Sunday, January 16, 2011

Before the Bus

WOODSTOCK, NY - 3 days

        A mountain home is filled with books. A kind soul is in the kitchen. Pictures of Native Americans, pin-up models, and famous pacifists decorate the walls. Loki, a large black lab, is the older sister to the new pomeranian pup, Snoop. For three days, I will be the fourth inhabitant of this house.
        Dinner is a delight. My stomach fills up like a balloon. I go to the living room, lay on my mattress next to the Christmas tree, and breathe. I have started my journey, but it is time to relax.
         I read the last four chapters of Lies My Teacher Told Me. A friend told me that's enough to get to the point. I also complete the most intriguing chapters of Indian Givers during my stay.
Errands. I like that Donna and I bond like mother and child. She says she wants to adopt me.
         The mountains are covered in evergreen blankets, and the sun shines over the horizon. I am at peace. I let go. Life takes control for me.
        It's the New Year. I could reflect and make resolutions, but that would require putting my attention on something other than the now. The now is what vitalizes me.
        Dance party tonight. Bearsville Theater. City folk in their best attire and face. Meanwhile, I look a bit plain in my Moon Boots and floral shirt. Get high. Dance like I'm a superstar. The crowd moves me into the spotlight or out of the spotlight depending on my skills. I meet Kyla. We connect. Telepathy ensues. Pink, green, blue glow sticks – shake, shake, shake. I find out I'm going to survive an alien rapture.
        Say goodbye. I have family here.

NEW PALTZ, NY – 5 days

Lowell! Bright blue jacket beams those bright blue eyes. The house is filled with plants. I imagine a jungle. The parakeets add sound to the scene. My own little loft has many books, but I only have time for the first two chapters of The Fountainhead. Lowell doesn't rest. This is boot camp. The ache feels good. I needed to lose that freshman fifteen.

        Get high, get high, get high. Hike, camp, boulder, cave. First time I go underground into complete darkness. Headlamp goes back on. Light, I feel comfort.
        I decide to be a photographer. Take pictures of the scenes, trees, rocks, leaves. Make a watermark. That'll make it look professional.
        Norah is a good cook too. For being poor, I am fed like a queen.
        Bartender Bri wants to go to Oregon, maybe Alaska. Says I can visit her anytime. I love making friends.

NEW YORK CITY, NY – 10 days

        Cydney greets me at Port Authority. Dominican food tonight in Washington Heights. Practico mi español.
        Staying in Jersey. Public transport fees are a bitch. The unlimited metro pass soothes my anxiety from letting go of green pieces of paper. Still manage to spend more than intended, but every experience is worth it.
Go through the books. Find Politics of Experience. Perfect timing.
Botanical Gardens, Museum of Natural History, People's Theater, Queens Nursing Home. Visit my grandfather twice. I wonder if he has my view of death.
        I learn that I like to shovel snow. Never helped my dad with it as a little girl, but now it is relaxing, productive, exhilarating.

        No Pants Subway Ride! 'Nuff said.

Daniel Pinchbeck and Reggie Watts speak tonight. Cydney drags me along even though I wanted to crash. I thank her for it. What a wonderful atmosphere with absurd but enlivening ideas bouncing from head to head.
        I meet Eliott. Eliott – the first boy to have precognitive dreams about me. In his twenties, but a boy. We are child-like together.
        Cydney invites him over for a mini sleepover the next night. Dan is over too. Positive crowd. Bev bakes the best cupcakes. We buy a giant fairy coloring book and crayons. Eliott speaks sweet metaphors to me as he watches me color him a picture. Fire starts.
        We move to a loft in a dark room. I see Eliott's figure, but big black holes for his eyes. I look at my hands to check if I'm dreaming. He still speaks in metaphors. He holds his hand out. “Octopus.” I now see eight moving extensions. This is all a dream. I am constantly in illusion.


  1. Hi Erica, speaking of Washington Heights (WaHi), that "New Paltz woods" photo that you post -- from the angle at which it was taken, also looks a little "Inwood Hill Park"-like (the park in Inwood just north of WaHi. See: What I love about Inwood Hill Park is that the trees there are soooo old and the park itself raw and scraggly -- it literally feels like being in "the world's smallest old-growth forest!" Just curious, when in WaHi, did you go with your friend to a Dominican restaurant? The Malecon, at 175th and Broadway (across the street from Rev Ike's Church -- which occupies the glorious Lowe's Wonder Theater) is one of my faves (see: Best, ~Greg

  2. Smoke. Too. Much. Weed.

    But you're almost there. Read smart people. Rid yourself of conventional wisdom. Starting point I suggest:

  3. I love you and your mind. Even though I’ve never met you. Keep doing what you’re doing (which seems to be taking things as they come).

    On the other hand, I want to tell you something that they told you in school (that was more true than false): don’t do drugs.

    But I’m not exactly saying what they said in school. I’m saying go ahead and experiment and get something out of it, as you please. But there is the specter of addiction to be very wary of. I’ve used a truckload of drugs, continuously, over the past ten years (I can recall seven drugs I’ve used repeatedly over that time, but I admit that maybe I was just using the wrong ones). You might wind up “ruining” your life without knowing where along the line it was ruined.

    Addiction is a thing that you don’t realize happens until after it is too late. I recommend you pick a date in the future and resolve to start living the sober life again (temporarily but lengthily) and hold yourself to it. In my experience: drugs never lost their appeal for me, but human interaction did keep losing its appeal.

    I’m now at a place where I know I need to become sober but the task feels more impossible than walking, swimming, and climbing to the top of Mount Everest on the power of nothing but my own bones and muscle. So I’m giving you advice that applied to me when I was your age. It might or not be advice that’s applicable to you.

    If you haven’t seen “Requiem for a Dream” yet, then I recommend you do. I recommend it as great piece of art alone, but it also happens to have a message about addiction.

    Here is the trailer for the movie:

  4. Erica I appreciate what you're doing with your blogs and speeches. This society is in desparate need of enlightenment, yet most people are in complete denial of this fact. I have yet to find anybody who doesn't accept their religion (which they hardly have an understanding of by the way) because they were told it's the truth, I have yet to find somebody who doesn't think our government is the best possible system it can be, and I have yet to find anybody who doesn't find the public school system to be merely a system of upbringing only to spend more and more money for the government.
    You are somebody who is making people like me not feel so completely isolated with my ideas. You are putting your ideas out for people to see, and I think that is incredibly courageous. You are one of few people who I have an actual respect for. I would really enjoy chatting with you just to feel like I'm not the only person I know who isn't completely ignorant to real issues in the world. You seem to be quite the groovy chick and I hope you continue to do what you do.

    Also ben and matt...piss off. I believe that if anybody who really wants to do something (not necessarily drugs), they should not allow their mood to bo swayed by anybody who says they should not partake in such activity.

    Thanks erica,

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