Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 28

                     A pleasant journey to the Hash Hut

As we floundered around the streets of Huguenot, wondering what to do with the remainder
of the evening, I began reflecting back to last summer. The year was 1981. During this time,
I experimented with large doses of mescaline, carefully documenting the experience in my mind
until I could eventually bring it to life on paper. I would spend weeks writing a journal account
of my involvement as a participant in the event while attempting to collect and recollect every
emotion and every distinguishable facet of the madness and the mayhem that would eventually
bring me clarity. As of today, I have not taken it since, and honestly, I really never thought I
would take it again.

Of that day, I, for one, can remember the sun descending over Oakwood Heights. I had just
purchased four large nickel bags of weed at the station and six hits of
double barrel purple
mesc. Upon doing this, I decided to pay my friend Richie a visit,
so I hopped on the train and
got off in Huguenot. Rich greeted me at the door, and from
there, we shuffled upstairs to his
room. I showed him the four bags of grass, and his eyes widened.
I then proceeded to unveil
the world's smallest pills, meticulously sprawling them out on his dresser.

They were roughly 1/16 of an inch in diameter and looked quite harmless under the warming
glow of a forty-watt table lamp cast in the delightful shape of a little red train. I would say

his room had not changed a wink since he was five years old. Such a calming effect it had
on me; I could have almost stayed there. Rich knew nothing about psychedelics and would
not agree to have any part of them. He said he only wanted to smoke, so now, I was in a
precarious situation, for the night was at a standstill until the microdots were gone.

Why was he being so stubborn?

Did he not trust me?

Were we not friends?

Before long, he would agree to the taking of three, as would I, and all seemed to be
on an even keel from that moment on. Some time elapsed before we gathered what
we needed for the journey and left. As we carried ourselves to the station, I would
begin to ascertain in no uncertain words a mild feeling of intoxication followed by
delight. Then a disoriented mood accompanied by sluggishness and impaired judgment.

An angel crossed my path with amber eyes and a low-cut dress.
She was as beautiful as an evening primrose in the dying sun,
and while her image left me like a falling tear, her perfume
stayed behind to tantalize my senses.

I now felt as though I had no name.
I was alive, but had I ever been born?
Like a blade of grass that grows slowly
or an ant peeking up through a crack in the concrete.
Tonight, I would be traveling incognito.

                                                                               Pg 133

A dazed and confused feeling turned to self-awareness as I boarded the train.

Casually, I sat down but couldn't help feeling odd about our voyage into the
unknown. Doubts and reservations filled my head until I found it difficult to
sit there. Restlessness soon overtook me. For a brief moment, I closed my eyes,
whereby allowing myself to open an imaginary door from within. Transcending
the illusion, I allowed my thoughts to manifest themselves into an aspiration of
hope. The world was now at our feet, and these poor pathetic people who were
restrained by time to forever live their lives inside a cubicle no bigger than the
size of an average conference room never knew how free we really were.

When the conductor came toward us to stretch out his hand, my first impulse
was to shake it, and I, like a fool, almost did. Stuttering, I bumbled my words
before grappling for change in my pocket. Richie then laughed uncontrollably
and nearly fell to the floor while the conductor appeared to be growing more
impatient by the minute. I was finally able to give him the desired amount in
silver coins, which he immediately deposited into the rapid change dispenser
attached to his waist. Rich had a harder time, for he was debilitated by laughter.

Like a simplistic human robot, the conductor slid open the door and abruptly
enters the next car. The world is now in a morphing stage. Feeling no different
than your common garden insect, I look around for any indicators of concern
before coughing gingerly into my hand. This action brought about no response
from any of the other passengers, and essentially, I begin to feel almost invisible.

        As I looked around at all these strange yet interesting people,
            I thought of the prospect of one day living a normal life.

There was a venerable woman alongside us sitting next to an Asian man who had
between his legs a tan briefcase. He was reading a newspaper, and I assumed it was
stocks. But what was in that briefcase? I wondered. I suppose that will forever remain
a mystery. Sort of like, what exactly was it that was thrown off the Tallahatchie bridge?


An elderly couple to the right of me were holding hands and seemed so
genuinely happy together it made me feel as though I could have cried.

How long were they together?

Could they have been in love since high school?
The more I found myself observing them, the more unhappy I became.

A sadness had begun to well up inside of me and, in no time at all, was
bubbling over into my subconscious thoughts. A sadness I could not control.
A sadness that would take hold of me and consume me if I were to let it.

Two rotund women dressed in black were seated together at the far end
of the train car and seemed to be communicating with each other solely
by using their hands. There was a bald man whose head appeared to be
filled with knowledge, a timely gentleman who resembled an aged
Martin Luther King, and a quiet young boy who adhered to the hand

of a beautiful brunette while looking patiently out a dark window.

Who is this fashionable woman with a widow’s peak, and why is there no wedding
band on her ring finger? Better still, who is the subdued young boy cleaving unto
her? All these questions that needed answers would eventually be long discarded.
Meanwhile however, in my heart, I was vicariously yearning to be that boy again.

I then realized something was missing from this train car.
Increase the amount of wall space by having fewer windows.

Now add some paintings to the wall within the span of a lengthy elongated mural
to make
all the passengers feel the comforts of home. I didn't find it necessary to
tell anyone about
this interesting idea of mine, this profound revelation.

Not even my insane friend melting.

There was no doubt about it; while the rest of the world was planning their next
move, I would be riding the crest of a glorious wave straight into oblivion.

                                                                               Pg 134

Everything was now coming together in such a blundering way I wasn’t sure
I could stay on the train a minute longer. Rich had become silent and looked
like he was piecing together something in his mind. A tiny watch, perhaps,
but it was a complicated movement, and the balance staff was missing.

Was he reaching out for something within his universe
or merely calculating errors?

Indeed, he bore the oddest expression I had ever seen.

As the train jerked away from the Bay Terrace station, I felt like a
comic book character that longed to be back in the book. Far away
from civilized man and the countless routines, he created solely for 
the purpose of earning lots of money so he can boast about it.

I then looked at myself and wondered if it was so terribly wrong to be part of
an educated community. Earning an income to have money in my pocket, a

roof over my head, and a woman by my side to forever adore and cherish.

And that was the kicker. . . The reason my universe was a black hole.

There didn't appear to be an end to the current impasse, which would shroud
me in doubt, leaving me with options that could not be refuted and analytic
notions so complex they created their own square routes to obliterate me.

Conflicting thought patterns made it difficult to remain on the train.
The thought of getting off in New Dorp
made it almost impossible.

My emotions were scattered, so we exited the train at Oakwood Heights, one
stop shy of our intended destination. The place where my journey began a few
hours earlier, and how ironic it was to come full circle back to the starting gate.
Stepping across the gap that separated the train from the platform was like
reaching out to step over a small creek while trying not to get one's shoes wet.

Waking life had suddenly undergone an intense transformation and was
now overblown and baffling. While the ascension was somewhat taxing,
the view from the moderately enclosed walkway was rather pleasant.

As the train rolled away, the metallic structure rumbled. Vibrations could be
felt coming up through the concrete staircase, reverberating the old footpath.

Walking alongside me was a woman with an aura of great intensity. From the exquisite
structure of her facial features alone, it was indicative of her own makeup that she was
of foreign origin. She smiled softly as we made eye contact, and even if the sun
had gone
black, the innocent radiance produced by that gentle smile would forever
renew my
faith in mankind.
Upon reaching the street, Athena took another direction.

                                          I can still see that smile.

                                The Liverpool Echo - Girl on the train

As I continued my analysis of man’s perception in its moot order, the
very night itself, which seemed to be pulled from the sky, was now
So terribly thick, so viscid was that spectral haze that lined e’er
things, things no human being should ever fathom, but in this
plane of time, inceptions had already danced around the deja vu.

                                                Two parts logic.
                             A breath into the overture of madness.

Impulsively, a clan of rowdy children began taunting each other while laughing
rather forcefully. Immediately, I flicked the switch in my mind to the ON position
jumbled a phrase in my head. Be not deceived by the jeering of the procacious.

From a dying tree in the adjacent lot, I could see many brown leaves delicately 
hanging from dried branches. To me, it appeared as if the entire tree had once
been invaded by a horde of ravenous bugs. It was now a hollow shell of bark,
so it seemed as though the natural process of abscission did not really apply.

A leaf scuttled near my foot before stopping,
and I froze in anticipation of its next move.

It then made a run for the plenitude of trees on Guyon, and I was relieved. I knew that
hurting the thing would have brought God’s wrath down upon me faster than a
with a hankering for obliquity, so I allowed him the dignity to continue leafing.

Exhaling deeply, I sighed before motioning across the street, where my friend followed. 

Suddenly, Richie let go ‘a burst of laughter’ where he stood, teetering in the mild breeze.
He then looked dispassionately at his feet as if he were staring down
the precipice of
a tall building while attempting to meld within the housing of
a dream.

“Rich come on, man, focus.”

He did as he was told, and together we walked the portentous road.

Lifting my head like a whooping crane, I gazed up into the tunnel of foreboding trees.
Pointing at them, I stood staring, entranced in a setting so magical. So beautiful.

Ever since I was a kid, I loved it when trees on one side of the street converged with
trees on the other side of the street to form one joining. I used to call them tree
but that was before the city changed the streetlights in the late 1960s from an
luminescent green to a gentle amber glow, and I found my attention shifting
toward more
delicate matters. Matters that would slowly begin to take precedence over
everything else
that was going on in my young, developing mind. On some exceedingly
narrow streets,
I would come to realize that these tunnels can even blot out the sun.

Rich looked up into the fabric of time, ever
wondering, yet never knowing what lay ahead.
Hampered by nothing and empowered by all, his mind dripped in a dreamlike setting.

He appeared to have a vested interest in things, which had no purpose being, such as I,
and I tried to ascertain if he was learning. Without warning, he began twirling round and
round ‘neath the limbs, which skirted the sky, and I could see in his eyes he wasn’t there.

                                                   The Legend - Enjoy yourself

When he stopped to look at me, I must have been everywhere as his equilibrium shifted,
casting him down to the fading tarmac. With his face in awe, he looked up at me as if I
just materialized before him, and when he stretched out his arms, I could envision
him somewhere on a beach in Aruba, sprawled out on the sand like a dying porpoise.

                        The Gnomes - The sky is falling

Trying to locate my shirt, he reached out and grabbed only air.
After this, we proceeded
to perambulate down the road, turning left on Clawson (a picturesque tree-lined street)
and going straight past Tysens Lane until we reached Lindbergh Avenue where my Uncle
Frank and Aunt Josie lived. It was a quaint little block with houses no bigger than ranch
dwellings that produced an atmosphere one could only expect to find in the heart of a
peace-loving suburban community. A bit further led us to Hylan Boulevard where we
crossed over into the plaza. Within the span of seven minutes, we arrived at Master's,
that huge department store in the confines of New Dorp.

I believe we may be over-medicated, I said, like a drunken sailor.
I seriously think we may have underestimated this drug.

The difference between one and two hits is enormous.

It is the difference between that of night and day.
The difference between two and three hits is beyond logic.
It is the heart of delirium. It is madness redefined.

                                                                               Pg 135

As I bathed in the glow of a red neon sign, I could see people enter from afar.
Discretely, I observed the anomalies of life from a spectator’s point of view.
The inconsistencies between the normal and the imposter, the manic and the
deranged, were as obvious as a mother carrying her child in utero.

In the same way one could distinguish between an expectant mother and a
woman who over-indulges in sweets, I, who have willingly become insane,
can easily distinguish between that which is fact and that which is a fallacy.

Indeed, they who have been endowed with internal workings to craft and shape
will likely create very interesting replicas.
Unlike their former selves, strange
prototypes of beings, walk alone and seem to be preoccupied with living. As I,
they too, are motivated by external stimuli.

Those too small needed to be placed in a stroller,
or they would simply lay by the curbside and wail.

As I tried to piece together the puzzle of life between parent and child,
I only became more confused. The land of biology had me baffled.

Indeed, our minds are comprised of thoughts and ideas we need to
process in order to function. Today, however, we remove part of that
equation; looking out from my upright casket where I stand like a
decaying mummy, I see a world of bitter consciousness.

What if I
never moved again?
Would they build dwellings around me, or would they push me aside?

Perhaps they would not even notice I was there.

What is real and unreal in the world of the
mentally disturbed? In logical
terms, it is the difference between normal and abnormal. Indeed,
we must
go mad to truly comprehend the degree of sanity we currently possess.

the only way for us to really cherish life
is to know exactly what we are about to lose.

Whatever lunacies floated around in my head like feathers, I collected, trying
to sort them out, so my brain might be able to compute on a higher level.
I approached the store, I released these thoughts into the night air, and
they flew like burning cinders on an evening breeze.

Staggering into the department store, I found it to be as long as an aircraft
carrier and as
wide as an airplane hangar. I marveled at it quietly, for I was
totally impressed. While my
outer appearance was one of pure contentment,
on the inside, however, I was struggling
to comprehend most of everything
around me.

We walked through a wide maze of clothing
until I found out I had gotten both of us lost.

I listened to the instrumental version of a Diane Warwick song being
in through several inconspicuous air vents in the ceiling.

I then asked my friend
he knew the way to San Jose. . .

When he asked me who San Jose
was, I knew it was going to be a
very long and enduring night, at which
point I figured, why bother
explaining something to someone who was
slowly slipping away
and would soon be gone completely?

“Follow me,” I said to my deranged friend, who was more lost
than even I, “we're going to San Jose.” We never quite made
it there, sadly, and ended up somewhere in the tobacco aisle.

Instinctively, I grabbed a pack of Antonio y Cleopatra cigars. After
thoroughly examining them, I slid the item into my back pocket.

Considering that the place appeared to be deserted, and knowing
I was never going to find a bathroom, I had to think fast. Feeling
an intense urge to urinate, I looked around carefully before
unzipping my fly near a tall column. I was in a state of complete
disorientation as my penis came out.

Was I crazy?
Did I become an animal to stoop so low
as this?

Just knowing I still had a shred of moral fiber left in my being and an ounce

of intelligence to use at my discretion was enough to guide me back onto the
straight and narrow path. With extreme caution, I retracted the dark adder
and allowed it to reposition itself. Ever so gently would my reptilian member
slither back over to the
left side of my pants as if it had to be there. I then
zipped up before turning to my
friend, who was found gawking at a mannequin.

“Let's pull out. We're pulling out now.”

Upon saying those words, I immediately reached into my back pocket and
removed the slender yellow box of brown cigars. Walking down the aisle, I
presented it to the cashier. The woman asked me how I was doing on this fine
night, and me being brutally honest, said to her in return, “We’re retarded.”
I said it in a comical voice, but I still don’t know why I said it. Truthfully,
I was glad I did because it felt good to be retarded. She simply looked at me
like I had a pair of balls on my forehead, but I understood. . . It was okay.

Without warning, I hastened from that building, leaving a trail of electro-
charged static in my ardor. Rich followed behind me in pace, unknowingly
collecting all the lost debris, for it clung to him like a magnet.

We then began the brief walk to my father's house, where I was staying
for the summer, at a
time when my sisters were still very young, and my
stepmom was really cool.
As we walked, I noticed all the phone poles
were reclining back,
as if they were all playing a lighted jazz horn.

How mellow was everything now in a grotesquely deformed kind of way.

As we approached the block where I once lived, I felt like I was controlling
the world. To know everything was at my command was a feeling unlike any
other. But karma combined with crazy would prove to be a volatile mixture,
for upon passing the house where Harmony once lived, all that just seemed to
stop like the mouse who stepped onto a glue trap. I only allowed a faint smile
to grace my lips and refused to look back. I told her I loved her and would be
home as soon as she opened the gates. (((The hour of my inevitable demise)))

In dreams, she would resurface from time to time. Giving me comfort
by letting me know everything was okay until it was time to rise again.
And I could not comprehend how dreams could create such solace.

But for now, I had a job to do and would not allow the past to delay the future
by breaking down my defenses. In spirit,
I knew she was watching over me.

As we approached my father's house on the right, the house I grew up in was
right next door on the same side, only circumjacent to Harmony's old dwelling.

Our destination, however, was
to the left of my father's house on the corner.

Not wanting to go inside my house as of yet, we traipsed down the street
to the rotting facade of the old Calabrase house. Some people called it the
haunted house, but my friend Steve and I had nicknamed it the hash hut.

Do I have to explain why?

On a vacant stretch of land sat this
dilapidated shack,
and to me, it looked like it would soon collapse.

                                                                               Pg 136

Like it was trying so hard to keep itself fastened to the earth for fear of falling.

Its sovereignty had long since moved on, never to return, leaving
it to fend for itself, and
from a distance, it resembled an evil doll house.
How daunting it looked toward evening.

When I asked my grandmother about the house, she said that Pasquale and Mira
moved there in 1932 and left in 1956. She said they were very quiet people who
always kept to themselves and never bothered anyone. No one knew anything about
them, and they were rarely seen outside the premises. That was all she ever told
me about the Calabrase’s. Why the house still stood, I would never know.

From the street, we entered, moving the trees and shrubs aside and walking carefully
the entranceway of the house. The door was not facing my father's house but to the
of it. Making my way through, I kicked an old rusty can of beer that had some
matter inside it, making it appear to be half-full. Before I could reach the door,
I spotted the torso
of a long-discarded doll. It was just lying there in its abandonment
to make the night
seem even stranger. If I had any hesitation, I would not have gone
much further.

I then paused to relieve my bladder on a small oak tree. Rich didn’t seem to notice
anything amiss and wandered around aimlessly with a short stick, like someone
from another planet who was studying the surrounding area for any signs of life.

                                            The Electric Prunes - Antique doll

We walked in white shadows of ominous street lamps glowing to a deafening stillness
within the portal of a dark domain, a place where memories echo in silence, the quietude
of an almost comforting despair. Dry air filled the melancholy room with an intriguing
odor of stale wood steeped in time, while the streetlamp on the corner cut through the
unsettled gloom like a torch shining underwater. Yes, the house was enticing us to stay.

Within its decaying structure were the ever-present sounds that never really seemed to die.
The tail end of a comet that had burned out in an evening sky almost thirty years ago.
Eerie voices that can not be heard by human ears, now seemed to emanate in the void of
the misconstrued. The same words we speak today will be heard forevermore. That is
why we must be very careful of each and every syllable we utter.
Shhhhh, don't say it.

“What a weird layout,” I thought as I made my ascent up the stairs. Oddly, the staircase
did not appear to be
mounted to the stringer, as in conventional carpentry where the
treads and risers are commonly fastened. Instead, the staircase seemed to be
from within the structure itself, as if the entire dwelling had been crafted from a giant
sequoia tree. In truth, I could not visualize it being built from single layers.

I then told myself that nothing would be as it seemed tonight.

Richie remained behind
me the entire way, until we reached the
second floor. This made me feel very uneasy because I wasn't
sure what was going on in his mind. Should I be concerned?

The big wooden table was still in
the center of the room, and there was an
empty keg of colt six-pack just sitting there.
Beside it was a piece of cardboard
with strange words written on it. I couldn't make
anything out of it because
the darkness had fallen, so I held it near the empty
window where the light
was shining brightest, and the message was slowly revealed.

“I must have just missed you guys. Went to the Monkey Woods today and had
three beers in thee ole’ tree fort. Then I had a beer in the park by the rocket
swings before coming here. Don't know where anyone is today, so I will finish
my last two beers before riding off into the sunset. Adios amigos!”

                              *8 - 6 - 81* It was signed; your friend Pete.

I thought of the Monkey Woods then, as it flourished in an abundance of green.

Such a wonderful escape was it from the sun and the heat, populated with yellow
snapdragons, orange jewelweed, and heavenly blue morning glories sprouting like
magical weeds. What adventurous souls were we, living free and in accordance with
life itself, going wherever the wind would take us and then returning in the evening
hours to sleep. There was nothing wrong or oppressive about respecting and enjoying
that of nature. Or did we have to leave the state to put a bullet through a deer's head
to justify our actions? Ah, that wonderful place. What went wrong?

                                                                               Pg 137

Today it is overrun with oriental bittersweet and has become a tree graveyard.

Whenever you see trees with no boughs or branches on them but rather, what
looks like a rounded green tombstone or a cluster resembling a cenotaph, it's
usually this. Not to mention those cursed thorns. They grow in bushes as do
roses in a garden while circumventing everything in their immediate path. Peter
and I used to go back there in the early 1980s with machetes, pruning sheers,
and a small hand saw to cut them. Some of the individual thorn vines had a
diameter of a large orange and a length of over forty feet. We would frequently
leave with minor injuries, but at least we killed something that deserved it. 

Located at the end of Roma Avenue, where Navesink Place would eventually
come into being, our little retreat spanned as far as the private beach, where
rows of bungalow colonies stood since the turn of the century. My dad once
told me that he used to play with his friends in those woods, long before the
surrounding dwellings took shape.

“Oh man, I must have just missed him on Thursday.
Do you remember what you were doing on Thursday, Rich?”

? I don't know what I'm doing now!”

In a fit of laughter, he banged the table three times and almost broke a blood
vessel in his neck. “This is the effect of someone injected with laughter,” I

I was trying not to laugh, but he just looked so silly.

Gazing around at
everything thrown horribly out of perspective,
I started to claw the air with my
hand. The simple pattern created
a stair-step effect, resembling a series of
animated frames that were
put one after another. Cool, I thought as I imprinted
the air with my
own unique design. It only remained for a moment, and yet I
was happy
because, otherwise, we may have gotten tangled up in the colours.

Yes, I said colours, because I was feeling very Scottish at the time.

“You wouldnt by any chance be Scottish, would you, Rich?”
He looked at me but didn't answer. “Scottish as in haggis?”
I replied, throwing my voice out like a bad ventriloquist.
Rich looked at me as if I were in a rerun of an old 1970s
television show that he couldn't get enough of but wasn't
quite sure now why he was watching it. I tried to make a
bagpipe-sounding song when he screamed out laughing.

I suddenly envisioned bagpipes, kilts, and curtains made of plaid.

Then shingles made of plaid, and windows made of plaid.
In the forest made of plaid, there are birds made of plaid,
and it didn't take long before everything was plaid.

“What the fuck,” I retorted in disbelief. I was overwhelmed and
in shock that I managed to wander that far in. I will admit, I felt
a wee bit strange not knowing what to do and how helpless it
all became as I realized I could have actually gotten lost
my own imploring mind-shell. I was on a dangerous wave.

Before panic and desperation set in, I had to think of something fast.

I left the table feeling like a scolded child and wasnt sure
if I should crawl up on that rotting bed and become insane.

I felt as though my brain was being vacuumed, and my face
had grown so long it was beginning to pick up thumbtacks
and screws from the floor. I brushed off my chin just to
reassure myself that it was only following an illusion.

My emotions were shattered like shards of broken glass, and there was
everything around me but body parts. “An upheaved home cannot care
for itself,” I thought to myself quietly, and the extraordinary mess left
behind was making me feel even more unsettled.

Slowly, the thoughts of tartan patterns weaving themselves into the
fabric of my exterior world faded, like Renoir's first rendering of Legree.

I hurried into the other room where I had a bottle of Passport Scotch
whiskey tucked away in a safe place. I knew that taking a shot or two
could alleviate some of my worries, but having nothing to chase it
down with might actually be like exchanging a demon for a dragon.

A gulp of warm Scotch would surely make me feel like my intestinal
tract had been set on fire. And with no water to extinguish it, would
certainly make for an even worse scenario.

                                                                               Pg 138

Looking everywhere, only to find it nowhere, made me perplexed.

Where the hell is this bottle?
Did someone come in and take it?
Did I come back and drink it?
Think, Goddammit.”

I stumbled into the kitchen and nearly fell, reaching my hand behind the
rusty brown stove is where it was: my bottle of Passport Scotch. I clutched
it as though it were the holy grail, and then I held it above my head. I was
almost sure lightning was going to strike it and make me immortal. Just
holding the bottle made me feel as though I had conquered something big.

Psychologically, I had thrown myself off course. I was figuring
out what had caused the problem, and yet, I was solving it at the
same time. Before I even entered the room, the fear had subsided.

“If you're taking a trip, I have your passport.” I walked in saying,
like a Vaudeville act that was sure to get rave reviews.

“I'm already gone!” Richie bellowed in an octave lower than a contrabass.

It's not easy to utter words while you're laughing yourself to death. . .

As Richie calmed down, he began to readjust his jawbone.
Laughing will do that, you know.

“Care to bang one down?”

“No thanks,” said my friend with great effort as this withered old
home sighed
through its exposed plaster as if trying to accentuate some hidden emotion.

As I began to gently touch the wounded interior of its wood lath, I must have
disturbed something within its temporal layout because, like a wooden sloth,
the whole house stood up on all fours and slowly began to inch down the street.

“Let us out first,” I screamed without thinking.

I then looked out the rectangular hole where a window had once been set
to find that the house had not moved at all. It was simply a dead tree limb
slapping against the side of the dwelling, creating an illusion of deception
for me. But in that one brief moment, I was truly terrified.

How would I have been able to explain it to the authorities? I thought.
If the house had actually decided to schlep over the road?
I cannot imagine the face of Phil Martinelli waking up in the morning
to find this weather-beaten old home resting its britches on his front lawn.

                           I think his face would fall off!

It now seems I was trying to analyze and apply logic to a situation that was so
overblown it lacked the coordinance to redirect itself. So high was I at this point;
it was getting difficult to distinguish that which was real from that which was not.

The logical from the illogical.

I placed the emerald-green bottle down on the old wooden
table and looked at my friend.
He was somewhere between
daydreams and the milky way when my words found him.

“Didn’t it just feel like we were on Jumbo the elephant?” I asked wryly.

Then with a Moroccan
accent, I bounced swayingly like a limbo dancer
while balancing both arms in
the air, as if I were on the giant beast.
I then began to sing a very strange and melodic tune.

“Ga-nna ride Jum-bo, ga-nna ride.
I Ga-nna ride Jum-bo, ya wa-nna ride Jum-bo?”

Rich immediately screamed out and began kicking the table.

mann, I uttered with an air of distinction. “He's unstoppable...
Go easy on the laughter; we're
gonna wind up in the hoosegow.”

“Whose Cow?
A booze cow!!!”

                                                                               Pg 139

“Keep it down, we could get arrested for being here,”
I replied, in a tone louder than I was hoping to convey.

So much was this l
aughter that he began drooling on the table,
and I began to seriously question his emotional state of mind.

“I can't help it,” he cackled as he thrashed
knocking over my bottle and nearly breaking it.

He then began stomping his feet with such an intensity, that I found
it was imperative to warn him about weak spots in the flooring.

“Never again, God. Never again,” I muttered in dismay.
“Oh boy,”
I said as I scrambled for a place to stash the bottle.

“This was a bad idea,” I thought. “A really bad idea.

He's gonna fall through the floor; I just know it.”

As my urge to run was overtaken by the need to help my
truly helpless friend, I tried to make myself calm again,
but in return, it only seemed to bring me panic.

“Let's go,” I said, overflowing with terror at
the thought of seeing cop cars
and wailing ambulance sirens. Being hauled off to prison was
now the worst
thought I could think of, aside from my friend going through
the floorboards
and becoming impaled or devoured on whatever was lurking down there

Or even worse, if the floor gave way and we were both trapped in that sinister darkness.
Living bait to become a hollowed-out carcass for rats and those horrible creepy crawlers.
Under this side room there was no floor but an old staircase that led straight to a locked cellar.

Hide the bottle!
Gotta hide the bottle!!!

A car is coming; what am I to do with this bottle?

As I scurried about the room like a distressed hamster looking for an
adequate hiding spot,
I felt myself becoming more disoriented by the
This, of course, made my bumbling friend laugh even louder.

At that exact moment, I felt like a complete and utter horse's ass.

Are you happy now? I said, shivering. You made me nervous.

Perhaps it was the tone of my quivering voice that had him bellowing
aloud and gasping for air until I thought his vocal cords would fray.

The house could have exploded in flames, and I’m sure he would still
be laughing.
Raising both hands to my mouth like a psychiatrist turned
mental patient, I pressed my upper and lower lips together in disapproval

We have to leave, I said unnervingly. You're going too far now.

As Rich attempted
to stand, he abruptly threw himself back down
into the outdated chair. The only thing
I could see was this crazy
bastard going straight down into a basement full of shovels.

Hastily, I exited the room like an agitated mongoloid.

With pursed lips and the onset of a severe panic attack,
I attempted to collect my thoughts and regain my composure.

The solution to the problem was in alchemy.
I would need to hold it once more, and I did.

“Okay,” I said quietly, “you created this
horror show, and now you’re going to fix it.”
I was talking to the Scotch bottle like a genie was inside translating Morse code
to the devil. A miracle needed to be performed, and I wasn’t sure I had the ability
to endure it. Again, I held the bottle above my head, only this time, I felt like a
cheap version of the Statue of Liberty. I shook my head in disgust.

With nothing else left to do, I returned the Scotch bottle to the kitchen behind
the stove, and upon entry into the main room, I lit up a brown Grenadier.
So soft were these cigars, so fresh. It was an undefinable moment.

Allowing the smoke to escape from my nostrils, I began to feel like an aristocrat.

“Ah, the pleasantries of home, old chap,” I said in a Sherlock Holmes
voice that seemed to reverberate throughout the entire domain.

I was playing with my emotions like a child playing with a light switch.
Like a cat playing with a mouse before cracking its neck with her teeth.

I had to fool my mind again. I had to trick myself into believing the emotion was
real. Not only did I have to play the part, but the acting had to be flawless. While
‘the powers that be’ were inscribing our fate, I needed to alter the outcome.

And before I could convince my friend, I would first have to convince myself.

How about a smoke there, Laddy? I expelled, exactly the way
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would have wanted it to be spoken.

I was very much enjoying the air I was creating and truly
speaking this way.
Would it be wrong of me to speak this way forever?

Would society frown upon my newly adopted tongue?

“I’ll have one of them,” said Richie boy in a jittery manner while holding
onto the armrests like he was about to propel out of the chair in a jet pack.

“Yes, you shall, Sir Richard the Marvelous. Yes, you shall.”

Leisurely, I peeled the band in a circular motion
and slid the cigar out of its
thin cellophane sleeve. I then proceeded to light it for him while generating
a slow-motion effect of puffing. That would make it burn flawlessly.

“Here you go, and be careful; that's the live end.”

With this, he exploded, falling off the chair and crushing a perfectly
good cigar.
Looking down at my friend on his hands and knees had
all the earmarks of a maniac praying.
I then heard him laugh as
the head of the cigar lay burning a short distance away.

Like the smoldering remains of a child burning in the Mekong Delta, there was no
saving it. I almost thought I felt a tear coming to my eye. “The poor cigar will never
be smoked,” I thought to myself silently, as if I were standing beside the casket of a
loved one, being slowly lowered into the ground. I was now beginning to wonder
how I ended up in the middle of this horrendous mess in the first place.


“You will not be forsaken,” I uttered in a hushed tone to my prized
cigar from where it rested between my fingertips, before bowing
my head in silence for a brief moment of prayer.

The night had gone out of its way to shower me with grief until I
felt like the dog prancing down the street with a stick in his mouth;
unaware that it was dynamite, he was running back to the house with.

I was paralyzed by the madness that overtook me when at last, I came to
the grim realization that all I created was the world’s most perfect disaster.

It was, undeniably the most callous and erroneous mistake that
could ever have been constructed by mortal man. Because of this,
and this alone, I will forever go down in history as a bungler.

One who has made nothing in life
but a series of miscalculated judgments.

How could something I designed so well come back to utterly destroy me?

These words I pondered in my moment of sorrow,
like a hapless child, forever lost in the wonderment
of an amusement park without a ticket to ride.

And so, as a blindfolded man would do before his own execution,
did I calmly puff on my caramel-colored cigar without concern.

Why should I be stressed? The evening had just begun.

Slowly, I helped Richie to his feet and escorted him carefully
down the stairs, so there wasn't a tragedy. All the way down
those stairs, and all the way out of that house, he guffawed.

                                                                   Love Sculpture - In the land of the few

                                                                                                                       Pg 140



Reviews for chapter 28

John Barone - I have read this chapter five times already!

Manuel Gottlieb - I do love the way you remove the animation from the LSD
and inject it into the veins of your readers. The words are a drug in itself!



                                                          This review was posted on Jan/18/23




                                          This review was posted on Feb/23/23

                                                          alits29's review




                                                 This review was posted on Feb/25/23

                                                           iqrabashir871 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 28 - A pleasant journey to the Hash Hut

                                                          Reader's Report by Iqra





                                                           This review was posted on Mar/9/23
                                                                    kanchanninawe's review

                The Embryo Man
and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 28 - A Pleasant Journey to The Hash Hut

                                                                Reader's Report by kanchan





                                                               This review was posted on Mar/15/23

                                                                             Hajranoor's review




                                                           This review was posted on Mar/31/23

                                                                  Reviewed by yashodha_95




                                                This review was posted on Apr/18/23

                                            nehanegi1905 's review
The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 28 - A pleasant journey to the Hash Hut

                                              Reader's Report by nehanegi1905




                                             This review was posted on Apr/29/23
                                              Reviewed by aamnaaaa




                                                         This review was posted on Jul/4/23
                                                                     Reviewed by tawhida



                                                                This review was posted on Jul/4/23
                                                                            Reviewed by labia_1903



                                                           This review was posted on Jul/24/23
                                                                       Reviewed by pazkou




                                                           This review was posted on Jul/27/23





                                               This review was posted on Aug/5/23

                                                           Tayyaba17's review

The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 28 - A Pleasant Journey to the Hash Hut

                                                    Reader's Report by Tayyaba






                                                            This review was posted on Aug/12/23
                                                                     Reviewed by suma303755



                                                             This review was posted on Aug/15/23 (Morning)
                                                                                   Reviewed by rupalrao





                                                              This review was posted on Sep/4/23
                                                                         Reviewed by hinaspatel




                                                            This review was posted on Sep/26/23
                                                                 Reviewed by sampriktaada813



                                                              This review was posted on Nov/6/23
                                                                     Reviewed by ritikagoyal587


                                                        This review was posted on Dec/4/23
                                                                   Reviewed by sarah1409



                        Saleha Zainab - Dec 26 - Chapter 28

The chapter conveys deeper meanings and evoke emotions beyond the literal
events described.

Train Journey: The train journey symbolizes the protagonist's passage through life,
experiences, and the unknown. It represents a transition or journey into the unfamiliar,
where the protagonist encounters various characters and experiences a range of
emotions. It also symbolizes movement, change, and the passage of time.

Drugs and Substances: The drugs, particularly mescaline and weed, symbolize
escapism, altered perceptions, and the search for heightened experiences. They
represent a departure from reality, leading the protagonist into a state of altered
consciousness, where introspection and deep contemplation occur.

Characters on the Train: Each character encountered on the train symbolizes different
facets of humanity, societal norms, and personal aspirations. They serve as reflections
of diverse life paths, desires, and emotional states. The elderly couple symbolizes
enduring love, the young boy represents innocence, and the individuals engrossed
in their own worlds reflect the complexity of human existence.

Observations and Reflections: The protagonist's observations and reflections symbolize
a search for meaning, self-awareness, and a quest for understanding life's complexities.
Each observation sparks contemplation about societal norms, personal desires, and the
nature of existence.

The Journey's End and Return: The decision to exit the train before the intended destination
symbolizes a return to the familiar or a retreat from the unknown. It represents a realization
or acceptance that the answers or resolutions sought may not be found in the journey itself
but within one's own familiar surroundings or within oneself.

Imagery and Sensory Details: The vivid descriptions and sensory details symbolize the
richness and complexity of human experience. They amplify the emotional depth and
immerse the reader in the protagonist's world, inviting contemplation on perception,
reality, and the power of individual perspectives.

"How long were they together?"

Narrator's series of thoughts in interrogative form makes this chapter more interesting and
it also helps to engage readers. When someone poses a question – the reader or listener
ultimately thinks about the answer and than rest of the chapter becomes more compelling.

Two parts logic.
A breath into the overture of madness.

The narrative in "it" blends logical and illogical elements, reflecting the protagonist's
altered state of consciousness and the struggle to discern reality from perception.

_Logical Aspects_

Initial Recognition of Surroundings: The story begins with familiar scenes – children playing,
trees shedding leaves – which represent a logical portrayal of reality.
Perceptual Shifts: As the protagonist's mind becomes influenced, logical elements
intertwine with altered perceptions. For instance, observing the dying tree's leaves
is a logical observation, but interpreting it as though it wasn't subject to normal
abscission is a perceptual shift into the illogical.

_Illogical Aspects_

Altered Sensory Perception: The protagonist's senses become distorted, leading to perceptions
that deviate from reality. The experience with the leaf scuttling and the protagonist freezing in
anticipation of its actions illustrates an illogical interpretation of the leaf's behavior.

Confused and Jumbled Thoughts: The narrative includes erratic shifts in thought patterns and
associations, indicative of the protagonist's altered mental state. Phrases like "tunnel of foreboding
trees" and the protagonist's musings about the changing streetlights showcase this confusion.

Surreal and Unrealistic Experiences:The narrative details surreal occurrences, like the house
seeming to move and the protagonist's thoughts weaving through vivid yet nonsensical imagery.
This surrealism adds an illogical layer to the storyline.

The blend of logical and illogical elements illustrates the protagonist's struggle to maintain
coherence and a grasp on reality. It mirrors the confusion and distortions experienced when
under the influence of altered states, creating a narrative that fluctuates between recognizable
aspects of reality and the distorted perceptions of an influenced mind.

Chapter ends with the protagonist assisting his friend, Richie, out of the situation. He guides
Richie carefully down the stairs, ensuring there isn't an accident or tragedy due to Richie's
disoriented state. Despite the chaos and confusion that preceded this moment, the protagonist
seems to maintain a level of composure and responsibility, ensuring the safety of his friend.




                                                              This review was posted on Jan/26/24
                                                                    Reviewed by nusratjahan603



                                                           This review was posted on Mar/6/24
                                                            Reviewed by mariya







                                                       This review was posted on Mar/8/24

                                        sidrahumar120's review

   The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 28 - A Pleasant Journey to The Hash Hut

                                                            Reader's Report by Sidrah



                                                            This review was posted on Apr/11/24
                                                                   Reviewed by sababaloch292



                                                           This review was posted on May/24/24
                                                                          Reviewed by adeeba



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 133) LSD microdots (photo) by John Allen - 2003 -

PG 133) Different balls
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 134) Orient express
by Marcin Kolpanowicz -

PG 134) Descent to the Mediterranean
by Vladimir Kush -

PG 134) Seekers of the truth
by Mike Worrall -

PG 134) Untitled by Brad Yeo -

PG 134) The night line
by Marcin Kolpanowicz -

PG 135) Relentless nature of time
by Jaroslaw Jasnikowski

PG 135) Sin
by Tomasz Alen Kopera -

PG 135) The Insomnia of Nimrod
by Alessandro Fantini - 

PG 135) Wanderlust
by Dean Fleming -

PG 135) Chamber of earthly delights
by Tomek Setowski -

PG 135) Love confession
by Vladimir Kush -

PG 135) Le balcon
by Claude Verlinde -

PG 135)
Tree tunnels -

PG 135) Morning poem
by Wojtek Siudmak -

PG 135) One
by Keun-chul Jang -

PG 136) Waterbaby
by Herbert James Draper -

PG 136) Postillonage by Alessandro Fantini -

PG 136) Cloud nine
by Amanda Sage -

PG 137) Dark House
(matte painting) -

PG 137) Entrance to the past
Curt Frankenstein -

PG 137) Liberty
by Dean Fleming -

PG 137) Healing by way of the ace of blurred matter
by Chris Mars -

PG 137) Vintage Keg o' Colt sign -

PG 137) Surrealistic Psychodelic Vision of a Deer in the Rut
Jaroslaw Jasnikowski -

PG 138) Small Bite
by Ilene Meyer - 

PG 138) MacPhee
by Sean Landers -

PG 138) The Power of Experience
by Jaroslaw Jasnikowski -

PG 139) Fester the jester
by Dan Frazier -

PG 139) The Progression
by David Ho -

PG 139) Pisces
by Dean Fleming -

PG 139)
Vintage advertisement for Passport Scotch Whiskey,
circa 1975

PG 139) The Elephants
by Salvador Dalí -

PG 140) Mox's Death Trap
by Joel Hoekstra -

PG 140) Panic attack
by Aidan Brute Hughes -

PG 140) Smoking marine monster by Seb Niark1 Feraut -

PG 140) The vessel
by J. Slattum -