Chapter 7: Friday night
Friday night at Turkeyfest was a bizarre, drunken, chemically aided pagan ceremony. The beer garden was bursting with music and cheers and whoops and fights and adrenaline soaked ecstasy.
My roommate and I had both consumed massive quantities of pot and beer, as well as a quantity of LSD-25. He had two hits, I had four. We had a group of party people in our dive. The pre-fest warm-up. Once everyone was properly twisted, but before the acid kicked in, we made our way down to the beer garden. Fortunately, my place was a two minute walk down hill to the Turkeyfest. Our group of maniacally laughing party-goers was a gross tribute to the power of gravity, excess, and the dynamic forces at work in this strange vortex of red-neck wisdom coated in an asphalt veneer.
We made our way through Alexandria park.
Past the hoards of people.
Some who I apparently knew.
For a few moments I felt like a sockeye salmon swimming upstream. The blast of music from the beer garden bandstand spewed out in turbocharged streams of audible electricity.
I could feel it in every nerve ending of my body.
The hum of life.
Security for the garden of beerden was lax in those days. Just a couple of volunteers from the legion. As long as you could walk, and weren’t trying to pick a fight with people before you even bought beer tickets, you were good to go.
It was a shoulder to shoulder crowd of proud Strathvegas residents. Eager to drink, salute, cheer, and get laid. And I was definitely one of them.
But first, step one: the drink!…
So my ’ol lady took my money to the ticket booth, and exchanged it for drink tickets. While that transaction took place, I roamed through the crowd. Talking, joking, and laughing with the many recognizable faces I stumbled across… and many I didn’t. Once I got a ticket I grabbed a beer and continued, with my ‘ol lady, through the mass of bodies, in a tangent of social festivity that warms the heart to this very day.
By that point the group of us that had ventured down to this hedonistic event had broken up and absorbed into the mass of bodies. After drifting around for a while, my ’ol lady and I made our way over to the area where the picnic tables were located; to have a seat, a smoke, and another drink. Apparently my roommate had the same idea. We were all a part of this group of associates. Two tables of young twisted minds. Some of the bodies floated in and out of the scene like deep sea oil-slicks, but there was a core of us that stayed anchored to our territory, and nurtured our reign of comedic tomfoolery.
At some point I remember looking over at my roommate, as he looked over at me, at the same exact instant we were both being slammed in the cerebellum by a tidal wave of psychoactive resonance.
Side splitting laughter erupted for the next five minutes… The next half hour was a deeply comedic dialogue of crude one-liners and random ramblings on the state of captive kangaroo’s at small town festivals.
After a while my ’ol lady became restless, she wanted to continue roaming the grounds, to see who else we could cross paths with. After much persuading, and when my beer ran dry and I needed another, I gave way to the gravity of the situation and left the sanctuary of the table. Latched firmly to her arm.
Just as the acid began to rev balls out.
We made our way through the crowd to one of the many beer stands. This one was manned by a guy I knew from the radio station. He was a total kick-ass hippy kinda guy. Which didn’t really make coherent conversation any simpler for me, but at least he was a soul that put my buzzing nerves to ease…
But that spell was quickly broken.
I had just wrestled the acid under control, riding it like a surfing bird, and was shooting the shit with a friend, when the whispering voice started. “Anson”, “Anson”. I lost track of my conversation. The voice of my ’ol lady calling my name threw me totally out of sync.
I looked over at her. Struggling to focus on her and not the phosphorescent explosions of colour circling around her head.
“What? What are you talking about?” was her response.
I was confused. So I tried to ignore it all and just dive back into the conversation I was involved in.
Then I heard it again.
Again I looked at her, again she didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about, since she was wrapped up in her own discussions with other party people. This continued for about five minutes. At which point I became agitated, and told her she needed to stop. No more.
Again, she looked at me with puzzled bemusement.
A short while later, I heard the whisper again… at this point I was twisted around my own brainstem… it was the last straw, I was out of there. I darted off into the crowd, zigging and zagging. Throwing anyone trying to follow me off of my scent.
I eventually made my way back to the safe zone of the picnic tables. My roommate was still there. Apparently in the same sensory overload state as me. And again, with a quick glance, we both knew what the score was:
we both had to get the fuck out of Turkeyfest.