There is a book¬† I read in 1968 that is written in the first person , a man telling his story as it is happening “now”.
He is captured by aliens and taken to their planet where he is put in a large guilded cage . He finds there a woman, and the aliens want them to procreate the human species for them.
The story is told, but¬† the teller goes on tangents from time to time .Literally .Here he¬†lives ¬†in 1966 on the foreign ¬†planet, and all of a sudden he is a¬† combat pilot¬† of the American Air Force in ¬†World War 2.¬† He calls this “going back and forth in time”.
At age 17 when I read the book, the concept of a person going back AND forth in time over and over again was a strange phenomenon.
Today at age 54, I do that time traveling very often myself with no actual desire or effort on my part.
I could be here in the room writing, and all of a sudden a scene from 45,¬† and easily 50 years ago will flash up for a split second,but tell a whole story.¬† Actually yesterday I flashed back to age 4 when my older cousin from South Bend ,Indiana came to visit and¬† we were watching the large boxed tiny screen t.v. which was available then.
Thats one big reason why¬† children do NOT want to hear your stories about “what Daddy did in the war” since the past is a strange concept to them.Their past might be only 10-15 years.
For my self born¬† only 8¬† years after the end of WW2 I realize that it was of my own time, and of the people around me, but growing up I thought it was 5o years away.
Now I can tell this story which often comes back to me, and has come back quite often of my first
¬†H O O K A H experience and resulted in deadly concequences.
In 1970 I went to the souk (shuk) which is Arabic for “market place”.
I went as a 17 year old to smoke something¬†OTHER ¬†than¬† shisha which was quite lawful then to smoke.
¬†Take “shisha” and put an “H” in front, you’ll¬† know¬† what it was. and quite cheap then. Maybe the big influx of tourists which came a few years after raised the prices from¬† half a dollar for a finger sized nice brown Lebanese made to¬† $10¬† soon after.
It later became illegal when the western countries preasured the Middle Eastern big cities¬† in order to keep their own ¬†citizens from buying and sending it home, or in their luggage. There were no dogs at New York’s airport then to sniff out hashish, maybe herion .
I went to a small side street of the market into a residential area, up the steps not far at all where there was a nice Tea House. I came in, sat down on one of the 3 benches on each side of the walls facing the large entrence opening and was served¬† a clear glass cup of very heavily sugured tea.
Across from me sat a tall boy¬† around my age.There was also an elder who wore a kaffiyeh (not seen as much today)¬† and an American tourist¬† with longish hair. Within about 5 minutes¬† the same one who gave us the tea brought in a very tall narghileh¬† with a steel stem and¬† clear glass water bowl. In the tobacco bowl he placed about 4¬† broken pieces of hashish¬† each around¬† 10 grams or so since we were only¬† 4 people. On top of¬† that he placed burning natural coals. My eyes popped at the ammount. “There goes my throat” I thought to myself, since I had been smoking since age 15, but in small pipes which made the smoke¬† terribly harsh.The coals were placed on the top, no foil.
The elder¬† with the kaffiyeh headress¬† was passed the long hose and he smoked. I can’t remember after that who came next, but when I took a strong pull on the hose I barely tasted the¬† smoke flavour. As I let the smoke out it kept¬† comming out¬† more, and more and still no stop to it. I knew¬† that the effect could not be immediate, there was my first time smoking a hookah. That was the water effect of the hookah.
We kept passing the hose around. The older man left first walking well on his legs. Soon the man who¬† served us came in , looked around and asked the American tourist to go. He could barely move! About a short time after that the tourist rushed in again yelling “Where is my Frisbee? Where is my frisbee?”
That was “East meets West”! 2 cultures colliding. The man dragged him out again. Only in America!
We we then left the tall guy and myself,¬† in no rush to leave and no one was going to toss us out, we even recieved more tea.
As we got to talking he asked me how old I was. I said “Soon 18”.
“So we’re both up for the army draft, huh?” he asked. Yes I told him.He¬† and I left, both going our own way (and neither of us bothered to check under the bench for any left frisbee).
After 8 months of basic training we were going to advanced training ¬†.I met him again. Our ¬†unit was¬† like the American Marines as compared to the regular American army¬† infantry and he was going from¬† there to a very “special” unit¬† .¬† I had seen¬† before when we first met that ¬†the guy was something different top notch.
To shorten the story, that was 1971 .It has been¬† many years¬† and he was killed¬† making an attack¬† on a fort along with 14 other soldiers¬† on a very high hill in¬† 1973 by snipers. I¬† was with a larger unit on the other side of that hill and later finished¬† my time in 1974.
By the way, the only thing I smoke in the hookah is tobacco.