Tripping’ At The BiltmorebyAngelscuck©
In 1965 while driving for the Yellow Cab Company, I dropped a fare off at a warehouse in East Hollywood.
"I'll go up and get the money and be right back." My passenger informed me.
I heard that one before. So I told him "I'll come with you and save you the walk back."
When we got inside the warehouse we noticed there was a party in full swing with many colorful people wearing colorful costumes and a rock band playing.
I hung out by the punch bowl, keeping a close eye on my fare while he looked for someone to hit up for the cab fare.
I was very thirsty and consumed about three cups of a coolaid-like punch until finally my passenger came back with the cab fare.
I climbed into my cab and called in "1706, clear in East Hollywood."
The dispatcher had no orders in that area so I decided to play the downtown hotels and pulled up forth in line at the cabstand in front of the Biltmore Hotel.
As I waited in line, I started to feel kind of strange. My skin felt extra sensitive; my stomach felt queasy, my face felt flush and my pulse was racing.
At first I thought I was coming down with some kind of bug but then as looked out at the downtown skyline, I noticed the buildings were moving, kind of swaying.
"Earthquake? No. What the hell was going on?" I thought to myself.
The dashboard of the cab seemed to have a liquid quality to it which rippled when I touched it. I was starting to get scared.
The other drivers were honking at me and telling my to pull my cab up in line.
I was afraid to try and drive the cab. The cabbies started yelling, "Come on man, move up!" and "What the hells wrong with you?"
I watched them scowl and give me weird looks as the pulled their cabs around mine in the line. Downtown L.A. started to look like a Salvador Dali painting.
The buildings were moving and melting, all the lights had a rainbow halo around them, and the sound of the city seemed amplified and intense.
My thoughts were racing through my mind. "I must be going crazy. That's it, I'm going crazy, I don't want to be crazy, and I don't like being crazy, oh shit! What should I do?"
Suddenly I heard, "Cab 1706". It was my cab radio.
I picked up my mike and replied, "1706".
"What's your 1020?" (Location)
"I'm at the Biltmore." I replied.
"Stay there 1706, we are sending a roadman to you. Do you copy?"
"I copy!" I replied in a rather shaky voice.
How did the dispatcher know I was going crazy? Maybe one of the drivers on the Biltmore called him.
I just sat there for about twenty minutes, trying to adjust to a whole new reality of sights, sounds, smells and feelings.
I was really starting to lose my cool. "Nothing will ever be the same!" I thought. "What about my family? What's going to happen to them? Daddy's crazy, daddy's crazy!"
People and cars going by seem to be moving too fast, like looking at an old-time move with everything fast and jerky.
The other drivers are looking at me. I kept thinking, "They know I'm mad. That's me, the mad cabbie, sorry I'm a crazy guy, I wish I were sane, can't help it!"
Suddenly the front door on the passenger side of my cab opened and Maxwell, one of the meanest, toughest looking roadmen Yellow Cab had, got into my cab.
"Listen kid," He informed me. "We got a call from some people at a party in Hollywood who said one of our drivers had dropped a fare there and drank and lot of Kool-Aid that was spiked with some kind of drug, LDS or something like that. They said it makes you see things that aren't really there, kind of makes you crazy. They called because they thought you might be in trouble. The dispatcher remembered giving you that fare and you clearing with him at that location. How ya doin' kid?"
Well, knowing that what I was experiencing was due to a drug was a tremendous relief. I realized, "This is all temporary! I'm coming back. Thank god!"
I'd smoked some grass and popped a few uppers prior to this but I had never experienced anything like this before.
I thanked Maxwell for the heads up and told him I felt better knowing it was a drug and not the new me!
He drove me back to the cab company and offered to take me to a doctor to get something to help bring me down.
I told them I was ok and would just hang out at the cab company until the effects wore off which took a good 3-4 hours.
Maxwell told me to take the next night off to make sure I was ok to drive the following night.
I called my wife and told her I would be a little late and was having car trouble. I got home about noon.
I decided not to tell my wife about it. She was against my driving a cab in the first place and this experience would just fuel the fire.
"How was your night honey, did you get the car fixed?" She inquired.
"Yeah, everything's running ok now. Had a slow night, not too many fares, it's good to be home, I'm exhausted, think I'll take tonight off and rest up."