It’s July and my mother and father and I just finished traveling all the way from our home in Georgia to my grandparents lake house in Vermont. Every summer we come and stay up here for a week or two. It’s usually the most torturous week of the entire summer. All I think about is all the shit my friends are getting into back home. It sucks here. Nothing but trees, trees, a lake, and more trees. Where are the people? It’s a deadmans land up here for sure. I miss my friends and I’ve only been here for not even an hour. I was dreading unpacking my suitcase. I don’t wanna be here, if I unpack my stuff that’s just ensuring that I’m gonna be here for a while.
Stressed, and depressed I was out in the back of the house having a smoke when my grandfather comes out. “Mariella?” I threw the cigarette on the ground.
“Are you out there? Come here I have someone I want you to meet.”
Who the hell could my grandfather possibly want me to meet? The only people out here are in their 70’s and on the verge of dying. While walking up the steps I see a shaggy haired boy sitting on the front patio. Who the hell could my grandfather possibly want me to meet.
“Mariella!” Said my grandfather.
“This is Sid! I’m so excited for you two to meet. You guys are going to get along so well.”
“His grandfather lives in the big yellow house down the road a ways. He’s up visiting his grandparents for the week as well!”
The shaggy haired boy put his hand out to introduce himself.
“It’s nice to meet you Mariella.”
“Nice to meet you too Sid.”
Once the whole introduction was over I decided it was time to go finish that smoke that my grandfather rudely interrupted. I was sitting on a tree stump thinking about this “Sid” kid. He actually seemed pretty chill. He was pretty cute too. Shaggy brown hair and green eyes are my favorite. Maybe this summer week won’t be so bad after all. Out of nowhere the kid slops down on the stump next to me. “Hey.” He said.
“Jesus Christ you almost scared me to death.”
I hate when that happens. I feel like everytime I’m thinking about someone or something they pop up at that exact time. Almost as if he knew I was thinking about him. He pulled out a smoke as well. “Okay maybe this kids gonna be alright.” I thought to myself.
“So where are you from?” He asked.
“I’m living in Denver right now. Originally from Vermont though.”
We sat on that stump for nearly 2 hours talking about the weirdest things. Trading stories about our lives at home and all the crazy things we’ve done, and the crazy things we want to do.
The next morning I woke up to a knocking on my window. It was Sid. What the hell could he possibly want from me at this early in the morning. The sun was barely up and I’m used to waking up around noon back at home. I crept out of my bed and opened up the window which made the loudest most painful screech. “Top of the morning.” Said Sid. “Uh top of the morning to you too.” top of the morning? I thought to myself. Who says that. “I was just wondering if you happened to be busy today? I’m going on a little adventure and would love for you to join me.” He had such a evil, yet welcoming grin on his face. “Uhhhh I don’t have any plans at the moment.” I said. “Okay well we leave in 10. Meet me down the trail by the dogwood tree. I will be waiting.” Without giving me time to respond he quickly walked away. A little confused, I quickly put on clothes and hurried to the trail.
When I got to the trail Sid was carrying a giant backpack of who the hell knows what. “Hey.” I said.
“Are you ready to have the best time of your life?” In a almost cocky tone of voice.
“I mean I don’t know if it’ll be the best day of my life, but I’m ready to have a good time, for sure.”
We walked for about 30 minutes before we got close to our destination. Our destination being a tree house built on top of a giant oak tree. I’ve never seen something like this before. It was actually beautiful. We climbed up the trunk on a wooden rope ladder all the way to the top where we sat for hours with a pair of binoculars watching all of the animals roam around the land. We got on the topic of partying and how both of us were probably missing the best parties of the summer while we were in the middle of nowhere with our families.
“Man, why didn’t either of us bring a bottle of whiskey or something.” I said. Sid looked at me with an uncertain, anxious glare.
“What.. why are you looking at me like that?” I said to Sid to break his glare.
“Uh. I don’t know. I uh. I can trust you right, Mariella?”
“Is that a serious question? Tell me!” I yelled.
“Okay well, the other day a few of my buddies and I were hanging out around this lake that the kids at my school always throw parties at.”
“And there was this guy there selling this stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“I’m not exactly sure. He said it was some new kind of drug. Everyone was buying it so figured why not. He gave me this piece of paper along with the little vial.” Sid handed me the little draw string bag and rolled up piece of paper.
I’ve never done an actual drug before. I didn’t know if I should have been nervous, excited, or scared. Inside the drawstring bag was a tiny little vial of a blue liquid, and what looked like a tiny little turkey baster. On the piece of paper was a list of instructions on how to do it and what to expect after taking it.
“So what do ya say?” Sid said in a devious tone.
A million thoughts were running through my head. Should I do it? What is I die? What if it’s the greatest night of my life. What if my grandparents find out? What if my parents find out?
“Come on it’ll be fun I promise?”
“Idunno Sid. I mean have you even tried this stuff before? What exactly does it do?”
“I haven’t tried it yet, but everyone I know that has said it was amazing. Apparently it gives you the power to travel back in time until the drug wears off in about 24 hours.”
“Wait so you’re telling me that if we take this blue stuff we’ll be able to travel back in time?”
“Yeah, I think that’s what I’m saying..”
“And you’re sure that I wont die?
“I’m not trying to murder you Mariella. I just think it would be fun, and I think you would enjoy it as well.”
He was so convincing. Or maybe he wasn’t. Maybe there really wasn’t a reason for me to not do it. I mean I have nothing better to do, right? Finally after 30 seconds of me blankly staring at a tree I came to a decision.
“Whatever let’s do it. But where are we gonna go?’
“What’s one thing that you weren’t alive for but you wish you were?”
One thing that I wasn’t around for. I thought to myself. My god, there’s a million places and things I wish I was around for. How am I supposed to pick one.
“Let’s go back to George Washington’s time.” I said jokingly because that would be awfully boring.
“I was thinking somewhere cool. Somewhere we can do whatever it is that we please.” Sid said with a devilish smirk across his face.
“And where is that?”
‘Woodstock? What is that? Or where is that I should say?” Is Woodstock something I should know about? I thought to myself.
“It’s the greatest music festival to ever happen. It was in the late 60’s. My grandparents went when they were teenagers. They’ve told me stories about it ever since I was a little boy. I used to dream about being there.”
“A little boy dreaming about a music festival. Those stories must have been pretty crazy.”
“So what do you say, wanna go?”
What happened next was a bit confusing. In order for this all to work the instructions said we had to follow them very precisely. Step one was to use the tiny strips of paper that came with the little drawstring bag and write down the place, date, and time of where we wanted to go. Sid scribbled in little letters.
“Woodstock, August 16, 1969.”
“Okay so what do we do now?”
“You have to do the same. Write down what I wrote on another tiny piece of paper. Make sure you don’t misspell anything, ‘cause then we may not end up in the same place.”
I was a bit confused as to how this was going to make us travel back into time. Anyway, I copied down exactly what Sid wrote on his piece of paper. The next step was where it got weird.
“So for the record, once we travel back into time we will be gone for what is an hour in reality, but will have an entire days worth of time to spend at woodstock.”
“So our grandparents won’t even know that we were gone, you think?”
“Definitely not. We’re golden trust me.”
“Okay so what do we do now?”
“It says to drip 3 drops of the blue liquid onto the pieces of paper. Says they should dry instantly.”
Sid proceeded to drop 3 droplets onto each piece of paper. They really did dry instantly. It was almost as if the liquid wasn’t really a liquid.
“Now put it in your mouth and hold my hand.”
“Pu-p-put it in my mouth?”
“Yes Mariella hurry.”
We both threw the pieces tiny pieces of paper into our mouths and joined hands. The taste in my mouth was crazy. It tasted like a mixture of rusty nails, dirt, bleach, and I don’t even know what. My mouth started to tingle. and then my throat started to tingle. After a few seconds the tingling sensation took over my entire upper body. Especially my head. A few more seconds later the tingling sensation completely took over my body. The suddenly everything went black. I could still hear and feel, but I couldn’t see. 30 seconds later my vision came back. But it sure as hell wasn’t a vision of what I was seeing before everything went black.
“We made it! We actually made it” Sid shouted.
“Oh my gosh where are we!”
“We’re at the greatest place on earth, that’s where we are. Come on, lets go have some fun.”
Sid put his hand out and grabbed mine and started running through the mass amounts of people.
There was people everywhere. In tents, laying in the grass, dancing, singing. It was
“Where do you wanna go? There’s a list of groups and what time they’re playing over there. Lets go check it out.”
“Joe Cocker!” I shouted.
“Oh you like Joe Cocker? Let’s go!”
We went to the main stage and were swarmed by good vibes and love. Being here felt different than any other place in the world. At times I felt as though I wasn’t in the real world. Well I guess I wasn’t? I dunno. All I know if where ever I was I loved it. We spent the entire day dancing and singing and talking to the most interesting people. I wish that I never had to leave that place. But I knew it was going to come to an end soon. I can’t believe that in order to get here we only had to take a few drops of this blue liquid that seemed to have no negative or drug like effect on our bodies or minds. It was amazing. And then suddenly once the sun went down, my eyes started to do that thing again. My mouth started to tingle, then my throat, and then my upper body, and then my entire body. But Sid was nowhere to be found. What if he doesn’t make it back I started to panic. And then suddenly I was back where I started. And Sid was with me.
“Sid! I thought you weren’t gonna make it back!!”
“Haha. Nope I made it. Would you believe how fun that was?”
“I kinda feel like it was just a dream. But then again I kinda feel like we were actually there.”
“That’s because we were actually there Mariella. And we can go back any time you want.”
We made our way back to the house and everything was perfectly normal. Out grandparents weren’t concerned and I don’t think they even noticed we were gone to be honest. Sid and I left on a note that every summer when we’re visiting our grandparents, were going to take a trip back to woodstock. It will be our version of summer vacation.