Friday, November 8, 2013

Straight Arrow

Photo taken close to that day mentioned below - a few years later....

It was back in the day of “free” …… “free” love, drugs, sex, the flower power generation. My best friend used to make the peace sign with her fingers saying “love, peace, syphilis…” It sounded rather crude but definitely made a valid statement. I had worked as an RN in a university infirmary and Katie had a point.
I was playing atheist back in that day and drinking way too much. My usual attire when not in nurse’s whites were patched jeans and tie dyed T-shirts. I did take baths and managed to get to work at the hospital to punch in at 2:15 each afternoon so I suppose I was not a “real” hippie. I had yet to smoke a joint and never did mess with anything else – I saw too many bad trips and overdoses coming into the infirmary and emergency room to take that chance.

We were visiting one of Katie’s male friends. This guy began his freshman year as a pudgy sort of nerdy guy. Over the next couple of years he had lost a lot of weight, grown his black locks longer and they were curly. He was now doing drugs as part of his undergrad studies. As he took one look at me he poked me in the waist band and pronounced “you’re a straight arrow….”

Since the only other time I had seen him was a couple years back when his house mother had made him help me carry groceries about a half a mile to my apartment because my boyfriend was in class, I am not sure what his pronouncement was based upon, maybe because I didn’t have bloodshot eyes or a staggering gait.
I also wasn’t eager to spend a whole bunch of time in his presence but hadn’t made that obvious during this visit.

If being a “straight arrow” meant that I didn’t do drugs, didn’t have the current STD or wasn’t “cool” by the standards of someone who did, then I was pretty happy to claim the title.

My friend Katie had met a young man while she and her mother were visiting Seattle. He had asked her to dinner. Her mom approved and she went to dinner with him. While they ate he slipped drugs into her drink. This was back in the 60s. It must have been LSD as she was found wandering across a bridge that did not allow pedestrian traffic during rush hour. The police took her to a mental facility and it was several days before her mom found her and she was coherent enough to tell the staff much of anything.

Katie didn’t get anywhere close to doing drugs nowadays. The experience with them in her past hadn’t been her choice and she was almost killed. We both did drink and got into enough trouble with that end of the spectrum.

She took one look at Trigg and his pronouncement of me as a straight arrow, rolled her eyeballs and said “let’s go.”

And we did.

©Marijo Phelps – all rights reserved – use giving proper credit.

1 comment:

tainterturtles said...

Wow, love your photo Marijo. Thanks for sharing.