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puRple DoTS


Ed Hamilton

Copyright © 2001
All Rights Reserved


I did a hit of acid before first period in my senior year of high school. What's the big deal, I thought, it'll make the day go by quicker. I had done acid several times before, and sure, sometimes you got an impure hit and had a bad trip, but I was pretty sure I had a good hit this time. All my friends from public school claimed to have done it--dropped acid at school, that is--and they said it was really great. Really a trip, they actually said, somewhat redundantly. I was eager to try it. First period was our Marriage and the Family class--a requirement for all seniors--where we mostly learned about the horrors of abortion. But that wasn't the subject that day. I just sat there happily in my seat, ignoring the teacher, as he droned on about how we should remain virgins until marriage, or else risk infecting our (presumably similarly chaste) brides with a hideous venereal disease. It was an all-boys Catholic school.

Right before class I had placed the microdot on my tongue--a real purple microdot, tiny, not that crappy barrel acid that people sometimes tried to pass off as microdot. I hadn't swallowed it, but had held it on my tongue as I walked through the halls to class. I was proud of myself, I guess, and wanted to show off. A few minutes into the period, I tapped on my friend Alex's shoulder. He was sitting at the desk in front of me; I had a seat in the very last row. Alex was big drug user himself, no doubt high on reefer at this time of the day. I figured I'd really freak him out.

"Hey man, check this out," I whispered as he turned around, poking out my tongue to display the microdot.

It took him a moment to comprehend. Then he almost yelled, "What the hell?! Goddamn!!!"

I was right: it did freak him out. I chuckled to myself softly.

But Alex kept going off: "I can't believe that shit!. You're crazy! You're one crazy motherfucker!" He was still turned around in his seat, not speaking as loudly as before, but loud enough for the teacher to notice it.

"Ssshhh!" I said, and swallowed the microdot.

The teacher, Mr. MacDonald, had halted his lecture and was staring crossly at us. "What seems to be the problem, Mr. Burke?" he demanded of Alex.

"Oh, nothing, nothing," Alex said as he turned around in his desk.

"Would you care to share your concerns with the class?"

"I don't think so, Mr. MacDonald."

"Well then, kindly shut up!"

But Alex didn't shut up. Once the teacher went back to his talk, Alex muttered under his breath, "Little purple dots." Then he cranked up the volume a bit: "Little purple dots." He just kept repeating it over and over, not loud enough for the teacher to hear, but loud enough for everyone sitting nearby. Probably they just thought Alex was crazy, but it was annoying the hell out of me and, even though the acid hadn't kicked in yet, making me a little paranoid. He made it into a sort of a song: "Little purple dots, little purple dots."

Maybe he wanted me to hallucinate purple dots flying around, or maybe he was just trying to mess with me. In any event, I had to listen to this shit for the rest of the period. When the bell rang and I got out of the classroom and into the hall, my buzz was really beginning to kick in. Alex followed me around through the halls, bouncing all around me, getting in my face, and singing about little purple dots. "How are the colors, man? Far out?" he asked. And he kept waving his hand in my face to try to make me see trails. He was really concerned about trails.

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