Albert Hoffman, the inventor and "father" of L.S.D. died yesterday at the age of 102. Without the invention of his powerfully influential drug, we probably wouldn't have had Hunter S. Thompson or the Grateful Dead, and those planetarium laser shows of the 70's would have been considerably less profitable. Then again, the C.I.A. would have had one less tool for torture, Ken Kesey maybe could have written another good book, and I might have been spared the worst, most ungodly trip imaginable.
It was a windy, foggy night in San Francisco back in the fall of 2000. I was staying at the Nikko hotel off of Union Square. I should have tipped the cleaning staff, I hear they do things like this to ungrateful guests, and I'm pretty sure it was the embittered Guatemalan maid who slipped that mega-dose into my bedside water bottle. Then again, it could have been the young blond room service waiter with the beady blue eyes. That skittery kid appeared to be nursing some serious demons of his own.
All I know is this: when I went to sleep that night, all was serene with the world. The country was at peace, the dollar was strong, there was a budget surplus, the economy was booming, and gas was at about a buck fifty a gallon,
Then the terror began.
Even today, it is difficult to describe what happened; a dark, ugly turbulence erupted. Soon, I was bent over experiencing heaving convulsions, twisting and turning, groaning like a awfully wounded boar, until - at the very moment I thought I could endure no more - it got much, much worse.
Out from the bile of our collective spleen erupted a smirking little chimp and his sidekick, a portly old coot who looked like Santa's clean-shaven evil twin. Using a chainsaw and a poorly sighted shotgun, these two ran around reducing everything in their path to bilious toxic garbage.
With the indefatigable energy of rabid, frothing weasels, these two feral beasts promptly devoured the greatest surge in sympathy and goodwill the world had ever seen and defecated all over the people's collective hopes for peace and prosperity. Hooded prisoners were tortured, soldiers were sent off to fight for lies nobody even believed in, storms ravaged and destroyed cities and little aid came. Ice caps melted at faster rates than anyone had predicted, the weather changed, causing food shortages and riots, and people were thrown from their foreclosed homes onto the mercy of a wrecked and sinking economy.
The little man just smirked, his rotund compatriot sneered, and the Supreme Court Justice looked upon the ruin he had helped to bring forth unto the land and smugly muttered, "Get over it."
It hasn't been a good time. These visions have been running in an endless loop inside my mind for nearly eight years now. I've sought medical help, but the best minds in the land merely shrug and say, "There's nothing we can do." They're not sure if it's even L.S.D., as I have no sign of feeling that interconnected harmonious oneness with nature that Dr. Hoffman and Bill Hicks both described the drug inducing. All I've experienced is the gnawing fear, the absolute pettiness, the shortsighted greed, and an overwhelming chasm of grief.
Doctors do say there might be an antidote available in a few months. I just hope, whatever it is, it's strong enough to get me on my feet again. Because, between you, me, and that shrieking three-headed monster over there, I honestly can't take much more of this.