It was around 10pm on a summer’s night in ’78. He turned to me from the window and said something. Some other bullshit dribbling out of his mouth. Trickling into my ears and down into my brain. I watched his eyes melt a sticky blue plastic smear down his cheeks, dragging his face with it, like a doll in a microwave. He paced, then he left. I sprang into action, locked the door, stumbling over my own feet to get there quick enough. Then I grabbed a knife for good measure. A proper knife. A very sharp kitchen knife. I caressed its point with my thumb and forefinger. Tracing it back and forth over the edge. He would be back, I was sure of it. See he was one of them now. Just another stooge. Another clone spat from the vagina of the corporate machine. And I, well I was playfully being batted by the long talons of LSD. Like a cat playing with a mouse. Deep in its grasp. It was impossible to fight my way out, I just had to lie back and go with it, and hope it didn’t kill me in the process, or that I didn’t kill him.

We were different now. I had to go, get out of this godforsaken apartment. Out of LA. Out of America if I had to. It was over, I could feel it. The drug culture, the mind expanding experimentation of the revolution of the youths. But I was 32 and the Rolling Stones had stopped playing. Hendrix, Morrison and Joplin were dead. The party was over. The carnival was closing its gates and the clowns were all crying. I needed a car. Suddenly I was in a full panic attack. I dashed from cupboard to shelf to under couch cushions. A pile of notes, coins, a shirt, jeans, whatever drugs I could find and a quart of rum. I stuffed it in to a bag ready for my getaway. Stopped at the door. Holding my breath with my ear pressed to it. Shades on and head down. Knife in my jeans. Through the corridor, the lobby and out the doors.

The streets were full of them, clones everywhere. Californian sun bleached hair slicked back. Sharp black suits, ties and polished black shoes. Fat cat grins on their greed driven faces. Copies of the Wall Street Journal and trophy wives that cooked. They’d forgotten. Their eyes had glazed and their dreams and realities had changed. Had been changed. I was running now. West, straight down the Strip. I wasn’t going down with this ship. I wasn’t going to let the world drown me like they had. I hitched a ride. I was heading to San Francisco, the home of the beats.  Hoping to find refuge for my acid stained mind.

The driver, a 30-something Mexican, was shaking at the wheel. He hardly spoke but he had an expression that told me all I needed to know. His eyes bulged and his jaw moved. Sweat trickled down his brow. He was just as fucked as I was. We were clocking up some speed. I hung my arm from the window and tilted my head against the Indian bead covered seat. Exhaling a haze that filled the car. I gestured to him, offering him the joint that blazed in my hand. He nearly took my arm off with the speed and force that he snatched it from me. He took a deep long toke. Exhaled, sighed, and looked back at me.

“So Frisco,” he said.

“Frisco,” I replied.

 


Hannah Maltwood, 21 next year is fueled by imagination, it is true to say that said imagination often results in outbursts of irrational paranoia. But most of the time its just ammunition for great storytelling. She lives a Rock and Roll lifestyle in the hardcore village of St. Agnes, a rural town in south Cornwall, England, and is inspired everyday by the amazing characters that live there. She can be reached at bambam@writeme.com or via telepathy.