Friday, November 4, 2011

The Cataract Operation: The Acid Trip for Old Age

The Cataract Operation: The Acid Trip for Old Age

Last week my husband had a cataract operation. A few days later, we were in Valley Green Park taking in the spectacular fall foliage. Rick was looking up at the sky in wonderment, saying, “the sky is unbelievably bright. I’ve never seen a blue like that. It’s like everything is back lit. And I can see yellow, red, and orange leaves on that tree.”

I said, “You mean you can see different colored leaves on that tree?” All I could see was an orange blur. His reply, "Yes, I can see distinct colors.”

There was something weirdly familiar about his look of wonder and then it hit me. That was just how my crazy hippie friends and I would talk about our acid trips, marveling at the magical world of intense colors LSD and mescaline opened up for us.

My trips were a little less intense than most; I was a cautious "just a ¼ tab” person. I really didn’t like my brain playing tricks on me and with my small dose I got the heightened perception without the bizarre delusions. Kind of like Rick’s cataract operation!

My generation experimented with drugs and for most part did not pay a price; now people are serving long prison terms – simply for possession. I’ve always been bothered by this, but have never done much but publish an op-ed in Philadelphia's Daily News: From the article cross-posted at the Philadelphia NOW blog:

Many powerful and successful women and men in our society experimented with drugs in their youth. But their careers were not derailed; their families were not torn apart. Sadly, they are now willing to ignore the fact that another generation of women and men are being incarcerated in appalling numbers for drug-related crimes.

I can look back nostalgically at my (few) acid trips while right now there’s somebody rotting in jail for having had the misfortune to take drugs in a much less permissive time.

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