Monday, May 08, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part nine

As I made it back towards the tent, I saw that John had lain back down and was sleeping in the shade of a tree. Linda and Sherry were sitting in the sun on the grass in front of their tent, and I tried to make it by without them seeing me, but then I heard Linda's voice call out. "Where ya going, Johnny Lee?" There was laughter in her voice. "Come on over. Don't be a stranger."

I was kind of glad that Linda had called me over. On the one hand, I was shy and didn't know what to do with myself around strangers, especially girls, but then again I didn't really feel like being by myself, either. I was a loner by nature, but that was due to my shyness, and I really did enjoy the company of others once I got to know them. Perhaps this would be a chance for me to get to know Linda and Sherry at least well enough to be able to say more than hi to them, particularly Sherry. As I walked over, I heard them laughing, and I felt uneasy.

When I got to where they were sitting, I saw Linda take a hit off a joint. It had been smoked about halfway down. She was sitting with one leg out and the other leg tucked under it, and Sherry was sitting cross-legged. I sat down with them cross-legged a little farther away than I needed to, and Linda said, "Here," and she leaned forward and handed me the joint. I took a hit and leaned forward and handed it on to Sherry. She glanced at me with a little grin on her face and took the joint.

"And then Larry did that funny little dance of his, remember?" Linda said to Sherry and began to laugh.

Sherry said, "Oh, yeah." She began to giggle, and that seemed to make Linda laugh even harder, and then Sherry started to laugh, too, and they both looked at me and began to slowly stop laughing. I couldn't help but to grin at them, though I had no idea what they had been laughing about.

"Don't Bogart that joint, girl," Linda said to Sherry.

"Oh," Sherry said. She looked at the joint that she held between her fingers and took a hit and then passed it on to Linda. Sherry looked at me, and I still had a grin on my face, and she smiled back coyly. She tilted her head downward a little but then looked back up at me with her eyes. She had these big, brown questioning eyes, and for several moments her gaze captivated me. Then she looked back down and smiled a little.

"Come up closer, Johnny Lee. We won't bite," Linda said to me. I scooted up closer to them, and Linda handed the joint back to me. "We were just talking about this guy we know, weren't we Sherry?" she said to me. I took a hit and handed the joint to Sherry.

Sherry looked me and said, "Oh yeah, Larry." Then she leaned her body back with a big grin on her face and looked at Linda, and they both began to laugh again. I gave a questioning look at the both of them, and that just seemed to make them laugh harder. Finally they settled down, and Sherry took a hit and passed the joint to Linda.

"Larry is this guy we know from high school, and he does this dance when he gets drunk or stoned," Linda explained to me. She paused long enough to take a hit and passed the joint back to me. "And it is really funny," she continued. "You really have to see it." She looked at Sherry and they both laughed again. "Everybody in school knows he's a head, even some of the teachers, and just about everyone's heard of his dance." Linda pulled her other leg up, so that she was sitting cross-legged. "Anyway, there was this one time when we were all getting stoned under the bleachers at lunchtime, and we almost got caught by Mr. Sheridan. He's one of our gym teachers, and I've heard that Mr. Sheridan is always ragging on him in gym class about getting stoned and all." Linda looked at Sherry, and they both giggled. "Anyway, when we saw Mr. Sheridan coming, we got rid of the joint, and were all putting on our best straight faces when Larry started doing his dance. Well, we lost it and started cracking up at Larry, and we thought we were all going to get busted, but it was just Larry that had to go to detention. It was for a week, wasn't it Sherry?" She didn't wait for Sherry to answer. "Yeah, it was a week. And he sure did get ragged on about that one for a while." Linda and Sherry started to laugh again.

I was starting mellow out from the joint. I had a pretty low tolerance for pot, and it didn't take much to get me stoned. I took a hit off the joint, which was getting to be a roach, and handed it to Sherry.

"That sounds pretty funny," I said. I smiled at Linda and Sherry, and they both grinned back at me.

"You really had to be there to appreciate it," Linda said.

"Yeah," Sherry agreed.

"So where are you from, Johnny Lee?" Linda asked me. She stretched her legs out. "You sound Southern."

"Oh that," I said. "My accent." I suddenly felt self-conscious. I had never realized I had a Southern accent until I got to junior high school, and someone there had pointed it out to me. From then on I tried to lose the accent, but it still slipped out sometimes, especially when I got stoned. "My dad is from Texas, and my mom is from Georgia, and I guess I just picked it up from them."

"Well now we know where your parents are from..." Linda let the sentence drag out slowly.

There was a pause. "Oh me," I said suddenly. "I'm from Arlington, Virginia."

"Get out," Linda exclaimed. She gave me an incredulous stare

"Really?" Sherry asked me in a soft voice. She looked at me slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

"Yeah, how come?" I wondered what the big deal was.

"We're from Fairfax, Virginia," Linda said. "Oh, this is too far out," she said to Sherry. Linda gave me the gratified look of one who has run in to a good friend unexpectedly, and Sherry's wide eyes turned to ones of curiosity. Sherry took a hit off the roach, and after handing it back to Linda, she looked back at me.

"Oh wow," I said. I looked down and raised my eyebrows. "What a trip." We were all silent for a moment, and then I asked them, "Um, how’d y'all get up here?" I looked at Sherry then at Linda.

"We took a bus," Linda answered.

"So did me and John," I told them.

"Not Nationwide Charter?" Linda asked me.

"Yeah, Nationwide Charter," I affirmed. "It's my uncle's company."

"Oh, man, this is blowing my mind," Linda said. She looked at Sherry with astonishment on her face.

"Yeah, really," Sherry said. Her eyes had turned wide again.

"Talk about synchronicity," Linda said to no one in particular. She produced an alligator clip from somewhere, and attached the roach to it. She took a hit and handed the alligator clip to me.

"Synchronicity?" I asked. I took a hit and handed it back to Sherry. She took a hit and put it out. She put the alligator clip into a little zippered pouch.

"Yeah, Linda reads all this weird stuff," Sherry said. She leaned over and gave Linda a poke in the ribs with her elbow. "Don't ya, Linda?" She smiled at her.

"No, I don't," Linda said, and she punched Sherry lightly in her leg. "It's philosophy and science." She sounded slightly defensive.

"Well, that Edward Cayce guy is just weird," Sherry said.

"It's Edgar Cayce, and his teachings are very scientific," Linda said adamantly.

"What's synchronicity?" I asked.

"It's Carl Jung," Linda said. "He believed that there was meaning in coincidences."

"And ask her how you spell Jung," Sherry told me.

I looked at Linda, and she rolled her eyes. "J-u-n-g," she spelled out, "but the reason it's pronounced 'yoong,' is because the letter J in German is pronounced like a Y."

For some reason the whole Carl Jung thing was starting to seem ridiculously funny, and I pressed my lips together in an attempt to thwart off a grin. I made the mistake of looking at Sherry for she had this big old grin on her face, and it all became too much for me to hold in. I let out a laugh through pursed lips, which sounded funny in itself, and then Sherry let out a laugh, and before I knew it all three of us were laughing loudly.

John came strolling up along about that time and asked, "What are you all laughing about?" He sounded groggy as if he'd just woke up, which he probably had, and for some reason it seemed to fuel our laughter until we finally wore ourselves out.

"I think it was Carl Jung," Sherry said. She stretched the "yoong" part out, which got us going again but just for a minute.

"John," Linda said, "you're not going to believe how Sherry and I got up here."

"Up where?" John asked.

"Here, silly, Woodstock," she answered. I wondered if she knew John was being a wise-ass.

"How?" he asked. "Walked? That's how me and Johnny Lee got here, right Johnny Lee?"

"Seems like it," I said. And it did.

"We spent a lot more time walking then we did riding," John added.

"You took a bus, right?" Linda asked.

"Yeah, a bus." John scratched the back of his head. "Why, did you come here on a bus, too?"

"Yeah, the same one you two came up on. We're from Fairfax." Linda smiled at him real big.

John squatted down next to us, and he looked at Linda and Sherry. "No shit," he said. This time he was serious. I could tell.

John's entry into the group may have inspired her, but for whatever the reason Sherry pulled out a small baggy of pot and proceeded to roll a joint, which she promptly lit and passed around. Funny, I figured Linda for the one with the pot. Before long, we began talking about how strange it was that we came up on the same bus without knowing it and then meeting each other amongst 500,000 other people.

Linda was either brave enough or stoned enough or a combination of the two to bring up synchronicity and Carl Jung again, which got both Sherry and I laughing, but then John wanted to know more about synchronicity, which Linda seemed more than happy to verbally illustrate. All the while, Sherry and I exchanged discrete little smiles.

I wasn't sure if it was the subject matter, the pot, or all of us being able to share in a laugh, but I know I was feeling a lot better from the funk I'd been in earlier that morning. Of course, when one got right down to it, the biggest reason I was feeling better was that I had gotten to feel more comfortable with Sherry.


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