June 11, 2017
Had a dream last night about hitchhiking and it brought me back to my mid-teens when my world was falling apart. I was reading Krishnamurti, Baba Ram Dass, Rimbaud, I was writing songs and meditating....lol...trying to meditate! I wanted it all to calm down but nothing worked. My head hurt. Migraines. Wrote a song at thirteen called 'Avoid The Fist'. The noise just got louder so I ran. I packed a small duffle, grabbed my guitar and bolted with some cash I'd made working construction (illegally at fifteen), walked down to Crystal Lake Blvd and stuck my thumb out. I ended up in Colorado after a few days and took a breather in Ft. Collins near the campus of CSU. Walked into a bar and ordered a beer and THEY SERVED ME even though I looked eleven with hair halfway down my back. Ate a burger too and then fell in love with the waitress pretty fast. Never saw anyone like her before, 23 so she seemed a lot older but that didn't stop me. She actually let me crash on her floor but O' dear reader I had other plans for my beloved. It was a new world for the Kid and the universe was on fire. She was so kind and sweet and that is what I needed. She took me to an outdoor concert the next day and we...well....grass was everywhere let's just say. Fealing' great and the troubles just slide away as you get lost in the music. Freedom. A thumb a duffle a ride a mountain a bar a girl a smile a high a concert an embrace a tear drop a new life. Hope.
After a few days I headed West with a nice lady and her son who picked me up on the highway in a station wagon. Remember station wagons? The perfect car. Nice people. At about 3am the mom nudged me awake in the back seat and said "Look" and there before me gleaming like a golden sea (Lights In The Sky) were the blinking lights of the first desert town we encountered. I sat up, rubbed my eyes and realized I was not asleep but truly awake. I had made it. California. The holy grail for me. The place where I was going to make my life right. I remember this surge of emotion and the clear golden lights burning into my brain an eternal imprint....the dry spicy heat rising from the desert floor that kissed your cheeks and soothed bloodshot eyes. Like another planet another atmosphere a sea of possibilities (P Smith) all stretched out before me the antidote for this firey sadness called desire. I was truly free. A new life unfolding in tranches of combustable verse written by a long dead Frenchman. And I was in a station wagon.
They dropped me in Long Beach where I'd planned to meet up with a friend from back home who had moved to LB with her brother and grandma. Her name was Nikki, fourteen, and she was a searcher like me. She'd reinvented herself and I was excited to see her again. I climbed the outer white-painted wooden stairs to the second floor apartment and knocked. Nikki opened the door curly blond hair cascading and piercing green eyes blazing a smile that told me I was not only in the right place, I was home.......