Building steam

Cassady's train made repeated whistle stops as Neal, keeping his head of steam, paused before anyone who happened to impinge on his field of vision. At each pause, a goofy-looking Prankster with an even goofier gap-toothed grin stepped out, pointed into a brown paper shopping bag he carried, and with a forefinger touched his tongue twice and then the side of his nose. Most often, hands would dart down into the bag's depths to re-emerge clutching multiple tabs of LSD. Then the train would regather momentum, tracking pheromone rails that only Cassady himself seemed to smell.

The Grateful Dead, onstage, were blasting Cream Puff War -- Milo saw skinny staccato guitar notes flit around the ceiling in their pajamas, playing tag with denser, swirling blotches of Hammond B3 chords flung aloft from twin stacks of spinning Leslie speakers.
"...No, no, she can't take your mind and leave...
I know it's just another trick she's got up her sleeve...
The common expression was bemusement. That awe was the connection, Milo concluded, slow-zooming on each face he passed. A fresh world was being borne and everybody knew it, but it was all too much, too new, too strange to metabolize. Milo could hear all of them talking at once with each other, inside each other's heads on shared chemical threads. They were connected truly, palpably, through sensory overload and an overwhelming bliss.

And, while he, as a physicist, wasn't real up on twentieth century philosophical giants, Milo had gained a strong impression that a middle-aged couple French-kissing and pawing each other's crotches in one of the corners they'd rippled through were in fact Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. A thin guy nearby, miming disgust and theatrically ignoring them -- but sneaking darting peeks every so often -- was, on the slender evidence that Milo's memory was still able to offer, very likely Albert Camus.

Milo felt unnerved when Sartre suddenly lifted his face from Simone's exposed bosom, and stared at him severely. It was hard to tell whether he was actually looking at Milo, what with the wall-eye and all, but Milo felt daunted all the same. He was relieved when Neal chugged out of the Gare du Nord toward Chattanooga.
"...Wait a minute, watch what you're doin' with your time...
All the endless ruins of the past must stay behind ya...
Something warm and soft brushed Milo's cheek. Looking up, he caught an all-too-familiar sight. Callie, her many arms coordinating in a relaxed, perfectly executed Australian crawl, was swimming a few inches above everyone's heads.

Milo's brain reeled back to Heinie Kannenberg's lab. A bolt of cold fear ran him through like an iron bar.

Why the hell was this acid -- this incredible, incredible acid -- not warding her off...?