I Tried To Be Mike


We were lonely high school kids in nineteen sixty-nine. Love and peace was a revolution. We were Christian anyway so we thought we'd join. Rock stars started burning brighter. Long hair and new energy. NEW ENERGY - a gift from Dr. Tim Leary.

The Beatles sang lyrics we partly understood, so we searched for meanings to life. We thought the Beatles gave us clues. The Moody Blues took us on journeys of the mind, and said Tim Leary was dead. But, he was outside looking in.

We hardly missed school though we partied every night. Two or three hours sleep. We lived by Energy and intellectual highs.

We studied Dali's prints and discussed his hallucinogenic series of paintings. We listened to Tubular Bells while we looked at prints of Escher's magical drawings.

Life became a great learning experience, but unfortunately it didn't out-weigh the tragic.

Pat was a kind and loving soul - a friend I miss very much. Sometimes after school he'd show me his latest painting. He'd take such pains to set the lamps just right. His soul smiled at me, his ritual gave me such delight.

He died with a syringe in his arm. And some people preach that drugs can keep you from harm???

Hans was a genius. He possessed a photographic memory. He would ask me to open the encyclopedia to any page. Given the page number he would quote word by word its contents. Unfortunately, he, like the rest of us, followed Tim Leary.

Tim Leary was a mature, experienced man and a PhD in Chemistry. We were too young to know how to experience an all enjoyable artificial death. We all miss Hans.

My other three best friends are still here today. Long hair isn't a big deal anymore and flashbacks are all a bore.

One is a divorced alcoholic from the first century. He believes he is the reincarnation of Jesus. He tried to prove it to me.

Another joined the army, ran away from the crowd. I guess he thought love and peace was alright; but the "Acid" burned in him too loud.

And I, because I was taught common-sense and perceived my troubled future, tried to be Mike.

He made 99.9 per cent average in college. He's married. His wife bore him three lovely babies. He's got an above-average job and he still makes sense when he talks. No psychosis. He understood Tim Leary like the Jews understood Moses.

I tried to be Mike because before the after-math he was the chosen one. He made honors in Physics, Chemistry and Math.



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Text and Images ©1999 Raymond Cooper