERAGE FAMILY
I do feel that these two traumas in my formative years might have played a role in my going down the drugs and rock’n’roll path. And the death of my father affected all three of us kids. No one talked about stuff like that in the seventies, you just didn’t.
My brother got into extreme sports before they were called extreme sports. Bungee jumping using cave harnesses and elastic, cave diving and cliff jumping. We talk daily.
My sister climbed out of her bedroom window and ran away and became a polygamist, a plural wife. Passed away at 43 with breast cancer.
Just an average family.
I still love music of all kinds, and am at my happiest in the gym with the tunes up loud in my ears. Perfume is my drug now. Which is how I ended up here. And we have a bike shop. A strange tale indeed.
I regret nothing.
CQ of APJ.