When I Wish Upon a Star

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Bending Genres

I’m the idiot sitting in my hot tub at night looking at the skies thinking about how when I was a kid, I used to stare at the moon finding it awesome to watch something that the first humans looked at, that Jesus Christ looked at, that even Charles Manson looked at for God’s sake.

My dad told me one time that I had a death wish. It was just a normal day too when he said that too. No wishing of any special kind was going on. He must have been remembering the good old days.

I once told a kid in high school that tripping on acid was bad for the soul. Just a year later in college I told a different kid: “Sure, I’ll drop some acid with you. Why not?”

My friend and I had a good time. We saw funny things bend that shouldn’t bend and we laughed until the skin slid off our cheeks and we were nothing but a bunch of laughing bones. We drove around Cedar Falls in my Toyota and no souls seemed damaged.

No one had to ask me after that if I wanted a hit of acid. I just took them. I honestly think I had completely forgotten the whole bad for your soul conversation. Of course, I also hadn’t had the death wish conversation yet with my dad. Too busy wishing.

We did have conversations about how revolutionary it was or wasn’t. Were we really breaking on through or were we just getting really fucked up?

That was a valid question.

I forgot my whole soul argument, but I generally took the side that nothing profound was happening.

Maybe the best thing that ever happened to me on acid was watching The Golden Girls. It’s not like I sought the show out. It just happened. But it was profound. On that little black and white television, I saw the space between the laugh tracks. The universe of the non-verbal. That’s a hell of a constellation right there. All the words that were not being said. Those were the funny ones.

Here’s something kind of profound. The worst trip I ever took was the one I hadn’t taken. What kind of riddle was that? I wanted to know too but there was no map to these stars I was seeing. I hadn’t done any, but I had done it all. I was just sober and then I just wasn’t. I didn’t know what to do about it, so I went to bed. But when I woke up, I was still in the same place. Still tripping sober. That lasted for about three months and then it was just gone.

I never did it again.

That’s one way to learn what is or what isn’t bad for the soul.

I never got a chance to tell my dad this, and he’s the smartest person I’ve ever known, but he was flat out wrong. My only ever wish was to live.

And so here I am again, the idiot in his hot tub, looking at the sky and it’s the same damned moon, it hasn’t changed at all since I was a kid but back then I was just smart enough to think about the past people and I never once considered I was looking at the same thing that someday the idiot in his hot tub would look at too. My future was up there the whole time, and I never even thought about it. What an idiot!

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