Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 22

                         The great quest toward evening

After eating an overabundance of food at the barbecue, John and I came to a mutual

decision that would involve the use of mescaline tonight. Anyway, without further hesitation,
we hurried from the backyard to the car. It felt like the Gods were smiling down upon us as
I jumped into that 1968 raspberry-red Toyota Corolla deluxe coupe. Occasionally,
his mom
lets him borrow it. Especially when she needs something from the store and
doesn't feel
like going. John would have taken his car had it not broken down again.

First, it was the starter, then it was the alternator. Now it's the catalytic converter.

When John started the car and began revving the engine, I turned up the radio, as a song
began to play. It was “Something in the air” by Thunderclap Newman, and at that very
moment, it was the best song in the whole entire world. Nothing even came close.

Thunderclap Newman - Something in the air

As the wind blasted through our hair, it formed a vortex in the car, ruffling up scraps of
paper and sucking out very thin pieces of clear plastic cellophane which could be found
around cigarette packs. I suppose they were from his mother as she alternated between
brands labeled: True, and Vantage. Or John's dad, who smoked Chesterfield...

Why don’t they just smoke pot, I wondered?

When John stopped at a red light, I could see a florist outside the flower shop talking to
one of his patrons alongside the azalea plants. He was either giving
advice on annuals
or perennials or simply discussing the basic facts about gardening in
general. Whatever
it was, it was soon forgotten as the light turned green, and we sped off.

                                                        The Syn - Flowerman

We soon ended up in Great Kills, but they had only weed. In Bay Terrace, they were all
and had nothing to sell, so we drove to Oakwood train station, where they told us to
back tomorrow. We then headed into New Dorp, only to find it was a ghost town.
By this
time, The Merry-Go-Round came on and were singing their hit song, “Live.”      

The Merry-Go-Round - Live

After the song ended, John turned off the engine and sparked up a bone where we
sat parked by the St. George Malankara orthodox church of India. Looking out the
open window, I was but an arm's length from the steps. Flashbacks in my mind from
earlier days rippled the lake of calmness in my brain. As a tear began to form in my
eye, I made the sign of the cross before taking in a nice slow hit of mother nature.

Disturbingly, it felt like the herb was purifying my soul as it expanded
my consciousness, thus bringing me that much closer to the higher power.

I then thought, if I died now, would I go to the Indian section?

The thought made me smile, and it wasn't long before I fell into a dream.
A pendulum ride like a swing that would take me back nearly two years.

It was somewhere in the fall of 1980. A conflict between John and Paul
almost ended a lifelong friendship. I will admit, I don't quite remember
the day, but to the best of my knowledge, this is what happened...

John and I were hanging out in his room, as we usually did after school.
Pete, his brother Tom, and Richie Cakes were with us that day. We were
listening to WPLJ with Tony Pigg and had just finished smoking a bowl of
Panama Red. Jim Morrison was now singing "Riders on the storm," and
everyone was in a mellow way.

                                             The Doors - Riders on the storm

As Kansas came on to sing “Dust in the wind,” I began to look around the room
to find everyone beclouded in a resiny haze.
These days will never come again.

Kansas - Dust in the wind

Ten minutes after we finished smoking, the doorbell rings, and John goes downstairs
to see who it might be. Paul enters, and so we all come down. He is now furious with
John because we smoked all the weed without him. The agreement they had was to
wait until
four o'clock. But we all had a hand in pressuring him to smoke it up.

“Getting a little fat there, flabby, ain'tcha? Look at him;
in a few more years, he'll
be the size of Mount Rushmore.” Paul then began lumbering
around the room
like a comical version of "The Thing" while grunting heavily under
his breath the
words, “I'm sooooooo hungry.” The entire house was now engulfed in laughter.

“I smoked; now I gotta eat the refrigerator and the stove.
You really are a piece-a-work,
let me tell ya. . .
You say one thing, and then you go and do another.”

As Paul began patting John
on the shoulder, his facial expressions made
him look like Jimmy Boils from across the
street. You could see the madness
beginning to emanate from within his soul, and that
was neither caused by
John nor as a result of the present situation... A fall early in life, perhaps.

                                                                              Pg 108

Jimmy looked like one of those trees I'd seen near my school. The one covered
in fissures and knots that made him look almost obscene. So repulsive, in fact,
that many young children have recoiled from him in inexplicable terror.

“You had to smoke it all without me, didn't 'cha Johnny.
Couldn't wait that extra second for me now, could 'ya,
Johnny? Ahhh, but your livin' well now, aint'cha Johnny.

Paul was now cocking his head, bearing both his upper and lower teeth
as if he were
wincing. This action caused him to squint his eyes like the
"boil man."  We were laughing
so hard that I was in stitches, rolling on
the floor. Then Paul started laughing even louder
than us, stomping his
feet on the carpet without provocation, rattling the curio cabinet.

Immediately, John bolted up the stairs (two at a time), saying he had
something to show me. After five minutes, he still hadn't come down
yet, so Paul decides to rouse him.

“What are ya doin' up there, Morris? Eatin' all them vittles...
Are ya havin' snacks up there, scumbag


(A line that would become synonymous with a children’s
cartoon series years later called SpongeBob SquarePants.)

eatin', and maybe you'll have a stroke; do us all a favor.”

Paul was now laughing
even harder than us in a deep, hearty bellow.

Roaring laughter could be heard coming from that house more than
a mile
away. Eventually, John comes down from the attic carrying a
rather large
picture, completely covered in dust. So thick that there was no visible image.

“What have we here?” asks Paul rather

“Is it a picture, perhaps?” he questions in an overly delicate voice,
with undertones of sarcasm suppressed to the point of exploding.

“Sit down; you don't need to see this.”

“Sit down,
what am I, a dog?
Sit down, now roll over. What are you a jerk off?”

“Just be good and
sit down.”

“Don't talk to me like I'm a three-year-old.”

“Look, Paul, you don't need to see
the picture.”

“Bullshit, I don't need to see it. Show it to me, or I'll
pull it out of your hands and
smash it against the wall.”

“All right, you wanna see it? Then allow me to show it to you.”

Without any hesitation, John proceeded to
blow a century's
worth of dust straight up Paul's nostrils, and he went ballistic,

vehemently throwing his arms around and about his face like
he was standing in a giant beehive.

He then threw two punches at John's upper arm.

a fucking asshole. You know I'm allergic to dust!
We're not done, pal.” Paul then storms out of the house.

“Who's laughing now?” asked John calmly
as he slammed the front door hard.

“He thinks he's a clown. He disrespects me in my own house.
I hope his nose swells up and he has to go to the emergency room.
Maybe they can fix his brain in there too while they’re at it.”

After a few weeks, John and Paul were hanging out again like nothing
ever happened. I can recall it being a Thursday when I rang Pete's doorbell.

“What's going on, Pete?”

“Not too much. Paul and John are at it again.”

“What happened this time?”

“I think it'd be better if John told you himself.”

I could see Pete trying not to laugh, so I went
over to John's house to find out what I missed.

“What's up, John?” I yelled happily through
the open screen in the living room window.

“Come in.” Casually, I enter.

“Paul is fucking dead; take a look at this. I'm showing everyone what a deranged,
mental case this guy is.”

As he opened the cabinet door, I could not keep myself from laughing.

“Paul must have been really mad to do something like that,” I said.

“Him-mad? My mother came in last night and saw it sitting on top of the television.”

“Was she upset?”

“She was screaming!! My sister was with her, and her jaw dropped. Like
a stupid jerk, she says, look, ma, you can even see all the little lines in it.

John's sister Emily was quite adorable. At the same time, she was equally shy, with
an air of pleasantry that could not easily be defined. She dated only one young man,

who she would eventually marry and move to a neighboring state. Never did she have
to work, and seven children she would bare. God truly blessed her with good fortune.

                                                   Picadilly Line - Emily Small

                                                                              Pg 109

“Don't laugh, because when I catch him, I'm gonna punch his head off.
That fucking piece-a-shit. Do me a favor, and don't mention his name in
presence again. I feel like going outside right now and throwing my
spare tire
through his front window. That's how mad I am with this guy.”

The following
week, I was going over to call for Paul, and I heard them yelling
at one another.
Paul was upstairs yelling out his bedroom window, while John
was downstairs
screaming obscenities up to him from the driveway.

“I'll catch you, don't worry
about it.”

“Oh, I'm not worried about it, pal. I'll lay you out with one shot.”

go then; put your money where your mouth is, asshole.”

Paul then started to
sing at the top of his lungs. . .

“Mu-sic, all I hear is mu---sic!”

Which, as any
Genesis fan knows, is In The Wilderness.”

That really burned John's ass. As the
scene began to escalate,
I simply turned myself around and walked back home.

                                                  Genesis - In the wilderness

What Paul did to infuriate John is almost too funny for words.

You see, John had this strange-looking curio called a repro board that is
comprised of pins. You can push your hand or your face into it, and the
impression will remain. An instant sculpture of portable art that could
be easily reset by simply turning the pin press in the opposite direction.

Paul told me that when John went up to take a shower, he used the downstairs
bathroom to leave a 3-D impression of his hardened penis in the repro board for John's
sister to see. Unfortunately, he didn’t take into account that John’s mother would be seeing
the outline of his firm erection as well. It had to be one of the most hysterical things I had
ever seen before in my life. Because of this practical joke, I had to hang out with them
separately as the two
refused to speak to one another for almost five whole months.

As “The Syndicate of Sound” came on to sing “Little Girl,” we drove to the back roads
Midland beach till we saw some activity. John gave me his six dollars, so I left the
vehicle to make the transaction. I presented myself to the apothecary in a fleeting fashion,
as would a first-time buyer or an undercover police officer looking to make a bust.

                                                    The Syndicate of Sound - Little girl

I asked the dealer (an English chap) for my drug of choice, and he said very politely, “Sure
thing, mate, that'll be twelve dollars. Dough-lers, I like that. The pecuniary amount
handed over in exchange for four spherical dots of orange sunshine mescaline.

In that minuscule vial, I saw what might have been close to a thousand microdots, if
not more. Wow, I thought, that's enough to take a whole generation to the moon.

*Years later, I did some research into the matter and found that true mescaline is found
in the button of the peyote cactus which, when harvested, is left to dry in the desert sun.

The standard dose for oral mescaline falls within ranges of two hundred to five hundred milligrams
per dose. An infinitesimal dose for a barely noticeable reaction can be felt at one hundred milligrams,
and for that amount alone to be effective, one would need to enlarge the microdot by at least ten.

                                                                              Pg 110

I am not saying, ‘take 10’, I'm saying bi-----g-----g-----er. Acid (or) LSD, on the other hand, is
measured solely in micrograms. (One-millionth of a gram) and is the most powerful hallucinogenic
substance known to man. Even the smallest speck, barely visible to the naked eye, would be enough
to evoke a noticeable response in a human being, and this amount would be exactly twenty-five
micrograms.  If one drop of pure LSD is enough to get five hundred people high and a quart-sized
bottle enough to inoculate the entire island of Manhattan, then I assume it was not mescaline at all
that we were getting. Of course, I didn't know it at the time this was all going down.

In truth, LSD is as dangerous as a loaded gun. If no one
picks it up and plays with it, then no one will get hurt.

As John drove back to Eltingville, I was inspired by thoughts and ideas of how grand
the night would become. Or at least, I was hoping it wouldn't turn out to be a real bummer.
I was about to conquer the world, and I didn't even know it. At approximately 8:30 pm,
John and I ingested the microdots. Two for him and two for me. That medicine would not
only open our minds, but it would change our entire concept of life and death by creating
an understanding of the world around us and our perception of all living things.

Without ever leaving the ground, we found ourselves on another planet.

I have to admit, I was quite nervous about taking them. Thinking that they might be
laced with some bad LSD. With so many stories circulating, no one could really say
sure they weren't. John reassured me by saying, “if it was acid, it couldn't be sold
as mescaline, period. Everyone has to adhere to a code of ethics,
and these guys are
no different. These guys especially.” Little did we know that it was all acid.

“If someone goes out to buy cocaine and comes back with speed, what do you think is
gonna happen? The dealer is either going to lose all his clientele, or someone is going
shoot him.” John was the kind of guy who could sell you a penny for a nickel. Indeed,
he was an incredible bullshit artist. I guess you could say he was right in a way, and the
more I thought about it, the better I began to feel until it was out of my head completely.

Roughly forty-five minutes after ingestion, did I begin to notice a change. Car headlights
had more of a shine to them than they normally would have, had I been straight, and street-
lights had a very calming glow. Pete came over to us and appeared to be in a jovial mood.
Then John spills the beans about the mescaline, and Peter quickly became enraged.

“We were gonna come see you, but your whole family was in the living room,
and neither of us were going
to ring the doorbell because we were stoned.”

“Nobody knows how to use a telephone?”

“My father was on the phone and we were running late.”

“Running late? Did you have an appointment with the drug dealer? Are you
getting some kind of good friend discount? Somebody, please, explain it to me.”

After the scolding from Peter about why he wasn’t invited to participate in
the event and why no one laid out the money for him, as he would have
for us, he quieted down. But not before saying what was on his mind.

While Pete spoke to John, his eyes were filled with venom and were upon me.
Like the bullies in the school cafeteria who crack their knuckles, and use scare
tactics to employ fear. I don't care how strong you were; no one would
pick a fight with Peter. He was of muscular build, and even
though he wasn't much
taller than me, it wouldn't have surprised me to
see him lift up the corner of
someone's house in a heated rage.

Intimidated, I turned away, and Peter began directing his anger at John.

Without even trying, Peter succeeded in creating his own
defamable world from a series of obloquious enunciations.

“Oh my God,” he yelled adamantly. “You two stupid mother fuckers
just ruined my night. God-Damn-it!
What the hell am I supposed to do
Jesus Christ on the cross, this can't be happening.

I looked at John, and he looked back at me. To me, it looked like he might
have been thinking, “Maybe you should just go back in the house and stay
there.” But for John to be brazen enough to say something like that to Pete,
the way things stood now, would more or less equate to me reading John’s
obituary in tomorrow’s morning paper of the Staten Island Advance. 

I'm sure you're going to think whatever comes to mind about Peter that's a
given. Honestly, he's the nicest guy in the world. . . Just don't fuck him over.

It was normal for Peter to display a modicum of
irrationality in his behavior
whenever something went awry. But this far exceeded the
normal limit he
imposed on an all-around scale of anger. It was a typical teenage screw-
and nothing to get hung about, but Peter was not going to forgive and forget
that easily.
So for the remainder of the evening, he would treat us like a long
shadow, keeping his distance.

Little did we know how churlish he would actually become, filling the light of placidity
with a darkness that would consume him before nightfall. I was now pondering the estate
of my
mind, and the decision to be made concerning the fate of the evening was at hand.

                                                Front Page News - Thoughts

                                                                               Pg 111

Reviews for chapter 22 - Rhianna Walker - You guys are characters!


                                                          This review was posted on Nov/3/22

                                             Lameez' review





                                       This review was posted on Dec/9/22

                                               iqrabashir871 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 22 - The great quest toward evening

                                              Reader's Report by Iqra





                                  This review was posted on Dec/11/22

                                  nehanegi1905 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 22 -
The great quest toward evening

                                    Reader's Report by nehanegi1905




                                          This review was posted on Dec/20/22

                                                          alits29's review


                                       This review was posted on Dec/24/22

                                                   Hajranoor's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 22 - The great quest toward evening

                                            Reader's Report by Hajra






                                     This review was posted on Jan/12/23
                                               kanchanninawe's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 22 - The great quest toward evening

                                           Reader's Report by kanchan




                                                          This review was posted on Mar/12/23

                                                                   Reviewed by yashodha_95



                                                          This review was posted on Apr/14/23




                                      This review was posted on Apr/16/23

                                                   Tayyaba17's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 22 - The Great Quest Toward Evening

                                           Reader's Report by Tayyaba



                                                          This review was posted on Apr/23/23
                                                                    Reviewed by aamnaaaa



                                                         This review was posted on Jun/5/23
                                                                      Reviewed by pazkou



If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 108) Ad for Shell X-100 motor oil by Boris Artzybasheff (circa 1951) -

PG 108) Something in the air by Thunderclap Newman -

PG 109) Tree Man

PG 109) Blowing Dust
by Levi -

PG 110)
"Be a pin up" - Six foot tall Reproboard -

PG 110) Peyote Bud
by Scott Scheidly -

PG 111) Aether Membrane
by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai -

PG 111)
Scared Man - Royalty Free Stock Photo -

PG 111) The
shadow by Evgeny Shvarts -