August 14, 1967

Home    Haight Street    Love-In     Acid     Revolt     Author   Paper/Ebook


We drop acid at Nathan’s place. Michelle in Mexico for a week.

Rachel takes the whole tab, but I cut mine in half with a razor blade.

I prepare all day—meditating, keeping calm & forgetting my fears. Feel like I’m preparing for my first Holy Communion.

We sit at the table talking for a while, listening to John & the Beatles:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river

With tangerine trees and marmalade skies

I feel it begin to come on & drop the other half. Take it in pieces so it won’t hit me all of a sudden.

The pillow I’m sitting on starts breathing: green flowers on a red background, the flowers expanding & contracting as if they’re breathing in & out.

We watch the fuzzy blood running in the veins of our arms, the patterns in the rug expanding & contracting. I have no awareness that I’m on a drug, assume everything I see is real.

Nathan’s sitting on a pillow at yellow table across from us. He’s wearing his trip shirt, maroon with all kinds of flowers & full-blown sleeves, along with a white turban & granny glasses.

He sits there reading Rasselas by candlelight. Whenever I have a question about my trip, he looks up, gives a brief consoling answer & goes back to his book. He's become an attendant, someone I can call on whenever I need help, a servant, but a willing servant.

“You're a genie!” I tell him.

But he’s no longer Nathan—his face & appearance have become mythic.

“You're a sorcerer!” I try again.

But sorcerer’s not quite it—there’s something foreboding & evil about him, but also kind & attentive.

“You're a Saracen sorcerer!”

The violet candle’s lit. Rachel’s sitting on a pillow & I’m on the floor with my head on her lap.

I close my eyes & see a waterfall of tumbling colors. I have to open my eyes to stop it, but then I close them again & the waterfall continues.

“I have to write this down.”

“Try it,” Rachel laughs.

I feel so heavy I can hardly pick up the paper & pen. Then I try writing, but my hand feels like a thousand-pound weight’s attached to it.

Nathan is a Saracen sorcerer.

It takes ten minutes to write it. But I enjoy the feel of the pen & the free swing of my letters. I try again:

Rachel is nice.

I lean over to watch the flowers breathing beneath us.

Rachel is beautiful. Rachel. Rachel.

She resembles a Pre-Raphaelite maiden now: her oval face, that indescribable hair, the peach coloring of her face & lips.

We start kissing. I keep telling her how incredibly beautiful she is. I feel frantic saying so much, but can’t stop talking. Things are hitting me so fast—insights, perceptions flashing every second.

We’re standing & hugging each other. We just roll back & forth with the waves of experience & the energy exploding inside us. The wonder of things leaves me gasping for air.

My skin becomes really sensitive to clothes, the collar of my tee-shirt choking me. I take it off. I take off the rest of my clothes.

Rachel’s kneeling on the pillow in front of me—blending with the vibrant leaves & flowers. She’s a young maiden I've found in the woods. We’re alone among the trees. I stand over her, stroking her hair.

I realize her as total woman, the non-verbal, sympathetic female kneeling before the male—not in submission but simply because she wants to be kneeling among the flowers smiling up at me, feeling joy for my new experience.

I understand myself as complete male—the rational, verbally compulsive male. By now I’m fighting my compulsion to verbalize, but she keeps telling me not to worry about it.

I lift her up from the pillow. We start kissing & touching each other, sliding our cheeks against each other, the sensation like a throwback to virgin days when you loved a girl so much that the slightest touch was the most exciting thing in the world.

I circle the rim of her nipple with my fingertip. My whole being is concentrated there & it feels like 10 orgasms every time I touch her. I feel humbled, worshipping her as a goddess.

Nathan goes out to the kitchen.

We slip down to the floor & start making love. I’m already inside her as if I've never been anywhere else. Orgasm is an endless peak that seems to go on for hours. Then we lay quietly on the floor.

I start feeling restless. We've been so completely happy alone, but all of a sudden there’s this shift. I get up & go to the kitchen & start yelling at Nathan to get out of his clothes.

Rachel’s embarrassed to come in so I give her Nathan's flight suit. It doesn’t zip up the front, but she feels more comfortable.

Nathan’s made tea. We’re sitting on the kitchen floor. I pick up the cup to drink, but he tells me not to. It’s steaming hot, but I can’t recognize the danger of scalding myself. Once I try the tea, I can’t recognize the taste. I can’t recognize anything now. All perception breaks down. My mind’s pure energy.

I get hung-up on the wall clock, remarking on the time a dozen times between midnight & 12:03. A minute seems like an hour, the conflict of clock time & acid time jarring my mind.

I keep flashing back & forth instantaneously between 3 phases: myself identified with Rachel, with Nathan as an onlooker; then the three of us as very close; & then myself cut off from them.

They become two mythical figures joined by a mystical bond. I have no feeling of myself in their presence. I’m being swallowed up by chaos, never to return.

But in a split second the heaviness lifts & we’re laughing. Just the sound of their voices beyond the chaos gives me something to hold onto.

Then I’m up & touching things. It astounds me that nothing feels like it did in my old life.

“Nothing is real!” I start shouting. “Absolutely nothing is real!” 

I’m shouting & slapping the table & refrigerator, stamping my feet & falling against things every time this flash of unreality hits me. It hits me like a diesel truck.

“It's just the drug, Peter,” Rachel keeps saying. “It's just the drug.” 

She remains beautiful, but whenever she tells me it’s just the drug, her whole face becomes contorted.

My head straightens out for a second, but in a flash I'm fragmenting again. It panics me that I’m doomed to this madness for eternity. I only feel some vague memory about a life I lived in the past.

I realize I smoked Newports in the past. A Newport becomes my only hope for recovering from madness.

We start looking all over the place for a Newport, but when we find the pack & I light one the taste is repulsive—it can’t provide the security of the past.

I drag on it violently as if getting it hot enough will bring the familiar taste. Then I throw it on the floor & it turns brown in the tea water I’ve kicked over.

We start laughing about the stupidity of it all.

But they’re responding mechanically to my responses, laughing when I laugh, becoming grim when I become grim. This makes my need for a familiar reality even more frustrating. I feel completely dependent on them for any balance but they can’t provide it. They’re still these mythically changing figures.

“The drug's getting too heavy for you, isn't it?” Rachel says.

Finally I say: “I want out. I want to get off the drug.”

Nathan has some Thorazine, but then I flash on a saving alternative. If we can bring in someone from my past life, it’ll give me the assurance that I have a chance of returning to sanity.

“Call somebody we know who hasn't taken acid,” I tell Nathan.

“You're the last person I know of,” he says.

I tell him to call Bart & Jenny. They’re in Sausalito now. I try calling myself, but I can’t dial the number.

I insist that Nathan try it & watch him closely when he dials. I’m afraid they’re keeping me prisoner here until the insanity completely destroys me.

When Bart answers the phone I start raving hysterically for them to get here before I flip out completely.

“We'll be there in twenty minutes,” he says.

“But you have to be here now!” I scream. “I need you now!”

I keep talking for the security it gives me, but finally he convinces me that they'll never get here if I don’t get off the phone.

Knowing Bart & Jenny are coming gives me immediate confidence. I feel joyful again.

Back in the living-room Rachel seems more comfortable around Nathan. We’re all naked now. I ask Nathan if he wants to go to bed with Rachel. I’m phasing into a sexual level of transcendent totality of love. Nathan declines.

“Even you & I could go to bed,” I tell him, “and it wouldn't make any difference.” 

There’s no longer any distinction between the sexes. The love I feel applies to everyone. I feel an equal amount of love for both of them. We’re all one, our beings fused together. But then I understand Nathan's distinction & we both start laughing.

“We could,” I say, “but—we know—we really don't have to. But we could. It just doesn't make any difference.”

The bell rings & I run to the door. Nathan keeps telling me to pull down the shades so nobody will see me. I can’t understand what he’s talking about. I assume everybody in the world is naked & I don’t have the slightest inhibition about going out into the street.

Bart & Jenny bring Fernando along. I start screaming about the fact that they still have their clothes on. They start laughing & being amazed at my trip. I feel godlike generating so much joy. I have a tremendous sense of sharing, like I can turn the whole world on.

Then I realize they’ve all dropped acid before & experienced the same thing.

“You guys knew it all along!” I start shouting. “You never told me! Why didn't you ever tell me we were all one!”

They get out of their clothes as fast as they can. But Fernando refuses to come over to the trip. He’s a short Mexican guy with a ponytail. He sits there sipping a quart of strawberry soda.

It completely baffles me that he won’t take his clothes off. I keep trying to reassure him it’s cool, but I’m already picking up bad vibes.

Then he starts staring at Rachel. She sits on the corner of the rug toward the back of him. I’m barely aware of this, except that she’s suddenly very quiet.

Nathan’s walking back & forth tossing his yo-yo up & down. I'm still asking him questions about my trip. He just turns his head, makes a funny face & gives me a nonsensical answer while continuing with his yo-yo.

“You’re a jester!” I tell him.

Bart’s walking around naked with the guitar strapped over his shoulder making sounds so bad we all crack up.

I try to communicate everything I’ve been feeling to Jenny.

“Far-out!” she says.

“No—it's right here!”

I assume this joyful state is ours for eternity & everything beautiful that can happen is happening right here.

Then I’m lying on my back with my head on Rachel's lap listening to The Doors. I gaze at the flickering candle on the table while Morrison sings:

Come on, baby, light my fire

Try to set the night on fire.

I stretch my toes up to the flame. For the first time I understand the essence of music: it’s equal to fire.

Nathan, Bart & I are sitting in a circle. We just sit with our eyes closed holding hands & feeling the energy running between us. Nothing is said when we start & nothing is said when we finish. We all understood what it’s about.

Bart & Jenny want to show us their new place in Sausalito. The perfection of our situation seems so delicate that I hesitate to change it, but they talk me into it. I assume we'll all hop in the car naked, but they try to convince me we have to put our clothes on.

“I don't understand,” I argue. “Nobody needs clothes—everybody else will take theirs off as soon as they see us!”

They start telling me about cops & how things are different in the outside world & how we’re only a few people who really know.

I still refuse.

Then Jenny convinces me that we’re tricking them, putting clothes on is just a funny little game we’re playing, because only we know & we don’t want to let them in on our secret.

I start putting my clothes on, giggling about how clever we are.

Somehow we all get to the ’55 Ford & head for Bart's. Nathan, Rachel & I are in the back seat with the other three up front. I assume Bart’s on acid & express my amazement that he can handle the wheel.

“You’re the Celestial Wheel Man!” I christen him.

I know he embodies the totality of that action & he’s the only wheel man in the universe.

As we go down a steep hill, the streetlights look like stars on a string.

Then I see the steeples of the cathedral up ahead. I just assume Rachel & I are being taken to our castle to reign as king & queen of the universe.

“We’re all gods & goddesses being charioted across the cosmos,” I tell them.

I start thinking Fernando’s a Hell's Angel & christen him the Universal Hell's Angel. But he says nothing & just stares ahead.

Gradually I become more aware that it’s only a trip. There’s a flash of paranoia when I think I see a cop behind us. Everybody gets a little uptight. But Jenny looks through the mirror & says there’s nobody there.

When we get to Sausalito & park the car, I see this cat & chick getting out of their car & start shouting my congratulations to them.

“Happy marriage!” I’m shouting. “Happy marriage!”

I assume everybody is married to somebody in eternity & that this guy’s just discovered his female counterpart. I want to go over & introduce myself, but the others get me into the house before I can get into any more trouble.