(I am not George Lucas. I do not begin my stories halfway through. Go back and read Part 1 so you have a better idea what the hell is going on!)
Today, I am going to tell you the story of the time I turned into a plant.
I know that sounds far-fetched, but bear with me. The real story is both more outlandish and less outlandish than I’m making it out to be, and not in the ways you’d think.
It happened in the same place where I’d lost my friends. It was in Meyer Park, deep in the heart of the woods, but it was twenty-four hours later by the time I went back.
I had Harry in tow to act as a spotter. I hoped he’d turn out to be a better spotter than I’d been. After all, I’d lost the people I was spotting, and for a spotter, that’s what’s known as a worst case scenario.
The time I turned into a plant, I sat on the ground, right where my friends had been sitting. I had a flashlight, a lighter, and a knife, some rolling papers and just a bit of this infamous Vine with No Name, crushed-up and stirred-in with tobacco.
Just a bit and not too much. At least that’s the way Harry and I figured it.
The time I turned into a plant, I folded up my legs in what we used to call “Indian style,” but that probably isn’t a PC term and I don’t suppose you can call it that anymore. I don’t have any other word for what I did with my legs, though, so you should go ahead and forget I mentioned them.
I lit up, and the cherry of my cigar crackled and it glowed and the smoke felt just like mud running down into my lungs. I really thought I was drowning right then and there, but soon enough I exhaled and I was reasonably sure I was still among the living.
It was sort of tough to tell.
When the smoke hit my lungs, then things pretty much started changing straightaway, and that’s when I turned into a plant. First, the world got brighter somehow and I saw things I should not have been able to see that time of night. The thing was, the seeing was monochromatic and it was dull and I just didn’t care to see it, so even though the pond wa-a-a-a-y over there was visible, I was a plant now and a plant has better feels to feel.
I had feels to feel like that heat, for instance. That warmth. It was a different feel than that heat and that warmth you feel when you are a human. This heat had color. This heat had shape and it had direction and on top of that, it had all sorts of information I couldn’t make much sense of, having only so recently become a plant.
And I had feels to feel like moisture. I stretched out my branches and I shook my roots and I reached out the very far-ar-ar-arthest I could reach and I knew everything there was to know about the moisture in the park.
I felt thirsty!
I reached out to touch some moisture, just to get the tiniest of sips to tide me over, you know? That’s when I heard a voice or a thought or maybe an informative movement that communicated, quite clearly, “What are you doing here?”
It was a tree that said it. It was a tree, and it was an old tree, and I was just a little speck of underbrush, and the old tree was not happy I was there. Not happy one bit.
Maybe big old trees can’t be happy. Or maybe this was just an unusually grumpy old tree.
I was new at this. I didn’t know.
I told the big old grumpy tree I was looking for my friends. I told him about Eggplant and Rufus, and I told him about Star, Ethel Bunny, and the Glob. Last seen right here on this very spot, in fact.
I tried to describe them, too… You know, Rufus had that mole on his chin and Ethel Bunny had that laugh. You really could not miss them. But I’d just started talking and had not gotten very far before the big old grumpy tree stopped me and said, “You have no friends here!”
I felt mildly insulted at this and I told the tree as much. If I wanted to be insulted, why, I’d have remained a human. Why take drugs at all if I am going to keep feeling bad about myself?
The big old grumpy tree took a drink. It sucked all of the moisture from the area and much from me as well. My roots felt a little flaky.
The big old grumpy tree said to me, “Take a drink of sap from this vine over here. It will turn you back into a human being.”
The big old grumpy tree reached out a root-tip and seized a vine. I took a sip. It tasted like grape juice.
As my branches began re-metacarpal-ing, I heard the big old grumpy tree’s parting shot: “If you ever return here, I will kill you, you bug-eyed freak!”
I tried to think of a snappy comeback, but it was too late. I was human again. I uncurled my legs and I stood up, walked over, and kicked the biggest tree I could find. I stared up the trunk and I held up a menacing fist.
From behind me, Harry said, “Are you okay?”
I said, “Yeah, I’m fine.”
I said, “Let’s get out of here.”
I said, “Plants are fuckin’ jerks!”
To be continued…
To be continued…