Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part seventeen

We were all sitting next to the tent waiting quietly to get off on the acid we took. I had nothing to say; I was too intent for my trip to come on. I imagined everyone else felt the same way.

After what seemed like forever, the sun started to set, and I was beginning to worry that the acid wasn't any good or that half a tab was not enough to get off on when I noticed that the colors of everything had started to turn bright and neon-like.

I looked at John, and he was smiling, and I could tell that he was getting off, too. "Pretty colors," I said to him.

"Pretty colors," he answered back.

I looked at Linda and Sherry with this big grin that I could not get off my face. Linda gave me a Cheshire cat grin back, and her teeth glowed a bright white. Sherry was waiting her hand about in front of her face, and I knew she was seeing trails for I saw them, too.

Patterns of all different shapes and colors began to form in the air around me. I felt a heightened sense of sensation throughout my body. The tent was glowing a Day-Glo-green, and the sky was the deepest blue I'd ever seen.

I looked at John, and he smiled at me, and I felt as if I could read his thoughts. This is good shit, he seemed to say to me without moving his lips. "Yeah, it is good shit," I said to him.

"Oh, wow," John said, "I was just thinking that."

"I know," I told him. "I could hear you thinking."

"No shit?" John asked me.

"It sure seemed like it," I answered. "See if you can hear what I'm thinking now."

John looked at me intently for a moment. "Pretty colors," he said.

"Yeah, cool, huh?" I had really been thinking "pretty colors," too. It really seemed as if we could tell what each other was thinking. We both looked over at the girls as if on cue.

They were looking into each other's eyes and talking back and forth, but I couldn't understand what they were saying. It was if they were speaking a foreign language. Then their speech became clear.

"Who do?" Linda asked.

"Voodoo," Sherry answered.

"No, you do," Linda said.

"No, you do," Sherry said back to her and burst out in a giggle.

Linda waved her hand through the air in front of Sherry's face. "That's so cool," Sherry said.

"Did you two get off?" John asked them. They looked at him, and they both started giggling together.

"I think so," Linda said. "What about you, Sherry?"

"Oh, yeah," Sherry answered, and then she looked up into the sky. "Oh, wow," she said.

The rest of us looked up, and I saw that the stars were coming out, and they appeared as brilliant pinpoints of white light. I had never seen so many stars.

Sherry leaned back onto the blanket and stared at the sky. It looked like the thing to do, so I leaned back, too. After a few moments, I noticed that John and Linda had lain back, as well.

The sky was beautiful. It had turned a deep purple that was fading into black. The stars blinked on and off in a pattern that I controlled with my mind.

"It's so cool," Sherry said, and I looked over at her, and her hair glowed golden. It seemed to be weaving itself in and out of different patterns, and I wanted to reach over and touch it.

"Yeah," John said.

"Yeah," I echoed.

"Let's all put our heads together in the middle of the blanket," Linda said.

"Yeah," Sherry said with enthusiasm.

"All right," John said.

"Okay," I said. It sounded like a cool idea to me.

We all rearranged ourselves on the blanket so that our heads touched as Linda suggested, and I positioned myself so that I was next to Sherry and that I could feel her head. We were arranged so that our four bodies formed a cross with our heads at the center. Sherry was on my right, and Linda was on my left so that I could feel both of their heads. John's body was directly opposite of mine, and I imagined he could feel both girls heads, as well. It was a pretty cool arrangement.

It was exciting for me to be touching Sherry even if it were only her head. We all lay there for several minutes or maybe longer--it was hard to tell-- in absolute silence. I had a melded experience of feeling Sherry's head and Linda's, too and that of watching the light show in the sky.

Against a backdrop of velvet black, the stars swam in a sea of colors. Lines long and narrow connected the stars and patterns formed and reformed in infinite hues that alternated between being geometric and organic. It was a living thing, and it communicated with me in a language that far out reached the boundaries of spoken tongues.

"Can you feel it?" Linda asked.

I assumed it was a question for all of us, and I answered, "Yeah."

"I can, too," Sherry said.

"Oh, yeah," John said.

"Let's all hold hands," Linda said.

It sounded like a good idea, but I was reluctant to reach out with my hands. It was my shyness. But little by little, I did stretch out my arms. It was Sherry's hand that touched me first, and it tingled as if an electric current ran through it. She grabbed hold of my hand and squeezed it, and I squeezed back.

The sky exploded in a million different colors and was dancing rhythmically, and I realized it danced to the beat of my heart. The touch of Sherry's hand seemed like that of an angel's, and I felt love flowing through it, and it excited me.

I felt Linda squeeze my other hand, and it felt soft and warm. I felt the flow of love, a motherly or sisterly love, and I felt comforted by it.

I felt whole. With the soothing and wholesome Linda on my left and the sensual and sexy Sherry on my right, I felt the balance of the universe for the first time in my life, and everything made sense. I was not afraid.

Holding softly Linda's hand in mine, I opened up the fingers of Sherry's hand and threaded my fingers through hers, and we both grasped our hands together tightly.

I closed my eyes, and the colored patterns of a thousand kaleidoscopes swirled and mixed together as if the inside of my eyelids were a gigantic movie screen projecting images of the heavens directly into my mind.

At the same time, Sherry and I made love with our hands. First in strong embrace, our fingers opened up, and we ran our fingertips over each other’s hand. It made me tingle all over, and I felt a sense of stimulation that was both loving and sexual.

At times I felt myself slide into an overwhelming sense of sensations received from Sherry, but then the gentle touch from Linda's hand always brought me back unscathed. I was in a cocoon riding on a rocket ship, and I felt protected and projected out of the atmosphere at the same time. And I was thrilled.

On the Road to Woodstock -part sixteen

Sherry was taking us to the Hog Farm by way of the road that went past the trailer where I had seen the girl in the mesh top, and just passing the place made me excited. My mind was still on the acid we were going to take in a little while, and I wondered what it would've been like to see those girl's breasts while I was tripping. I probably would still be there staring at them.

We were walking two by two with John and I following Linda and Sherry. As we passed the trailer, I started to say something to John about my experience there, but I decided not to. It was a memory I wanted to keep to myself for the time being, and, besides, I was sure John had seen plenty of girls' breasts anyway and probably wouldn't think much of it.

After passing the trailer, the road was surrounded by woods on both sides. The girls were talking to each other, but I couldn't hear what they were saying, though they seemed to be excited. I was excited, too. I was looking forward to tripping.

"Pretty colors," I said to John.

"Yeah, pretty colors." He looked at me and smiled. We walked along for another minute or so, and then John asked me, "How long has it been since you took some acid?"

I had to think a minute. "About three weeks ago. I took a hit of green ‘ozzly’."

"‘Ozzly’," John said. "Isn't that the name of the guy who makes acid?"

"Yeah," I said. "It's weird, though. His name is spelled o-w-s-l-e-y."

"You'd think it would be pronounced 'ow-zzly'."

"Yeah," I said, "you'd think so."

"Look," John said, and he pointed with his finger. "There's that pink and white tent they been talking about."

Coming to a clearing, I saw it, too. "Yeah, that must be the first aid place."

"If this is some of that 'bad acid' they been talking about, we all may end up here," John said, and he chuckled.

"I don't know," I said. "They haven't been talking about 'bad acid' since yesterday." I looked at the tent, and it was very large and open with various degrees of activity going on underneath it. There were men and women who I assumed to be doctors attending to people who were laid out on the many cots that occupied much of the area. As I wondered what was wrong with them, I said to John, "I think maybe it's just people freaking out, anyway. I remember this one guy up at Fort Scott who freaked out on the same kind of acid that I took, and my trip was just fine."

"You're probably right," John said. "Anyway, I'm not worried about it."

"Me, neither," I said.

As we got past the big tent, we entered another wooded area and then came across another clearing, this one much larger, with tents of all sizes and cars and trailers.

"We're here," Sherry announced to all of us, and she spun around in a circle with her arms outstretched like a ballerina. She stopped facing me and John with a big smile on her face. It was if she were already tripping.

"That must be where the food is being served," Linda said, and she pointed off to the left where people were standing in line. There were four open tents all in a row, and people moved past them cafeteria style.

"Well, I'm ready to eat," John said.

"Me, too," I said.

"Let's go, then," Linda said, and we all went and got in line to eat.

The line moved fairly quickly, and it wasn't more than 15 or 20 minutes before we all had paper plates with mashed potatoes, creamed corn and some sort of stew. Finding a dry patch of grass, we sat down on among scores of others who were eating, and we all ate in relative silence with our plastic forks and the large paper cups of water we had gotten with our food.

John was the first to finish. "That was pretty good," he said, and then he let out a big burp.

Linda and Sherry laughed, and then Linda said, "It's pretty good food, all right, for a chow line."

"It's pretty good," Sherry agreed.

"Yeah, it's okay," I said with more enthusiasm than I actually had. Truth be told, I didn't care for it much, but I was hungry, and it was edible.

John stood up and went and put his empty plate in a big metal drum that served as a trash can. I still had food on my plate, but I wasn't much hungry for it, so I stood up and followed John to the garbage receptacle.

"You're not going to eat that?" John asked me.

"No, I'm not that hungry."

"Give it to me, then," he said, "I'll eat it." I handed John my plate, and he finished it off right there by the garbage bin. He dumped the plate in the trash, and we headed back to where the girls were.

They were just finishing up, and we walked with them back to the garbage can where they discarded their plates, and then we all four headed back towards the tent.

By the time we made it back, it was almost seven, and the sun was getting close to the horizon. Linda pulled a blanket out of the tent and spread it out, and we all sat down.

"Well," I said and looked at John. "It'll be getting dark in another hour."

"I guess you want to take the acid."

"I don't know," I answered. "What do you think?"

"What do you think, girls?" John looked at Linda and Sherry.

Sherry looked at Linda with wide eyes. She looked eager.

"Sure," Linda said, "let's do it." She looked at me. "That is if you're ready."

"Yeah, sure," I said. I got the dollar bills the acid was wrapped in out of my pocket. "You said you could split it up?"

"I sure can," she said.

I unwrapped the dollar bills and handed her the tinfoil. "Here."

Linda took the folded tinfoil and went inside the tent. She came back out with a book and a penknife. She opened up the tinfoil and handed me the two tabs of acid. She spread the tinfoil out on the book flattening out the wrinkles. "Okay," she said, "let me have one."

I handed her one of the little purple pills and watched carefully as she took the tiny tablet and split it in half with the little knife. She gave me the two halves, and I gave her the other whole one, and she split it up as she did the other one. When she was done she looked at me and asked, "So these are for us?" She motioned to Sherry and herself.

"Yep," I said.

Linda handed a half tab to Sherry, and I handed a half tab to John. "I've heard you get off quicker if you hold the tab under your tongue and let it dissolve," Linda said to everyone. So with that tidbit of information, I put my hit under my tongue and got ready for the interminable wait to get off.

Monday, June 19, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part fifteen

I got back, and John was lying inside the tent asleep with his head sticking out under the hot sun, and his face was red with sunburn. I knew that was going to be painful. I looked around and didn't see the girls.

"John," I said. I knelt down and shook his shoulder, and he woke up.

"What time is it?" he asked. He sounded sleepy.

I looked at my watch. "Almost 4:30."

"Where have you been?" he asked me.

"Man, you wouldn't believe this place I found," I told him. "There's this place in the woods over on the other side of the stage, and they sell all kinds of drugs there."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah," I said, "and I bought some acid."

"You did?"

"Yeah," I said, "two hits." I smiled real big. "Here, look." I pulled the folded one-dollar bills out of my pocket and got the tinfoil out and unfolded it. I showed him the two little purple pills. "It's called purple haze."

"Hey," he said, "that's great."

"Where’s Linda and Sherry?"

"They went to use the toilets," he said. "So what are you going to do with the acid?"

"I figured we could each take a hit," I said. "Unless you think the girls would want to do some?" I asked him. "We could split the tabs in half."

"Maybe." He was quiet for a second. "Yeah, it might be pretty cool if we all tripped together."

"Yeah, I was thinking that, too." We both looked at each other, and John gave me a sly grin.

"You want to get Sherry fucked up, don't you?" he asked me. "You want to fuck her."

"No... maybe... I don't know," I said, and I looked down. I was very shy when it came to talking about sexual stuff with girls.

"Yeah, you do." He put his hand on my shoulder. "You have the right idea about getting the girls tripping. It might get them horny."

I looked up at him. I was really looking forward to having sex with a girl. I had just never gotten up the nerve to go all the way, though I had been with girls that were willing. I just couldn't bring myself to make the moves. The farthest I had ever gotten was making out.

"You think so?" I asked him. I hadn't really thought about getting the girls horny; I just wanted to share the acid.

"Yeah, it can't hurt."

I didn't care if the girls got horny or not. I was worried about my own inability to take advantage of the situation, should it come up. I didn't know the first thing about having sex. I'd never even felt a girl up. I always chickened out. Even when I knew they wanted it.

"Here they come," John said. "Are you going to ask them if they want some of the acid?"

"No, you ask them," I said. "I don't want to ask them."

I saw that Linda and Sherry were about twenty feet from us.

"Here," I said, "take the acid. Tell them you got it." I folded the acid back up into the tinfoil and dollar bills.

"No, you hold on to it," he said. He started to say something else, but by then the girls were within earshot. I had been watching them out of the corner of my eye while I was kneeling down next to John, and I stood and turned to face them as they approached.

"Hey guys," I heard Linda say.

"Hey," John said.

I was too nervous about telling them about the acid to say anything, but I looked at Sherry, and she gave me a little smile.

John crawled out of the tent and stood up. "How was your girls trip to the bathroom?"

"Oh, just lovely," Linda said. We were all facing each other in front of the tent. She turned and looked at me. "I see you made it back." She smiled. "We were beginning to think you got lost or something."

"No," I said. I looked at John, and he looked at me.

"Johnny Lee brought us back something," John said to the girls.

"Oh really," Linda said. "What did you bring us, Johnny Lee?"

I felt put on the spot, and I looked at John imploringly.

"Do you two like to trip?" John looked at Linda and Sherry.

The two girls looked at each other and began to giggle. "We've been known to take acid from time to time," Linda said. "Why, do you have some?" Linda raised her eyebrows, and Sherry's eyes got big.

"Johnny Lee does," John said.

"Oh, do you now?" Linda asked me.

"Yeah," I said.

"Are you offering to turn us on?"

"I've got two tabs," I told her. "I figured we could do half a tab each."

"What do you think, Sherry?" Linda asked her.

"Yeah," she said, "sounds far out." Sherry looked at me with a look of awe, as if I had pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

I still had the poncho under my arm, and the folded dollar bills were in my hand. "Here, you want to see?" I held out the dollar bills in my hand. "They're folded up." I handed John the poncho. "Unfold this, okay?" I asked him. "I need to something to kneel on." The ground was still wet from the rain.

John unfolded the poncho and laid it down on the ground. I got down on my knees on the edge of the poncho, and John and the girls did the same so that we were all in a circle. I unfolded the dollar bills and then the tinfoil and held it so that everyone could get a good look at the little purple tablets.

"Wow," Sherry said.

"Cool," Linda said.

"How are we going to cut them in half?" John asked.

"I have a little pen knife," Linda said. "I've done it before."

"Really?" John asked.

"Sure," she said, "I'm a woman of many talents."

"It's true," Sherry said.

"When were you thinking about dropping the acid?" Linda asked me.

I wanted to do it right then, but I looked to John for guidance.

"You want to do it now, don't you?" John asked me. He knew me too well.

"We can if you want," I said to him.

"If we wait an hour or so, we can be getting off when it starts to get dark," he suggested.

"That sounds like a good idea," Linda agreed.

"Okay," I said. I was a little disappointed, but it made sense.

"So what do we do now?" John asked. He stood up. The girls stood up, too, and I wrapped the acid back up and stood up with everyone else. "I say we find some of that food they're supposed to be giving out," he said.

"Oh, I know where it is," Sherry said. She sounded excited at being helpful. "I was down at the Hog Farm yesterday."

"When were you down there?" Linda asked her.

"Don't you remember?" Sherry's voice sounded secretive. "You know, that guy?"

"Oh yeah, now I remember," Linda said and grinned at Sherry.
I wondered what secrets Sherry and Linda were keeping about the Hog Farm and "that guy," but I was too excited about tripping in a couple of hours to worry too much about it. I picked up the poncho and folded it and handed it to Linda who stuck it in the tent. Then we four as a group started out following Sherry's directions to the Hog Farm.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part fourteen

I watched the people slide down the muddy hill for another five or ten minutes, and then I moved on down the path. The rain still came down hard but was letting up. I was past the stage and in an area I had not seen before. I was on the other side of the stage from where John and I had been the day before, and I noticed a lot of people going and in and out of a path into a wooded area.

There was a small trail leading into the woods, and I followed a couple of guys that were going in. The rain had slowed until it was only a light drizzle, and the trees provided an extra cover from its fall.

I reached a clearing, and it became apparent that all sorts of drugs were being sold. It was an open market, and there were perhaps a dozen dealers, maybe more, and most had makeshift tents set up. I walked around and checked out the wares.

There were ounces of pot for twenty dollars and grams of hash for eight. Acid was going for four dollars a hit, and there were at least three different kinds. There was speed of different types of which I was not familiar. I had done black beauties once, but that was the extent of my experience with uppers. I heard whispers of someone selling junk but I'd never done heroin before. I was curious about it, but I was pretty much just a pot, hash and acid user, and I really liked tripping a lot.

I checked in my pocket to see how much money I had left. I had a ten, a five, and a few ones. I really shouldn't be spending money on drugs, but I couldn't resist. The guy selling Purple Haze seemed to be doing the most business, so I went to him. He had a small tent set up and was sitting inside. His hair was down past his shoulders, and he looked real wide-eyed. I squatted down so I was eye level with him.

He looked at me. "Yeah man, how many you want?"

"Give me two," I said, and handed him the ten-dollar bill.

He took two tabs out of a baggy and went to hand them to me. My hands were wet so I asked him, "Do you have a anything to put them in to keep them dry?"

There was some tinfoil lying about, and he tore off a piece and wrapped the two tabs in it and handed them to me. "Here ya go, man."

I stayed there hunched down on the ground, and the guy asked me, "Was there something else?"

"They're four dollars apiece, right?"

"Yeah man, four dollars."

"Well, I gave you a ten."

"Oh man, I'm sorry," he said. He dug in his pocket and pulled out a bunch of money and got two ones out. "Here ya go." He handed me the bills.

"All right," I said, "thanks." I stood up with the tinfoil packet in one hand and the two dollars in the other. There was a guy waiting behind me to cop, so I stepped away from the tent. I wrapped the tinfoil inside the dollar bills and lifted my poncho up and stuffed them down in my front jeans pocket.

My heart was beating fast. I was really looking forward to taking some acid, but at the same time I was wondering if I should've bought it in the first place. I felt as if I had set myself on a path of which I had no control. My situation was dire enough. Would tripping make my circumstances any better? I hoped so.

I made my way out of the woods and started working my way back down the path towards the stage. I kept thinking about the two hits of acid in my pocket, and my heart kept on pounding.

By the time I made it past the stage and to the road that led back to the tent, the rain had stopped and rays of sunshine began to break through the clouds. I took that as a good omen, but I wasn't ready to head back to the tent just yet. The acid was still on my mind.

I pulled the hood of the poncho off my head, and began to continue down the path that John and I had taken the day before. It wasn't long before the cloud cover broke, and it turned into a bright, sunny day again.

I began to get hot under the poncho, so I took it off and shook as much of the water off as I could and then folded it up and carried it under my left arm. I stuck my right hand down in my pocket and felt the dollar bills with the tinfoil packet inside. Though I knew the acid was there, I wanted to check it to make sure it was dry.

I went down by the trailer that John and I had been on Saturday, and I found a grassy spot where I could sit. I unfolded the poncho and sat down on that to keep my butt from getting wet and pulled out the folded up dollar bills from my pocket. I open them up and got the tinfoil out. Opening it up, I saw the two tiny purple tabs of acid, and I felt relieved. They were still dry. I folded everything back up and stuck the dollar bills back into my pocket. I stood up and stuck the poncho back under my arm, and that was when I saw her.

Standing next to the trailer was a girl or young woman--I couldn't tell how old she was for her back was to me-- talking to a priest. She had on a blue mesh top, and as far as I could tell her skin showed through the net-like material. Her wavy red hair cascaded over her shoulders, and my imagination run wild as I thought I might be able to see her breasts through the flimsy material. I walked over to where I could get a better look.

My heart raced again, and my groin began to swell for I found myself staring at two beautiful breasts that were quite visible through her mesh top. I put my hand in my pocket to try to hide my erection.

I tried to be nonchalant as I took turns looking at the priest, at the ground, and back to her breasts. I thought it odd that she would be talking to a priest of all people with her breasts showing like that. The priest himself seemed quite at ease with the situation, as if he were talking to a nun.

She had a cute face, I saw, with freckles, and she continued to talk to the priest as if I were not there. That suited me just fine for if she paid me no attention it would be easier to gaze upon her breasts without seeming overly obvious.

I had seen a few Playboys in my time, and I knew what breasts looked like in a magazine, but this was the first time I had ever seen a pair in real life. As I pretended to follow their conversation, I took my time and stood there for a good fifteen minutes while I spent most of my time gazing at this young woman's wonderful set of mammaries.

This was truly my high point of Woodstock. This made all the cold and heat, wind and rain, and lack of food and water truly worth it. But the show wasn't over yet. I still had two hits of acid, which I planned to share with John and maybe even the girls if they wanted some. And there was Sherry. I still had my hopes up of something happening with her. But still, I had made out with girls before and I had tripped before, but I had never seen a woman's breasts before, and these were round and firm with big nipples just as I'd seen in Playboy.
I hated to leave, but now that the rain had stopped, I was sure that John and the girls would be expecting me back. So with one last good look at those beautiful bosoms, I tore myself away and headed back to the tent feeling great. I felt no matter what happened now, nothing could detract from the wonderful elation I felt from seeing my first set of real breasts.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part thirteen

We all got back to the tent, and Linda and Sherry took turns crawling inside. Sherry went first and came out with a blanket, and then Linda crawled in bringing out a book.

John and I stood together a little farther away than we normally would have. We watched the girls take their places on the blanket. Linda lay down on her side and propped her book open and began to read. Sherry sat down, and hugged her knees to her chest.

The way they were positioned there wasn't really room for John and I, and we just stood there watching. I was a loss as to what to do, and I didn't think John had any better thoughts, but when I looked at him he seemed amused at the situation.

I turned around and stuck my hands in my pockets. I looked in the direction of the road, but I was doing more thinking than looking. What had I gotten myself into, and what would I do now? I was torn between being angry with John and feeling sorry for myself, and feeling sorry for myself was winning out.

I was hundreds of miles from home in the most god-awful place in the world that I'd ever been. First there'd been waking up soaking wet freezing cold from the rain. Then there was the baking heat of the day. Where there wasn't grass, there was mud. Now there wasn't any food or drink, the place had been declared a disaster area, and John had distanced our only two friends. All of a sudden I felt beat down, scared, lonely and terribly homesick, and for the first time since getting there I wished I had a cigarette. The pack I'd come up with had gotten wet in the rain, and I'd never seen anywhere to buy any more. With all that was going on, I hadn't really thought about cigarettes, but right then a couple of drags sure would've felt good.

"Johnny Lee," John called. His voice startled me out of my thoughts of hopelessness. "Come on over and join us."

I turned around and was surprised to see that he was sitting down with Linda and Sherry. Linda had put down her book, and was sitting up with her legs off to her side, and John was sitting close to Linda. She was laughing and looking at John, and my anger turned to admiration for the guy. He sure had a way with women.

I walked a little quicker than I needed to to join the three, and sitting down I felt a sense of relief. Sherry relaxed her fetal position letting one leg stretch out in my direction. I looked at her, and she gave me one of her coy smiles. I couldn't help but grin back. All seemed well again.

"I know a man," John said to me. He had a sly smile on his face.

"What man?" I asked. I knew the routine well.

"The man with the power."

"What power?"

"The power of hoo-doo."

"Who do?"

"The man with the power."

"What power?"

"The power of hoo-doo."

"Who do?"

"The man with the power."

By this time Linda and Sherry were laughing and Linda let out a snort, and John and I laughed at that, and all without pot. Actually, I think we all might've been somewhat stoned from earlier. I could still feel it myself.

"That was dumb," Linda said. She had a smile on her face.

"But it made you laugh," John pointed out.

"True," Linda agreed. "Know any more?"

Without hesitation John asked me, "What's the word?"

"Thunderbird," I replied.

"What's the price?"

"A quarter twice."

"What's the action?"

"Satisfaction," I said stretching out the syllables.

The girls laughed again but without the same enthusiasm as the first time. "What's Thunderbird?" Linda asked.

"You never heard of Thunderbird?" John asked.

"No," Linda answered. "Have you?" she asked Sherry.

"No" Sherry seemed surprised she'd been asked.

"It's a cheap wine that bums drink," John said.

"Well, we don't know any bums, do we, Sherry?"

"I don't know," she said, "I could name one."

"Oh yes," Linda said, "him." She gave Sherry a knowing glance.

"Yeah," Sherry said. She sounded resentful.

The girls were interrupted by an announcement being made over the PA system.

"We have some good news people," the voice echoed over the hill. "But first let us apologize for the lack of food and water. We were expecting 75,000 people and instead we get half a million! But isn't it great? This many people getting together and having nothing but peace and love for one another. It's never been done before. But back to the good news. The Hog Farm has set up some food lines for anyone who is hungry, and they are located near the pink tent of the first aid center. We're also expecting several water trucks shortly to deliver fresh water, and they will be located at various locations. We're not sure where yet, but as soon as we know we will let you know. The Red Cross has donated several truckloads of sandwiches and they will be distributed at the concession stands free of charge. In case you've noticed the army helicopters flying in, don't freak out. They are delivering emergency medical supplies. Joe Cocker will be on soon so stay cool people."

"So that's what those helicopters were for," Linda said.

"Yeah," John said, "I was starting to think we were under attack." He chuckled.

"I'm glad they're bringing in food and water," Sherry said.

I nodded my head in agreement.

I looked at my watch and it was after two, and I wondered why it had taken so long for a band to get ready to start. It was terribly hot, but I liked the way the sun felt as it baked into my skin. As hot as it was I didn't feel sweaty the way I did when it was hot at home. I guess the mountain air was a lot less humid than it was in the low-lying areas around the Potomac.

"Does anyone want to go up on the hill to see Joe Cocker?" John asked.

I wasn't that crazy about Joe Cocker, but I said, "Sure."

"We might as well," Linda said.

"Okay," Sherry said.

So the four of us went up on the hill for the second time that day and found a place to sit. Joe Cocker came out as promised and began to play, and I took out my camera and took a picture. Then within minutes the blue sky gave way to ominously dark clouds.

"We better get back," Linda said. "It's going to storm."

We all four got up, and Linda and Sherry gathered up the blanket, and we headed back to the tent. A crack of thunder rolled across the sky as if a forewarning of what was to come, and we hurried our pace. We were very close to the tent when the rain began to start. It started out as a drizzle, but then suddenly it was if buckets of water were being poured from the sky.

We were lucky, though. We made it back to the tent just in time. There was only room for Linda and Sherry inside, but they had a couple of ponchos that they lent to John and I. Just as we got them on was when the big storm hit. Had we been a minute later we would have been soaked. As it was, the girls' ponchos saved us.

John and I left the girls to wait it out in their tent while we went wandering through the wasteland of mud and water. Small lakes sprang up everywhere, and then the wind gusted up fiercely. My face got soaked before I could turn my back into the torrents. For a moment it was impossible to see, and when the wind finally died down, I could find John nowhere.

The downpour slowed to a heavy drizzle, and the thunder stopped. I wandered down the road the way of my morning's stroll in muddy boots and jeans wet from the knees down, and many of the people rather than cringing from the storm seemed to embrace it as a gift to be enjoyed. They may have been soaked, but they welcomed the rain with arms outstretched and raised to the sky.

I dodged the deeper puddles as I made my way down through the mucky thoroughfare till I came across the path that led to the front of the stage. It was crowded, but people were courteous as they threaded through one another as corpuscles through a capillary. It was somewhere along that way--between the rain and the crowds it was hard to see exactly where--that I ran across a hill that people were using as a giant mud slide. I watched as folks took turns slipping down the smooth slippery surface covered with the soft, sticky earth. It was a good hundred feet long, and a ride might take five or ten seconds. The one thing I couldn't get out of my mind was how these people were going to get clean afterwards, and then I remembered hearing of a nearby lake where nude swimming went on. I would've liked to have seen that.
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