Here, have a contact high. My brother and I pass this back and forth between us when we need to laugh until our noses run. I wrote it to him in 1978. I was 32 and down in Florida alone working on someone else’s book. He must have been 18 or 19. Never having been a big-league pothead, having abstained completely since meeting Mr. Clean six years before, and being in the midst of an episode of my trademark ambivalence (torn between the generations of a neighbor family, friends with the long-winded middle-aged father, call him “Jake,” but hot for the airheaded late-teenage son, “Billy”)—well, it was a recipe for—well, you’ll see. (Punctuation scrupulously verbatim. Only the third page is numbered: -2- )
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OK KID YOU AST FER IT — your sister is now WASTED — so now you get to see the real thing (not just a contact high).
This was grown in Jake’s back yard — he took me up to his house just to visit — hospitably received — Lorna gave me a bourbon & water “like your dad” — then Billy got me stoned — stoneder than I’ve ever been. Still am — waiting for the parents (Tommy from the Marina was there too —) to arrive, yet! & I have had this incredible insight that all our attitudes — emotions are just passing phenomena that “flit through the mind and are gone (pardon me, I could make a more civilized parody of writing) — wha? (this is really primitive! Call the whitejackets and strait me away) — Real Zen — (I’m sitting here giggling like an idiot) — well, in turn tonight I have thought — “Do I want to talk to Jake” or “do I want to flirt with Billy” and “Oh God, what a waste of time, I’d rather talk to Jake” and “How can I be sitting here like this while mom and dad are maybe at the house with hurt feelings” — and “Jake & Lorna will think I’m crazy” and “This is frightening” & “this is fun” & “these guys think I’m nuts — am I going way, way out where they can’t follow” & telling Billy I want to go tell his father I don’t know which generation I belong to & etc.etc. etc. and realizing what a spiky, yellow thing my mind is and what a stoned comment that is, neat, I’ll put that down, it’s as good as anything — and — embarrassment, shame at my own silly conduct (I didn’t do anything mind you) — I just had these evil intentions which are so INAPPROPRIATE and beneath me and anyway I think I’d rather belong to the older generation and “what’s the difference” and should I be exposing this aspect of me to my kid brother and why not and — ATTITUDES! ATTITUDES! ATTITUDES. Postures the mind takes like a dancer — that’s all. I shouldn’t send this letter. — Why not? — That’s a Puritan attitude you’re attached to. They are, on the whole, getting stronger. Coming into the fore. Your (my) rebellious attitudes are weakening. (Why am I wasting my time doing this — getting stoned with two nice, pleasant dopes — one of whom has about two shreds of future manly style, just enough to flash in — STOP? Why am I saying any of this (fear — wild giggles — ) WHY SAY ANYTHING??
Why does the mind keep moving all the time? Like a hootchie kootchie dancer?
Can anyone live out here where nothing matters? We build our houses of matter — EVERYTHING IS AN ATTITUDE, don’t you see?? This letter is both “total put”-on” and “utterly serious” and “neither.”
When mother & Daddy come — I will click into the Mother & Daddy attitude. You know — I sense myself hardening — choosing a form — a set of attitudes rather permanent — a “character” — and a rather Puritanical one. (Never forget these are just attitudes too. Even “it’s an attitude” is an attitude? “I won’t be able to do this much longer” I was going to say — then I realized that’s a self-reinforcing attitude of the attitude — Why not? — because I’ve already decided to become that person who can’t. That’s scary — but why is it scary? What forces drive us towards those attitudes rather than these?
No wonder people can’t work in this state — They’d just keep saying “Why?” (although “Why not” is equally true
It’s all so arbitrary —
4.) cancel above orders
The “younger generation” have differently structured minds, I think. They find this easier to take. They don’t seem to get so “fractured” — I feel as if the rock bottom truth is: no reason for anything. Still of course I am attached to certain things — attitudes — & that set of attachments constitute my “character.” It doesn’t have to insist