The Nuthouse Replayed

In the  70s I worked as a night watchman at Harley Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The factory had a small museum with a collection of Harley's spanning time, from early models, through World War II to some select contemporary models. The models built when Brunswick owned Harley with the rectangular tanks where melted down and sold for scrap medal.

I was a 'rent a cop', the worst in Burns International history. I would make rounds and key in at the proper intervals sure, but that was it, partying the rest of the time. Every night I packed plenty of tequila, spam, hash, wonder bread, cheese whiz and lime aid. 

Some nights my girlfriend Jasmine would come and hang out, a gorgeous Black women with legs that never quit and a booty turning upward to the moon, powerfully proportioned with a sculpted body. She was a poet, and a professor of history at Marquette University. Jasmine wore dreads before they were cool and had skin like coco creme. She spoke eloquently, was erudite and moved with grace like a gazelle or cheetah slowly walking. I loved her and tried hard to connect with her African soul being, knowing as a honky that entrance to her deep soul was not likely, never the less, I loved Jasmine with all my heart.

Jasmine was a colleague of the Barrigan brothers, Jesuits who orchestrated the burning of draft cards in front of the Selective Service Board offices in the sixties and she indroduced me to them.

I became really good freinds with Daniel, my interactions and chats with him were a Socratic litmus test and proof to me that corporate entity and world politics of bling and riches were nothing but a fucking con to bleed people dry, strip them of their identity and individuality, feeding greed as orchestrated by the baton of politicians and CEOs. I wasn't buying into it and that is why I worked for mimumum wage forever and would never make much money. I would rather give them back their fucking Social Security. I didn't want anything from the bloody corrupted beings and slaughter house country anyways, and would never sell out to the man.

Another night my dearest love Jasmine and I were playing naked, giving each other mouth hits of hash, bonging tequila, listening to Miles Davis. We would screw all over place, on top of and under the bikes, rolling and balling through Harley history. We were having a riot and who walks into the museum but Willy G. Davidson, great grandson of the founders of Harley Davidson. Now Willy was as hip as any CEO, but it was as though Jasmine and I were desecrating his holy shrine. In ours minds though, and in biker tradition, our naked dope filled partying was more of a baptism. Willy fired me on the spot.

The next day in the afternoon I got a call from Jasmine, her parents had put her in rehab because her life had gotten out of control and she blamed it on me, go figure? Her father Fuzzy was a X offensive tackle on the Green Bay Packers of the Lombardi era. I got word that Fuzzy had a contract on me and that he himself would "kill the rabbit fucker if he ever contacted his daughter again."

Busted on empty, later that night I set fire to and I burnt down my foreclosed house in a blaze of glory with sparks flying into the night sky, dancing around the sacrifice, naked like the origional primordial man wearing war paint. I got the biggest hard on you could imagine, ripping off the Bank of Wisconsin. The square beavers in their brown suits and cheesehead hats were like Martians to me. I was so happy to be escaping the death trap in this strange cold land of Wisconsin, knowing the land was ripped off with the precision of a SS Panzer unit from the Blackfoot and Crow tribes three hundred years earliar. 

Wearing a sweat shirt, a pair of leather pants and engineer boots, armed only with a toothbrush and a bag of LSD laced apples, I climbed into my 73 V8 Dodge wagon and headed out West. I was heading nowhere (erehwon), with not much in my fog filled mind, believing in nothing, loveless, homeless. Just wanting to forget the oppression in the world that I saw everywhere. Living somewhere between the present and the future being very careful not to look back as the nut house reel replayed with a pervasive feeling 'that the sun was gonna shine in my back door someday'.

After I got through Chicago, particularly Gary, I felt like I had just flushed a few buckets of bile down the toilet. I switched from the turnpike to the back roads and headed South to Route 66 on the way to Taos, New Mexico maybe. 

I was somewhere in Tennessee in the middle of the night, a moonless night, tripping my brains out, drinking cans of Grainbelt and listening to Gospel music on the radio. I never used the turnpike, I liked back and country roads. The turnpike reminded me of fifties TV commercials for modern kitchens, turnpikes were too clean and efficient somehow. 

I always could drive on acid when others couldn't. The trick was to just let the dope do the driving and forget about it, somehow you always arrived somewhere anyways. I was chugging a beer and saw a group of Black folks down the road. I stopped the car in front of them and rolled down the curb side window and let them into the car as well as my heart, straight away. It was raining slightly and cold, I asked them what was going on? They were a family, mother, father, son and daughter, the kids were young teenagers. We exchanged names, their family name was Charles. I immediately could vibe kindness and Godliness from them, their clothes smelled soiled from being in the elements. As we took off and drove down the road, sitting next to one another, I could see their bodies were outlined in beaming light, auras, they were full of majestic spirit.

They were headed to Alabama, migrant workers. I was overjoyed to be in their presence, we just vibed off one another, me tripping and them full of natural radiance, we were flying angels in a dirty old Dodge that seemed to take off like a airplane flying through rainbow colored clouds. The father, not more than forty sat next to me riding shot gun, we agreed to crank up the Gospel music full blast, I mean shit was kicking. Then it started to rain buckets, so much lightning filled the sky that white light radiated everywhere. It was as though the sun was exploding and then things slowed down to a turtles pace. As far as we could see things were covered in grandular, sparkling chalky dust, like pure energy matter. We stopped to get a drink of water and smell the night air and we just stepped through the old Dodge without opening the doors.

By morning we were close to Alabama, the Charles family were headed to Sylacauga, near the Talladega National Forest. They had a farm job and were going to preach and sing at a small Gospel church. I took them all the way to where they were going. We hugged and said good bye, they were the highest people I ever meet, they didn't need acid. We all had a feeling of love and faith like everything was exactly the way it should be when we parted.

I would drive for days at a time and then crash in cheap motels, totally juiced, ever so happy to be out of Milwaukee and the midwest, enjoying the most wonderful feeling of being totally free. 

I was driving through the pan handle of Texas and as I looked up I saw a image of Crow dog, the great Indian medicine man in the clouds. It was a sunny and clear day, like a silver snapshot. Two Skins (American Indians) appeared up ahead on the road. I stopped and picked them up. They were very humble guys in their twenties on their way somewhere. One with a crewcut and pot marked face, the other handsome with his shirt off, powerfully built, wearing braids and a single eagle feather attached with a white strand of rawhide in his hair. 

As the young Skins got in the car it was as though the Devil was calling out my name, I knew I was running a metaphysical red light, but like a idiot I drove on. As we pulled away in the Dodge, I reached for a couple of bottles of Jack under the drivers seat, opened them and we passed them around. The riders of the purple sage were from Pine Ridge Reservation in Dakota and had a job to do at the Lama Foundation of Baba Ram Dass. As the hours passed going down the highway, we all got drunker, the Skins couldn't handle their liquor and were getting more rattled. By midnight the Skins were beating the shit out of each other in the back of my wagon. On occasion I would get punched in the back of my head, collateral damage. I was so loaded that they could have killed each other for all I cared. I just kept driving because I hadn't passed out yet. 

The next morning we pulled into a truck stop and I bought the Skins, both with bloody faces, breakfast. The place was full of fat rednecks, wearing suspenders over huge bellies covered by American flag t-shirts. All eating grits, pancakes, bacon with gravy on top. The truck stop reminded me of the bit in Star Wars where Darth Vader's creature buddies where hanging out in a spaceship bar, really bad acid stuff. 

We were a hundred miles form the yoga commune. I gave the Skins a dose of acid each. They started chanting in Sioux. At that point everything was copacetic, mellow, high, almost folkish. Then I pulled the car off the road to take a pee in the New Mexican desert and to look at a cactus. The Skin with the crewcut and zits got out of the car and started screaming war yelps, running into the desert like a mad man. We watched him for over 20 minutes with my binoculars until he disappeared from sight. Who knows what happened to that poor bastard, maybe he was eaten by Coyotes. 

The surviving Skin and I just nodded our heads, got into the car and headed to the yoga commune. We started to chat some and he told me he was a descendent of a great chief and had done sweat lodges with Crow Dog. And that he was sent by Crow Dog to set up a sweat lodge for Baba Ram Dass. When we got to Taos I picked up a few pints and some Luckys for my friend and I. We got good and wasted, driving the thirty miles to the yoga commune.  

When we arrived at the Lama Foundation I had to park the Dodge  six miles from the Yoga Commune and walk down a dusty road to get there. A ominus omen.

After the walk, we were escorted into a wooden dome shaped hall with allot of Mexican blankets on the cement floor to sit on. The big yoga cheeses told us to go sit in the Lotus position and meditate with the rest of the crystal suckers. Me and my Skin friend were doing pretty good, until I puked and had a liquid bowel release in my bell bottom blue jeans just as the great Baba Ram Dass was introduced and entered the room. It wasn't directed at him even though it might have looked that way. It was something that happened, destiny perhaps. Security was on us like yellow on curried rice. They took us outside and said we would have to leave because our vibes were bad. I guess they didn't realize they were kicking out Crow Dogs friend who was sent to set up the sweat lodge for Ram Dass. And maybe Ram Dass's karma suffered for kicking us out, the queen of gurus most likely never got a proper sweet lodge. 

Feeling like cinderella, as the candle burns down, & the cocaine flows thru your brain @ midnight, the magic kingdom begins to disappear before your eyes and you know that nothing is forever, not even for crazy angels and lizard kings.       Figaro Lucowski

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