Fingers and Sunshine Sic Itur Ad Astra
Would someone care to give me a bit of feedback on this chapter of my book?
On night number two, we took a walk down to the beach that was only a couple blocks from Tracey’s house. We threw sticks and rocks, and generally talked and mucked about with Tracey and her friend Speck. Speck seemed OK and we all got along very well. Fred told me several things about this stretch of beach. He told me it was perfectly fine to build a fire, and to camp all night during warmer times of the year. It sounded like it would be fun to live like a bum near the ocean.
When we got back to Tracey’s, she and Fred had their falling out. Fred was all bummed out and freaking. He said he thought he would just kill himself once or twice. He shed a few tears, and then we went back to the front porch area where I had been sleeping, and passed the pipe until time to pass out.
The next night, we had some freezing rain. We went for a long ride to a friend of Speck and John’s house across the street from the ocean. We got to see the tide go out from a window in the huge house. We partied and carried on till about eleven o’clock, and then we went on home to Tracey’s house.
We were invited to go along to Providence on Friday to see Max Creek, a Grateful Dead fan band. It turned out they didn’t play any Grateful Dead at all, but nearly every song they played was very similar to one Dead song or another. It was infuriating to me, as I didn’t know the Dead very well, but I could tell they were not playing Dead. We were invited to a party out in the suburbs that was about to start when Max Creek was on break. Guess where we all went? Yup, we headed to the party.
It was a very nice night when we went with Tracey, Speck and Knight (was that really his name?) to that crazy party in Providence. Things got pretty fuzzy that night. If you count the time Greg smashed me in the head with a snowball, this makes three very fuzzy times so far. Sure, things got a little fuzzy in the week or so leading up to this night, but this time it was so strange that Knight told me I looked green and handed me a crystal pendant to try to bring me a little closer to Earth.
It worked, and as soon as I was ready to hand the crystal back, the merriest prankster of them all came bounding downstairs offering a free treat to me. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! I wasn’t quite sure what had just hit me, but nothing else was gonna mess with me hit wise that night! I went to the bathroom, took a leak, and looked at my reflection. Yup, I was as green as Mr. Spock.
John heard that Fred had been talking right there at the party about having broken up with Tracey, using fairly rough language (something about needing to tie a board onto his **bleep**). This was another heavy event that was solved by using the right words at the right time. Didn’t deadheads ever punch each other out? Was there that much peace and love in the air with these folks, some of whom were about to travel south to Virginia to hang out with the Grateful Dead for three days? My guess was no.
Someone was going to get hurt if things didn’t settle down and quickly. Things did settle down quickly when Tracey intervened. This was not the last time diplomacy was needed and used to good effect in my travels. I assume Tracey’s brother was too embarrassed to repeat Fred’s remarks to his sister verbatim, else she may have let them duke it out.
Speck was drunk and really high, making my complaint of feeling strung out completely moot. He chanted “Hey Paco, want to buy my Seester?” over and over and over. I had a problem that kind Deadheads were able to talk me down from, but you can’t talk a drunk down. Giving him a pretty rock won’t help and you can’t make him stop drinking. If there is alcohol on the premises, he will find it. Speck wasn’t really causing any problems, and we figured we would be able to contain him on the ride home. We just had to be prepared to be called Paco, and to refuse his seester with our apologies.
We hopped in the car after our driver (Tracey) proved that she was fit and able to drive by performing a little complicated dance in front of our hosts. Speck (we called him Speck, because his last name was Peck) hopped in the back seat next to me. This made me feel a little uncomfortable because of some of my experiences dealing with drunken people.
He soon begged to stop at a gas station, and turned, and calling me “Paco”, asked me if I would like to buy his seester. We found a suitable place to stop, and He went inside, and came out after five minutes with a Gatorade, and said, “hey Paco, want to buy my seester?” This phrase was repeated once every few minutes all the way back to Narragansett, where we gave him a sleeping bag and space on the floor for the night.
I remember the mandala tapestry’s colors spreading and contracting in one of the most solemn moments of the trip so far. I half expected the elephants to start running around the outer circle. Fred said they did, but I didn’t see it.
Things were pretty mellow for the last four days we stayed at Tracey’s house. Folks visited, we had breakfast and dinner parties, and I got to finish reading my book. Fred showed me how to play “Row Jimmy”, “Wharf Rat”, and “Franklin’s Tower”. I had never heard any of those songs before so I gave them my treatment as I learned the groove. I harmonized with Fred, and it started to sound OK. I sure loved playing music. Music did something for me that no other activity could do. It was OK if there were people listening, OK if not. We weren’t fishing for tips, just hoping people would enjoy it somewhat if anyone was there.
Finally the time had come to pack and leave for the first shows in Hampton, VA. I did not know how far we had to go, but we somehow stuffed our guitars and packs into Tracey’s compact car, and off we went. This was the beginning of a new life for me, and its effects will never truly be forgotten. The scars will never heal, and the lessons will never be unlearned. I will try to keep track of the lessons as well as the fuzzy spots in my memory as we move along in this tale.
There were more fuzzy spots from our stay in Narragansett than I can remember. The mandala tapestry breathed, bled and the elephants nearly ran around in circles. The crystal split the entire kitchen into infinite slices and brought me down by about 20,000 feet; the bright yellow cabinetry curled like potato chips at the party. I was soon to find out it can get a lot fuzzier than that!