Copyright 1993 by Mark E. Laxer.
came to doing things like making friends with girls. Nonetheless, I decided that I could work out whatever I needed to work out in a healthier environment than at home; the countdown to the last day of high school, after which I planned to set out on my own, began when I was around fifteen. Meanwhile, I read a lot and spent time with friends, some of whom also enjoyed hiking and bicycling.
In the summer of 1976, when I was sixteen, I bicycled from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to Boston with people from an outing club. One morning, as I watched my traveling companions prepare their daily dose of hallucinogens, I realized that I wanted to be part of their fellowship. The desire, however, was checked by a gut-level impulse to avoid drugs, so Jim, a sinewy guy stooped over a pot of boiling morning glory seeds, turned me on instead to The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. This was a popular account of Carlos Castaneda's purported apprenticeship with Yaqui Indian medicine man Juan Ma