Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Huzzah

by Anna Yin


Anna is a brave poet with Chinese origin, who writes in English and Chinese. She lives in Toronto Canada.  Anna is well recognized for her poetic commentaries on current events in Toronto. She is the recipient of several prizes. I am proud to be her internet colleague.  According to Anna, this poem was written about me.--Don Schaeffer
.

.
Every few days or so,
he sends his short poems.
New and ink-dripping,
rarely making a ripple…
Occasionally I open them, seldom reply.
I suppose he sends each to many of us-
the various busy and lonely souls.
.
Now snow is here;
the trail is quiet.
I spread a few biscuits around.
No bird at all.
No bird—
only us!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Farm House

 
by Josh Koubek
 
 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Twenty-Thirteen

by Josh Koubek

Josh is an occasional poet as well as a gourmet cook and bike rider.


I never used to believe in numerology.
Then I wrecked my
motorcycle and I lost
my job.
But when I met
you I knew I was
right all along.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Skyscraper City

by Marc Schaeffer quoting his daughter, Hannah

Marc is my son and Hannah my first granddaughter (age 5).

Hannah and I walked to her school today (half an hour or so). She sang for the first 20 minutes -- a song about how when she lived in "Sky Scraper City" (a place she often talks about as her second country) she was a grown up, grew old and died.. and then someone came.. and picked her up.. and.. placed her in her Mother's belly. That she was "reborn". (Her words). Gave me shivers.. it was a beautiful song.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Klingon Medicine

by Joshua Koubek
 
 



korjax

magok



 




Josh is a dyed in the wool Trekie who owns a tv remote in the shape of a phaser. His fascination with future science is demonstrated in this short piece.
 
When a Klingon warrior is seriously wounded in battle, say a vital organ has been compromised, a special piece of armor is applied over the wound. It's called a korjax. Depending on the nature of the wound and its location, the soretek, a Klingon healer will select the appropriate korjax to treat the wound.
The korjax is more than just armor. It is a functional medical device which has been inoculated with eggs and larva of the magok. The magok are similar to gok, the live worms eaten at traditional Klingon victory feasts. While the gok are harvested from the viscera of slain enemies, the magok act as tiny surgeons, eating away dead tissue and secreting an antiseptic mucus. What's more, after the the larva feed they emerge from the wound, at which time they are consumed by the ailing warrior.
The magok provide not only sustenance but also contain psychotropic and anesthetic compounds assisting the warriors journey to recovery.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Southern Town

by Tom Prime

Tom has appeared here before. He is a latter day beat poet, brimming with energy, searching for regeneracy, self-defense, and self-destruction. This is one of his shorter works. Tom is a magic, mystical free spirit. His writing reflects that.





I grew up in a southern town. My cat meows at the bathroom door. He meows and he meows but I won’t let him through, because he wants to eat the paint that’s chipping off the wall. The paint is chipping off the wall, because I shower in hot water and the hot water seeps into the skin of the walls. There’s no internal fan in my apartment. I have a portable one, but it isn’t plugged in. I use it in the summer, when the days are too hot and the air eats at your skin like old age or hydrochloric acid.

 
I grew up in the south of the city of Detroit and the air was molten lava, maybe that’s just what I wanted it to be. I’ve seen some terrible things. I’ve done bad things. I’ve seen the end of the world in the eyes of hopeless people drifting off to sleep in their little dune buggies in space; their little dune buggies that ran away from the molten lava faces. I guess I pre-ambled a bit; it was only because of my inherent negativity. I wish that I could be more uplifting, like a carnival wheel that keeps on spinning, spinning on through the effervescent night.

I killed a small fortune of aliens from mars. No I am not, as some would call, crazy. I am an overweight butterfly, floating across the great expanse of the ocean. The ocean is wild like the butterfly but it is inherently capricious like a power hungry lover, drifting in the mire of discontent. I want to guarantee to everyone that the product that I am selling is worth buying.

I collected the words from the thoughts from the migrations of the birds from the supercilious men with their political smirks. I told them what to think. I made it clear to them that I was a diversion. I would help them run away from who they were, by being me. I was the mess that coagulated like too much fat from a cheeseburger, or the way my cat licks water loudly and my refrigerators hums like an overweight maid with haemorrhoids.



   

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Everything is Fine: A short-short story (in process)





Generally nice, feeling he was, thinking he was a negotiator who could obtain any reasonable agreement and could find any likeable compromise, Joseph really didn't know who he was. His true identity, how he was actually seen in the world, was kept a secret from him.

Joseph lived a very quiet life. He slept alone, awoke in fuzzy fantasies which stretched out from his dreams. The day was loaded with rituals and appetites. The knife edges of give and take rarely penetrated even the outside of the outer armor boundary layers.

Joseph thought about how he cleans everything up, as if he were not there. Everything spent on Joseph, he would pay back,. He would drink little and take only one plate, cleaned after each meal with water that would have flowed anyway. He was a healthy being, demanding nothing of the future. When I say goodbye, Joseph thought. I will not leave a residue, nothing added or taken. All my body products will be returned to the earth. The products of my brain are stored in atoms easily reprogrammed or written on paper which melts in the rain.

 Joseph couldn't speak in the fog. It lubricated space, stuffing space. Voices couldn't vibrate this air. Doorbells couldn't ring. The telephone sat uselessly with all it's gay little red lights un-winking. Joseph felt the containment of his space. He was free but so cold. Freedom was cold, all his pathways were trod in the snow.

Joseph dared to wish for winter to be over. Even though he didn't want to wish away any precious hours. It's just that in the spring he could walk. His vision could stretch itself over human-populated streets and he could hope for sound.

Far away were the warm warrens where voices were breathed, breath intermingled with breath, friendliness continuously tested, results instantaneously fed back, voices made sense or no sense, but the real acts of living and dying took place. Joseph knew the people there. He had been there to see them although he was not one of them for many years.  He couldn't remember when.

They have big cheeks. They want to stuff as many pleasures into the years as their cheeks can hold. They spend hours in the malls and streets laughing, their eyes sitting in that strange dark background that comes from paint and their hair delicate and clean, caught and moved by every breeze. They often keep their mouths open letting everybody see their pure pink tongues. So much fun, they are immersed in funny things and baubles. The groups of friends who know everybody, assume success and never get turned away. Forever, they will buy things that make no sense and sip the manufactured pleasure of seeing everyone notice. They will live forever. They will pack to the brightest avenues forever.

But Joseph knew how he was forever making nightmares out of the grit in the deepest basement bedroom of his heart. Even when he wanted to make fun, the fun he created made nightmares.
Joseph rolled out of bed. His room crowded with books but not books worthy of respect, junk books picked up at crumbled used book stores and thrift bargains from church basements. He rarely read books.

He made his way through corridors of  piles organized around his stuffed chairs. Piles became shrines in powder and cobweb. Joseph remembered the symbollism and made subtle but appropriate genuflections as he passed them.

Then he reached the exit. Joseph wore worn khaki pants and a thin jacket over a dark brown t-shirt. He reached over to a hook on the wall and pulled off a gray padded winter coat, slipped it on, opened the heavy door and went outside. The ground was speckled with dry snow. The wind came in blasts which threw the snow up over his face in waves.

Joseph was a gray man with an unkempt look. No one ever sampled his breath but nobody trusted it. Everyone wondered about his nights. Everyone imagined his bed was tossed and marked with dark bands. But even Joseph, who sleeps alone and eats alone and whose speech is unpracticed, even Joseph, in private, constructed wistful images of love.

Joseph made his way to the nearby Zellers Cafe. He had no friends there but the waitresses were sympathetic. This was about the only social life he needed. A word of recognition coupled with comfort food for an hour satisfied something very basic.

Joseph  was a regular at houses of social prostitution. He found them in many nearby businesses. He could enjoy them not tainted with the nuisance of immorality.  Many people made their living that way. In fact, there was a time, Joseph would admit that he would look for things to photocopy just so he could spend time with the engaging staff at the nearby stationary store.
  
Joseph was relieved when he left home. He needed to get away from the house where he spent so much of his life. The house was haunted by persons who were still living. Alone crouched under the couch, bounced against the damaged doors. Joseph kept heairng the voices of accidents.

He returned to the house just before noon, sat on the chair up against the kitchen table. He cried.

Friday, February 1, 2013

African Violet at Last


Review of Four Stories and Their Poems

 by David Fraser
 

In Four Stories and Their Poems, Don Schaeffer depicts three characters, Jacob, Morely and Moshe, who are searching through the remnants of their lives and their ideas. Jacob in the story, “When Marcie Died”, is attempting to define death. He knows of death, since in a lifetime it has been all around him, but he doesn’t know it in terms of his perception and his identity. Like all of us, once we know death, it’s too late to communicate it to anyone.

There is a sense of loneliness in his characters in each story. Jacob feels the need for people to join together, to be voices together, to have eyes to witness and share together. We see Jacob’s trapped existence, living with cats who are oblivious, who live their own lives in and around him as he goes about the routine of rising, brushing his aging teeth, and taking a daily shower. He is “a strange non-participating man, speaking an odd idiosyncratic language” and as an aged man, he becomes a person without a voice where “the routes to sunshine are cut off because he speaks.”

The poems between the stories thematically enhance the mood and message of each preceding story.

“small and selfish/. . ./I sit and wait/not knowing what to do.”

        “The Creaking”

 

“When you refuse and disagree,/the light of the world/diminishes . . .”   

                         – “Social Media”

 

In the story, “Two Dreams” we find a sense of alienation with the character, Moshe. He is “half visible” shuffling “among creatures with raised eyes and straight determined looks.”  He is a ghost “not speaking up, not saying hello,” and “not knowing how to make his voice call up his visibility.” Moshe “never felt a hero in his own house” because of a career “marred by personal flaws.” He walks among shadows and he, himself is a shadow in a hollow world from which he has withdrawn.

The poems echo the alienation and the coldness of the world around him.

 

“They had dinner in the plastic cafeteria,

fitted to look like Acapulco,

which they would never see”

 

- “Wednesday Night Out”

 

and

 

“He cooperated with less than a whole heart,

half visible because

he couldn’t  take it for granted.

So the world never fully paid him.”

 

-          “Moshe”

 

 

Morely, a character in “The Complete Introvert”, likes to roll his eyes inside himself much to the annoyance of his wife, Jodi. The world he sees is full of tunnels; tunnels connecting buildings, connecting the natural world through its root system, tunnels inside his body, tunnels through his mother’s house, and through the air which are the passageways of escape.

In the poem “Quantum Foam” passageways or tunnels are the archetypal entrance ways and exits for birth and death.

In a sense the musings of Morely, the introvert, touch on metaphoric imagery. With tunnels we can’t help thinking of worm holes through space and time, liminal spaces and thresholds that go beyond the mundane existence of eating supper and doing dishes.

In the final story, “The Inverse Performer”, Moshe Goldberg rents an old theatre for three nights and pays each audience member a hundred dollars to listen, or if not listen, be present so he can affirm his existence with the dramatic presentation of his ideas. There is a fourth wall, that wall that separates the audience from the actor and the play that is not broken in this contrived scenario. The audience is a vague presence in the dark, separated from a mostly darkened stage and separated from the artist who is on the stage philosophizing metaphysically about existence and the great questions of life. The set-up for the three nights is as if quantum theory gets discussed by the right brain and the results are surreal as in a Samuel Beckett play.

Each story stands on its own, but each also layers on the others ii its tone of sadness and alienation, and the poems structurally bind the prose together in their concise glue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Bears in Heckscher Park



Spring Horse

by Ruth Hill
 

 Ruth was raised in upstate New York. She sailed BC for five years, then settled in northern BC. Her writings were selected by The Litchfield Review, Level 4 Press, Ocean Magazine, Hastings International Poetry, Utmost Christian Writers, Lucidity, Georgia Poetry Society's Langston Hughes Award, Tom Howard Poetry, Word Catalyst, MODOC Forum, Senior Poets Laureate, Peace River Anthology, Dancing Poetry, and Arc Poetry. Ruth enjoys email from other writers.

 

I once found a spring,
which I saved, in case
I ever saw a crippled spring horse.

 
I did find a three-legged spring horse,
which I trailered home to fix.

 
I saved a thrown-away mop,
and shaped a new mane and flying tail.

 
I painted its saddle red.

 
Some movers threw it down,
and broke its little plastic leg.

 
On a woodsy walk I found a stump,
and carved it to fit inside the leg.

 
I took the horse off its stand to glue,
and left it outside to dry.

 
Someone saw a horse without a stand,
and threw the horse away.

 
Eventually I gave up finding
a replacement horse.

 
Upon moving to the nursing home,
I found again that little lonely spring.

 
This time its hopefulness eluded me.

 

 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moshe the Invisible

short story by Don Schaeffer
 

 

The kids gathered in Caroline's family living room for snacks. They lolled around on the rug and chairs. The girls challenged the boys to leg wrestling contests. It was chilly out in the late autumn. There were no leaves on the trees. But the room was warm. It was soaked in joy. It was taken for granted. All who were there, Kathy and Neil, Caroline and Nolan and Pete and unrecognized others invited didn't care about the climate.

When David arrived it was an accident. He rang the bell in ignorance. Caroline answered politely, greeting him. She didn't ask for his invitation.

Neil saw David enter and everyone heard him say, “Oh no.” This was the end of their joy. They all felt the cold from the inside of David's half visible body.

David never took it for granted. It was not granted. Not taking it for granted was David’s transgression.

When Moshe awoke from this dream the world around his bed shimmered in late summer moonlight. Ceres was not in the bed. He was in the guest room bed. He came to that awareness. Moshe had mixed feelings about sleeping alone. Maybe those feelings triggered the dream, maybe recollection.

He couldn't remember how he ended up where he was, tabulated into a household unit, counted along with the true residents of New York. He lived then among the creatures with raised eyes and straight determined walks. Then he met Ceres, a woman not a fantasy and lived as the estranged visions washed away in the years. But he was still only half visible because he couldn't take it for granted. He cooperated in the reality of the town and the country and the world but with obvious reluctance. Since he didn't do so with a whole heart, the world never fully paid him.

   Not speaking up, not saying hello, slipping half-seen in and out of shops and down streets, not knowing how to make his voice call up his visibility. He walked among those who chatter, those in fashion, those with noses pointed straight ahead, with human faces so completely recognizable as to declare themselves universal, flesh solid, uniquely real. They all took this for granted. Moshe did so with reservations. The slight hesitation in his mind, in his fingers, although not really articulate-able, was noticed. Moshe was the ghost of the town. Its walls were hollow, not quite owned by him.

It took Moshe ten years of graduate school to earn his Ph.D. He thought it exceptional considering his poor memory for names.

 

Moshe worked as a TSR. Telephone sales representative was his profession. Not what he planned and worked for. Failure was frightening and refreshing as he came down.

At Re-Tel Corporation International selling telephone donations for minor charities that needed that kind of help he was part of a troop of telephone headset wearers, long evening hours bent over a monitor that spit his script out at him as well as bits of history. Selling was frightening, a flow of human voices giving and not giving, under the hot light of chance. Moshe always thought that chance was the language of God. He tried to measure his regeneracy by his sales, a gambler's preoccupation, watching waves of numbers on display, flowing through the hours and minutes, envy and embarrassment.

Moshe sold for half-legitimate mortgage banks, credit card companies, low legitimacy financial schemes, absurd mail order offers with hidden clauses that had to be read quickly. He sold memberships and subscriptions, contract deals. Ten years of pretense fell to earth and ten years of raw labor of the heart.

Legally, the shift had to end by 9. It was completely night and the late autumn had shifted into cold as the would-be, might-have-been Moshe made his way to the glass bus shelter. He did feel like a citizen tonight, one among many. Those in the shelter, slightly hand-me-down and raw, everyday human products shared a metal bench or stood against the glass looking for buses. The wind managed to get under the plate glass and made him shiver. He feared a mild form of fear because of the shadows around him.

Moshe always saw himself as young, the youngest and most helpless in the room, even with his bald head, his graying sideburns and his old man beard. Apparent seniority and sophistication hid him and he rode around in his face and body like rajah in a tent atop an elephant.



 

On Wednesday evening when Moshe had off, while he waited for the fright of his next shift, he and Ceres went to the nearby casino. They had dinner in the plastic cafeteria, fitted to look like Acapulco, which he would never see in reality. They kept their expenses for gambling down to ten dollars. Each of them sat at a 25 cent slot and watched the flow of spinning fruit and diamonds. Here was Moshe’s hall of prayer. The slot machine was his prayer wheel, the word of God suspended in time directly viewable in wins and losses. He saw the hills and valleys of the hidden holy world.

 

                                                    

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tiny Bird

A Du Maurier:

by Tom Prime

This is micro fiction by a poet who has been in here with his distinctive style several times. Warning, he is very sad.






Back on the highway, when I’d hitchhiked with Nicole and October ate the last bits of meat left on the bones of summer, the sky was a smoke grey. The smudge of the sky held nothing but charcoal. It smudged out all the sunlight. The wispy quality of autumn clung to our hair and rosy knuckles. I’d wanted to quit smoking a week earlier, and had tried. I’d thrown a package of Drum rolling tobacco disdainfully into a puddle and in the cold wind where transport trucks clattered with angry pistons and the air smelled of diesel, we had watched as the reddish tobacco stuck out haphazardly like a lost toupee. I hadn’t smoked in a week and the dust and the carcinogens were beginning to expunge themselves in my yellowy spit. Our noses ran on annoyingly like late night television. She seemed to me to be my left arm. I had dreamt the night we’d slept in the semi-trailer of a transport truck that a car had torn off her right arm in a midnight accident, leaking like a slit open pomegranate with beads of blood through red and black plaid. A red middle-class pseudo-sports car pulled up. We got used to these new faces. He was as bored and drained by the fat leech of impending winter as we were. He offered me a smoke and I pretended to acquiesce, in hopes of eluding myself. I lit the cigarette with the push in electric lighter. A Du Maurier, I always thought that they tasted the way urine smells after drinking a Colt 45. I smoked it anyway. It was a sickly dizziness that deadened my face with a cadaverous ghostliness. The smoke like a serpent slipped down my throat into my veins and I felt emptied, nothing mattered then. I thought of Nicole as the smoke rose, then I inhaled.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Paperback Novella



My novella, "Samuel" is now available in paperback.



http://www.publishamerica.net/product49276.html

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Python

Not a Bad Way to Begin a Morning



by Guy Kettlehack

Guy Kettelhack is the author and coauthor of numerous nonfiction books. He's currently an artist and a poet. He lives in New York City.



The thing, we think, to do with puzzles
is to nuzzle them affectionately,
wake them up at dawn while nobody

has anything much on – kiss their little lips
and let them know whatever slips
between you will be reconnoitered with

in privacy. Soon whatever you had
thought the point was to pursue will lose
its primacy and be replaced by something

like a clue – gently, without warning,
stretching its accoutrements, and yawning.
Not a bad way to begin a morning.

What I’d Call a ‘Myself’



by Guy Kettlehack





First Person slips off the shelf.
Keeps missing whatever I’d call a ‘myself.’

Second might do,
through its sneaky ambiguous usage of ‘you.’

‘One’ has a sort of a Jamesian tone,
but it sits rather too much aloofly alone.

Personal pronouns keep missing the bus:
they only report what purports to be ‘us.’

So I tried to look ‘I’ in the eye.
I drew what I saw in the mirror. Oh my.

Something looks back from the page.
Quiet, polite – but in covert outrage.






Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Samuel" a post adolescent novella

























I've enlarged my post adolescent novella, "Samuel." It's in press at Amazon-Kindle. I hope to have it out in paperback shortly.

smile with narrow evil eyes

by Tom Prime
resident post-beat poet



I do feel better- tag the tarred
esoteric goulash- bitter monkey onions

Hero sham there in the tallow candle wax
among the dust
each feathered crocus
onomatopoeia
so many empty hopes in

dreams of large, veiny branches

not positive
or unhappy
just pain painted white

here in the shame belly
a dignified toad eye smile receptacle

against all the natural laws
physics like icicle chains
in eskimo politically correct lobotomy rainbow

- smile with narrow evil eyes

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Child’s First Vision of Death


by Tom Prime


A "short story" 


 


We grew up on an asphalt black mouthed hill with a tongue filled with white people's families. I don’t remember when the forest fell but I imagined it to be once populated with the greatness of violent sacrilegious natives combing its gnarled and blackened earthen stomach. I imagined where we rushed about among the sparse etchings of ravaged limbs, a free world, existing symbiotic with every color of dirt and moss and rainbow through dewdrop. We crafted crude, innocuous idols of death's wizened finger. Bow and arrows and bombs of old paint and gasoline, ours was a world of hidden wars, forts of plywood and wings of cardboard refusing to extol our battle against the clenched fists of science with flight- the arching womb of innocence. A long plastic intestinal drainage pipe ran down our muscular eye of reality into the earth beneath the suburbs, dense with the power and authority of a world separate from our own. Curry smelling immigrants separate, disconnected, impossible to understand but forgotten quickly with parental cautionary reproof- the dangerous world of escaping adversity. The run off of British Columbian grey skies seeped like long strands of dirty black and greasy hair down the monumental adolescent hill- half a kilometer. My brother and I lacking maturity and physical understanding looked down the black snake mouth and thought as thin and wispy and as careless as the shifting winds. Climbing into the coiling rubber walls among the sludge and evaporating rainwater we looked into the great eye of death and turned away.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Watching the Dog



I kinda got killed by a dragon

by Tom Prime

Tom has appeared here before. He is a latter day beat poet, brimming with energy, searching for regeneracy, self-defense, and self-destruction. This is one of his shorter works.




Don't you bleed ever so quietly? Much to my
dismay I kinda got killed by a dragon. It is as
much a confusing dismal world as round faced
sponge colored toads- I swallowed and fire extinguisher
eyes released hot steam sauna rock water. I tadpoled
in missionary mourning- glued into gelatin bodies- hear
the kerosene stove hissing like a misanthropic raccoon
in heat of rusty tear nail drops.


I kinda got killed by a dragon-

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Girl at Picnic Table



Captive Monkeys

by Lee Crowell

The poet drove a commuter bus between NJ and NYC for 14 years. In 1991 he shifted into a corporate sales career in communications. In 2002 Lee opened a small restaurant, Dale's Cafe, (named after my wife) in Bartonsville PA in the Poconos. He has been married to Dale Ann (Derby) since 1983. They have seven children. His eighth grandchild is due February, 2012.



Captive monkeys jack off in daylight,
indifferent to anyone watching.
Captive monkeys toss feces out of boredom.
They give furry-faced stares,
mirrors of our predicaments
jaded from jungle undelivered.

Some captive monkeys have imagination.
They sit their bald asses on platforms.
With keypads, remotes and dexterity
they simulate wildness into their zoological digs.
They elevate the playing with shit into a game of war.
The act of jacking off becomes an art of ritual.

We sense a new fierceness in their eyes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

The man lying next to my bed

by Arunansu Banerjee

Arunansu Banerjee, from Kolkata, West Bengal, India, has been writing poetry only a few years. His work appeared on web forums such as Here & Now, Kritya and The Peregrine Muse. He is a teacher by profession, with a degree in physics and a specialty in softwares. His primary love is listening to Indian Classical music. Favorite poets include Charles Bukowski, John Keats, Rabindranath Tagore, E.E.Cummings, Li Po, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda and Matsuo Basho.


He's obese, double-chinned, middle-aged.
He can mumble a few words as and when
his memory allows him. Met with a mishap
in some early spring in the altitudes of Himalayas,
and lost his locomotion. Days are only numbers now,
so are the nights. He lies composed in a hospital bed
next to mine.

Each day his wife visits him, a frail woman
with a morbid face, and begs him to utter her name.
He observes her in silence. Maybe

all he remembers are the pines and rhododendrons,
the wildflowers and the dictionary of birds in the lap
of ancient moss-ridden rocks.

He takes scarce notice of me, with his eyes glued
to the ceiling fan. Gulps down food, water, medicines
when told. Sleeps when told.

I watch a physiotherapist folding his arms, limbs.
Up and down. Up and down. Then sideways-
left to right, right to left. The man struggles hard

to stir up the patient, to somehow impart a rhythm
to his stiffened existence. The patient mutters at times
the names of places of an earlier world

where morning fog gives way to the splendor
of icy peaks

but then he shudders
as leaves do
amid the shivering tone of autumn wind.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Poison Berries



In answer to Maurice Sendak commentary

by Alex Nodopaka




Conceived in Kiev, Ukraine, Alex Nodopaka first exhibited in Russia then finger-painted in Austria, studied tongue-in-cheek at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Casablanca, Morocco.

Alex says, "Presently I am a full time artist, writer and art critic wishfully wishing to act in a Sundance movie."



that his walking stick is used to hit people
and that publishing is vulgar and cheap
and that he has nothing to be happy about

and that the whole world stinks
and that the lack of culture is depressing
and that he is looking forward to dying

I'm elated to inform you that I'm very happy
to have contributed only intellectual junk to society.
I've been an engineer and an artist of every type

for all of my life. I'm proud to report that seeing
the consumer population go through
withdrawal symptoms has me laughing sardonically

They never should've encouraged me
with gold and silver and bestow upon me

august laurels to celebrate my junking up their world

.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yellow Leaf




Costermonger

by Robert Florey


Robert says, Robert Florey isn't my real name. Mine is difficult, and clunky. Robert Florey was a more-or-less hack director.
I've mostly been a cardiopulmonary tech, in Los Angeles, but now, as you can see, I'm located in Washington State, and I'm semi-retired.
I think you can find my birthday, March 7th 1945.
I am Robert Florey. I live in Washington State, in the United States.It has a total population of around six million Homo Sapiens.I am one in six million.
I do not write poetry. I write 'pieces', or 'works', or 'pieces of junk poetry'.
It isn't because I'm lowering myself to a bunch of unsophisticated country folk who could not separate a tryptich from a triole from a trochee.
It is because, sadly, I find I cannot write poetry to save my life.
But I hope to entertain here and there.
And I can critique better than I can poetize.
I can at least point out points of difficulty. If they're difficult for me, they're bound to be difficult for others.
I know the rules of the road, I've studied more theories of poetry than I can count.
I tend towards Ezra Pound's ideas on the subject, they make sense to me as an argument, but I've also noticed that the best of the poets generally follow his advice pretty closely.
In my opinion, art is mostly a matter of taste. One cannot write a perfect poem:that is, one that delivers something important or entertaining to every person whoreads or hears it.
One is always writing for a limited audience.
I think that all critique that actually says something, that isn't pap, like,'oh, I liked the third line in the second stanza' or something equally uninformative,is valuable to the author, because it will point out where the author mightinclude more people than she/he has actually done.





Costermonger thou art;
a potato is to thine own self
something to tutor with,
to take to the shake-down
and rantipole, as with a wife, methinks.

The good Lord hath made thee thus,
and the good Lord hast tried thee
and found thee as thick as grass,
eek as a rick of hay,
He is satisfied with his wittles,
be they as they may;
and if perchance, costermonger
you may delay
now and again
with some drab, some Sal upon the canal,
still a good Lord can thole a whitlow
upon one or t'other hand;
not so severe is the sin, to blow
away the chance of a dream in Heaven.

Be then what thou art, costermonger,
and fear not to depart.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Letter to Myself at Age 5

by Daniel J. Flore III


Daniel J. Flore III has volunteered to teach poetry as a rehabilitation tool for people suffering from various forms of mental illness. He was awarded the Florence Kerrigan Memorial Scholarship to the 2009 Philadelphia Writers Conference. He resides in Pennsylvania with his fiamce.





you come to me in my sleep
penetrating the heavy curtain I try to lift during the day
you wiggle your way through my swampy eyes

your tan is an ocean
and sometimes all the earth sinks in it
especially my white stone feet
I watch them submerged in your depths
where there is no sound but your giggle
it is a dragonfly
and its hum is a riddle that I'm the answer to

its at this realization
that I make you leave
to go back to the sun
and the mystery of your wings

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Picture in Picture: My Son's Cell Phone Masterpiece




















My son, Marc sent me this I-Phone photo of my granddaughter Hannah's reaction to my portrait of her and her sister, Alex. I think it's a masterpiece. I hope no one objects to my posting it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Daylilly


The Garment

by Fred Longworth

Fred Longworth restores vintage audio components for a living. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including California Quarterly, Comstock Review, Pearl, Rattapallax, Spillway, and Stirring.



The shirt everyone adored
when you slipped it on
finally fell into disrepair, collar ragged
as an elder's voice, pockets torn
like the prospects of the disillusioned.

Still, you kept on showing it off,
even as admirers turned to other darlings,
and shadows that used to part for you
hardened into impenetrable walls.

When I saw you last, rats scampered
at your heels, and moths fluttered
around your head. As for the shirt,
ligatures of vanity dangled like cobwebs.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The South Window

on the death of a dog

by Dunstan Attard


Dunstan Attard was born in 1953 on the Mediterranean island of Malta where he still lives. The significant influence on his life was his father who struggled to come to term with his detachment from his agricultural and deeply religious comminty in Gozo to live in the ambitious environment of a Maltese town. Attard's fascination with island life wrapped in steep history today energises his concept of being. Attard, who's first language is Maltese shares his emotions using the English language which is his second language. He rarely makes an effort to communicate with his reader as his poetry is very often a series of words that surface through his emotions at the time of writing.



dogs die
in bundles of echoes
that come from perfumes
of childhood roses
oozing
the resigned flesh
of silver moons

then comes the resolution
not to adopt another dog,
for too great is the pain
of the passing away

then eerie emptiness
creeps
into cracks of water
spreading the alphabets
with tears
that taste of mint

i call on the old landscape
and gaze on the stillness
of empty stables

by now
the horses have become butterflies,
i empty ships

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ten AM

by Don Schaeffer


Coping is fun
I think as I lounge
in late Spring

while the kitchen
is slowly reborn
and I have made tea

on a slow grill outburner.
We are in a bubble
of Summer.

The insects are kind
I have never heard
so many birds.

One of them is singing,
"we need ya-we need ya-
we need."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

When we imagine Jacob wrestling with the Angel
























by Guy Kettlehack

Guy appears in a previous piece.



We imagine that the Angel was immensely strong.
What if we are wrong?
What if he was feeble, soft, ethereal –
apt, perhaps, for Paradise, but not at all

equipped for this pragmatic and incarnate world?
What if how the episode unfurled
required Jacob to change strategy
from grapple to caress: so that, as he

lay hands on that mild evanescent flesh,
he quickly comprehended that his task – a fresh
enlightenment suffusing him, below, above –
must change from causing pain to making love?

Friday, April 15, 2011

by Don Schaeffer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The thing that doesn’t want to be

by Guy Kettlehack


Guy says, "I'm not entirely sure why I'm on this site -- someone must have suggested it -- and I'm happy, I suppose, to be 'linkable' in some way or other, but my more conventionally marketable skills are not what I'm pursuing now: I no longer write nonfiction 'self-help' prose (which is I guess would be the category of most of my published books) nor do I book-doctor or edit or consult publishing-wise (which I'd done for many years): I am now that strange useless if happy pariah, a poet -- who's recently added art (to which I've returned after many years) in the form of illustrations for my poems: and playing the violin with some regularity & I hope to some pleasing effect. So I'm not looking for 'work' -- although am always open to peculiar and interesting suggestions for -- ha: well, that's where you may come in. Anyway, I'm here in one form or another. Do with me what you will. "

























The thing that doesn’t want to be
is stuck here for what feels, to it, like an eternity –
which guarantees, of course, it’s not:

but rather merely lots and lots of undesired time.
It’s locked into its vast inarguable premise
that it didn’t ask for this. It is devoid of fear –

which might at least have lent it focus.
One might suppose that its inertia
would result in some repose, but no rest nourishes:

indeed, not one thing flourishes –
not even hatred, fury or psychosis. Sometimes
it daydreams (since it never sleeps)

that some thrombosis might deliver it
from having to exist: but it creeps through
another eon and persists. Its blood runs ruthlessly.

It seems to know that once you’ve come,
you cannot go. At least not for a trillion trillion
trillion trillion trillion trillion years* or so.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Visit to the Dead

by Kathleen Vibbert

Kathleen Vibbert (Cass) is retired, studies all forms of poetry, manages low vision, and enjoys traveling and her granddaughter. She was recently a finalist in the Palettes & Quills Chapbook contest judged by Dorianne Laux, was also included in Muscaldine Lines Anthology, OVS and Women Celebrating Women Anthology.


He arrives at her grave daily,
with a vase shaped like eggplant,
blue iris open and lightheaded.
He stands still in the sun,
as if to warm her again,
kneels by her iron bed,
clears dandelion and mud
from the crevice of her name.

His eyes are hard kernals deeply set and dry,
he begins the conversation,
Your peonies have changed from pink
to white this year
the screen door lost its wings
to a summer storm
I miss your flute, it rests
in the case by the armoire
Sis and Johnny have invited me to Memphis;
I believe I’ll go.
Tonight, I’ll pour a spice rum ,
grab my leather jacket, fleece scarf,
we’ll finish this on back porch.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunbeam Kids

by Ruth Hill




Ruth Hill was born and educated in upstate New York. She has traveled North America extensively, including two years in Alaska, and five years sailing in BC. She is now a Certified Design Engineer. Over 70 of her first year works have been selected for publication.




Is memory Heaven, then,
where the things we love are stored
like toys in an attic?
Is that where we get to live
when this world is over?
Up in the sunbeam on the worn planks?
We’d better store things up, then,
to play with for eternity.
Is that where our friends are waiting?
…and where we’ll wait for friends?
…to come up and join us,
and play again?
Are regrets, then, the basement dungeon?
…with rat poison and traps, damp and dark,
with electrical shorts and coal dust,
…is that where the druggies hang out,
where the bad kids go?
…to pretend they’re having a good time,
having shut themselves off from the attic,
when it was no longer good enough for them,
or boring,
or they stopped loving us?
Did they just feel left out?
Misunderstood?
Could we have made it better for them?
Dare we ask?
…and risk our safety on their broken stairs?
I’m afraid of them.
I want to climb to comfort,
lock the attic door.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free E-Book


----------------------------
http://www.celaine.com/books/DonSchaeffer/Banzai.pdf

Friday, September 24, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Egret

Morning After With Pancakes

by Dan Bierce

Dan is an internet poet who lives in Kimberly, Idaho





"I love pancakes." I said.

"I love pancakes, too." She said.

"Please pass the syrup." I said.

"Here ya go." She said as she handed me the bottle.

"I need butter first." I said.

"Yes, melt the butter on the pancakes first." She said.

"I need a fork." I said.

"Oh, yeah, you do." She said.

She got up out of her seat,
went to the kitchen,
and returned with a fork.

I began eating the pancakes. The butter
had melted superbly, the syrup
pooled sweetly, and my gut
got full, and the sun was out
and shining through the window
onto our breakfasts as though
the 4th of July, Christmas,
and all the birthdays on Earth
filled our plates at the same time
and we were eating them
as one and they were
perfect.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walking with a cow calf pair

by Ruth Hill

Ruth Hill was born and educated in upstate New York.
She has traveled North America extensively,
including two years exploring Alaska and
five years sailing BC. She is now a Certified
Design Engineer in northern British Columbia.
Over 60 of her first year works have been
published. Some of her poems have been archived
in Word Catalyst. Ruth enjoys email.






When I dreamed, I dreamed a poem that came out all as one word like a rope or a DNA strand or fiber optics with no word breaks or line breaks or punctuation. First I started to write it out on paper but the paper was not wide enough, so I made a scroll and wrote it all out in Hebrew, backward, but that was not enough because it still had words, so I went back to hieroglyphics and Phoenician, then Sanskrit and papyrus, then Chinese paper and silk worm webs and golden threads and even further back. You were just walking quietly through the woods with your crook and your crooked smile behind a newborn calf and its mother, and the motion of your body walking and cow lumbering and baby wobbling and coyote bobbing and raven dipping was the language and it sounded so good. Not even a zephyr zithered old leaves in the stubble. You were humming and I was humming and I felt the humming inside me. The cheeky creek was showing the sky what it could be, bouncing its image back to itself all sparkly and dancing. The sky answers, showing the creek how it draws moisture from thin air, spills on the hills. There was a holy place where they became one. It was whole and I was whole. It took sixty years to get to this beauty and I realized it had to sustain me another forty years. This is the dream.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Forgotten People: A Novella

By Tom Prime

Tom's work has appeared before in this blog.




I ate pine needles with her and fell in love with her. One of those momentary glimpses at something seemingly beautiful but absorbed and sure of everything she did and thus ugly behind closed doors. It was sad really but she Loved me too and thus we left into the night separate ways different roads arrived back together I believe the next day and thus began the long arduous and mildly annoying journey through the awkward hell of the pseudo transformative rebirth of my mind induced by lies. She loved me and I Loved her and so I saw her the next day as she had telephoned me and we went for a long strange blur of a hippie forest walk convalescing my battered ego with her silent charm. The beautiful but stupid pretensions of the early existence of the pre birth into reality imposed nothing but the warm glow of new love upon my stupid druggie eyes that emanated softly like the static from television screen in the distance through a window somewhere. She played Suzanne on the guitar I always loved that song but now I find it very boring like Imagine. We traveled from the forest to my house and sat down on my newly renovated front porch and wrote poetry with the other two. At that time the other two seemed like excess baggage like they were distant relatives at some family reunion and we were somehow “Meant to Be” as they say after acid. Anyhow down we went through the day I lay upon the ground trying to show off my eccentricity. You see with normal people it’s all about muscles but for us it was all about weird, so I would often times dramatically lay on the ground in the middle of the street staring up into space just so she could see me do the sketchy hippie pseudo genius act. She was as well a pseudo genius, very much self absorbed and thus convinced me after not much pressure to tag along with the rag tag gang of hippies to “forage” in the forest; walking down through the bruce trail. Before we left, we ate dinner with my parents and she very sure of herself spoke about her commune that wasn’t in fact a cult that she lived at, she explained it was a good place as though all of us normal people just didn’t understand. I am sure we didn’t understand because we just weren’t stoned enough to get it. The talk lasted some time as I picked away at my salad being a vegetarian because I could tell everyone I was a vegetarian and my dad stared off disdainfully but with a quiet dignity as the stoned grouping continued on condescendingly talking about how we all had the right answers and they didn’t. The conversation ended with very little fanfare after a few beers and I don’t believe I recall hearing anything from anyone aside from her. She was the intellectual spiritual enlightened guru that everyone didn’t think was a guru. But she was okay I was much worse in my secret way. I carried on with her that way and that night I don’t know where she went but somewhere back to the outskirts of Fergus to her friends house and then in the morning she had agreed to pick me up, as in knock on my door. I brought my newly purchased mandolin that I had no idea how to play and made my way across the country in poverties ugly style. I had never been poor before so this was the first time for nothing everywhere else I’d had everything was used to ignoring the bums throw them a dime. Now it was my turn to be wrenched through the black hole of oblivion to find myself nowhere with nothing desperate drugged out and poor because she thought it was a great idea to be homeless seeing as she was rich. I guess I harbor that resentment towards her but really it was my own choice, she was just the freak I needed to stumble away from reality in the pathetic downward tunnel of denial that I did and boy did I fall. I fell like a diamond ring down a shower drain. The diamond was plastic. Up in the morning we went off through the streets up the asphalt heat of the summer and my dad and mom seemed to wonder what had happened to me. I had just finished my first year of college and was now at the point of being homeless, it seemed odd to them but they let it go on. We walked up through the long streets that asphalt laden slept and I wore nothing but a torn t shirt through the pale blue sky that never rained and I played the mandolin for the first time and she said you’re good at that and thus I began my obsession with playing stringed instruments which thankfully has never died and has created a lot of my most interesting art. We walked then up the street stoned, nothing mattered and down the bruce trail leaving Fergus and picked at carrots on the ground. They didn’t look like the big orange stakes I saw at the super market, more like spindly brown sticks then anything and then we picked mushrooms, later throwing them away worrying they’d make us sick but that didn’t stop us from walking and we walked like stoned hippie bliss zombies with heads of poetry and green grass. The clouds were pillows of thoughts dispersing from our hearts and we walked out by the speeding streets where the cars wept by in their bored longing and rolled our weed. It was my idea to collect escargot so we spent the next few hours collecting snails but our emotional attachment for the poor little things ended our desire to eat them and left us chewing for hours on spindly “carrots”. I was afraid to poo outside because I thought everyone was looking at me, so I waited till we’d pass a town or someone’s farm. By the way we walked we were goin so slow we’d never get nowhere and the paths we took were the same but I recall the day we left standing by the emus in the field playing a song about strawberries and really for the first time in my life feeling free just for a moment; but a moment was enough to sketch me out for a long time. The walk wasn’t really burdensome for me, I recall the one fellow climbed a great tree like a monkey and bounced up and down his feet like branches attached to the veins of the earth heart. He just stood there way up there balancing seemingly on nothing looking at us all writing poetry and I knew he was stronger then me. I was just a pathetic crowd pleaser he did what he did because he could. Poor guy I feel sorry for him now, I was always goin for his woman o well life goes on and people change. I lost all interest in her eventually but the stories good so might as well tell it. We walked down the pebbled dust by the fields of green and took off our shoes for the minnows to swim at our feet. He always thought of catching the minnows but I was a vegetarian; strictly opposed. We read from this book about this crazy woman who walked all across the continent of America and apparently changed peoples lives sleeping in grass heaps and farm lofts. She got pretty old and wrote a book about it, her name was the peace pilgrim I guess ya can’t knock her for trying. We would each read a chapter as though it were the bible and on and on. Finally our faces were red sun burnt and they’d tried eating ants in the morning so me and her got some peanut butter and chocolate thing and the others were hardcore they decided to continue to forage in lack of knowledge. I guess it’s something to tell people, I walked down the bruce trail and foraged. Well I can say I walked down the bruce trail and foraged and ate blueberry pie peanut butter and chocolate while smoking purchased tobacco. I guess that’s still pretty out there but nonetheless it’s not much. I sat there with the two pseudo woman and wrote poetry and stared vacantly into the pale blue july sky. I was quite infatuated with the one woman as we walked down the path I remembered seeming to think that her statement in the tent to me “I have a good feeling about this” was quite significant. Our feet became embedded with pebbles and we’d have to pick them out of the space between our toes, it was quite strange feeling but interesting. We walked with a laissex faire soothing way smoking marijuana and eating queen annes lace with apple cider vinegar. It was nice as we had found a picnic bench to sit at and stare loveingly into each others eyes the beginning of first Love was strange for me I never really believed I could actually Love anyone before her but I was stuck she kind of just unstuck me and stuck me somewhere new. We walked up later in the night in the town to the door of quite a massive mansion with at least a hundred acres of well kept grass and knocked on the door, the woman I recall saying “looked like a vampire” as she approached the door and we asked her if we could stay in our tent upon her grassy landscape; the disdainful scowl and a resounding no led us back to the bruce trail walking down into the trees and bushes we set up our tent upon huge amounts of weeds and lay there with sticks shoved into our backs while dogs barked in the distance. We thought there might be bears but it seemed unlikely and the morning came surprisingly without any fear. Off we went then through the sandy pebble trail our feet like well carved diamonds cut by the laser of sunlight and pebble. There really wasn’t much to the trail until later, just farms and people walking dogs but we kept along walking stoned as usual to nowhere it seemed but blissfully. If I could describe everything in full detail it would span the pages of a lifetime and dissipate like steam from a boiled pot of water. The usual increase of temperature around that time melted me and I walked to a farm and knocked on the door, asked to use the washroom, there was no door on the washroom and a dog kept bugging me. It seemed no relief for me, but the walk was lovely and somehow we found a hilly rock foundation that we climbed up to the top of meeting some people with marijuana stronger much stronger then before and the blast of it as they talked about poetry in a detached farm hick kinda way left me in a daze as I detached from reality and began walking away climbing up the side of the hill and suddenly it was a psychotic breakdown there was a raven hanging upside down through the bright orange haze of hallucination a black ether shrouding the colour bursts and the scratch and pull at my mind as my first real mental breakdown occurred. Out the back of my mind it seemed there was television static and the curse of my past that intoxicated me with self hate in the writhing rabid mind I became a carny freak as the world descended into darkness a carnival of strange hallucinations pulsated like light orbs around me and I wanted to die I wanted to walk off the side of that cliff and kill myself. So I tried to slip away after singing Jesus don’t want me for a Sunbeam in low-tones with the other girl and her following me all of them trying to tell me I meant something, I mattered. It’s strange now to think of the illusion of those people chiding me on to “better” myself now that I have become alienated completely from that life, by my own choosing. It seemed at that time they really loved me, they really cared about me, but now I find no feeling for them in my heart, as though it is a refrigerator of freezer burnt ice cream that’s lost its taste. We awoke in the morning and I began to cry that heavy dirty kind of sadness that collapsed my heart and then the long miserable walk with mandolin in hand through the rain soaked mud pot holed streets. We walked down and out through the streets while the other guy asked for a cigarette from a car passing by, we very much reproached him for that matter but later in my life that became my only sustenance aside from the always supportive mother that I have. The walking was never tiresome and by the time we had found the path again we had bought a huge tub of ice cream and eaten it in a rush, getting so hyperactive and both of us screaming “schizo schizo song” at the top of our lungs through the street as the glasses I wore became a nuisance standing in the way of me seeing auras, as she explained with that omniscient fallacy. We were a wonderful pair of fakes going on about nothing. Glasses were what halted the eyes from seeing the spirit and the aura and all that, huh. Anyway the walk continued onwards through the bland streets to the path where we walked, after a moment of separation and the path took us for awhile down through winding lakes knocked on doors for water and the simplicity of the life astounded me as though it were my new answer. We finally reached this strange paradise I don’t know how but suddenly we were beside a river that flowed like tears from the eyes of the earth and I got stuck by stinging nettles but the stinging underneath water felt wonderful and then we lay upon the grass rubbing each others legs I loved her for her hairy legs then and lady bugs landed upon my jeans and we sang a song to the ladybug and everything seemed perfect as I called every flower a sunflower and picked her a daisy. Thus we walked up a little hill smoked some pot and I sang a little song; my first time really singing alone with a mandolin about this wispy tree that was floating it’s branches singing like a cloud sings with the wind to my song. And me and the other girl danced about to the other guy playing guitar as the other girl found a tobacco leaf that we later burnt as some strange sacrifice. Then as night came the “wooters” as we called them appeared upon the mansion across the canyon that had a tv the size of a regular cinemas blasting queen out through the solace and screaming and laughing in a drunken madness as they partied through the night wooting as they went; the woman sang songs about leaving her town I felt a similar nostalgic longing for the old place in the wilderness of lightless shadow as the stars were bright and wax melted upon my pants as I cried while reading poetry but said goodbye, as backup vocalist. There was some strange beast in the wilderness grunting and groaning like a wild boar it must have been and we screamed at it till it left and then we slept the kind of sleep you have a few times in your life in those rare moments when everything makes sense for a moment but then dies like sadness. We awoke and she in her sleeping bag looked like some butterfly appearing from a cocoon for the first time rolling around as if fighting to escape the silent confines of the cheap plastic sleeping bag. We got up and walked into town bought cigarettes for her friend and a blueberry pie then walked back up into the solace of wheat blades that swayed and sang a song for a suicide while ringing a bell Tooker killed himself in the wilderness they say though they never found his body. We walked away from that perfect place and wound up in a little town after a night by the side of the trail. After an expensive coffee in a classy town and rejection at the liquor store the other guy offered people real sunflowers to the cars leisurely driving by. I called my mom from a phone booth after this insanity bliss and explained my decision to travel with nothing, following an half mad rich hippie who acted omniscient. That was the beginning of a long and eventually horrible journey through homelessness and ultimately drug destruction. It all seemed so perfect and beautiful at the time though, such a beautiful escape from the harsh reality of my true problems. It’s disgusting really but that’s past now. We all loved each other like a strange quad person as though we were one and walked down the trail buying up some balloons and inhaling the fumes to the song of guitars so bizarre. The traveling was wonderful but the horrible reality that it would end became impending as she spoke of her desire to see her cats again, then we walked into our final town after that lovely journey and put our bags in the tree line and walked further into the town of Caloden and there we found a grocery store bought avocados, peanut butter, and cheese and decided after a meal to hitch hike to Toronto to see some of her friends. I had never really been to the Kensington area, but soon it became my hang out. The first time I ever hitchhiked I hitchhiked with the other girl and as the truck pulled over we decided to separate her with the other guy, me with the other girl. Once we got picked up and nothing weird happened I realized that this was the ultimate opportunity to travel anywhere, we were stoned for the reality of danger was not obvious it was veiled in smoke. By the time we reached the city we met the others at the other side of the eatons center waiting with their bags and I tried to rub the other girls back but she said it made me feel like I was a down syndrome kid she knew. That was rather humiliating but now I think it is mildly hilarious. We all got together and traveled down to Kensington market to get totally smashed on red wine with her friend Andrew who was rather obviously gay. Thus appeared my gapingly awful side for the first time totally hammered rambling about something and then she threatened to leave me and I felt miserable. We were leaning against the side of the house outside smoking cigarettes hammered and she told me she didn’t want to be with me anymore, what misery. That night we went to bed together and in the morning well I went a bit far with the hands before she awoke and thus a quick slap and then she called me rather humiliatingly a dirty old man. Which I had gotten many times before. The prospect of her leaving me led me madly outside into the park with my heart torn apart and my mini disc player playing some emo song and she chased after me in my hung over state to dissuade me from misery and then it was good again and we were off to see her uncle. Her uncle was decent the first thing he offered us as we walked up in this paradise like state was strawberries; it all seemed to fit together with our strawberry song at the beginning of the journey. We had previously when still in the town of Fergus not left yet talked about politics and I explained I had voted for the Christian Heritage party because it was funny even though they were racist. They all seemed appalled but I really believed it was funny, still do kinda. I explained to them they’d never win anyway so it’s just funny, no-one thought it was funny except her uncle and he laughed very uproariously as we walked on Toronto Island in the beauty of the night where fireworks sparked light across the sky in colours strange and unnatural and we smoked marijuana by far the strongest and stood making arm motions in the distance; apparently horrifying the other girl. I just want them too be nameless because the story is more important. She talked about being a nudist and that in itself seemed horribly shocking as I was a prude college student recently turned hippie. The whole concept horrified me but later I became overly nudist acting very obscenely on acid. I recall when she had first come over to my house she was looking at this Captain Beefheart cd I had and saying how excellent it was and later telling me after looking at the sgt. Peppers lonely hearts club band that she wanted to do acid, this inspired me to take hundreds of hits of acid and forever damage my brain, but really how was she to know that I was this extremely sensitive mind when it came to influence. Back to the story, so we looked at the water reflect the horrible city light like a neon nightmare and became free again for a moment the waves like dreams all surrounding in mellifluous shadow covering the pain in softness, forgotten misery placated by first love. It was easy then to be free, but it passed away very quickly, an illusion. It was Canada day and we went out for dinner before the joint and ate expensive vegetarian cuisine while I played the piano and life passed away, in my heart I had already lost her. So we traveled back on ferry into the city and she tore pieces of cardboard apart to feed the tree apparently, that was sweet, though absurd to think it would do anything, but she explained with her omniscient tone that that was so. It was funny though. We were really stoned and the city seemed like a carnivore bent upon devouring our souls as she tried to feed every tree in the city in some desperate delusion. It was insane. The walk back to her friends place made me recall on the island after eating strawberries going down by the beach where the cotton seeds fell from the trees like snow in the summer sway and I wrote the heart symbol in sand and it was washed away and she stared out at the leaves shadow through the lake while I worshipped her like some false god. The whole thing was insane, I was pathetic and she was the most insane egotistical person I had ever met in my life, but still a kind hearted person. They threatened to get nude, the other guy had already done that once and that scared me to oblivion because I was afraid of my nakedness and have regained that fear finally. But no-one tore off their clothes, swimming this time and the asphalt burnt my toes. We had to go back where we had begun before to the guys house and then in the morning we took a taxi costing the rich crazy girl 200$ to her uncles place. The place was strange and she had explained her uncle would follow you out with a shotgun if he didn’t know you. That man was funny; apparently the crazy girl looked at architecture with him and talked about various plants for long periods of time. The whole thing seems unbelievable. We pulled into his garden home and thus began the loss of the illusory innocence of before and the descent into madness that conquered my soul. I have always been crazy but this hardly helped me any. Anyways we arrived after holding hands for the 2 and a half hour taxi ride and pulled into the luscious landscape of her uncle and aunts friendly abode. When we first arrived there I didn’t know what to do or say so I sort of froze up instead of doing anything. They all carried on, as they knew each other without awkwardness but I hung in the background effaced in shadow waiting for another joint. The joint we smoked in the meditation room as they called it, a small shack in the middle of their strange farmyardesque place. In the shack was a carpet and a window to stare through out at life at. I lay there when in the distance I could hear the forgotten lonely girl play guitar and I thought it was a piano, it sounded melodious like a river of bell like bubbling. She was so distant from me then, I never knew her until later when my love for her became somewhat destructive to her heart because I puffed up with pride was an easy betrayer. The day went on it was a long kind of day after arriving the sun still lay across it’s wide open farm-scape lingering with pink orange blur as night descended and the girl I Loved called me out before that to the side of the garden before the sun fell and asked me to weed with her as I sang sex and candy by marcy playground and she explained that the flowers were receptive to being sung too, that they appreciated it. I had never thought of flowers as being listeners but I was stoned enough to believe whatever she said. The days all seem to blur, I cannot disconnect them they are glued by the fabric of marijuana smoke dazed and unconcerned with each other. She was strange as usual and we slept in separate beds the first night as I lay there unperturbed by existence as though every horrible thing I’d ever done was a lie made up behind the subconscious disturbed inebriated eye. The whole place seemed green, dark green like leaves from the rain forest filled with dew every morsel of their home seemed to evaporate away in the cloud of my dreams as the next day Joni Mitchell played in the wooden walls absorbing the sound and the pine creak of the floor boards seemed to breathe life. The place was a strange mix of reality and my own misunderstanding of reality, it had become the nexus for the void of my ego and each breath of that house formed into a color collapsing like the sun-setting sky into night. The next morning I awoke and life briskly appeared before me once more misunderstood just as before and I walked down the set of stairs back out to do some weeding. I walked in alone to the teary mourning of Joni Mitchell pouring through the ecstatic fuzz of electricity on record as she was crying upstairs. I, confused wondered why but it was because of our sexual appetite she felt used and disappointed in her existence and she lay there crying like an old horse lays down in its own manure waiting to die. I felt ashamed of myself as she blamed the entire thing on me and I ran outside in miserable tears and cried in the night filled with stars that echoed a billion light years from my heart that everything passing had already passed for them that everything I was would pass like the light from gaseous bulbs of the flower of the sky. Stars filled to the brim with inescapable reality, a living breathing memory of light. Have every star we see died or moved on like me? A cat came to the comfort of me and rubbed its body against mine as I cried a deep sorrowful lonely and pathetic cry, the cry of one who had died in every way but physically as a child, the cry of the most hopeless and vacant soul lost to the oblivion of his own disgusting failures, sick as a rabid dog who could no longer stop itself from destroying itself. It was really rather strangely beautiful, feeling that miserable and having her up there, mirroring my hideousness like medusa saw medusa. We loved each other though. It’s snowing out right now like wise old words that bite you in the butt and wake you up to turn yourself away from wickedness. I went to bed alone again, but in the morning she came into my room and lay upside down opposite me and kissed me upside down. We lay there and then arose to greet the day. The days seemed to pass like this, very much disappearing before they had begun. That day after some time apart she met me in the barn with the hole in the roof and talked to me about something I don’t know what and told me she’d be camping out with the other guy that night. This sparked a seed of deep jealousy but I hid it incredibly well. I was very good at hiding my heart. That night I talked to her aunt about her and her aunt told me that once she’d gone mad and had decided to leave in the middle of night into the ether and her aunt spent the whole night worrying about her as she had just vanished from existence and before long she went about looking for her and as she approached the end of her patience she walked down to that very barn to find her sleeping like a lamb in the hay. I always thought that was a beautiful story. The “omniscient” woman once told me about walking in the dead of winter many miles, she said she just wanted to walk away from everything; her face became covered in snot, so much so that she had to blow her snot all over the snow. The amount of snot seemed unbelievable in her description but kind of strange in its forgotten quality. As though the memory just had to be expressed. The morning came and I recall climbing up to that room again with her and she had an old elephant tranquillizer and stared at it for a long time, wondering to take it or not, she said it would knock you out for three days, later in my life I would’ve popped it at the drop of the hat but at this time I was still fairly innocent to drug use and the desire escaped me. She eventually after a long enough time, threw it away and then showed me some old pictures of her ex named steve who looked very strange with a big black coat; she said he was a schizophrenic and she felt as though she had to mother him. She said when they broke up they went all the way to BC together and when they got there they agreed to break up completely and then another unnecessary promiscuity. She said they would sit in the basement smoking marijuana constantly and doing nothing else and the way she described seeing him in the mental hospital drooling like a down syndrome patient sounded so oddly poetic I can’t remember if I cried but I felt something in the blood of my heart that pumped sadness like denial from my ego into love. The horrid pain of our love intertwining like snakes in denial pretending to be angels shifted our moods into self-defeating agony. We never belonged together; it was a horrible lie that pained me for years. It ruined me. After all her pictures and nostalgia we went to sleep for the last time there. I recall the night before last I was sick and I turned on a beautiful Opera, I have forgotten the name of and she came over and rubbed my back while I cried. O this was a miserable time. The next morning I got up and went for a long walk while she listened to my cd and I wanted to die secretly inside my heart I had already died, I didn’t deserve this misery I thought. But I arrived back and there she was listening contently, that night we made pineapple pie that was excellent and her aunt told me her husbands story when they had first met he told her that he was like a leaf floating down the river and that she could join him if she wanted too. Hippies always have such a beautiful way of expressing love, though distorted by absurdity. It seems there was so much that happened there that I can barely express it in words. When I returned we went to the lake and swam up to the bay of clay and covered ourselves in clay while the sun basked in its wondrous perfection and I felt that tick at my back as though I could just die stupid and happy, awaiting the end. It was always a formidable thing; the end was not without fear and anxiety. The end of first Love haunted me. I knew it was soon. We swam back across the lake and got in the car and went home. We must have been stoned everyday because this day by day expression really doesn’t seem to do those days justice or represent them in any true chronological order. The forgotten girl still in my memory played that song so beautiful and she mistook the word beauty for something quite mundane and I praised the mistake. We both really seemed to like the same music and when we were just about to leave I refused to be photographed and hid behind my mandolin, just wanting to be forgotten. Her aunt drove us away to the cemetery where her friend had died, I do not recall anything but the way the clouds were like smoke and my heart thudded with shame as we held hands up to her grandmother’s home. All of this happened most unexpectedly from nowhere and nothing was the same but my misery. When we arrived at her grandmothers house I couldn’t help but recall sitting in the bathtub so unabashedly placed in the midst of the kitchen totally naked while the whole room filled with the buzz of hippies to my inner horror and her uncle grabbing a bar of soap over top my naked existence while I hid myself in shame. There we arrived at the old house with its plaster walls in the woods and walked about for some time in the trail behind her house. Everything seemed beautiful there. I recalled as we walked sitting on the path in our bruce trail foraging journey talking to the omniscient girl as she told me she was like a spider as the long winding path of wood that rather steeply carried us up to a place by train tracks and I met with the other guy who told me he loved her, and I pretended as if I didn’t know. We walked into town a small town I don’t know maybe 1000 people and waited upon a bench in front of a rather quaint corner store and she played me a song about how I called every flower a sunflower and walked ashamed by the waterside into the night past a hotel that she offered to pay for. The strange coincidence of meeting her transformed my life in obvious ways but still the dead in me remained. When we arrived at her grandmothers house after this long strange walk through the forest she found a mosquito in her eye and asked me to pluck it out, I of course being rather prudish refused to poke at her eye, as well I was rather poor sighted and couldn’t guarantee a successful retrieval of the mosquito but the other guy proved himself quite valiant and saved her eye from the big bulging red that it once was. As we walked I recalled in the past the way the sun set against the hills of northern ontario just before my first major breakdown after that joint and the hick pseudo poetry and thought it quite a beautiful memory, one that offered some solace to the latter events. I arrived back at her grandmothers house with the omniscient girl, the forgotten girl, and the other guy and we went in for dinner which seems to be something like fiddleheads and after dinner as the night began to shroud us in it’s sleeping armor she sat holding hands with the other guy and it seemed all had been lost for me. She told me she would be camping out with the other guy and offered me to stay with them in the tent, but something drove me mad that night and a massive rainstorm ensued. Everything seemed utterly boiling with hatred and I became confused to the point of suicide as the lightning struck in massive bursts against the heart of the earth, the lake in front of me called me remembering being told never to go out canoeing in a thunder storm, what I wanted was to die so I took a hold of her grandmothers canoe and went out into the middle of the lake alone while the electric screams coiled like snakeskin through the wind horrified me and I wanted to die I wanted a big smack of electricity to destroy my heart. The miserable reality of this I never told to any of them but I returned to the tent and then she left me there alone again for the night. The morning came and it murdered me in humiliation to awake as this vacant sack of desperation in this world I didn’t know with these people I had never met at some old woman’s house who I did not feel comfortable with. The mad impossible loneliness that lingered in my heart turned to a black null, a numb void of nothingness and the night of electric suicide I hid from them all, no-one knew. That morning they all went out swimming I can’t recall what for, but I was alone there, more alone then I’d ever been in my life (except once). The forgotten girl was just like me we were nobody. The day passed on and I recall the omniscient girl telling me about being there alone, how her grandmother was watching some tele-evangelist with the wild ranting of mad drug induced delusion and how it had mortified her and cast her out into the wilderness where she waited scared and scarred from her own horrible defect. The same thing happened again she said at this horrible om festival where everyone was high on drugs and the sound echoed so horrifically out to the surrounding silence of town and village and commune that the birds left there nests and much life was disrupted for this stupid hippie drug fest that was and still is so very much a part of the hypocritical delusion of that hippie lifestyle. Run on gas and electricity those festivals pollute the earth and disturb the natural life cycle of the eco systems around them. After eating as many of her grandmothers chocolates as there was to eat with the other guy we went off to the obligatory commune with the many hermetic type people there. We arrived and it was a short visit for me, the first thing that happened was quite insincerely alright, we sat and smoked cigarettes with this old woman and talked about various things and I felt wrenched from everything I knew, raped of every feeling, torn asunder and made naked to the mockery of everyone. I felt sick like my mind had disappeared into nothing. It was the day before my birthday I believe and that night the omniscient girl decided to sleep by herself and then in the morning of my birthday in that house with tinfoil everywhere after she had told me the best way to clean clothes was not to wear them for a month I tried to hold her and she rejected me, and I felt lost then like I was nobody again and I grabbed hold of my backpack in a mad rush and split away from the whole stupid mess while she screamed at me that this was a “healing” place and I didn’t care anymore about anyone as I disappeared into uncontrollable madness. I escaped out to the side of the dirt rocky road and I lay there crying and suddenly everything I was and could have been disappeared into this endless static haze that began consuming my brain through my temple, a noise like a warped scream of light dieing through a black-hole emanated from my temple and out came the forgotten girl and started to talk to me but all the words made no sense I couldn’t speak English anymore and I took a sharp rock and ripped the skin directly off my temple and bled down the side of my face. I recalled the day before driving to the stupid place in the stupid car arriving at her friend’s greenhouse, everything seemed strung out there the laundry in disarray and he smoked us a super strong joint and we were gone and I lost myself there. I lost track of my mind and began walking nowhere backwards and onto plants she came over and made me feel like I was the worst person alive for crushing a plant but I was to high and then she told me with her eyes like dark specters, red with spider light that I should watch where I step, someone could get really mad, the threatening tinge hurt me deeply and then I was there remembering that horrible time in that bitter sunlight that raped my body and I cried there with my torn temple bleeding off my face and the forgotten girl tried to tell me that the omniscient girl really cared about me and all that but I couldn’t speak and she walked with me down the road and slowly my mind came back to me and I talked to her after what seemed like hours of silence and she walked with me into town and when we arrived there I sat on the corner alone and met a man named Barney McCafrey who would later allow me to stay at his home, he called himself an anarchist catholic, nonsense to me. After awhile I just sat there alone in the grass and walked up by the bridge and I played mandolin for awhile and recorded my music there and then walked back down by the river and this woman came along, her aunt and asked me if I was gonna jump off the side of the river. I explained to her it wasn’t far enough down to kill me so it would be of no use and then she bought me a bottle of wine and took me to this stoned out hippie festival and I got really high and met this guy who was having the same birthday as me and that was a surprise. He invited me to his place and put me up in his cabin where he grew marijuana I lay there crying in absolute misery and opened the bottle of wine and drank half of it before he arrived, once inside we hung out and jammed for awhile then he gave me my tarot card and I ching, all a bunch of garbage but back then I believed all of that was the key to knowing everything or something stoned like that. I slept there in that strange place alone for a few days and walked on down through the hillside of rock and walked as far as I could, sitting there stoned and realized if I just kept walking I wouldn’t have to see any of them ever again, and I really sincerely thought about taking that extra step and leaving behind that stoned out waste of a reality and returning to the home of my youth and beginning back as I used to be. But this life was so new it was like a quiet escape an opportunity for freedom from the oppressive reality of being a child to soon to be divorced parents. It was an opportunity to be free of any human control but in the end it was really only an opportunity to do a lot of drugs and cause major brain damage. I returned back and the brain I had began to melt into this weird conformity of smoke and shadow, each day I stayed there eating raw food with his wife and wondering why I had lost track of reality I became more unknown to myself more unaware of what was going on and then I walked back outside and the man with the same birthday as me drove me back and into town. I went buying cheese curds and apple juice and feeling quite stunningly well after getting hammered for the second time that previous afternoon listening to strawberry fields forever and crying in love so desperately and horribly in love with a hideous medusa just like me. Two medusas was Love for me. The day went on and I began the long trek back to the commune and remembered being on that bruce trail and all of us holding hands swinging them back and forth while this girl walked by with a batman pin that the omniscient girl had lost and the strange accusation that she was lying remained a shock and then up to start a fire where we cooked some food of some sort and then she sang yellow is the color of my true loves hair at both of us with yellow hair and both of us felt ashamed to be attached to one another in this misconstrued reality that falsified our existence and made us numb and hopeless like feathers she could put in her hair if she chose. I couldn’t be with anyone like that now, but yet here I am in the same situation again, but we won’t get into that now. I should take my meds, once I get into this mad reality sometimes I can never come back, the silent emotionless existence of medication saves me from the horror of reality. It is shocking to realize that I have actually truly tried to kill myself and wound up in the hospital because of it. Nothing changes, Love is only making me bitter, and colder, and I am just as I was before. I recognized back then only that Love was my pseudo salvation but I recognize now that Love is really an unnecessary torment that thrives on misery and brings ultimate corruption to innocence if it is like what I am speaking of. I was free for a few moments back then just like now, but now I am actually fairly clean as opposed to the dark secrets I bestowed like skeletons in my heart that danced a mocking jig around my hopefulight. There was so much to see yet so much more and here goes. I came back to the commune and she saw me and was quite mad, because apparently I had worried her and kept harassing me to stop picking off the scab on my temple, then she was out cleaning clothes by hand and I helped her for awhile then I brought out a big package of cigarettes and we smoked the whole pack unfiltered in one go of it, both of us ended up hacking our lungs out, spitting up black bile and crawling around on the ground, but that was our idea of fun. We went out that night to the old woman’s house and drank much wine and I cried as she played you can’t always get what you wanted by the rolling stones and I knew it was over for me and the omniscient woman. I went back to the tin foil house with it’s massive unkempt garden in the back and it was late then, the dark was consuming and I wanted to stab myself in the heart and let the blood warm my body as I lay upon the ground in deaths comforting arms but I didn’t and then I went outside while it poured rain out and sat there with a candle, the symbol of my small hope and I think for the first time in my life I actually truly prayed to God, and it was a strange feeling as my opposing viewpoints suggested otherwise but as soon as I finished that this wild animal came running through the night horrifying me, I think it must have been a wild boar or something and came chasing up to me prepared to tear its teeth into my leg and I slammed the door just in time as the rain fell all alone in the night. The strangest thing that animal that I heard screeching and squeeling prepared to feast on my skin like a festering wound the fear built up and it was every moment I had every feared in one moment and then I knew somehow in my heart that God was alive and that did actually change me but I never told anyone about that, I kept that silent. The next day the morning arrived everything outside was dewy and she told me about giving her menstrual blood to the earth and I decided to leave to British Columbia with the company of the Forgotten Girl, we were The Forgotten People. Me and her were nobodies forgotten before we had the chance to be. First though I would walk into town to get a package my mom had sent and then walk about 24 km to Barney McCafreys house for a few days, that was nice. In the process of waiting for my health card to arrive in the mail I spent a long day walking into town and then finding the parcel hadn’t arrived and then walking out of town and walking all through the rocky hills up about 24 km in total to the strange place on the hill where Barney McCafreys new house was being built. I offered some help, he’d invited me there after my second mental breakdown, and he was a wwoofing organization member so I without a wwoofing handbook WWOOF stands for willing workers on organic farms went up to his place he lived at that time in a trailer, by the time I got there it was quite late, the sun had fallen desperately from the sky and I climbed into his extra trailer filled with pornography and laid there unable to sleep waiting to pass out, all the time horribly anxious about the omniscient girl. It was really quite awful that loneliness it was like impudence like stolid hunger that led rabidly to anything or anyone. The desire murdered my dreams once I finally passed into the depths of the subconscious. I awoke to him knocking on my door, and it was early so he called me out into the day and the first thing he did was bring me into his trailer and offer me a shot of whisky. The whole idea of drinking in the morning had not occurred to me yet so it was a shock, and the whisky was strong. It hit me pretty hard as he told me that the polish people built fences of rock all around these fields by drinking hard vodka every morning, he explained about a glassful each. The idea of drinking that much hard alcohol in the morning made me delirious. It seemed unbelievable, and then he offered me, the desperate addict of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, I was quite surprised to find that chewing tobacco just about zonked me to cloud nine in less the 5 seconds after chewing some green apple ordered from Holland chewing tobacco. I got really dizzy and my face turned white, I slipped away from reality and he explained to me that I’d get used to it after awhile. I never did get used to it, I just stuck to cigarettes. That morning after the debauchery we went out to move bails of hay into his big rusted truck and we piled up that hay good and tall while he sang his old folk songs about this and that and I recalled that I’d been invited to play a gig at the local café on their horridly out of tune piano. It was a lot of work moving those bails of hay and I remembered the times when I was younger helping the kids I knew from elementary school move the big chunks of golden sweet smelling straw up the mechanical staircase that shook and barked like a dog. I swore a lot back then and always regretted it. When we finally got into the fields to collect more hay I got up on the back of the truck and sat there in the brilliant shine of the sun and looked at the clouds that raced across the dusk light and it seemed my heart was happy. We gathered our things together and he bought us a drink and mucked out the stalls at the end of the day for the cows. It was lovely that life, for it’s short and fleeting time. After awhile I returned to the commune and picked up the forgotten girl and we went and camped out in the old fair ground for the night while drinking a bottle of pear wine and wrapped ourselves up in blue tarp while the mosquitoes stung us in the dark bright of the flesh colored stage that entangled itself in past memory and failed to put on a show of any sort, just stood there for us to sleep on. A bunch of old rusted out props and torn apart couches as we laughed about nothing and the future seemed bright. The next day I went back to Barneys house with her and we stayed there for the night, she in the tent I inside the trailer. That morning arrived and she split back to the commune and we agreed to meet later to go to BC and I went into town for one last time while the clouds in distortion fuzzed my brain up pretty good flowing around me and I recalled knocking on that Hare Krishna guys door and having him invite me to smoke weed with the people I’d seen earlier walking down the street telling me that they were gonna go and build a house in a tree. I slept that night with the guy who told me about singing hare krishnas with George Harrison and meeting him in his dressing room. In the morning he had this weird mix tape of a loop of the beatles playing pseudo East Indian music. It was all very strange for me, but that is just a memory. The day I speak of with the distorted clouds that ran like chaotic rivers of smoke through the atmosphere seeming to speak unknown futures and wisdom I could not understand before me laid the last day in that small town before I left and the omniscient girl was there working in the falafel place and she kissed me and looked me in the eye as though everything would return, as our love was not be, gone and I remembered hiding a letter explaining that our Love would be like a ghost if we didn’t let it grow somehow. She went back to work the whole massive cloud movement like a shimmering galaxy called me back to the commune and there is where me and the forgotten girl left to go to BC by hitchhiking. This was my first major journey so I didn’t really know what it was gonna be like, but it was actually pretty decent. The two of us walked out I think to the highway that ran through the small polish town wilno and began our hitchhike. A very shaky anxious and depressed me waited with a very sad and sullen faced person I didn’t know. We stood there like nobodies with nothing but each other, and it was miserable. I had lost my first Love, or so I thought. I can’t remember who picked us up first but I do recall finally arriving in some strange town outside of nowhere and setting up our tent in the forest. I had all sorts of money saved from working quite incessantly in the spring and was well prepared for a good old party, so I bought those cigarillo things and laid on the grass (while she slept in the tent) smoking wine tipped cigars and stared at the sky in the middle of a soccer field behind a high school free and forgotten. It was beautiful to be forgotten, like a burnt out flame with nothing. I laid there and the clouds always seemed to tell me things that were on my mind, they seemed to speak to me in hallucination. I thought they were divinely guiding me somewhere but really I was just crazy and they really were just clouds made of evaporated water waiting to fall. Maybe the only thing I learned from those clouds is that I like those clouds was just waiting to fall, and where I would fall was anybodies guess, but when I did fall I’d fall hard like a terrible storm that raced through my heart and raped the very chasm of my mind until I was but a burnt out druggie running around naked in the street drunk and in the rain waiting for a car to run me down like a raccoon. After laying in the grass for awhile, the wind chilled down and it got a bit cold so I walked into the suburban area of town and talked to some kids about my traveling and everyone thought I was crazy. Me with my long unkempt slowly dreadlocked hair and herpe infested lips. Me preparing to lose track of myself completely. I arrived back in the tent with the forgotten girl in the forest and we slept. The morning came quite coldly and we packed up in the bitterness of the northern Ontario breeze that froze her hair like dust and collapsed each of us into fear. Out into the road we went and the hitchhike was a long way but there we were hitching all the way into thunderbay this time, when we finally got there, into this big city after being picked up by this strange miniature vehicle we felt happy and free, so I bought us a couple of beers like previously on the side of the highway up in the trees somewhere and we drank. This time we found ourselves a comfortable bench to sit on and drank Heineken while I played the mandolin and she wrote poetry. It was beautiful like the green grass had sewn itself into the air the ether so fertile with new hope as I sang in silent requiem, our Love is turning from sand to glass. The words are still there in my memory and we set up our sleeping bags by some stone monument and it was cold, but the night was so kind it had warmed us for the future travels that would carry us haphazardly like garbage is blown by the wind all the way to a big old pear tree. The streets of thunderbay seemed so dangerous but it was easy because we were poor, everyone left us alone. There was that darkness like the deep red of murder in those streets, that terrible horror of rape that emanated through those city parks but we were somehow protected from those lurid beasts of humanity and made it back to the highway in the morning. We had to stand on the side of a highway so filled full with people and cars that it seemed impossible, but inevitably we were lifted from our lonely forgotten place and carried to this small town with the most massive hill at the end. We got out of our helpers vehicle and walked into a bar and bought a brick of broiled camembert and two Guinness, now that wasn’t cheap but I had loads of money so it was alright. After a bit of a drunken excursion we began this terrible walk up this massive hill that later in my life my wife and I would spend a week and a half at the bottom of, eating smarties and ice cream. The hill was horrible and massive like one of those behemoth like monsters and it was a torment to get up top, once on-top though we were finally free to continue in our sweat and disturbed drunkenness. It was ironic because as soon as we reached the top we got lifted from the rocky forgotten window we stood in with nobody but a few cars sneering and giving us obscene gestures. We got picked up and driven a fair distance. I don’t know where we ended up but something like a truck stop where we ate scrambled eggs and potatoes and stood around waiting. Finally after sitting out in the resounding clatter of trucks and boiling asphalt there was a ride. He said he’d drive us all the way to a major city up ahead. When we arrived in the city it was getting later and we were at that middle of nowhere point where if we went any further they warned the bears could eat us. It seemed shocking really but so much for bears eating us because we got picked up just before it started to rain and the guy told us quite kindly that he’d drive us all the way to Winnipeg. The drive was long and there wasn’t much to see but he liked Johnny Cash and let us listen to John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band over and over again. He drove us into that horrible night where the wilderness loomed from miles around us threatening with its claws and teeth the hideous gasping cry of our bodies being torn to pieces sinewy veins but no dieing for us just a long drive through. He said he’d hit a moose before and it had totally rattled his truck to complete destruction and we’d heard earlier that just a few km from where we were standing a bear had been spotted, and those bears were known for attacking people apparently. Anyways he drove all night till we arrived at a truck stop and stopped for awhile. He opened up the back of his truck and told us to sleep in the cold vacant black of his vehicles storage box thing. It was a transport truck so lots of room, but it was the coldest sleep I think we had out there. That morning we awoke to the skittering sound of a squirrel but through the echo of the big metal box it sounded more like a cougar and we got all scared and I started shouting but then it’s little red head looked in and we both laughed calling it a little ogre. That morning we got up had breakfast and he agreed to drive us all the way into Winnipeg. It was great, the freedom of this life felt like something I never knew was possible, but it’s this kind of freedom that gets confused with hope. There was no hope, we were going nowhere together and I didn’t Love her and she knew that. We arrived in Winnipeg and my grandfather picked me up at the truck stop just on the outskirts after a quick call in the sunny afternoon. My grandpa picked us up and we were met with some slight fanfare as we arrived into the old house. My grandmother said hello to us, I think rather astonished by my long unruly locks and invited us in. We set up our stuff in separate rooms because we had not delved into the depths of the reality that my heart was lingering towards her in Love. The first night we got there my uncle came by and took us out for drinks, it was rather a lot of drinks and thus I became mildly intoxicated and began rambling away about every awful thing I’d done(as far as drugs go) to my Uncle. He didn’t quite understand why I would have done such drugs but either way he looked at me after I talked for awhile in that enamored obsession about the omniscient girl that the forgotten girl obviously loved me and that we should be together. This was a bit strange for me to accept because in the daze of my own ego I hadn’t noticed her interest in me whatsoever; instead I was constantly concerned with the shadow of the other. That night my uncle drove us to his friend’s house who apparently had schizophrenia and talked to walls. He told us that he was afraid to leave his apartment and this became quite obvious when we arrived and after smoking us a massive joint the guy stood in the room staring at the door while my uncle (who did not smoke and in fact encouraged me not to) tried to encourage his haggard faced friend out into the bright neon blur of the criminal mind of Winnipeg, but he could not. Every time he was about to get out the door he would refuse, I had become so incredibly intoxicated at this point that the entire world had lost it’s sense of meaning and I like a shadow collapsed into that forgotten world where nothing matters and is effaced from the memory by morning. That is the drunken heart that trembled. After this madness and standing on that porch in the strange noxious air of cigarettes and marijuana I was driven home somehow, though the night has formed a strange red blur in my subconscious and I recall looking at my grandparents house with a tinge of anxiety as arriving out of the vehicle stoned and drunk and with this girl I barely knew we rambled inside after my grandfather opened the door quite quickly and allowed us in. That night was disgusting. It was like some freak carny pornographic failure and it hurt both of us in our hearts to know our Love was cheapened at its very beginning by the debauchery of intoxicated lust. The grotesque portrait of us fondling one another and devouring one another in our lust seems so perverse it shakes the very core of my heart and makes me feel ashamed that I had ever sunk to such a low level of perverse lust. It was very similar to the first time I slept with a girl in that same cold pumping of the genitalia that made love making dead and rusted out the shame centers of our hearts with black oily searing bullish misery. That was her first time I think, and what a disgusting shame. If there was one person in the world I wish I could apologize to, it would be her. There was no-one else that I ever treated with more disrespect then her. Anyways the morning came and we awoke, hung over dazed and disturbed from the night of perversion and our lusterless drained eyes sighed in shame and back to everything normal again. In the morning we arose and decided to walk about town for awhile in search of the marijuana. We were always desperate for pot; we’d do anything for it. Instead though we vied for a cheap bottle of champagne and wandered about in the parks while I smoked cigarettes. Not much was spoken just that drifty hung over fusion of shame and sexual relief. It was enough to fade away into disastrous depressing but beautiful oblivion, but we kept going and walked into town looking at all the shops with cds and all. In one store there was a cd store and I recall now with embarrassing regret there playing the velvet underground, in my stoned haze I began to very dramatically hurl my body around dancing to the music like some mad enigmatic lunatic. That was one of those moments when you look back and find yourself rolling your eyes at the desperation to be seen as an eccentric, as a genius or something skewed and stupid like that. We went out from there and I tried my hardest to find a place to play a gig but none could be found and we eventually made our way back home without any marijuana, mildly drunk and I recalled the forgotten girl talking about drinking sangria in the park just like perfect day. It was strange to be that close to someone I didn’t know. We came in the back door and slipped away to bed. The next day we awoke and she downloaded very many songs to the consequence of much complaint from my grandfather, but I do recall dancing to Famous Blue Raincoat with her and feeling happy even free, that pink luster to her face as though she had found me in Love. Then we listened to pavement and laid on the floor together waiting for later that night when my grandfather would take us out to this massive IMAX movie. This was another moment of breakdown for me, as when we arrived there to observe the massive screen we realized it was about car crashes, at this time my mind had begun to go inward down through the opaque muddy window of the subconscious, fearing my own self defeat into the sick perversion and the evil that lured me sickeningly with it’s ghoulish teeth glinting dripping with the blood ripped from the innocence of my heart to those red eyes that raped me. I was alone and then the violence junkies piled in with me and her and the deaths piled higher and higher the hideous explosions the hidden incinerated bodies the horrible silenced screams through the entertainment lens that ate up each morsel of hideous uncaring suicide the cars had life in them and we watched as each one died and then something came over me and I began to cry it was empty the feeling of the screen the way the world had made death seem accessible and I began a nervous breakdown with tears, head pressed against the ground holding my hands to my head the skin pressured to burst and my heart a solemn inescapable void disturbed by it’s true identity and the identity of it’s world. We left the theater and my head pressed against her lap I cried those pathetic useless tears that enveloped up my dignity and sent it to the bottom of the malicious violence of my mind and left me shaken utterly failed at everything a complete nobody, useless, dead and evil. My grandpa picked us up later and I said nothing about the movie, this he later took offense too but upon explaining the reality of the situation to my grandmother he quickly forgave me. We went to bed disturbed and the next morning I got up and was compelled out the door on that desperate search for the green stinky smelling plant that got us whacked out. So off into the lonely city we dispersed together in time like a single glob of desire wanting so desperately to smell the skunk stoned weed that had not arrived in a week. Walking around asking every sketchy dude with long hair and scraggly beard for a quick easily justifiable fix and finally after much searching we met up with a girl and she took us back to her place where this guy hid behind an air conditioner with an ironing board for a display case for marijuana wares, and we bought 40$ worth and he gave us quite the good count and we were out the door happy and content like two kids in a candy store. Back to my grandmas place and this was a big mistake, I tried to grind up the weed in there coffee grinder but the blades were so sharp it turned our trip into green dust and at that exact moment in came my cousin and we had to hurry to cover up our deed so I poured all the weed into the top of our coffee cup and we drank it slowly, even solemnly, knowing it had all been for nothing that we’d wasted that 40$. That was a major disappointment, so we decided after much frustration to just go buy some booze and get it over with. I recall walking down to the liquor store with her and feeling depressed and crazy and wanting an escape after the trial some IMAX death fest and the stoned haze of the madman who wouldn’t leave his apartment building. Just needed some fix. We got there and bought sambuca, then we went into a burger king and sat there for hours writing while my brain started playing tricks on me, the black bluish haze of hallucination seemed to eat like light termites and my perception around me and the glass and the floor were like melted colour etched in the shadow of the dissonant image ever present now in my mind as I wrote this circle of handwriting that no-one but the forgotten girl could read as it spun in circles around itself it seemed to have lost any sense and she told me it looked quite insane after reading it thoroughly. We finally got back to my grandparents house and I oh so patiently waited for them to retire to sleep and began drinking rather excessively of the sambuca with the forgotten girl, first eloquently with coffee, then boorishly and excessively from the bottle. The night wore on and I was depressed and crying. Then the whole daze of tears and angst ran like rain runs over runny newspaper ink and the grey mesh of the night died in alcoholic induced dreamlessness. The morning came and I had forgotten that I’d left the empty bottle underneath the chair and hoped they wouldn’t find it. It’s very strange that I didn’t go and grab it, I wonder if I was just testing them to see what they would do, I wonder if I test people to see if they will react or not? I think that is the characteristic of the rebellious spirit of youth that resonates quite pathetically today in subcultures surrounding with many 24 year olds my age. With their long dirty dreadlocked hair and their piercings enlarged with those black plugs and the emo died hair and sewn together torn apart t-shirts, that just look soooo vagabond!!! It is actually quite funny to observe the rebellious youth and reflect on my own whimpering similarities of the past, picking through the trash very obviously to be observed in this rebellious act. To be looked down upon and to act proud and uncaring; to show everyone how little I cared about their authoritative glare. Wow I really stood out just like every other 22 your old vagabond with a backpack and a joint really stands out. That to me was enlightenment, to show everybody how little I cared about what they thought of me, so I’d hug every tree I saw, but that was later in the story after the acid inflected my mental canvas with stupid aura pseudo religious creation colours. That morning I asked her about the night before and she told me that she thought it was quite sad the way I acted. I didn’t respond, just kinda took the bullet. That morning I realized that things would change soon, that we’d have to move on, after my grandpa found the bottle and cast us out yelling at me, like I deserved. I was a stupid selfish fool then, content with getting drunk and leaving my trash laying around his house. I am sorry about that. Her and I had also spent a lot of time digging through my grandmas cupboards and downloading excess amounts of music so that we both equally annoyed and offended both my grandma and my grandfather. We were truly both very arrogant and selfish to be so rude and disrespectful at such kindness as this. But we took his rebuke as being offensive and left in quite the huff. But by the time her cousin whom she’d called came with his army friend blaring death metal on my grandparents driveway to my grandfathers offence we’d gone to far, and left leaving behind us a slew of well deserved complaints and criticisms. These two army men though were quite ridiculous, they had both apparently popped speed pills and were laughing raucously and punching each other to this strange deformity of a sound that billowed out like the smoke of burnt tires into the lungs of our ears. They were the oddest two people we met hitchhiking. There was one guy who was worse but as for two people, they were the weirdest. The road was open to us again and off we went like a couple of modern age hippie beatniks in the wild dangerous world by the trans Canada highway with nothing but a couple of containers of sardines and desperate hearts just wanting so desperately to escape everything. We stood out there on the side of the highway and a big transport truck pulled over up bout 100 meters down the highway and as we ran down I imagine I remembered that time driving back from downtown Winnipeg in the bus with the forgotten girl staring into her eyes and realizing that I loved her but that it would die. The transport truck driver picked us up and was listening to AC/DC quite loudly, and had quite the silly stoned gonzo look on his face as we put our stuff in. The drive took us all the way into Saskatoon and immediately before we left he offered us some hits from the bong and as we were to stoners without marijuana for a week we were more then happy to accept. And we were higher then kites driving down the highway with this red faced man screaming about his wife and the hilarity of everything seemed to breathe that sense of freedom that was lost under the authoritative guidelines of my grandparents house. Everything was new again and the journey seemed short, filled with sunlight and exhaust pumped full air. We arrived in Saskatoon in quite the blur, it was early morning by then and we didn’t know anyone except for this guy I went to college with who later picked us up as the neon aboriginal midnight collapsed our bodies in sleep, and we slept for about 24 hours having been up for 3 days straight on a strange circus ride through mad truck stops and people you forget before you meet. I can barely remember those rides something about them have combined into no-one driving us further and further and marijuana, lots of marijuana that was smoked to us through that warm and fragile night that held our bodies unprotected up to the massive dart board of possibility. We seemed to make it out alright though and upon arriving in the city we met up with two ladies, a very kind lesbian couple who invited us over for thanksgiving dinner after dropping us off downtown. Our blood was 43% Maac’s coffee at that point so the dirge like existence was faded like a charcoal painting, and the cemetery where they saw us with our bags red eyes and stoned lonely nowhere look carried us lovingly into the arms of Saskatoon. We hadn’t slept in 3 days and all of this happening at once was ludicrous to us, but we agreed to go for vegetarian thanksgiving with them after we had a stay at my college friends house. My college friend was a fairly strange fellow, he’d gotten tendonitis late in the year of his pre training college year thing and couldn’t play bass anymore so he worked at a gas station in town, smoked a lot of cigarettes and drank insane amounts of alcohol. I can recall in first year of college spending the night at his place, both of us downing a colt 45 that tasted like urine and then drinking some hard booze while watching some crazy 60’s concert with Frank Zappa or something and falling asleep with the belly full of nasty cheap beer and waking for my mid- term still hammered after drinking I don’t even know how much and walking over through the snow like a dark hunch backed bum in the morning reeking of cheap beer and arriving late for my mid- term performance exam that I had no idea how to perform and telling the teacher with beer breath and slurred words that I was sick with the cold and couldn’t play the exam, he of course didn’t believe me. So I plunkered down and banged away for awhile and got a 51% doin’ I don’t know what? Some part of me thinks he must have just given me a pass because I used to like Keith Jarrett as much as he did. Anyways the college friend I spent many debauched nearly alcoholic nights and afternoon’s with now lived in Saskatoon so after a few emails he agreed to put me and the forgotten girl up for a few nights at his moms house. We were crazy people when we arrived all dirty and stinking like cigarette butts bad BO and road kill. Our bodies had become marinated in the stench of exhaust, sweat, and tobacco. That night we arrived finally being picked up after the longest time and went to bed immediately for perhaps the longest sleep of my entire life, aside from the drug induced suicide attempt one, that is of course quite different. When we went to bed it was night and when we awoke it was night, that was really weird but my friend was still up for getting a bit smashed, so we bought some cigarettes and got pretty drunk on Olde English and talked for hours about nothing. The next morning we got up with him and listened to his favorite band Fantamos. Which is a really strange sort of screamo mix of art metal and movie soundtrack cut into about 30 second clips of very strange freak show proportion blips of terrible but intriguing sounding music. That morning he told me he had to work, so me and the forgotten girl went out for a long walk into Saskatoon and in a moment of eccentricity we lay down upon the ground stoned and looked up at the clouds as the day shifted past us in its forgotten blur. At the end of the day we headed back after looking at a few strange art exhibits and my college friend explained to us that it was the fringe festival and the one guy I went to school with was playing a jazz gig at a local saki restaurant. He told us he’d meet us there, so we went out for a very expensive French meal with a bottle of wine and beautiful chocolate deserts across the street from the saki restaurant and very quickly drained my 1500$ I’d saved from working with a very anal retentive French boss. That was one of the loveliest meals of my life, and after that we headed out to observe this college friend play jazz guitar. I had this opinion about him, that he was this pretentious goon of sorts so even before the music started I pretended to not like it and to think my music to be much superior to his. But really he was good, a very good jazz guitarist and quite intriguing to listen to, but no I had to prove to myself that my ego was bigger then his. This is the trap of the college musician, we do not enjoy music, we compare it to ourselves and snidely remark on whatever we feel is not as good or as genius as ours. This is the snare of the ego and all of us musicians were trapped there, each one believing we’d change the world with our songs and each one having such brilliant ideas that each one was in their own mind better then every other one. So what you have here is a school of massive egos and very immature, insecure minds bent on proving to its singular mind it’s superiority to the other. So it goes with education, a egotistical representation of the own failed false sense of supremacy that society gives those who have more money that others. We hung around and I talked to my college jazz playing friend and sneered a bit calling his music “okay”, or something along those lines. That was the end of that night though and we walked out with my college friend who was letting us crash at his place and stumbled about drunkenly as though all the colours of the city had blurred into some debauched cabaret painted by Toulouse Lautrec and the city bubbled like cheap champagne in the array of independent artisans hacking there lungs out over another green stinky joint that melded everyone of them into that same hopeless dull red eyed fish glazed luster like existence and chased each one of us like an easily justifiable politically correct dragon through the sweeping wind filled streets where the dust of the empty landscape carried us back under that sunset that covered our love with regret. This was bland and beautiful Saskatoon, and it was fun for the time we spent there and back to the house we went for one last night, that morning we awoke and my college friends mother talked to us about starbucks for seemingly hours and how there coffee was so good, and how her daughter worked there and how she enjoyed working there and on and on. But she was a very sweet woman and I really did enjoy being there. By mid- day we had packed up all of our stuff and were headed out the door for thanksgiving dinner with the thanksgiving couple that had invited us there for the night. We arrived to wonderful fanfare and her daughter and her boyfriend looked like us right out of a food not bombs operation. And we all gathered around for a very large tofurky cooked to perfection and carrots, butter, and beans. It was so nice and we’d never even met them before. The nicest people honestly, and that night after much fun we had our photograph taken and I recall looking like I’d climbed mount everest with that rugged knowing look and the way the forgotten girl looked like some frozen beatnik in the middle of nowhere living in a dirty shack with torn out hair after a nervous breakdown. We were quite the pair and I recall her telling me about this beatnik woman that ate only Oreos for the entire winter while writing a book. I thought to myself how disgusting it must have been to eat Oreos for an entire winter, but still it seemed like something to do and I found the idea rather humorous. That night after the meal they all sat down to watch a movie and me and the forgotten girl climbed into sleep in the other room, with the blue canvas of the tv screen and the muffled sound of Hollywood in the distance I felt a warm comfortable glow that overcame us both and dreams settled over our heads like winter blankets the earth with snow and we slept so purely like the air had been freshly cleaned by rain in the lungs of the earth the forest of our Love grew for once and only for a little while before it died in misery like all worldly love does in it’s inevitable hopelessness with no desire to carry on. We awoke and they drove us out to the highway where we began to hitchhike, and by the time we’d arrived somewhere between Calgary (where we had arranged to stay with her friends) and Saskatoon in nowhere land the smallest town where old worn out houses boarded up, loomed like tombstones of regret, warning us about the death that comes up behind picks us up and drives madly west. We didn’t die though, I guess that’s fairly obvious by my writing this book but we did have a crazy ride. On the side of the road in the middle of nowhere there were train tracks that traveled out to this distant mountain of dirt that lingered by some busy factory with big trucks long stopped for the night was etching its way like pencil markings across the bleeding sky of sunset. I wanted to climb that big bloody pile of dirt and sleep at the top, it was kilometers away and would’ve been a real pain in the but, but she had no such desire and started to cry when I began walking away from her up the big mountain of dirt, and grabbed hold of me sobbing those salty desperate tears that echoed some deep hidden shame I could not hide in my heart (but did in torment for years) and she held onto me there crying so desperately like the world had come to an end and looked me right in the eyes her oily black tired depraved eyes spoke to me and she said “I’m not an Angel Tom”, and then I said “I never said you were”. Then something changed in me and my stubborn desire to leave her side and go off crazy like climbing a big mound of dirt died and I decided to join her once more on the side of the road because something in my heart told me that she needed me then, even though so far off in the future she’d hate me, at that time I was actually needed, which is strange for me, because I am a glutton for being nobodies necessity. I’m used to being trashed and thrown about like old automobiles in a wrecking yard, get all compacted and pushed down into a little square box to be melted down and formed into something new, something more sellable. It felt wonderful to be needed, so after a couple tears and awhile lingering on the train tracks I got out on the side of the road and hitchhiked with that Love of mine at the time. What a stupid idea, considering the danger we got ourselves in later. As a side note I will mention that due to my skewed sense of memory the thanksgiving dinner thing happened when we were returning from our journey to British Columbia in October not in July, as suggested by its placement. The day we were hitchhiking on the side of the road 8 hours from Calgary was on the way to British Columbia and we had both had a bonding moment by the train tracks. It’s funny that I so badly wanted to go traveling up those train tracks because if things hadn’t worked out as well as they did we could’ve been dead. The forgotten girl had now spoken though, and her deep desire was to visit her friends in Calgary, and I accepted that and went along with it. But if we had just spent the night up by the dirt mound we would’ve been a lot safer, it’s too bad I didn’t stick to my first instinct because what happened next is rather horrifying. The forgotten girl and I stood out on the side of the highway for a few short minutes, and suddenly there pulled over a car full of raucous drunkards, their mouths were filled with buzzing bees of obscenity. And we hopped in the car as usual, stoned or in our own delusion and they began to drive us through the day into the night. I played one of the songs I’d written on the mandolin called Licorice and Coffee and they loved it and continuosly begged me to play it over and over again until I got to the point of having to tell them that I no longer wanted to play it. Then they passed some marijuana back with a couple of coolers and we both started drinking. I ended up dropping the joint on the ground and they went digging around behind the car seat for the joint but couldn’t find any. They then threatened to drop us off in the middle of some disparate ghost town forsaken by poverty and age. But after maybe a few drinks they turned around and picked us up. At this point we had been drinking beer after beer after beer and soon we were so drunk I don’t really think I’ve ever been that drunk. We both must have in total drank about a two four each and then as the gas ran low I offered to pay for the rest of the way into Calgary which was only 40$ so not a big deal. The guy sitting beside me told me that they were all a bunch of loving guys, I guess they were brothers but they drove like mad demons through the night tearing through the streets so hammered I don’t know how we survived at all. But the forgotten girl and I kept drinking ourselves into this outstretched black hole of oblivion till our eyes bled booze and then they had to pull over many times for urination breaks. I am surprised there was no police because they were driving nearly 200 km an hour, zipping by trees and cars like they were falling meteorites in the heavy red blood filled moon that hung it’s corpse eyes over us waiting for that impending click of the brake slam of the face shattered glass sawn asunder left to dust black in death where nothing is left. That was the fate of these mad drivers and us and we had no-one to help us and we were to drunk to care. The forgotten girl told me later that they were really good drivers and it was really rather amazing after that much alcohol that anyone could drive that fast and that well in the pitch black after probably a two four. I think we all must have drank about a two four each because the trunk was filled with beer and thus we were left, both of us raped of any sense of safety riding this rocket car through the narrow gates of hell. That was one of the scariest experiences of my life, but at least they weren’t totally creeps. I really thought they were gonna try to rape her by the time we got into Calgary but they didn’t which was a major relief for me because my thin emaciated limbs would’ve snapped under those burly construction worker arms. Not much I could’ve done if they’d tried anything, we were in the middle of nowhere with no-one on the yellow lined dance with death the universe a spinning wheel filled with fates roulette pistol stuck down all of our throats waiting for the bullet to blast through our brains and the car to crash smashing into someone else or killing a family or something ugly and stupid like that. Those people were absolute lunatics and driving with them proved to both of us that we weren’t much better then them, just getting super hammered until we became mentally disturbed idiots pulsating through the black heart of the flesh of that pale orb of red moonlight. There wasn’t much we could do but get wasted and carry on, it’s almost like I could never describe the horror of that moment when a millisecond could’ve passed and the shift of the steering wheel the wrong way at 200 km an hour and a drunken brain to the point of down syndrome through us madly sketching like stones against the surface of the Grecian isles five times before sinking like a stone into our own stupid drunken demise. The idea that this was okay to us makes me wonder whether either of us really cared whether we lived or died. They were playing that Metallica song for whom the bells toll and I being the artsy modern pop fan despised the coke addled song but it was then that I realized the forgotten girl was singing along, and I thus began to have a changed perspective of her. For some reason because she liked Metallica I liked her more. I think because she liked something so completely what I opposed it attracted me. It’s funny how the strangest things bind people together. But that journey could’ve killed us and was a worthless test of life’s precious fate. Not that I believe in the concept of fate but in the sense that our fate could’ve been death that night, and all the beauty and all the freedom that I ever felt would’ve been gone, all for one stupid drunken night with a bunch of dumb hicks who cared more about showing how fast there car could go then there own lives. That is why I lost a lot of self respect for myself after that. I felt I had sunk to the level of the drunk detestable, the one that supports some hideous crime the death of a family or the destruction of a life causing paraplegia. I felt that I could’ve been one of those guys in the front seat tearing through the crimson night yellow eyed and angry, filled with drunken hate and envy, green hued skin, and then death, one of those losers that had to go by court order to every school and apologize to everyone and tell them how much they regretted drunk driving. I felt like I had put those shoes on for a moment, even though I wasn’t the driver, and walked down that long empty road of despair and regret and hung my head in shame because that was the fate of the drunk driver, just another dumb hick with a sob story with nobody to blame but himself. It’s sick, it’s the way of alcohol in excess and egotism turned beastlike in the horrid mutation of flesh, perverted by the red burning cigarette ember eye of intoxication. I thankfully could never really drive, though I did drive once after drinking three of my dad’s beers and almost drove into a stop sign in broad day light. The shame of the drunkard that murders out of ego must be like the eternal torment the catholics always rant on about. It must be like a fire that eats through all of the joy in life and burns right to the core of the heart of innocence till the only thing that’s left is just a pathetic fool standing on a podium telling all the kids at high school that he killed a family because he was drunk and how it was so hard for him and boo hoo for him while everyone stares at him with incendiary glares and he once again loses all dignity. Just a pathetic murderer who committed manslaughter, stained with the mark of self hate forever. I recognize that one can recover from such an act, but still I couldn’t imagine. So back to the story. Finally after that historical low of both of our drunken minds we arrived in Calgary and the one guy tried to pressure the forgotten girl to show off her breasts using a less morally acceptable word at the time of course, and she having a sense of dignity of course refused, and then out the door we ran because I began to fear for her, as there eyes began lurking like sexual wolves eating at their fantasy for the violent rape the blood and the excess so we both agreed to escape. It’s funny now that I think about the forgotten girl, she of all of the woman I was ever with had more dignity and quiet eloquence. All the others were ego trippers easily perverting there bodies for a quick escape, but she didn’t allow the moral rot of the degraded minds of these drunkard madmen to permeate into sin like so many other woman I’ve met before. The forgotten girl had more self control then any other woman I have ever been with and thus I realize now, that she was probably the most respectful person to me that I ever met. I of course then treated her the way everyone treated me and thus she met the same miserable fate that I have met so many times, being at the bottom of the sexual food chain. When we finally escaped from their vile clutches we were lifted from danger and taken into the shelter of two very drunk natives, they were a married couple that lived on a tarp in the seclusion of a few bushes by the side of some highway. They were incredibly kind people though and they took us into there humble homeless home and we slept on there grey torn tarp and felt safer there then within the highly expensive sports car and the luxury condo we’d been driven to by those drunken lunatics who hideously sank into there own debauchery. The older native man offered us one of his lasts beers, and as I had already drunk about a two four it was hardly having much of an affect on me. That night the older native man stayed up the whole night watching over us, what a kind hearted loving but desperate man. I will always remember him for his generosity and his true shielding presence. It’s funny how much these alcoholics are looked down upon, yet at the same time some of them have very kind and receptive hearts to the desperately in need. Without them those lunatics could’ve been our only haven for sleep and that could’ve led to brutal rape and disease. I am so glad that didn’t happen. I woke up in the morning and the old native woman kissed me on the cheek and we all said goodbye, and even though we were all totally still hammered and hung over I felt at peace to know we were all still in one piece, no-one was injured, raped, or for that matter dead in a blistering rocket smashing through the backside of another vehicle through the pitch black of the midnight blood smelling air. It was a definite relief to see that we had both made it out undamaged, aside from the rather severe and hellish hangover. That morning was like being awoken into a new light, like the life we had left behind was dead, that everything ahead of us was open, like the death we briefly observed had vanished as we had begun our second life. This second life was not unlike the first, but at least we had the opportunity to live it. We grabbed a cup of coffee at a nice organic coffee shop and hopped in a cab heading to her friend’s house. While driving there I like to think I thought of the time that Barney McCafrey had brought me to the nudist club. I was wearing that slowly eroding Beneton shirt that the friend of the omniscient girl had given me in Toronto, you know the gay guy. I didn’t really know what to expect by this, because I was a prude I meant for certain that I wouldn’t catch myself walking starkly nude. So he took me up in his pick up truck all the way through the green valley of killaloe and wasted no time following the signs guiding us to naked old people land, and my was I disturbed. We arrived there both of us quite dirty from work dressed in mud and cow poo and dirty clothes and I knew as we drove in, that the save haven of this material would soon become an object of easy taunt to those naked hippies languishing in the mid July sun. As we pulled into stop and Barney opened up his door it became increasingly obvious that we wouldn’t be going anywhere very soon and as he began to disrobe, the squirrelly naked image of this anarchist catholic has become engrained within my mind. It was a strange day and looking around and all of this fleshy color, genitalia, and pubic hair poking out everywhere so hideous in it’s shameless appearance I began to become withdrawn from reality. I walked out into the middle of the grass and sat down very much fully dressed and tried to keep my eyes directed at the place between the tree-line and the sunlight so as not to have to gaze haphazardly into the bright red skin of some naked old man with his genitalia revealed like some strange obscenity. But alas my avoidance only drew the man nearer and he came running along with a pipe filled with marijuana and smoked me up while I tried my best to glance awkwardly now at the place between his eyes and the gravel road beside. That was of course to no avail once more as he got up like this pillar of unhidden humanity and traipsed about like some mildly overweight completely naked elfin man to my hidden but rather obvious disdain. I was still trying to be cool and he tried his best to convince me to join the mass of naked flesh on the pagoda just a few meters behind me, but I refused. I felt like such a loser, just not hip enough to walk around completely naked oblivious to any care, so I got up and tore off all my clothes quickly had an outdoor shower and immediately re-clothed, embarrassed at my own existence. By the time I got to the point where the grotesque flesh images became to daunting for my poor mind to handle I began walking outside of the nudist club. I was fairly stoned and there was those new seedlings that looked like cotton balls floating through the wild grass that grew with the dandelions and the millions upon millions of mosquito’s that I stoned and uncaringly allowed to suck my blood with a thousand stingers pressed against my skin, stabbing and stealing the life from my heart. There was a batch of trees in the middle of the mush of beauteous northern Ontario greens yellows and violet colors where I sat and smoked another bowl I think. It was so nice to be alone away from that incessant pressure to be somebody I didn’t want to be. The thing about hippies is that they say they want to be a hippie but really they just want to mold themselves to the standards of a hippie which in the beginning are extremely uncomfortable but by the end it becomes sort of vague and numb, even boring to be walking about naked on a beach calling yourself Rainbow Angel. But those days were far off in the future and really not part of this story so I won’t get to them until later. I returned from my long drifty walk through the forest line of the nudist club and finally Barney was ready to leave. One man had told me quite sincerely as though it should affect my decision to be naked that a rock star had been there once before. I thought that this must be the cool way to go, but in the beginning it was extremely awkward and emotionally draining to bring myself into the state of the converted hippie of the egotistical universe of hippiedom that exists solely on the basis of hypocrisy and self- defeat. That afternoon ended as one horribly massive blip on the awkward non nudist radar as everyone could see I was the only one still clothed. Well that was enlightening, now we shall return where I left off. Me and the forgotten girl were in a cab on the way to her friends house, this was quite an expensive and long taxi cab ride but once we got there in our hung-over deluded state we realized it was well worth it to have arrived. We walked into their basement apartment and I basically fell over in a dazed and hung-over state while the forgotten girl played the part of sober but failed miserably as she began swaying back and forth against the balance of her own two feet inevitably having to lean against the white washed wall of these two strange sado masochists. Now these two were odd to see as me and the forgotten girl were very much not used to the darker side of reality, we were much more interested in the psychedelic and insidious optimism of both the beatniks (well mainly Jack Kerouac) and the early hippies that inspired our purposeless journey across the country, putting our lives in jeopardy. But here were two people that opened up their door to us and allowed us to stay at their place for something like two full weeks while we wasted away in their basement smoking tons of weed and doing a veritable slew of inappropriate things with one another from the perspective of me now. Hey, I’ve reclaimed my prudish mind let me be who I want to be, I say to the worldly type. Anyways, so this was Calgary, crazy sketchy Calgary and we climbed into the upper room and slept quite well in our black intoxicated blur. The next morning we awoke and went down to hang out with the two pseudo sado-masochists. This was very strange for me, because I had never really met such people before. We all sat down for coffee and the perpetually massive bag of perogies that we kept pouring out into boiling pots of water to eat with the risotto the one guy would bring home from his work. He was a chef who cooked at a finer dining restaurant and she was a stripper who took off her clothes for lurid beast like bikers 5 minutes from the apartment. We didn’t exactly hit it off very well, because I was very opposed to the idea of stripping and made that subtly clear with my reproaching clear of the throat after hearing. But she explained it wasn’t any more then just stripping and she made a fine amount money so it was all fine and dandy and her man didn’t seem bothered by this at all. The whole thing secretly appalled me but I tried my best not to let that become to obvious. While we were living here I began to talk about the omniscient girl rather obsessively and this began to quite understandably bother and offend the forgotten girl (I was hanging out with) but the omniscient girl to me at the time was like some space guru guiding me to the center of the planet where I’d find the deep core of understanding of enlightenment beyond existence. Of course in reality all of her ideas were about as deluded and confused as mine but she was a woman and I worshipped her at the time so she received first priority ahead of anyone in my life. The forgotten girl was truly taking the role of her name rather seriously and allowed this to go on with a few momentary rebukes. I have no idea how she put up with all that garbage. The next day me and her decided to go downtown, walking for quite a few miles into the pavement area, it was as though no-one lived there but them and apparently a lot of crack-heads as was made obvious by the man screaming at me across the street as we walked into the quiet forgotten neighborhood alone. He in an obvious drug induced daze screamed out “this is crack-town” or something to that affect while spinning very gracefully around as though he weren’t actually 45 years old desperate and depraved but in fact a very enthusiastic honest man just enjoying his life with mild eccentricity. We kept on walking and when we found a bench to sit down upon we sat and stared at the clouds for many hours. I began to hallucinate, a rather tremendous vortex of light termites that etched their way across the stumped out root of my mind as the drugs had already begun degrading my sense of reality. I explained this to the forgotten girl and she looked at me as though I must be a lunatic and explained to me that it must be very strange to see through my eyes. I heard that one a lot. I could see in the normal pale blue sky the whole eroding universe of light consuming up each corpuscle of jelly like air conforming amidst the destructive imminent glaring sharp electric light teeth that chewed up the distant boring clouds hanging in the bland pale blue of the sunless sky. We headed out behind some old factory and a man came out pointing to the place where the transport trucks pull in to park and unload and load whatever there was to unload and load and told us with that mild uncaring numbness as we sat on the cigarette break seat, that crack-heads often smoked their yellow tooth looking substance underneath so we assured him we weren’t into crack and he carried on with his day. We headed back to the forgotten girls friends house and stayed up talking about nothing and really desperately wanting to get high. Amazingly to our surprise in the morning we could smell the faint aroma of marijuana seeping lizard like through the rusted out air vents and we found our fix. I got some cash out and we went up and knocked asking for a good count. He did give us a pretty good count and we went and sat down on the couch and rolled a big doobie. Now this stuff unbeknownst to us was quite strong and as we lit it up I talked a bit to her about what we’d eat, but by the time we were done the joint I was way too stoned to even think of eating. Eating seemed like an unnecessary chore at that point so we sat there side by side and I began a muffled brief spurt of giggles that turned into an eruption of uncontrollable laughter as I explained to her that everything, and I mean everything began to look like powdered toast. The cinnamon powdered toast man from Ren and Stimpy began to float around me mockingly as though every corner of thought had been completely coated in mountains upon mountains of powdered toast and the very shape of existence, the walls, the tv, even the forgotten girls face became powdered toast. This was very strange and I was unusually high, so this stuff lasted awhile because of its strength. That night after doing something I promised the forgotten girl I would never disclose to anyone (though did once), the two of them came home. We were completely burnt out, our eyes were like red moons and we had spaced out the entire afternoon in some rather inexplicably confusing dialogue between each other. I don’t know what she was talking about, but we certainly did share in our sins that day. The night came and the forgotten girls friend desired to go out to this swiss chalet like place downtown, we had to get a cab and drive down there with her and her boyfriend. So we sat down and spent twenty dollars on an ommelette of so so quality and after this her boyfriend somehow left or maybe he had work or something but what happened next was quite unexpected. We were all walking down the street and suddenly I decided I just wanted to be alone so I went off walking by myself, and my was I stoned and in the middle of some strange city I didn’t know. The city was heavy with smoggy air and the darkness was luxuriant in it’s murderous tinge so through the bright red neon green haze of the night I walked and asking a few people where I was they told me down the street there was a park where all the prostitutes shot up pcp and if I was gonna walk through there I’d probably get mugged but it was the quickest way back. Another way was more difficult but safer and it was so strange as I walked down the street blurred out like the smudge of pencil mixed with the tinge of sweat from some anxiety ridden exam underneath the bright searing knife light of phosphorescence and saw a cab, because I knew if I asked the cab driver he’d just give me a free ride and that’s exactly what happened, it wasn’t all the way home but it was a ways out and once I arrived on the outskirts of the city of sketchiness I began the long and beautiful aloneness of the dreary midnight to two in the morning walk through the industrial city where the town lay in waste, a robotic freak show paradise that died in its own filth a hundred fold. Before I knew it I was half way there and the rarity of cars and trucks passing by made it quite clear to me that rest assured I’d get picked up if I hitchhiked. I Loved me then, just to be that alone by this long stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere smoggy air by some wrecking yard an elephant graveyard of metallic beast sawn apart and melted down just like me and I hitchhiked at 2 in the morning. I did not think for an instant about anyone but the soul that I was then and I felt free. Along came a very boring old blue pick up and a man picked me up who drove me back, by that time around 3 in the morning. Although he did nothing wrong there was that strange hint of madness in his gestures like he could turn into a violent red eyed sicko at the burst of a vein in his face if he chose to. That mad red glint like a sharp knife piercing through from his eyeballs into my heart suggested he was on the verge of raping me, but no such thing happened, though the subtly of the sickness became quite embedded in my mind and though I didn’t know it, it very much degraded me and hurt the molten core red with hidden anxiety pumping blood out of habit to that safe place in my mind where another joint took away all fear. I arrived back at the place with the bhuddist monk factory across the road and the forgotten girl upon seeing me let out a huge sigh of relief and laughed telling me that only I could’ve made it back through that night. I didn’t understand what she meant, but they all expressed their understandable concern for me and then after such a long walk we fell asleep side by side drifting away in beautiful but doomed love that thudded like a heart attack nearing its always inevitable last hopeless thump. It was sad that I was like that, that I gave up so quickly. The next morning arrived and we had all slept in for quite some time but upon arising from our lengthy dreams we began the long and arduous journey of dragging ourselves from the gray cheaply carpeted floor with the lurking smell of crack seeping through the air vents as we soon discovered the upper room mate was into much more then just pot. We tumbled down the stair case my legs like old wood weighed down with rot and moss and hungry for a blisteringly right cup of coffee to race the blood up and wake my eyes from the empty exhaustion. So we all put on a pot of coffee and waited in that calm acceptable silence knowing with satisfaction that the morning coffee pot would be filled and our minds would be awoken from the exhaustion of late night of my tiresome journey through the industrial area of Calgary. We smoked a doobie and headed out the door all “cheebed out” as we called it back then after our coffees and risotto or perogies (those were our two choices). We all walked together this time in the broad daylight and the two pseudo sado-masochists walked together all dressed starkly in bright shining black leather the girl had a choke collar with a leash of chain attached and she walked behind the man who dragged her along like some freak spectacle. We of course had to walk through the most normal suburban part of town and I being a hippie was rather embarrassed by this asking the forgotten girl under muffled breath why they never did this at home when no-one was looking. It became quite horrifically clear that the entire purpose of their strange medieval times style sado-masochistic display was merely to promote controversy and yes, there was very much controversy. We walked in the middle of the brilliant sunshine of the day that poured forth across the skin of the asphalt amoeba of tree, grass, and human existence through the red burnt skin of late july. It was as though everything we were was made five times more shocking with these two leather clad spawn inspired characters. They really were both like etchings out of some Todd McFarland sketch book, it was really embarrassing to observe, but really they were quite kind people behind their hideous first impression. We walked on and on it seemed like that image of the man who had to push a boulder to the top of a mountain over and over again just to have it pushed back down again and to have his very eyes picked from his head by a vulture (Dante’s Inferno) became the very skewed and hesitant portrait of socially awkward me. We walked by a family celebrating a very normal birthday party and well, the large majority of citizens of Calgary are rather… shall we say “hick” and not used to anything outside of a bull ride, a cowboy hat, and a beer, so upon their shocked observance of these two very obvious freaks there was a dark maudlin spew of obscenities sent out like darts at this freak show target board couple and many accusations (asking them to stay away from their children). I felt hideously embarrassed as their glares resonated like cigarette embers burning through the skin of my now melting sense of falsified dignity. It was odd to be that affected by people’s opinions, to feel ashamed to be around a couple of people. As the years went by, I became that freak and I became that unstable, to present myself as a target board in a different way, hugging every single tree that I’d see, but only because I believed I had to. That I was always just one tree away from enlightenment seemed to me my personal philosophy. So we all walked there together down that road into the supermarket and the wake of the subconscious degradation of the entire scene left behind a searing sense of shame that resonated through my whole body. I was after all quite the prude back then. We went to the supermarket and bought something, I don’t know what it was and then we went back to the house. Later in the day the forgotten girl and I decided to head downtown, and upon arriving in town I bought a slice of pizza and this native guy asked me for change. I looked at him with a big slice of pizza in my hand and refused, feeling later very ashamed and paranoid about this man and his powerful friends, as I began to fantasize. They were plotting to destroy me, now they were following me through the streets and a sense of stoned horror began to gut out the sense of self confidence I had before. They were all after me, that native guy new everyone and I should’ve given him my change. I looked around and there was a man standing by himself staring and I thought for certain he would be the one to jump me and kill me off because I hadn’t given the poor native guy change. That moment of extreme paranoia passed away and the forgotten girl and I continued languidly romping around town like sun bathing walruses slowly move about to catch the heavier rays of sunlight that warmed their sleeping leathery bellies. We were really pretty stoned all the time then, so everything was either hell or paradise. There was never much in between. We walked then and I saw this kid I knew from high-school just walking (I heard later that he had also hitch-hiked out to BC) but something held me back from saying hi to him. Even though he seemed to compel this sense of urgency in every step he took, as though I would benefit from conversation. I pretended not to know him and mumbled that I knew him to the forgotten girl. I had begun that time to confuse reality with my own mental instability and walked about singing out loud that New Order song Bizarre Love Triangle. It was strange to be so loved by the forgotten girl but to exist in this oblivious state of uncaring dystrophy of fading Love. So she continued on with me and we would have peaks and valleys of our Love turned to like then turning once more to Love. We were a strange couple based on the sole belief that we would never be together in the end and that our meaning to one another was purely momentary. But as we walked in the Calgary streets I had stopped caring about her and this was made quite obvious by my recurrent ditching of her, to walk around solemnly by myself until meeting up with her two hours later after finding that she’d been waiting for me outside the building I’d been walking without care through. Staring at all the bright neon glowing machines bursting with noise and desire to the arcade of falsified reality where the mid teen children delved into their own self denial. It was like age had finally destroyed all natural desire to be immersed in those lifeless boxes of sound and color that conjoined into blurry forgotten time lost to the quarters punched in ecstatically, almost in desperation. That’s what I did for two hours while she sat outside waiting for me and I vaguely apologized with a condescending “oh I was just walking around” as though it was my right to ask her and her friends to wait around for hours while I examined the process of time elimination, this electric pulse that thumped on and on. We headed out to the park and sat there playing guitar while the day passed and I could sense that growling resentment that grew in her heart but was never really expressed. We returned home for another joint and then the two friends of the forgotten girl had a friend over to play dungeons and dragons. I recalled the friend of the forgotten girl reeling in absolute disgust with the cringe of the face curled up in putrid mutation after telling us about her previous relationship with a very extreme sado-masochist who apparently did some really rather disgusting perverted things with her and left her degraded and scarred for the rest of her life. Thankfully she didn’t give us the full details, though she implied and ugh it’s pretty nasty, better left unwritten. That night her boyfriends friend came over and for some strange reason she allowed them to tape her to the table with duct tape and play dungeons and dragons on top of her back, as though she had become nothing more then a bland and forgettable material object, just a flesh table. This was very odd to observe, and the forgotten girl and I began to find ourselves very stoned observing this sub-human nearly demonic scene without understanding. The night passed and she continued to lay there in misery upon the table (but she apparently enjoyed this) while her boyfriend and his friend played dungeons and dragons and smoked colt wine tipped cigars just like spawn characters. This was so weird to be part of but marijuana softened the internal scar that it caused, so much so that I have just only now recalled how disturbing this moment was. In fact that was really one of the most oddest moments of my life. At one point her boyfriend left the table to fetch something to drink and there was this poor girl taped down with duct tape to a table and her boyfriends rather sketchy looking friend alone together, while we like stoned zombies observed him poke at her flesh like it was plastic pornographic filth, like she had become less then human, just something to abuse and molest without any particular care for her soul or the entity that she had allowed herself to be degraded to the point of becoming. The table person owned by the leather clad stranger who poked at her with the tips of his uncut fingernails. It was really weird to be there and it disturbs me now to live through this memory once more. Eventually they released her from the bondage of duct tape and she took the form of a human being once more and the night went on and eventually the friend of her boyfriends left, both of them leaving behind a wake of degrading scarring memory for all to dissect until fully justified so as not to have to think about the real implications of such a perverted action. The next morning came and we woke up to hear the couple of sado-masochistic tendency arguing in the other room. It then turned into a very strange darkness of loud screaming and then it seemed they began this game where they would hit each other with rulers and slapped each other to the point of causing bruises. This was absolutely disgusting and finally after a point the poor girl actually began to cry and ran off into the bathroom, we could hear the crying and then the boyfriend ran in after her, leaving us unsure of what to do. There was the same strange noises engulfing the dirty cave of an apartment and then the sobbing continued until finally we heard her scream quite loudly, “don’t look at me like that”, and then he left the bathroom with that grim perverse shame lingering like cold blooded reptile eyes upon the insect it preyed upon. They both soon left and we in a confused daze suppressed the reality of that disturbing sickness once more and lit up a fat joint and smoked it till all feeling and fear and pain had fazed away “up in smoke” as they say. It was really still there though, just like every disgusting and perverted thing I’d seen was really still there in my mind, I could never escape those evil images, not in this lifetime. We were after awhile quite hungry and because I didn’t want to offend our hosts I put every single perogie left in the boiling pot of water except for one obligatory perogie. This led to a rather amusing scene in the kitchen later that night when her boyfriend arrived home quite late, digging through the fridge for food to only find one perogie. He asked me, why did you leave only one perogie in the bag. I kinda laughed, slightly embarrassed at my lack of forethought, and apologized explaining that I didn’t want to eat all their food. He thought it was rather funny and that night the poor girl got a call and apparently her cat in Nova Scotia had died. The forgotten girl and the poor girl were friends from Nova Scotia and I would often hear many intriguing stories about there various experiences shared together. It always seemed so odd that the forgotten girl lived in this cold desolate sea side place, where everyone dressed in corduroy and talked about fish with big long red beards, and smoked cigarettes while in gruff language rambled about tax’s and the impoverished economy. I just couldn’t see her living there, she always seemed like she was from space or something, like her very existence hinged on unreality. So after realizing these grave words of the death of her cat we all went for a walk through the industrial side of Calgary and the forgotten girl took my picture which I later saw, and I looked quite degraded, like the universe had faded around me and all that was left was the pebble path on the side of some highway heading nowhere with my unsure heart as it’s treacherous guide. I looked like I’d died and my black eyes wore heavy with a grey slippery mercury like substance. I couldn’t deny the reality of this photograph. I was a complete and utter ruin. We had spent a very long and strange two weeks getting stoned in the sadomasochist couples apartment and were beginning to realize the necessity to leave. So that night after her boyfriend returned from work he brought us some risotto which we saved for later, and began our journey out past the Olympic games training facilities from the 80’s to the side of the highway heading into the beautiful outstretched arms of my homeland, the gorgeous green blur of mountainside stood breathing beautiful air into the claustrophobic subconscious poison we had just endured. Standing out on the side of the highway with the ugly black smog of Calgary hanging like an execution noose behind us and before us the wide open expanse of beauteous freedom that entranced the both of us, we stuck our thumbs up in the air and it seemed almost immediately a man pulled over and picked us up and drove us into the early day that shone brightly with the grassy hills of fading Calgary. That drive was easily the most beautiful drive of my entire life and the sullen whore of Calgary had escaped our minds completely. We drove on through that afternoon and he lit up two massive joints, the stench of them, skunk like, lingered in the shut window silence as Sheryl Crowe played guitar and sang something beautiful. I never liked Sheryl Crowe but on that particular day it was the absolute greatest music ever composed, so we drove away from the metallic beast of Calgary into the forest line that began to devour the past with perfect grace and enamor us, calling us like a muse into its masterpiece. The mountains were like rusted out ancient alien spacecraft I explained to the forgotten girl as they surpassed all of us in their perfect monolith like construction and shimmered wise like an old man’s hair. The grey of the stone combined with the green and the flowing lines of snow near the peaks filled our minds with every beautiful season one could see in Ontario except of course the wondrous fall. There the mountains reached like great giants to the stars and pressed their hearts up into the breast of the clouds, two Lovers on the brink of eternity healing one another touching each body the cloud and the mountain as one form of Love. The breadth of the Albertan/ British Columbia border was a wide open door that sucked all the colorless light of the city through a black-hole and released it in silence somewhere out behind the protective shield of these living breathing mountain ranges that held each creature in it’s womb, this Mountain mother of forest giving birth to a plethora of life forms. As we drove, I swear every colour of the mountainside and the winding aching asphalt that troubled itself following through the lakes, rivers, and mountainside flowed through my eyes and it was as though the very diamond of all of this existence formed one bright brilliant core in my heart and I believe I cried. It was the way the trees looked each one with their own root stuck into the womb of the earth never leaving it’s mother, always returning and it was the way the lightning had burst through burnt out trees left like wise old prophets in the meek and quiet reality of their thriving word. It was these trees and these stones, these rivers that defined my soul like a mountain making love to a cloud dissipating in the bright broiling sunlight the forgotten girl and I and the Omniscient girl were all desperately fading into one another, hopeless as fools with wild hunger that drove us there in the mad depths of the ocean thousands of miles beneath where the waves turned to a strange jelly and no machine had ever seen the animals beneath. The hidden beasts with wretched teeth eating one another and disturbing the silence of pitch black into that corner of each of our hearts where the shame ate like a rabid dog eats at the dieing flesh of the innocence, the child of our hearts. It was sin that drove us there, away from Love, and drove us dark, stricken with the seemingly eternal leprosy of rape and molestation. But still despite reality the drive had taken me away from everything I was and allowed me to escape into who I wanted to be, for just that moment. The massive mountains of my homeland where I was born comforted me much more then any Lover I would ever know. It was quite a long drive and pulling through the mountainside with its vicious tinge of predatory space where the cougar and the bear waited lurking in the shadows of the strong but uncaring earth that reached its dangerous arms over the mindlessness of humanity and haunted us with the fear of reality. The jump from a tree and the cougar with it’s teeth tearing us to pieces, the bear with it’s claws, who would save us from the demise of insidious creatures that lumbered through those beautiful but morbid landscapes we fell in Love with like we had always loved one another. This was the fear, the double edged sword of the Earth, it was not deserving of worship, but here we did, out of our covenant with the hippie philosophy of hypocrisy. The Earth though was much less vicious than mankind. Mankind is vicious because it envies the earth and thus desires to destroy it because it is the only thing in its deluded mind that it doesn’t have power over. Mankind is much more intelligent then these wild beasts, but we are much more vile and disgusting, perverting the natural sense of inert care that is to resonate within the heart of the Loving albeit very much imperfect soul of mankind. Mankind envies nature because it is the only thing that it cannot destroy. So we drove into the night and it became sunset and we were let loose in some small town out in the middle of nowhere, but the comfort of the wide open arms of those wise old mountains drew us into seclusion behind some hotel where we ate cold risotto and a kitten came along to play. The kitten came from nowhere it seemed and it made me think of that poor kitten in Calgary that we’d run away from. The forgotten girl and I had been walking through some strange part of the suburbs and a baby kitten obviously quite disturbed came running up to us for a pet, we of course lovingly offered him what he immediately desired, but as we got up to walk away we noticed the poor thing kept following us, and this baby kitten had shaggy dirty brown and black orange hair that stuck out uncared for, abused, I often thought of myself as that kitten, but really the comparison is untrue, I did some hideous things in my life, I lived a double life once. Now that cat came crawling after us, at first it seemed cute, even quaint and then as we continued on, we realized it did not just desire to stay for a pet, it wanted to live with us. This was a shock to both of us because we had grown to that point in our hearts where we knew we could not care for anything, barely ourselves, and the poverty we would reach was beyond our control at that point. So the poor little kitten kept following us and thus began a series of loud pessimistic meows that sounded so horribly depressing that it made my heart feel like shutting off and thus the forgotten girl told me quite sincerely in shock that we should run, so the poor thing wouldn’t follow us into traffic, and that’s exactly what we did, chasing away our own shame as this pathetic little animal cried out in such loud pangs of distress that misery seemed to kind of a word for our hearts after we’d escaped from it’s desperate needy calls. Later I would regret not taking the cat, and still in a way do. We could’ve taken care of him, it was cheap to care for a cat, but at the time for some reason it just seemed impossible to carry an animal about through this wild uncertain western Canada we brazenly and uncertainly were beginning to uncover, across the bland and naked landscape of Saskatchewan, through the ugly terminally ill Calgary, to the Lovely perfect mountains that owned the sky. That poor cat could’ve come along I remember thinking in deep regret over and over again, but we ran away from helping the poor thing and that’s the end of that story. We wound up sleeping behind this hotel eating risotto with a little kitten appearing from nowhere who expressed absolutely no interest in traveling with us. It seemed to mock us when we desired to take it. That night we slept under the blue tarp we’d carried all the way across the country with this guy beside us who was escaping from the land of methamphetamines on east hastings street in Vancouver. He’d told me he was just walkin’ down the road with a friend and he looked down upon the side of the road and there was a bag, he picked up the bag and looking inside to his innocent surprise it was a big rock of meth and a pipe. He told me he’d never tried meth at that point, so he and his friend smoked a bunch of meth and then headed deep into the toxic city of Vancouver to the core of it’s hideous incurable tumor, East Hastings street and got themselves a fairly steady meth habit, after awhile though he said the people started lookin’ at him like they were gonna rob him for his backpack full of supplies. So after escaping a knifing I guess he escaped the strange neon fire that emanates like sonar waves to the drug induced animal mind. The bloated whale of intoxication driving them all slowly more mad, degrading them into prostitution to the inevitable sexually transmitted disease into that miserable ocean of syringes laced with AIDS. Blood spray against bathroom walls, every sick and depraved perversion became a necessity to maintain that constant enviable fix. I stayed in a shelter down on east hastings a few times, they didn’t have a door on the bathroom and the black light, they explained, stopped the junkies from seeing their veins so they’d have to stab away gouging at the flesh for a pulsating vein to shoot the mix of fluid druggie like into their mainline, distressed and degraded gave out self prostitution for the blood drip and that evil mix that destroyed longing, feeling and life forever in it’s absolute finality. But that guy got out of it before it got too bad, he was heading back to se his parents he told me, and some part of me even though I vaguely knew him felt glad that he’d found release from that bullish end, that hideous failure. The little kitten would crawl under the tarp and scratch at us while we slept, waking us up only to make us chuckle because he really was so darn completely adorable. The morning came and it seemed as though the guy had already left, out that door and beyond into the beautiful hope of exodus. I was proud of him, he wasn’t gonna end up like the rest it seemed. I hope he stuck it out and escaped to a better place. We packed up our things and folded up our tarp and walked into town. That morning we got some breakfast at the truck stop and decided to start to hitchhike into Nelson as we’d heard it was a decent town. The hitchhiking wasn’t too hard and by the time we were outside of the city we were well on our way to Nelson. I remember that morning, waking up and looking at the mountains and feeling this fresh sense of glory, like everything bad had been forgiven me (even though that was a fallacy), and the strong mountains stood proudly, noble like lions and I was so happy to be away from the yelling and screaming of my soon to be divorced parents. I know they both Loved me, but it was a hard time for me when they were at the end there, my dad was really having a rough time, so really I felt much happier out here on my own, free of demands, then at any other time in my life except for maybe when I was 5. It was freedom at last and into Nelson we drove, getting picked up by a bunch of crazy hippies eating curried potato out of a plastic container while driving by a Charlie Manson look alike with a sign and very blood shot eyes. He looked like he’d been to Vietnam and it was 1971 and he was off to some grateful dead concert, with his cardboard sign stuck out in the air stating in massive black marker “SHAMBULA” (a major hippie rave). Well, they were all going to Shambula, but it really never interested me. They drove us through that night and I recalled earlier in the day standing in the dust on the side of the road as the sun burnt our skin red and the asphalt seemed to pulsate shivering beams of hallucination, like an Oasis of black. We got picked up and driven to McDonalds after some natives biked by us through the hills with bright shining smiles welcoming me Home. It was a true relief to be in that warm summer British Columbia breeze. The small bushes dried from sunlight looked like straw, lingering in the dry hot breeze of late july. We were on our way to Nelson after urinating behind a mini-putt course. The stoned hippies got us stoned and we drove through the vast mountain ranges of green that glued us to the side of the mountain always aware of the never ending edge of eternity beneath. It was as though the whole world had changed from that barren raped mechanism of Calgary into this perfect Earthly paradise, millions of trees stood like guardians to the Earth that seemed so much more powerful then those defunct oil guzzling bodies that pulsated by explosion through the hillside. We had carved our mark through this mass of untamed wilderness with potholed accessibility and we were free to travel up and down, observing with quiet awe the hungry earth devouring our pathetic creation we were forced to replaced over and over again. No-one could stop this Earth from writing its name into each creation and inevitably conjoining and collapsing the imperfect destructive tendency of mankind. The trees had become more then our populace and at this point we had failed to discern our own inert acceptance; that we should return one day into the mouth of the swallowing earth. We were busy though, busy in our minds, working things out, preparing for the next move. And the day passed with windows open, bad body odor and much marijuana smoked. We arrived in Nelson by nightfall after passing some scraggly old bearded hitchhiker; we just had to turn down. We all talked about him for awhile, wishing him well. The drive into Nelson was like some strange space-docking bay into this alternate universe where the smell of pot seeped through every orifice of the hippie laden streets and it seemed at that time to me to be filled with miracles, a place of elflike status where flowers spoke out of tune in the singular wind that floated through the fog of smoke and noise, the bouncing echoing strands of melody displaced in time and place from some drugged out busker by the side of the downtown dreamway that blissfully enveloped us in this sense of simple urgency, to arrive on time some place behind the veiled headdress of this strange beautiful mistress that inhabited Nelson. Nelson truly was a violet flower in a sea of burnt forest. It was a dream come true for any whacked out mind passing through. It was like we had become pollen sent here from the hippie trees throughout the continent to coerce, to gather infamously spoiled in our perfect garden, the small city of Nelson that has captured the hearts of a million strung out gentle hearted ones who’s lives are like short lengths of cobweb so meticulously created and so easily destroyed. That night after getting out of the car in the dark shade of the orbs of streetlight beneath the bright spilling ocean of moonlight washed over our eyes, we found walking up the street following the deep rhythmic groove of the hilly streets, a reggae band bashing away brilliantly through Bob Marley epics and everything became impossible to believe, like life had formed an eloquent web around us and had trapped us in this grandiose illusion of stoned bliss that would consume us like numerous other pathetic sea urchins, scuttling through their stolid hell of humiliation in the scarlet lipped city. We hung out in front of the club with all the people getting messed up on this massive joint this old Rastafarian guy smoked after telling me he’d seen Sun Ra which I thought was so crazy. Because Sun Ra was the mad man of all musical mad men, bordering on insanity and occasional genius. The schizophrenic haze of his music suited Nelson well, but not that night, as the topless woman coated in body paint wove through the weird tapestry of smoke and stoners and I saw the mermaid flesh she attempted to represent in hallucination. She passed by and took something from the air, a candle filled with a prism of color that in the eye of a cold blooded tetrahedron iguana shone scarlet through the tripping minds of these free range vagabonds. We outside after the night had toppled over itself and the last rhythmic chunks of sound had distantly resounded and I can’t remember where we slept that night if it was outside or if it was in the hallway of some hippies pad, but either way there seems to be a great fog as though the entire time that existed in my memory has gone missing, replaced with a white fog and soft humming. It is really strange, but in the morning we made our way to the red fish restaurant that served endless toast and we did eat a lot of toast and coffee and were quite relieved by the sunshine of the day. That afternoon we contacted the one man who was in search of woofers and though we had only one out of date woofing booklet and not two, he took us out for a lovely vegetarian lunch. After saying goodbye we headed down and back through the sunny crowded streets and sat on the left side of the street while we observed as a man on acid lost his mind and started screaming in this strange purple daze that he was the eggman and then began asking if his friend had ever been to hell and began screaming that he was in hell. The whole thing from my innocent (in that sense)mind seemed so disturbing that I in a frenzy left (I think). Later that night as we headed down, past the train tracks to the place we’d been directed to on this distant beach we saw that same guy again and he was muttering quite madly aloud about something, but he seemed to have calmed down since the previous freak out. I was rather afraid that he’d freak out and attack us but he just carried on past us mumbling insanely like some strange lunatic, a crab shuffling along, his arms all deranged. We made it to the beach and there was a bunch of people already sitting around a fire drinking a lot. I guess these two guys were pretty hardcore punks and the one kid told me about how horrible it was to observe a gang rape. I remember that and I did feel a shiver through my mind, like a schism that never leaves you, it just changes you forever. The other kids were on acid, sitting around a fire and I kept picking up sand and letting it pour through my fingers to the annoyance of one of the acid fried kids. I really didn’t understand what the problem was, but I let it be known that it didn’t matter to me by my continuing to allow sand slip through my fingertips. He seemed more and more annoyed by it, but in retrospect it still doesn’t seem like there was really anything wrong with it. After some time the two punks started freaking out and screaming at each other in some weird drunken sketch out about one of their friends who’d died. There was tears, kicking, and much drama, this was all a bit shocking but as I was quite stoned I didn’t necessarily feel anything. I later arrived by the forgotten girls side and we slept for the rest of the night in the gentle breeze of the reaching lakes that slipped from the ocean into the curtain of night that hung like a formidable storm in the distance. We awoke and it was because of sunlight, so it was an early morning. After talking for a long stoned out time with a couple of long haired stragglers about apple picking we decided to leave the strange and haunted town of Nelson and move on to more profitable places, where our lives would be easier. A lot of this is a blur for me, because I haven’t thought about most of this in a long time. I do recall meeting up with this guy that later became a friend of mine who was from the exact same town as I had grown up in at the Holy Smoke forest front. This strange woman who smoked us so much weed kept asking us to come to her place and in this subtle subterfuge she seemed to speak with a tinge of evil, and after talking for a long time about her apartment filled with distorted mirrors that she’d collected (this may be wrong) she concluded that her home was open to anyone. I really found something incredibly disturbing about the woman but I enjoyed smoking pot with her, the forgotten girl, and the guy from my hometown who later became sort of a vagabond pal of mine, though that changed completely. I don’t know when we left Nelson; it all seems too distant and stoned for me to remember. But when we finally left Nelson we were really ready for picking apples and living a more sustainable life, as the monetary supplement in my bank account was running thin. We somehow hitchhiked out of Nelson vowing to come back again and headed into the Okanogan Valley to pick apples and find work. I recall on the journey being picked up hitchhiking after passing through Ossoyoos and drinking coffee at a find work place by a school bus filled with super strung out hippies returning from Shambala the driver was in fact on acid and began hallucinating during the lightning storm we were passing through, that lightning was crashing on the road in front of us and that signs were flying at him, in every direction the dark sliver of sound edging malevolently from the busted speakers stabbed ether like in the hungry shadows. The Doors songs played and it seemed we really were at the end of some lonely road that would die in that electric acid fried torn out hair night where the man drove in sketchy hell like a helicopter with skies for propellers. It was whacked out and all the kids in the back were super depressed and burnt out on e after the major hippie festival had ended. We were like strange mannequins speaking the way we were supposed to speak and puffing in the dream shadow of marijuana that hid those grotesque mutilated deformities of humanity beneath in the drug sketch of eternity. It was a relief when they finally dropped us off and released us from those thoroughly disturbing confines, the shackles of poverty. They had dropped us off miles past where we’d wanted to be dropped off at, so we looked into the stormy night and felt the impending shatter of lightning and the inevitable rain and walked into some old wood workers place, where we knocked, rather disturbingly late in the night, upon his door. They found us sketched out in the middle of nowhere and we asked if we could stay the night, but instead he drove us out to a schoolyard and gave us forty bucks telling us to pay him back someday. We all knew that that would probably never happen but we really felt we had the intention of doing so. On the drive he told us about kids that’d been picked up hitchhiking who’d ripped apart back seats of cars and explained that most people didn’t pick up hitchhikers nowadays because of such stories. I believed him, knowing the crude faces of some of the druggies in Nelson but explained not everyone was like that. He let us out at this school yard and we rushed underneath an arch way and set up our tarp and sleeping bags as the rain began to pour in torrents forever and lightning ripped like a scar through the sky into the night where we lay pounded by wind and drifting in and out of sleep as everything seemed to be washed up at sea like we were the remains of a sunken ship. By morning the sunshine shone again and we were free. We decided to hitchhike to Keromeos as we had intended. I was busy as usual in my mental condition writing confusing garble as we rode in on some transport truck and the light of the day shone brilliant in the fog of cloud and marijuana that dreamily floated through the pale blue sky. My entire body had become a magnet attached to hers in the sense that we had become this inseparable duo. We traveled together in this constant mainly unspoken acceptance of our intertwining fates (at the time). We both knew the end was always near. So we held each other to close and forgot ourselves in each other. The drive took us through the mountainsides by great beautiful crystal lakes that shimmered in the vibrancy of the diamond sunlight. Our bodies had become etched in the earth. We were burnt and wind torn with dirt in our hair, dread-locked and coarse. The inexorable highway taking us without control against the backdrop of green mountainsides to a small town of east Indian millionaires who’s farms supplied the large majority of fruit throughout the country. In Keromeos we arrived and cuddled together under the bright blue tarp hiding beneath a rainstorm that shook our bodies. We slept the kind of sleep that evades itself awakening and falling back into the pseudo sleep ,a drifting failure of a dreamless sleep and the morning came brightly shining with excess rainwater dripping directly on top the tip of my eyeball in rhythmic pulse much to my repulsion. There we walked out into the low oasis of Keromeos leaving our things behind, realizing that no-one would steal such things. We found a find work office that was connected to the apple picking and pear picking farms and found ourselves a place to start. We headed up out of the little town on a few kilometer walk in the relaxing july breeze and found the old pear farm. We arrived and there was children’s toys thrown about through the yard and a middle aged man approached us. After we explained to him our desire to work he gave us two pear bags, explaining to us how they worked and we climbed up the aluminum ladders into the poorly pruned trees. Standing there up top the trees looking around at the surrounding mountainside in this silent desert we dreamed and I listened to the beatles revolver perpetually picking pears in the beginning then apples, chilli peppers, tomatoes, you name it. Those trees hugged us and scratched us and ripped up our skin while we picked and picked the fruits they gave birth to. It was amazing how out of a single tiny bud there could be born such a voluptuous fruit. It was the picking of the fruit that made our lives filled with much wine, marijuana, and ice cream as we became more acquainted with the little town. It was a strange town filled with dirty hippies that traveled around. As newbies we didn’t really know where we were, only that we were wherever we were. The pear picking job was paid upon how many barrels we filled. So usually after a very lazy day of languishing around, smoking dope and playing guitar we’d pick two barrels, make 40$, buy a bottle of wine and get some groceries at the local supermarket. After that first day, just before the side of the river that flowed like molten silver through the mold of the banks of Keromeos, we found a place to set up camp. It was a beautiful place behind some standing edge like blades of dried out straw. We put up our tent and found a place in the back where we set up some stones and started a fire. At this time we didn’t have an aluminum pot, just this little cook stove type pot (red, with the paint beginning to chip), which became more of a hassle then anything compared to the ease of starting a fire and using the big pot (we’d purchase later) on that dry bristly beach. So the next day we headed out for a days work and afterwards went down to the pawn shop to by a big handle-less aluminum pot. The woman at the grocery store told us that that caused Alzheimer’s but we didn’t mind, we’d already lost enough brain cells from the green pot. So we headed back to the fireside and lit up a good fire. We had purchased a few containers of mushroom soup and some pasta. This was our tradition, we would boil up the pasta and then as the pasta neared completion we’d pour in the mushroom soup to mix around awhile and make this delicious pasta goop that satisfied our empty stoned stomachs. The next day we headed up for work and soon realized there was a small cafeteria like place that sold simple breakfasts for good prices called Arleigh’s, it was perfect for us, so after a good days pickin and starin out at the green blue mountains with the sky like the eyes of an angel we headed down and ate a delicious meal with coffee, lots of coffee. Man I loved coffee back then and still do to this day. Coffee is what drove us through those early mornings and what inspired all that poetry that seems to have been washed away by the flood of time that sucked the joy from our eyes and left us miserable but free for new realities. After our meal we began headin back and decided to buy an ice cream cone. This was the first time we ever met Mike the Ice Cream Man, who was a very friendly guy, though was in debt for something like 100,000$ for crack. We sat down and I don’t recall how we met but it seemed to become to be a very amicable stoner friendship. It all depended on the day but at least one of us would light up a doobie, eat an ice cream cone and pass the smoke around. It’s amazing how you always think you know these people when your stoned but they seem to fade away like dust ruins a painting after you sober up. We hung out for a long time outside the ice cream shop, sittin on those plastic chairs complaining about the guy at the Laundromat who was rude to everyone, but those attractive hippie girls. We would often go in there and pay 2 dollars for a shower, wash our clothes and wait around outside looking out at the street together. And then along came Randy and Travis, I think we must have met them there at the Laundromat. They quickly became our new friends, and they really were decent people. They had this little white dump of a car that had all this crazy spray paint all over it that they drove around together. We after meeting them and hanging out for awhile invited them back to our camp for dinner and wine. They came on down and played with driftwood pretending it was swords while we made dinner, smoked doobies and drank a rather huge 4 liter bottle of wine. We did that on numerous occasions if I remember correctly. This was one of the funnier times and we drifted through that night with laughter and song on this beach that held all of our belongings. The river seemed to bubble drunkenly with our stupid happy laughter because we were free of every horrible thing. We were free of who we really were. The next morning came and we discovered we had new friends. So the forgotten girl and I headed into Cawsten after being rejected from the workplace of Keromeos. Cawsten was a super small town with only like 100 people in it, mainly orchards. There was a little convenience store called Amber Light that we’d often go to after working for the old polish man with a heavy accent that I’d often imitate to the enjoyment of the forgotten girl. We had fun then and I do recall just before being banished from the large majority of the picking farms in Keromeos, those last few days. We were out picking chili peppers on the first day and I was really quick at pulling the plants up out of the ground and shoving the chili’s in a box. Apparently no-one caught on until the end of the next day. At the end of that first day everyone had left and we grabbed a nice melon from the surrounding orchard. We split it open and started a little fire underneath what looked to be a rusted out old container. I started to notice that the flames began spreading rather rapidly about. This became something of a shock to me, but really we were too stoned and in our own poetic daze to care, so we acted stupid and impulsively. Lighting this fire on dry grass without any stone surrounding was really dumb and could’ve resulted in a lot more problems then actually occurred. But I hopped around like a jackrabbit stomping out all the remaining flames and along came a guy on a bicycle who looked at me like I ought to be ashamed of my mad man behavior. He then began to speak very harshly to me explaining to me that the fire I was building was directly underneath a massive barrel of gasoline. O man was I an idiot, if those flames had just gone a bit further it would’ve blown us to pieces sending us down to the earth as a couple of dead corpses. But I after realizing the severity of the situation quickly finished cooking our beans put out the fire and left. We walked down by the pebbled trail together and thus began a spew of poetic nonsense that poured out of my mouth into the afternoon dusk light to the amazement of the forgotten girl. We were so unaware of ourselves then; it was like we had become new for this time, and only for this time before returning to the humbling reality of our own true selves. It was a failure really, but it was a beautiful failure and one I will never forget. I am glad to have lived that life, but do believe a lot of what I did was wrong, and would never go that sketchy unpredictable path again. But the fact is that I had a lot of fun and it opened my mind to a life I didn’t believe was possible. The next day we headed up to work at the chili farm and I worked in that same unruly uncaring madman manner, tearing up plants left right and center but this time I got caught. Nerinder was his name and he had driven us into his orchard after paying us by big barrels of bright red apples, thousands of them, as cats ran around. The whole place was filled with tired workers waiting for there wages and we got paid. This time though after our days work, and the sun had fallen into a crimson red we were in for it, as he went searching through the field to find half the plants I’d been picking from destroyed. He started screaming at me and told me that this was thousands of dollars worth of profit. I felt ashamed but I was to stoned, it’s like when a parent catch’s his kid trying to make a bomb, he doesn’t know its wrong and extremely dangerous, he just thinks its fun, and that it’ll explode and make everything exciting. I never even thought of the possibility that this would cost the guy money, that these plants were being destroyed, all I thought was how much money I’d get at the end of it. So we walked away and my head hung pretty low and I did feel ashamed and then the chili’s attacked me, I rubbed my eyes with chili juice on my hand and it made them smart pretty bad. Man that was painful the way the hot juices of the chili blistered through my eye like some toxic acid, and I couldn’t help but start laughing, while I was crying because it seemed so absolutely perfect. Like the plants themselves had reached up and bit me where it hurts to return what I deserved for my careless and foolish behavior based on instant monetary gain. I mean the forgotten girl and I just wanted to get high, buy wine, play guitar, and cook food by the water side. We didn’t want to work, that was just the means to reach our desire. So I did apologize to the man, and he told me I was lucky he had decided not to charge me. We left penniless and I felt like a fool. That night the dark madness began to seep like a toxic black chemical through my soul like long white fingernails scratching the black shape of the coiled shame that hid in my heart. The pornographic violence that violated my sense of self- love; that perverted my enjoyment of reality crawled like blood thirsty leeches into the secret heart and I began the slow process of losing my mind. Sitting on the beach that night after smoking a bunch of weed I began singing just random out of tune notes in strange shapes over and through each whisper of sound the high pitched sketchy resounding notes would bounce back around. The forgotten girl silently chuckled because it did probably sound quite mad and my strange singing went on and on. It was the beginning of a momentary nervous breakdown. The days went on, their strange discordant meanderings through the temple of my hidden shame tortured me as I became less and less capable of understanding who I was or where I was. I thought about the revenge of the chili’s and even before that sitting on a green plastic bucket in this desert staring out at the surrounding mountains, the way the pale blue sky melted our pains away, the way the hippie kids cranked their 60’s rock music out through the fields of chili’s, and the way my knees felt; dug into the earth ripping madly away at the exquisitely fragile plants like some crazy child pulling on a cats tail. It was strange how I never really forgave myself for that, even though it seems to be years now. 5 years since all of this has happened and I have become very much a reclusive hermit secluded in the background of London, Ontario rejecting most completely the past decadence of my highly popular previous self. This story examines those drably dressed nobodies that skewed their lives out like dust blown from the side of the highway into the directionless wind. This is the book of nobodies and losers, the book of the forgotten people. Me and the forgotten girl worked up a good deal of cash after a couple fairly difficult days picking apples for the naïve polish man and bought ourselves a stereo. She got her parents to send down her favorite cd, and my mom sent me fudge and a sleeping bag all the way from Ontario. I was truly supported throughout all of these sketchy vaguely beautiful times by my mother. It didn’t get tell later when I become much more depraved that I had lost any respect from my family. I don’t have to go into details about them, but they definitely were not perfect. So we listened to Neutral Milk Hotel over and over again on our newly purchased stereo system and felt relieved to know we had this technology, it connected us somehow to our previous lives. It made us feel homely. One day after working for the decent polish man we all sat around for a joint, and this was the first time we’d ever met Jeff. Jeff was really a rather strange slightly obsessive fellow that become disturbingly stalker like later on in the story. We were sitting down for a joint after a good days worth of picking, and everything seemed free, we showed the old strung out alkey hippie who picked apples madly and made quite a fortune (he claimed he’d take over the farm, that he’d made an agreement with the old polish guy as the old polish man got on in age, we never questioned that, it just seemed doubtful considering his appetite for violence and alcohol) our minidisk version of revolver by the beatles, and I don’t know what he was on but he claimed it to be a remixed version. Though it really was just truly the original recording, this was another thing we didn’t really question. We liked him nonetheless, despite his obscenity and drinking problems he was rather respectful of us. But Jeff for some reason took offence to some old man condescending mumbling directed towards us and suddenly this horrible brutal fight broke out. This was really quite disturbing for the forgotten girl and I because we didn’t really care much about the condescending comment and at the time recognized him to be a fairly decent man. But Jeff got all mad and smashed him really hard in the face to the extent that blood went spilling out all over the green grass, erupting like hot magma from the volcano of this now very much hotly angry man. And thus the old man swung back and smacked him right in the face, and thus a stupid useless brawl broke out over nothing. The thing about pot is that it feels great when everything’s going great but the moment even the smallest thing goes wrong it sends the mind into this black-hole light devouring oblivion. It is the price one must pay for such a hedonistic lifestyle. So obviously something did go quite terribly wrong, as was represented by the blood stained blades of grass and the anxiety ridden face of the old polish man after the long whack of flesh against flesh and the screaming vicious lion like voices spoiling the calm paradise of the early afternoon. We walked away then and while I was walking, I in such a grief stricken state became emotionally ruined, and the pot ate like a wolf eats at a caribou through my sense of fragile serenity and my mind became backwards; the haze of the marijuana stumbled me through the trees. Now the trees had become like deaths scythe scratching at us as we ran through and just as I had lost it completely and my mind had rusted out the backside, fallen off like an old muffler in the middle of the road to cause an accident behind, I walked directly into a sharp needle like slicing branch just beneath my eye. The scratch dug deep just beneath my eye and bled out down my face, like a scarred warrior and I lay down in this druggie haze everything had been raped, I was no longer free, I had lost my sense of reality. I was in touch only with the hot drips of blood that ran down my cheek. That day ran like dripping blood through my memory. I thus because of this had a scar that began to look quite fetching after a few months. It was painful for the time though. The opalescent sky above wore its deceptive veil, before the pale blue sky rushed away into lurking night. We headed back to the camp site and slept. I recalled just a few days before, picking a cantaloupe from the chili farm just before being fired and burnt in the eye by the angry teeth of those fragile life-forms and heading on down into town. We hadn’t smoked weed all day and my mind was still very much disturbed and ashamed of its destruction, so we went to the ice cream man but he had none, so we sat on those cheap plastic chairs until nightfall, conversing very soberly and then upon heading out we saw in the distance, two French hippies. The two hippies whom we called out, stopped in this night layered in the dark reds and purples of some chaotic waves of neon hell. They sat down with us and we offered to trade them the cantaloupe for a joint. They agreed, and the French guy who could speak English very well told us in amazement that his friend who could never speak English took mushrooms and finally could understand the basic construct of the English language. As though the miracle of the plant had flowed through him and saved his mind from the aloneness of being in a land filled with English speaking hippies without that bond of language, but really even though the guy could speak English very poorly they both seemed insane, there was this heavy sickening yellow around them, this palette of darkness that weighed over them as they excitedly explained this apparent “miracle”. We were of course amazed being druggies ourselves, always looking for the replacement for our true minds. So they rolled a joint, one that I really didn’t need and we smoked. At first it seemed fun, but then the very earth began to open up and everything around me became sickeningly evil, penetrating the putrid black of the jelly green night that like a jellyfish floated electrifyingly dangerous around me. We headed back to our tent, and I began to get that same sickening dread as before, when I’d scratched my temple off and everything became like a slow blur, shifting melancholy over the plains of hidden shadow. I lost my mind, could no longer speak, had to sit down and explain to her that everything was lost. That I wasn’t worth being alive like that time I’d smoked the weed and saw the raven upside down, while those pseudo hicks recited condescending poetry. It was horrible, that eating madness, it was worse then ever before, that black ether yearning for death, reaching like scaly long fingernails through my mind into the scar of the chord of my spine and pulling each muscle from it’s place, ripping the nerve endings, singeing the tips of my feeling centers with hate. And I for the first time in my life sincerely wanted to die. So she coerced me back to the tent and I lay there shaking in this black heavy grimace and I asked her for a knife, because I sincerely would’ve loved to stab out my intestinal chords in that murderous evil that thrived like emotional cancer. I hated me as badly then as I hated me just recently. But this time I didn’t have the forgotten girl to stop me. I was alone this time, I didn’t have her to say don’t say things like that, it’ll be okay. You’re not gonna kill yourself Tom, no, this time I had no-one and the poison I ingested equaled the violence I desired for myself in every essence back then as just recently where I wound up in a hospital bed at the edge of nowhere, in this desert of drug induced death that lasted three days, I could not move or speak or breathe, I just lay there like a fragile doll eaten by a dog, it’s legs ripped off. It was me there in that bed; it was measly pathetic self- hating me with no-one there, just the sickly sweet smell of suicide that hung in the air of the hospital bed. It was horrible they wheeled me like a dead cow cut to bits through the snow as the police officer round faced angrily told me after I told him to go stop a racist that there was a break and enter they were supposed to be at except for me and I told him go then it doesn’t matter about me as the snow fell like stars scratching fingernails against the chalkboard of my mind I wasn’t ready for his rough hands shaking my numb corpse from the earth asphalt coated hunger it called me into its comfortable nothing gone down into that emptiness everyone could live without me it didn’t matter about me. It was fine I fell over on the telephone line leaning against the pillar of bright yellow paint useless as an ugly flesh statue fell to the ground and lay down to sleep in the snow like a pillow my black coat was like the asphalt as I drifted in the scar of white the snowy end but put put put the ambulance bus came by with the bright red and blue of the police sirens and my suicide attempt was through carrying me to the hospital into the calm and empty medication mind filled to the brim with nuclear energy pumping through me with death. I lay in the bed talked about Katie went to the space where I stood with the pills and sullenly muttered I hate (censored) as the ocean of loneliness engulfed my heart the medication filled mouth whispered out the last few syllables blurry now back to the door in the hallway I stunted my growth and infected my kidneys with hates material a long few seconds out the door through the crystal calm of dream like death throwing each foot forward like rolling over in the clouds by the fearless breath of exhaust to the hospital where I lay in jittery amoeba with phosphorescence symbiotic living in one calm air laying there I was mad I didn’t take enough to die sounds callous but is loveless I became gurney of intravenous stabbing attempts blood spray next to me slit wrists spray blood veins splay unstable brains escaping out through fearless breath of exhaust to the river of silence 5 police cars after her into deaths ugly arms with hideous smile pumping through me the desert of the next two nights lay in waste of the light blur memory fire burnt thimble tipped nightmare evil. Only the black thumb prints taped to my arm where the blood sprayed remained. If the forgotten girl hadn’t been there I would’ve more then equaled the damage I caused myself leading up to this lengthy space out in hospital bed. She was there for me when I needed her most. The night petered out, as she had refused to give me a knife and I fell asleep ashamed and disturbed and the morning came alive and I felt better once more. We decided to go to Oliver for some reason, and headed out together. I was still very much disturbed, but the hitchhike was fun and the main purpose was to get a big bottle of jaggermiester. This was not the last time we’d go there but it was pretty fun this time around. We headed down and got there by mid-afternoon, went and spent sixty bucks on a bottle of this herb liquor headed to an open jam, watched some woman bang out some kind sounding music. I played a set on some cheesy sounding keyboard. We hitchhiked home and offered these guys 5 bucks to drive us back to Keromeos. We got into the car, and everything seemed normal, but as we were driving we noticed the dashboard light was missing, and suddenly they were speeding quite recklessly. Then in front of us the bright red and blue of the police sirens shined horrific through the night, the driver suddenly started screaming obscenity, and his buddy explained to us that the car was hot, ie. Stolen. So we became pretty freaked out but as we were stoned it seemed like everything spaced out and left us from damage. The whole scene becomes a faded blur against the mountainside, a charcoal painting, vacant of emotion and disturbing calm relieving everyone of anxiety. The police officer released us without stopping, just warning signals. Man that could’ve been really bad. We finally arrived back late that night, and sat on the beach drinking this entire bottle of jaggermeister to the extent that we became absolutely wasted and the forgotten girl looked at me while trying to write, telling me that she couldn’t feel her fingers and that the pencil wasn’t writing. Then we began to laugh so drunkenly it was more like the sound of a slowed down over medicated in patient at a psych ward. We just sat there on the beach and everything fazed into this drunken dark shadow, wearing our bodies like the stars wear the sky and we languished uproariously laughing, skewed of our sense in the bursting silence that whispered it’s silent mutterings at no-one and by the end of the night her face a pink blur of nausea puked out the back of the tent and we fell asleep unaware of anything beyond our own drunken cauldron stomachs and the pain of alcohol. Life was a strange mess back then. Cities like Oliver didn’t torture me like they do now, I used to love those cabaret towns where you could stumble through the streets with your messed up lover and everyone joined in drunken bouts, but now it horrifies me, but now it causes me such anxiety. I thought the sky scrapers were going to fall over top of me onto my frail sacred body and destroy me, the bus, and everyone around me as we drove slowly into the city by the pavement sky anxiety attacks the doctors call them I become unreasonable and fall into unreality where life becomes hyperbolic everything is horrifying looming over me prepared to fall and swallow me up in the hopeless teeth of anxiety beast. The building tall shakes above the bus, its shadow, a life eater taunting me with animosity it seems to scream obscenities as we drive by into the barren womb of the raped earth streets; a city of metal hearts. She wasted no time but I arrived anxious as crack man harangues me in desperate want about to rob me. I hate the city it scatters my heart like salt in mud slush. The way I feel in a city now is disturbed, anxious and trapped the empty headed minds have lost there place in my life. I hate cities, they horrify me. I have found myself new in seclusion. The doomed holes that suffocate, lose their parasitic glow after a few years of thriving like a tapeworm in gut. The days went on and we picked a lot of fruit and drifted through a very homely atmosphere, these mountains and their nearly rainless sky surrounding us like pillows of warmth. We had nothing to fear in the mountainside filled with green that stood abruptly out of the earth, elderly and sincere, protecting us. The times we’d return from work, we’d walk back home underneath the mountain and many times we said we’d climb the old beast, but never did we. We reflected on old beatnik poets who climbed the sides of these evergreen giants and screamed out haikus through the forest beneath at its incredible peak. It was the wisdom of the mountains that drove us to that desire. To see what it was to be amongst the trees and wild animals roaming about tirelessly awaiting our arrival. It was the danger of knowing nothing about where we were yet climbing to the beautiful peak just to see out across the desert where we slept in peace. But every-time we intended such mad bravery we’d smoke a doobie and decide another day would be best reserved for such wild activity. It became a sort of running joke, that we’d climb the mountain. It was the inevitable delay that lingered in the background of our minds. The planning and pursuit of such accomplishment really seemed far too difficult for our true desire. We did meet a guy who had climbed or was planning to climb Mount Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada, which I will say is something rather incredible. It’s just, to make these massive ascents into the unknown took so much planning and thought. The idea of cutting my fingernails was already causing me too much anxiety, imagine the anxiety of climbing some bloody dangerous back of a violent beast, as what loomed before us. K mountain it was called, I later joked after I got more into drugs that we could climb to the top and snort a bunch of ketamine. So we never climbed that mountain, but we headed up pickin fruit and met our new friend who called himself Pots, and yes he did smoke some pretty fine grass. Everything about BC was entirely 6 times as strong and more beautiful then in Ontario. So the weed was obviously the kind that took you the whole day to come down on and zonked you out so completely that you just kinda lazed around and haphazardly picked an apple here and an apple there never really focusing to much attention on the job at hand just kinda spacing out, letting life grab hold of your mind and drifting into somnolence. It was a relaxing life, one that left all troubles behind. I do recall Pots very well, we met him at some Orchard in the middle of the field picking pears or apples and he was very friendly to us. We talked a lot about nothing, it seemed we just got stoned and he told us as he was quite the veteran at this work that he was trying to earn enough for a liver operation that would save his life. He worked like a mad man out there, far more then anyone else that I met, aside from the other old alkey down at the polish guys farm. The two alcoholics worked harder then all of us stoned out hippies combined. Those two could make 200$ a day no problem, and for someone who lives in a tent that adds up pretty fast. There was a few of those types out there that could just rake in the cash, but they got up at the crack of dawn and worked like mad horses through the day, until sundown. It was hard work too, because those bags did get heavy, no matter how lazy you were. I remember sittin down for dinner with that old guy and hangin out at Arleighs while he told us about his strange life back in Vancouver during the winter. The way he talked about life in Vancouver reminded one of when a poor immigrant goes on about living in poverty stricken Ethiopia. You can’t really relate so you just kinda let them go on, and they look you straight in the eye telling you all the horrible realities of their life and you kinda nod your head and say jeez man that’s gotta be tough and they start the near crying thing with the horror story about this or that and all you can do is just sit there kinda shocked and laugh a bit awkwardly and outta place and then they get mad at you and you feel ashamed. This is what it was like to hear Pots’s story about life, some sort of hellish description of living entrapped by some biker gang, and you couldn’t let your eyes off the poor guy but you really had nothing to say to him. It’s like when a vietnam veteran tries to describe war, it just isn’t pretty and it’s hard enough to sit through, let alone sympathize. But Pots talked and talked and talked and nothing ever seemed to get said, I don’t really remember much about his life, but it all seemed to horrible for words. I guess we’ve all got those horror stories in our past. Well he was a nice guy and later when things got really bad he helped us out pretty good. Then there was Jeff’s background, which was a real sick shocker, he’d just sit there rambling on and on about how he used to be a junkie, and how he once shot up in front of a five year old, and you kinda just had to sort of wag your head back and forth and say something like aww man. It was really weird talking to him, he’d always be talking about shooting up or stalking some girl, I guess I should’ve caught on that the guy was no good to hang out with, but he kept smoking us up so we had fun. I recall sitting on the beach with the forgotten girl playing on her little guitar and something came over me this feeling like I was free to just express whatever I desired. This song came out of me and I began to sing in a soft drifty voice like a cloud “I am afraid of God”, and considering I’d never known the fear of God or really believed in God up until then, it showed me a side of myself that I never really knew existed, and it still is a fairly beautiful albeit humble little song. That was the first song I wrote on guitar and I felt wonderful, absolutely free, like the wind had sucked my soul into its grasp and carried me somewhere much cleaner and softer then I’d ever been before. I sat there on that beach, with the sand trickling around me like rivers of mellifluous melted glass and I felt released from every horrible brutal ugly thing I’d ever seen. I felt as though my mind had reached this new pinnacle, this height of inner calm, irreplaceable with any desire or drug. It was wonderful, like I had touched the inner heart of the earth, like I had seen the very ocean of love and had returned. Along came Jeff and I explained to him my new philosophy that had appeared from this song I uncontrollably wrote by the whims of my inner wisdom where the true knowledge began. I couldn’t believe I’d sung those words, because I’d always thought of myself as sort of an atheist, so it was strange. I thought to myself I guess I believe in God than, and Jeff wrote God is Love on his ripped up jeans and it seemed there was hope for all of us. He left and then after spacing out in total sobriety, the forgotten girl and I headed into town and I told her that I felt like I had become the wind, as this blue deep crystal hope lake flowed through the green grass sunlight that drew me out of the darkness and began very slowly to call me. I was beginning to change I thought, and it is true to some extent, but I had not even touched on how destructive I would become to my body later on. I had not yet met up with the angel faced viper of acid that ate me alive while telling me everything was alright. I had not reached the abominable hell that held me pressed against the pavement in drops of rain washing my heart away in concentrated opiate. No, I had not reached the oblivion of drug induced self destruction yet, but I had found the beginning of wisdom. It’s rather humorous to note that I really believed that it was out of my own originality that I sang God is Love, later in my life I realized that this is a rather famous quote from Jesus Christ. So I went around claiming to have invented this idea that God is Love in complete ignorance to the reality that it had already been spoken nearly 2000 years before. It was a beautiful moment in my early rather humble beginnings as a song writer, and one that created, inevitably, a huge problem with ego that I battled with, rather pathetically throughout my long years, drugged out in a daze, living in the illusion of self-importance. I wrote a lot of songs, some of them better then that one, but never did I sing more humble words in my life. I understand that this book is not meant to be religious, so I will leave it at that. I talked a lot still about the omniscient girl but after awhile the words became less frequent and I focused more attention on the forgotten girl. One day we were laying around in the tent and I smoked a couple smokes, she strangely enough joined in as well and we smoked a joint while I jammed out in that black shadow glaze of marijuana and suddenly I just began to laugh hysterically, because everything seemed so completely comfortable, that all my life I’d been raised to live in this socially acceptable manner, pursuing the wealth of the world, when in reality I had never felt more comfortable, but just to laze around in this cheap tent with my poor impoverished friend jamming on a cheap guitar with nothing, really nothing at all. She asked me why I started to laugh, and I just told her because at the time I didn’t really know, that I didn’t know, I just felt like it. She told me that I’d just played the opening few notes of let it be. I must’ve done that by accident, but something about that moment just stands out as one of those moments where you feel at home, like nothing could ruin that moment, and nothing did. It is engrained in my memory forever, as one of the most comfortable moments of my life. Life back then was most definitely simple, much of our time was spent passing through our own dazed out intoxication. We were each of us like dreams that lived in clouds, sheltered by our self-denial. I could stand there on the side of the highway without fear in my heart, just trusting in some illusion, this serpent of false deliverance. We would often hitchhike from Cawsten into Keromeos after a good days work, there we would purchase our meals, stealing cheese and butter, shoving the cheese down my socks and covering my pant-legs. At one time going to this super store I stole an Angel food cake. Which I will say is the most impossible thing to steal of all things, what I did was just take it in my hands and walk out the door with it. It was absolutely incredible that I wasn’t caught. It seemed I had this heightened sense of whether I was being watched or not, so in my entire life I was able to steal thousands of dollars worth of food and alcohol without ever being caught, except once for stealing an avocado and early as a child for stealing a pair of gloves. Both times I knew I would get caught, but I went for it anyway. It is incredible to think of how much I have stolen in my life, the very sustenance that my body needed was stolen. The reason I liked to steal food was that I was becoming increasingly dependent on the idea that I would only have to pay for half of my needs. The other half could be stolen and thus the money could be saved for the purchase of such “necessities” as marijuana and expensive meals at Arleighs. We were such fools back then; it was a life of fluid freedom, like a river that never stopped flowing. I remember Mike the Ice Cream man telling us about his crack addiction, and how the previous night to this particular day he’d stayed up all night smoking crack in his trailer. There was above his trailer a willow tree that scraped its branches across the roof of his trailer during stormy weather. He told us about the horror of laying there in a crack fueled high octane schiz out; that he’d smoke crack then try to sleep and then this horrible knife like scratching would wreak havoc upon his light swaying away into sleep and up he’d jump running to his crack pipe to smoke some more, and then after some time he would fade away again into the land of sleep but suddenly the tree would rake like nails dragged across sheet metal and wake him up, to remove his pipe now conveniently hidden beneath his pillow. The crack smoke and the scratching willow tree were at enmity with his desire to sleep it seemed. By the time the morning had come he’d barely slept a wink and his mind had become one mass of paranoid delusion, telling us that he thought the aliens or something along those lines were scratching at his roof. It seemed he’d returned to normal reality and was joking about this matter rather wholeheartedly with us. We laughed as he described the scraping woosh of the willow tree with an exclaimed “booosquiwoosh” every time he made an aural example of the horrific assault of clattering sound that he must have endured. I always remember that story and find it to be ultimately insane, he told us that he much preferred to sleep on the ice cream shops floor. I always wondered what happened to that guy, he was a very friendly albeit troubled middle aged man with a massive debt problem. He described his previous life of excess and luxury to us and it was almost incredible how much that terrible yellow tooth pebble sized rock had distorted his life, but no it made sense. He told us he used to live up in the Yukon, in a mansion, with a bunch of cars and a lot of crack, and eventually everything went to the crack and all his money was washed away seemingly over night, to the extent that twenty years had passed and all he had left was his crack habit and a little ice cream business. This gave me further zeal to never ever get into such a vicious habit as crack, though I did try it once a few years ago, to my mothers disdain. I did a lot of things that my mother disdains, but I cannot change who I used to be, I can only try to make amends with my past and recover whatever sense of dignity I possibly can in this state. My life was like the life of a very pure hearted child who seeing everything he hated became that person and then stabbed himself all over, leaving behind a scarred deformity of a once pure being. Now I have taken the form of everything I hated as a child and have tried to placate the various wounds I stabbed myself very deeply with through my faith and am improving, but still I cannot change who I used to be and the scars will seemingly remain for as long as I live. It is evil what I became, and I was born into evil by what I hated most, now I have only the shape of the man that was evil and have taken great strains to recover from the murderous tinge, the curse of rape that still emanates throughout my body. We all become everything we hate at one time or another; it is called losing our innocence. As I observed this man’s disgraced form I realized he like me had become everything he hated. Turning oneself around after becoming the miserable representation of evil is pretty difficult, but ultimately necessary, even edifying to become clean. There was so many people I know who have become who they hate, they clothe the world with their wretched eyes perverted of their original brilliance. I have seen the very crumbling away of my self into absolute madness. I have watched as the bitterness of the soul devours people, each of them with there own reasons, resorting to abuses of many kind against themselves and those around them. Is this not the story of so many souls scattered like garbage across the sullen homeless streets of the open asphalt wound of every city we see. I was one of these lonely straggling plastic bags, hopeless as anti septic. The days in Keromeos were among the nicest of all my journeys, they were dangerous but only in the blood red silhouette that we ignored. The fingerprints of every curled up body in the warm breeze wrapped night held much possibility for evil. I remember one time in mid-summer going to the Baptist church we’d been invited to by one of our rides who’d picked us up hitchhiking and arriving there a little late while this old man plunked away on his piano, and rambled on about accepting Jesus into your heart. We both nearly broke out laughing at his grave over serious tone and then afterwards we were invited into the congregation, the one woman apparently mistaking me for a girl in front of the entire congregation. I did have rather long hair, but the fact that my face was grossly stubbly should’ve implied my sex. After the long boring dirge of crap we went downstairs and ate food because we were hungry; that is why we attended. After everyone had left and the sun was still quite strikingly alive in the upper regions of the sky I played on the old piano to the forgotten girl and to others. The keys were heavy with years of playing and the notes seem to pour out of me like charcoal painters paint over top another image combining into a conflux of various ideas, abstracted by their interaction with one another. We were very much at peace that day and I recall the forgotten girl looking at me as we walked down the long winding hill back into town outside of the Baptist church and telling me with great exclamation, that I was some kind of miracle. She of course knew nothing about me then, neither did anyone. We would often times smoke a joint and go to this excellent Jamaican restaurant called “The Reef” which had a very interesting menu, but we being explorers always opted to ask the chef whom we knew quite well to create whatever he pleased for us, from one of his original creations back in his home country. He was always very pleased to be invited into such a prospect, and the food he would offer us was excellent and always unexpected. The entire place bounced with the shuffling riffs of Bob Marley, as we sat in the yellow chairs with fish wallpaper and she drew pictures of me on the back of the paper placemat. She always loved to write and draw pictures on the back of placemats; it became quite a regular thing for me too. When you’re on the road and you have nothing, finding a piece of paper that’s writeable could be a major problem if one was inspired. The truck stops and restaurants not unlike this would often have paper placemats; these were used to a great extent in our travels and later my travels alone. That restaurant was wonderful but I remember one time, after smoking a rather hefty amount of marijuana, sitting in the room spaced out beyond oblivion and playing with the forks as though they were spaceships and making strange star trek influenced sounds. She just sat there staring at me with this look of absolute disturbance. I later asked her why she had looked at me like that, and she told me for a moment I just thought you were so completely weird, but then I realized you were alright. She was so completely right, I was totally weird, and in a really unhealthy way. I kind of ignored this and continued on the path with her back to the tent. Occasionally we would by a bottle of this exquisite pear wine from the local bar and sit down at the beach while the river bubbled by, with our cheeks pink and flushed in the shimmering reflection of starlight and romantically garbled like the soothing waters beside, dreamily in hopeless love. After the bottle had been finished I sat out on the beach while she went into the tent to go to sleep, and I realized right then how beautiful she really was. I lifted my body from the beach and crawled into the tent to tell her, while her face shone red. I often wonder why she looked that way, but maybe she wasn’t expecting such a thing to be said. I do have a wife now, and she is in her own way quite gorgeous herself, but I wonder if this relationship will be just as doomed as that one. I have fallen in Love with so many beautiful woman and always it seems either of us disappoints one another and we pseudo divorce, or end the relationship. I really do see that the Love I have for my wife, is much more then any of these woman combined but that she has disappointed me now so much that I am at this point where I feel I have lost all faith in the possibility of its recovery. I am writing a book about the past events now, so that is the focus. In Keromeos there was always so much not to do, that it became difficult to get out and work, but on many occasions we were able to gather ourselves together and carry out the necessary work to pay for our groceries, buy weed and alcohol, and hang out without worry. I do remember once though, it started raining for days on end, and we became quite destitute with no sustenance for quite some time, and along came our very generous friends Randy and Travis with there old beat up spray painted little car and they so very kindly, considering there equal level of poverty, bought us a good amount of groceries. I remember how nice that was, because we truly were starving and I recalled from that generosity a previous time this old woman had invited us into her place while the rain fell and allowed us to cook our beans on her stove. The forgotten girl forgot about her and the minister of the Baptist church the next time we saw both of them. It was really funny that she forgot about the Baptist minister because he’d been up there for an hour ranting away about vague nonsense while we had sat, both rather stoned, staring into space like the dust falling from the spinning ceiling fan had something more interesting to say. All of this writing seems to be more of a collage of the various memories then a concise chronological representation of events. I try my best to represent the feeling, the colour of every stand out moment that we lived through. I do not try to represent my memories in any sort of chronological order, just a place by place sort of guideline. I loved Keromeos, when I lived there with the forgotten girl it was freedom for me, it was like becoming released from exile for so many years into a bright new future that shone with the seemingly everlasting hope of promise. We were happy there together, and once we left, we were never again so close and caring of each other. Keromeos was the city of another failed Love affair in my life, but represents a strange and beautiful glimpse at who I only wished I could be. In later years I tried to recreate those experiences but only grew more and more disassociated from true reality, deluded by the acid fried existence that began to devour my mental health one hit at a time. I don’t know how many hits of acid I did, but it must’ve been in the hundreds, sometimes everyday, it was always that I was just one hit away from being healed from all the hideous damage the acid had caused me. I really truly believed I would somehow become suddenly set free forever after I took one more hit of acid, it was always one more hit of acid, and the reality is that it has permanently damaged me both mentally and physically, and I am left a spaced out disappointment who so lost in his own mind walks directly into doors, stumbles around the streets hallucinating in absolutely every single moment of his life. There is no other drug that caused me so much extreme mental damage then acid, and it has forever imprinted a floating field of ether like fog over everything, as I hallucinate the black orbs floating about me in my combined dreamland with reality. I have been made crazy permanently by this apparent miracle cure, acid, and I would warn anyone who takes it to be very wary of its inevitable corrupting affect on the mind. It is a beautiful illusion when everything is free and you are playing strange and brilliant music, but once that passes you are left with a hideous numbness that to this day; two years since the last time I took it, still hangs over my head melting my brain away. It has turned my brain into a very thick fog where I grope about, nearly blind, looking for a wall to guide me back to the place of reality that is concrete and understandable, that I can live with. Each day I find that wall, but each morning I lose it again, every day I have to find that wall that guides me to the true reality that is now. It is impossible to describe how frustrating it is to lose something you put down in a recognizable place 5 minutes prior to losing it over and over again. It’s like having self prescribed Alzheimer’s, with only yourself to blame. In Keromeos I had not yet delved into acid so I was pretty “with it” aside from the influence of marijuana; that did in its own way cause problems, albeit much lesser ones. I remember one day picking pears out on some rare orchard we’d never been to before and having this old woman come out and offer us all of the best that she owned. The strict farm owner family looked disdainfully at her, while she offered us cheese, jam, and bread and hugged us walking through the orchard looking so absolutely divinely at peace. That old woman looked so happy it was hard to believe that anyone could feel that complete. We went away amazed. I remember commenting to the forgotten girl about this, and her bright eyes were shining in silent agreement. There were so many lovely people in that town, that offered us such assurances and friendship I never lived anywhere where people were so kind again, for the rest of my life. I recall after Randy and Travis had bought us groceries on that rained out day where we could not work to afford sustenance telling the forgotten girl that I’d stolen a container of peanut butter, and she seemed annoyed at me. She explained that she’d thought it was unnecessary and then I suddenly felt a very heavy sense of shame enclose my heart like myself as a child hiding in the dark of the closet. That night though, we ate peanut butter, and I cheered up, after sometime of feeling deep regret over the matter. I always wanted to do what was right, but really I didn’t know how to. Later we invited Randy and Travis over to drink some wine and have a meal to make up for their generosity. Life always seemed so peaceful then. These memory lapses seem to coagulate into a very strange and diluted timeline, blob like solidifying from this molten liquid to the hard mass of never ending paragraph. I often times think of those days in Keromeos with a certain relish and though I am disconnected from them by this distance of time and change, I still enjoy remembering them. I remember one day going to the bar with Jeff (this was after the fight), and we were all standing around having drinks and in came the old man who’d fought him earlier. There was that grim realization that we could not escape another adrenaline rush of horrible dread as the two of them started off with some violent words. Out the door the old man went and Jeff finished off his Motts Clamato while explaining to us how he was going to beat the pulp out of the guy, while I tried to encourage him to hang around and avoid this useless and foolish violent confrontation, but no he was very much convinced of this matter, that this old man deserved to be beaten up in such a violent way. Now the old man had a 6 pack of beer cans and as we regretfully shambled out behind Jeff heading our way back to the campsite, Jeff began threatening to assault the poor man. The blood in their eyes was thick with malice, there was that red pulsating popped out neck vein in each one, as the crude obscenity increased and the old man like the spinning cyclone of leaves on a fall evening spun around with the 6 beer cans in his hand, threatening to smack Jeff in the face very hard with these rather deadly weights. Jeff eventually backed off after this very inane exchange of testosterone fueled comments about who was stronger then who, and who would beat up who more completely. It was so strange to be these two green coloured hippies spaced out in our earthly smell, following after this immature goof off of a testosterone expression. We felt so out of place, but later as we carried ourselves and small groceries back to the tent we hung out with Jeff for awhile. It seemed we always hung out with Jeff because we felt sorry for him, both of us never really liked the guy, we just hung out with him because we didn’t want to hurt his feelings. That would change eventually, I remember one day we had another little shin dig of a party where we cooked up some pasta, had Randy and Travis over, drank wine and partied like madmen and out of courtesy invited Jeff along. Jeff was always a pretty weird guy, he talked about stalking woman, shooting up, and just being generally at the bottom of the barrel. When describing his life, one came to the realization that he really had no-one and that he was quite annoying to be around. I remember sitting in the library after returning my stolen copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, because I felt regret over the matter, and seeing him there typing on the computer to someone. The words he was writing were incredibly close minded and racist against Aboriginal people, and this also gave me a sure sign of the danger of him in our life. It made me wonder after all these times he’d been talking to us, and appearing out of nowhere just at the right time, if he was stalking us. This became quite frighteningly clear, when he appeared out of nowhere while I was swimming in the river naked, and chose to rather creepily tear off his clothes and walk around as though it were some sort of pornography. I really just didn’t have a bathing suit and I don’t know what he thought was going on, but it sure wasn’t what was going on. It seemed he was rather obsessively appearing up out in the middle of nowhere around us. It became a bit disturbing, and the peak of this disturbance was that very night where we had that party of marijuana, wine and pasta, and everyone rejoiced in drunken splendor. But later that night as Randy and Travis left, the forgotten girl and I lay down and held each other. I guess Travis had forgotten his bottle of wine and came back to retrieve what he’d left behind. At the time we were listening to either Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, or Neutral Milk Hotels Aeroplane over the Sea. Both very emo, and something I have definitely lost all interest in listening to at this point in my life. Well Travis got his things and as he was walking out of the tent, he paused for a moment just staring and whispered something as though someone were there. We were both to drunk to really care so we passed out and fell to sleep without any fear. The next day Travis appeared before us and told us in a quite sincere and grim tone that as he was leaving he saw Jeff hiding in the corner of the vestibule while we were laying there so close together. Apparently he was just staring at us, maybe hoping we would suddenly incite to sexual relations. Wow that was really weird and after that I became increasingly aware of his presence, and even paranoid that somehow he would just appear while we were together, intimately. It was really quite scary to think that we were being stalked by this man, and thus our time at the beach became slightly soured by the presence of his fear inspiring obsession. We were now at the end of August and beginning to see the weather dim down in its perpetual heat waves of summer. The day finally came when it was the day of the forgotten girls birth and a great storm fell from the sky that night, and swept much mud from the mountains onto highways causing major problems, it filled the river with it’s torrents of rain. It was as though through the whole summer this mocking beast of chaos had been waiting for that right time to jump unexpectedly down and ruin everything we had, in one foul swoop. We returned from work one day after the rain and the massive increase of water flow from the river to find our tent and everything in it soaked and nearly destroyed. We must have brought the cd player with us because that seems to have stood the test of time. Our entire tent was ruined, it was soaked in 3 centimeters of water, and night was beginning to conform coldly over us. Our sleeping bags were masses of wet feathers clumped together in this condensed water mass with the mini-disc player now completely ruined and all of her drawings and art work blurred from the melting affect of ink and rain. The paintings now had an austere quality to them, like poverty had etched its ugly face in each of those intricate drawings and bared its hideous toothless gaping smile at us. The paintings were beautiful though, in the sense that they had lost there original splendor, and had been made new by mistake. I still have one of those paintings at my mom’s house, it is lovely and drained of its original intention, a tired image of a dream like odyssey that seemed to carry the yellow lines, the dirt and the smudge of every horrible thing the highway had ever released in the shape of my cloudlike facial features, with eyes of fluid darkness. It is a beautiful portrait. That night after finding our hideous mess, and the home we knew so well awash in rain and silt, we called my parents for money. In Ontario it was quite a bit later than it was in BC so my dad was most definitely not pleased, and made quite a scene of the whole thing. I just needed 60$ for a hotel for the night, so we could escape the cold. It was beginning to get cold at night at that point, and without a sleeping bag and warm coat one was liable to get the flu. So after much apprehension my father unhappily put in 60$ and we happily headed down to the nearest hotel. The forgotten girl was in misery while I tried my best to justify my lack of funds to my very lately awoken father, and she cried so despondently I almost felt afraid to tell her that we’d been given the money needed to stay the night somewhere. It seemed as though she’d lost everything, and that this was the summation of her ruin, and it felt as though I could never make up for what was lost in her heart, that I could only stand there staring out at the street waiting, while like rain the hopeless pebbled pathways of her heart were washed clean from these rushing blade like razors that cut my heart, these vicious tears that sobbed so grievously. We were both so pathetic then, we had no-one but each other, and there was no guarantee that that would last, and it certainly didn’t. The money arrived in our account begrudgingly from my father’s bank account, and I could tell that he loved me by the fear in his voice. I just wanted to be angry at him, but I could hear the concern in his tone, the undercurrent of horror. He even offered to drive all the way down from Ontario to pick me and the forgotten girl up, but I blatantly refused. It seemed like he blamed himself for every horrible mistake I ever made, but really it had nothing to do with him. It was only time and unforeseen circumstances that drove me mad by the rape of my childhood body in some house with green walls and an aquarium of turtles, with a woman that cooked chapattis, and the smell of oil hung in the air as I was offered an alcoholic beverage from an ominous voice, in which I drank and became disheveled, unclear and lost and he drew me like a puppet by the strings of my heart to a place where I was more easily raped at a children’s birthday party where my souls innocence wasted away. I must have been six or seven, I really only know these images; of the smashed piñata and the fake watermelon candy I found and the tire play-set in the backyard I climbed around in before walking through the now murky memory of the glass door in the luxury house with green walls, to the man with black greasy hair, looking like a demon at me, prepared to eat up the last corpuscle of blood like innocence in my heart like a vampire and leave me shaken and ruined forever; born into evil. There was a woman with red eyes burning like cigarette embers through the mirror as he led me up the stairs and I remembered the evil in her eyes that stained my raped and scarred mind forever. The eyes, I would tell my mother as a child after waking from hideous dreams, the eyes of those vicious cold blooded reptiles raping me in their languid luxury, delighting in my flesh as though it were truly just the skin of a whore, as though I truly had no spirit, as though I was just a sexual orifice to force genitalia into my dazed and drugged out plastic body. It was then on the side of the road that the shame cycle, the perverted dialect of the middle class rape victim me, felt as useless and pathetic as she. I just stood there while she cried and felt so incredibly horrible, ashamed, and alone that telling her my dad had given me 60$ seemed more like a torment then a victory. We were both then like statues, silhouettes of reality, fakes, forgotten people, pieces of trash that had uncaringly arrived laying in a dirty flesh colored gutter, side by side. I would hide as a child in my closet shining my microscope light at the wall and cry. This was my pathetic life, and I was nothing then. I finally told her in a very ashamed voice that tried to sound happy, that we’d received the necessary funds to stay in a hotel for the night. Pots the man of the hour came biking by, free minded as a fluttering bird and like a bright shining star lit up our eyes with hope, and we began smiling again, and all of that depression seemed distant and strange and he asked if he might stay the night in the hotel with us. We agreed that this was entirely acceptable. Pots was incredibly kind to us after we gave him the night for free in a hotel and told him our sob story about losing everything in the rain. The next day we found him and he smoked us up pretty good and invited us to stay in his tent for three days until we figured out what we were gonna do. He was so kind to do that, and he slept in a separate area out on pavement for three days while we spaced out and kinda chilled out after our duo mental breakdown. I remember at some point before this though, before all of the falling rain, hitchhiking for the second time to Oliver. This time we weren’t really getting along, and I was starting to sketch out, as we walked I started jittering, and I couldn’t understand whether I was making up the sickness or if I was really that mad as I was portraying myself to be. She got kinda fed up with me, and in the middle of the town we went our separate ways. In that town an older woman found me just sitting there in the middle of nowhere sketching out, and she was very kind to me. She invited me back to her house where we smoked cigarettes, and she talked about smoking crack, and all the people that smoked crack and how some guy she knew wouldn’t sell her any crack and how he was probably smoking all his crack up in his bathroom standing on the seat blowing the smoke into the air vent so as not to get caught by his roommates. That image seems to strange for me to imagine. That night we smoked old shake she had left over, and got mildly buzzed while staring at all her strange artistic creations she had told me she’d painted on crack. Some of them really were quite interesting though very schizophrenic and nonsensical. She was truly an artist though, her hair was grey with years of drug abuse and her wisdom was a fleeting kind, battered out of her by old age and abuse. Her wisdom was the kind of wisdom that comes from being beaten into complete and utter ruination time and time again to the point that all integrity and dignity had been lost, corrupted by bad decisions, her wisdom was one of hopelessness, they call it street smarts. It was a beautiful night, and in my haze of strange breakdown we conversed through the night eating soup, smoking cigarettes, and weed while I worried about the forgotten girl and fell into what was possibly a dreamless sleep. The next morning I got up and said goodbye, and had to walk a fair ways out of Oliver before I could get a ride, so that took most of the morning, and her suggestion to go to the library to find work was forgotten. I stood out there on the side of the highway in this very tropical climate, and the sun shined; if monkeys jumped from the trees and parrots cried I would not have been surprised, it seemed we were in India. The forgotten girl had disappeared and I was out standing on the street hitchhiking when a man picked me up who’d told me he’d been in a car crash and killed some guy, and was now addicted to painkillers for the permanent damage he caused his leg. It was a relief to get picked up after all that time, especially because I’d just stolen a chocolate bar from a fruit stand I was standing by. He drove me out of the town quite a ways and by the time we reached the turn off, it was mid day and he dropped me off. I hitchhiked from there into Keromeos through the green mountainsides that surrounded the place and got picked up by some very crude man who kept discussing female genitalia in an obscene manner. He drove me into town, past all the strange signs, and the images that hung up quite mundanely against the soft breeze nearing the end of summer and I felt mad. I just wanted to go and tell the forgotten girl how mad I was, and when I arrived back into town she was sitting there in the tarp waiting for me while reading, and I started going on about how she should never leave me, and how much it worried me, but ironically I had done the exact same thing to her in Calgary. She started to cry and walk away; she was really a very sensitive person. I remember that day, after waking up in Pot’s tent how we commented on the previous nights conversation where Pots had told us all about how he would have a whoores bath in the morning, and chuckled. We found Pots in the apple packaging plant rolling a big doobie listening to the turtles, and man this was probably some of the strongest stuff we smoked, and after inhaling the heavy moist smoke we drifted like clouds back through the pebbled grey side of the highway while Pots biked away explaining he was going to the chili festival, and we decided to head down to Arleighs and drink coffee for the rest of the day, because it was a drab and cool day, one of those September days. I had purchased this very beatnik kinda coat that was stuffed with sheep skin and had a velvet covering to it. We walked together and I remembered that antique store in Keromeos, and all the strange but very useful trash you could buy there. The grey clouds hung in disapproval over our stoned out mind as we perused a garage sale, we were stuck, we had nowhere to go and we were stoned, we had to find a job. I remember long before this fateful day of decision, when we were still hitchhiking into B.C.. We were still on the outskirts of Alberta when a man drove by us in a blue truck, he then turned his truck around further up the road and came and picked us up. We were both exhausted from the road and the idea of anything aside from another coffee or sleep seemed incredibly annoying, and along came this man. I regrettably chose to allow the forgotten girl to get into the truck first, sitting right beside this very disturbed man, and I hopped in (without thinking), to the strange texture of crackling chicken bones beneath my feet. After the drive began we became more and more aware of the massive amount of chicken bones collected on the floor of this strange mans truck. We looked down and disgusted in what we saw, there was a mass of dried out chicken bones mixed with the wet of half eaten meat to the infestation of flies. It was truly a disgusting site, and as the drive went on, the man leaned over leering at the forgotten girl, and sort of whispered, ya got any coke? This was really scary at the time, but in later months reciting the story to some hippies, it became one of great humor. After saying this, we both quite disturbed and now afraid of the man and his collection of dried chicken bones, decided to ask to be let off at the safest possible place. He drove away snorting and huffing back cigarettes like some strung out weak old chicken bone goblin and we kinda laughed and started hitchhiking again. That was truly the weirdest ride for us at that time in our lives; I would have much worse but probably none quite as ridiculous. Now returning to that point where we had nothing, were really stoned, our tent and sleeping bags were soaked through and through and we were sleeping at pots tent for a few days. I remember we headed into town that day and instead of doing anything like we should’ve, we just drank pot after pot of coffee and wrote and talked. The woman at Arleighs was very kind to us, bringing us free meals occasionally and even offering us old clothes. We were definitely blessed with the kindness of these country folk. I remember recounting the story so many times to so many different hippies about the time I got the highest I had ever gotten on marijuana. This is quite the ridiculous story and it occurred just a few days after our stay in Pots tent where we’d found a new job up in Cawsten. We were both trying to get away from Jeff to so we decided to carry up our now dried out but ruined tent, and our sleeping bags we’d put in the dryer at the Laundromat for hours, to a new hidden place from the watchful stalking eye of Jeff. We would see Jeff occasionally, he’d always ask where we lived but we’d just give him vague replies after hearing the story about his stalking us outside of our tent that night. That really scared us and brought us into a constant state of paranoia, so this new place we found up in Cawsten was decent, it had a little stove, and an oven outside, as well as a refrigerator and a sink, I think? We set up our things in the little orchard, filled with mad workers and spent the night in our ruined tent. It was okay though, because our sleeping bags had been recovered after many hours in the dryer, though it was September, and getting cold, so we wore our coats to bed and slept shivering. The morning came and we had that relief of waking up in this new sparsely populated town knowing that Jeff had no idea where we lived and that we were free to cook using a real gas stove, and refrigerate eggs and milk, and wash dishes. This was quite a step up from our previous life, with the handle-less aluminum pot we cooked over open fire and washed in the river. Though I was sad to lose the comfort of the sand beneath our sleeping bags, and our neighbors(who had domesticated snakes, that would wrap there way around your arm if you picked them up). They were just gartner-snakes, not dangerous and deadly like the rattler that lived somewhere in those mountainsides. We were told there were scorpions that could kill you with one bite down by the river there, but we never saw a single one. I remember that going next door to hang out with the French crew of apple pickin’ hippies and hangin out with them smoking doobies, and talking about life, they would always talk to each other in the language of there tongue so we had trouble understanding them, but when talking to us, we got a very heavily accented English, and some fun. We all usually just jammed out, drank beers, and stared into the fire for hours on end dreaming away, as the flames licked the night. I also remember further down that river the guys in their trailer, two eccentrics who smoked a lot of pot and fished. I never really got to know them but you could hear them howling away at the moon occasionally with their guitars in hand. Everyone of them, absolutely everyone smoked cigarettes back then, in fact it was a bit of a trading commodity. You’d see all those pov kids rolling cheap cigarettes out of big containers of rolling tobacco, and you’d give 50 cents or smoke a doobie with them for a handful. It was strange really looking back on it now, the way tobacco ran such a thick undercurrent to that culture. Everyone had yellow stained fingertips, thumbs almost orange with nicotine. We were all chasing after tobacco like it was air and pot like it was gold. The days wound on and then the rainstorm came and all of that sense of community was washed away, as everyone began moving up further into the hills. We had now moved up into this new farm, where we were allowed to camp. It was getting colder out, but the apples were more then ripe, and the picking season had begun. The first morning there, we were guided by the main owner of the farm to an orchard further down the road, near amber light convenience store. It was a bit off the beaten path from the polish mans complex, whom had all his apples picked completely, but it wasn’t that far of a walk. So we headed down together, both of us quite sober, and began picking apples, it was still wet from the rain from the previous night so it was a bit dangerous on the ladders, but we made it through, and I found upon the earth this shining gold medallion, probably an ornament for one of the sikh woman, and I wore it around my neck while I worked. It was beautiful, there were plastic diamond shaped jewels in the center with these lovely colours beaded together by gold coloured wool or something more straw like, there seemed to be something like the eye of a peacock feather in the middle, if my memory is correct. Anyway it was very psychedelic; startlingly bright like the symbolic representation of the sun. I remember working and working with the forgotten girl all day, and deciding after we both agreed upon the matter that I go off and get some food for both of us. I headed up into the campsite, grabbed our miniature container of peanut butter, and our bread and headed quite quickly back to work, but along came a stoned hippie riding on a bike without a working crank, and he’d have to stop and kick with his legs to get it moving and then hop back on and slide across the asphalt until it slowed to much and do this in repetition until he reached his destination. It was a pathetic scene to see him and his bike limping across the hilly landscape of the desert of the Okanogan Valley, but he stopped after seeing me; another long haired sketch bag like himself and offered to smoke me up. I don’t know what it was about this guy but he was way out there, and kept suggesting that because I seemed to have an accent that I must be from Texas, I explained to him that I was from Ontario, rather flattered though, because I liked the idea of having one of those rough cowboy accents, like Bob Dylan or something (sometimes I’d even pretend a bit, and put it on, I did that a bit with this guy). He rolled up this massive joint, in the middle of this road at the top of this massive hill, and we sat there in the middle of the road for what seemed like 45 minutes and not a soul came through. Well it was Cawsten; no-one lives there except for guys on limping bikes without cranks and owners of orchards who spend most of there time on tractors, moving shipments to the apple packaging plant down further on main-street. So it was really no surprise that you could just sit there for hours in the middle of a road with no-one around for miles. It was nice really, you never really get that kinda space anywhere else, except out in the country, and you know it’s a big relief to know that everywhere, even the middle of a road can be your home; without the health concern of getting run over. We smoked his weed after talking about I don’t know what, mainly my pseudo accent that I’d partially put on because I liked the image, and by the time the joint was done, I stood up and suddenly my whole mind became overflowing with this massive river of static, my vision was erased, replaced with black and the sharp fuzzing buzz, ebbing and flowing like a wild uncontrollable river of rapids through my mind, and finally the sound emanated out of my eyeballs and I could see again, I said goodbye in a slur of blurred out sound and then I began to walk, drifting like I was walking at the bottom of the ocean, where sea creatures and submarines floated around in pseudo reality, I would move my arms up and down and it felt like they were dragging behind the heavy globs of jelly that come from the bottom of the ocean. It was like being somewhere between material reality and an ocean of starlight, while at the same time being compressed into a deep sea creature mumbling and umbilical like attached to the core of the earth. The movement was like play doh, if I were play doh and my whole body seemed to slow behind the movements of my mind. It reminds me now of the time in college when I’d first taken e, that seemed to be laced with something, and how I observed in quiet thought as everything I saw around me stopped in motion. All time stopped, but still I was thinking throughout this timeless moment. It seems impossible to understand from a sober mind, but I saw time stop and consciously accepted that while thinking and observing everyone frozen in motionless static. Time had stopped, and this was very strange to see a man not breathing but still very much alive with his arm outstretched to move but not moving, like a true human impossible sculpture that could never be represented in words. Well after walking down the hill and saying goodbye to the mad man hippie I headed into that blue lipped atmosphere that reminisced on itself freakishly, much in the same way the skin of everyone seemed blue in the college e trip that stopped time and froze me in that strange nothing place between time; where nothing seemed to be really aware of anything except for me, it was all frozen in time, while I observed and contemplated each form, though I also as a physical form was frozen in time, it was just my mind that was still aware. It was as though walking down that hill in that deep sea daze and observing all time at a standstill have formed into one memory that when combined represent every deluded moment of drug existence in one frozen static river ebbing and flowing, frozen like a statue of non-existence through the empty headed reasoning of some drugged out eyes that could no longer understand basic human reality but only understand the delusional and accept that delusion, the ugly lie of it, as reality because there was nothing else left for the mind in that comatose state but emptiness; cold vacant uncaring emptiness drained of any feeling or movement. Just statuesque perversions of reality warped and skewed like ripping apart a masterpiece and claiming it to be quite the same as the pale blue sky. It was like looking at a square box and really truly absolutely believing while observing it, to be a tetrahedron iguana that puked starlight from its eyeball. It really is impossible to describe those moments fully, because they defy logic, and are unreality in themselves; they are warped of reality, a destruction of the masterpiece of the human mind. Each time I recovered from these moments I would come down in this foggy unclear state and try to understand this mental decomposition, this sub-human mental rot that had been displayed as an impossible reality and I would fail. I still can never really understand those moments, they are like forcing the brain beyond its original intention and leading one to a place between life and death, that is vague and dissimilar to anything one can accept in this sober life. I am so glad to be sober now, because the confusion such visions bring is absolutely horrendously damaging to the mental health. By the time I got past the deep sea creature trip conjoined with the frozen time statuesque freak-show carnival mind I returned to the forgotten girl. To find her quite tirelessly picking apples the whole time I’d been off wasted out of my skull now numb and drained of all feeling, but still very stoned. She looked quite annoyed, after spending hours picking fruit by herself while I wasted away in madness, but in a way as she was a stoner too when I told her about it so I could tell she envied that she hadn’t come along. I walked down the street later very enthusiastically walking with arms up and down straight as arrows at the sky, legs like knives, walking like some mannequin, later I asked her how I was acting, and she told me it was quite annoying to be around me. I totally understand how she could be annoyed. That was probably the most out of it I ever got on pot, there was another time but I don’t think it was quite as surreal. The degradation of drug abuse has left a major scar on my mind. It is too bad I put myself through such a hell, but when one is running from reality the only place there is to run to is unreality, and that is what drugs bring. Unreality is a place of evil faces hunting in the shadows, a place where denial is painted over with soft watercolor, until the singeing incendiary glares of those red eyes burn through that pseudo beautiful painting and ruin unreality once more, reminding, always reminding of reality. The horrible hideous knife like teeth of unreality that stare dripping with the blood of shame glinting in the shadows of that soft deluded dream. Unreality becomes reality to one who runs from reality, they run from unreality into the arms of falsified reality defined as reality, reaching to the sky just to surrender as Leonard Cohen said. It is to be so horribly alone that nothing, not even your heart seems to beat. It is to be at the edge of nothingness, to afraid to call it death, but holding oneself, as a child holds the plastic creation of a doll and rips it to pieces, trying to flush it down the toilet. Life and death become a game, that is of no concern to the one to stoned to know he is playing it. Of course marijuana isn’t a particularly deadly substance, it would only be later when I would discover those mutations. In this plastic island of my heart I waded through the depths of nowhere down even further into the pit of my body, where it lingered there. It is not unlike losing all sense of reality and becoming no-one. I have been no-one now for so many years, and the mind it latches on to superfluous memories but cannot remember what matters. I remember now after moving up out of the riverside standing there in the cool spring breeze with my ratty old brown corduroy coat and wondering why everything had turned out like this. With the mountainsides outstretched around me, I suddenly began to feel trapped again just as I had back at home. I had begun to lose track once more of reality. We often spent our days picking fruit for this man, who handed out our checks at the end of the day, the life was sadder then, now that we had moved away from Keromeos. It was more lonely, and we walked down through the dirt roads by the orchards; red with the tilled soil and a long haired hippy girl was picking eggplant (I think), and she, seeing us walking; our steps whispering melancholy as the forgotten girl told me about how she hid in a closet as a child. I never knew the forgotten girl, she just appeared before me, and the entire time we were together there was not a moment of understanding as to who she was or why she was with me. I didn’t really care at the time, just as long as she was with me. The long haired hippie girl called to us in a thick French accent and invited us to a vegan sushi party a few nights down the road. She said it was a party for all of the pickers. So the forgotten girl and I arrived on time, bringing her copy of the Neutral Milk Hotel cd she had and I listened to it as though it were a very strange blur of sound texture, and I did enjoy it, though his voice carried to much over sentiment for my taste. Later the forgotten girl told me that she could imagine me meeting this Jeff Mangum guy, who dressed very normally, and whom she worshipped like an idol. She told me she’d imagine we might say a few words to one another and part ways forever, with the kind of glint in the eyes. She was right I did meet him one day, while I was eating sushi in Kensington Market, and I told him very egotistically of course, that I was more crazy then he was. He talked to me for awhile and I blathered on about my musical genius, and then he left, very humbly. I was a fool, and he represented a far more mature and centered person then I was back then. I just wanted everyone’s attention, I wanted to be known as the great important genius song writer, but now all I want to do is hide in seclusion, living out my days in a city where I know no-one so that I don’t have to feel the horrible pain of socializing with those degrading influences I previously called friends. I would rather be alone, carrying behind me all of the excess pain from my stay in the hospital through the warm fuzzy rainy air and sell video games I find to pay for my coffee. I would much rather die a poor and miserably alone man then die a rich and self centered fool. The call of aloneness where I feel safe in the confines of the old house I live within, where nobody knows me; is what holds me together in this fragile state. I am easily ruined, I only have to leave the conformity of each passing day and attend some gathering of people I used to know for a few hours, and my mind begins to shiver and slip away into the shadows of its hidden madness. I would rather die in the slow unwavering life of poverty then be dragged through that vicious belly of success, leaving me digested, abused, and ultimately useless. Just another fool with a big ego, banging out some crap for everyone to applaud wildly and pretend they are lesser then. None of the people of worldly fame have ever stood as being worthy of imitation, they are all but pale reflections of who they could be, were they not to have disturbed the natural flow of there minds by this mutilation of self entitled success. I fear success and now when I look back at all of those times desiring it, I was lost. The sushi party was lovely, they had wrapped seaweed with rice and soaked almonds, and we sat around the fire in the middle of the night dreaming away in stoned pseudo bliss. Life seemed a simple discovery of finding people to communicate with, knowing full well that they like all of us would fade away into that same human desperation for more communication. We all beg each other for momentary friendship just to cast each other away as meaningless, in the end. It was that way then, and as we sat there around the fire I made a quick friend that is forgotten and we talked about Nelson, and he told me how he didn’t really like it, while I amazed at such a statement concluded to him, that it was the nicest place I’d ever been, and then it seems the night ended in a very sullen undercurrent of fall sadness as we all seemed destined to those cold miserable eastern winters of Canada that threatened this calm lush beautiful space holding our bodies only for this short time. We returned after a long night of sitting around in near silence, this party of dreamers, hazed out from over work and rode up to our campsite in the back of an old pick up truck with one of those cover extensions on the back. The road bumped and stuttered as the distant campfire softened it’s glow in the distance like the glow worms of spring glinting and shining, fading in the distance or the way orcas shined with their backs to the sky only for a minute second before disappearing back into the murky black of the heavy ocean of night. We went to bed, in a somber way, as though this party had really been a funeral, maybe we both knew that our relationship would never be as beautiful or free after the end of this journey. We awoke the next morning, and as usual everything felt wet and cold, and after picking for this man for some time, he no longer desired for us to work for him, and he sent us away. So that day, on the day where everyone had work, we had none, and so thus we headed down into Keromeos once more, maybe to have a meal at Arleighs and check out the job find place. It was a bit of a miracle how we got this job, but we arrived at the job find place, and they had just put up an add stating the desire for a few workers on Harkers fruit ranch with the inclusion of a trailer, with cook stove, refrigerator, and shower and bathroom facilities. For two hippies who’d been living out in the rain soaked midnight, by a river that washed their tent away, who cooked over open fire, and were used to sore backs after sleeping without mattresses, this was like a stay in the Hilton. So we rid ourselves of that ugly piece of a junk tent, that had basically met its ruination day completely, and carried it down by the side of our new trailer, and set up our things in our new home. There was a cabin just a few meters from our trailer that housed a large group of hard working French hippies. The forgotten girl and I were happy with the place we’d been given, and the fact that we could have free showers was something quite lovely. The first night there after being accepted was like heaven, this mattress covered bed, that held our bodies, in the warmth of this heated trailer, o it was a dream for us; who were so used to roughing it out there in the fall cold with all of our clothes on, wearing coats to bed. We slept quite soundly, and the next morning arrived after a brief intimate moment, and we were out working, it was quite the good day of work, and we picked golden apples (they were called) all through the afternoon. The season was just about over, and the work wasn’t exactly hard, so upon taking a break I decided to call my parents from the local phone, that the pickers could use. It was then that my parents told me they were planning a divorce, for some reason this brought me a great sense of misery, and for the rest of the day I felt so low, like everything had been lost. I returned to work quite a bit later, and sadly picked apples in a mournful way, as though I were picking off the golden tears of this tree and it were wiping away all my misery. We arrived back at the campsite, and I had sincerely not been doing much work, especially for my first day, but the French hippie group offered to drive me around and smoke me up. So that cheered me up a bit, and we drove around through the streets and I in a sullen stoned state drifted like the grey fuzz of near blindness out through the pebble side of the highway into the breeze where it carried me coldly and uncaringly through the breeze, up into the faint smudge of black that hung in the grey clouds above. I was alone then and I felt sad that my parents, who were obviously a miserable couple at that point, had decided to give up on the hope of Love. It made me cry, but I wanted to be strong, and show myself that this was nothing to me, that I’d been through so much worse, and yes it is true, I had, but still it hurt me. We arrived back in the car to the trailer, and I saw the forgotten girl was waiting for me, and she comforted me, as I told her the news. She had also had her parents divorce sometime before. We sat around smoking weed and felt like somber dirges playing in the streets of some slow funeral procession, leading ultimately to the end of this beautiful vibrant summer and of our strong connective relationship. We went to bed that night, and everything felt lonely, and cold. We had everything but we had begun to lose each other. The next day came, and we slept in, I decided because of this rather extreme circumstance, I had best take a few days off of work. We went into Keromeos, and I met up with these two dreadlocked hippies, with those yellow toothed tobacco stained smiles, and they stunk of marijuana. They gave us a bag of mushrooms and told us to pay them back later. We headed back up into the sunset to our new trailer, and fell asleep deciding to trip out the next day. This would be the second time I took shrooms, and it really was a beautiful experience. We woke up and by mid-afternoon we had already consumed the poison. My body hurt at first, and then it grew numb, I began to notice that I felt unaware of any fear, and as they had all decided to stretch out and do yoga I began to follow along. I got to the point where I had lifted my arms up into the air, when I stopped following along, and began to crawl along around the ground like a child, the golden apples seemed to have formed clusters of crystal like significance in my mind, and we walked about, as I crawled around on the ground innocent of any fear. I felt so free, and after this long day of doing nothing, but lazing about, I got up and walked down the road, it seemed the telephone wires held the answer to some fearful question that began pounding at my chest, the heart thumping unaware of itself and I called an old friend and talked for hours to him about nothing, or maybe it was a few minutes. After the long conversation, with the sun setting; pouring like a true river of liquid light through my heart, I went to the Amber Light and bought a bunch of five cent candies, and returned to the trailer and chewed on them with the forgotten girl, while smoking cigarettes and some pot we had left over. As I began to fall asleep, the strangest images came to me, floating toasters, alien spacecraft, everything a cartoon-like dream, and massive spatulas that all floated around us, un-threateningly. It was very odd, and by the morning the drug had faded and left us with a hallucinatory connection to the ether of illusion around us. I always hallucinated, ever since I was young, but this really kick-started a more perpetual and obvious hallucination that I became consistently aware of. Of course that combined with the massive consumption of lsd, ketamine, ecstacy, and other hallucinatory drugs has made my brain now forever scarred with a consistent presentation of hallucination on a spider web like ether that hangs like cobwebs over absolutely everything I see, these cobwebs catch the light and bend them like glass prisms that twist colour. It is everywhere always, in horrible delusion the perpetual lurking hallucination of drug abuse. One may have an enjoyable moment on such psychedelics but in the long run, it leads only to hideous pain that remains constricting the true reality like an astringent band of rubber, choking the very essence of existence with it’s delusion. I have been off all drugs for two years now, and still this consistent haze haunts me wherever I go. I am polluted probably for the rest of my life because I abused my body so completely with the poison of my obsession with psychedelics. Psychedelics became like my god, like my answer to all of life’s questions, always just one hit away from eternal happiness. I cannot see myself fully coming down from all of the acid that I did for at least another 30 years. I did in absolute excess what degraded me to the point where it is impossible for me to hold a job and is impossible for me to carry on a consistent relationship with anyone of the opposite sex. I am a casualty of acid, but am slowly recovering, and have begun to reach a new sense of maturity, after recovering from my latest major mental breakdown. There, life seemed so completely hopeless, so void of any joy, that is where I barely existed in that state of suicidal psychoses. I did not want anyone to be there for me, I wanted to feel so terribly alone. The chasing after love had lost its appeal, no longer did I desire the comfort of another human being. I just wanted to die, and looking back now as I stare out of the café window into the rainy dreary street I can recall that misery completely. Yes, I was completely free of all emotion, beyond hatred. I remember back in British Columbia with the forgotten girl by my side, and feeling so terribly ashamed, I didn’t deserve this kind of Love, I was just a fake, a very well crafted duplicate of who I wanted to be. I remember sitting in front of the Laundromat with Jeff far before anything bad had happened between us, staring in that numb blur zone of stoned out grace, and along came a few motorcycles, steel beasts; like Medieval armor all gory and bloody, pumping black fumes into the air, and more and more of these silly looking manly machines. The whole chapter of the Hells Angels arrived like narcissistic mad men living in denial; so many of those men and woman constructed this one grotesque mutated body of stupid desire. The pathetic shape of each of these humans lost in the ego of violence, self glorifying themselves like false gods. What pain they must have felt in their hearts after the many gruesome and hateful things they had done and seen. But as quickly as they arrived, we left, walking along across the sandy desert of the outskirts of Keromeos like bandits escaping some horrible crime. The sun poured down heavily upon us like the heavy hand of justice. We were being beaten by its rays, the sun assaulted us with it’s devious hate, and the insidious color etched into our retinas, bleached out the stain of our sin. The night came and everything had passed away into the nothingness, dreams where I lay in complete lack of consciousness, just a body, breathing occasionally. The forgotten girl and I had long since moved from the horror of Jeff and into the trailer previously spoken of and by the time I awoke in the morning I felt so incredibly alone. My parents had divorced each other. I had no-one but this woman whom I continued to threaten to leave so as to travel off in despondency to Paris, France. That was just a dream, I never got out there; it was to me like walking on the moon was to an astronaut who’d never been to space. All that wonderful art, the yellow house of Van Gogh and Gauguin, it seemed incredible, France was so much more then Paris, Paris would just be the beginning. But I never got out there and as I picked apples in the trees, like a quiet haze of stoned splendor, and the birds chirped around me I really just wanted to be alone. The way that she cared about me, horrified me, it made me feel stuck, shoved into a box and all figured out. She would always have been there for me if I had lived in denial and attached myself to her, but what was the use? She just cared too much about me, it was awkward. I preferred to be cast around like waves in the sea by some schizo self-important nut bag then being loved by someone who actually cared about me. I think now, I am finally begin to mature to the point, where I no longer find the schizo mess interesting, I don’t fall in Love as easily. I cannot stand to look at myself in the mirror. I think I am ugly, a muddy face discolored by my hideous brown eyes. I do not find there to be any reason for anyone to Love me or care about me in the way that I desire them too. So I would much prefer to be alone, then with some self-important abuse victim who abuses me and then disguises the word abuse with something more socially acceptable. We really all have at one time or another abused someone, it is the reality of the inert failure of our imperfection as Human. I have abused everyone I ever loved, as I have been abused by everyone I have ever loved. There is a certain level of abuse that is normal, and then there is an extra layer of garbage that becomes abnormal. The emotional abuse that comes with words is a passing resentment, but the physical abuse that comes with adultery or assault lasts on, nearly forever. It does not just go away, like an angry poorly expressed stammer of obscenity does after a few months and an apology. I remember the forgotten girl and I in our last few days in the comfort of our home in Cawsten, were allowed to stay in the cabin the French hippies had been living in because everyone had left for the year, it was the end of the picking season. We lay in the bed, and cooked food on the stove, and felt right at home, in this peaceful humble abode. It was a log cabin, warmed by wood fire, not that that was necessary in the summer and fall months. We had a great deal of sheets, so we were warm. We bought a bottle of Frangelico and made coffee with liquor in it. It was really quite lovely, while I smoked my rolled tobacco, and the end of the summer lay like a beautiful poem behind us. A long scroll of highway, and soft flowing river noise, through the bustle of the fall breeze lay the morning of a new day in our lives that had opened up its eyes across the white capped mountain tops and cried a long river, flowing through the winding Byzantine caverns of our hearts. It was truly a Lovely time to be in such a place for a summer, in Love with one another. I always felt so fragile, like everything I was or did would be tossed away, like I really didn’t matter. I think in a way I have finally returned to the melancholy but comfortable space I hid in there but live in now. It is like reclaiming ones innocence through the deepest core of gentle sadness. It is melting away into glass from sand; our Love is turning from sand to glass as I sang in that song so long before the travels and picking at the western side of Canada. It seems like I have encapsulated the very fertile soil of these memories as completely as I could ever desire. There is obviously more to say. We decided to head back out to Ontario, now that it was nearing October and we were beginning to grow tired of being the only left over hippies hangin’ around in the ever chilling town of Keromeos. So the next day, after our last night in the cabin we went into town to try to find those guys who gave us the shrooms, so as to pay them off, and upon finding them, they just simply offered them to us at no charge, having heard how much of a pleasant experience we’d had. I remember the way he looked in the sunset the crimson color of the sky dreaming with a true gold of the lasts drops of sunlight that hung in his crazy cobweb hair that seemed to reach out behind him and stretch out like the branches of a tree from the heavy cloud of his mind into jelly like air where every feeling and moment he had ever known seemed to purify itself in white sharp glinting light that spilt like dew from the tip of rainforest pin needles and fall, eloquently coating the earth with his entire disparate soul. All that he was had just become a flicker of light and he was gone, and I never saw him again for the rest of my life. While we were down in town we said goodbye to Pots and told him about our luxuriant living space and he secretly though not admittedly but obviously envied our escape from the discomfort of living in a tent in the ever dropping temperature of fall. We hoped the best for Pots and decided to begin to hitchhike out of the arms of British Columbia. I remember quite vividly finally getting out of the city, and standing somewhere on the side of some unrecognizable highway smoking a cigarette with a thumb in the air, and having a red truck pull over. It was really not what I was expecting, and as we hopped into the vehicle after I’d thoughtfully put my smoke out I saw instead of a polite couple two smokers totally stoned swearing like sailors, and I lit up my smoke once more. These two seemed like a couple right out of an AC/DC concert, with the long 80’s metal hair, and the rough uncouth language they spoke, and they drove while passing weed back to us, through the night like mad heretics scratching their vicious words against the scythe shaped knife edge sky that lay unbalanced in stoned out daze, spinning up and around the wretched miserable mountainsides, as we tore through the night. The speed was unbearably uncomfortable, and how close we were to being flung completely off into oblivion at every corner of the twisting road. It was certainly a horror, but we were stoned and didn’t care because. So the murderous drivers tearing at the gentle dress of the night like a dark crime finally arrived off the mountainside, and we were amazed we hadn’t died. We got out of the truck in the middle of nowhere, outside of some city, near the bald and scowling forest and hitchhiked by some sign that related only to some distant area a few kilometers from where we were standing. The wilderness began to shriek with the whining cackling of coyotes, and it was as though they had filled our every escape with their menacing moaning, we just stood there with this dark sense of impending doom and waited while the forgotten girl told me she felt scared. It was a horrifying thing to know that we were out there by the depths of some unfathomable wilderness just waiting to be viciously devoured by these wild agile predators. But somehow after what seemed like hours of horror, a ride arrived. We always got a ride, that’s the thing about hitchhiking, you always get a ride, eventually. I heard a story about a guy who never got a ride, he just stood there and stood there for days on end, until finally he decided to build a cabin and live there, and now he owns this truck stop in wa wa. I have heard that wa wa is apparently the most difficult place to hitchhike in, though I never had any problem. I don’t know what happened, but then we were suddenly in this car with a bunch of university students who were obviously rather intoxicated, though the driver seemed sober. They were all uproariously going on about nothing, with top 40 pop music cranked up to the point that the very earth was seemingly shaking because of the excess pounding of the speakers. We wanted to go back to Nelson, but they were going somewhere else, so in the middle of the highway in the night they pulled over, and everything seemed like a neon canvas of midnight; the reds and the greens of the evil eye of city air hung like a noxious gas, floating around us with that obsequies grin. Everything is gonna be just great it seemed to mockingly say, pretending to care about the whereabouts of our souls scattered now out there in the middle of the Okanogan Valley and the dazed hippie sketch queen of Nelson that waited like a puritanical boarder crossing agent, coming to inspect us for our relative newness to hippiehood. Would we be accepted? I don’t think we particularly cared, but maybe some minute part of us really desired to be accepted in this society of counter-culture. I recall looking back into the steamy days of Keromeos receiving a letter from the omniscient girl, who was at the time complaining about me, and getting quite in a fuss over the matter because the forgotten girl had written her, telling her that I spent much of the trip talking about her. It is true, for the large majority of the beginning of the trip I did rather obsessively talk about the omniscient girl to the displeasure of the forgotten girl; but I believed I was in Love with her. When I received this notice that she was offended by me talking about her, I wrote her back a very angry and defensive letter accusing her of being egotistical; she later responded with an apology. For an omniscient girl she sure had moments of true humility but she is still the one with the most out there ego I’ve ever met, aside of course from who I used to be. I think I used to be attracted to such massive ego, the type that claim to Love everyone but do not and cannot even Love themselves. Those were the types I’d fall in Love with. Apparently there was an earthquake in chili today and its power shook the planet minutely out of it’s normal orbit, so that we have gone forward in time by one millionth of a milli-second. I wonder if that does anything to the mental health of the surrounding world, if it does not throw our minds a little bit for a loop. Ostensibly, I Loved the forgotten girl and we were going to go to Paris together, but in reality I was drifting further away from her as the time passed by. That night we arrived in Nelson later in the evening, to find that falls chill had encapsulated everything with its icy breath. We had enough money at the time to rent a room, it was the few hundred we’d made picking (we didn’t spend it all there, it was only 20$) and so she climbed off to bed while I decided to go for a walk around. I do recall when we first came to Nelson now, finally after we’d hitchhiked from Ontario that a man allowed us to sleep on the floor of his rented hostel room for the night. I remember thinking how nice that was, but upon hearing some rather disturbing grunting noises in the bathroom made the whole experience a bit sketchy. This time though, we had enough money for the night in the hostel and I decided to walk through the town while the forgotten girl hung around by herself. I walked into the local pub and there was an excellent act of solo reggae being played by this very strange long haired reggae type, he had a very eccentric conflux of styles. He played a mix of that static fuzz symphony sound with the frequent jittering shifts of the reggae heart beat. I remember sitting in the bar alone, trying to look the part of the eccentric artist, the hip out there hippie who knew how to be cool, but ultimately I still just felt out of place around all this veteran strung out hippies hangin’ out. I met a girl there, whom I awkwardly talked to, named Acorn, and really I found the whole idea of being called Acorn very strange, but I tried my best not to let on. I later told the forgotten girl about this, after shuffling home with hands in my thick corduroy jacket, hair blown in the wind, and the chill of falls first frost nipping with a red button on my nose. My cheeks had the look of shining McCintosh apples you find in the supermarket by the time I finally returned to the forgotten girl. I used to flirt with many women back then; I was a bit of a dreamer in that way, always hoping to fall in Love with anyone for just a moment. Just a passing flicker of Love would fill up my heart with a good ego trip about how beautiful I was, and I would stand in the mirror just staring at myself, watching myself breathe. I used to think I was so beautiful, I used to think I was so important, now I just feel alone and ugly. It is better to be ugly, I do not hope to live up to the requirements of beauty, I do not wish to be anything more then the freak that I am. I try my best to remain with a sense of personal integrity, not corrupting myself with the past failures of worldly adolescence. I remember now waking up, and because it was getting colder, we did not stay in Nelson more then just that night. I recall though when we had first arrived in Nelson after hitchhiking from British Columbia in the morning of waking up to the awkward grunting sounds, walking through the city, and spending the day in stoned bliss. I stole a brick of cheese from the supermarket and me and the forgotten girl went and sat under a tree reading fear and loathing in Las Vegas; which became an occasional favorite by the beach in Keromeos. I always loved those strange words of Hunter S. Thompson they seemed to dazzle me with their mad uncontrollable spilt guts kind of un-intention that really made you wonder, what on earth was he talking about. Either way it didn’t really matter what he was talking about to us, with our stolen cheese under a tree, we were having a great time reading. Later that night we returned to the very same grocery store, and stood around while I asked for change, so as to by some food. It was interesting timing, because out came this very gentle sensitive looking hippie guy with a big bag of groceries, who asked us quite politely where we were staying for the night, we of course had nowhere to go and thus he decided to drive us out to the outskirts of the city to sleep outside under starlight. He also gave us food, after we bought with the 2 or 3 dollars (we’d panned up) a small bag of pistachios or something along those lines. We drove out of the city into the soft night in his white car reminiscent of a used car my parents used to own, if you repainted it a cerulean blue and we found a distant campsite. We all got out of the car and decided to go off into the forest to smoke a doob, he said that he knew of a place where there was a waterfall where it’d be nice to drift away beside. So walking up there behind him was alright, but after the doob, all sense of physical awareness became distorted by the extreme and unwavering affects of this very potent marijuana he had decided to share with us. So the trek back through this forest, though once easily traversed, suddenly became incredibly confusing and dangerous. I began walking, and without noticing where I was, nearly fell off a cliff by the side of the water fall. Though my blood was pumping and the adrenaline rush had driven me into a state of chaos, the river still gently uncaringly flowed by me, as though mocking me for being such a fool with my mind. We always had excuses for smoking weed, oh it was harmless, it wasn’t addictive, we just smoked it everyday that’s all. The government was gonna legalize it, so that slow numbing downward spiral into inevitable mental illness could be ignored and quietly accepted as nothing more then a lie. When one gets very much into a drug of any sort, it is the lie that becomes the reality. With acid, though it became frighteningly clear to those around me that I was beginning to lose track of my mind, I on the other hand really believed I was just always becoming more and more close to this perfect being that I believed I would become if I continued to ingest acid. So every hit I took I would grow further and further away from who I really was without it, that being a very troubled yet intelligent man, and become more of a drugs addled deluded freak who carefully began to alienate himself from absolutely everyone he had ever Loved. This alienation process became so extreme, that after years of pumping myself full of acid and other psychedelics, such as salvia, and ketamine, I began to lose all sense of reality. I no longer believed I was a human being, I believed I had overcome humanity and now had transformed into a perfect being, an angel. After becoming in my own whacked out drug addled mind an Angel, and even before that, beginning to incessantly hug absolutely every single tree I saw, while walking down the street singing very loudly, or even screaming madly; I thought I was free and in fact at peace, beyond the rest of humanity, having achieved ultimate enlightenment from the influence of this “miracle cure”, acid. That night after returning from my troublesome calamity of stumbling around in a forest stoned with the forgotten girl and the guy with the batman shirt we lay out our mattresses and hid ourselves in our sleeping bags, so completely numb and stoned. I began to hallucinate very loud tribal carnival music that came out of nowhere. I asked the forgotten girl if she too heard this freakish carnival music, but she told me in a rather shocked, and mildly concerned manner that there was no sound at all. After hearing these sobering words I quickly quieted down, because I was rather openly complaining about the carnival music to both her and the guy with the batman shirt. The guy with the batman shirt didn’t say anything; he just seemed to be a very quiet timid and melancholy type of person. I wonder if it disturbed him; hearing me complain about my own hallucination very openly as though it was a matter of fact reality. I think with a mind like mine, the usage of any drugs corrupts it to a very extreme extent compared to others. Certainly of all the friends I knew I took more acid then all of them, so I was also the most excessive in the manner of consuming easily the most mentally damaging drug of all, aside from certain pharmaceuticals and gas or glue. I remember I met this kid, who spent entire winters in Montreal huffing glue while squeegieing windows. He rolled around on the ground like a dog, and went barking at them, it was as though he had become nearly sub-human. That was far off in the future though, way after the freakish carnival sounds in the wilderness of reasonable silence. The next morning came after our journey out of the city of nelson and I have forgotten whether we left that day or later on, but now I will return to the time the forgotten girl and I were on our way home around fall in Nelson. We awoke after a decent sleep and spent the last of our money on these highly expensive bean burritos and then left in quite a deep adversity. We were only affluent in dreams; we had nothing else to offer those who gave us what they could. We headed out hitchhiking from Nelson, and the traveling seems to have become a blur, I do not have much memories of it. We were able get out into Alberta in a day or two, and decided to go visit the forgotten girls other friend, who happened to be a university attending very clean and studious person. She was also very friendly, but her roommates were not exactly pleased about us coming over, and thus we went over for one night, and slept in the basement. We had intended to stay for more time, because the sky was grey and it was cold outside in Red Deer, but later that afternoon after a rather uncomfortable interaction with the group of girls, with much crying and complaining we were kicked out onto the street. So we went into this most hideously boring ghost town and I remember sitting and eating Chinese food that was absolutely soaking in MSG and feeling disgusting afterwards. We went to the art store to get the forgotten girl watercolor pencils and then I guess after trying to go back to girls house we were officially kicked out and thus the forgotten girl started to cry, those very lonely dejected tears and I felt once more as though nothing I could ever do for her could help her and we walked through the grey ugly mutilated day, down the hideous streets and I remembered (I think), when we were hitchhiking in, from the outskirts of Calgary to Red Deer, how the forgotten girl had found all these pages of poetry someone had thrown out the window in shame. The poetry was hideously depressing and obsessive and she standing there on the side of the highway while the yellow green of the fall grass glowed in the sunlight, looked so somber, I could almost have died as a statue, the two of us like fading portraits of Love, wasting away in the knowledge that we had already accepted our own impending doom. She was beautiful there, we were both dieing like the grass, and the leaves on the trees, our Love was truly dieing, the only difference was that when it died it died completely. So we walked into town, while she cried and I picked cigarette butts out of the gutter, trying to find something to smoke, and she called her parents in that miserable lonely way, whispering melancholy as people passed by, and we got enough money for the two of us to take a bus out of Alberta as far as the distant regions of Saskatchewan. So that night we didn’t sleep and as I got on the bus chewing on some almonds the permanent brace that had been implanted in my mouth by my orthodontist broke off, and thus this sharp piece of jagged metal became lodged in the back of my throat. The bus was very dark as it was still being boarded, and so I in quite the disturbed rush ran to the back of the bus and hung my head in the blackness of the shadow of the air and coughed a heavy cough, until this sharp protruding glinting piece of metal was spat out. The amount of noise I made apparently filled the whole bus, and I later after returning told the forgotten girl quite loudly on purpose, to appease anyone thinking that I was intoxicated, that I’d just choked on a sharp piece of metal that was stuck in the back of my throat. Thus began our bus ride, and we both couldn’t sleep that whole night, and later we arrived in this dead end nowhere town that was freezing bloody cold and sat in the truck stop until morning, before beginning to hitchhike. Our eyes were fairly red and coffee drenched, so we waited on the side of the highway like two careless zombies, who’d just escaped from their grave. The hitchhiking was slow, and since it was fall it was getting cold, once we finally arrived in Saskatoon it was so very late so I think if I’m not mistaken, we sat in some late night diner the whole night until morning once more not sleeping. This was getting to be quite insane and our minds were becoming like strange pulsating muscles that winced with every bright shining light or loud passing truck. Finally my friend from college came to pick us up (this is mixed up with the previous time in Saskatchewan), and now I recall as I had mixed up the memories from the past with the memories from this time we slept for 24 hours. The time before we had slept regular hours, I just mixed the two up in my memory. This book is written entirely sober, and should be a good example of the permanent lasting effects of the impulsive drug abusing lifestyle that I once lived. You will notice that my mind cannot remember clearly the dates or times of any of these events, they just appear at random, disconnected from one another, but connected in the sense that they all relate to the one very long journey. Being sober is like being stoned on a very small amount of acid in all constancy for me. After sleeping for 24 hours we got up and drank some Olde English or something along those lines and walked around smoking cigarettes. He showed us Fantamos (possibly) as I previously described in the book, and then we went back to bed. The next morning we awoke, and there really wasn’t much to do so we walked around town, and everything previously described about the lesbian couple that invited us over for thanksgiving occurred. We must have been driven out of town at that point by this very friendly and generous couple and once we arrived out of the town, by the side of the highway near a truck-stop a few hundred feet away, we began to hitchhike. We hitchhiked all day and into the night, until finally I went off into the bushes to go pee and she continued to hitchhike without me, and suddenly we had a drive!!! We’d been waiting there forever; it makes me think of that time in Nelson where we waited for 6 hours for a ride. There was all sorts of strung out hippies lined up hitchhiking including one girl in a very fancy used dress playing guitar with a sign out, on the side of the highway looking very stoned and unconcerned with anything. I could’ve sworn if there was anyone else there it just wouldn’t have looked right, it’s just the most complete image, like she became the complete image of a hitchhiker in a painting, as though she was somehow becoming a part of the landscape around her, she looked so beautiful, at one with this backdrop, that I would almost have preferred to never have gotten picked up but just to see her there, like some purple dress mixture of watercolor against the Emily Carr like mountainsides that blur in my mind because I stopped wearing glasses, after the omniscient girl explained to me that I wouldn’t be able to see “auras”. This I wholeheartedly believed and as I began taking more drugs I began to hallucinate such visual imagery of illusive auras. I was stoned though and now I can see an “aura” of hallucination around just about everything because I took so much acid that my mind has become this numb fuzz of static that exhibits these illusions as reality, but as I am sober I finally now accept them as delusions of the drug addled and damaged mind that I have. I am permanently on acid at this point in time. Well when that big pick up truck pulled over, finally, in the middle of the night, it was so completely exciting I was amazed, and he drove us into the night and we were free of Saskatchewan. He let us use his phone, so we called my grandpa and he begrudgingly picked us up, as the forgotten girl had now become infamous for opening my grandmothers cupboards without asking. Well my grandpa took us out for a meal in the morning and drove us back to his place where we, very much exhausted, slept in the basement. I played my grandfather the song I had written, the “I am afraid of God” one and he very much agreed with me. The forgotten girl and I hung out there for awhile, and that night we had dinner. My grandmother accused me of becoming a beach bum, and it was true. They were kind to us though, especially considering how whacked out we’d been before. And they opened up there door to us, and let us stay, while we lay around on the floor listening to famous blue raincoat, and decided that the next day we would leave. My grandpa was, I think, secretly glad to have us gone, after the forgotten girl had achieved her infamy, of being the girl that opened up all the cupboards. So my grandpa drove us out onto the side of the highway, it was truly beginning to get quite cold and we were very much interested in getting home so we stuck out our thumbs and left Winnipeg behind. We grasped hold of the belongings of ours and coerced some friendly passer by to give us a lift. It was easy then, to be alive, we lived by the simplicity of charity, though it sounds quite pathetic it was a relief. I spent a Lovely day today with my father, who arrived at 11 in the morning, and he filled out my taxes while I went to talk to my psychiatrist. The rather shocking conversation I had with my psychiatrist has shed new light on my mental condition. The reality that I become very horrified and anxious, waking up in the middle of the night in fear that someone will burst in through my door and rape me, as well as the deep inner fear while I stand in the shower that somehow someone will suddenly appear naked and forcefully assault me with the intention of rape. These illogical fears of being raped carry through to every aspect of my life, I have stood in the mirror looking into my own eyes and heard voices telling me, that I deserved to be raped, that I in fact wanted it. All of these newly introduced illogical fears and hallucinatory voices root from the reality of my very wounded soul, that upon finally achieving a level of sobriety, and rejecting my previous life of self-denial has begun to integrate these horrible realities in to its existence. I used to live in a flight of fancy he explained, a different world; where I denied the damaging effects of the reality of these situations. It was a very difficult thing for me to come to terms with, but now I am finally beginning to accept the reality that I am very much an imperfect scarred soul, that is accepting the horrible reality of its loss of innocence. I was raped as a child and this has created deep rooted psychological problems for me, thus I will often hear these voices in my head and have unwarranted anxieties and fears about being raped. In my most private moments, where I am most alone, I am most afraid that someone will appear and tear that comfortable peace away from me, as was done to me once before. To be raped is to carry that memory for as long as I can foresee. My dad explained to me, that I should not just let one day, one moment ruin my entire life, and I do agree with him. I must overcome this somehow, and to do that, I must begin to integrate the reality of this forced construct into my conscious mind. I must no longer pretend that the perversion of my childhood body was only imagined, or that it really was not such a bad thing to have happened to me, that I in fact in someway deserved it. I must no longer toy with my emotional well being by pretending that I am perfect, or imagining that I am above humanity as I have done before. I liked to imagine that I was this perfect Rainbow Angel, because I liked to imagine that I’d never been raped, by denying that it is a reality. That is why people have been able to degrade me so completely, because I lived in an imaginary world where I was perfect and everything bad that had ever happened to me had been invented by me. My imaginary world was a contradiction, I was both in my fantasy world a perfect angel and a perfect monster. The creator of every evil thing that ever happened to me and the perfection of everything good that had ever happened to me. I took the personality of the perfect Rainbow Angel; the master creator of perfect harmony with fantastical reality. I also held the other hideous hidden imagined side; that my own monstrosity created all of the horrible images and feelings that come with the reality of being raped. Rainbow Angel was an idea that I created to simply deny the true existence of deep rooted pain created by the reality of being raped. Rainbow Angel could have also been called perverted form of childhood rape living in denial of its own true reality. Rainbow Angel was the definitive contradiction of my existence; it represents everything evil that was created within my soul by the man who raped me. I spent so many years walking around hugging every tree and asking everyone to call me Rainbow Angel in a forced act of worship to my egotistical desire to escape my own deep rooted fear that I truly had been raped. I feared the reality that I had been raped so much, that I created an entirely different personality to replace my own, so as to avoid any confrontation with its horrifying reality. And let me tell you, dealing with life as who I am, Tom Prime, is really bloody hard, almost every night it seems, I awake in the middle of the night thinking that some evil presence is about to appear; to burst through my door and shove me violently against the wall and rape my pathetic and damaged body. When I have a shower I feel as though someone is staring through the door at me, ready to drape me in their angry hideous flesh and viciously take my body and rape me; while I cry, with thick salty tears running down my face, the stench of the body deteriorating under his heavy soggy sweat hog body enveloping my little body and shoving his penis deep within me, you ruined me you violator, you pervert!!! That feeling, like being pushed into a dark corner, a shadow, the blood dripping smell mixed with the body odor and the fecal matter, all gunky with his semen. It is perverse, I hate the burning fiery corpse of that rotten sick flesh hound chewing its ugly yellow dripping glinting white pearl shaded opalescent teeth into my poor little body. You ruined me!!! O the rape comes popping up out of me once more doesn’t it? It’s always there at the back of my mind, waiting to degrade me more and more. I guess that was all that I was to him, just a piece of edible rape meat. We hitchhiked further from these tears now, that grow distant, and our thumbs gave up as the darkness waned around us and finally someone drove us for quite the long drive into Ontario. I don’t know where we slept but we finally drove through the rolling hills of Sioux St. Marie and the leaves were filled, gold and rose and autumns heavy colors carrying the reds and the last of the greens like paint across the horizon, guiding us with its canvas of light through hopeless night, where all of our Love seemed dieing and the day did come; like a diamond hanging from the tip of a branch, the sun shone. We got lifted from our dreamy standing around by a little car, listened to soft sublime songs and smoked my first cigarette in a week and nearly died. The feeling of total complete collapse as the smoggy blue smoke filled up my lungs; evaporated every feeling from within my heart and left me dead like the leaves that scattered brittle skittered across the ground like old chicken bones in the bottom of the mad mans blue tinfoil truck. We were just old and dead then, nothing to us but burnt out eyes, coffee stained nobodies, forgotten people as he drove and my body wanted to puke. The first cigarette in too long, I decided I didn’t like Du Maurier; it tasted like the way pee smells. He drove us out to some place where a trucker picked us up and drove us, way out there in Northern Ontario and we were let out while the first flakes of snow fell in the blue streetlight, the rush of cold frozen air nibbled away at our ears like termites slowly eat out the hollow of the trunk of a dead tree. I was nobody, just a fool, out there coated in corduroy with the forgotten girl close beside. We waited out there in the cold, and finally in thunderbay as the morning wore on we headed out to the local McDonalds and got ourselves some pancakes. We sat there eating those fuzzy trays of Styrofoam textured cakes and deadened, spoke about nothing, while the sun finally began to rise from that pitch black frozen night somewhere like Thunderbay, and the rides were short there we’d get picked up driven a few miles then dropped off to the sight of many dead moose, their carcasses listlessly eroding in new death, with the bullet wound and the blood, and the legs sticking out like shadowy layers of willow tree, if one were going blind. The crows sitting atop electric wires (buzzing) and watching us as though we were shallow diluted reflections of themselves. Their superior cries taunting us as we waited once more for a ride. Finally two people pulled over, with the entire car packed with things, but they fed us food and sent us on our way. Something about warm Mr. Noodle that makes life feel easier, it’s that warm comfort of knowing someone cares about you, even though you are nowhere and have become nearly no-one. The rides came quickly then, and it was not far driving before we realized we’d made it all the way across Canada, through the desert of Osooyos, to a momentary blissful home in the comfort of the mountainsides by a river that ran like a reminder of life passing by, a reminder that time wouldn’t wait for us, that it kept moving, always forward; disturbing the serenity that came with the passing seasons, till death finally arrived. That was the ultimate fear, and we wasted in that time our opportunity to be true to one another, and to really let go of everything that was hiding in our hearts. We loved each other, in a cold and stilted, mildly awkward manner, and that was how we knew one another. The trip seems to have ended there, my memory does not seem to recall where we separated, but I do recall that it seems she left and I went home, and we talked on the phone a lot. I think she went back to the old hippie commune and I hung around in Fergus with some old friends for awhile. Eventually though, not very much time passed, because I do recall that it was still very much fall, I headed down to the old hippie commune to meet her. Apparently we were supposed to house sit for Diana, this woman that had massive amounts of marijuana sitting in the corner of her house. I mean like pounds of it. She told us we could smoke as much as we wanted to, so long as we “didn’t get all pie eyed”, as she called it. I always liked the sound of that term. Of course she left us there and much to our pleasure we smoked a very massive amount of marijuana, I was smoking about 6 joints in the morning, and then all day I’d smoke joints, then 6 for after dinner. I had had my mother send all of my old cds down there because I had imagined that at the time (earlier that summer), for some reason I would be living there. So we got to listen to My Bloody Valentine up in the middle of this quaint little cottage area, smoking dobbie after doobie, I began to learn how to cook marijuana cookies, and began cooking ¾ ounce cookies. We would eat them and totally lose track of existence. At one time we had invited the old woman over, who was quite repulsed by my rather insane amount of marijuana consumption. I really was going a bit crazy with the weed out there. I don’t know how all of this occurred, but suddenly she just began to cry, this time it seemed more forced so I got annoyed and grabbed hold of a chair and sat by the window staring at the pastures of the very earthy fall farmland before me. Diana soon returned and then I left, while the forgotten girl hung around and moved back with the Old woman. I had 3 of these huge cookies left, and went back to visit the old college friends for a night. That was fairly awkward and as I wasn’t allowed to sleep in their residence I ended up having to sleep the night on the couches in the main part of the campus. I called one of my old friends and he came down to pick me up with the promise that I’d give him one of those massive weed cookies. He arrived while the sun embarked into the sky reaching its end, as it set before our very stoned bliss out eyes; while the car seemingly drove itself through this highway of emotional disregard as My bloody valentine played to the echo of the hum of the futuristic hover craft we floated through space and oblivion on. Somehow, in this absolute maddeningly disassociated state, he was able to drive us all the way back to the old town, where I met up with a very militant old friend, whom I gave the last massive pot cookie to. He took it and went to Tao Chi class and apparently his teacher was amazed at his concentration, but shocked at how easily exhausted and lazy he had become. Later the old militant friend came back and told us of his journeys through the critical analysis island of being too stoned to function in society. I was way to stoned, and I really hadn’t seen my mom in sometime, and didn’t want to just go back, totally zonked out of my skull, so for the next three hours I desperately tried to come down, walking around the near winter chilly streets, and saw my old friends mother, who tried to talk to me, but I was so red eyed my mouth mumbled some splurge of words that didn’t seem to make sense and I walked like an alien floating on a tin can down the darkened side walk and she stared at me wonderingly. I finally headed back to my mom’s place. It seems the rest of the time while living at my moms was pretty lame, I don’t remember much, I think I hung out with the kids I went to high-school with, smoked pot, and drank a lot. It was really just an in between time, where time just passes, and nothing much is accomplished. After I had lived this life thoroughly, and become increasingly more bored with its inevitable direction to nowhere, that these friends of mine had all seemed to accept as the path they desired, I got sick of it all and winter arrived. It was then that the forgotten girl and I had decided to get together and head down to Quebec, and ultimately to New Brunswick where my aunt and uncle lived with their children. We slowly hitchhiked our way out of Toronto into Ottawa, where we stayed at her friends place. First though I arrived the night of the first major snowfall at that old hippie commune and climbed into bed with the forgotten girl after much intimacy and the cats purred and knelt beside us as the well heated wood stove of the Old Woman’s cabin lit the bodies of ours with heat. It must have been about 20 degrees in there, when I awoke, and the whole place had the sleepy clamor that hung in the air, as the first snow fall had very heavily coated the earth. There was something so comforting about being in the Old Woman’s cabin warm and cozy in the upper attic with my fading Love. There was something completely dreamy about the whole experience, like we had fallen off the face of the earth and arrived in this momentary united vision, this paradisiacal existence. We got up in the morning to the soft static hum of the Old Woman’s tinny radio, which she listened to while rolling cigarette after cigarette. I eventually had to help her out to get a smoke off of her. I would cut up pieces of wood and put them in a pile; that she covered with blue tarp, and after sometime she would roll me a smoke and everything was at peace. She was a very generous woman with us, and we ate cold onion flat bread that the forgotten girl had made, that tasted like cured leather. I had herpes then, and so there became this black cold sore smear of blood and charcoal all over my face. I recall after looking in the mirror asking the forgotten girl why she hadn’t told me. She agreed that we should always tell each other about things we see on each others faces. I remember in that lonely hovel of a cabin that broiled with the heat of the wooden stove with the Old Woman obsessively looking at herself in the mirror, over and over again, as though some man would come along and take her into her arms and love her. It seemed impossible really, to imagine the old woman being in Love with anyone, she just seemed to quaint, to bitterly accepting of her own supposed destiny, to hopeless and drowned out, like an old cat that gives up on sex, it just lays there fat and tired, miserably waiting to be fed, and then dies. I think that might be a bit of a cold psycho analysis of this woman, but you couldn’t help but wonder why on earth she just remained alone in that place in all constancy, why on earth she just didn’t go traipsing across the earth in some last desperate hope to fall in Love, to have someone to hold her and care about her. It frustrated me for some reason to see someone so accepting of their own defeat, everyday she smoked dozens of cigarettes it seemed, and it seemed she desired the death tumor, the resignation to cancer, and pain, and misery, and nothingness leaving behind everyone to the extent that she felt that she no longer mattered. It seemed she had reached that stage where I had found myself (earlier this year) in the hospital bed unhappy that I didn’t have more pills to down, because everything seemed so ultimately intrinsically hopeless in my life; like I never wanted to Love another human being. I imagine it gets that way after being betrayed for years by various different people; that stand like null objects, callous and frozen against the plaintive cry of some hopeless widow who waits to die in that home of death, that aches with the stench of age and cigarette breath. The way the wooden boards became her veins, and the windows her eyes, like she had conjoined into this one discreet depressed conflicting form, always waiting for it’s purposeful existence to stumble over in one big storm, and the endless bottles off wine, the making of the pear wines in the plastic buckets carrying the squashed up juice and the people appearing and then disappearing always leaving her by her lonesome road that led to the kitchen that sat by her bed, with the old drab mattress that shabbily wasted away in the cat hair and the smell of urine that stained the carpet. While the roof seemed to mold in with her eyebrows; it carried her brain, each thought of hers washed away the floorboards and removed the windows and ripped up all the glass statues of her memories of lovers lost in the distance, where excitement had become a burden that tethered her to the hopeless sky. The house that became her could only wait to die. I would get annoyed just being there and then I would relax into the experience and felt happy to be a part of her statue game for awhile, her facial exchange. The people with their words collecting like dust on the top of her rusted out kitchen sink without electricity; the only heart beat was hers, a slow tired one forced alive by the excessive puffing of smoke like dragon eyes, that slept in dreamy nightmare; red eyed in the insomniac night, the candles burned in the reading light. Always reading another book, and the pages musty now wrote her eyes shut and closed the casket up; of hopeless laughter and everyone had gone, no-one was there and I lay in the hospital bed feeling the sharp poke of needles against my skin and the pressure bursting out splatters of blood in every direction and I felt like I had become that gurney; that conquered my desires, and my hopes and left me as empty and withered as that old grey eyed woman blinded with self defeat. I got some alcoholic tinctures from the woman who lent us her house, and drank them slowly, one morning the tincture fell and shattered all over the floorboards of the Old woman’s house. I just stared for awhile at the liquid, leaking down the floorboards and the brilliant pieces of sharp protruding glass, standing as though they were frozen ocean waves against this earthly bottom, they were as they should be, I thought. We left there at some point and hitchhiked to Ottawa, Ontario, and found ourselves welcomed with open arms into the house of this soon to be medical doctor girl. We hung out in Ottawa for awhile, all the while the stunning life of our immediate attraction to one another began to fade away and I recall looking out the window and all three of us watched as a little boy masturbated in the window, by a laundry machine, and it was strange, because there was no-one left to blame, you just watch the innocence die, and it becomes something normal. Like watching your own image in the mirror in misery, we have all fallen from the grace of childhood and hit the pubescent deconstruction of self understanding. This soon to be medical doctor girl made wonderful cinnamon laced pancakes and we sat around hangin’ out playing music, eating pancakes and getting bored really easily. We had one disgusting perversion of fornication, and it was quite despicable that our bodies could lust so un-lovingly for one another like that. It was a miserable affair and I will not go into detail about the matter, but really a low point for both of us. The day we finally decided to leave and visit my aunt and uncle, was okay, we stayed the night there with not much said. I was just there sketch-bag nephew and then the next day we were out on the highway off to Grondines, Quebec where the forgotten girl had organized for us to have a place to stay. Grondines is quite a small town a few hours outside of Montreal, and by that time the winter was quite cold and I remember the beginning of the hitchhike from Ottawa to it’s outskirts on the side of the highway, it was quite absurd. We were standing their for a very short time, and along came this crazy man who pulled over, with one of those U-Haul type trucks, with the closed off back part, where one put all their furniture, and he offered to drive us if we got in the back of this thing, in the pitch black for an hour and a half in the bloody cold wind. We agreed and as the drive went on, the forgotten girl and I became more increasingly paranoid of the reality about where we were going. We realized the guy could be taking us anywhere, he could drive us out in the middle of nowhere and kill us and we wouldn’t have had the slightest of a clue. So we got quite nervous, and I started smoking cigarettes in the frozen air that captured each word with a mist of steam, as our breath became visible by the temperature. I planned it all out, because we had now fully accepted that this man was gonna drive us out in the middle of nowhere and kill us brutally. So I had a pocket knife in the top of my hitchhiking backpack and I pulled it out, preparing for that final moment when I’d have to violently protect the forgotten girl from certain murder. Well there was no murder, and after he dropped his friend off, who was sitting in the front seat, he allowed us to sit up at the front with him, as we drove headlong in the middle of winter with nowhere to go but Montreal. He was okay but he swore a lot and insulted me when I tried to roll a joint for him, but failed miserably. So finally he rolled it up and we got all stoned and drifted down that highway filled with slush and black and night, that discouraged us with its ever encroaching arm of ice; waiting to collapse our hearts in hopeless frozen night. I had met a guy on the sonic youth message board in Quebec who was actually pretty cool, and he invited me to crash at his place for the night. This was awesome, because we had no other place to go, and this guy was a long haired strung out hippie with a kind heart, so we hung out with him, his name was Pedro Micho I think. He was a French guy, and his parents seemed quite well off, living in this luxury condo. We got out of our hitchhiking ride got offered coke by some dealer as we passed by and of course refused (not until later did I get into that), and I called Pedro up, he met us somewhere in the distant parts of the city, and we talked for awhile, hangin’ out. Then he brought us back to his house in this monolith like high-rise that stood like a black tombstone in the night, and we slept in the pseudo private room where we ate food, and drifted into another comfortable miracle dream. It was so amazing that we had places to stay up to this point, such a relief considering the brutally cold weather of Montreal around that time. The next day we got up and Pedro took us to his friend’s house, whom were playing in this band, and then after quite a crazy bashing and banging away of noise static and marijuana haze they drove us out to the highway; where we waited in the pitch black frozen midnight for a ride. One did come, and drove us far outside of Montreal, and then we were dropped off on the side of the frozen ice covered road, in the middle of the night, with no streetlight in sight. I started to hitchhike and I could feel my thumbs beginning to grow numb, and my heart beginning to grow tired, but finally there was our black salvation, it came in the form of a truck, and he was a wealthy man who picked us up and drove us for hours, and we thanked him greatly, realizing the absolute deadly position we were in. Standing on the side of an icy highway in minus 20 to 30 weather with no sign of light from either direction could lead to deadly consequences either from an automobile or from the lack of one, but thankfully this guy picked us up, and drove us to a Tim Hortons, where the Forgotten Girl and I bought bagels and had a fight over putting butter on them or not. It was really getting to the point where we were just annoying each other to be around each other. It seems like all the past has collected into the dust of that bad acid trip where I sat in the room and the ugly faces around me seemed to drip off into green goo and all of these memories with the omniscient girl and the forgotten girl seemed to lose their meaning, it is to become aware of the fact that I no longer need these memories now that I am once more with my wife and Love. These memories carried me through the darker times, but they themselves were ones enveloped in darkness, I was a liar then, and now I am honest. The final days of these two in my life were inevitably miserable and left me paranoid, sketchy, suicidal and insane.