Part two of the Fonz Drops Acid…
Because the Fonz has jumped sharks, battled the Devil, battled Mork from Ork, and been up against blindness, losing his cool, and his crippling fear of abandonment, dropping a couple of sugar cubes full of liquid LSD shouldn’t really be an issue. As he walked into his office/bathroom, the first thing that struck him was the odd light that seemed to be shimmering along the walls, making them breathe. He had never noticed the light quite like this and wondered if someone had switched out the bulbs.
Instantly, a thousand light bulbs danced in his brain.
The Fonz was not one for swearing, but he uttered another, “Whoa” and then, “Fucking whoa” as he tried to steady himself against the onslaught of lightbulbs in his brain and eyes. Everywhere he looked, there seemed to be dancing lightbulbs.
He reached behind him to shut off the light switch on the wall next to the door. The darkness was an instant comfort, but he immediately tried to grasp what was going on. “What was in those sugar cubes,” he wondered?
His mind wandered back to the faces of the kids at the table. “Sweet Rain,” he thought. She had flowers in her hair … and suddenly a thousand flowers flooded his brain. He could smell her, again, and the room lit up even though the lights were off. “She couldn’t have slipped me a mickey, could she?” he said out loud. He wondered how long he had been sitting there in the dark (approximately 30 seconds). It seemed like hours.
Fonzie began to panic a little bit. Someone would want to use the bathroom soon. He was going to have to turn on the light, but he feared what he would see. It dawned on him he would have to leave his bathroom at some point, too, but first things first. Time to turn on the light.
The initial flash of artificial light was blinding. Even though the Fonz had only been in the dark for about a minute at this point, it seemed like an eternity and his pupils were so dilated that it may have been hours. Fonzie looked up and saw his reflection in the mirror.
For those on acid, this can be a make it or break it moment when the LSD has started to kick in with force. For the Fonz, it was no different. He was repulsed by what he saw. His almost thirty-year-old features, once boyish, were now sagging and sad. His once fabumundo hair seemed anything but and his eyes looked like those of someone else. He struggled to tear those foreign eyes away and he knew there was no way anyone could see him like this.
The mirror had a vice grip on Fonzie’s soul.
“I can’t do this,” he pleaded to this other self.
Fonzie tried to shake off the feeling that was coursing through his body, but his actions only had the opposite effect. The more he struggled with his mind and body, the more they seemed to betray him. He touched his face, and the skin didn’t feel like his at all. It felt like the modeling clay the art teachers used at the high school he taught at during the day when he was away from his garage.
“What will my students think if they see me like this?” he thought.
Even though Fonzie was typically the king of cool, he knew the world was changing around him at a rapid pace. He had heard recently there were plans to put a man on the moon in a couple of years. Suddenly, Fonz felt like he was on the moon. His office was utterly foreign to him, and the air started to leave his lungs rapidly.
Fear flashed through Fonzie’s mind as he realized he may have forgotten how to breathe. How could he forget, he wondered, but his breathing was labored, and it seemed like he was not getting enough air. In order to steel himself and make the long walk from his office, through Arnold’s, and then outside to air and freedom and his bike, he would need to breathe.
And breathe deeply.
He heard footsteps outside his office door. Someone needed to use the bathroom, he was sure, and he was going to be found and found out for being an imposter. They would know that he was just a man. Not cool. Not tough. Just a scared little man in a leather jacket. His mind flooded with doubt like an invading army from another planet.
Even though Fonzie had learned to trust his feelings a lot since moving in above the C’s years before, and even though he had allowed himself to be vulnerable with a chosen few, he had never experienced a rush of emotion like this all at once.
“Was I ever strong?” he wondered.
He thought about all the fights he’d been in, but that was the past. He was a father now to a teenage boy. That was fight enough.
“Danny,” he said at loud, but Danny was not there to hear him. Danny was about to get home after his job cleaning up and closing the garage. A wave of pride washed over Fonzie giving him a moment of calm, as well. His heartbeat slowed a bit and love flooded through his very being. The eyes of the other were gone in the mirror and Fonzie’s eyes were back in their proper place.
“Whoa,” said Fonz again. “This is nuts.”
The door to his office pushed open and the sounds of Arnold’s enveloped Fonzie’s brain. The jukebox was playing The Beatles, who Fonzie had embraced as the coolest of the cool several years before, although he wasn’t fond of their blatant drug use more recently.
The sound of Paul McCartney’s voice was soothing, though, as he sang:
“What can I do, what can I be?
When I'm with you I want to stay there
If I'm true, I'll never leave
And if I do, I know the way there
Ooh, then I suddenly see you
Ooh, did I tell you I need you
Every single day of my life.”
To Fonzie, he’d been in his office for a lifetime, at this point, but it had really only been about 15 or 20 minutes.
He had no idea that this was just the beginning of a very long night.
To be continued.
See you tomorrow.