I had hitchhiked and rode a train (the legal way) up the coast from San Diego to Isla Vista in a single day. I ended with a few more dollars then I had started with and was feeling successful. This was only my second time hitchhiking and the first time I had ever made it more than a hundred miles from the safety of my hometown.
I set my tent up on a grassy area next to a beach. It was a little orange eureka tent. I had decided I would hitch to Eureka just because of the name. I thought it comical that the exclamation eureka and the act of discovery would be connected by the name of the town for which I had set my sights - this caper was suppossed to be all about discovery. I was nineteen.
I passed L.A. easily, which I had been worried about, and was already in the friendlier north. I fell asleep fast and dreamt brilliantly. The type of dream were you look into sunlight and it hurts your eyes, you can smell the grass, feel the wind.
How did it start...
I was playing piano in an anarchist commune. An old house; wooden floors, bulky storm windows, intricately carved mahogany banisters. I was playing piano like a Chopin impresario on cocaine. It was wild. I knew that I had been there playing the night over and was aching towards some sort of climactic coda. Just as I was getting there a young barefoot bearded man ran down the stairs and sprayed my face with aerosol propeled LSD. I turned and saw a group of laughing young people surrounding the bearded man. He said, "You got fucked up." My sight doubled on itself and faded red which bled into a total black.
I was in the dark. I was walking in total night. An orange shape slid over shoulders walking in front of me. We were three in a line walking under a tree then, an orange street lamp in the branches above us. We were walking along the ridge of a concrete wall toward a great ledge. When we reached the edge we all looked down at the drop in silence. There was an understanding that we wanted, each to a different degree, to jump to the grass below. The descent was dangerous, I could tell, for an ancient oak rose from the grass and branched not too far from where we sat.
I was suddenly climbing stairs outside of a run down apartment building in some little coastal city, not far from the ocean. I could smell it. I rang a door bell and a young short haired pale man answered. He and two girls were inside and they were all on ectasy. He invited me in. I was a little nervous in the cheap one room apartment but one of the girls said, "Candy stripes and ladies teeth all down your gulliver, brother soul boots believe." So I took it. I took the pills and then we were floating about over the beds.
The apartment room became a field of wheat with two matresses in the center. We jumped over the stalks from matress too matress, chasing each other in our underwear and laughing about it. It was a bright day in the American plains. One of the girls had red hair and was thin and the other was curvy with black hair. When the black haired one was gone I turned to the redhead, who was now somehow on a large rock that rose out of the wheat next to the matresses. She said, "I won't. You're not strong enough." To which I replied, "There are more types of strength then you know of," and lifting her off the rock with impossible strength I flipped her over me onto the matress. We landed kind of missionary and she laughed at me. I raised an inquisitive eyebrow and she pulled a mask off of her face. She was the dark haired one.
Her expression changed to a screaming cry. She was standing in a morning fog next to a police officer at the foot of the old Oak tree at the bottom of the ledge. the ledge me and two others had thought of jumping from. And there was a body, gnarled and burnt and definitely dead at on the ground beneath the cliff. The officer wrote on his little note pad, "Identity confirmed."