Oregon Tavern Age: Acid

I sat at a table in the Wet Lizard Lounge in Charleston. It was a lazy, hazy April afternoon. The fish weren’t running and the port appeared dead. A kid fisherman wearing black sweats, a black hoodie and brown rubber boots sipped a Bud Light and Rockstar and stared into his phone for deliverance. Doubtless, the phone would deliver.

The only sound in the lounge emanated from a blinking machine that dispensed Jagermeister.

My associate was in the restroom changing out of her green shorts into pink yoga pants. She was simmering on acid and starving for fish and chips. Soon, she would eat fish and chips on acid, wearing pink yoga pants, and guzzling a local IPA. It was surely the first acid trip of its kind in OTA country and probably the last.

I looked at a framed faded photograph on the wall of a man and presumably his three small sons. An inscription read: “All Lost at Sea. Aug. 28, 1986.”

No names. Shouldn’t they have written the names of the dead? It seemed like an inexcusable omission and why was the photograph still hanging in the Wet Lizard Lounge 33 years later after the capsizing? Where was the wife today? I wondered. I imagined. I had questions. When the acid queen emerged from the bathroom and taken a bite of fish and chips, and slugged half the beer, I would seek her insights. They would open doors of perception for me that I couldn’t begin to fathom.