We putted along down the congested back roads towards Turtle Bay ready for snorkeling Hawaii. Nate sparked up a cigarette puffing plumes of smoke out the window. I gazed out at the coastal beauty beckoning my eyes with blue tendrils of crashing splendor. The calm swell attracted many beach goers from all over, and normally I avoided the tourist pits, but this time was different.
Nate looked over at me suddenly and blurted out, “You want a hit of acid bro?”
Without much hesitation, I reached down and pulled a tab off a strip of blotter paper. The tasteless square moistened under my tongue for a few minutes before swallowing it. I took acid many times in the past, throughout college, and hitchhiking up through California, so I knew what to expect. Each time felt like a new adventure as I waited for the trip to begin.
We stopped at a surf shop in Haleiwa to buy snorkeling equipment first before continuing on to Turtle Bay. The parking lot connected to the beach resort jam-packed with cars. With people all looking to bask by the cove, like beached whales, our intention of seeing tropical fish appeared dismal, but we dove in anyway.
I swam around looking at murky clouds of seawater as my eyes spotted a lone tetra jolting between the cracks of brain-coral. The cove sucked for snorkeling. Little kids splashed about causing a ruckus by the shoreline, kicking and thrashing about, while giggling with smiles of joy. Fish disappeared into the depths of the ocean, and suddenly it no longer mattered. My mind began to escape me like an endless dream of happiness.
The cool water dribbled off my skin as I immersed myself in her beauty. The beauty of Mother Nature brought a twinkle to my eye as my vision sharpened quickly.
I lost Nate through the sea of people, but I just kept swimming and swimming. Slowly my mind dove further into an imaginarium of eclectic thoughts. Everything felt happy. Everything felt alive around me. The waves. The coral. The urchins. The sand. I loved Hawaii and its random adventures as I floated there in the ocean, forgetting to breathe. I coughed up mucous and salty phlegm-like water as my body slowly became more incapacitated from the drug.
The small current pushed me to the shoreline and I fumbled to take off my snorkel, mask and flippers, tumbling into the sand. I fell on my ass and giggled with a tenacity to wander enjoying every bit of snorkeling Hawaii.
In this trippy euphoria Nate came into view and we both made our way back to the car with no destination in mind. The ground moved around us as his car felt stationary guiding us back the way we came. We laughed and chain smoked the last of our cigarettes as Nate chanted the same lyrics to a ska-punk song over-and-over again.
“It’s only just begun,” I thought. And it did. We pulled off a few miles down the road outside of an abandoned building. It felt like a primal spot to lose our minds. An old Hawaiian couple posed for the camera taking pregnancy photos in an eery door-frame. We hobbled through trash, decayed coconuts, Styrofoam and rusted construction equipment stepping over barbed wire and metal bed-frames as my body wandered to another extreme emotion, fear.
The dark, gloomy jungle cast its shadows on us making each step through the wasteland of the Convalescent home even more chilling. My heart thumped, and fingers trembled. I finagled through waste fearing I might step on a stray heroine needle. It made my toes cringe between my broken sandals, until losing them altogether when I set my eyes on a Banyan tree. It crept around the backside of the vacant building, wrapping its limbs around the roof like a parasite feeding off its master.
Underwater Trippin’ in Oahu
Fear shook every ounce of blood pumping through my veins. I watched in a trembled stupor as Nate monkeyed his way to the top of the roof. Climbing and swinging up the prison-bar windows, using rusty metal pegs as footholds, he reached the top, fearless and anxious to down-climb the Banyan tree.
I took another approach for fear of tetanus. I studied the Banyan tree like a bouldering problem until finally gripping its bark, steadily inching up its trunk. Nate chucked plaster tiles off the roof as his mood shifted to destruction. I felt scared and numb as I reached a point of no return three-quarters of the way up the tree. But, my fear morphed into comfort with the slight breeze, feeling content as I sat with my legs dangling on either side of a sturdy branch. We sat up there for hours. He sang. I looked off into the canopies cascading around me. Their sharpness intrigued me looking like a blanket of green Legos.
Our moods shifted and we found ourselves back on the road headed to Sharks Cove. The low tide whispered our names putting our vehicle to a halt. Before I knew it I found myself tiptoeing barefoot across jagged coral like stepping on the tips of pointed needles. My feet ached as my mind alluded the pain. But with each step closer to the tide pools we looked out at the sun greeting us with one last smile of happiness as it shined its orange radiance throughout the sky. All my emotions felt like one as I awed in the beauty before me. This was the best acid I ever took. Snorkeling on acid turned into a series of random adventures making my last days in Oahu one to remember.