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Phish Tour Summer '98
An Experience with Police, Arrest, Jail, and Prosecution
by Charlie
Summer 1998
The first mistake was innocent enough. My buddy Chris was picking up some glass pipes from his friend in Eugene. His friend sort of mentioned on the fly how he had all these left over bottles of a "ganja tincture" he made using the leaf and shavings of some really good Cannabis soaked in Everclear grain alcohol and then strained. "Take these, maybe you could sell a few of them, I'm not using them, don't worry about the money, bring back what you don't sell and you can pay me for what you do sell when you get back." Cool. Why not. A fly decision fuelled by hunger for more money, that's how it started. 28 little probably 2oz bottles with droppers in the caps. So strong looking that the glass droppers had while crystals collected on them and dark green liquid in them. Didn't smell too nice. He put them in a paper bag and from then on they were "on board."

Our two main ways of making money on tour was to sell veggie burritos after the shows let out and to sell glass pipes. Chris and Jake had the pipes. I don't know any glass blowers and so had nothing to sell but burritos. The veggie burritos were my gig mostly. 12 layers. Black beans, pinto beans, rice, salsa, corn, red bell peppers, garlic (freshly pressed and in generous amounts every time... the key to it all), alfalfa sprouts, tortillas (of course), onions, and sometimes refried beans and/or kidney beans. Maybe that's really more like 10 layers, but we advertised 12. Selling the burritos was something I both loved and hated. Rushing to get to the show early to make them in the parking lot was never fun. Time crunches never are, and this while on vacation. But if you're going to be on the road for 6 weeks, you need a way to make some cash. Especially with an expensive Cannabis habit to feed. Only smoking the best on tour. Well, mostly.

So the rice got cooked. The beans and corn and salsa heated up in a big pot. The garlic, onions, and red bell peppers got sauteed separately in a frying pan in some salsa. That was our special touch this tour. *Sauteed* veggie burritos. Near the end I got to adding cajun seasoning and crushed red pepper to the mix. We had a propane stove in the camper which I used to cook. Heat it all up and prepare the tortillas by separating them with tin foil. Then it all got brought outside into the open where we "spun them up" meaning we folded & wrapped the mix in the tortillas and then rolled them into the foil. It would take about an hour and a half to make one batch which usually yielded 70 burritos, unless I spun most of them in which case we'd get like 60 because I believe in makin' 'em FAT so as to fill the customer up for $2. Making the burritos always attracted attention from our parked neighbors and was a good way to meet them. Sold them for $2, or 3 for $5. They were usually still pretty hot even after the show having sat in the camper for a few hours. So if we were fortunate enough to sell 120 burritos in a night, we could bank $200 or so. The food investment was small at first and it kept replenishing itself, but it ate up time like crazy. 'Cause we had to hit a grocery store in every show town and then make them and then sell them. Definitely work. But it had to be done to keep it all moving. At times stressful.

A lot of heads sell burritos on tour. Everybody walking around in their stoned post-show glow calling out "Kind fat veggie burritos two bucks" while strolling around the parking lot as the masses made their hungry way out of the venue to their cars. The competition was such that some nights it seemed impossible to sell out, indeed some night we didn't. Then in some towns at some venues they'd sell like hot cakes no problem. Selling the burritos was good practice for a shy guy like me who normally wouldn't "go out" into the crowd and talk with people I didn't know. Trying to get myself out of my own self-created shell was a constant push tug and pull for me all tour, on a personal level. I couldn't decide if these folks were really all Kind Sisters & Brothers or if was all just a front. Little bit of both? Everybody talking so positive and "nice" that I wondered where the negativity was or how it got expressed. Usually it was bitching about venue security or police. The bad guys. It made me realize how negatively programmed my own way of thinking is, which is partly why I keep my mouth shut. A lot of times it seemed the words and tone out of my mouth would silence people shortly before they did what they could to get away from me. As positive a vibe as many of these wise ones have seemed to master, they definitely had no time for someone who wasn't on the vibe. Made me realize the level of unhappiness I carry within me. Like a germ, like a disease. But I never wear on my face or in my voice what is not real. I'm not fake. So to improve, it requires a change at the deepest levels, how my brain thinks and interprets and perceives it's surroundings. With all the psychedelics in the air and in the brains of my fellow tour heads, words were often not even necessary to get what was on other people's minds. Psychedelics bring us closer to that improved way of communicating, mind reading. Anyway, I learned how what was in my head and the record I played in my brain actually kept people away from me. People, except really strong understanding ones, often seemed to avoid me. I got MANY weird looks from people. Lot of fear in me. Fear from inexperience. Fear of other Humans. Alienation like was once pointed out to me here in this forum. Why have I made myself into this? Maybe it wasn't my doing. This false belief that self-imposed isolation brings a rare kind of awareness that is all together too much missing in today's world. The wisdom of the hermit. Truth or bullshit? That's part of the reason I went on tour, because I was sick of my unsatisfying old way of being and wanted to leave and run away into the unknown to find myself. I wasn't all foreign territory, I had been to nearly 40 Phish shows previously and did the whole '95 summer tour with burritos and all. I'm 25, so many people tell me I'm getting a bit old for this. My parents especially who would really like to see me get some direction in life. Unsatisfying on many levels so-called "innocence" can be. Totally haven't related with members of the opposite sex on a verbal level in like 6 years. The effects of this are deep. I wanted to heal this wound.

So some nights I'd be all high out there selling burritos and it reached the point of crisis in a inner psychological panic sort of way. At the Phoenix show (the home show) I got so flustered and over-rushed with all kinds of emotions that at one point I almost broke down completely. These two absolutely cute and beautiful hippie chicks wanted to buy two burritos and they only had a $20 for which I did not have change. So I suggested they wait until I sell a few more and then I'd have change to give them. Kinda cool actually 'cause it made them stick around a while. So I tried to sell and they weren't selling. The girls helped me call out "12 layers veggie burritos" but they weren't selling. I'm an emotional wreck. I knew I was holding them up. I actually forgot how many burritos they got from me. The money was all a confused mess in my pocket. I'm like shaking and can't be calm enough to straighten it all out and count it. I think I had $14 or $15 dollars on me. I gave it to her and said "Is that right?" I knew it wasn't, she knew it wasn't. I gave her this pathetic look of desperation and she understood. We gave each other a big hug and that helped a lot. Hugs beat money any day! O how cute! And her friend too. Lack of self- confidence is my "problem." Too humble I am. Harmless. Which I think is good in the long run, but doesn't get anything accomplished and makes for a basket-case of an unsatisfied Human on many levels. We felt this NEED to sell the burritos out every night so everything would be financed ok and we wouldn't be short on cash. Like I said the burritos were not selling in Phoenix and I got desperate to sell. Almost pissed off. I walked up to these two dudes sitting in the back of their pickup. "Hey you guys wouldn't happen to want to buy some yummy veggie burritos?" They purchased them eventhough they didn't seem to want them. He told me it was his last two bucks. I'm like well dude keep your money man, what are you doing? A few times I had people buy the burritos it seemed more 'cause I was desperate than it was them actually wanting the burritos. Why is this? Was this the kind of burrito nazi vibe I was putting out? I walked away from the two dudes in the pickup and I heard them say well loud enough for me to hear "lots of pent up anger or something I don't know." In an amazed sort of voice. That did it for me that night. I went back to the camper with many burritos left in my crate unsold and gave up for the night. Had enough. Those were the nights I hated selling the burritos.

On the other hand some nights went great and better than could have been planned. My energy and confidence would be up. My vibe easy. People would gather around me waiting to buy burritos. Everytime I sold out it felt GREAT!!! I'd be floating back to the camper spinning my crate around practically dancing. Looking for good beer to buy and food to reward myself for a job well done. Couple of times people that were obviously really hungry and had like $1 wanted one for a "kickdown." It always felt good to give burritos to these people because they always looked genuinely appreciative of you feeding them. There's something I love about giving people food. It's spiritually rewarding. That's why I liked being "in charge" of the burrito preparation, to ensure I was dishing out THE BOMB every night. Also why I made them PHAT and took the 10 burrito loss in order to do so. I developed a love for people doing this. With all the negatively still in me of course, I am only Human. Beautiful girls would buy them from me. I'd stop and slow down and smile at them trying to give a warm vibe. I found out that whenever you TRY to make a vibe a certain way it doesn't work and your trying is apparent. It has to be natural. But every time a girl would buy one from me it was special. And not that many did. Mostly brothers as customers. But whatever the sex, when they'd sell I'd be on cloud nine. Meeting people and doing my duty making money to support the trip. All three of us sold burritos every night, Jake and Chris were going to wait to sell glass pipes until we got further east and they weren't so commonplace. Glass pipes are pretty well known on the west coast and so the prices are more driven by a market. A wonderful "underground" artistic market from glass blowers to smokers. Some of the pieces actually reaching the level of fine art and craft.

The west coast was a trip and had a much different feel than the midwest did. I felt more "at home" in the midwest probably 'cause I was raised in Minnesota. People more down to Earth in the midwest and not trying to be the pinnacle of hip culture like they seemed to be in the west. Midwesterners weren't as offended by negativity and the expression of it, and they weren't so into the mind reading vibe, generally more hearty and less touchy. Except for the humidity, I was glad to get east. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I still have to describe the best night of the tour for me, the third show of the tour... the second night at The Gorge, in George, Washington. July 17th, 1998. O what a night.

It was a two nighter at the Gorge, so we camped at the parking lot and there was no rush about getting there or getting burrito mix. No rush. More relaxed. The two show venues were always cool with everybody camping and partying all night and hanging out together. Deer Creek was the same. So we're getting ready to go into the show. Nothing special that day. Lots of beer drinking and bowl smoking. Ganja cookie eating. BTW, I tried the tincture in Portland and didn't like it. Sure it spun your head, but frankly the everclear burn in the throat was unpleasant and so was the resulting very alcohol saturated buzz. Hard liquor isn't my bag, and everclear is the worst of 'em all. THC included or not. If I wanted to orally ingest THC, I munched on the ganja cookies we made before we left, but you had to be careful with those too, 'cause too many and they'd put you out. Bigtime.

I was in my normal bit down mood before the show waiting for the word to head in. Then somebody pulls out this folded piece of paper that I didn't even know we had in the van. It had a white powder in it. What is it? The pure molecule. Molecule? Molecules of what? The "bomb" E. E? E as in ecstasy? Yup. Well I've never tried that stuff and I don't really feel like doing it tonight. Ok that's fine. Jake and Chris were going to put it into a glass of water and drink it together. Supposedly it doesn't get any purer. They knew the people who made it and I guess these folks know what they are doing and only make it under full moons. Respected shit that had been tried before and proved excellent each and every time. Hmmm. My curiosity was up. I've heard a lot about this stuff. I kept thinking of Dr. Shulgin. Needless to say it wasn't long before it was standing over there next to it examining it. Had to take a taste man, so to get a feel and a taste of this much talked about cosmic entity. To know it, to introduce myself to its spirit. Something about love via a drug that turned me off, but I didn't know. I placed my sweaty finger on the white crystals and placed what was stuck to my finger onto my tongue. Ah HA! Bitter. That special kind of bitter. The bitter I love. The bitter that makes my eyebrows go up and my brain sing. O boy! Let it roll in my mouth and absorb in my oral cavity. No need for water for me. This otherworldly taste is one I know, respect and treasure. Haven't had anything so powerful tasting in my mouth since I tasted a piece of San Pedro cactus skin given to Chris by a shaman in Peru. I was on mushrooms at the time and the flavor and old power of the San Pedro infused my mouth and being. O so powerful. So I was definitely in for a second finger dip. More on the finger this time. Licked it first. Let it absorb. I stood there and dipped my finger in over and over again. Didn't care how much. The bigger dips did require a swallow of water to chase them down. The taste builds in your mouth as you keep putting more in, more intense. I liked taking it this way, straight in small increments. MDMA. I think Jake pulled it away from me before I ended up eating more than my fair share. It was my first time so moderation was probably in my best interest. They mixed the rest in the glass of water and passed it between themselves until they couldn't stand the taste any more. They appeared to be much less accepting of the taste than I was. They couldn't finish it and handed it to me. I polished it off no problem. My somewhat sour mood had lifted. I was smiling in that rare way only entheogens make me smile. I was ready to roll (and I'm not talking burritos).

We walked in to the show and the long walk and the heat definitely kicked it in. I was starting to trip, getting really high. Jake and Chris took more than I did and I could see their faces and behaviors change by the minute. I probably took 100-150 mg while they probably had closer to 250 or 300 mg. I think Jake took the most and you could see it. He kept holding his hands out and spinning around with this grin on his face. I was in a mixed state of mild fear from rising on something totally unfamiliar and new to me combined with a feeling of release, comfort and uninhibitedness. Got into the venue and sat down on the grass and took my shoes off. O what a vibe. Perfect for outdoors, on grass, surrounded by fellow high people. Needless to say it was the most amazing show of the tour. The band played tight! Perfect song selection. And this high opinion is not totally subjective. It wasn't just great cause I was high out of my skull. Everybody talked about that show after it happened. It was THE show. Universal opinion. Jake wandered around looking for girls to connect with. He wanted to touch hair. He touched mine and asked if I minded. Not at all. I liked feeling the grass. Chris spent most of the show over to the side but behind me so he wasn't in my field of vision. I remained in the same spot the whole night pretty much, like I always do. In front of me I had this very tall attractive girl in a sweet dress who seemed to be by herself. She was very tall, wore sunglasses and grooved the whole night. Watching her dance was pure pleasure. She didn't look at me much, but she knew I was "there." Then I had this little dude down to the left. He and I danced the whole show "together" even though we didn't get physically close or talk to each other. Such things we not necessary. We were together consciously the whole night. After this show I would see him at least once at every venue we went to. Connected. Never said a word to him, but every time I saw him I smiled, we kept popping into each other spheres. Back to the show... He turned around as he danced, something I never got myself to do eventhough I kinda wanted to. To me it was strange to make eye contact with the person directly behind you throughout the show as you danced, but I was glad others did. Spinning is the key. A key I never reached for. But my dancing got looser as the tour progressed. Eventhough this show was early in the tour, the E opened me up to expressing myself in body language. That girl and that guy didn't move and either did I. I think we were all on a similar wavelength and perfectly comfortable with each others presence for the duration of the performance. Something I wish I had down better in more sober states. No alienation.

MDMA I thought more like LSD than mushrooms. But different. It's warmer than acid. Very heart chakra oriented. Warm. Opens up inherent potential to love. In no way feels artificial. I was surprised by how unchemical it felt, at least with this pure stuff. Didn't feel like a drug as much as it just felt like me with layers of crap removed out of the way. Amazing experience. I totally understood that night how a rave must (or can) work (never been to one). I also understood completely why Dr. Shulgin would spent his life researching these amphetamine derivatives. This my first time ever ingesting one of the phenethylamines. Something I always knew I wanted and had to do to get a better picture of these substances I used to "research" so dearly. It lasted most of the night. I was a bit concerned about selling burritos while tripping, because make no mistakes about it, I was definitely tripping. May not be one of your classic "psychedelics" but "tripping" is certainly the word I'd use. Amazing amazing substance! I grabbed my milk crate of burritos and said to myself "here goes nothing" and headed out into the crowd. What a blast! In that state it wasn't so much me finding people as it was people finding me. Very little effort on my part. That love vibe ATTRACTS people to you. In contrast to the moods I discovered repel people. Another key. Connections and smiles all night. This one dude walked up to me and asked me if I'd like to trade 2 burritos for a picture of me. I'm like sure. I'm easy. The whole time I talked with him I had no weird feelings. See when I talk with other people I usually at some point have some sort of weird thought or feeling that the person who is talking to me picks up on, and they can also tell I'm not listening to them and thinking instead. The main thing I learned on this tour is that thoughts are objects that other people can see and read and pick up on. Thoughts are substance. My hateful selfish ways of thinking send bad things out into the stratosphere. I had nothing bad in my thinking talking to this dude on ecstasy and the conversation flowed very smoothly and effortlessly and was mutually rewarding to both parties involved. Lots of shared enthusiasm. This was both good and bad to learn because I still cannot control my thoughts, my brain's too active and I have trouble conversing with people smoothly because of it. Even my good friends who I've known for years. They just become accustomed to it and keep talking no matter what I'm thinking and will even repeat the parts they knew I didn't hear cause I wasn't listening. They work with me. Strangers who are very receptive to vibes don't have such patience with me. Sick mind? I don't know. I'm not a very social person. So anyway, while this dude was preparing his camera I was trying to sell more burritos and all the sudden a security guard walks up and grabs my arm and shines a flashlight right into my friggin' pupil. "Are you high on anything right now?" he says in a deep voice. This my friends was my first encounter with the "authorities" and a precursor to everything that was to happen weeks down the road. I said no and he pointed to the burritos, "You selling anything funny in those burritos?" Now I get very nervous when people treat me like this and flustered. I don't like it and I'm not good at getting mad at people, so I shake and shit. But my smart mouth comes through with this "Well unless you think garlic is funny, nope." "What are you doing with them?" This is where honesty steps in before I can even think whether or not telling the truth is in my best interest. "This dude is going to take a picture of me and then I'm gonna trade him 2 burritos for it." My camera carrying friend looked most nervous and amazed when I said this, like I brought him into it unnecessarily. But he didn't run, he stayed. He could probably see that I was scared. The power of direct truth. The rent-a-cop turned off his flashlight and patted me on the back and says "A word of advice to you for next time, you ought not to sell your shit while standing directly under a street light in plain view." He winked at me and then walked off. And sure enough I looked up and I was standing in a circle of yellow light selling burritos. I don't think about these things. Not at all. Didn't even remotely cross my mind. I don't want to think sneaky. I'm not about sneaky. All foreshadowing what was to come. I got my picture and he got his burritos. It was a bit of a buzz kill but I pulled myself out of it after a few minutes. I was upset by it. Why is the world like this? One other time I got stopped by a lot guard. It was in Phoenix during my failed attempt to sell burritos I mentioned earlier. This dude walks up to me and says ok buddy you are coming with me. I was dumb this night and was a carrying an open beer while I was walking around with my crate. Now open beers you CAN get in trouble for. This dude seemed more concerned with the burritos and I couldn't tell if he saw the beer or not. He's like "you're going with me to a place you don't want to be." Instead of running like most would I was actually thinking to myself in a moment of utter defeat "do I actually have to throw my beer away? Where's the nearest garbage can." And I was actually headed over to a garbage can when the most miraculous thing happened. People saw my expression of total defeat and this black dude with a flashlight and a bright yellow jacket waiting for me to come with him to headquarters or wherever the fuck it was they hold burrito vendors. All the sudden the follow Phish Phans gather around me in great numbers where before I had been all alone. I was all flustered and just stood there. Some guy asked me, "what are these?" "Veggie burritos." "How much?" "Two bucks." But I'm thinking I can't sell burritos now, especially with the guard right next to me waiting for me to get me shit together. Doing it in front of him would be incriminating, right? So I just stood there. Then they all just started throwing dollar bills into my crate and grabbing burritos. Right and left. Must have been like 15 people. I was too down to make change or even act like I was involved. They did all the work. And this girl, O man this girl. On my left right next to where the rent-a-cop was standing. So gorgeous. She shot me the warmest, most understanding, loving, and strength giving look. With sparkles on her face and in her eyes. My heart was like O man. Instant love. Then they all disappear and I got this crate full of money and leftover burritos. The guard looks at me and says, "Ok man, I realize this is how you make your money, just go, get lost and don't ever let me see you again." I went straight back to the camper (stopping at a pickup on the way). Remember walking behind yet another beautiful girl most of the way. Don't know why I'm so shy of women and can't feel comfortable around them. Early life experiences? I can stare and stare and appreciate and appreciate, but if they walk up to me I freeze. This is something I have needed to work on for a long time. Part of the reason I went on tour to begin with. I made some progress but not much. In this particular area. Sometimes I wonder if I can't do it. But I know I can. Requires self-confidence, love, and relaxation. When you have the opposite, they keep their distance and well they should. Can't blame anybody for that.

I was glad I never had to discard my freshly opened beer.

Another thing I noticed on tour was how the people I was hanging with very subtlely addressed my situation indirectly. When Jake, Chris and I got into the venue on E we all sat together. I was silent and exploring. Happy and high. They talked behind me. And what they were saying had everything to do with what was in my head and my "problem." Not at all talking directly to me, but saying everything that I NEEDED to hear. Like dropping the word of God on me, them as channels. Opened up. What bros they are. Serious lessons the whole time. Sometimes I'd resist it or even be slightly offended, sick of hearing it, but that night at The Gorge I took in and appreciated every word. It's about love. Receiving The Word (as I called it) continued the whole next day even when we got back to Portland. Some very wise and loving people were saying things to me that my soul needed to hear. Ideas popped into my head. One guy had a newborn baby and he was telling us how it was born. I mentioned how I had been born by C-section supposedly 'cause my head was too big to fit through my mom's canal. "They had to go in to get me." is how I always put it. I pictured big steely knives being used in a sterile hospital room and it dawned on me that this early early shit was affecting me even to this day. The dude with the baby looked at me and said very comfortingly "Julius Caesar was born by C-section." Come to think of it, I was never breastfed, on "formula" from day one. I've always resisted the common thinking in modern psychology about how early experience in life deeply affects us in every facet of who we are and what we become. But throughout the tour I realized that it is very true, there is something to it. It's not just blaming stuff in the now on things in the past, it's real. I wonder about our capacity to change ourselves into different people. People that get to know me well one on one will say to me that they have met many people in this crazy world but never a person quite like me. I like hearing this, but at the same time I often wish I was more average. It would be easier for me socially.

Smoking tons of marijuana doesn't help things. But I get stressed without it. But I do have many of my "bad thoughts" when I'm stoned, which is probably why I like to get high alone. I don't like to be the bummer vibe in a group, but I know at times I am.

However I did get more into the dancing as the tour went on. Phish plays a lot of deep funk jams these days. Solid dancable beats that are the perfect tempo for body moving. Got to the point where I was looking forward to the show not just to find out what they were going to play like I used to, but looking forward to going in for the dancing and the dancing alone. When my thoughts were clean and comfortable and my bounce was on (being an amateur drummer, I can keep on a beat & time pretty well and therefore bop my head pretty accurately with the music without losing it) people would come dance around me. That was the best! Or IS the best! Girls never seemed to hang out and dance in front of me for too long, in my field of vision, I think I vibe them too hard or something. But they'd always be around and behind me. We'd get the bounce synchronized with each other and the music and man, that's truly divine. Some of the heartier ones would dance next to me the whole show no matter what was going through my head. I can't stop thinking, it's as simple as that. I try to think to myself, "I love you and I'm glad you're here next to me" but even then I find myself *trying* to think that instead of it coming naturally as it should. Don't get me wrong, I always meant it. I'm reprogramming my own mind. But this all came to a sudden halt in Pennsylvania. Not sure why, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Now for the darker, non-musical and non-burrito part of this tale.

I remembered a few things I forgot to put in the first part. One was how great making the burritos next to the beach was. For the Ventura show. Spinning burritos next to the ocean was the best burrito making spot we encountered. Fresh ocean air. Bits of sand probably making its way into the burrito mix, authentic pacifico style. At one point we abandoned the assembly line altogether and ran out into the water, which was fun. My second time in the sea. I learned to be comfortable spending more time with my shirt off, exposing my bare ass white skin. When I take my shirt off, folks normally need to put on sunglasses. I am Caucasian with a capital C. White white white. My skin liked being exposed to the sun and the ocean air. I also learned to skip wearing my boxer shorts, something I normally never even think to do, but man it was more comfortable, especially when it was really hot outside. And for dancing. I burn easily, but more sun on my bod is good because I tend to be pasty white. Almost unhealthy looking. All a part of becoming more comfortable with myself and my sexuality and all that. No reason to be ashamed. That reminds me, the Ventura show. That was the only show that I went into by myself, Jake and Chris didn't have tickets. I spent the show next to this dude named Greg... cool guy. He kept packing bowls of kind bud over and over again. Almost too much. It was a special show. The part that spoke to me the most was Fishman (Phish's drummer) finally leaving his set and taking over the front mic (had been waiting for him to sing a song all tour). But he didn't just sing any song, he belted out "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye, complete with pelvic thrusts near the end. It was very funny and at the same time very timely and meaningful for me. Talkin' serious messages from wherever.

And since I'm putting all my psychological hangup cards on the table, I might as well mention urination. Urination? As in peeing? Yup. Got to the point where I couldn't get myself to urinate in front of others. Like in a public restroom with somebody using the urinal next to me. Any time I was within an earshot of somebody else. Started years ago as I was finishing up school. Getting the flow started was/is the problem. Once it was going I could piss in front of anybody. But if I walked in and the place was full, I would be too tense and relaxed to make water. This was something that really bugged me. As you could imagine. One time I was on Dr. Weil's webpage (which is way cool by the way), and he addressed this very problem. He said that this phenomenon is so common among young men in our modern world that they actually have a clinical name for it. To need to urinate and not be able to because you are around people is a real pisser, let me tell you. I worked on this throughout the tour. I got to the point where I was reluctant to announce I was going to piss for fear if I did and then for some reason couldn't do it, 'cause someone was right there next to me watching me or something, I'd be totally embarrassed because I couldn't get it to go. No control over my own body and mind? So on the road I was hitting bushes when nobody was around to watch, know, or care. Alienation? Hmmm.... The situation improved as the tour progressed. I could say I gotta go piss and go do it. I got comfortable enough with Chris that he and I could go pee in a bush together. It's embarrassing even mentioning this, but I'm in the process of spilling my guts and this was a major problem for me the past year or two. I'd go to a bar and purposefully drink slowly and not much because I didn't want to have to use the public restroom, and if I did, I would always try and grab the stall to pee in and hope they had music playing in the room. Not right. Good way to avoid getting overly drunk however. My biggest fear was that one of my friends would pick up on this.

Just a side. Now where were we? Oh yeah, the dark part, speaking of non-white. Plenty of black people in jail here are. So we are making our way from Indianapolis where we stayed the night at Jake's grandparents house. Jake's grandma is like 84 but gets around pretty good. His grandfather has a killer sense of humor and was cracking jokes the whole time. Funny old dude. Grandparents always like me. Jake's grandmother characterized me as a "sweet boy." She didn't like Chris however. Maybe because Chris had his girl with him, I don't know. All I know is that I'm universally liked and comfortable around older women, and children as well, but totally uncomfortable around people my own age, my peers. Is this right? Well maybe not TOTALLY uncomfortable, but much more less at ease. Is this cause the possibility of sex is there? Possibly. Why remain a boy? Does sweetness pay off? Ah questions. I know part of the reason my own 85 year old grandmother stays alive is that she longs to see the day I settle down and get married or something. Or even just get a girlfriend. I worry my family. Jake's mother said to me that I have a "good personality" and suggested I go teach, providing I can take insults and be firm with people. Hmmm... A lot of people think I should become a teacher, and everybody seems to think I should be or can be more than a pizza delivery driver. Little do they know what a good driver I am. But I tend to drive too fast.

I was driving a bit too fast down Interstate 70 as we crossed the state line into Pennsylvania. Chris was asleep up top and Jake was in the passenger seat. I saw the cops on the other side of the road pulling someone over. 10 minutes later they were behind me with lights flashing. SHIT! It was about 7:30 pm. We hadn't smoked a bowl in like 3 hours or so... so we were pretty sober and there wasn't a smell as far as I could tell. The pot, the money, and all the "active" pipes were in a fireproof safe up in cupboard. I had my pipe in its pouch in my backpack. Chris told me not to bring it, but being the rebel I am, I brought it anyway. Just tell me not to do something and I'll do it. So we had 3 pieces "in use": my pipe, a chilum, and a small bubbler. I like a pipe every once and a while so I grabbed mine when we rolled out of Phoenix. We bought a quarter of average Kentucky grown pot at Deer Creek in a moment of desperation. No kind buds around and schwag is better than nothing, right? Wrong. We were low when we got popped, there was just a couple of bowls left and maybe a small chunk of hash. Chris and Jake were totally paranoid the whole time travelling. I was more relaxed. I felt there no reason to hide everything in a safe and be all worried the whole time, but they were. '95 summer tour and we didn't stress at all, and nothing happened. We smoked in the empty capitol building parking lot in Washington D.C. at 3 in the morning and got chased out by a federal security van marked K-9 Unit, which was pretty scary, let me tell you, but that was about it. Something about the word Washington. So we were in Washington, Pennsylvania and I pull off the freeway thinking ok, I'll sign the ticket and that will be that. Play it cool. Jake and Chris were clean shaven with normal polo-type shirts on. I had a full beard and a colorful batik on. We had no stickers on the outside of the car, just a licence plate frame reading "Happiness is being a grandparent," nice touch eh?

But we did have a sticker with Jerry Garcia's face on the dashboard. Our downfall. O Jerry how sad it is that your image can cause downfalls. The cop was cool at first. Asked me if I knew what the speed limit was. I said 60. Then the asked me how fast I was going, and I said about 67 or so. Which is honestly what I saw on the speedometer. The speed limit was 55 (strange for an Interstate highway) and he claimed he paced me doing 70 mph. Got my licence and went back to his car, reassuring me that this was "just going to be a warning." He was very reassuring the whole time about how not in trouble we were. What a front. He comes back to give me the warning and my licence back, but this time through the passenger side window. He must have seen the sticker, 'cause the next thing he says to me is "will you step out of the vehicle, I need to talk to you a minute." That's the first moment I knew we were fucked. He takes me to the back of the camper and asked me how long I've known the guys I'm travelling with. I say I've known Chris for years but just met Jake... the truth. Then he askes what we are doing. I said we were headed to Lancaster to visit my friend, again the truth, and that we were travelling across the country on vacation seeing a few Phish shows on the way. Mistake. Don't mention seeing Phish shows to a cop. Jerry Garcia and Phish mean nothing but drugs to them. He tells me to sit tight and goes up to talk to Chris and Jake. Chris is no longer asleep. I think Chris may have had one prior on his record, a pot-related misdemeanor. I guess when he was up there talking to them, he asked Chris if he could search the van for weapons and drugs. Chris naturally said no way. Nightmare begins. "Ok, then I either call a drug dog to sniff, or I get a search warrant." The search warrant will take hours. The dog can be here in 45 minutes and if he doesn't sniff anything, you guys can be back on your way to Lancaster... but if he does hit then we search. Like we had a friggin' choice! I wish we had told him to get his friggin' search warrant. So the three burrito brothers sit at the side of the road waiting for the special K- 9 unit to show up and sniff their camper. Another cop arrives on the scene and the two Pennsylvania State Troopers chat it up while we picture our own demise. The K-9 unit finally shows up after what seemed like an eternity. Big black dude his trainer. I mean large dude! He had a tennis ball and used it to work with the dog. I was very interesting to watch. He'd use the ball to spin the dog in circles and then get the dog up on its feet to sniff into the windows.

20 minutes before, the cop had closed all the windows in the vehicle without asking us if he could. I guessed it was to hold odors inside. The dog did its song and dance for 10 minutes or so making several passes around the vehicle. The big black dude puts him away and points to where he "hit" on the vehicle. Told us his dog has 100% accuracy and that there either are or were drugs in that vehicle. So ok, I guess now they can search. Chris asks if he can supervise the search and the cops let him stand by and watch but hardly supervise. First thing out was my backpack. "Whose pack is this?" "Mine," I said. "Come here." He goes through my backpack. Grabs the pipe and pouch. "What's this?" "That's my pipe." Looks through the rest. Found two condoms in the front pouch. "Hoping to get lucky huh?" All I said is "well you know, it's been a long time." I sat back down. The only comic relief of the whole search was when they went through Jake's backpack and found nothing but two stuffed animals his mom gave him in Denver. I cracked up. "Yeah Jake, he's a little funny like that." My heart sank when I saw them pull out the paper bag with the ganja tinctures in it. Then the safe. And the cases of glass pipes. My O my. "Who has a key to open this safe?" Keep in mind the cops are really enjoying this whole search ordeal, grins all around, like kids in a candy store. They loved what they were doing. I say I have a key. They ask me what they are gonna find in the safe. I say a little herb is all. I didn't think of the money or the pipes. We had like $300 cash in there. Looked bad. Tincture, cash, pipes, and weed. No rights read to us. We were handcuffed and driven to the station. They never pulled out the ganja cookies or the ganja infused Jagermeister we had in the van. I'm surprised about the cookies, guess they had all they wanted. The last place they looked for kicks was the spare tire, which they seemed to enjoy tearing a hole in with a big knife. Sorry guys, we ain't no cocaine smugglers. The van stayed at the side of the highway and we left in the back of a cop car. Man is it uncomfortable to ride in a car with your hands cuffed behind your back. Damn uncomfortable! Hurts. The officer reassured us that we were *not* under arrest, not yet. Speaking of foreshadowing, the day before Jake's grandparents took us to lunch in their Chevy Caprice and in it I was commenting how this must be what riding in a cop car is like, since the cops around here drive mainly Caprices. And Chris claims that two days before he had a dream in which he could feel his hands cuffed. Foreshadowing.

We sit in the police station for hours as they take their sweet time typing up the paper work. People showed up to check out the merchandise. Guys from the crime lab upstairs were interested in the tincture bottles. They did a THC spot test right there and the dude said it turned a color of dark blue he had never seen before in years of using the test. They took pictures of all the pipes and laughed about how we were a "travelling headshop." Up on the wall were pictures of all their big drug busts. In cabinets next to us were many rifles which some cops came to get before heading out. They typed and they poked fun at us. A big gang the cops are. Too much power. I could tell the decent souls from the meanies. They would leave to go home while we sat there, and they'd laugh saying "see you fellas in the morning. You guys ever been in jail before?" "No." ha ha ha At this point Jake and I were silent but Chris was running at the mouth about how the tinctures were an "herbal remedy" for sore throats that he had purchased in Oregon. Here begins Chris' lying and story making/telling. The stories he was making up were so unbelievable that I even turned around and looked at him in amazement. The tinctures were his, so he was acting out of pure fear. I didn't agree with the lying. It wasn't like they were going to believe him and drop everything right there. He told them that one bottle was a "dose" and that it was especially designed for smokers. That it contained echinacea (sp?) and goldenseal, everclear as an alcohol base, and also vegetable gycerine, accounting for its green color. It was kind of funny how afraid of the liquid the police were. They wouldn't smell it and handled it like it was radioactive with gloves and the whole bit. They finally put a drop on a rolled up piece of papertowel and rolled it around a flat piece of paper to get a whiff. Chris is like, "give me a bottle, I'll drink a whole one right here in front of you to show you it does nothing." I didn't agree with Chris' approach. But he was afraid and clutching at straws by this point. A bottle of that shit would have looped him hard. A double shot of everclear alone is pretty harsh. The cops weren't familiar with popular medicinal herbs like echinacea and goldenseal, at least in PA they weren't, but it didn't make much difference, they didn't believe a word he was saying, I don't think anybody would've. They arranged everything on the table in a display and took pictures of it. I wonder if it's on their wall now. They counted the pipes and packed up the tinctures to take to the crime lab. One of the crime lab dude was a good person, I could tell. I looked at him in frustration and said "I always believed that if I never sold any drugs, I'd never get into any trouble. Obviously that's NOT the case." All he said was "whatever." They told us that if the bottles contained any sort of controlled substance we were in "big trouble." I believed this. I asked to pee cause I had to and they told me to hold it. Even though we weren't officially "under arrest," at no time did I feel free to walk out like one who isn't under arrest ought to be able to do. They worked very slowly typing up the paper work and talked with each other and made jokes the whole time. We were there for about 2 hours. The trooper that pulled us over at one point said he was pissed because this wasn't "the big one" he was hoping for. Said that right in front of us. Asshole. Finally they take us out one at a time for fingerprints. This is where the no respect treatment began. Got into the photograph & fingerprint room and was told "you try anything squirmy and you get slammed to the floor." I reassured the cop that I'm not a squirmy kind of guy. I completely cooperated the whole time. Finally they took us down to pee and I was happy to see that they were one-at-a-time bathrooms :-).

The trooper was digging into his brain to come up with the charges, just pulling them out of the top of his head, like he was engaged in some sort of creative writing deal. We each got 4 charges. Possession of a small amount of marijuana (as it is known to them, never called Cannabis), possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, and conspiracy with multiple criminal objects. The conspiracy charge is the one he had to dig for. I asked him what it meant. He told me it means we were all in it together, equally. No mention was made of the tinctures on the first round of paperwork. No probable cause was typed onto the report either, only that a K- 9 unit was called after being pulled over for speeding. Once I got to jail and could read things over and noticed this, I was very pleased. I had to actually ask the officer if we were going to be arrested, hours into it, and he said yes, almost like he didn't want to be the one to say it. He knew we were good kids. I was shooting him very disappointed and sad mixed with anger looks. You suck was my basic feeling. The told us they would rush the lab results and that it'd take about 48 hours. After this we were put back into cuffs and taken off to the courtroom to appear before the magistrate for bail to be set. It was about 12:30 in the morning, so the judge had to be pulled out of bed.

We sit silent in the courtroom for a while under bright fluorescent lights while they type stuff up in the other room. I heard the cop tell the judge about the tincture bottles. Finally the judge comes in and sits at his desk. Big dude, young guy. David W. Mark was his name. A bit of a hard ass at first, probably 'cause he had to get up and go to work at 12:30 in the morning. First thing he did was read us our rights. No Miranda given until then! That's a lot to go through without officially being arrested. I kept track of all this knowing the lawyer would be interested in it.

He handed us some more paperwork. Our bail was set at $25,000.00! Shocking. He said it was because we were out of state and these were drug charges. Damn. At that point I was still picturing myself in jail for one night and one night only. Now my hopes for that were significantly diminished. If the bail bondsman works for 10% like I heard, then I'd need $2,500, more money than either I or my parents have. He told us to get a lawyer and not to waste time doing it. We got applications for a public defender in case we couldn't afford private council. And so that was that. From the courtroom to the county correctional facility. Jake in the cop car was like "this is it. My life is ruined. I want to go to law school and now I'm just fucked."

We get to the prison and the big steel door opens to let the car in. Out of the car we go and into a small room. Big ugly nasty looking dude with gloves on waiting there for us. He says, "Is this what I saw on the side of the highway in front of the movie theatre?" Cop says yup. Jail dude: "I knew with 4 cars out there that we'd have some guests coming in tonight." He frisked us down, balls and all. This is a man who has seen too many male assholes in his life. He brings us in and the cop leaves. They take all our stuff from our pockets, wallet, money, everything and make a list of it and put it away. The money goes into your "account" that you can use to buy stuff in jail. Confiscate, count, collect, and store. Then we are taken to the holding cell. Afraid to talk from now on since you have to figure everything is bugged. "Everything can and will be used against you." One at a time we were taken to the shower where we were asked to strip down and shower all body hair with this industrial strength lice shampoo. You were told were to stand and what to do. Must comply. At least I did. After the shower you get your orange pants and convict shirt. Plastic shoes. No underwear (not for reasons of comfort this time). The pants were actually pretty comfortable, like pajamas. The shirt had a deep V- neck and fit weird and didn't really give much as far as warmth. The shoes were unbearably uncomfortable. I was arrested with no socks on, so the plastic slippers were all I got. I had Tevas on and they were not "approved" footwear, so the plastico-slippers were all I got. The dudes with tennis shoes were lucky. They asked me questions like where I lived and worked. The most interesting question to me was whether or not I was currently having thoughts of suicide and if I think I have something to live for in the future. The jail dudes told us to not waste our money and stick with a public defender, that was their advice, in contrast to the magistrate who seemed to think we should get the best lawyer possible. I had no idea either way. Saving money vs. getting the best. Who was the best? What was going to happen? Phones turned off for the night and to be back on in the morning at 7. I really wanted to get on the phone and begin making calls. The three of us were each put into our own holding cells downstairs and that was it for the night. What a night from hell!

Felt really good to read your post James. Thanks man. And props to Chuck E. for offering to me some very insightful comments. I got my hair cut short today and either today or tomorrow (depending on how long this takes me) I'm gonna type up a resume for the first time. The Mayo Clinic just built a huge new hospital literally 5 minutes up the street from me here, so I'm gonna try and actually put my biology degree to use and get a job at the hospital.

This next part. I've been debating whether or not to write this, since it's basically just going to be descriptive jail stories without too much meaningful insight included, except maybe for those who might wonder what the inner workings of a county jail are like. Might as well finish what I started.

Like the sticker says: "Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics"

I'll probably be using the phrases "black dude," "brothers," and/or "black people" a lot here. Please understand that I have always liked black folks all my life and have never had anything against them or any person for that matter of ethnic background other than caucasian. In fact I tend to regard black folks as having tons of that good ol' Human Soul in voice and mannerism and this stint in prison was a chance to be closer to it and to experience it first hand. An opportunity that rarely presents itself here in upper middle class suburbia. Very interesting experience for me. I shall never use the "N-word" for I hate it more than just about any word on the planet. Don't know why, guess it's the history associated with it. The generation of my grandparents seemed to have all kinds of names for afro-americans, and hearing them pop out of my grandparents' mouths as I was growing up was always unsettling to me. There have been times I've wished I was black for some reason, with all the drums and stuff, guess I've always sort of wanted to get back into the jungle. Well like one of the prisoners said to me, "welcome to the jungle baby." It's in me somehow, somewhere... and I'm like 100% English extraction. Is this more in the mind or in the genes? We listened to primarily hip hop and reggae music throughout the tour, next to no Grateful Dead surprisingly enough. Jake and Chris have always been down with the brothers. I have a tendency to like EVERYBODY, and am not very discriminating. Chris had no problem claiming he didn't like this or that person for one reason or another. I don't think like this. I dig 'em nice, mean, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, dumb, smart, skinny, fat, short, tall, egotistical, selfless, rich, poor, religious, non-religious. I have my preferences naturally, but rarely do I say I don't like somebody, unless they have directly done wrong to me or people I'm close to. I say take it all in... in its multitude of colors and flavors, the only way to see it all. So I use the term "black dudes" only to distinguish who was black and who was not, 'cause I do track such things in my mind, part of the learning process. My good friend here at home who is Jewish has recently extended concern (however serious I'm not sure, he's a sarcastic one) about me becoming a wigger," a term I had never before heard and had to ask him to clarify. Wigger, as in white 'N-word'. Yo baby, I'm down with that. In my humble opinion racial mixing is a good thing, I like to see it. Isn't the concept of 'race' artificial anyway? Genetics will tell you it is. It's a socio-cultural and pigmental difference, not biological. Now I don't mean to sound all high and mighty, we all have our preconceived notions about different types of people born from our experience in this world. It's impossible to treat everybody totally equally. Knowledge colors everything. Being a hermit helps keep a nonbiased view of things via inexperience. Experience gives way to prejudice and I don't think it would do this if there weren't actual somewhat general differences that do exist in people on many levels (I don't mean to be overly vague here, am I getting what I'm trying to say across?)... in other words, categorizing people is natural. The Human mind categorizes to make better sense of the data coming into it. I try not to think in hateful terms when I see the differences, I dig them. Celebrate diversity. It takes all kinds! Strange as it may sound, I felt more at ease in a way around the prison population than I did free among the high vibey dreadheads and beautiful young hippie girls. Now I know this ain't right, but that's me.

So I actually get some sleep the first night in the holding cell. Sleep from pure exhaustion, all that driving followed by the emotional rollercoaster of getting arrested and booked and processed into prison. I didn't know what to expect on this day #2. Do what they tell me I guess. I wake up and there is a breakfast tray sitting on the little slot opening in the big wooden door. Milk, rice chex cereal, an apple, and a cup containing really weak coffee pre-sugared and pre-creamed. Looked good. I ate it all. Then I sat down to fill out my public defender application. Read over all the paperwork about 4 times. Upon being processed, I was given a basket containing bed sheets, a heavy blanket, a towel and washcloth, comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, Ivory soap and shampoo, plastic cup & spork, and a small stick of deodorant. I think they knew we were going to be in for more then one night.

Soon after I finished eating, a guard came by to pick up my tray and I asked him if I could use the phones out front. Surprisingly he said ok and unlocked my door. It was about 7:30 am so really 4:30 in the morning back home. I woke my buddy up and told him my situation. He's been there done this and sort of just laughed at me. Like he knew it was coming. He's the father figure in my life, the dude I can count on the most, the Jewish friend I mentioned above. One of the most practical people I hang out with. He assured me that I'll be fine and that this is the only time ever I'll spend in jail in my life. I told him to call my parents in a few hours after they have a chance to wake up and tell them I've been arrested. You could use the phones whenever you weren't locked up. Only collect calls out. No calls in. The recording said: "You have a collect call from so-and-so at the Washington County Correctional Facility, if you choose not to accept this call hang up, if you wish to accept the charges dial 1 now." I was operating with the belief that every word I said on the phone was being recorded and/or listened to. I called another friend in Lancaster, PA, about a 5 hour drive away, and asked him to please work with my family back home to get bail money collected and to see about the car. Get me out of jail man. I was worried about the van. It had all our stuff in it and they just left it at the side of the road. The cops offered to call a impound garage for us, but we told them that we had a friend close by and we would try to get him to come pick it up for us. They said we had 48 hours to take care of it. As I was talking on the phone the guard told me I had been on long enough and to get off. I did so and went back to my holding cell. I didn't know quite where Chris or Jake were, but I assumed they were in the cells next to me. I don't know if they got up to eat or not. I did a few sit ups and push ups in my cell and then sat there. Tiny coffee buzz. The stool for the desk was a hollow round plastic thing and I naturally started playing it like a hand drum with deep fist-driven bass thumps every now and then. To raise my power. The sounds all reverberated against the white brick walls. I must have been getting a bit too into it, 'cause it wasn't too long before I had a guard's eye peaking at me through the narrow long rectangular window in the wooden door. I stopped and laid back down. What was my purpose here? Why did things, God, whatever, bring me to this place? Not only to teach me some things, but to show them some things. Looking for purpose in all this mess.

An hour or two later the three of us were taken upstairs to see the nurse. We were asked a lot of questions about our habits and allergies and such. Whether we would be experiencing drug withdrawals of any kind. Addicted to anything? Not me. Coffee maybe, but they give us that. Drugs? Well I like to smoke pot and drink an occasional beer. How much? Well pot about once nightly and beer maybe 3 times a week. Amounts? Rarely more than 3 beers, and two bowls of Cannabis in a given evening. I was talking normally, in general. Recently, on tour, these numbers had been grossly inflated. I wonder if Chris and Jake were as honest as I was to them about this. They hadn't made any phone calls yet. Early bird gets the worm. Weird feeling of having to fend for yourself to save your own ass while still being one of the burrito brothers and concerned for the whole group. Individual concerns vs. group concerns. This was an issue the whole time in jail. The nurse took our blood pressures and we each got put back into holding cells, but these cells were more like the normal cells, with a porcelain sink and toilet instead of stainless steel ones.

Time passes, lunch arrives. Chili cheese fries. Rough. But ate all I could before feeling sick from it. Poor Chris I thought... out of the three of us, he holds to a vegetarian diet the closest. Prison serves meat-based meals and only makes exceptions for serious health reasons, never for reasons of dietary preference. Next we were shown a video together, about the ways of the prison. We were in a minimum security somewhat new prison, with a maximum possible stay of 2 years. The video had corny music through it and ended by saying this is all to "make you a better person." I wondered about this. Do prisons make people better people? I thought the comment was a stretch. The video also said that the only people to trust are the correctional officers, the guards.

Next we all saw a counsellor one at a time. He asked a series of simple questions and marked the answers on a sheet of legal paper in special shorthand. He asked me if I had ever been in a fight, to which I animately answered "No, I've never been in a fight in my life!" The truth. Never hit anybody, ever. I'm not good with anger expression. He follows this question with "Are you afraid of your fellow inmates?" "Don't know yet, that's yet to be determined." He looked at me and saw the concern in my face and just said "You'll be fine." End of interview. He knew he had a tender one on his hands. I think these results were used to determine who would go where into the prison population. Different floors and wings had different levels of criminals. We grabbed our baskets and headed upstairs to the real prison rooms. I admit to feeling a lot of nervous anticipation not knowing what to expect as I went up there... this was it, the real deal. Only allowed to walk in single file down the prison hallways, keeping to the right with no talking allowed. I noticed many parallels between prison rules and routines with that of grade school. Bad food, everybody eating together, times to do certain things, ways to do certain things, and punishments for not following the rules/guidelines. Very regimented. As close to the military as I'll ever get.

We get up to the 3rd floor. The guard tells us that two of us are going to one side and the other one to the other side. We freeze for a moment. Who has to go alone we wonder? "I hope not me," I'm sure we all felt. They were going to split us up. Why? The guard downstairs the night before said they'd probably keep us together, but I guess not. Jake and Charlie to west wing and Chris to east wing. A look of near panic in Chris' face. He starts asking me for phone numbers. I blurt out as many as I can before I'm moved into the double doorway to 3 west. That's the last Jake and I see or hear from Chris for several days. No way to see or contact him, even though he's just across the hall.

We enter this very large two storey room. Big main floor surrounded by a double decker of cells. About 45 of them. Big desk in the corner facing everything with a large yellow line around it on the floor. The guard sitting at the desk tells us to put our baskets on the yellow line and stand there. We comply. He assigns Jake to an upstairs cell and me to a downstairs cell. Every inmate gets his own cell. Thank God! It's shift change time so everybody is locked up. I see a few faces peering out, checking out the new meat in town. I sit in my cell and wait.

Suddenly there's this big metallic crash which is the sound of the door unlocking electronically, a sound I got very familiar with but never liked. A bad sound to wake up to. Each cell has a bed with a thin plastic mattress and a plastic pillow that makes horrible sounds when you move it around while sleeping (or trying to sleep), a mirror, sink and toilet, a desk and drum/stool, a shelf with hooks for clothes and a laundry bag.

The minute the doors unlocked the chat noise began. The room filled with about 40 prisoners, about 85% black I'd say. The white dudes were the scary looking ones, big guys with tattoos and deranged eyes. The two televisions (complete with VCRs) turned on and people gathered around them. The "exercise area" was a small room outdoors with a high wall fenced at the top with a basketball hoop in it. Just barely big enough to pace around in and the only place to breathe real air. Pennsylvania was humid and warm. The brothers liked hanging out there bitching to one another about this and that. I didn't go out there much. I'm not a very good basketball player. I'm about 5'6" and 125 lbs. There was a camera out there for surveillance.

In the main room were lots of round tables and plastic chairs. Not much metal in the place. Each cell had one window looking out with a bar in the middle. So except for that one bar, it didn't look much like a traditional old school prison like you see in the movies. I was glad about that. Brick walls and wooden doors. Like a big tank, you could hear everything in the surrounding cells. The toilet flushes were loud and echoed. So did coughs. The guy next to me didn't sound well at all. No smoking was allowed.

I walked out into the crowd and found Jake. Jake was talking with a dude already. Big white guy with a shaved head and a deep voice. Talking in low tones like he didn't want to be heard giving us that special inside introductory information. He told us that the guard is an asshole and we'd better check for tears and rips in our mattress and pillows or he'll blame us later on for trying to hide stuff in them. I told him I had a slit in both my pillow and my mattress. Jake asked the guard about it and the guard told him not to believe everything he heard from the people around. The guard's nickname was Schoop. His real name was Shuble. We was the one they all liked the least. "Dickhead" was the term I heard most often used to describe this dude. Looked like your typical ex-military security guard control freak type. He had a loud voice. Every night he'd tell everybody to quiet down ('cause it did get real noisy, real fast with everybody talking) or else we'd all be locked away early before the 9:20 bedtime lockdown. 10 minute deduction for each time he had to warn us. Early bedtime in this place. Wake at 7, bed by 9:30. The routine went like this... breakfast at 7 for 20 minutes. 10 minute lockdown to clean up. Free till lunch at noon. 10 minute lockdown before and after every meal. From 12:30 till 2:30 free to roam about. 45 minutes lockdown from 2:30 until 3:15 for the shift change. Dinner at 5. 5:30 to 9:20 free. Every meal made me real tired, like it was doped up with sedatives or something. I napped for about half an hour after every meal and then walked around to work it off. I paced circles around the room. A few folks did. Lots of people talked this way, walking and talking. I used it for exercise and thinking. They kept the place freezing cold, so it was also a way to warm up. You had to purchase underwear and T-shirts from commissary. Orders taken on Sunday night and delivery on Wednesday. Thursday was our preliminary hearing, so it was a toss up whether or not to order things from commissary. Would we be in for more than a week? Commissary sold a lot of stuff. I was glad to see they had Hershey bars, my chocolate addiction was suffering. I forgot to mention that to the nurse... I'm bound to suffer mild chocolate withdrawals.

There were a lot of games and cards to play. TVs to watch. Few books to read. Floors to pace. Uno became my game. Hadn't played it in years. Fun, simple, mindless game. I was befriended by two guys by playing Uno. One was a short but stocky black dude named Daryl T. Hayden. Daryl could make me laugh. The other dude was a white guy with no teeth named Dean Franks. Dean was a junky, did lots of all kinds of drugs. Had his teeth smashed out with a baseball bat. Liked heroine, LSD, pot, crack... anything to get high. A good soul however. Big Daryl had quite a mouth and liked picking on Dean. It was a love/hate thing for sure. Dean was 26 though looked much older and Daryl was like 37 and looked younger. Daryl called everybody a "bitch" and a "motherfucker," the two words I heard most in jail. He made fun of Dean constantly and I must admit it was hilarious. Made me laugh everytime, which wasn't good, 'cause upon seeing how funny I thought it was, Mr. Hayden would only increase the insults. I was laughing from both humor and to release nervous energy. Hanging with guys like these was new to me. Daryl had the devil in him but believed he had the "heart of God," and told me the only person he was afraid of was Jesus Christ. He was very two sided. How could anybody who liked to beat people up, including women, and degrade everybody verbally claim to have the heart of God? Both good and evil in him. In one of his gooder moments he would sit down with me and Jake and give us his experienced advice. He'd go, "Most of the brothers in here don't give a shit about you young folks, but I'm not like them, I sit down wit chu and tell you some things... so take heed to what this brother be sayin'." "MAKE THIS YOUR LAST STOP," was his advice, and he said it to us often. He said that every time you go back to jail it's easier to go back and stay in. Like it becomes a lifestyle all its own. An addiction. He told us horror stories about the state lockup and said he saw a man get raped by 12 guys in there. He said he knew little guys like us who were so frightened in state prison that they tried everyday to kill themselves. He was being purposefully explicit. It worked. I was freaked, no state lockup for me, no thanks. It's a whole different situation than this minimum security place which I heard described more than once as a "hotel you can't leave." Guess I should be thankful for what I had, my own cell and a nonviolent carefully monitored environment. Daryl told us we got futures ahead of us and we should get out and go gets jobs and girlfriends. I have a job, Jake has a girlfriend, so we each had one base covered. Daryl had no money and I was later to learn that much of his "kindness" to us had selfish intent behind it. He was nicest when he was getting something from us. He knew we had money in our accounts. We ordered him soup like he asked us to. He tried to get part of my meal everytime we ate. I always said no, that I needed every bite. You lose weight even if you do eat everything they give you.

The food sucks, but you learn to just not care and shove it in fast and wash it down with the cup of kool-aid they gave you. Other than the one cup of drink you got with your meal, tap water was about it. Hard, heavily chlorinated tap water. I drank it as much as I could stand to flush the bad food out. You eat so little that by day two you poop almost nothing, little nuggets is all. Body using everything they give you. The video claimed we were being served a "well- prepared, nutritious, and balanced meal, planned by a professional nutritionist." It felt good to hear these words, but you wouldn't believe it to look at the food. The hot dogs hurt me the most. I felt sick all night. The soybean burgers for Friday lunch were tasty. Some of it was ok. The veal with the immovable gravy that stuck to the fried piece of meat no matter how high you held it up was not good. The spinach was nasty and seemed to have grit in it or something. The fish was ok. The mashed potatos were good. Lots of french fries and green beans. The fries would be all greasy with a splash of ketchup on top of 'em. Every morning for breakfast was rice chex and an apple. I don't know what the deal is, but General Mills must have shipped truckloads of little sample boxes of rice chex to the prison, 'cause they dished it out every morning. Someone told me that a few weeks earlier they actually got Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. Jake and I weren't so lucky. You got two boxes with a small carton of milk. We got orange juice twice, which was a joke because it was a 4oz carton. One swallow. What a waste of packaging and ultimately trees! Sometimes the kool-aid had sugar in it and sometimes not. Very little sugar given to us. Fruit cocktail sometimes. Spice was non-existant. Bland food that made you tired, probably high in protein. It comforted me to see the prison guards... excuse me, correction officers, eat the same food we were. Can't be drugged if they're eating it, right? Well, who knows. All the cake was served upside down with the frosting on the bottom. Hey I just figured that out! I was wondering why the hell... but now I see... it was to prevent the frosting from sicking to the bottom of the tray stacked above it, duh! It's all coming clear to me now. Meal time was a special part of each slow moving day. Something to look forward to. A surprise as to what was going to foisted upon us. Would it be identifible by taste or smell? Sometimes it wasn't. Weekend mornings were special because we got a hot breakfast instead of rice chex. I was all looking forward to it until I woke up Saturday morning and found a tray with this nasty cut up meat on two pieces of dried out old white bread covered in dark brown gravy. For breakfast? Yuck! I didn't eat. Where's the rice chex? The eggs were ok. I was in it for the potatos. One lunch we got a whole baked potato cut in half and covered with chili. Loved eating that potato. I also remember one lunch getting one of those hot pocket pizza things. Only commercial food I could recognize as something I've had from the grocery store before. It was really small however and did little to fill you up. The folks that got jobs in the prison dishing out the food and cleaning up (which paid $10.50 a week) got the bonus of all the extra unclaimed trays. So dudes would be walking around with 3 or 4 trays of food, giving it to selected buds. A lot of food trading went on at every meal. "Hey man I'll trade you my rolls for your grapes." "Hey you gonna eat that salad?" At least it was different food each time. My lawyer said the old jail served bologna sandwiches every meal.

Eating with these guys was difficult for me for spiritual reasons. They'd swear and bitch the whole time while eating. I like to eat with good energy around me, helps the digestion and intake. When it's all grumble grumble, give me this, fuck the guard, screw the warden... it's just not good to eat around. Eating was the only time we were all sitting at the tables together. Some dudes obviously never came out of their cells except to eat, 'cause you'd only see them at meal time. I wondered how the fat dudes stayed fat. Low metabolism I guess. I've got a high metabolism and they kept the tank really cold, so I burned it all up fast. I didn't exercise much, except for walking. Jake lost weight too, but he's a skinny kid like me. The first table we sat at, which was a table of white guys, we weren't received too well. They all started grumbling about lack of space. Not welcome. So I'm like, I can leave guys, don't matter to me, if it's such a big pain to you. Then I hear this "come on over here" from another table. Jake and I go over there. More white guys. Lots of evil talk. One guy bragging about how he's broken every rule in the rule book. Finally we kind of made our own table... me, Jake, Daryl, and this white kid who was all bummed out because he was in jail and he had just found out his pregnant girlfriend was cheating on him. Dude was way upset. He was pretty stupid, but I liked talking with him as we paced around the room.

Daryl wasn't in for drugs like most the rest. Daryl claimed he loved to fight, and he liked the ladies. Daryl was in for slapping a woman across a room, something I frown upon just about more than anything. He disliked drugs and said he never took them, that he didn't even drink, but that he has sold drugs to make money. Washington Pennsylvania is basically ghetto. Drugs are a way for the poor to make money. Daryl was both wonderful and completely terrible at the same time. He could crack me up, but he also angered me and disgusted me. I didn't like the way he treated Dean, but I found it funny. He was a mixture of things, aren't we all. Dean was basically nice and I think glad to have young white dudes with good hearts in there with him. I spent many hours playing cards with these two guys and my Uno game improved. I'd lay down a "Draw Four" card on somebody and Daryl would be like "Ah shit, ah shit." And I'd go in my little intimidated voice "Boom." And Daryl would be like "Ah shit, look out, the brother be dropping them bombs and shit, boom he says." Daryl's laugh would light me up inside. Deep black voice. I loved it. I soaked it up. Lay a bad card on him and he'd look all hurt, "Man, I thought we was friends." Daryl was used to prison and had been in several different ones, including state where he claimed people tried to murder him 3 times. He knew what was what. He wasn't intelligent" but definitely street smart. He knew people just by looking at them. He called me "honey" a couple of times, but only called me "bitch" once. The people in jail didn't mess with me, they left me alone. Daryl had enough respect for me and Jake that he didn't go for our juggulars like he did Dean's. He probably could tell I get offended by jokes pretty easily when they are on me. I'm glad he didn't start up with me, 'cause once he did he enjoyed it too much. Things were cool between me & Daryl up until the last 2 days or so. I did start to get sick of his crap and started to avoid him. Dean would get fed up with Daryl's mouth, so would Jake, and many an Uno game was ended early this way. They'd just leave and go back to their cells. Jake spent more time in his cell than I did. Dean's only occasional smiling retort to Daryl when Daryl would ask him what his problem is was "I don't like black people," which I greeted with equal laughter. Laughing to keep from crying.

There was also a kind but bitter old black man named Tom. Tom wasn't like the rest of them and didn't associate with very many people. He talked with me and Jake though. His beard and afro were getting lots of gray & white and he sort of limped slowly around the floor with his hand in his pants holding his lower intestine. He was in on drunk driving charges for 80 days. He played a mean game of dominos and would accept every offer to play we extended him. He knew how to keep track of the dominos and win. I could picture him drinking beers and playing dominos with his old buddies on the front stoop or something. I was glad he was in there with us.

Most of the guys in there were young. 18 to early twenties I'd say. Watching the black dudes get along with one another, talkin' the jive, was quite something. Hearing it on all those rap albums, now I was seeing it living. They way they talk makes them tight with each other. Brothers. I felt whiter than ever around them, but not "outside." I sat and watched rap videos with 'em and ate with 'em. They were more "normal" to me than the white dudes in there. It seemed to me that the white guys were more violent... in for armed robbery and stuff. The white guys stuck with the white guys for the most part. I blended in both camps, but stayed away from the hardcore. One guy talking shit about how great he is holding up convenience store and shooting his gun over people's heads to get them to open the cash register didn't impress me. I stayed away from those folks and had NO respect for them as beings or souls. You just don't do that. Scare people to death for $300 cash. But it's such a rush dude? Yeah right!

They were too used to violent hateful talk. Totally lacked love. They were hard. Being rough to survive. I am far from rough. So is Jake. Jake is a little love kid from Minnesota like I am. He liked to dance and drink and have a good time. He missed his girlfriend back home more than anything. He just wanted to see her, go back home to Oregon and hold her. He told me that he was seeing what a spoiled college kid he had become, parents paying for everything. It real easy in jail to see and admit to all your shortcomings. I liked Jake a lot and got to know him well and fast being penned up with him for 8 days.

Chris I had mixed feelings about. I mean I love the kid, known him for years, and we've tripped together many times. But he's got powerful psychic energy and knows it. So do I. Very conscious. So when Chris and I are working against each other for some reason, the energy gets all crazy out of control and something weird happens. Chris is better at being positive than I am at times, but when he's constantly that way I begin to wonder if it's fake. His favorite word is "nice." He says it after everything you tell him and he questions anything negative that comes out of your mouth. He disagreed with many of my views. He's a good kid, this I do not doubt, but like any one person, I got a bit tired of him after being with him in close quarters for 7 weeks on the road. I'm not suggesting he and I caused the disaster of getting arrested, it's impossible to say what did... many factors played a part, with common ol' bad luck having a major role. But the truth of the matter is when Chris and I are together weird shit happens and I think it has to do with lots of strong psychic energy either working for or against each other. Chris is real tight with Jake, so I have to admit to a bit of jealously on my part when they'd be all buddy buddy and I was sort of the third wheel, the quiet less social one who cooks and cleans and drives the long night shifts. They were more into meeting people and selling their glass pipes. But the burritos were what made the whole trip possible. I wasn't glad to see Chris moved into another part of the prison, separate from me & Jake, but I knew it was for a reason.

All the prisoners wanted to know your story. What your in for, who's your lawyer, what cop busted you, what judge you saw. They all seemed to know everybody. The system is the system with the same local people running it. They knew all the lawyers and judges. Upon first talking to my mom back home, she told me NOT to talk about my case to anybody for this very reason. 'Cause anything you say will get passed around inmate to inmate and eventually leaked out, since most of these guys all have public defenders who work together and word gets around. Say the wrong thing and it ends up as evidence against you. So I wanted to be open with everybody and friendly, not standoffish, but I had to keep my mouth shut about my circumstances, and that's what everybody wants to hear. Jake and I just told them that we got busted with pot. "How much?" they'd all ask. About 2 grams. Was it broken up? Not really. Well then why the hell you in here anyway? It surprises me they even put you in the slammer. But don't worry man, for 2 grams of pot you'll be out in no time no problem with a fine or at the very worst some probation. I hope so is all I'd say. Then after a couple of days the newspaper comes out with our story in it. It had our full names and ages and said that we were travelling across the country selling drugs at Phish concerts (not true), and that we got caught and arrested for possession of marijuana, 40 glass pipes, and 28 bottles of an unknown green liquid. Well funny enough, the whole prison population knew this was us, and they all wondered about the unknown green liquid. We just shrugged our shoulders. Don't know, can't say. Sorry. They figured it was embalming fluid and crack pipes. So my nickname became "crack pipe" and they pinned me as an embalming fluid dealer. I laughed, I didn't even know that embalming fluid was used as a drug. First time I heard of that. They say it's like PCP. Lord knows.

So here begins the legal dilemma. My parents suggest sticking with a public defender for the preliminary hearing. I didn't know. They heard that a private lawyer isn't necessary for the prelim. Everybody felt that this was going to go beyond the preliminary hearing. I hoped it wouldn't. I tried to describe the green bottles to my parents over the tapped phone by being careful not to ever say I knew what they were or what they actually were. I needed a clean rap sheet to go with Chris' whole ignorance story. I didn't want to be the one to say the wrong thing and cause his or possibly all of our downfall. The words "ganja tincture" were never uttered in that jail, not once. I just told the story about the THC test turning positive and I think my folks figured it out, they aren't stupid. I slipped up once from anger. My mom had talked to Chris' mom and told her I had no idea what was in those bottles and that they belonged to Chris. Chris' mom freaked and not only accused me of lying, but told my parents that "my son is not going down alone for this!" Ok, so now things are bad. Burrito brothers begin being turned against one another. So now it appears I got Chris' mom pissed at me for saying something to protect the integrity of her son's story, which was the real lie to begin with. Upon hearing about Chris' mom calling me a liar I got pissed and blurted out to my dad over the phone that I knew EXACTLY what is in those goddamn bottles. Oops. I later learned that Chris' mom called up my Jewish friend back home in a panic asking him what to do about all this. My mom and my friend learned to not like Chris or his mom through this. Not comforting to me. Chris is still my bud and even though I plan to tell the truth and save my own ass, I want him out with me. Daryl is telling me and Jake to "fuck that guy, they separated you guys for a reason, forget about him, you guys came in together you damn well better leave together also, forget about your friend over there, fuck him." Man hearing all this and you don't know what to think.

My parents are basically poor. Chris' parents are the wealthiest of the three families, and Jake's parents are certainly well off. Jake's dad is a Vietnam Vet and therefore has a lot of venom in him. He seemed to like me for some reason. Jake's dad got in the car immediately and started driving to Pennsylvania from Denver. Cool. Chris is 22, I'm 25, and Jake is 23. That was quite something for his dad to do, I was surprised. But Jake wasn't going to get out of this without some stern words from his father, that's for sure. I don't think Chris' parents scold him for anything. I'm too old to even be living with my parents, but in jail I think it looked good on record, I was glad. I was the only one of us still living at home and who had a steady full-time job. Jake and Chris were in school and having their ways paid for them and didn't have to work. Must be nice. There has never been a time when I didn't have to work, school or no. So that's the financial situation. Jake's dad does lots of travelling on business and knows lots of people. My dad never leaves the house. So it was Jake's dad who got names of the best local drug lawyers and gave them to my dad. I had a feeling Jake wasn't going to bother with a public defender, and I doubted Chris would either, but my mom stuck to the advice she got. I'm feeling more like a good lawyer is the best idea, right away. This feeling increased the longer I was in and the more complicated this became.

Hopes to post bail quickly died. Since we were out of state, the bail bondsmen wanted more than 10% and my parents would have had to put the house up. They told me they would, but they suggested staying in until the preliminary so they would be able to put up the house to get a loan to pay for a good lawyer if need be. After a day or two I knew I was going to be alright in this jail and when I heard that Jake's parents weren't going to bail him out, I felt ok about staying in. Didn't know if Chris was out yet or not. My mom eventually found out that he wasn't going to get bail either, which kind of surprised me since his parents could probably afford it. The bondsman would have cost a couple of thousand. Is a week of freedom worth that? I felt like I could get more done on the outside, but inside at least I'm getting food and saving my money that way. I turned in the public defender application.

My good friend Mike in Lancaster said he'd drive out to check on the car and try to pick it up. What a bro. I filled out a release form so he could get the car keys from my belongings being held downstairs. The warden had to sign it and the guard had to also. We had one day left before our 48 hours was up. Mike drove down and came to visit me and get the keys. You had to fill out a visitation list and only people on your list are allowed to visit you. He arrived that night, just about 48 hours since we got booked. Good to see a familiar face. Weird to talk to him through a piece of heavy glass. He definitely looked freaked by his surroundings. We've been friends for about 5 years now. He was in high school when I was in college. We used to smoke bowls in the drain ditch together. The good ol' days. Now he's living in Lancaster with his girlfriend and raising their child Trinity. Trinity is almost a year old now. Ha, so my young friend is raising a family and I'm still living with ma and pa like I was when I met him. His father was another ex-military conservative Vietnam type who didn't dig his son's liberal ways much at all. Mike bailed out of Phoenix at 18 years of age and made his way up to Eugene, Oregon to live as a head up there. He knows Chris, but I don't think he ever met Jake before. I love Mike with all my heart and his girlfriend too, she's the best. Kind kind people. So I tell him where the car is and he goes to get it. He couldn't find anybody to make the trip with him, so he was planning to park his car there and drive the van to a garage and then take a taxi back to his car. There was $500 in the camper and I told him where it was and to use to it cover all costs. He left. 10 minutes later he returned. They wouldn't give him the friggin' keys, the paperwork hadn't gone through yet. Great! Now what? I told him how to break into it, which was pretty easy, by reaching through the back window with a stick and hitting the lock. At least go get my stuff out of there before someone steals it. He heads off. I talk to him the next day and I guess the car wasn't there where we left it. Mike went to the police station and they said it was at so-and-so impounding. Mike went there but they wouldn't let him anywhere near the car. At least it was safe. The cops must have towed it that night. Mike said the police knew us and told him we weren't getting out any time soon. Now that's comforting to hear. God bless you Mike, for driving 11 hours out of your way for nothing. He felt bad he couldn't do anything to get us out, but with a $25,000 bail what could he have done?

The longer your in jail, the slower the time goes. There was a calendar just like in the movies where the days were X-ed off one by one as they passed. Uno was getting old. Daryl was getting old. Not knowing was getting old. I called my parents everyday just to keep sane. I rotated calling my friends since I didn't want to run up their phone bills. Hearing familiar voices was a treat. I heard that Phish played a Dead song, Terrapin Station, at the Virginia Beach show and I dropped the phone. I'd been waiting years to hear them bust out a Dead tune. Finally they do and I'm in the friggin' pokey. My own damn fault I know. The Pittsburgh show was coming up in a couple of days.

They had a "library" available to us. Mainly old worn out paperback books. They were all really cheesy, a lot of teenage and historical romance novels which surprised me. Guess when you're in long enough you need some sort of lovin' even it it is from a book. These guys just didn't seem like the romance novel types, but then I'm sure the hormonal situation was a bit far from normal for them. My lack of female relations in the free world made the transition to an all male environment pretty smooth for me. There was lots of talk of "getting some pussy," but I'm not that way when I'm free so it wasn't much of an issue for me. My eyes were starving to see a female face however, and hear a woman's voice, and to behold a beautiful body. I spent a lot of time looking out the window at the birds flying freely around and people taking walks in the morning. O how we take our freedom for granted. Never again! Even just to drive a car looked like a wonderful blissful experience down there. To choose when and what you wanted to eat. Seeing the girls dancing around on MTV was nice. Some of the brothers even watched soap operas during the day. The Simpsons were very popular with two episodes a night. So was boxing and wrestling matches. Schoop wouldn't let us change the channel or adjust the volume. With all the chatter, you couldn't hear it anyway, so they usually had the closed captioning on. I didn't watch too much TV in there, I never watch much anyway. I liked the rap videos because they allowed me to tap my feet to a beat. I gots to have a beat. Some of the videos were telling, with rich powerful black rappers outrunning the white donut eating cops to go to their fat mansions, throwing money in the air and drinking champagne with all the fine women. Watching that in jail with a bunch of brothers gives it the full effect. They loved it. They'd skip over all the white dude videos and all the rock videos. They would set up a timer and tape the MTV rap show in the middle of the night and watch it first thing in the morning after breakfast. We're talking minimum security here, complete with remote controls and videotape.

I looked through the books everyday hoping something new would crop up. I finally happened upon a copy of Congo by Michael Crichton. Yeah, score! I had been wanted to read it, now's the perfect chance. It was missing the last 185 pages, about 60% of the book. So I liked it while it lasted, but it sort of left me hanging. It was good to read all the scientific babble that Crichton puts into his books. Made me realize that all those years of science in school are still in there in me and they like to be fed every now and then. Since I've graduated, I've sort of sworn off science, but it's still there. I've got mixed feelings about science. It's evil and useful at the same time. Like Daryl. Most of the good books were taken already and in people's cells. All the crap was left over. Then one day boom (droppin' them bombs again Daryl), a copy of Tom Robbins' Still Life With Woodpecker. I had never read any Tom Robbins before but knew that he was a deep dude and down with the psychedelics. So I grabbed it. Oh man, what a book. Filled with philosophical musings and so well written. What an intelligent mad man he is. Ever read it? It said things to me on many levels. A good prison book. Lots of things about sex and life lived as an outlaw, and just about living on the fringe in the face of society, with all kinds of completely crazy cosmic stuff thrown in, even references to mushrooms. Great funny funny book. It ends with the sentence, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."

Jake and I were told that if wanted to see Chris we could meet him in church on Sunday evening. That was the only way to see or talk to him. I planned on it. I figured the folks in his wing were telling him the same thing. Jake and I both signed up for Sunday church. The time came to leave and Jake was asleep upstairs in his cell. The people in the bottom cells weren't allowed to go upstairs at all. So I just went by myself and let him sleep. I just hoped Chris wasn't sleeping through it as well. We were taken to a small chapel room with fold out chairs and a small podium. The brothers had their Bibles and they set up the chairs in rows as if they had done it a few times before. I grabbed a hymnal book and sat down. I didn't have a Bible. I waited. Another group comes in, no Chris. Then finally the last group comes in and he's there. He looked skinny and unshaven. So was I. He didn't look good. His breath was absolutely foul. I couldn't look at him when he talked to me. It was the kind of smell that pointed to sickness within. I was concerned. He wasn't as much concerned about his health as he was his story. He was being all weird and secretive. He was careful handing me a small slip of paper with writing on it. He didn't want anybody to see. All sneaky like. He actually snuck it in by folding it up and putting it in his mouth, between the gum and cheek. Chris man, this has to stop, this ain't right, you don't look good bro. I told him my plan to tell the truth and he freaked out. He's like no no, Charlie don't be stupid about this, we got to be smooth. Smooth my ass, these people aren't as dumb as you think they are... they aren't going to buy your story. The one thing Chris could do to hurt me was not claim total responsibility for the tincture bottles. He said he would IF... if I claimed all the safe contents as mine, with the pot and the resinated pipes, and Jake claim all the clean for-sale glass. I had no problem with this. What I had a problem with was this grand story where Jake and I were supposed to say we only saw Chris take the herbal remedies in the morning for his cough, and that he got them at the country fair in Eugene, and this and that. I ain't subscribing to your story man. I am just going to shrug my shoulders and say I know nothing about them, that's all. He's all paniced and freaking. He's the one with the prior on his record and is from Canada, so he's definitely in the worst position of the three of us, plus the bottles really were his. So he could have gotten nailed the hardest. Like deported and a two year jail sentence. We all knew that if they figured out what was in those bottles it was major felony time, drug trafficking and all that. Nightmare. He had his lawyer's name and phone number on the piece of paper, as well as a phone number to call on a certain night at a certain time for some reason. All shady, like he was smarter than they were and was going to beat this as long as we played along with his scheme. It don't work like that man. They find one inconsistency in our stories and we all go down for lying. That's why they separated us to begin with. He urged me to get a real lawyer for the hearing, said it would look bad if he and Jake had good lawyers and I had a public defender. My mom's telling me that getting a real lawyer for the prelim looks bad because it looks like you're worried or maybe trying to hide something. So I put the paper in my pocket and listened to the preacher. Big white balding man giving the sermon. "Do you have real saving faith" was the theme. The best part was the singing at the beginning. Singing Amazing Grace with all the brothers was a truly great soulful experience. Now that's some gospel. Them all gettin' into it slapping their legs and belting out the tune. Right on. Good vibes and connectivity. A nice change from the normal prison scene, vibe, and aesthetic. Some of them were all into receiving the word of God from the mouth of the preacher. Blurting out "Amen" after everything he said. I didn't think he was a very good speaker, but I listened. He was talking about going to hell or heaven depending on whether or not you have real faith and accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. Not my cup of tea. He did give me a good warm look as we were leaving. He knew. I said bye to Chris and told him to take care of himself. If he's only eating the veggies, then no wonder he looks thin & ill. We'll get through this man. We slapped five and that was it.

I was very unsettled by this meeting. I was feeling good beforehand, with my intent to tell the truth feeling like the right thing to do. Now it seemed it was tell the truth, and I end up ratting on a good friend... or stick with his story, which seemed to be certain doom. I told it all to Jake when I got back and Jake was convinced that Chris had lost his mind and was acting irrationally and being stupid. Fuckin' delusional. So this strengthens the bond between me & Jake, 'cause we agree that being honest is the right thing to do. I tried to tell my parents on the phone that Chris was planning on lying about the bottles without actually saying it to them directly. The situation was messier than ever and I was getting sick of jail, fed up and ready to freak. I told my dad to please get a real lawyer and get one quick, this has gone beyond public defender territory. All I wanted to do at this point was talk to a lawyer. Chris had a lawyer, Jake had already spoken to one, and I hadn't seen or heard from anybody. All I got was a piece of mail saying my public defender application had been received. Regardless of what my mom was told, I knew that a public defender works for the state and for not much money. They don't care about you as much as they care about just getting through the daily routine. A real lawyer costs a lot sure, but he cares about *your* case, and has a financial stake in it. You pay him so he wants to see you get out. That's the difference. Dad, get me a lawyer ASAP!

Good news the next day. A lawyer should be in to see me either today or tomorrow. Cool. Jake's dad was in town and it cheered him up to visit his dad. It was hard for Jake to keep a positive outlook. He was down a lot. Daryl commented to Jake about how I got up everyday and looked for him. "Your brother watchs out for you, I see him look." Jake only got up for breakfast sometimes. I had my internal clock set so I was up about half an hour before the doors were opened in the morning, so my bed was made, hair combed, eyes open, clothes on. My dad used the same law firm Jake's dad knew about and we ended up using the same lawyer. I guess as long as there isn't a conflict of interest, two people can use the same lawyer for the same case. Jake and I were definitely on the same wavelength as far as the case went. The lawyer cost $2,000 just to do the preliminary hearing, anything after that would be more money. One step at a time. So he had my dad send $4,500... two thousand to pay for the lawyer (at $150 an hour, I'm in the wrong business), and $2,500 to post bail if it got reduced at the preliminary to 10% of it's original amount. That gave me hope. Bail money in town ready to be posted, but only if bail got reduced. I wondered about the lab's progress on the tincture bottles. For all I knew, those results could increase our bail, certainly they could have added charges to our list.

I knew I needed to shave off my beard. Lawyer wants us to look as much like preppy college kids as possible. I used the community trimmer to get the bulk off. Then a big black dude overheard my need for a razor and hooked me up. He gave me a brand new one and let me borrow his shaving cream. Felt good to be clean shaven. I looked younger and felt less like a hairy criminal. An interesting part of the jail thing was how clean they wanted it kept. And it was pretty clean. Showers were supposed to be mandatory, but we were only forced to take showers once. Shower and then sign the sheet. Don't sign and you get locked down for 24 hours. The warm water felt good. Everybody was cooperative and we all took showers one at a time eventhough it had room for 4 at a time. Nobody wanted to shower together so you waited until it was free to use it. Talk about overcoming previous fears. Showering right there with a room full of 40 prisoners next to you is a way to overcome shyness. So is taking a shit with people walking around outside your cell. In the holding cells you have to pee and poop in front of everybody. Actually good practice for me. You were also supposed to sweep and mop out your cell daily. You were not allowed to leave your cell without first making your bed. All cells were inspected and searched daily. One day my cell got searched 3 times. Looking for contraband... there was a whole list of things we weren't allowed to have. They looked under the bed and mattress with gloves on. Laundry was picked up and returned once a week. Clean uniforms haded out once a week as well. And on Fridays they handed out free soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste. If you wanted the good stuff however, you had to purchase it from commissary. The toothpaste was cheap and left a film in my mouth. The deodorant smelled bad, but if you didn't wear it and had B.O., your fellow inmates let you know about it real quick. If we're all gonna be stuck in this hole together, we're at least not going to offend each other by stinking. Daryl took 3 showers a day. He thought the place was full of germs. The first day, the guy next to me told me to clean out my cell because "the last dude in there was a dirty motherfucker." The dudes who only came out to eat looked like they didn't bathe that much, probably the reason they forced us to bathe occasionally. I was whining on the phone to my mom about how bad my feet hurt from the nasty plastic slippers. I couldn't walk fast at all. I had blisters on my feet and it sucked! Not only that, but it was cold. You're only as comfortable as your feet. The guy next to me overheard this and soon after when I was doing my laps around, he leans out of his room: "Hey, you need socks?" I'm waiting to hear a price. Two soups I suppose. Nope, he just hands me a pair. Take these, they're clean." He was in full luxury, he had big fat tennis shoes on. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart. Oh now that's the ticket... that feels nice... slipping into my new socks. Helped a lot. Point being, some dudes in there hooked me up and helped me out, guys that I never talked to otherwise. Right on.

I've never been much of a deep sleeper. I sleep lightly and rarely for more than 7 hours. I've always blamed it on the fact that I'm a nervous little twit with an overactive mind. Well they keep the lights on in jail 24 hours a day. Trying to sleep with a fluorescent light on above you is tough. It does strange things to your dreams and your natural light/dark cycles and rhythms. It's not right. Everybody's eyes were all shot with bags under them from lack of dark and good food, as well as sunlight. The sun would come in my window every day around dinner time. A small strip of sunlight. I would go in there and lay in it, feel it on my skin. Your eyes get sick of white walls and orange uniforms. I dreamed of hanging out with the girls I know here back home. Don't remember any nightmares but I definitely had some unusual dreams. Chris said he was having full on nightmares. Being chased by cops and everything. Jake dreamt of getting stoned one night and then felt all paranoid once he did. My window faced south west, the direction of home. There were no clocks in the place. The way to find out the time was by hitting a status button on the TV, or asking the guard. The guards liked to be left alone, they didn't go out of their way to answer your questions or inquire about your concerns. They just sat and watched. A few of them would sit and play cards with the inmates, which I thought was way cool. Something on TV actually made Schoop laugh one night and we all turned around and looked at him shocked, some were pointing in disbelief.

We wake up Tuesday. No lawyer yesterday to speak of or to. Fingers crossed today. They were having a lawyer convention in town that weekend and so all the attorneys were tied up at the convention. We were waiting for it to end. Nervously waiting. That night was unusual because for the first and only time we had a female guard. I was very surprised. I kept thinking, this ain't no place for a woman to work. But she chose it I guess. I couple of the brothers followed her around and talked to her all night long. She was a mother figure. Extremely nice she was. It felt good to have her in the room. Some people were saying nasty things about what they'd like to do to her. Daryl was one of them. He kept saying in a child-like voice, "C.O. will you please come over her and show me your kitty." He said it over and over again, loud enough I'm sure she could hear. She didn't come near us. We were playing Uno at the time. This other extremely huge black kid who looked as much like a girl as a boy and definitely older than 19 was playing cards with us. He was in for selling cocaine. We was a good soul though. He kept telling Daryl to shut up about the guard, that were all going to get locked down for it. He dared Daryl to go smell her chair where she sat. Daryl acted like he was going to do it. Jake and I just listened and played cards. Hearing these two brothers get on was as funny as funny gets. He'd tell Daryl to shut up which would only cause Daryl to do it more. "Can I pet your kitty C.O.?" I didn't like the disrespect he was displaying toward the lady guard, who I thought was quite a champion for just being brave enough to be in there for 8 hours with these hungry wolves. But hearing Daryl do this with the other dude telling him to stop was too much. I lost it. I cracked up. I laughed so hard, harder than I remember laughing in years, to the point I couldn't stop and my face was all red. This sight caused Daryl to laugh just as hard and we fed off each other. O man it felt good. I had tears rolling down my face. Then the other dude starts making fun of Daryl's deep raspy laugh and that get me going more. Guess I needed the emotional release. Jake didn't think it was funny at all, but I was hysterical. Listening to these two huge black dudes make fun of one another. The 19 year old was pretty quiet normally, but he had a great sense of humor. I wanted him to hang out at our Uno table more often, but he didn't.

Finally the call comes. Jake and Charlie, you have a visitor downstairs, the lady guard tells us. Attorney time. The moment we had been waiting for all along.

Boy, this is getting longer than I anticipated. I wasn't expecting to include all the details, but the details are what are linking together and showing me new dimensions to this story. Connections. I feel like I'm bagging on Chris a little much, but I'm just writing what was going through my mind. I was over at Chris' house last night. He had a small party. I kept looking at him and all this love filled my eyes. I love him more than ever after all this. Experiences like this bring people closer and they really show you how much the people that love you really love you. Four or five of my friends here at home took the time to write letters to the judge, statements of good character on my behalf. I don't know if the judge ever read them, but they were sent. I may not have a ton of friends, but the ones I do have are close as close can be. I wouldn't want it any other way. You guys too. Having an outlet like this gives me the incentive to write. Writing this has been both cathartic and eye-opening for me. I want to put closure to the whole saga and getting it down & out I think will help do that. It's like one of those dramatic experiences you have as a child that you remember the rest of your life, vividly. So I still have to cover the release and trip back home and then I'm done. With this post, this trip is finished.

I remembered something from before the mishap, when we were still "on tour." Something I left out, but something that sticks. At one point Jake said to me in a stoned moment, in a frustrated moment, "You are not God. You are not the center of the universe." I was as shocked as I was humbled. I take on a lot. I shut up, I listen and I process it. Control? Don't know. Years of smoking Cannabis and psychedelic lesson learning has taught me how to be like this. It isn't a fun vibe let me tell you. One thing I learned is that the group is only as good as all the members of it are putting into it. By simply perceiving and thinking without talking is no input. On the beginning of the trip Jake and Chris spent a lot of time describing the people they live around whom they do not like. I listened only to hear that many of the characteristics they were describing fit me very well. Jake sounded like he didn't dig musician/artistic types - introverts. Well you got one on tour with you baby. He mentioned one dude who always came over to smoke his pot and never said anything, that he killed conversations and stopped time. I do this. I know I do this. The whole experience has been eye-opening in a way to get me away from this while not losing it. There are two sides to existence I thought to myself the other night... one is taking in, the other is putting out. Receiving or adding. I was imbalanced with the scales tipped on the taking it in end. Input on my part is necessary. I'm getting better. But my mouth can make me come off as an ass, so I watch it, keep it in check. It's hard for me to flow with it and just say what I think, 'cause I think a lot of crazy things, but that whole bit about thoughts being perceptible objects... that's like think all you want we still know what's up. So I might as well be saying it. Getting things off your chest is healthy. I have a tendency to bottle up. Let me just say I'm working on all this. Another good friend had mentioned to me how I don't bring a sister out. Let her shine man let her shine. So anyway, back to the story.... last night was just a good night at Chris' house, I woke up feeling good... where were we, oh yeah, lawyer time...


Jake and I are taken down to the special visiting room downstairs. It's been 6 days since we were arrested and two days before our preliminary hearing, and we are finally going to see our lawyer. It was a plain room, with a table in the middle and four chairs around it. Jake and I sat on one side and waited. This was finally it. As far as I know they can't record conversations you have with your attorney, so I guessed this room wasn't bugged. Enter Mr. Dave DiCarlo, the person who to me came to be known as THE MAN. Tall handsome man in his mid-thirties with smiling eyes. He came in and shook our hands and asked how we were. I liked him right off. He used to be a prosecutor, now a defense lawyer, so he's worked on both ends of the system. He was bright and young. Even better, he had been to Phish shows. His sister was a Phish-head and she dragged him to a number of shows which he learned to like. Jake's dad picked the right man, nobody could have been better. He told us how having been to shows made him familiar with the culture surrounding the band. After greeting, we dived into our story. He explained to us that there would be no problem representing both of us simultaneously as long as there was no conflict of interest. As long as Jake and I agreed on all the details, then it would be no problem. If there was something, anything, we differed on, then another attorney would be needed. Jake's dad hired DiCarlo first, so if there was a conflict I'd be the one who would have to find myself a different lawyer. DiCarlo had a friend in mind, but he didn't think there would be a problem. It seemed like he wanted to represent us both.

First off he wanted a detailed account of the arrest. He wanted to know what we were wearing. He asked who the cop was. He read over our paperwork. Jake and I both filled in the details. He knew the trooper, and described him as a "bit of an asshole." After describing the whole arrest and search, DiCarlo felt he had substantial evidence to show it was a bad search and that would be his first move, to prove the search was bad. He asked about stickers and smells. He liked the licence plate frame, it made him laugh. The other point that interested him was the handcuffs without rights being read to us. He asked us if at the police station we felt like we were free to leave. Jake's like no way, if I got up to leave they probably would have fired shots. This would be his next card to play. He told us the prison we were in was only a year and a half old and a BIG improvement over the old facility. The old one he said was much more old fashioned, with bars and several people per cell and the sound of water dripping. Guess we lucked out. He also told us the floor we were on, floor #3, was the most minimum security of all the floors. The other floors were tougher. He asked us about the food and we grumbled about the quality. The rest was just basic friendly chatter. He said it was good I lived at home and had a job. Good that Jake was in school and that I might be going back to get a masters. Judges like that. He also said our timing was good because the magistrate we were assigned to see at the preliminary was the youngest one in town. He said it was important to have young people with this sort of case, that the old dudes can't relate to selling burritos in parking lots of Phish shows and tend to be less tolerant of kids in our position. It's all just drugs to them. So we lucked out. He knew the judge well, he had performed his sister's wedding. DiCarlo met Jake's dad earlier that day and had talked to my dad on the phone. He said that in all his years of doing this he had never seen somebody's father drive across the country to attend a preliminary hearing. He picked up on my lack of direction in life and I told him I had a Biology degree. Jake said he was hoping to attend law school someday. I could tell DiCarlo liked us. He explained all the steps in the court process and what we'd be going through. He said that if bail didn't get reduced at the preliminary that we could make an appeal at a bail reduction hearing the next day before the judge. He said we could make a motion now, but that if we did and it got rejected, that we wouldn't be able to try again even at the preliminary... so best to wait. He said that during the preliminary and the preliminary hearing only, every word the cop says is taken as truth, automatically. We wouldn't be talking at the prelim, we just sit and look innocent and clean shaven. No pleas or anything like that, 'cause if we did start making statements it would be open game and they could start asking us any questions they wanted, on record. Getting us out of jail was his first priority. He gave no indication that this would be wrapped up at the prelim, he didn't seem to think it would. Get bail reduced, get out of jail, go home and in 6 weeks we go back at it, and we might not even need to even fly out for the renegotiations. He felt it would be settled then. He said that there are 3,000 cases a year in Washington County and of those only about 100 actually go to trial. He said this wasn't going to go to trial, which was good to hear since a trail costs about $15,000 to $20,000 in lawyer fees. He asked about the bottles and Jake and I just looked at each other. What to say? Not sure. DiCarlo's like, "Hey guys, if you can't tell me the truth..." So we explained to him not exactly what they were, "ganja tinctures," but we did tell him they were made with everclear and THC-tested positive. I think he put two and two together. We also told him Chris' story plans and version, so he basically knew Chris was not planning to tell the truth. I expressed concern, "Are they going to try and turn us against each other? I mean Chris is our bro..." His reply, "Well, not yet." O God, they are going to. Messy messy messy. DiCarlo said he knew people in the crime lab who were probably testing the bottles and that he'd try to have lunch with one of them. See, they all know each other. It's all about money and deals. He also said that we'd probably be getting some friends in jail soon. The Pittsburgh Phish show was the next night and he knew for a fact that they were putting 65 undercover officers in the parking lot for drug busts. That's not playing fair! Yeah, he said some of them are real young looking too and you'd never know. He said that actually this was to our advantage because if they busted enough Phish-heads that night, the jail would be filled up, increasing our chances of getting out on bail reduction. This county jail was the one closest to the venue where the Phish show was to take place. He said that moods play a big role in all this. "Moods?" I asked, "really? It comes down to that?" Unfortunately yes. Get the DA in a good mood and it can make all the difference in what happens to you. And this is justice? I guess we all are Human. I asked him about case scenarios. Best case scenario, it all gets dropped with a fine. Worst case scenario (which I had to ask him about): a year jail sentence and probation. Got to balance the possible bad with the possible good. I asked him if he ever saw The Grateful Dead, a question I ask everybody. He said yes, that's when I knew for sure we had the right man. He told me that he'd call my dad right away and that if he gets us out of this I have to make him a veggie burrito. Gladly man gladly. We thanked him and that was it. Now this meeting left me feeling good and confident as ever. Two days till show time. He told me to tell my dad that his money was well spent. I explained to him that this was my money, not my dad's. Into financial ruin I go.

We get back up to the holding area and everybody wants to know what our lawyer said. Who is he? DiCarlo I'd say and they all stopped. "Is he good?" I'd ask. Everybody I talked to said yes. All the inmates knew him. Hope was in the air.

Mail call was at night. All the guys would get love letters from their ladies. I never expected my name to get called. But then it was. They handed me a paper bag. It was full of socks and underwear from my mom. Story of my life, I get no love letters, but I got socks and underwear. I go to bed. The lady guard goes home. All is quiet.

All the sudden I hear the intercom in my cell blurt something out loud. Woke me up with a start. I jumped out of bed. Huh? Commissary. The door unlocks. I walk out. Somebody goes, "Hey it's Al Bundy." I have no idea why he called me Al Bundy. "Hairball" was the other nickname I got called once, but that at least fit. Jake and I had both ordered commissary just in case we were in for another week. Better to be safe than sorry. I got handed a big plastic bag containing ramen soups, hot chocolate packets, a plastic soup bowl, a T-shirt, a pair of underwear which was WAY too big for me, and like 15 Hershey bars. I asked them what time it was. 2 in the morning. They handed out the goods in the middle of the night. Strange. I guessed it was so that everybody didn't see what and how much you got, your own protection. I went back to my cell with my bag and my sleepy eyes. I was tempted to chow a candy bar right there but I figured sugar & chocolate would keep me from sleep and I needed sleep. Back to bed.

Jake was so starved for sugar, he's a sugaraholic. He said he stayed up after getting his bag, eating life savers and drinking kool-aid. He sounded like he enjoyed it very much. They next day was business as usual. An example of how wearing confidence on your face isn't taken kindly by the other inmates... they started handing us two sugar packets to go with our rice chex, right on. The dude who was filling up the coffee cups was sticking the sugar in everybody's pockets at they passed by. He didn't look like he was going to give me any so I just reached into the bag to grab one. He quickly looked at me and reached in himself. "That's not the way we do things around here" he said. Then he snapped at me, "Now go sit the fuck down." Not a good way to wake up. They were sick of me, I was sick of them. You're sad and they help you out. You're strong and confident, and God forbid happy, and they resent you. Moods change quickly in that place. I was all happy one day after lunch for some reason. Things just felt good. Then we got locked down for after-meal clean up and one dude, my neighbor, didn't get up to leave the table. He wasn't finished. I don't know what he was trying to do, but it wasn't long before two big guards came in and threw him to the ground and dragged him out. He was screaming something about how he had been wanting to see the nurse about his legs and they dragged him out in cuffs with his legs dragging limp behind him. Mood change. So much for my happy vibe. That shook me up.

I started playing chess instead of Uno. Something that requires a bit more strategy. Dean beat me at first but I picked it up quickly and got better. Beat him twice in a row. This brother came up and asked us if we were any good. I could tell he was a good chess player by the way he asked us. I told him we were just amateurs really. I wish I hadn't of said that, because I would have really liked to play a few games with him. He was a tall black dude. The brothers called him "stretch." The older guys they called "pops." There was one middle aged black man who was all serious about everything and spent a lot of time in the typewriter room typing letters. I think he was working to beat his case. Very serious look on his face. He wore glasses and looked intelligent. They called him Pops. I played one game of Uno with him and he took the rules very seriously and pointed out every mistake you made immediately. You didn't mess with Pops, he played by the book and he wasn't fucking around. I respected him and everytime we'd question a rule in a game I'd say "Now what we need to do is go ask Pops." He liked to play backgammon, but I never talked to him. He didn't talk much.

The guard working that morning worked as a security guard at the venue where Phish played the night before. He came up to me that next morning and said "I want to talk to you." He's like, "I worked at that Phish show last night. I've got a question for you. Now I know that holding a finger up means you need a ticket... but what does sticking an Uno card on your forehead mean? That you want drugs or something?" I had no idea. I had never seen people sticking Uno cards on their foreheads at Phish shows. Probably means the same as the finger held up... I need a ticket. I thought it was weird, but funny and meaningful considering how much Uno we had been playing. I asked him if the people at the show were cool. He said yeah for the most part, no problems. I read the paper that morning and sure enough there was an article describing all kinds of drug busts at the show. Should be some new visitors in that afternoon. Fellow heads.

Sure enough. New recruits. The usual 1 or 2 new black inmates and this time a couple of skinny little white kids looking nervous and defeated. When we were out on TV time I went up to one of them and said, "Where you at the show?" "Yup." "Did you get in?" "Nope." And of course the question I was really interested in, "Did you see the Terrapin at Virginia Beach?" "No, but I heard about it." It came to be meal time and I was happy to see both the Phish kids take their trays and sit at our table. Daryl flipped out and was all pissed off at me for allowing them to join us. "Who said you could sit here? You can't just sit anywhere you want." I jumped to their defense. "I'd like to talk to these guys Daryl." I addressed Daryl by his first name and noticed that the folks in jail rarely called each other by their real names. Daryl called me Chas every now and then, which is what Jake liked to call me, but most of the time it was "my man" or "my brother." Daryl was upset. "O so these are your new friends eh? Why you like these dudes?" "First of all Daryl, I could give a shit less where people sit to eat, and second I want to talk to these guys because I can relate to their positions first hand." So I tried to get their stories in between Daryl giving his "make this your last stop take heed to this brother" sermon.

They were both 19 years old. One dude was sitting in his car and had a pill of ecstasy in his hand about to take it when one of the cops came up to him and grabbed it. The cop proceeded to remove a backpack from the vehicle which belonged to somebody else and had someone else's ID and drivers licence in it. The cop didn't seem to care about ownership & identity. The cop did care about the half ounce of mushrooms contained in the backpack and arrested the kid right there even though the mushrooms were obviously not his.

The other kid was accosted for drinking a beer in public. Now if you have ever been to a Phish show you know that practically everybody is drinking a beer in the parking lot. A lot of people sell them. Good beer too. You can usually get big fatty bottles of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout or Old Brewery Pale Ale, my favorites. This kid was stopped for having the beer and searched right there. Now he did have a sheet of acid on him and was planning to sell them hit by hit. Dangerous way to make money, but a lot of kids do it I guess. I certainly never have. He told me he just had started to walk around the lot and hadn't even sold one hit yet. They found the acid and that was it for him. Not a good thing to get pinned with. I asked him if it was good acid and he said, "Oh yeah, they were the Learys." I had heard good things about the Learys, popular east coast blotter. "You weren't tripping when they arrested you were you?" My biggest fear of all time. The kid's like, "Yeah, I had just dropped two hits and tripped all last night in the police van and in jail." O my God, I would have freaked out! Dean told me a story about how his brother actually sent him two hits of acid through the mail, undetected by the prison mail inspectors. He said he and his buddy took them in jail. I'm like why? Tripping in this environment would be the pits. He said it was fun and it made them smile the whole night. I guess when you're in long enough something like that might be cool, but definitely not for me. I would wig out.

The new guys couldn't eat their food, they were too upset. I couldn't eat the first day either. Jake looked at them and said, "don't worry, you learn to shove it in." I asked them if they had called their parents and the one kid said yes, and that his parents were not too happy. The newspaper said they arrested one guy who had 10 sheets of acid. I wondered what that poor dude's fate was. 10 sheets? Damn. The war on drugs was on in Washington County. The war on drugs is really a war on people.

We got locked down after lunch and I had a lot on my mind hearing all this. I guess they arrested about 150 kids at the Pittsburgh show alone. Mostly before the show began. Undercover cops, wearing tie dye shirts and pretending they want to buy drugs or smoke a joint with you. Looking for mainly acid I bet. The guard told me he saw about 25 kids downstairs in the holding area. The brothers were commenting about all the "Deadheads" everywhere. Only two were brought to 3 west, our wing. I sat on my bed and for the first time since I first got there, I drummed on the stool. I was getting real fed up with the place. I beat my stool. Softly of course. All the sudden I hear action next to me. They unlocked one of the Phish kids and he had his basket in his hands and was escorted out of the place. His parents must have posted bail for him. Both kids said their bails were set at $10,000 which made me wonder why ours was $25,000, I suppose it was because we came in when business was slow. Anyway, I was happy to see this kid go free and I gave him the peace sign through my window as he left. He waved. He saw me looking through my door.

This was the day before our preliminary. Jake was sad. Daryl kept trying to cheer him up. "Man, your getting out tomorrow. What you so down about?" Then Daryl took a different approach, "Man, quit your crying, there's nothing I hate worse than a brother who cries about everything." Jake just walked away from Daryl. Don't need to hear it right now man. This next to last day was the day I got fed up with Daryl as well. He was all "bitch" this and "bitch" that talking about his women and I finally stood up and exclaimed in my whimpy angered fed-up voice "Well, they are still WOMEN to me!" and walked off. What I learned about Daryl was that he was only in it for what he could get out of it. He befriended people for stuff. He said he had the heart of God, but he was full of shit. I told him, "I just think you are in it for the STUFF and that's all." I knew I needed to leave because my mouth was going to get me on people's bad sides, and once somebody has it out for you in a place like that they don't let up. No wonder some guys stayed in their cells all day. He kept saying that we were getting out tomorrow and that we should give all our commissary items to him and none to Dean. The only thing I gave Daryl was my pair of way too large boxer shorts. He's like "Are they clean?" They've never been worn, take 'em. I think he appreciated it. Tensions were high this day. Too much to think about and hope for. Daryl said something disturbing to us at dinner that night. He looked at me and Jake for our final lecture and reassured us we were going free tomorrow. First off he said something I thought was amusing. He looked at me and said "You're going to end up being a dentist or some shit." A dentist? "Yeah, you'll fuck with people's teeth." Odd comment. Then he said to Jake, "I know you wont be back," but then he looked at me, pointed, and said "But you, you'll be back." I was like what? I think it was because Jake was all down like he felt bad for what he had done and the punishment had worked. I was more smiling in my elf-like trickster devilish way with some amount of confidence in me. I don't know what Daryl meant by this. It wasn't like I liked this place for God's sake. I'm a total pacifist and I don't sell drugs. Why did he say I'll be back? This disturbed me deeply. He was probably just playing with my head. I hope. I have no plans on ever going back to jail. No more travelling in my car with contraband, ever!!!!! Your car is where they have the most access to you and where you have the least amount of rights. Jake was the one going back to Eugene where the entire culture is centered around the selling and ingestion of Cannabis. I told him his best move if he wanted to change his ways was not to go back to Eugene. Hanging out in Eugene without smoking pot is like being a sober barfly. Jake told me I could ride back to Denver with him and his dad if I wanted to. I think he was hoping I would. I kind of just wanted to get a plane ticket and fly home immediately upon release. I had had it with the road!

Dean and I played chess that night. I was Wednesday, the night for Bible study. Time came for the people who wanted to go to the chapel to line up. Jake asked me if he should go. I said yeah, go, I don't want to go again, but Chris might be there and he'd probably like to see you. So Jake went and I stayed behind. The room was much more peaceful with half of the inmates gone to church. I watched the Simpsons. It was the episode where they vote to have the monorail built. Above the courthouse in the cartoon is written "Liberty and Justice for most." I repeated it out loud and laughed. The brothers were watching it with me, or me with them, and they got into a heated debate over what was the best way to roll a joint. That was fun to listen to. Good feelings in the air that night. Daryl went to church with Jake. He tried to get me to go, but I'm like naw. He did say that if we never pray, now's the time to start, before the preliminary. I did before bed that night.

The church group returns. I guess Chris didn't go. But Jake seemed to like what he experienced. Chris and Jake had been bashing organized religion the whole time on tour, and the Bible, so I was interested to see what he thought of his session at Bible study. He liked it. I guess for this round they had two black preachers laying down the word, instead of the balding over-fed white guy I had. My preacher was your average "you're going to hell unless..." type. Jake said these guys were awesome to listen to and got all into it. After hearing him describe it, I kind of wished I had gone. I later found out that Chris was in the other wing watching The Simpsons like I was. The book Chris was reading in jail was The Bible, very unusual for him. They didn't have a Bible in our library, but a lot of folks had them sitting in their cells. Chris noticed the liberty and justice for most in the cartoon like I did. I went to bed that night and tried to sleep the best I could, I knew I needed the rest for the big hearing day tomorrow.

We get up for breakfast that morning. Daryl's like "Smile my brothers, you're going home today. Just make sure that if one of you leaves, you take the other with you. Y'all came in together and y'all ought to leave together. Are you gonna eat that orange?" We'll see. Our hearing was at 2 pm and everybody told me to ask the guard if we could hang upstairs until court time, otherwise they'd lock us up downstairs in the holding cell the whole day with nothing to do but watch TV. I asked the guard and he said it was up to the folks downstairs what they wanted to do with us. I think asking is what caused them to do it the way we didn't want, 'cause sure enough Schoop asked me if I wanted a shower before I went down. I'm like yeah I would like that, thank you. He let me have the first shower, as they were cleaning up for breakfast. There was another dude who had his hearing that day. So this was the only time I showered at the same time as somebody else. I hadn't done that since boy scouts. We talked as we washed. Good luck man I said. I shaved and cleaned out my cell, today was mandatory clean your cell day. Then we were taken downstairs to the holding cell. It was about 8:30 so we were going to be locked up down there in that tiny room for 5 hours or so. Yuck. Never did have a chance to properly say goodbye to Daryl or Dean. I'll never forget those two guys as long as I live.

Chris was down there and Jake and I were happy to see him, especially Jake. They talked the whole time, all 5 hours, like a meeting of old long lost best friends. One of the guards busted on them when we arrived to jail, "What are you guys, girlfriends? Do you do everything together?" I just sat there buggin' out knowing I had to sit here for 5 hours with nothing to do. There were 3 other guys in there with us. One toilet. We watched TV and the hours passed. We were the last to go, so eventually the cell was left to the three of us. I cheered up when it was just the three of us. The burrito brothers were back together! We ate lunch together and it made us tired like usual. The talking slowed down. I tried to nap on the concrete floor. We saw the new Beastie Boys video on MTV for the first time and that was cool. We got the new album at the beginning of the tour and it was a constant soundtrack of the tour. Blasting the new Beasties tape everyday as we went from city to city. Like one of the lyrics on there goes: "No time like the present to work shit out." I've loved the Beastie Boys since I was in 8th grade.

Time comes to leave and I was surprised to see it was our arresting officer who was picking us up to take us down to the courthouse. He was about 10 minutes late. Hadn't seen that dickhead in 8 days. A bit of hatred welled up inside me. You got us into all this you prick. He looked a bit less in control this time. A bit more nervous. I was glad to see this. We got cuffed and stuffed into the back of the car. Oh my God, sunlight, fresh air, green plants growing! It was bliss! I stuck my head out the window loving it. Riding in a car. Seeing the scenery change. O how much I missed it. Riding in the back of a cop car with your prison uniform on, hands tied behind your back, and everybody around looking at you makes you feel more like a criminal than ever. The officer was smoking cigarettes one after another and I saw him bite his nails. Yeah, you better be nervous you dick! He was all trying to be nice to us, asking us how the food was and everything. Well how do you think it was? It wasn't exactly gourmet. Don't suppose you ever had anybody run a dog through your car and haul you off to jail before have you? Take your freedom away from you when you weren't harming anybody. For possessing a plant! He asked us if our attorney was Blackwell. Blackwell was Chris' lawyer and apparently the best and most expensive attorney in the land. Chris said yup, my lawyer is Blackwell. I made no efforts to tell him we had DiCarlo as well. Let it be a surprise. Your fucking with the wrong people here fella. I must admit, I was feeling very unforgiving toward this individual... he enjoyed busting us too much. I was shooting him with the most powerful pissed off vibes I could, as Jake and Chris talked their love-speak next to me. The trooper brought along his buddy, a large but kind-looking black man. They like to travel in pairs. To the courthouse we went, speeding the whole way 'cause we were late. Speeding, they very same "crime" that got us into to this whole mess, and here the officer was doing it without concern. The whole system sucks.

We arrive in our county orange jumpsuits. Jake's dad was there. So was DiCarlo and his boss who was the owner of the law firm. Blackwell hadn't arrived yet. DiCarlo looked GREAT! Dressed to the nines in a very expensive looking suit. Very professional. The cop looked at Jake's dad and saw DiCarlo. He looked worried. He told us in the car, "we'll try and get this wrapped up quickly, ok guys." DiCarlo greets us with his smiling eyes and invites the officer to join him and the judge back in the courtroom. The magistrate was a tall skinny young looking guy, he looked happy and positive. Jake's dad was dressed very professionally as well. The owner of the law firm chatted with me about Phish and the kind of music they play. He told me what a coincidence it was that Jake's dad and he hooked up the week before. We were all nervous but hopeful at this point. They took our cuffs off. The officer's partner, the big black guy, was a member of the arson squad and inspected fires. Cool profession. He was interesting to talk to and very nice. This was the first time since the bust that we were treated with respect and as people who had rights. I could tell DiCarlo liked me. My parents told me on the phone that if there was a conflict of interest, DiCarlo said he would have rather represented me than Jake, but he couldn't because Jake's dad had hired him first. DiCarlo was giving my parents all sort of advice. "Now your son is a little old to be in all this." Something my mom has been saying for a while. "Tell him if in the future he wants to get high, he should just have a beer." DiCarlo was fatherly to me like all adults end up being. "Now go to culinary school or whatever it is you want to do." I swear, everytime I hang out with somebody's parents they tell me I'm welcome to come live with them. Jake's parents had. DiCarlo thought it was funny when I told him about Phish playing Terrapin Station at Virginia Beach, that I was still keeping track of set lists while in jail. Jake's dad was all smiles, but I could tell there was a lecture waiting in there ready to burst out at any moment. Blackwell finally shows up. He cost $1,500 more than DiCarlo since he was the best. But he was late. He was tall and cocky looking. He joined them in the back room and we waited out front. I don't know why the law firm owner showed up, he didn't do anything... I think he was interested in our case. I was glad he and Jake's dad were there however, extra intimidation for the cops. Every little bit helps.

A few minutes pass and DiCarlo comes out. He gives me a very warm loving look. He goes, "How about it all gets dropped to a disorderly conduct fine, there is no arrest record, you each pay $376, and go home." We light up! YES!! Jake's dad immediately becomes sullen. He wasn't ready to see us jump for joy. I don't know what the man has in him, but it's dark, and he wasn't glad to see his son glad... like we hadn't paid our debt enough already. Like we deserved all this. I played my emotions very carefully and was the least celebratory of all of us. Now wasn't the time. I was glad but not jumping. I understood the mixed feelings. I wished Chris and Jake would calm down. Be thankful but don't abuse it. We are in a touchy situation. We were invited into the courtroom to sign some papers. The officer was there filling out slips of paper that looked like speeding tickets. He was far from happy. Now he looked defeated. I guess for this to happen he had to admit to everyone that he had conducted a bad search. Cops don't like to admit mistakes like this. A lot of paperwork for him with no real bust. His superior was bound to come down on him hard for this one. Good! DiCarlo said we could file for compensation for our 8 days in jail, but sounded like it wouldn't be a good idea. We had the right to, but doing so would be stretching it. We're like, that's ok, we're happy with what we got, we just want to go home. I guess disorderly conduct is just a bullshit fine which can be used for something as simple as pushing somebody. Law. DiCarlo seemed very pleased. He told me two things worked in our favor. For one the lab was having trouble figuring out just what was in those bottles. I guess it was because they were a year or so old and the THC had denatured and degraded into something else. He also said the DA woke up in a very good mood that morning. I was still calling him Mr. DiCarlo. He laughed and told me I can call him Dave. I whispered into his ear, "You're the man." We signed the papers. After all the paperwork was finished, Chris' attorney Blackwell turns to us and says, "Ok, now that's it's all over, tell us what was really in those bottles." Chris stuck to his story saying they were sore throat herbal tinctures. He hadn't told his lawyer the truth, and moreover his lawyer knew it. Hey, I wouldn't have fessed up there either, in the courtroom, in front of the cop and the judge, no way. But to this day Chris' parents don't know the truth, his mother thinks her son was wrongly popped for echinacea and goldenseal extracts. As much as I didn't agree with lying, I have to admit that it was probably the combination of Chris' "story" and our separated "truth" that caused this to work out the way it did. If we had all told the truth, it probably would have ended different. If they had caught Chris lying to the police it could have been bad for him. Although all the talking he did to the police was before we got rights read to us. This was the part that worried me the most, the inconsistencies in story, but I think they ended up working for us in the long run.

I, in very hushed tones, said thank you to officer Seeley. I didn't mean it at all. He didn't deserve a thank you. Then DiCarlo asks me, did you thank the officer? I said I did. Screw that guy, he didn't deserve anything from me. Call me bitter, but he knew what he was doing to three guys who didn't deserve it, but then I also realize he was doing his job and that our reason for going to jail might have been beyond anything he knew about and indeed decided by a higher power. It was my wake-up call, our wake-up call. It happened for a reason. God got us into it and God got us out of it. I knew. So can't blame officer Seeley for everything. We knew it was illegal to have this stuff, we took the chance. I'm always the type to push the limits of what's allowed by rules and I finally got nailed for it. Lessons learned.

We all shake hands. Blackwell insults DiCarlo by saying "well I guess you're starting to get some of your credibility back after all." DiCarlo shrugs the egotistical asshole off, "Yeah, slowly but surely." I don't know what Blackwell did, if anything, but there were rumors he made the deal with the cop before he even came to pick us up. I wondered if any money had changed hands. How corrupt is this system? Money talks and bullshit walks. Actually, people with money walk and the poor go nowhere is closer to the truth. Whatever the case, I handed this one to DiCarlo. Jake's dad called Jake's mom and Jake's mom got the word out immediately that this was over and we were free. Everybody seemed very surprised. Guess this sort of case doesn't end like this very often. A miracle in itself. The black cop seemed surprised and told us we should thank officer Seeley 'cause this doesn't happen much at all. The attorneys seemed surprised. Hell, even the judge seemed surprised. Smiles and good vibes all around, except for Jake's dad who goes, "see, this proves it, there is no such thing as justice." Did he really want to see us rot in jail? Prison is a psychologically unhealthy environment. A year in there and I know I would have come out a ruined man, scared for life. I've got too much potential to be ruined by the system like this. I'm not a criminal. Being around them made me realize I don't belong... they all knew I didn't belong. Nobody who keeps the innocent pure Human spirit alive within them belongs in there. It ruins people. Make you a better person my ass. It might make me quit smoking, which may be what I need right now, but it in no way made me a better person, just a little wiser than I was. You can't always get what you want, but you find sometimes you get what you need. Lifestyle change was the phrase on all our mouths. We did a big three way hug right there in the courtroom hallway, a huddle, a circle of orange uniforms. Heads bowed, we did it! And we're gonna be ok.

The officer takes us back to jail to get officially released. The big ugly old dude who processed us in was there to process us out. He made jokes the whole time. Trooper Seeley went back to work his day out. The prison guard especially picked on Chris. Called him names and all kinds of stuff. I played by his rules for the last time. I did everything he asked to make this easy. We got our stuff back. Man was it cool to wear clothes again with some color in them. Way cool. Don't take your colors for granted. Real shorts, and my Tevas felt good on my feet. They brought down our stuff from up in our cells. Sorry Daryl, they wouldn't let us give you the ramen soups. I felt bad that everybody up there had to stay and we got to leave. Why couldn't we all just go? Well at least all three burrito brothers were leaving together, friendships all intact, no harm done. I was so worried that all this would ruin my friendship with Chris as it seemed they were turning us against one another, but that didn't have to happen. I wanted to go right home but Chris had to drive the van back so I decided to ride with him and share the driving and gas money. The part that sucked was that he wanted to take his time going back to Phoenix. He wanted to visit his girly in Illinois for a few days and then hang in Denver. Ok, whatever. Like I ever have a choice. Chris does what Chris wants and I just ride along. He's too used to getting his way.

We see the big garage door open and we run out into the sunlight. Jake's dad has the car waiting for us. We get in. They gave us our money back in the form of a check, and we only had 5 minutes till the bank closed. We rushed. I ate a chocolate bar on the way. [Chocolate, the food of the sexually frustrated.] We made it in time and cashed our checks. We went to get the van. Jake's dad is being quite the ass. He called us "fuckers" and "ex-cons" several times and didn't like our celebratory attitude. Hey, I can deal with "ex- con." I was kind of glad I was riding home with Chris and not Jake and his dad. Jake's dad was pissed. We shut up and went to the impounding garage. Nobody there. Were they closed at 4 pm? Guess so. So we find a phone to call. No answer. We grab a sandwich at McDonald's and Jake's dad takes me and Chris to a motel. We check in and they leave. Jake and I gave each other a big hug. We did it bro. Good to meet you and get to know you.

The motel was really nice for $35 a night. Chris and I were so happy. We were jumping on the beds and talking all loud and running around. Free at last, free at last. We called our parents. My mom was so happy. I worried her so much, no amount of good pot is worth putting your mom through that much worry. We went out to find beer. My mouth really wanted to taste a beer. We walked around and finally found a liquor store.

We got back and Chris called the impounding place again. This time there was an answer. They'd be open for 20 more minutes. I was like screw it, but Chris wanted to get the van back. Ok, sounds good. We'd have to run though, it was a good 20 minute walk away, easily. We ran and on the way saw two college kids in a car at a fastfood place. I asked them if they would give us a ride. They did and we got there in time. It was weird telling somebody for the first time that our car was impounded because we had been in a bit of legal trouble. For what? A little bit of pot. I hope saying this didn't scare these kids, it was a girl and a guy, but the guy was big so I know they weren't afraid of any kind of physical threat. But people meet you and find out you just got out of jail and it makes them wonder.

An old dude was sitting outside the garage. Cool old guy. A car repair type. Been around engines a long time I could tell. He owned the place, his business for the past 50 years. He had a couple of younger guys working for him. He mentioned to me how some guy had been by wanting to get in the van. "Yeah, that was my friend, we asked him to." "Well I don't know who is who's friend and I didn't let anybody near the truck." That's cool, at least it was safe. The younger guy ws cool too. He was all disorganized and was chain smoking cigarettes, but he was funny. They had pictures of semi-truck wrecks on the wall. Nasty wrecks. Trailers split in half. Guess these dudes have pulled many a vehicle out of the ditch. The old guy told us to watch it with the drugs, and to be careful in such-and-such states. It cost us $193 to get our car back. The van was all a mess from being searched by the cops. I hadn't seen it. Clothes all pulled out. Crates everywhere. Speaking of disorganized, I was thrilled to see the propane was still going and the fridge was cold. The ganja-jager had ice on it and the bottles of Samuel Smith's were the perfect temperature for drinking. We drove it back to the motel. We aren't driving anywhere tonight. We cleaned it up and then went in. We stayed up that night listening to music. We drank and told stories and did shots of the jagermeister. Chris and I getting along like nothing ever happened. First music we put on was a few Grateful Dead songs. Ah, back home at last. I danced around and air drummed.

We decide to go to Lancaster, our original destination. Chris wanted to head west right away, no further east, but I wanted to visit Mike and thank him for driving out to check on things, and to see Nancy and Trinity. Those guys are as much family to me as anybody. So off to Lancaster we go. We got there about 6 hours later and it felt good to sit down. Mike made us some veggie burgers on good fresh buns with sprouts and the special sauce. Chris was really happy to eat some health food again. Nancy is the strictest of vegans, no meat, dairy or anything in her body. No more smoking of the herb either. She wanted to breastfeed Trinity for an entire year before moving her to solid foods. There was a jar of kind nuggets on the table. Chris and I looked at them and smelled them. Humboldt nugs. Good stuff. I could tell Nancy didn't want us to, she never does. I could tell Chris and Mike did. I was torn between the two. I knew if I did, my conversational abilities would fly out the window. Kind buds after nothing but prison food for a week? One puff and I'd be out there, in the zone. But I wasn't about to pass up a session, so before we left to go hike, we puffed in the other room away from Trinity.

Sure enough, I'm blasted. There was this strong hash in there. Burned the throat and made me cough loud. I was thrown immediately into a high reflective state. We took a beautiful hike in the woods, Lancaster has lots of woods and trails around. But my mind wouldn't relax. Images of the whole past 8 days kept popping up. I wasn't talking and I couldn't focus. I was seeing the whole experience in a different light, it was good for me to reflect on it in this way. The cannabis made me conscious of my stomach and all the nasty food that had been put into it. We arrived at a stream and Chris took off all his clothes and got in. It was very cleansing. I played with the dog. I love dogs, and most dogs dig me.

We spent two days at Mike's place and it was very cleansing. Good food, good vibes. Cleaned me out. I needed that. I swear, when Mike moves back to the pacific northwest, I might just move up there and live with him and his family for a while. Soulmates they are. He's moving to New York City for a few months and attending a culinary school specializing in health foods. Right on Mike! He's done his share of floundering but now it seems his life has more direction and purpose than ever. I've thought about culinary school before. I like to cook, but I don't know if I could do it as a career.

So we hit the road and head west to Carbondale, Illinois, home of Chris' girlfriend Cathy. Cathy had done part of the tour with us but luckily dropped off and went back home the day before we got popped. Good timing girl! It was nice to have her on board for the time she was on board. Cathy likes to drink and could out drink all three of us guys. She claims it's from being a midwesterner. She's just a good time.

We got there and she was in the process of refurbishing and moving into a house. They were painting when we arrived and they didn't know we were coming. We were there for 4 days and we spent a lot of time helping them move in and fix the place up and went to bars at night. Carbondale is an alcoholic college town. People there like to go out. I liked the place. We spent a lot of money eating out at good restaurants. We lived it up eventhough we had no money. I kept going to the record store and buying CDs.

Chuck wrote: "The urge to rebel is channelled into the urge to buy."

O how true my friend! Since I've been back in the mainstream with a new lease on life, I have developed this CD buying problem. I can't help it. I'm compelled to spend money I don't have on new music. I guess it helps ease the pain. :-) I spent hundreds of dollars the way home on new sounds to feed my ears with. Still am. I need professional help. My music collection is out of control!

Jake's dad invited us to spend a day in Denver on our way back and promised us a free meal. Well I never pass up a free meal. We go to hang in Denver, the city I was born in, and visit Jake. Red Rocks was having it's annual reggae music festival and so we timed it so we could make that. I called my dad and told him I'd be home a few days later than expected because we are going to see a reggae show. He wasn't at all pleased to hear this. "More concerts huh? Stay clean." The struggle between changing your old ways and going back to your old ways. Not to fall back into old habits. Nobody becomes a whole different person overnight. Simple truth is, I like music, more than just about anything. Music is the best stuff. Good music comes from creative people. Creative people tend to like to alter consciousness. Not an excuse as much as it is a fact. Most of the music I listen to was not made by "straight" sober folks. I dig the Dionysiac influence.

On the way to Denver we stopped for gas in Kansas and upon getting out of the car I saw 4 kids looking all bummed out sitting outside a dead car. I got the gas while Chris went over and talked with them. One of the dudes I made an immediate eye-to-eye connection with. Not the others. The others looked like they were up to something. Turns out they ran out of gas and had no money to fill up their tank. We were low on money as well and living off credit cards. Chris offered the one kid a ride to the outskirts of Denver. It was getting to be night time. So the kid hops on board the van and we head out. Never really picked up hitchhikers before, so I had mixed feelings.

He was a cool kid. 18 years old. From Detroit. A Phish head. Big baggy clothes. He was just going, nowhere in particular, just going. Heading west, away from home. Hoping to find something. No money, he got mugged by some black dudes in Kansas City. "I don't like black people," he told me. His name was Squishy. He hadn't slept in a while and we offered him the comfortable bed up above the cabin. He gladly took it and passed out. The people he was riding with were ignorant kids he said, younger than he was. He said he had to babysit them the whole time. They were just driving to drive. No money, no destination... they were using stolen credit cards the whole way across the country to get gas and food. Pulling all kinds of sneaky jobs. Dumb kids. Squish said that being with us would probably help his karma improve.

It got late and Chris wanted to sleep, so I took the wheel and Squishy took the passenger seat. I had a great conversation with him for the remaining couple of hours to Denver. He was basically homeless and "spare changed" to get money. He said it was easy to get money by just asking people for spare change. He had done LOTS of psychedelics in his time and sounded like he was trying to get away from drugs. He thought they were going to get searched one time when a cop pulled them over and therefore ate an entire half sheet of acid to avoid being caught with it. "I haven't been the same since," he said. Up for two weeks without sleep. He knew a lot about acid and what's good out there and what's not. Spun. Good hearted kid. He had the divorced parents. The rich lawyer dad who didn't give a shit about anything but his money. His younger brother was retarded and he felt like he was in the way living with his mom who dumped her frustrations on him, so on the road he was. He told me lots and it was nice to have somebody new to talk with. 7 weeks with the same people and you run out of fresh material to talk about. We got to Denver and I dropped him off at a Denny's and gave him all the spare change I had. Meeting this kid and helping him out a bit put me in a real good mood. Chris and I made our way to Jake's house in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb in the south part of Denver.

Jake was up waiting for us. It was late. We hang out and drink a couple of beers and talk quietly. Jake had been buying albums on vinyl. He wanted to get a turntable and start DJing. This buying things happens to all of us I guess. Consumerism for the reformed. He had the television on and I saw the news for the first time in weeks. It appeared we were busy bombing countries and the president was admitting to inappropriate relations with what's-her-face. O, so that's what everybody's into these days. Special reports. Spoon fed to the masses. I say, let the president get his dick sucked all he wants if it keeps us from bombing people. Hell, and even if he is getting blow jobs everyday, the only person who should be the least bit concerned or even know about it is his wife and that's it. Why do people eat up scandal so much? This country! If Clinton is into sex, drugs, and rock and roll, more power to him, I like him all the better. Let him blow his sax, get blown, and actually inhale his joints. Isn't that what we all would like to do? A universe of opposing forces we live in. Laws and politics and money-making, where did we go wrong?

Man, I thought there were cute girls at the Phish shows, but the reggae show is where it's at. Cuties everywhere! Maybe we should have done reggae tour. :-) They were everywhere at Red Rocks, my favorite concert venue of all time. The first place I ever had a mushroom experience. A special place to me. With the rocks, the city in the background, the music, and the girls... the aesthetics were at their best. We got out of the van and almost instantly ran into a bag of nugs for sale. B.C. indoor. Pretty nice. Were at a reggae show for Lord's sake, we got it. Smoked it all that day. I was pretty high. All that mattered to me really was that we drove absolutely nowhere with contraband. In your car is where you are the least safe. No more driving with anything for this dude. I don't even want to be in a car with somebody who is holding. I can't afford it. And no more here at home, I promised my parents. Those are the two things I'm sticking to, the two big changes I've made.

I finally got to see the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, the remaining members of Sublime. I love Sublime. It was cool to see them play live. They were one of the better bands that day. This cute little blonde chick sat next to me at a set break, in between me and Jake. We said hello, but I still didn't strike up a conversation with her like I should of. They always come when I'm all stoned and not wanting to talk. Why is this? She was a tough punk girl though. Strong, I think she thought she was pretty cool. Rough language and a pierced nose. Independent and attractive. Her friends came by and asked her if she wanted to go get a beer with them, she said no, that she had no money and that she's going to hang here for a while. We just sat there and said nothing. I think she wanted me to buy her a beer cause she said, "You want a beer?" I told her I was waiting till the sun went down and it was cooler, I felt like I could pass out as it was. Had been a long hot day, exhausted from sunshine alone. She eventually took off without saying anything. I saw her one other time later on, from a distance. That was it. I'm not good at getting things started.

The night we arrived in Denver, I laid down to go to bed and Jake's dad pops his head in the door and whispers, "Charlie? How are you doing?" I thought this was funny. Like the way my grandparents used to check on me when I was little. I could tell I was ok in Jake's dad's book. Jake's parents took us out to a Russian restaurant and styled us with a fat meal. Passed vodka shots around. Jake's dad liked to get us drunk. It was a cool little place with real Russian owners, I had never had Russian food before. Everything was delicious. We all had a good time. Lots of bitter stuff in Jake's dad like I said before. Probably from fighting in wars and shit. Makes people killers. Not good. When are we gonna learn? He would switch from kindness to bitterness, back and forth. He liked to get up real early. The morning before the reggae show, Chris and I made the last batch of burritos ever. Chris needed to make some cash so I helped him make burritos so he could sell them after the show. My days of burrito vending were over, I didn't want to sell any. We made them out on the front sidewalk so as to not destroy the kitchen. We wondered what Jake's pops would think of this. He thought it was cool. He was all in a good mood and sat out and talked to us the whole time. He liked having the young energy around. Jake said that when we were there was the most he ever saw his parents communicate, they usually didn't talk much to each other. Jake's dad helped Chris make a couple of burritos and kept saying he hoped we sold all of them. Chris did, no problem.

I purchased more CDs in Denver and Jake got his turntable. We parted and headed back to Phoenix. Jake was leaving the next day to go back to Oregon. Things were coming to an end.

Seeing all those satellite dishes in New Mexico was cool. Chris and I talked a lot about aliens and such. We stopped at a gas station in New Mexico and for the first time in a while I saw an Indian man and some Mexican folks. It made me feel at home, I knew I was close. One more weird thing was awaiting us. It was night and we decided to take a more scenic highway through Arizona than the interstate. I knew this decision was a mistake once it got dark and there was no light around. Hard to see on the curvy road, must drive extra carefully. Chris was behind the wheel. Going about 65. All the sudden an owl appears in our headlights. Going too fast to slowdown in time. We were heading right for it. Chris and I were just in the middle of a somewhat intense discussion about religion and more specifically baptism. I was telling him how my mom almost left my dad after I was born because he didn't want me to get baptized and she did. It was very important to her. Right when Chris mentioned how he had never been baptized, this owl appears. I hear the panic-stricken words, "you're going to die" come out of his mouth and then sure enough we heard him smack the underside of the van. Chris let out this terrifying scream and was all tensed up. I remained calm. He was really shaken up and had to pull over. I took over the wheel. He felt really bad. That owl looked right at us eye-to-eye before we hit it. Why did it have to be an owl? Things happen, I didn't take it too hard. It was a long night and I just wanted to get this camper into my driveway back home. Finally I did.

My dad was up. My mom plants a huge hug on me and tears were coming out of her eyes. She was glad to see me. She purchased a copy of Richard Glen Boire's Marijuana Law for me to read. I wish I had read that book *before* leaving on tour. I could tell my dad had things he wanted to say. Communication between me and my father has always been a bit strained. He was an alcoholic the whole time I was a kid growing up. Like father like son. He was never violent, he just get all looped and sat around. It got to the point where his health was real bad and he was sneaking it in his office here at home. Not easy on the family. He pulled himself together through AA, which he is dedicated to to this day. He's big believer in everything AA and while I might not be at this point in my life, I sure see the power of it and how it turned him around. I was putting my stuff away and my dad was in his office. To begin this new way of doing things I went in to talk to him instead of just closing my door and forgetting about it like I normally would. Open new channels of communication. Basically he gave me an AA speech. Not one I liked to hear. He spoke to me like I have a drug problem and I'm going to be the last one to ever admit that I have it. Like he knew the road and I'm on it. I said my pot smoking is not a "problem," it's just pot. I don't like the word "problem" used like this. Like without it I'm going to freak. Not so. They know about the occasional psychedelic and they also know I've never sniffed anything up my nose or shot anything into my arm, I haven't. I've been offered cocaine and crystal meth before and always turned it down. He said getting arrested is definitely a sign of a "problem." No dad, the "problem" is the law against having the plant. He doesn't see it this way. I need to move out. I asked him if he minds me keeping a 6 pack of beer in the fridge. Out of respect for his non-drinking ways, I've always avoided keeping any beer around the house. He said he didn't care. He wont even eat food made using wine these days. If this warped society doesn't want me smokin' the herb, and indeed locks me up for it, then I'll have to switch to the legal and accepted (but more harmful) way of consciousness alteration, alcohol. Time to play more by the rules I guess. But I need to move out from under my parent's wing, because I know that every empty bottle that reaches the garbage can is noticed, tracked, logged, and ultimately causing increased concern. I don't want to worry my parents. I don't want to hide things from them. And I don't want AA speeches. Since my dad gave up drinking, he eats too much unhealthy food. Fatty sugary foods in excessive amounts. He's way overweight and not healthy looking, but he's sober. Some of us just got it in us, it's in the genes. My mother's father was an alcoholic. I need to be very careful. My family's filled with wack-o people, so I come by it honestly. My dad's got like a genius level IQ (a number I don't put too much faith in, believe me), but he's as strange as any of them. His side of the family is filled with crazy folks.

I'll tell you, no THC in my diet and my desire to drink beer goes significantly up. Where's the perfect drug? Legal and harmless. Drumming and making music gets me as high as anything and I really want to do it more. I need to get into a gigging band and get my highs that way, by pounding on the skins and making people dance. That would be grand. But at my age and position in life, the hopes of being a successful rock/funk/hip-hop drummer begins to diminish. Time to come down to reality. So a job change is in order. I hope the hospital hires me, I've always been interested in health care, I just always knew I didn't have the academic chops to hack medical school. Plus I question modern medical ways. The money. The pills and the scalpels. I'll never be the one to perform a C-section or cut somebody's tonsils out. But I'll find something. I just hope it's not cleaning bedpans and changing old people's oxgen tanks and pushing wheel chairs around. Put me in the lab, please. I need to get out of food service. Culinary school still might be a possibility. The head chef of a good restaurant can make a decent sum. If I could be anything I'd be a record producer, but what are the chances of that? Lots of young dudes want to be record producers. I have to be realistic, but I do believe that you can achieve anything if you want it bad enough and are willing to work for it.

Life is crazy. It's all good. Everything happens for a reason. Thanks for listening. Writing this has been very good for me. I'm glad to be done with it and now it's the past.

written Summer, 1998