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From the Appalachians


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#1 Atehequa

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 10:38 PM

Loft Mountain Sonnet

 

 

Sweet isolation far from any town
No unnatural noise and artificial light
We are camping atop Loft mountain tonight
The full moon and many stars shining down
Upon friendly faces, not a single frown
Sitting by a good campfire burning bright
Mindful of the outer darkness beyond our sight
Rum, whisky and work week woe to drown
Having a fine Friday morning for our early start
Now upon Loft Mountain and of happy heart
Listening to the crickets and katydids sing
Up over the ridge, a cool gentle breeze
Leaves dancing upon branches high in the trees
A beautiful place to be camped in Spring
 
 
Mist Shrouded Ridges
 
 
Ascending  into the southern Alleghenies
Mist shrouded mysterious ridges loom
Shadowy sloping rises, densely forested
Ancient mountains in their primeval gloom
 
Deeply grooved by cold clear water cascading
Thousands of such many fast falling streams
Far older than the Alps, Andes and Rockies
Where the spirits of the wild sway dreams
 
Take us northward winding river valley road
Upon magnificent vistas our driver dares a glance
Lofty ridges looming above the Jackson River
In the soft breeze bright wildflowers dance
 
A year of civilized culture falling away
Spring shedding of winter’s old skin
These ancient mountains have embraced us
It is good to be up in the Alleghenies again

 


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#2 Atehequa

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 12:27 PM

Mist Maiden
 
 
 
 
Thick fog shrouded the Blue Ridge Parkway 
Straining our eyes, barely able to see 
The last two winding miles we traveled 
Were rather frightening to some degree 
 
Lucky enough not to have run off the road 
Southward on our way to Otter Creek 
The next exit we took, carefully descending 
A natural setback in plans that vacation week 
 
Down from those foggy mountains we came 
The best of these conditions we would make 
Driving down into a familiar misty vale 
Tonight we would camp at Sherando Lake 
 
Tents pitched, settled in, we made our fire 
The surrounding ridges, obscured in fog 
All the while our party was entertained 
By the loud trilling of a gray tree frog 
 
The shrill passion of his evening song 
Lovesick, not giving his voice a rest 
At such no one could possibly complain 
As here we were only his humble guests 
 
Over Sherando Lake and up into the boughs 
Ghostly swirling tendrils of mountain mist 
Rather eerie, but mysteriously beautiful 
A view our smoke filled eyes could not resist 
 
The tree frog continued his trilling song 
Drifting fog seemingly blotting out the dark 
Illuminated by the fire, a weird golden glow 
Some miles north of our intended mark 
 
Deep in our cups, a calming sense of ease 
Quite sublime at camp in these wooded hills 
Raising many a cheer to this foggy night 
And the tree frog’s loud lovesick trills 
 
Rather suddenly his trilling song ceased 
We bade him goodnight and a fond farewell 
And continued with our heathenish revelry 
Happily camped for tonight in this misty vale 
 
The fog thinned into raggedy swirling shreds 
Allowing us to gaze at the silvery full moonrise 
No one seeing her silently drift into our camp 
Somewhat sodden, she caught us by surprise 
 
Her strange eyes were like blue sapphires 
Her long thick hair was as pale as the fog 
A slight grin played on her pearly white lips 
On her bare bosom sat the little tree frog 
 
Never did those pale white lips open 
Yet we all could hear her musical talk 
Advancing in slowly like drifting mist 
We were amazed as she did not walk 
 
Although her words were quite unfamiliar 
Their meaning was somewhat clear 
I knew full well we were in no harm 
As her strange demeanor bespoke not of fear 
 
Amazed, but reverend, we returned polite response 
But she only laughed then drifted back into the fog 
Somewhat shaken, we all took a long deep quaff 
Again entertained by her trilling gray tree frog
 

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#3 Horne

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 05:31 PM

Atehequa, have you ever considered publishing? I think your poetry is remarkable! In some ways it reminds me of the poetry of my friend Helle. http://www.hellevana...ategory/poetry/


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“Awake becomes
what once was known,

forgetfulness is fleeting.”


#4 Atehequa

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 06:07 PM

Atehequa, have you ever considered publishing? I think your poetry is remarkable! In some ways it reminds me of the poetry of my friend Helle. http://www.hellevana...ategory/poetry/

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Your friend writes well. Interesting imagery. 

 

I've not published anything as of yet. Just odes to places where the wild muses inspire. Where the wild spirits sway dreams and ever serve as a reminder of just how small I am. 


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#5 Atehequa

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:47 AM

Quietly Watching Life
 
 
 
Sitting alone or so I thought 
A short rest and time to take in the view 
At a peaceful place in a time of strife 
Quietly watching life 
While it watches me 
Onyx eyes, inlaid with gold 
Skin slowly changing from green to grey 
Down from dry lofty boughs 
Lounging on a wet rock 
Water smoothed almost into a egg shape 
Pushed up by the rushing spring flow 
Like a monolith rising out of the bank 
Now nearly as grey as the rock 
Secure in his camouflage 
He issued a quick chirping trill 
Smiling, I return a softer greeting 
Ever appreciative of good company 
Even if he was not talking to me 
A gentle late summer breeze 
Delivers the scent of death 
From atop a flat rock, not three paces away 
A dead timber rattler leering at me 
Lidless eyes that never betrayed the pain of dying 
Of broken fangs and empty belly 
A chosen place at which to die 
I have to wonder if there was a reckoning 
Between the dying viper 
And the ghosts of all the life it consumed 
Dead upon the rock it lies 
Soon to feed the swarms of ants and flies 
Or a nocturnal feast for a hungry raccoon 
A dragonfly hovers and zips away 
Following her swift flight down over the water 
My eyes fell upon an old box turtle 
Mottled yellow head half submerged 
Taking in a long cool draught 
Raising that head from the water 
There was probably a century or more of knowledge 
In those blood red eyes 
Seemingly regarding me with little concern 
Having already keenly picked up my scent 
I wondered if he ever  encountered
Human kind before this morning 
Ever a place to sit and dream 
Watching life come and go, by a stream
 
 
 
Motor Lodge Shangri-La
 
 
A sunny day to begin with 
Then dark clouds rushed in from the south 
Thunder, bright flashes of summer lightning 
Torrential rain pounding upon our one window 
The four of us a bit too high, but not that dry 
Having sought shelter from the elements again 
Inside a double occupancy room at the Afton Inn 
Liquor flowed and in the pipe smoldered Panama Red 
 
A rainy evening to begin with 
Tapering off at dusk when the fog arrived 
Door open, seeing nothing within this cloud 
Mountain top merriment, far away from it all 
Hiking, camping and our usual highland tramping 
Could well wait until tomorrow morning's sunrise 
Tonight we reveled and caught up with the altitude 
Four of us merry adventurers bivouacking comfortably 
 
The local spirits seemed at peace 
As we ventured out onto the concrete walkway 
Our short term cabin fever cooled by the damp air 
Gazing out, but all around me is obscured by fog 
Parking lot, cars and the surrounding wooded hills 
Echoing the many shrill chirping and trilling night songs 
Laughter and music, several doors down from our room 
Other refugees from the Blue Ridge's unpredictable weather 
 
I can still remember that evening 
A good earthy smell and barely visible hotel lights 
Motor lodge Shangri-La, it's glowing sign like a beacon 
Seen from Interstate 64, but not upon such foggy nights 
We were fortunate having a good excuse for dropping by 
Young adventurers aloof, thirty six or so Virginia summers ago 
Traveling up through sunshine and rain from the coastal plain 
Well provisioned, pleasantly elated and quite blissfully optimistic 
 
As if from the forgotten mists of time 
With our panjandrum swagger we entered the lounge 
Tipping my stetson at two provocatively clad waitresses 
Meeting the sneering glares of the posturing local bucks 
Their stomping ground, but we could well handle ourselves 
My crazy cousin Charlie and good comrades Denny and Bear 
All veterans of a good many wild swinging barroom brawls 
However on that foggy evening, we were happy to hunt birds
 
Attached File  2qc35mu.jpg   34.41KB   0 downloads

Edited by Atehequa, 21 October 2014 - 12:49 AM.

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#6 Atehequa

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 10:10 PM

Two Hundred Miles Away

 

A short drive down that crumbling lane
An old mountain road's sad state of disrepair
My escape when life becomes much too insane
Soothing nature sounds shooing away despair
The few times I sat there enjoying  good smoke
Many miles away from it all with hardly a care
Pleasant daydreams from which I happily awoke
 
Then came that warm late summer afternoon
After a two hundred mile drive from a Williamsburg bar 
Somewhat blurry eyed, I rolled in like an invasive buffoon
Recently jilted, another drunken moon calf poet from afar
Not having any inclination, she would be standing there
As vivid as a patch of wildflowers and glimmering like a star
That vision of beauty holding fast more than my ogling stare
 
Eyes the color of pools in a mountain stream
The golden hue of Autumn meadow grass in her hair
That warm smile surely not another afternoon daydream
Those full sensuous lips I wanted to kiss, but did not dare
Set against the meandering river and scenic highland views
Beauty which such seasonal vistas cannot possibly compare
Absolutely enchanting and inspiring, that Shenandoah muse
 
Attached File  2nw1zjm.jpg   52.63KB   0 downloads

Edited by Atehequa, 21 October 2014 - 10:12 PM.

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#7 Anth77

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 12:32 AM

Take it from me. Publish the poems. Make a book!  Very nice poems.


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#8 Atehequa

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 12:03 AM

Take it from me. Publish the poems. Make a book!  Very nice poems.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

A long time ago I heard stories about a creature called the ghost cat, hunter of humans, especially lone travelers, or women and children. Now they could of been talking about a panther, a name for the eastern mountain lion, but the way my grandma and grandaunt would speak of this menace, it was some other type of big man eating  feline.

 

Ghost Cat

 

 
Her friends off to the campground store 
Leaving Emily with a fire to be made 
Short on beans, they went for some more 
Leaving Emily alone in this shadowy glade 
 
Silently descending the dark wooded hill 
Silently through the mist shrouded trees 
Coming down at dusk to eat his fill 
The scent of prey riding upon a breeze 
 
Never before had she been to this place 
A cool breeze stirring her soft brown hair 
Cool mountain air blushing her fair face 
Not too far below the ghost cat’s lair 
 
Tawny and pale grey with rosettes of black 
Throat crushing jaws, slashing claws, amber eyes 
Savagely snarling, sniffing a familiar track 
An ancient man eater stalks under darkening skies 
 
No neighborly campers this early in the Spring 
She smiled as her kindling leaped into flame 
Pile on a log, an ice cold beer and a song to sing 
High in the Appalachians, dark and untamed 
 
Yellow glowing eyes in the shadows deep 
So near above yet far beyond her good sight 
So near enough for a swift deadly leap 
Sure death stalking with the coming of night 
 
No sign of young  Emily when they returned 
Her name they were frantically calling 
The log didn’t catch, but the kindling burned 

Of Emily they knew not what had terribly befallen 


Edited by Atehequa, 29 October 2014 - 12:04 AM.

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#9 Caps

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 01:25 AM

Wait, are there other names for this entity?


"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#10 Atehequa

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 10:39 PM

Wait, are there other names for this entity?

********************************************************

 

To the Muskogee it is the Isti Papa. I imagine some may call it a Wampus Cat. 


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#11 Caps

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:47 AM

Interesting

This may be relevant to my current investigation.


"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#12 Atehequa

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 11:59 PM

Forgotten Strand of Pine

 

 
All those places and times well remembered
While in this strand of pine which I shall forget
To be left far behind and forever from my sight
The wooden steps, old storm door and porch light
Those nights within a dim room much too numb to fret
 
Another fast fading false sense of serenity
The temporary peace while scornful souls sleep
Before me a manuscript book, in my hand a pen
Once more pondering a journey I will soon begin
In morning's predawn hours before the shadows creep
 
Daylight will find me high in the Appalachians
Far from an existence that slowly stifles and kills
The glaring ungracious eyes and work's daily round
Hours and miles away having left without a sound
As far as I can see, the mist shrouded dark wooded hills
 
Reborn and like a new mother the mountains dote
Life taking on a new meaning while she comforts me
What has been left far behind swiftly escapes my mind
Not a single memory will remain of an old life unkind
One beyond another, those misty mountains as far as I can see
 
Days spent roaming upon ridges, slopes and in hollows
Nights spent resting beside a cascading mountain stream
Outcroppings of grey stone, half covered in green moss
Other valleys, rivers and creeks which I will happily cross
That strand of pine, far behind, becomes naught but a bad dream

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#13 Atehequa

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 11:33 PM

From Manedowikamekoiki
 
 
 
Gentle breeze 
Sweet scents 
The wildflowers 
Vivid green foliage 
 
That enchanting scenery
An Appalachian meadow 
 
A change in temperature 
Then the fog came rolling in 
Spring evoked ancestral memories 
Old kindred spirits, they came a calling 
 
Seating themselves by my blazing campfire 
These ancient people of the southern wind 
 
Visiting spirits of those who have passed 
They came from Manedowikamekoiki 
Distant realm of the departed 
A destination awaiting me 
 
Every time they visit 
Serves as a reminder 
 
That foggy evening 
Shadowy visitors 
Whispered words 
Smiling faces

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#14 Atehequa

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 10:46 PM

Wilderness Victory

 

 

 
Drifting about by the Monongahela 
Gun smoke and the scent of gore 
Victorious howls ripping the air 
Into black nothingness, dead eyes stare 
Battlefield spoils are plucked from the slain 
 
Muskets, shot, powder and swords 
Food, liquor and captive camp followers 
Wounded soldiers, faces blackened for the stake 
Continuing on with Braddock a fatal mistake 
A captured Cherokee scout singing his death song 
 
He should of turned back with the others
Wise older warriors, returning to Tennessee 
Young and eager for the honors of war 
In a land he had never treaded before 
Stunned by a musket ball grazing his head 
 
Like the other British and Long Knife kin 
The French pleaded for the Cherokee’s life 
To pile him with gifts and set him free 
Blood enemies, the Shawnee refused clemency 
The French had hoped to court Cherokee alliance 
 
Bound to a tree and scalped alive 
Through hideous torture he sang his song 
Young and never having slain a foe 
Into the world of spirits he would go 
Never crying out under their knives and brands 
 
A whole supply train the British had left 
Wagon after wagon on the road they cut 
Leaving it behind they went on the run 
Led by a Long Knife chief called Washington 
Bearing the wounded General Braddock away 
 
Donning a slain officer’s hat and scarlet coat 
A drunken Potawatomi mimics marching step 
Deep into the stores of rum they did find 
Laughing, some of the Odawa fell in behind 
Quite mirthful in their easy victory 
 
Tonight a celebration at Fort Duquesne 
To honor all present and the friendly fallen 
Cheering fellow fighters at this given chance 
As they had stopped cold the British advance 
Keeping the Ohio country from under the Union Jack 
 
Casks of ale, rum and strong corn whisky 
Many green glass bottles of brandy and wine 
The Odawa and Potawatomi put on a victory dance 
In honor of their old allies from far away France 
This wild celebration went on through the night
 
 
 
 
 

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#15 Atehequa

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 07:47 PM

Catching up with the Altitude.


Edited by Atehequa, 17 November 2014 - 08:26 PM.

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#16 Atehequa

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 07:49 PM

Catching up with the altitude

 

Part one - The Colony House Motel

 

 

Before we even departed I knew this excursion was not going to be like the last. There were no tents, tarps, cordage or any other camping gear aside from a Weber grill. There were a few small coolers, two large ice chests, plenty of alcoholic beverages and other substances. For the next five days we would lodge and revel in comfortable accommodations. 
 
While pulling into the motel parking lot I thought: 'Well sheltered from unpredictable weather conditions, but we are at the mercy of our own self indulgence.'
 
Whitey and I arrived first, but the others pulled in a half minute later. My good friend Bear and I would take care of registering two double occupancy rooms high around the motel's back side. Built on a sloping hillside, the Colony House Motel's upper back rooms would allow for a bit more privacy than around front. Paying for a night's lodging for now, we drove up the steep lane to our rooms. Before unloading gear and provisions we checked out our accommodations. Bear and Denny unlocked the door and ambled in. Whitey and I entered our room. Sharing a room with Whitey would be better than being kept awake all night listening to Bear's thunderous snoring. Lean built, slightly above medium height with shoulder length dirty blonde hair, Whitey was a few years younger than me and although somewhat of a borderline psychotic, he did not snore. Enduring six months of my roommate's overly loud snoring which went through our apartment's thin walls, I looked forward to a good night's sleep without having to insert hearing protection. Denny lost a coin flip and ended up with Bear. "Good thick walls." I said to myself while knocking upon one. However there was one small problem, a thin wooden inside door which led into Bear and Denny's room. Putting the key into that door, I opened it and saw yet another door which flew open. "Howdy there neighbor!" Bear roared. "Let's get our shit inside and commence to celebrating!" Taking a good look at Whitey, he said: "Looks like you've already started." Having crashed at our pad last night, Whitey had been swilling beer and smoking weed since our late morning departure from Williamsburg. After picking up supplies in Charlottesville, I had to drive his Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck here. Thank goodness Afton Mountain was fog free on this sunny early summer day and my staying sober in case the interstate was obscured by a low cloud. 
 
Travel bags, suitcases, coolers, ice chests, boxes, paper bags contained all we would need to get us through at least a few days. First getting our meat and other perishables into the two motel mini fridges, we then took stock of other provisions. Never a liquor drinker, unless absolutely necessary, Whitey had brought in five cases of his favorite Budweiser beer and a half ounce of some mid grade weed. He stared at the stack of beer on our floor and muttered: "I should of got a few more cases." For the last half decade, I rarely saw him sober. A beer drinker since he was twelve, for the last several years since getting a job at Newport News Shipyard, Whitey had become a chronic alcoholic. Just two weeks ago he got his full driving privileges back after his second DUI. Pulling a beer off the stack, Whitey looked about the room, popped open the can, emptied it's warm contents down his gullet, belched and declared: "I like this kind of camping!" 
"Damn right!" Bear growled while entering our room. "No pitching tents, no stringing up tarps, no sleeping on the ground, no snoopy ass campground neighbors or park rangers."
"No campfires, no nature sounds, no picnic table to feast, drink and gamble upon, you fragile old woman." I returned then inquired what party favors did he bring along.
"Three cases of Ballatine Cream Ale, two bottles of Crown Royal, a fifth of Smirnoff, and a half gallon of dark Bacardi Rum."
"What no dope?" I asked knowing Bear had scored a quarter ounce of cocaine yesterday. Not wanting the others to know about this just yet, he cut me a fierce glare. "You're the dope man." He told me, then inquired: "So what are we smoking?" 
"Just that shit Whitey has." I lied having a little surprise of my own. Whitey however barked: "Shit is it? Fuck y'all, I'll smoke it all myself and share none with you!" At that Bear smiled and whispered: "Denny supposedly has in his possession a big hunk of hashish."
"Do say." Whitey returned with a grin. Then I ran down my inventory. "Two bottles of mescal, three fifths of Stolichnaya, a jug of homemade peach and berry brandy and if yer good I've got a surprise." 
"A surprise, oh that will be fucking swell!" Whitey slurred.
"I've two cases of Becks and plenty of cognac!" Denny shouted from the other room over the cable television noise he had brought forth.
"Turn that damn thing off!" Bear growled then plugged in our boom box and fiddled with the FM dial until finding a decent rock-n-roll station. "I'm sick of fucking television, let's listen to some music." 
 
Entering the room with a small Tupperware container, Denny chuckled: "Oh I've got a treat for you boys."
"A treat?" Whitey mocked.
Lifting the air tight lid Denny shoved the container into Whitey's face and said: "Take of whiff of this you sot."
"It's hash." Whitey returned without any hint of excitement.
"Black Moroccan." Denny added. "When's the last time you seen anything like that around here?"
"Not since around 1977." I replied while having a whiff myself. Going for my travel bag, I said: "Well kids since it's show and tell time,," Pulling an old honey jar out, I continued: "Have ye a look at and whiff of this, my friends." Crammed inside were large dark green and purplish dried reefer flower tops. Like Denny's Tupperware container, my jar went around as well. 
"What a strangely wonderful aroma." Denny stated, then inquired: "Where in the hell did you come across this?" Not wanting to reveal my connection, I replied: "Some Kat I met in a bar." In all actuality, this smoke came from our downstairs neighbor back home, a young William and Mary student who was putting himself through school by selling drugs. He had also sold Bear the cocaine. We kept his identity a secret as not to screw up a good connection. "That Kat said it was Burmese brain bender. I've not tried any yet, but now seems a good time to start. Reaching into the travel bag again I grabbed my steatite pipe. Plucking a bud from the jar, I broke it apart and loaded my stone bowl. Raising it aloft, I pointed it's stem to the north, east, south and west then blessed the bowl with butane flame. 
 
The pipe went around three times before it was spent and oddly enough I felt nothing at all. Evidently no one else did as well. "What kind of beat shit is that, man? Hope it didn't cost you alot, because if it did, you got spanked, fellow. And you called my weed mid-grade shit." Whitey hissed. Never having gotten spanked on weed by my neighbor, had me wondering what I spent a hundred and fifty bucks on. Then it sneaked up and grabbed me by my skull like a bobcat pouncing upon a cottontail. Before I could blather a word, Bear issued a low howl and said: "That's some serious crazy ass creep weed, man."
"Indeed." Denny concurred atop a chuckle. Turning my altered attention upon Whitey, I scoffed. "Spanked, eh? Spanked your fucking brain, boy."
"Let's mix some hash with it." Denny suggested while placing his chunk of Black Moroccan on the motel table. With a pocket knife he shaved off a few small pieces. "Well if this Burmese trip weed doesn't take us up there, that black bubblegum hash will." I laughed then proceeded to break up another bud. Bear then chimed in. "If that don't take us up, I've got something that surely will." Never much of a cocaine user, I would at least snort a small amount once Bear brought it out and before my comrades went into a coke snorting frenzy. Off course this didn't mean that Bear was a cocaine addict, but during such excursions, we would all overly indulge upon one or more substances. As long as we kept everything cool and didn't trouble other guests, the Colony House Motel appreciated our patronage. However we would have to keep a leash on Whitey, especially when the cocaine came out and I knew that evil white powder would soon make it's appearance. 
 
The weed-hashish mixture should of been enough for now. We were well up there after our second bowl full, but for some, that wasn't quite enough.
 
Rising from the edge of a bed, Bear lumbered into his room then a minute later all hell broke loose. "It's not here!" We heard him roar followed by a thunderous flurry of cursing. Entering the other room we found Bear, tearing through his travel bag. "What the hell is going on?" I inquired. Wheeling about, his bloodshot stormy grey eyes blazing, Bear bellowed: "It's not here!"
"What's not here?"
"My fucking coke!"
"Did you remember to pack it?" 
Bear tilted his shaggy head upwards, gazed at the ceiling fan and replied: "I can't remember."
"You addled dope head." I sneered, but Bear paid me no mind as he reflected upon his movements before leaving our apartment. "I'll bet I left it in my dresser drawer." He sadly mumbled, "Or did I leave it in my other pants pocket in the dirty clothes bin?"
"Oh don't fret, you oaf." I said, "We've got enough here to see us comfortably through. Crack open a bottle of mescal and have a few good slugs." Personally I for one was glad Bear had forgotten his cocaine. No telling what sort of problems it would of brought about.
 
Still a bit down regarding his forgetfulness, Bear with a bottle of mescal in one hand and bottle of grapefruit juice in the other grimly stated: "We need ice."
"Why yes we do." I agreed and added: "Cards or coin toss?" That's how we decided who would carry out tasks or make runs in those days. We all voted on drawing cards. Shuffling the deck and allowing Denny to cut, I was offered the first draw. A eight of diamonds, but luck was on my side as Whitey drew a two of hearts, Bear a two of spades and Denny a four of diamonds. "Diamonds win!" I laughed. Bear and Whitey muttered a few choice words and set about hauling our two large ice chests out to the ice machine. Once they had exited our lodgings Denny commented: "Maybe it's a good thing he forgot that coke. I'm screwed up enough as it is." I had to agree with him. "Top shelf booze, hashish and weed, what else could we possibly need?" 
"Some ice and maybe something to eat a little later." Denny replied as I placed a little more weed in my pipe, lit it up and passed it to him. Exhaling a stream of smoke he said: "Several buxom mountain gals would add a nice,," His words were interrupted by Bear and Whitey's return. "Man this place is fucking dead!" the latter hissed as he dragged an ice chest into the door. "There's only two other rooms taken from what I've seen."
"It's Thursday and still early." I reminded Whitey, adding "When this place starts filling up tonight or tomorrow, we can't have you troubling the other guests like what happened in that hotel down in Nags Head last summer." It was around this time last year that Whitey got us kicked out of a nice beachfront hotel by picking a fight with a lounge bartender for cutting him off due to excessive drunkenness and over all bad behavior. Having never been in a loving relationship, Whitey's approach in regards to females was rather lewd. His affairs were short and lasciviously boisterous either with what we referred to as party chicks, or hookers, but even those women could stand him for no more than a weekend, if that. Bear and I on the other hand were dating a couple of Colonial Williamsburg employees, but it wasn't anything overly serious. Denny like his brother R.W. had hooked up with pretty young women from very wealthy families who took care of most of their needs. Denny worked seasonably as a roofer while R.W. tended in a hotel lounge which was also somewhat seasonal. My roommate Bear worked as maintenance man for our apartment complex which allowed us a discount in rent. I worked two jobs as a maintenance man for another apartment complex and as a line cook at Williamsburg's Holiday Inn 1776. In fact the hotel restaurant's manager was a bit miffed I had taken five days off at the beginning of summer. 'Too bad' I thought as she had okayed this time off back in March. She had somewhat of a crush on me, so I didn't expect all that much flack upon my return to work. A company women, she suggested we stay at the Afton Mountain Holiday Inn, but I informed her that the Colony House was considerably cheaper, but would gladly bivouac at a company hotel if either she pay for our room, or else give me a raise. I embraced my manager in a bear hug, planted a kiss on her lips, then said "Love you. See you in several days." and ambled out not realizing the outcome of such a casual display of affection. 
 
Aside from Bear's occasional growling about not having his cocaine, all was blissfully euphoric. A giant of a man, Bear was good to have around as his size alone intimidated others not to trouble us with any unnecessary bullshit. Near 7' tall, powerfully built, with a mane of long shaggy brass colored hair and a beard of a golden reddish hue he looked like some ancient Germanic or Norse tribesman. All he lacked was a harness of scale mail and a spangenhelm. As usual he was clad in blue denim, both shirt and jeans. Even in the hottest of weather conditions he garbed himself in this manner. With his perfectly combed shoulder length dark brown hair and eyes of the same color, Denny was probably the most handsome of our party. Denny along with his brother R.W. had been married and divorced, both had fathered children and now paid child support. By moving to Williamsburg they more or less discarded their old lives, children included. When not working, or in the company of their rich girlfriends, they drank and pursued other young women which abounded in Williamsburg. Bear and I had wagered on which one of the brothers would get caught cheating first and come knocking upon our door for a place to crash. I was kind of glad that R.W. wasn't here because upon occasion the two brothers would fight with one another over some of the stupidest reasons. Making sure he wasn't coming up, I inquired:
 
"Think anyone else is coming up?"
 
Throwing down a shot of mescal then chasing it with grapefruit juice, Bear stated: "Well if they don't arrive by tomorrow afternoon they're going to be shit out of luck as all the other rooms will be taken by then." He then inquired if I invited our old friend Flip, who still lived in Hampton. Whitey living not all that far from Flip replied. "You know Flippy is now in a family way. He ain't going to be going anywhere like this with us for awhile."
"Poor bastard knocked up his current wife on their first date and now she has another one in the oven." I informed them, adding "And no, Flip will not be joining us." Whitey then imparted some dreadful news. "My cousin Joyce attends nursing school with Flip's wife and she overheard her tell another chick that after he puts her through school she's taking the kids and leaving him."
"It's like he has a sign on him saying use me or I'm a human step ladder. Maybe someone should hip Flip of his wife's plans." Bear grimly stated.
"Well it ain't going to be me." I said, "I tried hipping him that his last lady love was running around on him only to have that dolt accuse me of attempting to break them up so I could get into the sack with her. In fact she had already approached me with such an offer, but unlike you, Whitey, I didn't take her up on it." All of our glassy bloodshot eyes were upon Whitey, but he cackled in twisted mirth. "Hell, I was tapping Donna a week after she got up with Flip up until they broke up a little over a year ago." At that Denny howled with laughter and chuckled: "Damn Skid, you were tapping Donna for almost five years?"
"On occasion after he dropped her off at home following one of their dates. You know the deal, Denny after tapping her a few times yourself."
"You damn dirty dogs!" I growled, "Right after a date, you didn't even give her a chance to shower?" At that Whitey winked at Denny and then both of them cackled like hyenas.
"Shit!" Whitey hissed, "Donna wasn't giving up to Flip. That goof was hanging onto honeymoon promises. As soon as she got where she was going in life, Donna ditched Flip for a Langley fly boy. She told me to fuck off as well." Denny in jest rubbed his eyes while feigning crying. "Oh poor Flippy the bad luck hippy." Then with a sinister grin said: "Such is the lives of fools and dogs." Having broken up with a high school sweetheart who was seduced by Denny while I worked at my after school job, I returned with: " Remember Denny, when the dog is away, the cat will play." He knew exactly what I was referring to as I had returned that past breech of friendship by seducing his now ex wife while he was cheating with another woman. "Dogs, cats and fools." I chuckled and asked: "So Denny, what about R.W., is he coming up tomorrow like he said?"
"His girlfriend won't let him come unless she comes with him." Denny replied.
"Oh so she's getting a little hip herself, eh?" I laughed.
"I hope to hell, he don't come up with that snooty wench." Bear growled, causing him to throw down another shot of mescal just thinking about her.
"Oh she wants to come up here, but my brother is dead against it."
"Why is that?" I inquired while accepting a shot that Bear poured for me.
"Because he thinks we're either going to drunkenly slip up and mention his running around, or else we're going to hit on Mia." Grapefruit juice dripping off his beard, Bear snarled and rumbled: "That little wench doesn't have to worry about me talking to her, much less hitting on her. I hope the fuck they both keep their prissy little asses in Williamsburg."
Mia, R.W.'s girlfriend was the half Asian daughter of a high ranking army officer. Having just turned eighteen, still living with her parents, she was going to attend William and Mary. Petite, with long raven black hair and jade green eyes, Mia was exotically beautiful, but spoiled rotten. Mia was also extremely rude to R.W.'s friends from the old neighborhood, especially Bear whom she referred to as a Neanderthal ogre. On a large allowance and also having cashed in on a deceased grandmother's trust fund, she was paying R.W.'s rent, other bills and keeping him well dressed. In return Mia had her own personal little party pad and love nest complete with a kept man, or so she thought. 
 
"For crying out loud, she has my brother looking like some foppish MTV video star dandy." Denny said with great disgust. "Floofy hair, eye liner, makeup, and prissy ass duds."
At that I issued a short bark of laughter. "Oh he's just keeping up with the times in order to score with the young chicks. It is after all 1983. But why are you belly aching over that fop? Both of you brothers have it pretty good for now."
"For now." Bear chuckled and rolled his bloodshot eyes at me at which I continued: "Both hooked up with young comely, naive in regards to meaningful loving relationships, but otherwise impressionable women of high means. Oh adventurous men of leisure. Both you and your brother are imparting a hard learned but otherwise valuable lesson to these young gals concerning what not to look for in a husband or soul mate. In time, unless they're addled, both will wise up and move on to places far from our places in this world. Hopefully they won't depart from your caddish lives as eternally scornful, man hating shrews." At that both Bear and Whitey howled with laughter. Denny's handsome face twisted into a snarl as he cut his dark eyes at us three. "You misanthropes are just envious, because the only women who will consort with your ilk are party chicks, call girls, lounge hookers and older wayward housewives!"
"Dogs, cats and fools." I repeated while Whitey was either bearing his teeth like a wild animal or smiling. It was difficult to tell the difference. "Let this bird of paradise come!" he hissed, "I for one would like to meet this Mia and get to know her better."
"Stop evoking that snobbish wench's name!" Bear growled, "I for one don't want her ass up here molesting my vacation!"
 
Then the phone in Bear's room began ringing. 
 
No one got up to answer it, but Bear slightly slurred: "Wonder who could be calling?" No sooner than he uttered those words the phone started ringing again. This time Bear rose to his feet and lumbered into the other room.
"Who is it?" We heard Bear growl and following a half minute of silence, "Tough luck man, there's no vacancy. We're all crammed into one room. Maybe you and Mia should head south down to Nags Head." followed by another half minute of silence then, "He's at the pool. Hey got to go now so later." Bear lumbered back into our room with a smirk upon his wide face. "Your brother R.W., but I took care of things."
"What do you mean, took care of things?" Denny asked.
"Look man, I don't want any drama, snobby little teen queens , or you and your brother getting into stupid little spats. After leaving my coke at home, I don't need any other screw ups, dig?" It was then I caught a weird glimmer in Bear's stormy grey eyes. "Wait a minute." He mumbled, then turned about and re-entered his room. This time he shut the inner door.
 
"Wonder what that was about?" Whitey chuckled while getting himself a half chilled beer from one of our ice chests. In the short time since we touched down here, He had already swilled down more than a six pack. Then a grim possibility bounced around in my skull. Pouring, then throwing down a shot of mescal, I replied: "If that oaf is doing what I think he's doing, I'm going to wrap a chair around his head." Right then the door opened and Bear lumbered in with a smile upon his face. "You fucking idiot!" I growled, "You told R.W. where the spare key was hidden outside so he can get your dope and bring it up here!"
"What are you psychic or something?" He laughed.
"Fool!"
"Fool, hell, jingle bells!" he chuckled. "Let him bring me my coke, then I'll banish his and Mia from our happy little camp."
"Oh you got it all planned out, eh?"
"Of course. Any objections?"
"Oh no, Great Bear, but remember, you reap what you sow, old boy."
"So when can we expect them?" Whitey inquired.
"Probably later tonight sometime." Bear returned, adding: "They're bringing up one of Mia's girlfriends, somebody named Brandy."
"Ahhh, Brandy." Denny happily sighed. 
"You know her?" Bear demanded while pouring himself a shot.
"She's a William and Mary junior, a year or so older than Mia. A tall leggy creature she is, built like a model, but I've only seen her once and that was a fleeting glimpse." While getting up to get another beer, Whitey issued a "Hmmmmmmm." adding, "A model you say?"
 
Now faced with the reality that sometime tonight we were going to have both right much cocaine and more company, I would prepare myself. Taking a ceramic mug from my travel bag, I poured myself a cream ale and a mescal chaser. Quite a toper, especially while on these party excursions, I could keep up this pace all night, thus shielding my soul from what weirdness which would surely come. Quaffing down the ale, I had two shots of mescal and said: "Alright, we'll have ourselves a little gathering, but I swear by the spirits of these foggy mountains, I'll take my dogwood stick to anyone who starts fucking up too bad."
"Damn man, chill out." Denny advised me, then he suggested: "Let's take a dip down at the pool. Relax. Take a big drink down there with you. Get a little fresh air, Skid."
"Ahhh good Denny, the off beat and obscure voice of reason! Sounds like an excellent idea. Let's mix up another bowl to smoke first and make a pitcher of good drinks to take down there."
"But we don't have a pitcher." Denny stated.
"No, but we do have an ice bucket."
"A pitcher." Denny chuckled as he filled it with ice, the rest of our first opened mescal bottle and a splash of grapefruit juice. Passing the weed and hashish blend to Whitey I asked: "What about you and Bear, care to join us for a cool dip?" 
"I'm in." Whitey replied on an exhaled cloud of smoke. "What about you Bear?"
Never seen in anything but his denim duds, Bear declined, but offered to grill some steaks outside while we were down at the pool.
 
Although small, the Colony House's pool was filled with cold mountain water. It was known as the Rose Pond because of the red rose painted on the pool's concrete bottom. Pulling up an extra folding lounger to a umbrella shaded table upon which we sat our improvised pitcher, plastic motel courtesy cups and the fresh six pack of beer that Whitey brought down. Only Denny brought along a beach towel and swimming trunks. Whitey and I sported cutoff jeans and white motel towels. Our sunglasses hid three pairs of bloodshot eyes. From our comfortable perches we gazed down at Route 250 and out beyond that, the Blue Ridge Mountains. After pouring Denny and myself a drink, we three raised our beverages to cheer these ancient mountains. For the last month I had been pulling fourteen hour working weekdays along with eight or more on Saturdays and Sundays. This little five day getaway was like paradise.
"Tomorrow we should take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, that is if someone else drives my truck." Whitey drunkenly mused aloud. Since landing at this motor lodge, Whitey was pretty much comitted to polluting his sense of being probably into a series of blackouts. That's when things could become unpredictable. Hopefully he would pass out before any such weirdness occurred on his part. 
"Who's going first into the ice water?" Denny asked as he stood up and proceeded to dip a foot into the frigid water. Issuing an "Ooooooooooh" he said: "Well?" At that, Whitey guzzled down another beer, removed his sunglasses, saluted the late afternoon sun then dove in like an otter. Swiftly surfacing, he gasped, issued a howling scream and loudly sputtered: "Holy shit! I'm turning blue!"
"Better not piss in the pool, cause I'm coming in next." Removing my sunglasses, I got up, took a few steps back to allow for a running start which climaxed with a cannonball into the freezing waters. That was the extent of my swim. The water proved to be a tad too sobering cold as it wasn't all that warm up here to begin with. Sitting down, I wrapped the little towel around my shoulders in a attempt to fight off a chill. Whitey, obviously too intoxicated to be overly affected by the freezing water, casually climbed out, shook himself like a dog and asked Denny if he was going in.
"Hell no. That's like a glass of ice water. It would probably give me a,," Before he could finish, Whitey grabbed the back of Denny's lounge chair, then swiftly dragged both it and him into the pool. Quite shocked and angered Denny emerged from the cold waters. "Why the fuck did you do that for?" Whitey however climbed out of the Rose Pond, shook his dripping head, cut Denny a leering glance and after a full minute replied: "Why the fuck did you bring your swimming trunks and beach towel?" Turning then diving back into the pool, Whitey retrieved lounge chair along with Denny's towel and sunglasses in an act of no hard feelings.
 
Returning to the motel's upper back side, we were met by the sight of Bear hovering over his grill and the aroma of sizzling steaks..
 
 
Dinner consisted of rib eye steaks and canned baked beans washed down with cold brew followed by another good smoke. After cleaning up we moved chairs out onto the walkway outside our rooms. We were well shaded by both building behind us and ascending mountain forest just across the parking area. We had the whole upper back side to ourselves for now. Although it was early June, I could feel a twinge of cool air in the occasional downdrafts. The frigid pool water and a shower had sobered me up quite a bit, so I was back at it again, but at a slower pace. 
 
Late afternoon gave way to early evening which deepened into the somber grayness of dusk. Off in the gloomy distance, a great horned owl was welcoming the coming night. During this time we said very little while taking in both evening air and sounds. Nocturnal insects began hovering and gathering around the dim outside lights. Most spectacular was a huge Luna moth that landed on the outside wall between a light and Bear's shaggy head. A walking stick insect crawled across the walk and up a rail then we heard the trilling of a few gray tree frogs. 
 
"My kind of camping." Bear said, adding: "I do miss the fire, but won't miss waking up with a kink in my spine from laying atop roots or rocks underneath a tent floor."
"You big whiner." I called him and reminded Denny: "You're going to wake up with a kink in both ear drums. Glad there's a thick wall between that terrible noise and me."
"You snore too!" Bear growled.
"Not like the blasts you emit. Loud enough to wake the dead and send them running away."
"Fellows, fellows !" Denny laughed, "Live in the now." Oddly enough he began talking about the past. "Any of you remember that crazy party we had at Hornes Coliseum Inn down in Hampton when I got out of the army back in 1975?"
"Sure do." I replied, "Glad I booked that room with a fake ID."
"Yeah that place got torn to fuck." Bear added, "But hell, we were just kids then."
"You guys were, but I had already did a hitch in the army and was still wild as hell."
Whitey, the youngest of us chuckled and called Denny an "Old Fart."
"I guess in a sense we all are." He returned, taking no offense.
"Hell, none of us are even thirty yet." Whitey argued then guzzled down another beer. At that Denny quaffed a bit of cream ale, lit up a cigarette and said: "Old in a sense we're all basically looking and carrying on the same as we did last decade. We mostly listen to old rock-n-roll, watch re-runs on television and still partying like it's 1973 instead of 1983. We are still young enough to adapt and change with the times, like R.W., but we do our best to resist. Perhaps it's a survival instinct ingrained deep into our sense of being."
"The 1980s!" Bear snarled, "Ha! No more evident than in Williamsburg, a town that pimps itself out as being two hundred years in the past. Sometimes I just want to go fucking berserk, but the money's good so I refrain from breaking heads."
"He growls and gives them the peace sign, and that usually scares them off." I added.
"Them? Who are they?" Whitey asked, as he was not all that familiar with Williamsburg culture. However he would soon be encountering representatives of that strange scene.
"Who you ask?" Bear chuckled, "Fruit loops, flakes, new wave peacocks, preppy college kids, rude tourists and Colonial Williamsburg employees who seem to be stuck in the 18th century twenty four hours a day. The bars suck. No pool tables, bartenders who slight you on the pour. Damn how I want to knock some of those freaks five hundred years into the future, but this chick I see sometimes tells me to deeply take in and exhale ten breaths of air through my nose and that usually works for awhile."
"What if you have a stuffy nose?" Whitey laughed.
"Bear stays close to home during the cold and flu season." I took the liberty to reply.
 
Then we heard a vehicle coming up the steep driveway and saw headlights shining from around the bend. "R.W.?" Bear grunted.
"No that's not Mia's car." Denny returned as the vehicle parked next to Bear's Ford truck. It was a small hatchback and in the gloom we could see 'JUST MARRIED' written on the back glass with whipped or shaving cream, or some other creamy substance. All our eyes were upon that small car as the driver's door opened and out popped a smallish rat face fellow with black plastic frame glasses, a Polo shirt, Bermuda shorts and a white cap upon his head. Opening the back he began hauling luggage in and after finishing that task, opened the passenger side door. Fully emerged from the small car she was a head taller than and carried twice the bulk of her new husband. As they came further into the dim glow of the outside lights we could see her a bit clearer. Her dark eyes that were magnified by extremely thick glass, glared at us as she was escorted to the door next to Bear's. Then unexpectedly Whitey shouted: "Hey man, aren't you going to carry her over the threshold?"
"The little fellow's jaw dropped, while she continued glaring at us. "Come on Norman!" She ordered then the both of them shuffled in and slammed the door. 
"Oh isn't that touching." Whitey dryly stated and suggested, "Maybe it's time to go inside."
"Let's spark up another bowl." Bear added.
"Let's roll one up instead." I said.
 
Sticking six rolling papers together, I filled them with a mixture of Whitey's and my weed along with some thin shavings of Denny's hashish. Upon completion it was the size of a cigar. Handing it to Bear, I gave him the honors. "I appreciate this." He thanked us and continued: "When my prescription arrives we'll all get blasted."
"Well we have to keep it cool with the newlyweds right next door." I reminded them. "That chick looked like the type who would call the front desk or even the police if our little get together gets out of hand."
"Yeah she didn't look like a happy camper." Denny added.
"Looking at them had me thinking about how Flip's honeymoon played out, right up there at the Afton Inn." Whitey grimly stated and added: "I'm never getting hitched up with a women." 
"No decent woman would have you." Bear chuckled then lit up the jumbo sized joint. Toking hard, he filled his huge lungs and passed it back to me. That number went around about six times then got snuffed out halfway. There was a minute or so of silence while we sat around the small motel table like grinning apes in that smoky room. "Who turned off the radio?" Bear mumbled. Then the phone in his room began ringing again.
"Who the fuck could that be?" He growled as he wobbled to his feet and lumbered through the inner door. Within a half minute he returned. "That was R.W. down at the desk checking in. He wasn't sure where we are located." With that bit of news Denny ambled over to the full length mirror and began combing his hair.
"Primping are we?" Whitey laughed.
 
Then came a knock upon the door. "Open up Skid, it's me!" we heard a familiar voice shouting in from outside. For a large fellow with a head full of smoke, Bear got up rather quickly and opened the door. What entered looked completely foreign to my friends and I. Clad in a blue silk tank top, khaki shorts and shod in expensive white sneakers, he bopped right in. Although Bear, Denny and I were use to R.W.'s appearance, Whitey who had not seen him for a few years, stared in twisted amazement. Leaping to his feet, Whitey focused upon R.W.'s hair. Somewhat close on the sides, his curly light brown hair was fluffed up high on the top with long curls in the back. "What the fuck do we have here, Duran Duran?" Whitey was brutally forward. "Shit, R.W., you look like a fucking poodle."
"Whitey." R.W. sneered, "How in the hell did you end up with these gentlemen?"
"Never mind that!" Bear growled, "Did you find my coke?"
"No."
"What?" Bear roared with anguish upon his face.
"I looked all though your dresser, and through your dirty clothes bin and found nothing aside from clean and dirty clothes."
"Shit man! Where in the hell did I put it?"
"Probably in a place you least suspect." I replied then asked, "So where are your fellow travelers?"
"Down around front getting organized in their rooms."
"Rooms you say?" Whitey mockingly asked.
"That's right. We both took single bed rooms. A little privacy, if you know what I mean." Casting a glance at the low dresser with an assortment of liquor bottles, R.W. inquired about getting a drink while Bear glared at the wall. 
 
Denny fixed his brother up with a vodka and tonic. "So is Mia and her friend Brandy coming up here to join our little celebration?"
"As soon as they get settled in, freshened up and take a ride into Waynesboro for a few things." Then he he asked: "Got anything for the head, Skid?" Denny pointed to the half of that huge joint resting in an ashtray. Snatching it up, R.W. said: "Alright! I've been jonesing for a buzz since waking up this morning and all the way up Interstate 64. I flicked my lighter for him and then he drew hard upon the number. After a few good tokes, "Oh yeah!" He tossed down his vodka tonic and gave swift condolences to Bear regarding his lost cocaine. I watched as a mistrustful Bear stooped down and attempted looking up into R.W.'s nostrils.
"Ah come on man!" R.W. laughed, "I wouldn't do a fellow Skid that way."
"You don't look like a Skid to me, Poodle." Whitey taunted. Ignoring him, R.W. said "Like I mentioned, the girls are going to be riding into Waynesboro for some supplies and personal items, so I'll hang with you guys until they get back."
Whitey's eyes crossed and he chuckled: "Personal items, you say?"
"That's right Whitey. Items so personal, even I don't know what they are." R.W. returned with his eyes crossed as well then blurted out: "Oh shit! I forgot to tell Mia to get me a razor and some shaving cream." At that Bear mentioned: "Don't worry about it. I've got razors and shaving cream in my kit." 
Taking a good gander at Bear's bearded face, I had to ask: "Why the fuck do you carry a shaving kit with you. You ain't shaved in a decade."
"Just a weird habit. Mostly I store other things in my kit like,,," He paused and a wide smile split his broad face. Lumbering back into his room, he returned shortly clutching a small glass jar. "Dotard!" I scoffed, "You had it all along!" Bear paid me no mind as he held that little jar full of Bolivian baby powder close to his bloodshot grey eyes like it was the most important thing in the universe. "Haaahaaahaaaheeeeeeeehaa!" He howled and with a bit of concern said: "I've nothing to work with." Then his eyes darted to that big mirror hanging over the low motel dresser. Snatching it off the wall, Bear saw our table's surface was too small, so he placed it upon my bed. Unscrewing the lid, he poured a small pile onto mirror glass. Unsheathing his razor sharp hunting knife, he went to work chopping the powder into a finer consistency. Finished with that task, he divided it up into ten good sized lines, pulled out his wallet, then a new dollar bill and rolled it up into a snorting device. Like a human vacuum cleaner, he sucked two lines up into his nostrils and handed the rolled up bill to me. "It's,, fucking great,,,,man." He stated while attempting to snort the dose further into his sinus cavities. "Tell you what Bear, I'll do one line and you or someone else can have another one."
"Who said you get a second one?" He hissed as the coke drained down into his throat. Leaning over the mirror, I snorted up a line. This was quite enough of the white stuff for me. Denny, Whitey, R.W and once again Bear had goes at it. 
"Now hang that big ass mirror up before someone it gets broken." I so ordered. 
 
All of us were on our feet jittering about, smoking cigarettes and blathering nonsense. "Say nothing about this to Mia, boys. She's down on the hard stuff." R.W. asked of us to which Bear returned: "I'm not scheduling my recreational substance abuse around the dislikes of your girlfriend, but don't fret, I'll say nothing to her about what you sneak around and do." 
"He should be thankful for that." I added while feeling my face go numb. 
"So what's the deal with this Brandy chick?" Whitey inquired, "Is she seeing anyone?"
"She's totally out of your league, old boy."
"I'll be the judge of that, Poodle." He came back at R.W. in an overly southern accent. "Never know about them high society gals once they're beyond the fringes of what they know. "
"You be a gentleman now, Whitey." Bear commanded with a slimy gob of white nose snarf hanging out his right nostril. 
"For goodness sake Bear, go clean the coke buggers out of your snout." I told the big man. In a few long strides he was over at the sink. Turning the spigot, he dipped fingers into running water. Sticking two wet fingers up each nostril, he drew in those unsightly white globs. "Waste not, want not." He chuckled.
"So you guys want to take a night dip down at the pool."
"Already been in the water." I replied, "But do go down there and jump into that ice cold water with a head full of coke and have your fucking heart explode if you want." 
"Oh yeah, I forgot just how cold that little pool gets sometimes." 
"Remember weather is a month behind what we left down in Williamsburg." Bear reminded.
 
As the intense cocaine buzz began to wear off we were again seated around the little motel table drinking and attempting to plan future activities. "Usually Mia has our trips all planned out, but she's at a complete loss up here. Brandy on the other hand hails from Charlottesville and knows this area fairly well. She wants to go up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and snap some photos." At that Whitey rolled his shit brown eyes, smirked and commented. "Oh I know some very scenic places not far from here at all." My concern for Whitey's behavior faded with each shot of mescal. If he became too much of a liability, Bear would knock him out and put him into bed for the night, that went for the Dibble brothers as well. If Bear got out of line we would usually stand clear and let him go. All in all, we were for the most part well behaved enough for this motor lodge. The Colony House Motel was rather accommodating to fellows like us as we ventured to the outer limits of our substance addled minds. I can recall two different occasions when we stayed here and dropped acid. Bear locked himself up in the bathroom and carried on meaningful conversations with something he called Mr. Yap. In these mystical mountains I didn't know if it was some local spirit or purely a LSD induced hallucination. Perhaps Mr.Yap could of been both, that is if he wasn't talking to his pecker. Taking a good look at my friends I thought about what Denny said regarding us not progressing with the times. Even R.W. with his new wave doo indulged like us, but I knew he would get some flack from Mia when she got back. I also recalled Denny's mentioning of her wanting to find out things about R.W. and suspected it more knowing how she loathed getting around the old neighborhood Skids. Like Bear, I did not want my small vacation molested by unnecessary drama, but after another shot of mescal and a glance at Whitey, thought: 'This could unfold into something rather amusing, if not highly entertaining.Hell, they're already here so let the chips fall and the fur fly.'
 
"Music!" Bear demanded and with that Whitey went into his bag and pulled out some cassette tapes. Walking over to our boom box he stuck one in. Black Sabbath, Master of Reality. R.W. re-lit the huge number and it went around again. "That's bothering me." Whitey mumbled.
"What's that?" Denny wanted to know. Saying nothing, Whitey rose to his feet, leaped up, landed upon the bed then proceeded to hang a framed still life painting of a wine bottle and bowl of fruit upside down. "Much better." he said after hopping down and taking a good look at his presentation. I must admit it added a nice touch to our lodgings. He also wanted to drop the television out of our only window, but it was bolted down. What I liked about that window, it allowed a good view of the front entrance and parking lot. If anyone at this time had been looking out of that window, he would of saw Mia and Brandy getting out of a white Firebird. We however were smoking, drinking and blathering away about past times. Just as Bear was beginning to tell his night in the Hampton City jail drunk tank story again, came a knock on our door. We all looked at each other as our smoky room smelled like an Afghan hash den. I stood up, walked over to the door and peered out through it's peep hole. All I could see was a blue eye, distorted by the peep hole's lens peering in. "Who's there?" I shouted. 
"Mia!"
"That doesn't look like Mia's eye!" I returned. "Now who is it? Speak up!"
"Mia and Brandy! Reggie are you in there? Reginald, open up!"
"Reginald!" Whitey laughed.
"For god's sake, open the door!" R.W. demanded. 
Swinging it open I saw the owner of that blue eye as well as another just like it. True to Denny's description she was built like a fashion model and rather comely. Tall, with good slightly shapely features and a mane of tawny hair streaked with gold coloring. Her sky blue eyes were rimmed with a fair amount of liner and silver shadowing. She wore a little black dress and was shod in black flats. With a sweeping bow I introduced myself, offered a polite greeting and welcomed both young ladies inside. Mia who was clad in a brand name T-shirt, shorts and little white sneakers whipped her long raven hair back and stated: "Brandy, this is Reggie's brother and home boys. As Denny rose to introduce himself, Mia looked at Whitey and said: "I haven't seen this one before."
"Chris Whitehouse, at your service, darling." He greeted. She looked him up and down then said: "Would be rather appealing, that is with a trim and some nice clothes."
"Well then baby, take me to the barber and out shopping.Then we can go out dancing." He came back at her. Whitey wasn't known to hold his tongue when it came to snooty acting women. In fact that's what turned Flip's old girlfriend Donna on about him. "You must be Brandy." He smiled at the tall young lady, "I've heard good things about you."
"What are you guys smoking in here and do you have anymore?" was all she returned in greeting.
 
Hearing that, Bear, Denny, Whitey and I looked at each other and nodded our heads. At least we didn't have some anti-drug harpy in our midst...
 
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#17 Atehequa

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:17 PM

 
 
Mia however was upset, especially after taking a good look at R.W.'s obviously substance addled condition. "Back from shopping so soon?" He meekly inquired. At that her eyes narrowed and she hissed: "Couldn't wait for me to get back, could you?" Brandy however went on to explain that a tractor trailer had overturned and was blocking the road into town. Mia again asked: "Couldn't wait, could you?" Taking a quick nervous glance at us, R.W. seemed a bit embarrassed, but then puffed his chest out and said: "Hey babe, dig yourself. These are the Skids." He referred to us by the old neighborhood name we called ourselves. "I mean we're all the way up here, everyone's off work or out of school, so why not?" At that, Mia's lips twisted and her brows knotted up, but before she could say a word, Bear stepped forward with his broad face spit into a wide smile. "Oh come on Mia, wind down. Let me get you something to drink." He dwarfed Mia and he blotted out the ceiling fan light casting a shadow over the smallish young woman. The few occasions back in Williamsburg Mia had come into contact with Bear, she was terrified as were other patrons of that local bar scene. To her, he, Denny, and I were heathenish examples of the wild life she pulled R.W. from. The whole affair thus far had me thinking of some spoiled  princess trying to raise an ocelot cub into a fluffy and pampered Persian cat. And R.W., although almost a decade older than Mia, he had all but adhered to the conditions of having a sugar mama. While in her company on a silken lease, but when she was away, he somewhat reverted back into a small graceful, spotted wildcat well able to catch scent of, any females in heat. Avoiding the college bars, that Mia patronized by means of a fake ID, R.W. would frequent hotel lounges meeting up with older well off Williamsburg women, single or otherwise. Mia now suspected something was going on, but couldn't quite put her finger on it. Hoping to coyly extract information from his brother and even more so friends, Mia quickly came to the realization that she was out of her element. Ignoring Bear's offer of a drink, she requested that R.W. have a private word with her. "May I suggest Mr. Yap's office? He's out right now and don't think he'll mind." I said while tapping Bear's broad shoulder. "Mr.Yap? What are you talking about?" She returned in apparent anger. "He means the bathroom." Bear grunted. Whitey flashed a sinister smile and said: "Yeah the odor should be gone by now."
"Oh gross!" Mia hissed and demanded: "Reggie, come outside with me." R.W apparently knew that tone and swiftly complied. After they exited the motel room, Bear shook his shaggy head and growled: "Oh hell, here we go. I should lock the fucking door and crank up the music."
"That's probably a good idea." Brandy surprisingly agreed and put forth her question once again. "So what are you guys smoking?"
 
In short time we had processed a small pile of weed and hashish shavings, but this time for the pipe. Filling the pipe with more to spare, Denny handed it to Brandy and I flicked my butane lighter. Drawing in perhaps a bit too much, she coughed out clouds of pungent smoke. "Go easy on that. You don't want to hack a lung out." Whitey advised as he pried the pipe from Brandy's fingers as she caught her breath. He in turn took a long toke and coughed as well as he passed it to Bear. My pipe went around the six of us twice and it was quite evident that Brandy was a bit more elated than before. The next go around, I took the first toke and passed it to Denny. Each of us had another two good puffs and the pipe was set to rest for little while. Our current combined stash was nothing to turn one's nose up at, everyone present were obviously enjoying it's effect. My perception of time and location was invariably altered, but this was a vacation so it concerned me not. The music from our boom box had a curious hypnotic rhythm and as I glanced at my friends and new arrival in their euphoric state, felt a extreme sense of not only belonging, but freedom as well. Bear, always an excellent host, rose to his feet and inquired if Brandy needed refreshment. She opted for his suggestion of a vodka lemonade. "Sounds good, Bear make me one too." I said. 
"Make your own damned drink. What do I look like, a fucking bartender?" he growled. 
 
After our smoke we commenced to drinking. Brandy looked to be having a good time and like the rest of us had all but forgotten about Mia and R.W. until both stepped back inside dripping rain drops. "That settles that!" R.W, laughed while Mia's eyes were fiery green slits. "That settles what?" Bear chuckled. Ignoring Bear, R.W. with a bit of command in his voice said: "So get yourself a drink and settle down." Taking a close look at R.W.'s partially water damaged floofy hair-doo and cocking an ear towards the door, Whitey asked: "Damn, Poodle, is it raining out there?"
"Came in from nowhere." he replied while making a couple of drinks. "One minute we could see stars, the next dark clouds rolled over and it started pouring." Mia said nothing as she grabbed her small shoulder bag and went into our bathroom. 
"That settles what?" Bear repeated in a lower tone.
"She wanted her, Brandy and me to leave." R.W. whispered
"Back to your rooms?" 
"No back to Williamsburg."
"And this sudden rainstorm saved your ass that trip, eh?" Whitey chuckled not at all mindful of Mia in our bathroom.
"That and I wasn't going to go back anyway." he replied just as the bathroom door opened. "Come and get your drink." he told her. Mia smiled, but angry fires played in her eyes. Accepting the drink, she surprised us all by gulping it down and requesting another. "Thirsty, eh?" Whitey laughed then guzzled yet another beer. 
"May as well get into the spirit of it all." Bear stated with a smile and added: "We even got a bowl ready for you." 
"A what?" she returned.
"Something for your head." 
R.W. then took it upon himself to inform us: "Mia doesn't smoke that stuff." 
"Who says I don't?" she corrected him. 
"But remember the last time?"
"What of it?"
"Alright then." R.W. concluded, "Fire it up, Skid."
 
There was enough of our mixture left upon the table to load another bowl. I passed the pipe to Mia and blessed it with butane flame. She deeply drew the smoke into her lungs and surprisingly enough did not cough it out. Holding it in for about a half minute, she exhaled a thin stream of smoke which swirled under the ceiling fan. While passing the pipe to R.W., her scowl was replaced by a goofy smile. With the exception of Bear, the rest of us who had already smoked declined letting Mia and R.W get in a few good tokes. After her third go at the pipe, with somewhat glassy green eyes, Mia stated: "This pot tastes funny."
"Funny you say?" Whitey chuckled prompting Brandy to explode in laughter with Mia joining in. "It's top shelf weed mixed with some extraordinary black hashish." Denny informed her, but she was laughing too loud to hear him. 
"Oh great. A couple of cacklers." Bear growled as he opened an ale. Personally I thought it was an improvement. Her transformation from a shrew like party pooper to a young cackling hen, suited me just fine. It seemed like Mia took up the pipe as an escape from conditions beyond her control and sense of reasoning. Around a hundred and fifty miles from home in the company of the kind of people she usually didn't associate with as well as a savage Appalachian rainstorm outside making departure impossible, she adapted splendidly. Quite caught up with the altitude, Mia was rather pleasant to be around. Both her and Brandy listened closely as Bear spoke of strange experiences. One in particular involved him, Denny, our friend Flip, his former girlfriend Donna, her friend Kimberly and I while camping at Peaks of Otter in 1978. Stammering and slurring Bear attempted to begin the story only to have Denny break in: "Donna was becoming a real problem."
"Do tell, old chum." I urged him on.
"She was furious with Flip because he wouldn't take her home."
"And why was that?" Mia inquired.
Denny cut his glassy eyes at her and replied: "Because Flip didn't make a fuss about an apple pie she had made herself and brought along for our first night's after dinner dessert. Actually her pie sucked, the apples were too sour and under cooked while the crust was burnt. No it wasn't a good pie. With the exception of Bear who took one bite and tossed his slice into the fire, we were charitable enough to eat part of ours before feigning fullness. Donna didn't but it and asked Flip what he thought as well as why Bear tossed his into the blazing campfire. Flip who was making a pathetic attempt of showing us he still had a pair told Donna it wasn't one of her better pies, but Bear here told her to buy,,"
"A fucking Betty Crocker cookbook!" Bear chuckled. Denny howled with laughter then continued. "Oh Donna went slam off telling Flip that was the last thing she would ever cook or bake for him then proceeded to get sloppy drunk and wanting to hang all over me, I guess to make Flip jealous."
"So what did he do, fight you?" Brandy asked.
"No, by that spring I'd already had enough of her and actually felt sorry for Flip. I gently peeled her off and pushed her away."
"Yeah because Flip was there." Whitey interjected, "Otherwise you would of tapped it."
"At least I didn't ever nail her in Flip's garage while he was inside eating dinner with his folks." Denny stated. At that Whitey cackled, rolled his eyes and informed us how Flip walked in on them up in his garage attic while they were fully engaged in an intimate act atop his pool table. "I didn't hit him once, but he was swinging at me while I was getting my pants back on and fleeing at the same time. That was five years ago and he still hates me." Whitey informed us.
"Can't say that I blame him." Bear added. Brandy gave both Denny and Whitey an odd look and said: "So you were both screwing that guy's girlfriend. What about you two?" She asked while her eyes darted from Bear to me. 
"I made out with her once." Bear confessed, "But that's it."
"And you?" she inquired while looking at me.
"She was my squeeze until she fell for Flip."
"Sounds like this Donna got around." Brandy stated and then wanted to know what else happened at Peaks of Otter. Denny got up, poured himself a shot of mescal, poured it down his gullet and continued. "Donna got shit faced drunk and began bawling like a baby which a concerned camping neighbor and her husband heard. They were a few sites down from us and took it upon themselves to enter our camp to ask if everything was alright."
"That's when it got weird." I said, "Donna drunkenly sobbed and blathered away how terrible of a young lady she was. She went on about how she had been making it with two of his friends and another guy we never heard of. Well with all that information our neighbors departed back to their campsite."
"And your friend, Flip?" 
"Too much information for him as well." I replied, adding: "Since Flip rode up with Donna in Kimberly's pickup truck, he couldn't just up and  go back home, but he went up to the ranger's station at Peaks of Otter and paid for another campsite a good distance from ours. Flip moved his tent along with a few supplies there and we didn't see or hear from him until it was time to leave."
"Did he break up with Donna?" Mia asked.
"No. It was the other way around." I returned, "She broke up with Flip, or rather just left him without a word a couple of years later for some fly boy from Langley."
Denny laughed and added: "Left Whitey too."
"The morals of feral dogs." Brandy stated and inquired if we still carried on in such a manner to which Whitey replied, or rather lied: "Oh not me, I'm looking to hook up with a steady lady friend, but in my search have not come across no one quite as beautiful and charming as you, darling." Instead of going all moon eyed over his come on, Brandy began laughing. Whitey's sneer bespoke of a man not yet entirely rejected. Of course now he was competing with Denny and possibly others for Brandy's favor. 
 
By 11:00 the rain stopped falling, but a heavy fog rolled in. Such weather conditions are common around Afton Mountain. Opening the door I stepped out to get a breath of fresh air. Not able to see anything beyond five feet of me, I listened to my friends the gray tree frogs' occasional trilling exchanges. From further up the wooded slope came a heavy  rustling through the underbrush right as Brandy and Bear stepped out.  "Who's up there?" she asked while her eyes attempted to pierce the fog.
"Probably a bear." Bear replied and in a somewhat serious tone added: "Guess I'll have to fight him over you." Taking a good look at Bear's huge frame and wild shaggy hair distorted by both fog and outside light she stated: "I'll put my money on you." 
"Oh yeah.He could scare a bear away with looks alone." I laughed then informed Brandy that black bears often came down to the Colony House at night and dumpster dive. Bear however lifted his head and issued a rather frightful roaring howl and judging from the rustling from above, sent whatever it was back further up the slope.  Swiftly stepping back inside before our honeymooning neighbors stuck their heads out, I suggested we smoke a few more bowls, but Bear was in the mood for something else. "Anyone up for a couple of lines?"
"Lines?" Mia inquired.
"Some toot."
"Toot?"
"Cocaine." Bear clarified. Much to my surprise Mia who was obviously already wasted, smiled and said: "Hell yeah."
 
While drifting back into the waking world, I saw that Whitey was already up and swilling beer. He was also smoking a joint and watching Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes. Taking a good whiff, I could tell he had been into my stash. Seeing that I was awake he dryly stated: "You can put a man in a monkey suit, but all you got is a man in a monkey suit."
"Been in my stash, I see."
"No I ain't. This is my weed."
"Bullshit, Whitey. I can smell it the difference."
"Oh alright. I rolled one from your stash." He confessed then offered me a toke. I promptly refused. "Not until I've had coffee and perhaps something to eat." Whitey belched, called me a "light weight" and opened up another can of his liquid breakfast.
"That cheap swill is going to do your drunk ass in one day." I informed him, but he merely replied: "Could be, but today is not is not going to be that day." Then he asked me what time did I crash out. Recalling the events of last night, I replied: "About a half hour after you. There was no point in sticking around."
"That clumsy fucking oaf." Whitey hissed in reference to what happened shortly after 11:00 last night. Bear moved the party into his adjoining room and by that time we were all somewhat wasted. Denny and I had turned down his offer of cocaine, but the others readily accepted. Instead of removing the mirror off the wall as we had did earlier in my room, Bear decided he was going to do it off the porcelain cover of a motel toilet's water tank. Having no fully covered toilet seat, this appeared a rather precarious operation. Sitting backwards on the commode, Bear began preparations, but found himself in an awkward and uncomfortable position. Rising, but still straddling the toilet, he lifted the porcelain cover. Drunk and screwed up on quality smoke, his motor skills were not up to par and the heavy smooth cover slightly slipped in his grip causing a small amount of tilt. Both open jar of cocaine and hunting knife slid off right into the toilet. Standing at the bathroom door and enjoying a cream ale, I saw the terrible pathos in his widened grey stormy eyes. He stood straddled over the toilet like a statue, both hands grasping the porcelain cover as he glared down at disaster. "Oh fuck!" he roared, slammed the cover back in place. Sticking one paw like hand into the water, he plucked out his jar and rumbled a curse upon seeing that his entire stash had dissolved. Then he pulled out his hunting knife and hurled it at the dresser. It stuck a full two inches into the wood between Mia and R.W.. With bestial fury twisting Bear's face, he grabbed a bottle of vodka and poured the clear liquor down his gullet. With booze glistening in his beard, he swore off cocaine forever. 
 
"Yeah that kind of turned the party into a weird direction." I stated while tying my shoes. The hurled knife frightened Mia and she had R.W. escort her to their room. Denny laid down and started watching television while Bear along with Brandy quaffed large amounts of liquor. Twelve straight hours of beer drinking finally had caught up with Whitey and he staggered into our room to crash with me soon to follow. 
"That big dumb ass." Whitey hissed, "That was a shit load of coke he fumbled into the shitter."
"Where shit belongs." I added. Actually I was somewhat glad it happened in a selfish way. Personally I didn't care all that much for cocaine, or being around those under it's influence. "No telling what kind of dope fueled acts of perversion would occurred otherwise." I grimly stated.
"Yeah too bad." Whitey mused aloud, "Both of those gals are real lookers.
"Indeed so, but keep in mind they are not your usual lower peninsula strumpets."
"Indeed they're not." Whitey returned with a sinister grin. 
 
Not having a desire to ponder what ill plans swirled inside his beer soaked skull, I went down for a cup of coffee from the motel office's courtesy pot. 
 
It was a beautiful early summer morning. Shreds of last night's fog were being burned away by the fiery rising sun. The cool clean air breathed new life into me. Looking at the parking lot, I saw that our honeymooning neighbors had left. The squeaking of a housekeeping cart's wheels got my attention and I turned to look upon a middle aged Black woman pushing one out of our departed neighbors' room. Her hair was twisted into West Indian styled dreadlocks and the loose housekeeping smock failed to conceal her buxom shape. Her dark eyes seemed to hold mine captive as she spoke in a heavy accent. "Dey did not even leave me a tip."
"Cheapskates." I returned, but should of said nothing at all."
"Dey say to me dis morning dey were scared."
"Scared?"
"Dats right, scared. Dey say to me dat wild people scared dem away. Don't worry, dey did not tell de front desk clerk, but de tell me." Now having an understanding of what she was getting at, I pulled out my wallet, opened it up and gave her a twenty dollar bill. "It was probably us they fled from. We've been here a good many times and are usually model guests." I offered in explanation. "I do not doubt dat." she said and flashed a wide toothy smile. Pointing to her name tag she introduced herself with less of an accent. "My name is Alison, just let me know if you need anything. With a wink she began pushing her cart over the foot bridge on her way down the lane. Assuming she was heading back down to the Colony House's front side, I accompanied her. "Are you Jamaican." I asked.
"Not Jamaican. I'm from Barbados."
"What brings you to the Blue Ridge?"
"Circumstances you should not concern yourself with."
"Forgive me for being nosy." I apologized. 
"Not a problem." Alison returned. Then she surprised me by inquiring: "So you and your friends were doing it up last night. Drinking and maybe a little ganja, eh?"
"Huh?"
"Oh don't worry boy, I partake." Alison said as we rounded the corner and she unlocked another recently vacated room. Not knowing what prompted me, I offered: "Come on up for some refreshment when you're off."
"I just may." she laughed while rolling her cart inside.
 
Returning to our room I found Whitey full of mirth and laughing hysterically. "What the fuck is so funny?" I asked.
"You got to see this!" he cackled. 
"See what?" Walking over to the adjoining doors, he opened both and told me to have a look inside. That last sip of coffee almost squirted out my nose as I looked upon a truly weird scene. Denny laid on one bed with both pillows and covers piled over his head no doubt to muffle Bear's thunderous snoring. On the other bed were both Bear and Brandy, both still asleep. With head resting upon Bear's legs, her arms encircled one of his size 16" feet as if it was a teddy bear. Aside from being barefooted, both were fully dressed. Quietly closing both doors, I said: "Let me finish my coffee and smoke a joint, then I'll wake them up."
 
Breakfast up at Afton Mountain's Howard Johnsons was especially tasty. Bear seemed in a good mood in spite of his loss. Brandy, Mia and R.W. even rolled in just as we were finishing up, so we stayed and had another cup of coffee with them although Whitey was a bit disappointed the restaurant served no beer. It was here where we planned our day. Bear, Denny, Whitey and I wanted to go up on the Blue Ridge Parkway while Brandy Mia and R.W. wanted to go shopping. Mia however told R.W.: "Why don't you have fun with your friends and let us girls go into Waynesboro." 
"Good. We'll give you some money to pick us up some more provisions." Bear said. On a paper placemat, he made his list and passed it around the table. 
 
Four bottles of vodka
Four bottles of mescal
One half gallon of rum
Three cases of beer
Two cases of ale
Five two liter bottles of Pepsi
Five two liter bottles of 7UP
Five cartons of lemonade
Lots of porkchops
Charcoal
Potatoes
Beans
Chips
 
 
"How am I going to get all of that into my car?"  Mia wanted to know, but Bear told her to pack sensibly...
 

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#18 Atehequa

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:17 PM

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Edited by Atehequa, 17 November 2014 - 08:22 PM.

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#19 Horne

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 08:42 PM

 Now that was a highly entertaining read, I laughed aloud many times! :biggrin:

 

edit: ah, great, a follow up!


Edited by Horne, 17 November 2014 - 08:43 PM.

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“Awake becomes
what once was known,

forgetfulness is fleeting.”


#20 Atehequa

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:38 AM

 
We all secured our lodgings for another two nights. Mia wanted to stay at the Holiday Inn atop Afton, but there was no vacancy. R.W. and Brandy were good with our present accommodations. As the ladies drove off towards Waynesboro, we men prepared for our lofty journey over and along ridge tops. We loaded a few back packs with extra clothing in case the weather changed and other such necessities like a first aid kit as well as snacks. Whitey packed as many cans of beer he could fit into his while we warned him if he got caught it would be his ass and not ours. He compromised by letting me drive. Denny and I prepared more smoking mixture. Containing it in Bear's old coke jar, I ribbed him a bit. "At least if I drop this in a stream, or a toilet, it can be dried out." Bear attempted to smile my remark off, but his lips twisted into a savage snarl. "Yes my friend, we have to be more careful, that's why when I drop you off a cliff, I'll be careful enough to grab my jar beforehand."
 
Down near Reeds Gap, we found a scenic pullover to park the two trucks. There was rock strewn meadow land and beyond that Appalachian forest. Whitey started to pull a beer from his pack, but Bear growled: "You fucking drunkard, just wait until we get up in those woods before you get to swilling that shit!" Tapping the ironwood walking stick I made for him on his free palm in a threatening manner he informed Whitey as well as the rest of us: "Don't screw up an get the park rangers taking close notice of us, or I'll break some heads." I wholeheartedly agreed. What tolerance mainstream society had for party people such as us during the 1970s was now replaced with Nancy Reagan's 'Just say no' approach to recreational drugs and those who used them. Even silly potheads were looked upon as menaces by the Reagans as well as all their followers, law enforcement in particular. Still aside from our looks, we passed for hikers. Lucky for us, but not our surroundings, the Reagan administration had made serious cuts into the National Forests and Parks. That meant less Rangers patrolling hundreds of miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
 
We melted into the trees and out of anyone else's sight. Ascending upon a narrow winding path, we swiftly reached the summit and rested.  Pulling out my doeskin pouch which held pipe, Bear's little jar and tamper, I prepared a bowl for us.  Whitey who already drank five going down the parkway, guzzled a sixth then seventh beer. "I can tell folks back home that I hiked the Appalachian Trail."
"More like you got snokered in the woods." Bear said then informed Whitey: "And this is not the Appalachian Trail. It's just a little path we know about." Bear corrected. 
 
After the pipe went around we quietly sat for awhile taking in our shadowy surroundings. The thick foliage obscured distant vistas and all but blotted out the sky. Sitting in a circle beside the path we all glanced at each other waiting for someone to speak, but it seemed all of us were mesmerized by bird songs. Even Whitey appeared pleased with these surroundings and had eased up on his beer swilling. One thing was for certain, the higher altitude tinged well with our smoking mixture. "Kind of a creepy place." R.W. stated. He or Whitey had never been to this spot with us before. Lighting up a cigarette, I informed him: "It's a very kind and giving place which will recharge the soul. Bear, Flip and I discovered it several years ago. We visit this place occasionally and are always welcomed." At that Whitey chuckled then opened up a warm beer and guzzled it down. He then looked at me and said: "Spare me your mumbo jumbo, man. Still it is a good place to catch a buzz." 
"Not mumbo jumbo, Whitey." Denny returned, "These are some of in not the oldest mountains on this planet. There's a lot of strange energy in these hills." Leaning in and taking a close look at R.W.'s hair, Whitey chuckled: "I'll say."  
"What the fuck was that suppose to mean?" R.W. demanded, but Whitey merely laughed and replied: "I feel recharged, what about you guys?" Changing the subject even more I asked Bear: "So what's on the agenda this evening?"
"Grill some pork chops, have a few drinks and maybe get up a poker game."
"Why not party by the pool?" R.W. suggested. "The girls want to take a dip."
"Freeze their asses off." Denny said and added: "There's nothing quite like watching women in skimpy bathing suits after they emerge from extremely cold water."
"Pool party." Whitey agreed. Bear however shook his shaggy head in disagreement.
 
"I don't do pool parties." 
 
I knew that was coming. Having known Bear since he was a little kid, I had never seen him go swiming, or wear a pair of shorts during the hottest of days. Even now with the temperature hovering in the mid eighties, he wore blue jeans and a denim long sleeve shirt of the same hue. It was just another weird quirk, and my roommate had several, but who could ask for better. He always paid his half of the bills on time and could cook fairly well. Then there were his hard to handle moments, especially when drinking liquor. All in all, he was somewhat adjusting to Williamsburg life. The young giant found he could shoo away bothersome people without laying a hand on them. A savage snarl and low rumbling growl usually got results. Although strong as an ox and rather fierce when set upon, he was not as battle crazy as others from our old neighborhood. Now some had taken to gun play and a few of them were dead. These days Bear was more happier at meals, drink or else occasionally hooking up with Colonial Williamsburg women or his barmaid friend. Then surprisingly enough he said: "But I brought a pair of swimming trunks with me. We can hang out by the pool for awhile."
 
Coming back down out of our high woods hideaway Denny pointed at the distant parking area and said: "I recognize that car." We saw an emerald green vehicle and upon getting a bit closer could see it was a 1967 Mercedes Benz L319d Campervan. Beside it we saw a familiar figure bobbing up and down with both hands shielding his eyes from the sun. "What in the hell is he doing up here?" R.W. asked his brother. Denny shook his head and replied: "I thought he never got out of Isle of Wight County. Something's going on." We sped up our descent as to reach the parking area before he took off.
 
Scott Driskill always struck me as rather different. At age thirty two he held no job and still lived with his mother. Although Scott grew up in our old neighborhood, his mother bought a small farm across the James River in Isle of Wight County after he  cashed in on a trust fund left by a wealthy grandfather upon his eighteenth birthday. Both his mother and sister raised Nubian goats, while he cultivated marijuana on undeveloped portions their property. He and Denny were close friends. When weed was scarce in our area, we would sometimes cop from Driskill. This was always a strange experience. He had converted the basement of his home into one of the strangest pads I'd ever been in. Hung with fishing line from the ceiling were over a hundred plastic models of air and spacecraft. These ranged from the Wright Brothers' plane to a Federation Star Ship from the old Star Trek series and everything in between. On the walls were posters, some dating back to the psychedelic era of 1967, some were of black light art. He had a sizable library on a good many bookshelves as well as much strange bric-a-brac laying all about. During a sale Driskill would ramble on topics only he seemed to comprehend while listening to music from Doug and the Slugs, The Dead Kennedys, Ten Years After and Kraftwerk. Tall, lanky with a dirty blonde Rod Stewart like hairstyle, he wore tinted granny glasses and black clothing. I went out with his sister once, but all she could talk about were goats. Bear referred to his whole family as being rather flaky.
 
Driskill cut quite a figure there by the Blue Ridge Parkway, clad in black Levis and a equally somber black long sleeve shirt. Upon his head was a weird looking pearly white wide brimmed hat like the one Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones use to wear. Still bobbing up and down, he appeared blitzed out of his mind. 
 
"Scott! What are you doing here?" Denny shouted from across the parking area. "What brings you to the high country?"
"High country?" He muttered then cackled like a hen. "Denny is that really you? I just saw Edgar Allen Poe taking a dump by those bushes." He pointed to some rocks, but there were no bushes there to be seen. Bear rolled his eyes and said: "Oh yeah, I see him now." To which Driskill shambled over to the rocks, stared at them for a half minute and screamed: "Be more fucking cheerful, Ed!"
"That flakey fucker has lost the rest of his mind." Bear said as Driskill grimaced at the outcropping. Then he started mumbling unintelligibly.
"What do you think, acid, shrooms, or PCP?" Whitey chuckled.
"Hell if I know." Bear replied, "But he's certainly out of his rabbit ass mind. Look at him."
Now Driskill held both hands aloft and shouted: "High country!" He then walked back to us, approached me and shook my hand. "You of all, know the deal."
"The deal?"
"Yeah the deal. What it is. You know the scene. You're part of it, man." 
 
It was quite obvious Driskill was under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug or some heavy  duty narcotics. His head bobbed and his eyes darted about. "My mom, sister and I are at Wintergreen with two aunts and a cousin. Bad scene man."
"What the fuck have you been smoking, Scott?" Bear inquired. Moving his hands in a circular motion, Driskill replied: "If I only had something to smoke. Something to level me out a little."
"Level you out from what?" Denny asked. Head still bobbing, Driskill hissed: "Mescaline." then issued a weird tittering sound. Now Bear was interested. "Mescaline? You mean the real deal and not that synthetic shit that was going around a few years ago?" 
"Capsules." Driskill lisped, "The real deal."
"Got any more?" Denny asked.
"Back at the Chalet in Wintergreen. I've got twenty seven more caps. Copped them from some kat there at the resort."
 
After walking Driskill back up into the woods to smoke another bowl with him, we gave him about two bowls of the weed-hashish mixture and twenty bucks. In return, once we got him back to Wintergreen, he would give us ten capsules of mescaline. Denny drove him back in his old Mercedes with us following behind. Before leaving we invited him to party with us at the Colony House, but he declined. "I want to set on the deck and hear the leaves sing."
 
With Driskill safely with his family at Wintergreen and transaction complete, we began the journey back to our lodgings... 

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