Too Intense

“The thing, Kennedy, your problem is you’re too intense.

I did not understand what Miss Palos Verdes Estates aka M’Lou was saying at all. Her friend Janet agreed. “WAAAAAY too intense. You need to take it easy. Here. Take this album to your room and listen to it.”

To this day, it’s one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. ❀

A few days later, Janet and M’Lou showed up at my dorm room door. “We’re gonna’ go hitch and see if we can score some weed.”

“Too bad we’re not in LA. All we’d have to do is go down to ‘the strip’.” M’Lou sighed. They were homesick.

“Scoring weed” wasn’t easy. Pot was VERY illegal. A jail sentence could result from smoking a joint in public, but it was a glorious September early evening in Denver, we three were pretty cute and Stapleton Airport was a short walk away from Temple Buell College, originally Colorado Woman’s College.

We headed down Quebec St. toward the airport and before long a VW camper van passed slowly. Janet stuck out her thumb. The VW stopped. We got in. I ended up sitting on some hippy’s lap. He had shoulder length brown hair, a beard and a flowered shirt. He was OLD! 25. We laughed and talked and scored half an ounce. I went out with that hippy a few times. He was a really nice guy.

Anyhoo, they let us out at an open field by Stapleton Airport. We were high. M’Lou had the weed stashed somewhere on her person because she had the most common sense of all of us (she claimed). We hung around in the field and watched the sunset.

Weed was pretty much just weed then. It wasn’t usually very strong and after a few hours it was gone from my system. It made me silly, but not all that high, not ridiculously high, not immobilizingly high. Most of all, I dampened down the intensity. Janet and M’Lou were right. That WAS my problem. I AM very intense. But then, the fall of 1970, I was probably EXTREMELY intense. I wasn’t in the best place psychologically when I went away to college. I had a recently broken heart. My dad was very sick. My brother was a total mess, living on the street. The world was falling apart and somehow I felt it was my job to “patch things up and hold them together.”

That first semester at college I experimented with being a hippy, but the dark side of hippy-dom showed itself over the passing months. Janet had a very bad acid trip, freaked out and ended up hiding in my dorm room while I talked her down. “I don’t feel safe anywhere else, Martha. You have to let me in.” Over Christmas I went home and when I got back to school, sober, I saw that the profound poetry I’d written while high was very stupid. “Uh, wow, my hand,” stupid.

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16 thoughts on “Too Intense

  1. Those were good old days probably because we were young and lucky. So many times lucky, if I think about it too much. Everything felt more intense at 18, away from home, in a dorm. The ultimate bubble.

    • I guess it was a bubble. For me it was hell, especially that first year. The second year I was in a more amenable dorm and my dad was in a nursing home. But maybe 30 years later, I realized how lucky I had been to have had the chance to study there and, stupid me, I got thrown out. πŸ˜›

  2. I missed all the bad stuff. I did a lot of tripping on acid, pot, mushrooms, and later ecstasy. Self-medication, self-discovery and pure hedonism. People warned me about bad trips but I found myself wondering how that could happen since I never had anything but a good trip. I joked about wishing I could have a flashback because it would save me money.

  3. You were a wild child! I too was very intense – one of my Frenemies one chided me “Keep frowning, It makes people believe you are thinking.” Anyway I never had any adventures flirting with criminal behavior… now that I’m old I can’t say it held me back.

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