2011-10-04 21:37:10+0000

I was digging around in my dad's garage last weekend and found this in the bottom of an old tool box.

It was the summer of 1979, I was 19. I'd just bought my first bike second- hand, the epic Suzuki GT750 triple, ported, polished with K&H filters, chrome JB Power Pipe chambers, and a two-headlight supersexual red fiberglass fairing. The bike was loud as hell, louder even than the Harleys next door, and unlike them, it ran every day. (Their owners used to wind me up for riding Jap crap, so whenever I left the house and passed them, inevitably wrenching on their V-twins, I'd yell, 'Have a great ride, boys!' with a big smile and give them the finger. They hated my guts.)

I lived alone in a rented ramshackle farmhouse on the edge of Sylvan Lake, Alberta and worked for a company, Nowsco, that pumped delightful stuff like hydrochloric acid into spent oil wells at crazy pressures to try to make them produce again. It was a dirty, dangerous job of endless dull hours freezing your butt off in some swamp or windswept wasteland, and the men I worked with were drunken insane douchebags.

I'd traded my old VW bug for the bike, so I could have at least one thing to look forward to when not working. One afternoon I was on my way to a party at a farm near Eckville, home of a Quebecois drywaller friend, Michel. Just as I was leaving, a girl I knew and liked showed up in my yard with two friends. She was the secretary/girlfriend of a local wealthy businessman who 'looked after her.' She and I had long shared an attraction that had never been acted upon. A buxom, blond and very charming creature was she. I mentioned that I was going to Michel's bash and that he was reputed to be a man who really knew how to throw a party. She asked to come along, hopped on the back of my feral water buffalo, bade farewell to her friends and we sped westward.

Halfway there, a fierce thunderstorm attacked, and there was nowhere to take shelter. I tucked down against the heavy rain and lightening bolts while she hung on to me for life itself. Between wind gusts blasting us out of our lane, or the tires hydroplaning in the deep, water-filled grooves that the heavy trucks had made in the highway, we almost crashed many times.

A full-on terrifying ride, but we made it to the party unscathed. As we stood there, soaked and freezing, shell-shocked and trying to shake it all off, Michel came to greet us. He shook my hand, depositing two capsules in it.

'What are these?' I asked.

'Mescaline. Very good,' he said with an arched brow, before drifting away to welcome other arrivals.

The farm was gorgeous, up on a foothill, a long view in every direction, Rockies looming immense and snowy to the west, and the weather had become very fine. It was still early, maybe 6pm and we opened a couple of beers and swallowed back the capsules.

Others began arriving, mostly French Canadians, young men and women out grabbing their share of Alberta's torrent of oil money. Soon there was a pig roasting on a spit, maybe 200 people, guitars, drums and dogs, all encircled around a campfire. The vibe was taking shape nicely.

The next thing I knew I was on a cold tile bathroom floor, fornicating with my date like a beached tuna. People were banging at the door, desperate to pee, or do what we were doing. After a time we pulled ourselves together and opened the door, to shouts of 'Tabernac! Etsi!' and so on - those special swear words particular to French Canadians.

As we made our way among barns and sheds to find a private spot where we could persevere, I noted that the entire world had turned velvet-edged. A sensation like feather boas tickling my insides blended with this feeling of pure, sublime accord with everyone and everything. Meanwhile, the entire party was screwing all over the grounds. It was like a sci-fi movie where everyone's been simultaneously stricken by the same primordial urge and doesn't care where, but just has to get busy with the closest option, immediately.

After looking around, we found an unoccupied tent and continued on cheerfully for who knows how long, till the big Frenchman whose tent it was showed up, grabbed my legs and yanked me, and then the girl, out onto the dirt, so he could have his way with his own rampant wench.

Around 2am, everyone began coming off the magic drug together. It was like waking up from a group dream. No one could quite believe what they'd just done and people were laughing and sharing stories of their antics just minutes before, as they recharged on beers and pig meat. People began to head home, in a quiet daze, trying to make sense of it all.

We said our goodbyes, got on the bike and roared off into the starry night.

Never found out if it was really mescaline we ate, but Michel did indeed know a few things about throwing a party.

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