Follow the story from here.
Read back if needed I can’t be bothered re-hashing.
I was sitting on the ground. There was low voices but so many of them they were loud. They kind of sounded drunk but I couldn’t really tell because I couldn’t figure out what they were saying. There was bodies everywhere, gently nudging me but not pushy and I could not open my my eyes for some reason.
I ignored the sounds my head was trying to assess and thought about what had happened. I’d turned the arm on the strange dial that Téa had sent me, just as she’d told me to do. Surely the fact that she’d sent me the dial and requested I turn the arm meant she knew what was going to happen, not only that she knew it was not going to leave me dead…too melodramatic? Ok, knew I wouldn’t get hurt. But none of that explained where I was or why I couldn’t open my eyes.
It was at that time my mind started to pick up something else. Suddenly all those voices became background sound, they were still there but my mind was focusing on something else, something that I was sure wasn’t there moments before.
Music, guitars, drums, it was a familiar song but one from a long time ago, however it wasn’t until I heard that voice, the voice that could only ever belong to one person, sing the words
“Try, try, try, just a little but harder.”
That I knew what I was listening to.
Many people had sung the song over the years but there was not a single person in the world who could sing it like the Janis Joplin.
Where the hell was I? What was going on around me?
I tried to open my eyes again and to my surprise they opened, easy, no force, no struggle, they just opened. Talk about confusing.
My mind hadn’t been playing me for a complete fool, the people, the low voices that didn’t make sense, the hard ground, it was all there. While the music continued I took in my surroundings. Excuse my descriptions they may be a little vague but I was still a bit in shock.
All around me there was long hair, afros, beards, hairdos I could not name, tie-dyed clothes, head bands, long skirts and jeans with holes in them. No one was really singing to the music, but they were all swaying, some of them were even swaying in time. There was a smell in the air, it was an aromatic smell I’m sure many people would recognise, even if they wont admit to it.
Again Janis’ voice filled my head,
“So I can give, give, give, give him every bit of my soul.”
The voice of a legendary singer my generation would never hear live, but here I was listening to every word.
I stood up to look around me.
“Hey, man sit down, enjoy the ride.” I heard someone say but I didn’t take any notice because I was too in awe of just what I could see over the crowd before me.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now I was standing at Woodstock, the first one not the rip off. I was about sixty metres from the stage, the same stage Janis Joplin was belting out the song Try, (Just a Little Bit Harder) which would become a classic, a song listened to long after her death.
So I’d solved the question “where was I?” but having solved that it created so many other questions the main one being “How did I get here?”
Yes, obviously it had something to do with the dial Téa had sent me. Yes, it had something to do with turning the arm. But they were the only answers I had and I didn’t have a way of explaining them.
As much as I was enjoying Janis sing on stage, something I knew I’d never see again I also knew I had to do something else, I had to figure out why I was there and how to get back to my office. Knocking back a toke on someone’s reefer that passed close to my face I started to look around me.
Standing about ten metres to my left was an old lady, she kind of looked like a gypsy, not really out of place at an event like Woodstock but somehow she just didn’t fit there. I couldn’t exactly pin point what it was about the old lady, like I said she kind of looked the part, but something made me uncomfortable. I tuned back to look at the stage, Janis had started singing Kosmic Blues. Before Janis got to the end of the third line something compelled me to turn back to the old lady.
I don’t know what it was, like everything one thing just leads to more damn questions, but when I turned back to the old lady it felt like a drop of water dribbled down my spine. At the same time I felt my arms shiver uncontrollably. And I heard my brain scream at me to get the hell out of there.
My brain didn’t often scream like that but when it did I listened and without taking another breath I turned to the right and walked off in the opposite direction to the old lady. I would have ran but I didn’t want to step on people and I wasn’t sure my legs were ready for running given the shivers and shakes that had just gone through my body.
I kept walking, didn’t look back, didn’t look to each side, just forward. I didn’t know where I was going but for some reason the tents in front of me seemed to be drawing me.
In front of me was two canvas tents, there was a gap between the two tents of about two metres, I seemed to be drawn to the gap. Without concious thoughts I stepped between the tents careful not to trip over the ropes holding them up.
Stepping over the rear ropes I felt someone grab my shoulder and pull me to the ground.
“Ssshhh. Get down. Get under here.”
In an instant I was dragged behind the tent on my right hand side then dragged through the rear canvas wall and underneath a table that appeared to be covered by a large canvas sheet.
I didn’t have a chance to protest until I was sitting under that table by which time I was left speechless because I recognised the person who dragged me under the table. It was Téa!