Grandpa Lyon

Lyon Keating:

Maybe shroom experiences should be saved solely for mental memories but, alas, who seems to care these days.  I mean don’t I want my great great grandkids to read on their facebook eye lenses the trials and drug tribulations of what their great grandfather went through while living in his hey day in San Francisco?  I think they would.  I would certainly love to hear of drug stories of my grandpa.  The funny thing about this is just like I don’t know much background about who my grandparents were or who their friends were or what they were doing with who.  What I write here will be read by someone at some point who has no context of what I was doing, who my friend is in this story, or really anything about anything.  I figure that without this knowledge it makes this story sort of bland but oh well, go fuck a duck (or a virtual duck in your case, since it’s a hundred years in the future).

First off, all I have to say is that your great grandpa was the shit in San Francisco and really everywhere he went.  Trust me, if you know anyone I know they would have no problem telling you how awesome I can be.  Believe me, you would want to hang out with me.  I’m sitting across the street at the moment from the bart stop on 24th street in a coffee shop called La Bohemia.  The funny thing is that I don’t really like coffee but I have nothing else to do and I’m waiting for my friend Nicole to get off work so that I can teach her how to ride a scooter and then go smoke mad bowls because it is 4/20/11.  I’m 28 and in the prime of my life.  I’m renting my apartment out, hence why I can’t go to my apartment and am sort of living out of my car and staying with various friends on their couch.  I’m really tired but I’m making hella money to save up for New York City to live by the Queen (maybe your future grandmother).  It’s exhausting living on people’s couches because wherever I go people think it’s party time and I get little to no sleep.  It’s a vicious cycle and I really just wish I made enough money so that I could live full time at my one bedroom apartment which is on 949 Capp street and the best freaking apartment of all time.  I’m eternally connected to that place given that a month after I moved in a man committing suicide jumped off the building and almost landed on me.  Yep, it was traumatic and nasty and I had to clean up the guys blood but I got over it.  However, that’s a story for another time.

The day started out much like any other day.  I woke up at my friend’s house who had graciously let me use his bed for the night as he spent the night at his girlfriend’s house.  I was looking forward to doing shrooms with Mandy Moore who has been my friend for the past 4 years or so in the city.  There was a time period where I was passionately attracted to her even when I had another girlfriend.  We did ecstasy one time on a giant boat party event and danced all night long with many other of my friends.  We eventually met up with my girlfriend at the time who was involved with another party doing coke all night.  The mixture was not pretty and my girlfriend ended up making out shady style with Mandy at the end of the night, which made me question the deutschness of my girlfriend and also jealous that I wasn’t the one making out with her!  Oh well, time told that Mandy and I weren’t meant to be.  She’s in love with my best friend and in the end she’s a little too hippy for me and doesn’t take very good care of herself.  I would have strayed.  In the end, she really just reminded me of the Queen who is one of my eternal loves and that is one of the reasons I loved Mandy initially so much.  Queenie is one, hot piece of poop whom I can’t get out of my mind and want to love for a very long time.  Grrrrrrr…

Enough of background, but through the years Mandy and I continued to hang out and we’ve become better friends.  She is moving in about a month and I am moving to NY in about 3 so we probably won’t see too much of each other for the rest of our lives (that’s certainly weird to make a statement like that) but it’s the truth.  Life goes on, you meet different people, you never forget others, but you open yourself up for new chapters to experience new things.  Not doing so and remaining stagnant and doing the same thing is the only thing that you can fault people for.  Everything else represents an effort and that’s what it’s all about.  Life the effort, nice to meet you, I’m Lyon.

I picked Mandy up at a bar with her boyfriend who seems like a nice enough guy.  We had a beer at Zeitgeist on Duboce and 14th and then went on our merry way.  We ate shrooms in the car in order to drive to where we wanted to go and give them a minute for them to kick in.  It usually takes about 45 minutes or so.  I’ve done shrooms in the past but this time seemed extra special because my 8th of shrooms was one big cap and no stems.  It was pretty outrageous and I was excited to see what a cap would do to me.  I’m glad Amanda was there to calm me down because I probably would have ate the whole cap in one sitting but she warned me that eating too much will give me a stomach ache and make me shroom too hard and it will be overbearing and really not too much fun.  Plus I have an outrageously sensitive stomach and I hate the taste of shrooms and I’m a pretty big vagina about it anyway so it really worked out for the better.  I took about 3/4th of half the cap and then about 40 minutes later I finished off the half of it and I was shrooming balls (Jessica Roesler would be happy I said that by the way).  Thank the lord I didn’t do too much.  Let this be a lesson to you youngins 100 years from now.  Take a chill pill on the drugs.  Always take less than you think and then you can always take more later if you want if you’re not tripping hard enough.  You can’t really do it the other way around unless you throw up and then pick out the shrooms you want to re-eat but I really don’t recommend doing that as it gets quite messy and makes you feel like a desperate crack head.

We park my car on Haight street and decide that Buena Vista Park will be a great place to trip balls for a few hours.  Needless to say, it proved to be an awesome place to be.  Really any remotely big park to wander around in is a great place to shroom.  Golden Gate park, there’s a reason there’s a history of LSD use at this spot.  Can you imagine being a part of those thousands of people in the late 1960s who were running around on Acid?  Haha, I was born in the wrong era, although, I’m glad I didn’t rot my brain because that could have been a possibility.  At Buena Vista there were views, trails, little doggies to bark at, trees to climb, weird colors of nature to look at, and it was a very refreshing San Francisco Day.  It was windy outside the trees and the park but within it was like the Lord of the Rings Shire where streams of vibrant sunlight would burst through on meadows while we sat on logs and accidental banana slugs smoking pot and just enjoying the short term vibrations within our mind and vision.  Drugs are bad but they’re really fun and provide another reality as long as you can keep from getting lost in it (see the book Doors of Perception…highly influential!!!)  Balance and moderation is the key here just like my grandma Esther Keating used to say.  The anti drug motto shouldn’t be simply ‘don’t do drugs’ but ‘do drugs but don’t go retarded doing them cause they provide insight.”  Sorry moms of America but I’m a certified public education teacher and I want your kids to do drugs.  Now, how can I get that into the state sponsored curriculum?

Explaining the rest of the shroom trip might be a bore as you just need to experience it to know what I’m talking about.  I’ve never been one for having hallucinations but my vision does slow down and become less clear cut which is fun and explains why shroomers or people on drugs can just stare at tree leaves and be somewhat amazed.  It’s sort of like your vision is penetrating back and forth and contracting and expanding and contracting and expanding as if it’s too a pulsating heart beat.  In nature, it really gives the sense that everything is really alive and it’s one of the coolest things ever.  We came to a huge tree that had fallen over at the top of Buena Vista Park and that was fun to stare at and walk around.  At this point we saw another peak on the horizon that we wanted to venture to and that was Golden Gate Heights which is a bunch of rocks and a small park that overlooks the whole mission.  It’s really a sweet spot.  We go there and smoke some cigarettes, which is funny because I don’t smoke but yearn to smoke when I’m shrooming for some reason, and get to experience yet again what makes SF so magical.  The area between Buena Vista Park and Golden Gate Heights is where the city separates itself from two dramatically different climates.  Standing on the edge of Golden Gate Heights and looking back at Buena Vista one can see the Pacific Ocean fog trying to penetrate over and through these peaks.  The fog pushes with such force and tries to make the mission dreary and cold and windy like it does the rest of the west side of SF but most of the time it can’t get over these two humps.  The air is sea air and is some of the most refreshin air you’ll ever breath in and really makes a difference in your life.  Who would have thought that the air you breath would make such an impact, ha!  SF will never have a pollution problem because the ocean air will always push the pollution elsewhere.  Upon walking east down the GG heights the wind instantly dies down and the fog stops and we look back and are amazed at how quickly the climate can change and how wonderful the mission district really is due to these hills and peaks.

It’s about 7pm at this point and been about 3 hours since we dropped the shrooms.  I’m all for continuing to walk around outside but I can tell my partner is not which might present a problem.  Being around people and an urban environment is very intimidating and over stimulating when you’re shrooming.  Mandy has a much deeper and richer drug history than myself so she’s more tolerant and able to put herself in more environments and probably be okay than I am.  I am super sensitive and am getting concerned that I’m not going to dig where we are going as we are heading away from nature as my shrooms are still in full force.  Mandy pops a couple more pieces of the mushrooms into her mouth, which is extremely funny to me.  I have to bring around peanut butter to massively coat my shrooms so that I can swallow them without puking on the spot due the taste being atrocious but my friend just throws them in her mouth like tic tacs and it’s so funny and admirable to me, haha, I’m such a prissy puss.

After she throws some in her mouth we venture towards the street and come out on a little bit East of Castro and Market.  This is a very intense place to come out because to our right is the huge Castro sign and rainbow flag and flamboyant and high energy, aggressively gay scene of the Castro and to our left is just a slower, pleasant street.  We decide to not take on the gay scene at the moment and try to keep it more chill.  We’re a little confused as to where to go at this point but Mandy needs to pee and wants to get a drink and a breather so we’re heading to a bar.  The first bar we go in is exactly what I thought it was going to be.  It’s not really too crowded but makes my mind incredibly over stimulated and crowded due to the louder music being played, hearing all the conversations going on, and generally being somewhere where I’m having little control deciding what my mind chooses to focus on and not.  We go into the bathroom which is disgusting and tagged and represents everything I don’t want my shroom trip to be and upon leaving the bathroom I run instantly outside and decide that I can’t be in that bar.  Mandy comes out a few moments later and we decide it’s perhaps not the best place to be so we go elsewhere.  At this point, I’d honestly be content grabbing a beer and walking around and chatting and noticing things.  Sitting in a public place seems like a total nightmare to me.

The bar we decide upon is a bit better, a lot more low key, and it will just have to do because Mandy wants to chill.  We have a beer and some humus and I’m so antsy that I can hardly contain myself and lose myself in thoughts and conversation just sitting there and know I am noticeably awkward but I’m at a loss of control right now.  Note to self, in the future only shroom when I’m allowed to be outside and off the leash or whatever.  I really resemble more of a dog than anything else sometimes.

We finally finish at this pseudo bar and I realize that Mandy doesn’t really have any more interest in venturing outside much as it’s getting a little bit colder but I could care less.  I’m feeling really claustrophobic but I don’t want to be a putz and uncompromising with the person I’m shrooming with so I’m digging deep at realizing that the rest of the night will be bar hoping which will be bad for my shroom trip and my wallet.  Aghh oh well, it was at least bomb as hell for the first three hours and it still is nice hanging out one on one with Mandy for probably the last time in a long while.

We venture onto the next bar and here is where my friend Conrad will be joining us.  The bar is the bottom bar of Foreign Cinema and under the rooftop bar of Mejoul I think.  It’s great that Conrad can come and join us because Mandy is about in love with Conrad as anyone can possibly be and it will take some of the social shroom anxiety off me that someone else can entertain her for a bit.  Conrad comes and sure enough he’s in a suit and Mandy is zipping her attention all over him.  Finally, I get to relax for a second in my own head and take a breather.  It’s also nice that Conrad is here for my sake too as I can now talk shop with one of my best friends about anything.  We have a glorious time for about an hour and then Conrad decides we should go see our other friend who is DJing at Olive in the Tenderloin.  We hop in Conrad’s friend Erfon’s car and proceed to smoke a bowl on our way over there.

Seeing Willard is always a delight as she is most often very high energy and funny and witty and goofy.  She is a very easy person to hang around with, except for certain times when she freaks out about doing exactly what she wants to do and then she becomes impossible to handle.  Funny how that works sometimes with people.  They tend to have two extremes in who they are instead of one just mostly easy to hang out extreme.  Willard isn’t actually DJing so we all just hang around with her friends and a particular man named Miss Teddy sticks out in my mind from this night.  He was an absolute eccentric, character of a black man who has black rimmed glasses and a fro and an extreme buck tooth pointing out standing at about 5’7”.  His personality is contagious and funny as the first thing he tries to tell me after meeting him is that he’s in high school and went to prom with Michael Jackson’s sister.  Ha!  If you can see this man, he clearly does not look like he is in or even nearly removed from high school.  You can’t tell if Miss Teddy is joking or truthful about any of his stories so you just learn to go along and verbally spare with whatever he is saying.  Needless to say, it was a great time with Miss Teddy and Willard and her friends and after about an hour of staying there we decided to go to an underground party.

I am not the biggest fan of underground parties but I can rock them here and there.  I don’t remember how we got to it and/or where in the city it was but I think it was by taxi and somewhere in SOMA, like Mission and 7th or something.  The entrance to the party was in a lonely alleyway and it cost $15 bucks to get in.  Okay, not usually my forte to do covers but let’s just roll with it as this has been how the whole day has gone.  We enter disaster pretty much right away as Mandy doesn’t have any cash for this party and so she asks me for the little that I have of mine, which was the money she gave me earlier for the shrooms.  I instantly get butt hurt because now we are $5 short to even get into the party and now I have no money to buy any drinks.  I thought my shrooming was basically over but coupled with the anxiety of the moment it decides to come back in wave like pizzazz again and this is quickly turning into the party I don’t want to be at.  Upon getting upstairs it is atrociously loud and an underground dance party, like rave style, and I simply can’t handle the stimulating atmosphere.  I start to get incredibly butt hurt and really like I don’t want to be there so I whip out a hash bowl on the spot to hopefully make me feel better.  It doesn’t really work and I tell Conrad that I need to go outside to get a breather for a minute.

Getting outside of that damn party was exactly the kind of refreshing breather I needed.  I didn’t really want to be drinking anymore or around loud dancing music.  I can be the most jiving dancer around but not when I’m on shrooms and having stimulation in so many other ways.  After about ten minutes of walking down the street I realize that I had no idea which way I came from or where I am or where I’m going.  Where is this alleyway door that leads back to the party and my cell phone is dead?  Oh well, truth be told, I didn’t really want to be at that party anyway and maybe this is my way out.  I’m right off of Mission street so I decide I might as well start the trek back to my car given that I’m renting out my apartment for the night and was suppose to stay with Mandy or Conrad and now there is no way of getting ahold of them.  Oh well, I guess this will be quite an adventure.

While walking home I feel that it will be a good idea to chat it up with street dwellers.  I figured that the best way to do this is offer to push their shopping cart up steep hills I am passing by.  Funny that the first few people I asked were not at all interested in me helping them and seemed to be freaked out by my offer.  Wait, aren’t you people suppose to be the ones that freak out other people?  I didn’t get my first acceptance until I went up to somebody and gave them a dollar and then offered to push their cart.  Money talks ya know.  Through chatting with this particular street dweller I learn that this man spends 13 to 14 hours a day looking for cans, bottles, anything that will get him money at the recycling plant.  He says that today is a slow day because he decided to sleep in (the first thought that comes through my mind is sleeping in on the sidewalk?)  Apparently other street dwellers do the same route as him and if he slacks then others take the cans and whatnot of what he usually takes.  I only pushed his cart up one long hill and then we went on our separate paths but it was interesting to talk to a guy on the street who had a normal life too filled with work and his yearnings to relax and sleep in and do what everyone else wants to do.  We are all the same when it really comes down to it and work is work and money is money.

I’m almost on my way home, passing about 14th and Valencia when I happen to turn to my right and lo and behold who do I spot through the window in a bar?  Miss Teddy!  Haha, what are the chances that I see this guy again in another bar in a completely different part of the city?  I decide this is too random and need to go say hi.  He is amazed as well that we’ve met again and apparently this is his local bar.  He went to the bartenders wedding and the bartender gave me a free drink just for being an acquaintance of Miss Teddy.  Miss Teddy instantly offers me a line of coke which would actually go quite nicely with all the other drugs and alcohol I’ve done this day so I accept.  He starts to take it out and divey it up right at the bar and I asked if it’s cool that we do that here.  He looks at me and says I don’t care and then shoves a big key bump up my nose at pretty much the same time that a bartender working girl comes on over to our side of the bar.  I feel sort of stupid but then realize that if she doesn’t care then I suppose I don’t care.  Miss Teddy takes care of himself as well and then we have stimulating conversation for about the next half hour or so.  I find out that Miss Teddy is from Ethiopia and is a 911 dispatcher.  Definitely not the job I envisioned for Miss Teddy.  Haha, I’m finding that I just like writing and saying the name Miss Teddy.  Miss Teddy, Miss Teddy, Miss Teddy…he’s such a character both in reality and imagined.  He is very impressed that I’m a teacher and that I’m enthusiastic about my job despite getting no job offers other than subbing.  There is a point where he leans over and kisses me on the cheek and I figure that to be a foreigner thing as you never know what norms kissing one another caters to, but upon afterthough, I think he was gay and trying to hit on me.  Conrad later mentions to me that he can’t believe I didn’t know he was gay with a name like Miss Teddy.  Hmmmm, I suppose my gaydar is not all that accurate.

The fabulous episode with Miss Teddy ends and I go on my way continuing back to my car, wherever it may be.  As I’m about five blocks away I pass by my friend Morgan’s old house on Haight and Divisadero.  It’s about two thirty in the morning at this point but I’m full of a little bit of coke, alcohol, waves of shrooms, nicotine, hash, marijuana and lets not forget the high of life!  Even though my friend hasn’t lived in this house for like two or three years I remember that this house had lots of parties at it once and being it Saturday night I ring the doorbell and decide to play dumb.  I see the only guy I would know coming down the stairs and he opens the door. “Roberto” I say “Does Morgan still live here?”  Surprisingly he remembers me and looks at me like I’m a crazy man and says that “she hasn’t lived here for about three years and you thought it would be a good idea to find out at 2am on a Saturday night?”  I say some bullshit about me living out of the country for a few years and that I had to find out if Morgan still lived here and blah blah blah.  By the end of our five minute conversation his irritability level probably dropped from say 100% to about 60% and he probably got at least a little kick out of the whole conversation.  Okay, maybe I should just go back to my car.

Glorious, stupendous, wonderfulness of the utmost kind!  I have finally reached my destination of my car and it feels great.  No matter what the destination is it always feel great to finally get there.  I take a minute and eat the left over burrito I had in my car and a few crackers and peanuts and nutri grain bars.  Yum yum, just where I want to be.  About 15 minutes goes by and then I wonder what I should do now.  I have no where to go and I probably shouldn’t drive at this point but I seem to remember telling my friend Ryan that I would meet him at a bar right by my house on 24th and Capp at 7am to watch a championship soccer game that is being played over in England between the Bolton Wanderers and someone else.  Given that it’s 3am right now I guess this isn’t so bad for sleeping in my car.  I never thought I’d be sleeping in my car while I rented out my apartment but I guess we all hit our lows at some point or another.  I decide to drive over to the street of my apartment and fall asleep for three hours before I have to get up and watch soccer with Ryan.

Sleeping in the car was actually not that bad.  It was a little weird sleeping on the street in front of my apartment complex on good ol 949 Capp Street.  One of my apartment mates even came home and saw me in my car and I wonder what she thought I was doing.  I fell asleep right away and woke up right before 7am so the whole situation worked out pretty well.  Although, upon getting up the bar was not open and didn’t open until 8 so I had to mosey around the neighborhood for an hour.  I decided to go to a coffee shop and inject some caffeine and my favorite chocolate old-fashioned donut into the mix and recharge my phone.  Ryan had apparently been trying to get a hold of me so we planned on meeting at 8 at the Napper Tandy down the street.  He came and we sat down and ordered a nice breakfast beer and after five minutes realized that this bar did not have the soccer game we were trying to see.  Haha…oh well.  We instead watched another soccer game which was mildly entertaining and then went and smoked a bowl over at Ryan’s.  When 10 am rolled around the people had left my apartment and I went home and had a glorious sleep thus concluding the shroom a doop experience of a lifetime.  I wonder when the next one will be?

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