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Otis and Me
by Turtle Jones
Wow. He got it. He got them. Now what?
I want to make some money.
So started another excuse for a road trip. A couple cases of Lucky Lager and a few sheets of acid. Add in some cocaine for ourselves and we had the makings for a long weekend. Someone screamed out "road trip" and we were a go go.
Ever notice how the one who screams "road trip" the loudest is the first to pass out? That was Otis. Otis always came along on these trips.
This brings us to another lesson on drunken road trips.
The road going there is always louder than the trip home.
Otis and myself wanted to make some cash on the acid. Going through that much was pretty much impossible and the next best thing was selling it to some dumb kids on a Fourth of July weekend in Tahoe City. Those kids up there wanted it. The craved it. We just had to get it up to them and we could keep that whole damn lake high for a few hours. This would work.
So we packed up our clothes and took off in the middle of the night. Not knowing where to stay or where to go when we got there, we thought it might be a wise idea to take some sweatshirts along. You know it might get cold. Most of the cocaine and beer was gone before the sun even came up leaving us with just the acid to keep us up. Relying on strychnine to give you energy is a bad thing. It never works out and you end up smoking like three packs of cigarettes. And nothing ever looks right. That's what I hate about acid. Nothing ever looks right. It seems like it should or it could, but there is just something off. Eventually you pass out, but until then, things are just a little weird. Maybe that's why they call it a drug. Hell, I'm not here today with a "Dr." in front of my name so give a fucking break, ok?
So by the time the liquor store had opened up, things were a little wonky. I tend to turn things off when I'm on drugs so seeing the things I was seeing really didn't phase me. I was just walking down the street alone 'cept for my invisible buddy Otis and my 12 pack of Coors. Coors fucking light, no less. Hey. There was a sale at the LQ. Gimmie a break, ok? So me and Otis sat down with our 12 pack and proceeded to make friends with a few sheets of acid. Ever seen someone on acid ripping off hits of acid? Fuck those perforations on the paper. I'm not following those. This is my art. I was doing this like I was fucking that Guggenheim dude. Gimmie some Federal Funds, baby cause I am making modern art. Otis agreed with me that I had ripped off enough hits so we proceeded to the beach to finish off our beer. Otis had now moved into my stomach and was freely repelling any amount of alcohol I put into my tummy onto the crowded streets. Sheesh, it was like these people never saw an invisible character from Mayberry living inside my stomach pushing beer out of me. Otis didn't like Coors Light. Neither did I. It was vodka time. Otis liked vodka.
If you ever ate a shitload of acid and chased it with cocaine and Lucky Lager, you can kind of get where I was at. We called it "Frunk". That feeling of being on acid and liquor. Where you felt you had a shield around you where no one could touch you. Quite an awesome feeling. invincible. They could have written an after school special on me. "The Bad Kid Who Sold Acid On A Crowded Beach While Your Baby Was Cooking In The Microwave." It would have been great.
So after the vodka moved me from "talking to cars" mode to yelling at cars" mode, I figured it was about time to move some of this dope and get some cash. Maybe get a hotel and sleep this off. I didn't need to see these fireworks. It was only about 1 o'clock in the afternoon and I was swerving up and down the beach with Otis inside me talking shit to everyone I walked past. I needed a hotel room now. I needed cash now. Otis needed to leave me now. Well, not right now. He was kind of fun.
My hand shook as I pulled out the drugs and blatantly went out to sell as many as I could, as fast as I could and as quietly as I could before Otis would see what I was doing and take over the selling.
Otis found out and soon after that, the entire beach knew I was selling acid. Even deaf guys knew that if you were looking to score, that guy over there on the large rock had some drugs and apparently some sidekick named "Otis" hanging around behind him.
Needless to say, I was swamped by people. Like "Night of the Living Dead" swamped. These fuckers were all around me screaming for a few hits of this or that. Secrecy was gone as I began just tearing off hits to get these zombies off of me. Otis was counting money as I was tearing hits. Once I hit two hundred I would be out of there. That was my rule. Two hundred bucks and I would walk. Fuck the rest of the dope. I didn't need it. I just wanted enough to get a fifth of vodka and a hotel room. Otis was even starting to get paranoid. More hands came in. Otis was talking about cops. He had stopped counting money now. Telling me we had enough. Let's go find a hotel. Maybe just sleep awhile. Find a few friends and call this weekend a wash. C'mon. Let's go now. I couldn't be bothered. Still spitting up backwash of a vomit vodka mixture, I realized I was way past two hundred. Way past what I needed. People were coming over from cliffs now. Now it was a matter of time before this ended. Otis left. I needed to leave.
Another rule of thumb, when a drunken hallucination thinks that what you are doing is bad and leaves, it might be a good time to follow him.
I saw a friend in the crowd and handed him the sad remnants of the hits. Tiny tore of pieces of a once mighty sheet. Dropping them on the beach. Walking for an exit. I passed a friend who was getting arrested. Screaming something about freedom of mayonnaise or something like that. I wisely ignored him and headed straight for the liquor store. Purchased two packs of smokes and a handle of "Winner's Cup" vodka. Crumpled up dollar bills flowed out of my pockets as I pushed "what was close" to the cashier. Cracked the handle and spit out "the regulator". This was what I wanted. That cold medicine flavor burned down my throat as instantly a calm cool wave washed over me and sat me down on the asphalt. The cars weren't talking shit anymore. No one was in my stomach. That cigarette was sweet.
Otis peeked out around the corner and smiled at me. He had cash. He pointed to my pocket filled with 20's and pointed out a vacancy sign. Our work was done here.
As the sun was starting to set, I sat out on the porch of my room and watched all the kids pour down to the beach. Otis lit a smoke and sat beside me. We both looked at each other and started singing "Groove is in the Heart" by DeeLite as loud as we could. Otis was a good friend. He always seemed to do what was right. Our travels together did not end for many years to come.
But that is a different story for a different day. - T