You Want Me To Put What In My Underwear?

“You have to sneak these in. Put them in your underwear,” Shane told me.
We were at the Lollapalooza show in San Diego, tailgating before we entered the concert. I had graduated from San Diego State that May, but had decided to stay one last summer and be a beach bum before I started “real life.” I looked down at what Shane was handing me, and it looked suspiciously like a little Ziploc baggie filled with 12 hits of X. I looked back up at Shane, and asked the first question that came to mind.
“Why me?”
“Because they are searching everyone who looks shady, and they’re checking bags. You’re a girl. And you look innocent. They’ll never expect you,” he said. He had me. I may have had the mind of a devil, but I had the face of an angel. Girl scouts used to just give me their cookies. This was also during my hippie years, so I was fresh faced, perm free, and au natural in an “I shave my pits” kind of way. But I was also really, really stoned. And sneaking 12 tabs of X into a Lollapalooza concert that had tighter security than the White House just seemed like a really bad idea. I thought it over and weighed my pros and cons. At the conclusion of my inner debate, I felt that I made the responsible decision.
“Fuck it. What’s the worst that can happen?” I asked, as I took the baggie and shoved it into my pants.

We were with a pretty large crowd, including myself, my boyfriend Garth, his roommate Shane, and some other friends. We had been smoking and drinking in preparation for the concert, and now it appeared that we would be taking the party to the neXt level. As we stood in the line for security my heart was racing and I started beading sweat. I took off my flannel shirt, tied it around my waist, and stood there in my very small white tank top waiting for my turn with festival security. Before long it was my turn at bat. I walked up to the security guard who asked me to hold up my arms as he proceeded to pat me down. But he only covered the area where my shirt was tied around my waist, and he then ushered me through. I watched as the boys went through a much more “thorough” search. They had to turn their pockets out, they had to empty their bags, and I even think I saw one guy submit to DNA testing. God bless him, Shane was right. The little clothing I was wearing didn’t leave me many places to hide any contraband. At least no places that a minimum-wage security guard was allowed to search. We were in.

After everyone got in I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I came back out with everyone’s goodies and passed them out one by one. It was freedom time. We all walked throughout the festival and took the X at different times so as not to draw attention to ourselves. It was a hot day so the first place I went was the misting tent. This was like a giant covered rainstorm for those of us who are not fans of the heat. I had no idea why they checked us for drugs on the way in, when they could have rounded up their yearly quota right here in the misting tent. I was surrounded by people with dilated pupils who were grinning and hugging each other.
“This is such a beautiful experience,” one guy with dreadlocks said.
“It is, it really is. There is just so much love in this tent. I just want to hug everyone,” said his dirty girlfriend. Before the “Free Love” couple hugged me, I grabbed Garth and we made our way to the side stage to watch one of the bands.
“Who is this?” I asked him.
“L7,” he told me.
“Who’s L7?”
“It’s a chick grunge band. I can’t believe you haven’t heard of L7,” he said.
“What does L7 mean?”
“ I don’t know,” he sighed, “does it really matter?
“Well if you’re going to have a band name I would think you would give it a name people would get! Like Smashing Pumpkins. At least we get a visual with that name. I’m thinking L7 and I’m drawing a blank.”
“L7 is taken from a slang phrase from the 1950s which means “square,” but is often mistaken for a reference to a sex position, also called a 69,” said some random Buddy Holly clone.
“Well thank you,” I said to my new buddy Buddy. “Finally someone with some information. “I like what you said about the square thing but I think I’m going to stick with the 69 visual myself. All of a sudden it makes the band that much more interesting,” Buddy smiled and laughed a little to himself and proceeded to give me a full rundown on the background of the band, all the band members and all their songs. All of a sudden I was in the too much information aisle and was desperately trying to figure out a way to excuse myself.

At this point the X was starting to get into my system and I no longer cared about Buddy Holly and his current Rolling Stones Magazine recap of the band L7. I looked down into the Aztec bowl and saw the huge crowd of people dancing on a large field of open grass and knew immediately that I must go join them. I smiled at Buddy and told him I had to go and that a greater purpose was calling me. I made my way down the long flight of stairs and onto the field where I was surrounded by a ton of people who were having the time of their lives. Some were just sitting on the grass on blankets relaxing while others had somehow created a mud pit and were trying to recreate a mini Woodstock. Others were dancing and had creating drum circles and you could smell the pot permeating the air. As I walked through the crowd I let it engulf me and no longer cared about the group of people I was with. I was just happy and content and soaking up all the positive energy that was being thrown at me when he came out on stage. The one. The only. George Clinton. The Forefather of Funk. I was X-tremely happy at this point and turned into a funkadelic dancing fool. I was rocking so hard I was on fire. George took Lollapalooza to a new level and as far as I was concerned the festival had at this point really started.

I made a lot of friends on the grass that day and shared some killer weed. “Want a hit?” a beautiful girl asked me with her long brown hair and flowing skirt. “Sure,” I told her. How could I turn down such a goddess on a day like this? I took a hit of really nice chronic all the while thinking, I wonder whose panties this was in. After I had my fill of the field and had danced myself silly, it was time to go back up to reality, get some water, and spend some time in the misting tent. After I got fully hydrated and cooled off, Garth talked me into going on the other side of the bowl where the bleachers were instead of going back down on the field. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back I think he was jealous because I was making way more friends than he was. So off to the bleachers we went.

When we got there we ran into a couple of mellow friends I knew that were sitting back and enjoying the fools down on the field. And Garth reconnected with some of the group we had come in with. We sat down and Garth had lit us up some cigarettes and I took a hit of mine and I almost lost whatever may have been in my stomach at the time. Considering I hadn’t eaten anything but a ½ of a breakfast burrito that morning I wouldn’t have thrown up much. I had been a pretty regular smoker up to this point. That was all it took. I didn’t smoke another cigarette again for 6 ½ years. Whenever anyone would ask me how I quit smoking I would tell them that story and then say, “See, drugs can’t be all that bad for you now can they?”

The festival went on well into the night and by the time it was done we had seen 少年ナイフ, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Green Day, Nike Cave & The Bad Seeds, Shudder To Think, Stereolab, The Boo Radleys, The Breeders, and last but not least The Smashing Pumpkins. The Breeders didn’t even get through two songs because some buzzkill went and threw a water bottle on stage. He was probably just cranky because he didn’t have any goodies. And Billy Corgan was pissed off because the Smashing Pumpkins had to follow the Beastie Boys. I can’t really say I blame him.

During the final act, The Smashing Pumpkins, reality started to settle back in and that’s when I realized we had a LONG walk back to our car. But I had one small problem. In all of my joy throughout the day, I seemed to have lost various items of clothing including one belt, my flannel, and one pair of Birkenstocks. At the time I was flinging off these items I could care less, but now it was nighttime and I was a touch cold and I really liked those shoes. I had also gotten the belt from an S&M store in the Hillcrest area of San Diego and you just cant find sturdy leather like that anywhere. Thanks to the helpful bleacher crowd who had witnessed my mini-striptease hours earlier, it only took about a half hour to find my belt and shoes. The flannel was gone.

I felt bad for The Smashing Pumpkins having to follow The Beastie Boys but not bad enough to stay for the full set. We wanted to get out of there before we got stuck in the festival traffic and this was our last shot. We got back to our car and made it back to Garth’s apartment in record time. That’s when I called my roommate to tell her about the concert.
“Hey Kristina, what’s up?”
“Amy saw you on the news,” she said.
“Amy saw you on the news,” she informed me laughing. “She said you were on the news, pretty much naked, dancing your ass off.”
“Oh my God! (pause) Tell me she taped it!”
“No, she didn’t get it but if you watch the late night news you might be able to catch it.”
“I’m on it. Thanks for the heads up.”

I never did get to see myself on the news. I watched the late night news and they didn’t run the piece on Lollapalooza. I guess it’s because it was just a fluff piece. Now if I had been half naked, dancing, and stabbed someone I bet it would have made it on to the late night news. But once you factor is jail time would it have really been worth it? Possibly. I would like to tell you that that was the last time I tried Ecstasy. But I would be lying. I would also like to tell you that Garth turned out to be the man of my dreams. Actually, no I wouldn’t. Garth turned out to be a lying, cheating, sonofabitch (an entirely different blog all on its own). After we broke up I ruined my 6 ½ year break from smoking. I still have the occasional cigarette when out with friends or out with Poptart, but motherhood and cigarettes don’t really go together, so I’m losing that vice. The question now is….do you have any X?

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