The left fielder knocked on the door of the office and Dr. Hurt invited him in and at the same time informed him that it was Mitchell’s time to join them in becoming a ‘true believer’.
The left fielder gave Mitchell a great big bear hug.
“I’m supposed to be turning you in kid,” Mitchell said to the ballplayer.
“You won’t after our play time. Follow me,” said Dr. Hurt.
And the other two did.
They climbed into Dr. Hurt’s Volvo.
“Where are we going?” asked Mitchell. “Hey, I thought you said you didn’t like cars.”
“There is one exception,” Dr. Hurt said.
“Walden,” both the left fielder and Dr. Hurt said in unison.
Cambridge to Concord was a lot longer trip when Henry David Thoreau built his cabin on the shore of Walden Pond.
It was a lot shorter now, and Dr. Hurt guessed that Thoreau wouldn’t like that.
“This is a great trip Sparrow,” said the leftfielder.
“You said it Hawk,” replied Dr. Hurt.
“Want to let me in on the names?” Mitchell asked both his companions.
“He is the ‘Hawk’ and I am the ‘Sparrow’,” Dr. Hurt said.
“He is the ‘Sparrow’ and I am the ‘Hawk’,” the leftfielder said.
“Oh boy, do you guys give me an Indian nickname, too?” Mitchell asked them.
“They are bird nicknames Dr. Hancock,” the left fielder pointed out annoyed.
Mitchell rolled his eyes.
Bill laughed and stepped on the gas pedal.
Dr. Hurt parked the Volvo at the far end of the public lot and went around to the trunk of the Volvo. He picked up three backpacks that he had prepared before they had disembarked and pointed to the sky and said ‘beautiful day for a trip.”
He handed one backpack to each of his companions.
“Thanks,” said the left fielder.
“What’s in it?” asked Mitchell.
“Water, real fruit bits with yogurt and whole grain oats, hard candy, a towel, pen, paper, compass, magnifying glass, and a flashlight,” Hurt said.
“I didn’t know you were a survival nut,” Mitchell said sarcastically. “Where is the bathing suit?”
“Ever hear of skinny dipping?” said the left fielder.
Mitchell said nothing and put his backpack on.
“Here,” said Hurt as he put a pair of sunglasses on Mitchell. “Also, stick out your tongue.”
Mitchell did as he was told and stuck his tongue out. He knew what was coming, and he hoped he didn’t embarrass himself after he started tripping. It had been a long time since he had taken any mind alternating drug, but he felt up for the task, and this made him relax.
“One doesn’t have to be on acid to embarrass one’s self,” Dr. Hurt later pointed out to Mitchell after Dr. Hancock shared his anxiety.
“A very true statement,” Mitchell agreed.
“You should see how people embarrass themselves at baseball games — even the sober ones,” chimed in the left fielder.
But that conversation took place after their acid trip, which despite Dr. Mitchell Hancock’s earlier doubts turned out to be a magnificent buzz filled event.
The weather was perfect — that helped.
The survival gear packed by Dr. Hurt came in handy — that helped.
The acid he was given was ideal — and that really helped.
“Like a great bottle of wine or a great movie or a book, you have to know what to give, who to give it to, and where to enjoy it,” Dr. Hurt said when the trip was in its final stages. “Why shouldn’t acid be any different?”
“Like hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to win the game or making a great defensive play to save the no-hitter,” the left fielder said when the trip was winding down.
But it was the place and who they met, about halfway through the journey of their minds, which was the start to seal Mitchell’s future fate.
It took roughly thirty minutes for the acid to kick in. Mitchell thought he was walking on air. The left fielder thought he had turned into a cloud and the good Dr. Hurt guided them through the trip as he referred to himself as ‘Kit Carson.’
The real Kit Carson called himself, amongst many things, a famous frontier guide
“Kit” walked, talked and pointed. Mitchell and the left fielder ‘ohhed and ahhed’ and felt great.
Later, Dr. Hurt told them both that they never felt winded, because the acid had the effect on their subconscious of not letting them worry about getting winded.
Such was one of the good things about being on acid — walking around Walden Pond on a beautiful day with the perfect guide.
Mitchell should have kept his trips limited to the great outdoors, because when the fateful day arrived, his trip took place indoors.
They found a clearing a hundred yards or so from the cabin where the great transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau lived and sat down and snacked on their goodies. They talked about many things, and they solved a good deal of problems.
Then a visitor arrived. It was Don Henley of the super band The Eagles. Henley was a big supporter of keeping developers from turning Walden Pond into a condominium project or shopping mall or whatever the people with big money want to do to sacred places. He also knew of the left fielder and had read articles on both Dr. Hurt and Dr. Hancock.
Of course, the three trippers were impressed with Don and they gladly participated in smoking a joint with him and engaging in intelligent conversation.
This is what they talked about — Man’s inhumanity to man. Man’s humanity to man. Death. Life. Greed. Selfishness. God. Who would they save if they could go back in time? Favorite sexual conquest. Favorite authors. Why war and butchering people throughout the ages was popular. Why football was more popular than baseball. Favorite movie quotes. The Bible. The Torah. The Koran. Why 9-11 happened. Is there a difference between the political parties? Why does a movie that features 1000 killings get a PG-13 rating and a movie showing two people making love get an X rating? Racism. Sexism. The environment. The rule of law. Good luck. Bad luck. No luck. Diets that work. Diets that don’t work. Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Adultery. Dogs. Cats. Wild animals. Relationships, both good and bad. Parents. Siblings. Children. Athletic people. Non-athletic people. Disabilities. Capitalism. Socialism. Media bias. The rise of machines. Cell phones, I Phones. Texting. The price of gasoline. Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Where can you find the best pizza? And so on.
And, then, Don Henley produced a guitar and played the first few bars of The Eagles famous song ‘Hotel California’, and the rest of that super group appeared on a stage right next to the three trippers and put on quite a show.
Dr. Hurt played the best air guitar he had ever played. Dr. Hancock played the best air drums that he had ever played. The left fielder sang like he should have been in the band and not in an outfield in Fenway Park.
The three were awakened by a family of deer foraging though their backpacks. None of them knew how long they had been asleep since the mini concert ended. Dr. Hurt took a picture of the deer family, and before anyone could make a sound, he ushered everyone up and told them they had to get back to the office and record what they had experienced — or what they thought had happened.
Mitchell called Emma and told her he was going to be home in a few hours.
Mitchell then asked the left fielder what he liked the most about the acid trips.
“Serenity. I can be myself away from all the pressure,” the left fielder added candidly. “I will have a better season next year because of the inner calmness that is taking root. Report that back to the big boss, Dr. Hancock.”
“But the big boss is worried that the acid will ruin you,” Mitchell said.
“Don’t tell them anything negative. How could you after this?” the left fielder said.
“I can be of service Dr. Hancock,” Dr. Hurt volunteered.
“How?” Mitchell asked.
“Want to work for me? I mean, what else do you have to prove? Think about what we can do working together!”
“You can’t pay me what they pay me,” Mitchell said.
“Oh yeah. Wait till I show you the research budget I already have approved for next year,” Dr. Hurt said as he made sure all the items they had taken on the trip were accounted for and then he sped back to his office to show Mitchell what vast sums of money he had at his disposal.
Mitchell was stunned when he saw the vast amount of money that Dr. Bill Hurt was in charge of.
“I can pay you a princely sum and you don’t have to say anything about our friend,” Dr. Hurt said.
“It’s a deal,” Mitchell blurted out. “I hope my wife doesn’t get mad,” he added as he shook Bill’s hand. “By the way, if anything ever happens to me, make sure that I don’t get stuck in an old age home.”
If you missed the earlier Chapters you can find them here.