last weekend i went on a neo-tribal bus excursion with the Bears. lemme pour you a glass.
i got bored, so i hollared at the Bears and biked over there. just kicked it, with them parents and the 5 kids. i'm a lil older than the eldest of them, and they treat me as if i'm a well-liked uncle. i dig it. we ate dinner and goofed around, watched the Big Lebowski. it's a well-told story, and very entertaining. set the tone for my whole weekend.
MG had gotten an open call to party, by some other herb garden. that night i extended the invitation to my hosts. "You (Bears) want to go to a giant party tommorrow night? It's supposedly gonna be 300 people on a Goldenseal Farm. Pizzas made there, we bring toppings. Then we dance around a bonfire at 3 o'clock in the morning, stay the night and leave after brunch on Sunday." acourse they were down.
it came out that we Mountain Gardeners needed a ride, and that Papa would want to bring folks too. as we thought about it, his eyes sparkled, and he sqirmed and giggled and arched his fingers. "Maybe we could take the bus! I'll have to ask Steph." i had registered the presence of a yellow blob in the far reaches of their yard, but junk cars are such a common site around here, ya know?
We walked over the patch of ground that used to be the barn, under the ramparts of a new deck, to where Steph was chasing chickens or children or someit. "Steph," Papa Bear said, nonchalantly, "I'm taking the bus to a big party tommorrow night." He was trying to hoodoo it over on her, pass it off like a done deal. Didn't work, of course. it would take some powerful mind tricks, or a gang of thugs, to browbeat a momma like that into anything. Eventually she agreed, though, and watched the littler ones when we went off to play.
The next morning was magic. I woke early and took a bath in the crick, and this school of small fish came over and nibbled my skin. Fish kisses. They were helping me get clean, like those little white birds, what are they, oxpeckers, on the backs of rhinos. Several cars passed without responding to the large naked dude right beside them, and I was not afraid. As Sharqui pointed out, the PPSM (pigs per square mile) reading is pretty low in the countryside, and the Baptists and Quakers ain't gonna say shit.
When I returned, we all entered the bus. Its previous incarnation was as a Mountain Justice Summer mobile, so twas already well on way down the unschooling path before Papa Bear converted it to run on veggie oil. We hooked up some speakers, swabbed the deck, topped off the fluids, took out the trash and squashed the wasps that were taking holiday above the front door. She was in good hands, so I went and helped Steph in the garden for a few hours. All aboard at 5 o'clock. We made the rounds and picked up all the local crazies, including Shaman Lee, who's a new character in ma story, and busted off into the unknown. The bus heaved and hawed to the beat of Tupac and laughter.
It started to get trippy. Shaman Lee didn't stop talking, neither did Herbal Gerbil/Crazy Steve. Pearls were richoteing all over the place! I learned that the local dump recovers the methane, burns it for electicity that goes into the grid and uses the waste heat to raise tilapia. Pleasant anticipation grew and grew and grew as we nibbled on snacks and watched the changing countryside. I remember feeling that exhalted state, where ya remove your scalp and the gods come on down to frollick in the hills and dales of the ridges of your brain, as easy as if you were just tipping your hat to 'em. The great psychonauts always rip on Mircea Eliade, because even though he knew his shit about ancient spititual mystery shit he said that using entheogens was a sign that the spirituality of the culture was waning, cuz they should be able to do straight-edge trances and spirit journeys. Not right, but he's wasn't wrong, either, becasue you CAN do crazy shit with your mind. This Iranian dude in the latest issue of Fortean Times grew a horn on the back of his head because he was really afraid a horn might grow on da back of his head. But what I was saying before, I thought to myself that I was was experiencing straighedge ecstasy again, and each time it gets less harsh and the comedown is better.
We got way back in a holler, and started goin' by backwoods shacks and over less maintained roads. It was a rollercoaster, ta be sure! People were yelping and whooping. then we had to pile out, cuz we were there. a ton of cars, a lil vegetable garden, and people playing volleyball. there was a middle ages jam band playin', and people were scarfing down homemade pizza.
i'm hot blooded, so i headed down the hill, way down the hill, and plooped into the river. it was the french broad, and it was slow, wide and shallow. algae grew on the rocks, and the warm water and tree studded valley, filled with laughing and splashing people, reminded me of what Cincinnati and the Ohio River Valley looked like 200 years ago. may it shine that way agin, and may i live to see it. reminds me of that picture i posted a year ago.
when i got back up to the party, it started going down hill. the "hippies" turned out to be bitter, straightlaced sellouts that don't crimethinc and repeat a statist, green capitalism mantra. and there was no drumming, 'cept ours. our little tribe of bears was all alone, and we mourned the hippydom of bygone days by sipping salvia divinorum tinctures and gettin' plastered. we didn't all keep aloff- one of the organizers of the party dragged Herbal Gerbil away from the musician's circle when he brought over his gourd rattle. i felt like popping a monster Mercury boner and smashing some Priuses with it, fo real.
we slept, woke up, ate a surprisingly honest brunch with the skeleton crew that had hung around, and voyaged back home. when i got back, i tried to write this story backwards and with feeling, but it came out as babble.