Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Perfect High

There once was a boy named Gimmesome Roy... He was nothing like me or you, 'cause laying back and gettin' high was all he cared to do. As a kid he sat in the cellar, sniffing airplane glue. And then he smoked banana peels, when that was the thing to do. He tried aspirin in coca-cola, he breathed helium on the sly, and his life became one endless search to find that perfect high. But grass just made him want to lay back and eat chocolate chip pizza all night. And the great things he wrote while he was stoned looked like shit in the morning light. And speed just made him rap all day, reds just laid him back. And cocaine rose was sweet to his nose, but the price nearly broke his back. He tried PCP & THC, but they didn't quite do the trick. And poppers nearly blew his heart and mushrooms made him sick. Acid made him see the light, but he couldn't remember it long. And hashish was just a little too weak, and smack was a little too strong. And quaaludes made him stumble, and booze just made him cry. Til' he heard of a cat named Baba Fatts who knew of the perfect high.
Now Baba Fatts was a hermit cat who lived up in Nepal, high on a craggy mountaintop, up a sheer and icy wall. "But hell," says Roy, "I'm a healthy boy and I'll crawl or climb or fly. But I'll find that guru who'll give me the clue to what's the perfect high."
So out and off goes Gimmesome Roy to the land that knows no time, up a trail no man could conquer, to a cliff no man could climb. For fourteen years he tries that cliff, then back down again he slides, then sits - and cries - and climbs up again, pursuing the perfect high. He's grinding his teeth, he's coughing blood, he's aching and shaking and weak, as starving and sore and bleeding and tore, he reaches the mountain peak. And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf and he snarls the snarl of a rat, as there, in perfect repose and wearing no clothes, sits the god-like Baba Fatts.
"What's happenin', Fatts?" says Roy with joy. "I've come to state my biz. I hear you're hip to the perfect trip. Please tell me what it is. For you can see," says Roy to he, "that I'm about to die. So for my last ride, Fatts, how can I achieve the perfect high?" 
"Well dog my cats!" says Baba Fatts, "Here's one more burnt-out soul who's looking for some alchemist to turn his trip to gold. But you won't find it in no dealer's stash, or on no druggist's shelf. Son, if you would seek the perfect high, find it in yourself."
"Why you jive motherfucker!" screamed Gimmesome Roy, "I've climbed through rain and sleet. I've lost three fingers off my hands and four toes off my feet! I've braved the lair of the polar bear and tasted the maggot's kiss. Now you tell me the high in myself? What kind of shit is this? My ears, 'fore they froze off," says Roy, "had heard all kinds of crap, but I didn't climb for fourteen years to listen to that sophomore rap. And I didn't crawl up here to hear that the high is on the natch. So you tell me where the real stuff is or I'll kill your guru ass!"
"Ok, ok," says Baba Fatts, "you're forcing it out of me. There is a land beyond the sun that's known as Zaboli. A wretched land of stone and sand where snakes and buzzards scream, and in this devil garden blooms the mystic Tzu-Tzu tree. And every ten years it blooms one flower as white as the Key West sky. And he who eats of the Tzu-Tzu flower will know the perfect high. For the rush comes on like a tidal wave and it hits like the blazing sun. And the high, it lasts a lifetime, and the down don't ever come. But the Zaboli land is ruled by a giant who stands twelve cubits high, with eyes of red in his hundred heads, he waits for passersby. And you must slay the red-eyed giant, and swim the River of Slime, where the mucous beasts, they wait to feast on those who journey by. And if you survive the giant and the beasts, and swim that slimy sea, there's a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth as she guards that Tzu-Tzu tree."
"To hell with your witches and giants," laughs Roy. "To hell with the beasts of the sea. As long as the Tzu-Tzu flower blooms, some hope still blooms for me." And with tears of joy in his snow-blind eye, Roy hands the guru a five. Then back down the icy mountain he crawls, pursuing the perfect high.
"Well, that is that," says Baba Fatts, sitting back down on his stone, facing another thousand years of talking to God alone. "It seems, Lord," says Fatts, "it's always the same, old men or bright-eyed youth. It's always easier to sell them some shit than it is to give them the truth."
Shel Silverstein 

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