Sunday, April 13, 2008
I'm just squeezing in a little first draft writing time here.
Another time of feeling proudly charitable. In 1969, I moved in with a coworker and another guy. An apartment in a very interesting building in Staten Island (Stapleton Station). I was getting ready to quit my job and go live on a commune. Talk about foolhardy! This may have been the most romantic, foolish time of my life so it is loaded with embarrassment. My stuff: I had a Martin 12 string guitar, a trunk which had my clothes and piano music, a bottle of Joy perfume which I bought hot from a coworker, and a bear skin rug.
Other tenants: a writer who had written a story about a cat that convinced its owner that the end of the world had come, owners of a Manhattan dance studio, and an antiwar activist who was wanted by the FBI. And there was a guy, I'll call him Leo, who occassionally would burst into the apartment. He didn't live in the building, but he hung around and harassed us.
It was a time of self-conciousness about race. People like me tried to maintain at least one black friend. In the case of Leo, folks in our building were maintaining one black criminal. We would not complain about his behavior, because we were doing too much illegal activity ourselves.
I first met Leo when I was tripping on acid and going through Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead . It was sort of a guide to tripping. I had used it for tripping twice before and was "guiding" my roommates through it this time. We were sitting in the kitchen area when a very dangerous looking black guy with knife burst into the front door. He started to say threatening things and I decided to take things in hand. In my most halucinogen induced enlightened state of mind, I asked him what he needed and what could we give him. I thought I was doing pretty well when he suddenly turned my perception upside down by turning to one of my roommates and demanded to know "Who IS this chick?" Dax introduced me.
This chapter of my life requires quite a bit of description ... and courage to relate. So I'll get back to this later.