Red House

Sebastian ran his tongue along the edge of the white paper. It tasted like glue but smelt like glory. He looked at his friend with a pity in his eyes whilst he tried to roll a joint, made harder by the many bumps in the road. “There is no way a million people are going to show up man, that’s bullshit. Five hundred thousand, maybe, eight hundred thousand, possibly, but a million, no way man, no way.” Pulling a lighter out from his denim jacket he flicked the lid o and lit the joint with a scrape of his thumb. The end sizzled like a miniature star as he drew deep and blew thick billowing clouds from his nostrils. Mary leant over and gave Seb a kiss on his lips whilst slowly prying the joint from his fingers.

The year was 1969. The crooning voice and sweet guitar melodies of Jimi Hendrix pounded through dusty speakers inside a beat up old wagon heading down a long road.

“Woodstock baby!” Jonas yelled with ecstasy as he stuck his head and its long brown curls out the window. The smell of roses which had been glued all over the wagon in a drunken fervor danced with the wind whipping through his hair. Jonas along with Mary, Andy and Sebastian thought of the idea the night before as they sat around a fire-bin, drinking American whiskey and excitedly pondering what awaited them. They were going to the biggest festival of their generation, more than a festival, a movement, a way of life. They were going to Woodstock.

“Man I’m telling you, there’s going to be like a million people there,” Andy said as Jonas pulled himself back inside. A laugh echoed from the backseat and Andy took his eyes o the road to glare at the passengers in the back. “Shut up Seb,” he said, “that’s what the biker dude told me back in town.”

“I think it will be more than a million,” Mary leaned in with a tone of hope and awe in her voice. Mary and Seb had been dating for several months now and whilst she still seemed resolute in her relationship, Andy could already see the signs of Seb’s restlessness when it came to women. It had always been easy for Seb, he was tall and broad shouldered with handsome features and the blonde shoulder length hair that all the girls seemed to lust for.

It didn’t hurt that he could play guitar and was a decent enough singer, too. Andy turned his attention back to driving and let his mind drift back to the music filling the wagon. Trees flew by and the road opened up before them as the group left their town behind and ventured into new territory.

“Think Hendrix will actually come?” Jonas asked to no one in particular. His fingers were simulating the picking of strings and complicated ri s as the song blaring through the air pushed into a crescendo of screeching guitar. Jonas had already downed several beers and wasn’t looking to slow down anytime soon.

“He’ll be there, he has to be,” said Mary who passed the smoking joint to him. “I think I’ll cry if he plays Purple Haze. My friend Debbie said she saw him play it live when she was over in England and she said it changed her life. Like he touched her soul man, Jimi opened her heart and her mind. Well it was either him or the acid!”

They all laughed together as the sun beat down on their flower dressed car to Woodstock.

Words by S. Z. Telford

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