Woodstock, by Andrew Cushing

hippiesIt was the ’60s. My hair was long, and I was at a music festival. A barefoot hippie walked up to me and said, “I’m not wearing shoes.” We dropped acid for a few minutes. Then the hippie said, “We’re at Woodstock.” There weren’t any toilets.

Like most people, I was only there to see the Keef Hartley Band. Keef had been my roommate at Middlebury where we both failed Intro to Sculpture. I helped him write “Sinnin’ For You” in the quad. He got me a good deal on tickets.

At one point I looked up from my Tom Wolfe book and Jimi Hendrix was on stage setting a guitar on fire. The thing I’ll never forget is that people were dancing. I pulled out a joint and lit the end of it. Everyone was naked and wearing tie-dye shirts.

Before long, it started raining. Jerry Garcia got on stage with a flower. He said “Peace, man,” and then set the flower on fire. He only played one song, but I still remember it perfectly. It was “Kumbaya,” in reverse. Nobody clapped, because clapping wasn’t invented yet.

Somebody pulled out a hacky sack and we started kicking it around. There was no water or toilets. A few people were smoking pot brownies. Others were giving the “peace” sign with two fingers. Occasionally people would even come right up to me and say, “This is a festival.”

Woodstock was for everyone. There were young people and old people. There were black people and white people. There were people who weren’t people at all, because they were hacky sacks. And one of the hacky sacks was a tie-dye shirt.

After the festival, I boarded a VW bus. Inside there were three naked hippies wearing bellbottoms. One of them was playing a bongo with a sandal. It was a trippy scene. But the thing I remember most about Woodstock is the toilets, because there weren’t any.

Things were different back then.

Andrew Cushing is a writer based in New York. Follow him on Twitter by midnight tonight or your crush will never kiss you.

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