Yesterday morning I woke up with a start and the pulsing of the alarm seemed to infiltrate every inch of my brain. As soon as I put on my slippers I “fell out” of them and the cold concrete floor suddenly became home. As I turned on the stove one of the burners caught on fire and I had to think quickly. Was I in my right mind or floating around in some other universe? I was acting exactly like I was on some sort of mind numbing drug.
Having never been into the drug scene save for a couple of hits of acid during my life I had a hard time understanding those that did. When I was 15 my Grandmother gossiped about my great great grandmother Louise who had worked as a lady in waiting for Queen Victoria. Louise was dismissed after a short tenure but had a reputation a mile long. Not only did she have loose skirts with the gentleman of the court she was hooked on Belladonna.
I was eager to hear the story of how she had been fascinated watching Queen Victoria during childbirth being given the drug Belladonna to deaden the pain. When no one was looking Louise poured herself a thimble and spent the rest of the night hallucinating that she was the Queen.
After that incident word flew through the castle that Louise’s skirts fell around her ankles anytime she was near the Queen’s chemist. Louise also became the Peter Pan of the court as she told everyone she could fly. Not long after that she was dismissed and ended up doing very well for herself in marriage. No word after that to what became of her flying career but I became interested in the secrets of Belladonna.
Days later I read the perils of taking the liquid in Seventeen magazine, so I walked across the street to the Pharmacy and purchased a small bottle. In the 60’s things were different and you could purchase items like that without a prescription. The pharmacists were used to me anyways as I purchased hypodermic needles on a weekly basis to inject milk into my pumpkins. For years I used to insert milk into the stems as I had read they would double in size. They never really did grow bigger but my Grandmother said they were free of disease.
I clutched the paper bag with the tiny bottle that cost $2.19 and sat quietly on the verandah while I sipped it. Always one to try anything that was bad for you I was shocked that taking one teaspoon of the wretched tasting stuff did absolutely nothing. After trying another teaspoon and not being able to mentally fly I poured the rest down the toilet and so ended my drug experiment.
Years later I consumed what some would call a ‘bad hit’ of acid and I found myself up on the roof of my apartment building. My best friend was vigorously coaxing me to climb back inside while I just sat there and cried because I could not fly. Yes, Linda thought in her drugged state that she could fly- just like her great great grandmother Louise. I guess some things are hereditary in the lineage no matter how hard the family tries to hide the scenic routes.
Text and Photos by Linda Seccaspina 2011
Photos are not of my family just new acquisitions in my art collection.:)
Hunter S Thompson