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May 2010
1967 san francisco is transformed into city of missing children haight ashbury brims with scraggly orphans thousands sit on street curbs live in cars hang out on floors of shops roam streets parks sleep on sidewalks unthinkable social cultural phenomenon Odysseus embraces madness walking through different neighborhoods going without food sleep in golden gate park floral smells so strong he can taste flowers kids openly pass joints acid doses trip dance make music laugh Odysseus is risk-taker but he is not street smart along with flocks of totally wasted kids street hustlers abound Odysseus sets down backpack beside eucalyptus tree rests when he wakes backpack is gone he is penniless disconnected hitchhikes across bay to berkeley less congested more manageable meets some runaways like him but not like him they squatter in abandoned house off telegraph avenue maybe 20 hippies crashing in house Odysseus adopts enormous closet hidden in back bedroom as his space has small window feels like sanctuary sometimes he comes home finds 5 or 6 kids sleeping in closet in a way people in house become his family tribe some of people are suspicious especially older secretive man with 2 tongue-tied underage girls whom he claims are his daughters Odysseus suspects veiled ****** exploitation girls are lovely yet behave frightened repressed life on street does not come easy telegraph avenue overflows with lost souls searching to hook-up fragrance of frankincense drifts amidst music drug deals rip-offs bullying brawls hierarchy from hell’s angels down Odysseus stays high dances sometimes panhandles “i live in commune with 2 pregnant girls” whatever cash he collects scores acid **** subsists on diet of gum candy sunflower pumpkin seeds sometimes ketchup with french fries his acne crescendos he learns if he drops acid daily by third or fourth day he cannot get off no matter how much he doses tries peyote cactus buttons after waiting nearly hour to get off he suffers stomachache dizziness projectile vomits finally flies into freaky hallucinations he swallows mescaline capsules feels sick to his stomach forgets about his nausea trips for 9 hours tries psilocybin mushrooms laughing straight through night experiments with stp trips for 3 days Bobby Stern and Martha Quigley come out from chicago to visit they are curious about the scene need to hook up Odysseus introduces them to his friends shows them telegraph avenue he turns and they have vanished he does not know where they have gone everybody is losing everybody new kids show up everyday oakland **** named red rat kidnaps Martha is heiress from distinguished chicago family their disappearance makes chicago papers after week Bobby and Martha manage to escape they never reveal to Odysseus what red rat did to them radio plays doors’ “light my fire” and jimi hendrix’s "purple haze" Odysseus has crush on beautiful blonde Patty she  ran off for summer from her parent’s home in sunset section of san francisco Odysseus and Patty hang out go see country joe and fish in provo park on sundays hitchhike into city watch Jefferson Airplane play for free in golden gate park hitchhike to marin see Grateful Dead jam at muir beach dude hands out free acid Odysseus is total acidhead acid reveals everything in new intensified light *** on acid is beyond *** wilder than *** more primal *** so intense it transcends limits of eroticism acid helps Odysseus realize his true self his pain sadness tears lies crazy-*** side first tingling tremors in stomach chest hands then initial flashes of sparkle traces of color echoes of giggling laughter lucid thoughts sometimes he swallows such large doses all he can do is stare out at white light what is it about massive hits of acid? measure of how fierce his spirit? self-punishment? escapism? he wonders why he so desperately needs to escape from what whom? himself? Mom’s numerous efforts to convince him he is mentally disturbed? Dad’s fists? escape from real world to where? Odysseus hangs with Pluto skinny 16 year old ****-addict golden wavy hair rotting teeth finesse with girls Pluto claims crystal **** enhances *** more than acid needles frighten Odysseus he lets one of Pluto’s girls hit him up with methamphetamine feels sudden overwhelming rush through head body forgets about needle before it ever leaves his arm having been initiated Odysseus begins scoring with Pluto’s girls Pluto knows tons of girls Odysseus loves feeling numb free being out of control not giving a **** getting ****** ****** by pretty girl if he could have his way he would go from ****** to ****** with pretty girl all day every day deep in drug induced state because drugs lower inhibitions allow them to explore some sick disgusting stuff that is paradise for Odysseus he is rapidly slipping into street life drug addiction wakes up with ants crawling in his hair witnesses numerous fights freak-outs 2 different kids o.d. while he is present lots of creepy stuff  by early august realizes he might wind up dead soon or rotting like Pluto Odysseus has spirit but troubled by what he sees troubled enough to return home go back to school he feels lost desperate alone not thinking plots drug deal swindle double-crosses some people guilt and shame for conning people haunts him for years he gives Pluto half the money tells him to share with Patty with his cut buys ticket back to chicago Penelope is first to greet him she gives him big hug comments “you need a shower and shave real bad!” his hair is wild scraggly beard Odysseus holds on to her he has missed his little sister glad to be near her feels panicky his parents will punish him Mom and Dad are relieved but agitated their worry and shame at his flight have turned to anger resentment they rationalize he selfishly ran off merrymaking for 3 months they sternly make plans for his next semester while Odysseus was away in california Penelope has ****** ******* for first time in back seat of Jed Zurbeck's black pontiac Penelope in secret goes to see doctor for pregnancy test doctor recognizes Penelope’s last name calls house Odysseus answers phone doctor asks to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Schwartzpilgrim Mom picks up phone doctor informs her Penelope is pregnant all hell breaks loose doctor makes house call with Mom and Dad present offers 2 options for Penelope “you can be picked up by limousine on state street and blindfolded you will be taken to an undisclosed location where abortion procedure is performed then re-blindfolded and returned by limousine to state street or you can report incident as **** and get signatures of three physicians then have abortion in a hospital” Mom and Dad choose to report it as a **** fabricate story about Penelope walking home from school and being grabbed pulled into alley by black man who rapes her Penelope is made to tell lie three times deeply disturbs her after abortion is done in hospital Dad makes Penelope swear not to admit abortion to anyone insists she tell Jed Zurbeck she made up stupid lie and she was never really pregnant Penelope obeys and tells no one
michael reid rubenstein
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