*next post "the peyote fiasco"
s. was a deep thinker even at the tender age of sixteen. he had read the three major "fausts" (shakespeare's, goethe's and thomas mann's)"dr. faustus", the venerable philospher who spent his whole life with books, upon reflection felt cheated; that in spite of all his knowledge, he was empty, lonely and unhappy. he chose the devil's offer of 'youth' again in return for his immortal soul.
s. saw that his hunger for knowledge isolated him from life; from other people. and a pattern developed whereby he would devour books and plumb the depths of his being in solitude for a while, then, with the utmost abandon, give full rein to his desires. his restlessness could only be assuaged by new experiences, new impressions; even, if you will, the deliberate pushing of his limits with little regard for consequences. he would bend every principle to test their strength. he would verify the 'a priori' truths in action.
he would send to smith's cacti ranch for twenty five pounds of peyote buds.
well, 'they' would send for the cacti; a joint venture of the four brothers; s. and obie, (obie was the youngest, only thirteen and bobby and chris who had just turned 17.)
they all had read casteneda's journals regarding the yaqui way of knowledge; gathered from the magical depth and lightness of an old yaqui indian in sonora, mexico, don juan.
when the box arrived, they all gathered at s.'s casselberry studio. they munched the buds in silence. they were eating the green cacti like an apple because there was a sharp furry clump in the middle which was not edible.
by the time they finished their second bud, s. remarked that his third one had taken on the smell and being of a mouse. the taste was to him more horrible than anything he had ever smelt or tasted. it was like death and he was eating it alive.
they all vomited. everyone was hallucinating. they went out into the dark starry night and had visions of forces and powers and a gigantic apperception of the universe which had suddenly changed it's nature with their opened consciousnesses.
this was a hundred times better than their experiment with asthmador, a mixture of herbs, stramonium and belladonna. the night they swallowed their homemade capsules had been a night of first itching all over and heat then exhaustion. then a period of nightmares wherein s. looked over at his brother sleeping and he appeared to be made of wax. that was all senseless compared to the skinned eyes, the revealed clarity of a different perception of reality.
obie went home the next morning and was observed talking to the food in the refrigerator. bob and anita were very upset. they gather all four boys together to get to the bottom of poor obie's sudden insanity.
casselberry was confiscated.