Saturday, we went for a walk to a junk pile in the fields behind the House. We found a rain-stained but readable notebook there, labeled and obviously written, as a diary, by a man named Das Defino. It was written during a period in which Das apparently was attending one of self-affirming workshops commonly advocated in those familiar, long, and supposedly inspirational "specials" on PBS. It was full of self-affirming (and perhaps even Scientology-type) language. The focus for Das's problems, the things that self-affirmation were supposed to help, was his gay identity and his problems with his parents stemming from it. At first, we mocked the poetry and laughed at the goofy language. But then I began to feel rather touched by the sentiments and emotions being expressed. Jessika became fascinated. We took the book back to the house and it became an object of fascination. We repeatedly said "DAS DEFINO" for rhetorical effect or just the pleasant sound it had to our ears. We named that whole part of the field, that fork in the trail, the DAS DEFINO. We asked Josh Smith if he knew of a Das Defino...and funny as it may seem, Josh did. Das was actually the manager of Brasa restaurant just off the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville! Josh says Das is a flamboyant and aggressively forward homosexual. Later, thinking up schemes for getting a job, Jessika and Sara figured they could go to Brasa and say they were lesbians from Malvern, rejected by their parents, and in need of a job. Das had written in his diary that he intended to help other gay men with problems similar to his own.
Sunday night we drank a generic form of Robitussin, called Tussin DM, and went tripping in the woods. The Girls, little did I know, have used Tussin DM to get fucked up for many years. Jessika says she was doing it when she was twelve. I'd heard about the drinking of Robitussin in Oberlin by some of the uneducated townies there; but it had always seemed like a crazy thing to do to me. But with the endorsement of the Malvern Girls, I had all the peer pressure I needed. The drinking of it was most unpleasant, and required lots of water as a chaser. For the most part, I recommend that anyone who wants to do the Tussin chug the whole 4 oz. bottle as quickly as possible. It is much like jumping into a cold swimming pool.
The Tussin caused me to feel very pleasant and mellow, to have clear uncluttered thoughts, to crave nothing (particularly sex and alcohol) I wasn't getting, and to view things as though I was an actor in a larger plan. I was especially conscious of social interactions in a clear way, not in an abnormally focused way as is the case for marijuana. This social awareness had both good and bad parts (mildly bad when I felt isolated, exceptionally good when I was the center of attention).
According to Pharmacologic Principles of Medical Practice, 5th edition, by John C. Krantz, Jr. and C. Jelleff Carr (Baltimore, 1961) concerning Dextromethorphan (the DM in Tussin DM):Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide; Romilar is another nonaddictive antitussive agent that enjoys rather wide use. Chemically Romilar is dextro-3-methoxy-methylmorphinan hydrbromide. Pharmacologically the compound was studied by Benson et al. (1953). In animal experiments it was shown that Romilar suppressed cough without inducing sleep, ataxia, or lethargy. Romilar was found to stimulate respiratory activity in the rabbit. Romilar increased the threshold to experimentally induced cough in cats by its central action. The frequency of cough was diminished but the amplitude remained unaffected. Of special interest is the fact that at does of 5mg./kg. ciliary activity was not diminshed. Isbell and Fraser (1953) determined that Romilar was devoid of addiction liability.
Cass and Frederick (1953) studied Romilar clinically in 183 cases and concluded that Romilar was as effective an antitussive as codeine and free from side effects. Ralph (1954) extensively investigated Romilar as an antitussive and concluded on a weight basis Romilar was twice as effective as codeine. Further, they found that side effects were rare, consisting of dizziness in 1 patient and nausea in another in a series of 183 cases.
The onset of antitussive action occurs in 15 to 30 minutes after administration, and the duration is from 3 to 6 hours. Romilar is available in 10 mg. tablets (1 to 4 tablets daily) and a as a syrup containing 10 mg. in a teaspoonful.
The incidence of side effects with Romilar has been low and it appears that in a segment of patients with cough, it compares favorably with codeine. A special virtue of Romilar is the absence of constipative action.
Later, coming down off the Tussin, I wanted to take another drug, so I went out in back and collected some Datura (Jimpson Weed) and smoked the seeds while Sara cackled insanely and Jessika looked on, as she always does, in bemusement. They'd heard from Eric "The Huffanator" Huffman that Datura is a horrible, long ordeal, climaxing in his being put on Thorazine, which made his penis shrink permanently. I took two pretty good puffs and thought little of it. Then it hit me quite suddenly, "a dart in the back of my head." I said "I really wish I hadn't of done that" and that I couldn't take their ominous attitude, and went downstairs. They followed me around as I "freaked out." My heart was racing and I was possessed by waves of anxiety. Eventually it all subsided and the Girls were for the most part being nice to me, but they never let me live down two things I said, that I was in a "very fragile emotional state" and that I wanted to be "treated like a baby."
Read some more tales of tussin.