June

2000

Acid Trip Park

They called it Acid Trip Park becuase it was allegedly where the heads would go, years ago, to drop and hang out, six blocks away from our ghetto high school, the freaks and hippies escaping from the cracked walls and decaying textbooks of Physics. I first went there my Sophomore year, before I had even done acid for the first time. After a year of thick- spectacled rejection, I had fallen in with a crowd of year-younger girls. Myself and Jacob, the two older boys in this herd of budding femininity. Jacob, however, was far more experienced than me and actually managed to deal with it in the way that a teenage boy should; by making out with as many of them as possible. My story was a little different. Repressed and shivering, I wasn’t scoring with anybody or anything. While Jacob made out under tables with the prettiest girls I knew I rode the bus home alone, into my warren of comic books and furtive, hateful masturbation. We would leave for Acid Trip Park at lunch, content to skip fifth period, whatever it was. I can remember what I did outside of class far better than I can remember the classes themselves. Who would be there? Jacob and me. Molly. Jenny sometimes. There were so many girls that year that I never saw again. Kaleen who I had a terrible crush on, Jacob pulling down the ring zipper on her shirt. Her friends said she liked me too. What’s worse is the number of names I’ve forgotten. Marissa, who nobody liked, with enormous, uncomfortable breasts, drawing unwanted attention. Nobody liked her, said she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. With her UK Subs tattered shirt and crazy, kinky hair, always on the outskirts of our group. It fell to me to tell her to go away, that nobody here liked her. I did it, I did it, and started crying in self-hatred minutes later, after she’d crested the hill out of sight. Her friends said she liked me too. All this emptiness, all this loneliness, all this never understanding anything. That whole year, what was I looking for? What was I trying to find, at the dawn of my adulthood? Love was only a concept that happened to somebody else. I never did acid at Acid Trip Park. It seemed like the place itself was enough.