They had just stopped by to pick up some stuff before leaving to hike in the woods around Sarah’s family cabin near Barron Fork Creek. Fred asked Greg and I if we wanted to go with them, but Greg had to go to work in a few hours. As usual, I had nothing to do, so I decided to tag along. I rode out to the cabin in Heather’s Jeep along with Sarah. On the way, I overheard them talking and learned that Sarah and Luke had been seeing each other recently. I was disappointed but still interested.
It was still quite cold outside. Snow from a recent storm was still visible in patches on the ground. We hiked down to the creek which was still muddy from the melting snow. I had to be careful where I stepped because falling in front of a pretty girl is definitely not cool. When everyone finally got too cold, we went to the cabin to warm up and smoke some weed.
At the cabin, there was a tape player but only a limited selection of tapes to choose from. Sarah found one of her dad playing the guitar and singing. She was embarrassed and wanted to turn if off, but we made her keep it on. Anything was better than nothing and it wasn’t too bad for the simple recording it was. I caught Sarah looking at me a few times, but I didn’t think about it too much because I knew she was dating Luke. She and I didn’t connect like I had hoped, but I found out she and Katie recently moved into a dorm together. I’d be seeing more of her.
A few days later, I saw her again. As usual, I was at the Commune and Fred and I were discussing acid. A friend of mine was about to bring us some, but Fred was a little hesitant about taking it for the first time. I began to tell him about the trip I made the summer before following the Grateful Dead. There had been a lot of acid and most of the other drugs known to mankind at the concerts. There were also some of the craziest people I had ever met. People who thought they were vampires, wizards, aliens, and most of the people tripping on acid believed that there was a battle of good and evil going on between different groups of trippers. People who were into love and happiness were on the “good” side, and people who cast a negative light on everything and the Goths dressed in black were considered the “bad.” Each group waged war by playing mind games with the other, believing that people on acid can read others’ thoughts. The strange thing about it was that while on the drugs, it did seem to be true.
While we were discussing all of this, Sarah came in and joined us. She had taken acid a couple of times before and wanted to learn more about the good and bad sides of tripping. The three of us talked for hours and I felt a connection being made with Sarah. Still, I knew she was seeing Luke, so I tried not to dwell on it.
When the weekend rolled around, everyone free from classes and other responsibilities showed up at the Commune for one of the famous all weekend parties where the usual gang would party all night long, sleep on the floor, and wake up to do it all over again. I was glad when Sarah showed up without Luke because I was hoping to get a chance to talk to her again. Fred apparently had the same idea and followed her around the entire night. Wherever she sat, he would sit next to her. If she went to another room, he’d go too. Sarah seemed to be a little annoyed, but she was trying to be nice to him. I figured she was probably tired of being pursued, so I gave up trying to get her alone. Unexpectedly, Fred pestering her would be the very thing to bring us together.
I had watched Fred following her around like a puppy looking for attention all night. Once, Sarah’s eyes locked on mine and she quickly cut them towards Fred then back to me and rolled her eyes. We both silently laughed at our private joke. I felt like yelling yes and doing one of those ridiculous touchdown dances. Still, I had to get rid of Fred.
That night, as everyone slowly drifted off to sleep, I found myself lying next to Sarah. I can’t remember if she lay down next to me or if I had lain down next to her. The only problem was that we were in Fred’s bed, so it was no surprise when he climbed into the bed as well. As was the custom of the Commune, it was not unusual to find four or five people all in one bed.
More than anything, I wanted to be alone with Sarah in that bed. It’s kind of hard to be intimate with a girl with another person in the bed and more on the floor. Sarah was sandwiched between the two of us. With the situation as it was, I decided to just turn my face toward the wall and go to sleep. Just as I was dozing off, I heard Sarah say, “Fred, get your hand off my shoulder!” I couldn’t help but laugh.