“Feed Your Head” – White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Another Christmas in Pleasantville; this makes three. Winking goodnight to a good day I caress my beloved typer this evening feeling no pain and high as a monkey from the contents of an industrial size bottle of codeine laid on me via the local Nazi pharmacist; compliments of my enlightened doctor. Despite the knowledge that this was Howard Hughes’s drug of choice, and look how that turned out, my body, vibrating pleasure from another two-hour workout, (one pound under the super middle weight limit and reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Adonis), I’m feeling good and feeling good is good enough.
My Uncle Sam made good as well today; sending my guaranteed payment for decades of white-collar proletarian contribution direct to my vault at Wells Fargo with a dependability I have come to admire. These events have rendered both my essence and my psyche serene; and though impending doom surrounds an imminent visit from my mirror/shadow (son) and the fear this will result in my own looming Damocles sword, Jim Croce “cats the cradle” moment; I expect and accept the yin-yang balancing yoga.
Of somewhat less concern but annoying as a toothache comes the fear my intellect is turning to mush from neglect caused by a lack of stimulating conversation; an absence of dreamscape narrative shared with mates and like-minded seekers. I’m used to the interplay of happily cluttered minds that populate the Bermuda Triangle of diversity, acceptance and tolerance; Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco; where cerebral glitterati misfits from around the globe filter in and congregate like gold nuggets rushing to swirl and collect like water in a bathtub drain.
I left half a dozen magicians behind in that utopia when I split; seekers all, with minds embedded in a dance of colliding ideas; sage who ask the question despite knowing the answer; who speak in double helix of metaphors and allusions; taking a straight question about how ya’ doin’ and answering with the uniqueness of a Grateful Dead space jam drum solo and the surreal small print detail of a rental car agreement.
Here the conversation is parochial and pedestrian. The carpenter came a knocking yesterday to show me his hat; apparently he had noticed I have a penchant for hats, better to cover my shaved pate and keep warm. It was a beauty and he sure was proud of that hat; a Stetson of cowboy shape, the kind you could drop a brick on and not leave a dent, the variety that takes a couple of years of daily wearing to break in and, if once contoured to the owners head were to find itself taken, would result in a duel.
I feigned interest since I didn’t want to be cruel or rude; he was standing in my living room after all, so I went along. But there’s a half-life of about four minutes of available details to discuss surrounding one’s head cover. I’m not an elitist. My dad was simple folk; had that common man touch and I inherited it; finding more comfort and enjoyment with that ilk than those who went to Goddard.
Yet I’m missing the eclectic mix of eccentric minds that made my west coast family unique, exciting and fascinating. Big Pauli; artist, brainiac hustler, ladies man and fun factory, who can be found in his self-made maze heroically punching his way out of a paper bag each day, advised me to seek out the local writer’s community for comradeship and common ground. But I find too much of the Silvia Plath syndrome in those bent in that direction. Besides I ascribe to the Groucho Marks dictum of group connections, who when invited to join the Friars club, sent a telegram stating: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member”.
I miss the pulsing energy of that quixotic tribe of misfits going 200 miles an hour with their hair on fire; burning naked on the razors edge of possibility who could rescue me from myself; lifting and transporting me by sharing the joy and angst of the worlds of wonders they have swimming around in their minds.
Peter the Great; blood brother and clan titan Prometheus of alternative living solutions and Lancelot to my Galahad. Lisa, my Muse, all heart and soul living and loving on that angelic Treasure Island; an aptly named home for the treasure that is her, a bursting supernova of pure light energy sharing her vivid and honest experiences, making me wish I were as great as she sees me; sharing with me her communiqué’s of experiments in life, love and psycho–pharmacology.
Roy Bones; Consigliere’ and mystery vagabond wanderer, above it all, walking between the rain drops, back from the abyss, stalking, waiting, searching and wondering. I’m missing also Portia; my opposite, kryptonite and pseudo-sibling life loving companion; Liz Taylor to my Richard Burton, sharing our stage and acting out our Shakespearean dramas from Camelot to The Grapes of Wrath.
From that alternative family house, now sold, I traveled a long way looking for my roots, for something concrete in this life, tired of roaming around aimlessly, the distance done, the possibilities too many, to find something firm to build the future upon, another spot with warmth and love and togetherness. I leave high and hopeful, outside that warm familial environment to this one, yet again immediately confronted with the need to be free and the need for something bigger, more meaningful.
The search for a home becomes a deeper search, for truth and meaning in existence, the same thing millions search for. But it is impossible to be certain of it, so it’s always an illusion to some degree. Through the distance we hold hope in finding universal truths which even a prophet couldn’t give us, as it is our task to search for our own truth.
Perhaps Lisa’s advice is prescient. We find our truth in the beauty of each others souls, looking into and not at each other and we come to a point where the only thing that’s certain is love and that seems to give us enough meaning in life. We don’t need to have anything more concrete or any absolute philosophy or religion. Love in its simplicity is better and greater than anything.