YOU CAN GET ANYTHING YOU WANT

 

One of the main attributes of any good hippie is buying into the concept of non conformity. We were down with counterculture, down with breaking traditions, down with zippers, free love, and expensive weed. Tha said, many of us did indeed hold on too, and some of us still do hold onto a Hippie Tradition every November. Alice’s Restaurant is our beloved Hippie tradition and just about anywhere you go in the country you can find a radio station playing Alice’s Restaurant Massacree at 12 Noon on Thanksgiving day. It’s written and sung by Arlo Guthrie based on a true story about a hippie commune celebrating love and life on Thanksgiving Day along the hilarity and banality of events that followed. With a touch of creative license Arlo lays down a folk song with a tale guaranteed to make every true hippie smile. The tune lasts for 18 and a half minutes but for us aging rebels it goes way deeper than just a funny song, it’s a memory of an era. A golden memory. I know this story is very similar to many other potheads of my era but this is how the tradition I still uphold began for me….

As soon as I turned 18 I made good on my threat to move out of my parents house so I wouldn’t have to follow all the ridiculous rules while I was “Under our roof” in the authoritarian gospel according to Dad. So now I’m on my own in a shitty basement apartment in Kings Park with my hair no longer an issue to deal with on an hourly basis. Finally able to indulge in herbal activities without needing to be by an open window while burning incense. But I still had to go to Thanksgiving dinner at home because I didn’t move far enough away, and you just couldn’t say no to Mom. I was at the age where family get togethers were more of a torture once you’re no longer sitting at the kids table. That didn’t mean I had to go there unenhanced.

I invited my closest friends over for a pre T-day dinner soiree to get us all in the right frame mind to combat the inevitable bevy of put downs and why can‘t you‘s. So I told them to come on over around 11,we’ll smoke a few bowls and listen to Alice’s Restaurant on the radio. That’s how I sold it and the response was overwhelming. Eight of my closest friends stopped by and each had their own version of temperament enhancing herb. So we sat in the living room of my basement apartment, which of course was also my bedroom, rumpus room, den, and dining room. We sat around on milk crates and bean bag cushions passing chamber pipes, chillums, sticks of Thai, and even a well weathered meerschaum pipe. We were all feeling exceptionally good and listened to Alice’s Restaurant on our rock station. As usual it had us all laughing and grooving without any thoughts to what lay ahead with the family function. Each of us had reasons to not want to go to our homes for thanksgiving, most because we would get the litany of when are you gonna cut your hair?, what college are you going to?, why do you dress like that?, you call that music?, anything to put us down in front of the family. Not wanting to make the convergence into fake family fun all of my friends stayed until 2 o’clock and left my humble basement room feeling like we could take anything our families had to give. Although none of us were truly sure our feet were on the ground we trudged of with our smiles surgically implanted on our faces laughing for no reason whatsoever. As each person left we swore to do it again next year, same time.

Thanksgiving dinners became so much more bearable that day and the tradition continued the following year. By year three, two of the group had moved away, I had moved four towns away, and life began to just sort of happen. By year four it was two friends, each of us with our girlfriends, and after five years all of us had gone our separate ways but promised to keep up the tradition wherever we were. This year at least two of our original group have passed away, another two are just missing by choice, one doesn’t speak with me anymore, and of the other three I’m still in touch with one thanks to Facebook. Every year since I have listened to a radio at noon wherever I am and reflected on the friendships both lost and sustained and have found other friends who do the same thing. These days I no longer reflect on the eight revelers in particular, but all my friends and acquaintances from that era, some whom I have reconnected with on social media, some better left in my past, and all those who have passed.

So every year, I celebrate the epoch of the best people that ever lived, my hippie friends from the early chapters of my life, new hippie friends who lived through similar times, and other people who just love to hear Alices Restaurant each Thanksgiving. That’s what I‘m thankful for… Friendships, love, and a shared desire for peace and equality . My computer will be streaming Alices tomorrow at noon on Q104.3… Tune in and Turn on!! Have a fantastic Thanksgiving Day…. Live and Love in Peace

Zen and the art of Culinary Maintenance by JT Hilltop

 

Centerlawn, 1971
Centerlawn. That’s where I grew up, in my parents suburban dream just east of the Gold Coast Great Gatsby section of Long Island. In the backdrop of this little utopia was a huge cauldron of a media inspired sizzling hot generation gap. A war in Viet Nam, a disregard for civil rights, women’s rights, and youth rights, added to the police brutality all over the country had boiled to the top and threatened to spill over into the kitchens all across Centerlawn pitting sons against fathers and daughters against mothers. It was no wonder all we ever cared about was getting high. My brother was in the army likely headed for Nam soon and if things continue the way they are my entire neighborhood would be in Viet Nam in two years. Being in high school sucked, but it sure was better than dodging bullets and bombs. Anyway, time for some old fashioned get high so let the search begin.

Chapter II The Dream Is Born

A typically boring day in high school where cutting class was a necessary event to keep from dying of boredom. Some of us made it an art form which most often was accompanied with a search for a little buz or someone to share yours with. Three years ago pot smokers were a small group but now the non pot smokers are a small group and most of them were considered “narcs”. So much pot was smoked daily in school that we sometimes wondered if that was how it earned the term “high” school. We knew that was just a joke of course but the amount of marijuana exchanged in the hallways was really was substantial. My particular clan of cronies had earned a reputation for being some of the most prolific pot puffers. I could smoke a huge doobie all by myself and still be able to go to any class and function. At least I thought I was. Any class except maybe gym anyway. Yea the “jocks” Those boneheaded sports enthusiast loved to pick on longhairs. They talked in what I assume was the Cro-Magnon vernacular saying well thought out repetitive jokes like “Hey, is that a girl in our gym class? Hey girlie, the girls gym is next door.” So many times I wanted to say something like “Oh I know, I share a locker with your girlfriend”, but I am much too nice a guy. Then again maybe it was because they would have kicked my ass with their Charles Atlas biceps. Not wanting to get sand kicked in my eyes I opted for keeping it an inside joke. They really would kick my ass if they ever found out I had sold and smoked pot with many of their girlfriends at one time or another.
Anyway, whenever I got bored, which usually only happened on school days I engaged in a ritual tradition that Ken and the rest of my band of merry marauders enjoyed called “Find some Buzz”. We would go in search of anyone that had a joint, or a chunk of hash, and ask them to front us a hit. More often than not when a good friend came by they would ask us if we wanted some buzz before we even asked because we always shared our stash, no one really liked to smoke alone. It wasn’t unusual for Ken and I to run into each other in the hallways because we had a certain few places we always hung out at that were prime hiding spots while cutting class. Today would be no different. My best friends voice startled me, “Hey dude, I have a fucking brilliant idea.” Ken was the idea man and had tons of them. “And we should start saving money for it right now.” As always, Ken immediately garnered my curiosity having blown me away with truly great ideas so often. Ken was brilliant and creative. Many of the other students laughed at him back in Jr. high, because when he moved here from Oklahoma he was the first boy in school to have really long hair. All of five foot six, he had long flowing blond hair that was parted in the middle cascading over his shoulders and half way down his back. He had a rebel soul and I was drawn to him instantly. Like most of the male students I had started growing my hair long in part to look cool, but more importantly to piss off my Mom and Dad. Most all of us had developed a twitch from keeping our long bangs out of our eyes. We all wanted to be Beatle “moptops”back then but Ken was ahead of the curve and had already grown his hair long like……well like a girl. That was also part of Kens appeal. He seemed to know ahead of everyone else what would be in style before it actually came in style. He had gone from a long haired geek freak that was made fun of to a well respected member of the hippie rebellion ranks. Proudly I admit I had much to do with his rise to “coolness” because for some weird reason I was always allowed to hang with the cool kids since fourth grade. It wasn’t that I actually was cool, but I had an older brother and even older sister who had created reputations with the teachers. Those reputations preceded me so you could say I was cool by association. I played kid rules football and baseball with the “older” kids , got rides in my sisters boyfriends “Surf Woody”, and just always hung out with the older kids. So my becoming Kens friend had helped him gain acceptance and move up the hipster social ranks quickly with my friends. It wasn’t long until they too saw how insightful he was to popular culture and trends. Before the end of the 9th grade we were all growing our hair long, and wearing cool clothes like bell bottom pants and double breasted balloon sleeve shirts. Checks, stripes, paisley prints, the brighter the better and no worries if it doesn’t match. Now we all had real long hair, afro’s, long straight hair, super curly locks or like mine long wavy banana curls.
But the first order of business was to relieve the boredom with a little herbal remedy. “Cool dude, but lets go out to La Bomba and do a bowl first. You still got that hash?” As usual Ken came through. “Of course bro, some nice opium streaked black Afghanistan. Lets go asshole.” I hated his “lets go asshole” phrase but he always sang it like a commercial jingle and everyone laughed, so I just dealt with it. Off we went to the parking lot to climb into my car to smoke some hash. My little red Simca, A French sedan type car that was Frances answer to the Volkswagen, “La Bomba” is what we called the car and it was our entire groups pot smoking haven. I never locked the doors because so many of my friends used it at various times of the day, even if I wasn’t there. But this day, at this moment, no one else was around. I could tell Ken was happy about that because he really wanted to talk about his idea. Tell you the truth, I was pretty anxious as well. As he filled his chamber pipe with a small piece of black hash I needed to know. “So Ken, what’s this new idea?” Not a ground breaking or earth shattering question but it‘s hard to talk while smoking hashish. “ Well, here’s the thing.” I heard the match strike and light up as he put the pipe to his lips and lit the hash. He spoke as he was inhaling and his voice got lower and stranger as he talked as if gasping for a last breath but had to get a statement out. The interior of my little red bomba filled up with the sweet herbal haze of hash smoke. In between inhaling and holding the smoke Ken laid out his plan. We would be graduating in two year’s and with no job or plan for college Ken was open for an adventure. I did have a job but at the time I thought it was just a job not a career. I was up for adventure too and most likely not attending college either. The choice was basically go to college, get drafted, or leave the country. I was smart enough for college but my grades had fallen substantially over the last two and a half years. I stopped putting in any effort after my Dad called me a worthless communist because I did a project about the dreaded USSR and the positive side of Socialism. I took the point of view that they had some redeeming values. Controversial but worthy of an A+ from my liberal social studies teacher. Instead of being proud he freaked on me. What an asshole! Anyway our fates will be in the hands of our government considering we would more than likely be shipped off to Viet Nam. Ken thought we could save up some cash, get a video camera and supplies, and head out to Chicago. “Jesus shit man, we can burn our draft cards and just get the fuck out of town.” His idea was to start at one end of Rt. 66 and travel to the other end to Santa Monica where we could settle in with the hippies of California. “You know man that’s a great fucking idea, we can be like those two guys on Rt 66, I’ll be Buzz and you can be Todd.” Ken gave me a punch, “No fucking way man, I’m Buzz, you’re more the Todd type. If either of them dudes were around today Buzz would definitely be in a band. Todd would have a silver pen!” Ken had a love of guitar and film and I wanted to write. His idea was to basically make a kind of documentary of the trip, Ken with his camera and me with my pen. “Bro, you can write the whole thing down in your notebook.” Yea, my notebook, JT’s bible. I took my notebook almost everywhere convinced I was the next James Michner, Jack Kerouac, or maybe even Ken Kesey who wrote about the life of the Merry Pranksters. My book was full of poems, short stories, or just a few of my abstract observationsand Ken’s idea blew me away. To me it was brilliant, the chance of a lifetime. RT 66 was so historic, a television show, the route for all the dust bowlers of the 1930’s who fled to California to escape poverty. Route 66 was the sort of scenic route people took who just wanted to migrate to Los Angeles. I mean Jesus shit, the fucking stones do a tune about it. Brilliant choice, from Chicago to Los Angeles via Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Ken shot me his infamous shit eating grin and said, “whatcha think, lets go asshole.” I was sold instantly.
TBC

 

Culinary Nirvana Takes Center Stage

 

(From Zen And The Art Of Culinary Maintenance by J. T. Hilltop)

Working in a restaurant at age 14 was more than just a J.O.B., it was a spiritual transcendence. It was being part of something that lifted an entire staff of “Restaurant People” to a higher plane. At that impressionable age I was fortunate enough to find myself in the employ of Cavalieri’s restaurant in the socially envious position of pot washer. Four nights after school, and Saturday nights, I was the head pot washer. But, being the envy of my high school buddies was short lived when I discovered that the “head pot washer” had nothing to do with pot and even worse, I wasn’t really in charge of anything other than some sudsy water that involved way more than merely washing pots. I was also permitted, implored even, to use my hands to scrape and clean the organic food remnants and other indefinable residues left on the plates by our satisfied customers. So it was that this head pot washer was cleaning everything that anyone found so objectionable it was left on the used plates in the restaurant. Poised at the suds busting helm I decided that I was going to be the best Goddam pot washer they ever had.
On one particular night an epiphany of sorts smacked me in the head so I felt compelled to let everyone in the kitchen know my lofty intentions of becoming a black belt in the art of pot and pan scrubbery. When I told the chef, the sensei, the absolute ruler of the kitchen of my plan I was certain he would beam with pride. I really looked up to the chef even though he was so old. Man that dude must have been in his 50’s. I believe he always worked hard and the years had been kind to him, although not without consequence. Deep furrows stretched into spaghetti lines across his face, and he always seemed to be deep in thought even when he was drinking. I noticed he was quite fit for an old dude, and he was deceptively strong. Crazy coot could throw 50 pound bags of potatoes halfway across the kitchen with ease. Sometimes directly at me! He always wore a dirty and tattered black bandana which concealed the badly receding headline and his eyebrows sported the thickest hair he had. Like angry caterpillars on steroids those eerie brows housed some very dark and serious eyes. Eyes that narrowed instantly at the first sign of anger. Like holy shit man it wasn’t only the eyes but that bulging vein that stood out and threatened me personally. Eyebrows that said grab a scour pad you insignificant piece of shit the are dirty pots to be assimilated. Every second I prayed it wasn’t the angry face that was building up inside his maniacal mind but the funny one. Not siree it was not the anger I was about to get a full emasculating dose of. He looked me directly in the eyes and with his most compassionate paternal demeanor his eyebrows alloed his eyes to tear up as he laughed uncontrollably. A laugh that came all the way from the balls of his feet. In between his deafening guffaws the chef attempted to tell his sous chef Andre what my intentions were, and that was met with a roar of laughter that could cause a soufflé to fall to it‘s knees. Regardless of their snickering daggers of contemptuous chuckling I maintained a stiff upper lip, and decided I would take charge of my own soapy destiny.
The fuck with them! As empowering as it may seem it wasn’t the joy of busting suds for a living that kept me coming back. It wasn’t the dream of one day being admired, no revered as the Chef Ultimate, the absolute ruler of the kitchen. It wasn’t that soul warming food, it wasn’t even the lure of the attractive and flirtatious waitresses that continually tempted my teenage libido with a false sense of possibilities beyond imagination. No, there was something else about this experience that taunted my inner Cheshire cat. They paid me money so I could but weed.
So despite all the bad karma that seeped out of the sink drain I thought nothing could possibly drag me away from the restaurant industry. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be the Chef, and become a raving lunatic who screams at anyone dumb enough to stay within ear range of my booming voice. An insane Guru who proudly sports a tall white hat accentuated by a bulging forehead vein that popped out with ease whenever challenged. A slightly touched man who is permitted by law to carve carcasses with an array of razor sharp knives of all sizes. I can’t help thinking how proud that would make Mom and Dad. Oh the hell with the Stock Exchange Mom, I wanna make Chicken veloute and dine of foie gras. Trade in the stock market returns for recipes. I want to carry big ass knives around. My gastronomic voyage would be completed once I became the all powerful illustrious Chef
Anyway that was the dream. Truth be told the restaurant industry simply jumped up at me and shouted “This is it” Este Este Este!!. This is what you ask? It was the people, the “restaurant people”, an almost cosmic group of mix matched misfits. I was spellbound by this diverse group of dedicated individuals who work together in a form of impromptu performance art centering around biodegradable remnants of the tastiest and most orgasmic morsels of nutrition I had ever indulged in. Each person plays an integral role in this drama. Like an experienced stage hand I set up the props over and over so the chef could turn organic ingredients into edible works of art, perfectly arranged on the plate I had cleaned. Our lead waitress, Laura would put six of these recently cleaned, now presently food adorned plates on a large oval tray, also cleaned by yours truly, and with swanlike grace effortlessly carry it off to be placed in front of some more than likely alcohol saturated patrons. The patrons would then eat the wonderful dish of blissful organic delight, inadvertently leaving something on the plate that would eventually become my responsibility. The waitress would entertain them with a variety of skits, ranging from cute and flirtatious to downright suggestive. The performance continues. Meanwhile, backstage the chef, Jimmy ( his given name was too hard to pronounce) is performing voice exercises and using my deer in headlight eyes as his focal point. Rapidly building to an everlasting crescendo I listen intently to the chefs advice, disregarding the part where he assures me I should either procreate with myself or leave this God forsaken establishment. Or die. Sufficiently emasculated, red-faced, and disenchanted, I returned to my potsink in a highly evolved state. Taking a “the show must go on” attitude, I needed to ready myself for the onslaught of table remnants that our patrons found objectionable. In walked the lovely leading lady, flashing me that piercing knee buckling waitress smile, and began emulating the chefs thunderous performance. Thankfully, it was not directed at me, but rather on the only person here that was truly as lowly as I am, Rod the busboy. Now I got an opportunity to view my peer’s reaction to a brutal lexiconic workover, so I might hone my anti-beration skills for the next portioning of verbal abuse. It would not take long, and I unfortunately had little time to study my new mentor, so I was left to my improvisational skills. The burning narrowed eyes of my dream vision, the waitress, met mine and for just a few seconds held me in a frozen state. While flashing her signature seductive smile, Laura’s eyes softened, and in that songbird like voice, she asked, “JT, will you set up my next tray?” With a wink, she was gone, the busboy was fighting back tears, the chef was deciding my fate, and I of course, was oblivious to anything that didn’t involve setting up Laura’s tray like it had never been set before. As the chef pondered the proper selection of various swear words and insults in his bi-lingual assault ability to more effectively crush my spirit, I arranged Laura’s tray smiling silently. The chef began to explain to me who I was working for, but fortunately for me his lung busting performance was interrupted by the appearance of anther equally as enigmatic presence. The next character to enter, stage left, was a tall, tuxedoed, and very suave Frenchman bearing the title of restaurant manager. Didier. Didier’s job, as I understood it, was to make the entire cast so miserable we would reach deep down to our inner selves and come up with the performance of a lifetime. I wanted to reach deep down and pull out a Smith and Wesson but then again, I was young and impressionable back then, and of course a pacifist commie bastard, so I did indeed find myself motivated by the threat of that French penguin. Not to mention another opportunity to allow Laura to know that I may be way young, but I am also an awesome dude willing to please. Didier began to roar at all of us, and yet then again, to no-one in particular. It was delivered in a language foreign to me that sounded oddly complementary. Rod the busboy assured me that those seemingly sweet words that came thundering out towards the entire cast were in fact foul vulgar French slang that could make the onions break down and cry. As Didier loudly and cantankerously explained to us how important it was that we comprehend the significance of his tirade most of us merely trembled. Even Jimmy looked worried when Didier was in the kitchen. Oddly the only one that was not intimidated was Laura, my fantasy vivacious waitress, who seemed to render our fearful leader speechless using only her eyes. Or was it her gorgeous thighs? No matter like the Wicked Witch of the West Didier disappeared in a puff of smoke. Or maybe Jimmy was burning something, I really don’t remember. But he was gone, Laura’s tray was set to absolute perfection, Rod the busboy had regained his composure, and Jimmy was ready with the next round of tantalizing treats arranged in artwork on my clean plates. All had performed admirably in Act I, but Act II is yet to come. Rush hour, when the dining rooms reaches maximum capacity, the pressure elevates, tempers hone their skills, and back in the kitchen the shit really hit’s the exhaust fans..
TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pond Of Reflection

 

 

Once delivered to the pond of tranquility
I longed to drink in it’s glorious stillness
Yet my restless soul remained not at rest
My spirit wandered aimless as a stranger
Unguarded and alone I traveled the wind
I the intruder feeling free to commit wrongs
I wandered free
I witnessed the leaves grow bold with color
Only to wither and fall free from their home
Even with the years of profound knowledge
The mighty tree was unable to hold it’s leaves
By the pond the tree outlived generations o life
Upon reflection leaves in the lake was my own
I became enlightened
Moving through the shadows of evening’s image
I had become the bearer of guilt’s incurred
At the same time a victim of my cycle vicious
Condemned to bear weights of self made burden
Where I sacrificed myself to the blameless redeemer
Who stood in judgment of the ill and illicit
Administering ultimate justice only in the afterlife
Which was my journey

Time chiseled away at my stony regrets
Wisdom finally blossomed it’s bright petals
I understood the separation of the just and unjust
The strangers and friends, the good and evil all
Destined to stumble upon their own ill stones
Whilst clearing the paths of their own choosing
In which all travel naked in the quest of eternity
To reflect the pond

 

Who Is God And Is he an Existentialist?

 

 

(An excerpt from “Cosmo And The Garden Earth”)

Now I’ve done more than my fair share of hallucinogens in my day but believe me this was no chemically induced manifestation. The most remarkable thing happened. Cosmo’s arms came right through my computer screen and grabbed by the shoulders. As if I had been transformed into a wavelenghth of pixilation energy I entered into the story coming face to face with the god I had been writing about. I was confused beyond galactic proportions, “Oh My Cosmo, did I die?” My mind was racing. No harp music, that has to be a good sign, but there he was as big as life. His voice was less godly than I anticipated, no thundering roars, just a friendly statement as if he were a college professor, “I understand you have some profound questions JT. Come with me and I will try to give you the answers. We’ll be traveling in a way you are unfamiliar with so just remain quiet and observe” I was stunned but in some sort of trance. Cosmo took my hand and even though I had a keyboard full of questions I walked alongside this sprirty thing in silence. We walked through some type of city street then through a building. I then realized it was the New York Stock Exchange but it was cold and unlit and we could hear people trying hard to yell over each other. It was as though I were seeing it in different dimensions piled on top of each other. Epiphany! We were. Through another dimension and we found ourselves walking through a bank, also cool and unlit this time filled with voices in a language I could not understand. Through another dimension we found ourselves in some sort of foreign government building, a palace or some ultra rich home, and finally through a concrete graveyard. Just as quickly as it had gotten cold and dark a light appeared and a wave of warmth spread over my body. We were walking along a beach I had gone to many times in my younger days, and then through the familiar streets of my youth. The city that watched me grow from a boy into a man. The schoolyard field I learned to place baseball in, the playground complete with see saw where I learned the mechanics and necessity of teamwork, school, cars, bars, all of my youth. He led to some sort of park that was filled with elements of my past life. Everywhere I could see and hear children playing and laughing. I couldn’t help but smile as Cosmo walked me through the most carefree times of my life. At long last we came to a path in a wooded area that led to a clearing. “There JT, over there. We can sit there and talk.” I almost ran up to the clearing and found a spot to sit. I had so many questions and I wasn’t sure where to start but as it happened I didn’t need to. Cosmo looked me in the eyes and this is going to sound strange but I got the feeling I was looking at everyone I had ever known. Cosmo spoke clear and soft. “JT, you have many questions and I will try to answer them as simply as possible. First you want to know the purpose of life?” He flashed me the largest and warmest smile I had ever seen.

Its not God that works in mysterious ways JT, its love. Love has the power to create mystery. You remember one of your favorite all time movies? How about this line, “You’ve always had the power to get home. You just needed to learn how to use it?” Its not a co-incidence that it’s a wonderful life came out the same time. “To my brother George, the richest man in town” Through entertainment Love tried in1933 to show you all what’s important and what is real, but it never caught on as anything more than simply entertainment. People still went about learning to hate, to be greedy and jealous. The opposite emotions of love overpowered the minds of humanity.” He sat and stared reflectively out at the children playing so I took the opportunity to ask a question, “Am I dead?”. Again the warm smile, “JT my son, death is not something to fear, its merely a stage. What’s important here is that you understand life, not death. Things are what they are because love lost out to power. The planet earth really is a garden, and it needs cosmic tending. All I’ve done is shown you your history. Just watch a while.”

It was beautiful. Children on see-saws and swings, running and playing tag, climbing on the monkey bars. In the field kids playing kick ball, and softball. I saw young couples walking hand in hand smiling and looking into each others souls, and butterflies and blue jays, intricately woven spider webs, running streams with waterfalls, and wonderful colored animals of all types seemingly dancing. I wondered at first what these sights were all about then as if in a dream I saw the sun rise slowly over the ocean, float across the sky and gently kiss the tops of the trees as it set. Darkness with the largest fullest and most beautiful moon I had ever seen. And it was all alive and covered in sounds of life and love. Then I realized its what Cosmo wanted me to see. The parts of life that make us smile and laugh and give us a feeling that can’t even be found in any words no matter how descriptive. That indescribable feeling of bliss, of such wonderful happiness. The beautiful things around us that need only be seen and appreciated without questioning.
I let this all sink in for a while. It was beginning to Make more sense to me. Our culture created gods and religions for someone to blame for our bad habits and mistakes. I came back from the walk refreshed and I think I was beginning to understand things better. It really is a breathtaking garden filled with so many wonders and so much brilliance. I began to understand what privilege it was to walk in it, and be a part of it. Part of millions of years of life. But the inquisitive nature in me, the hunter instinct if you will, still hade profound questions left. When I got back Cosmo was waiting and ready. I guess he was predicting the future as well. “All this is beautiful Cosmo, and I realize how fortunate I am to be part of it no matter for how long, but I still can’t stop wondering how it all began. Who created the universe?” Cosmo was rubbing his chin and in that instant I thought about how that was exactly what I did when asked a difficult question. “No entity created the universe JT. It has always been and always be, but it will take on different forms. You humans have done incredibly well in your studies. You have discovered the basis of everything. The atom. A center or nuclei with various electrons an neutrons spinning around it. What does that Resemble to you JT? What else has a center with many things spinning around it?” Sometimes an epiphany is so simple you feel like slapping yourself yet the feeling is such an awesome rush. “Your talking about the solar system aren’t you?” I didn’t ask the simple question because I wasn’t sure, I just wanted to hear more. “Yes JT, that’s correct. Everything in the universe has the same basic make up, a center with various types of energy spinning furiously around it. There really is no universe JT, there is a multiverse. A number of universes all spinning around a central nucleus. The universes collide on occasion and are reformed. Tell me JT, have you ever looked into a three sided mirror, you know the type when you try on clothes and want to view your clothing from different angles? You can see yourself in the mirror looking at yourself look in another mirror. And if you look in that mirror what you see is you looking in another mirror. Can you imagine that going on forever? Do you think that at some point you will see yourself not looking in another mirror?” I remembered how fascinated I was as a kid when I looked in the never-ending mirror, but how the hell did he know? As I tried to process the information the best I could muster was a weak “I can dig it.”
“Well now JT we are at the one real question that keeps gnawing at you. Now is the time to answer if there is a god. Is that what you want to know JT?” The nail could not possibly have been hit more squarely on the head. “Well yea, I guess that’s the real question. I mean the universe thing kinda fucked with my head a bit but on some abstract level it makes sense. But what of this God thing, I mean you are obviously here so are you God or…..” Cosmo put up his hand to stop me from talking and allowed a small chuckle to escape. “I guess that’s what we’re here to find out, yes JT?” I shook my head wondering if I were to wake up in an asylum but Cosmo continued. “Yes JT, god does exist but it’s not the God you or anyone else has been taught. Its funny to me how you humans look up to the sky in search of God. You look up as though heaven is up in the sky somewhere. Look out JT, look in front of you, to the left and right side of you. Look behind you..” When I looked out into the woods it was absolutely filled with life. All types of animals and beautiful plants and flowers, and tree’s, all just living happily and freely. “You see that JT? That’s God. All of it. Collectively. God isn’t a creator, not some entity you need to kneel before and worship. What kind of a god would that be? Sounds more like an owner. God is not an owner, god is a state of mind that humans have forgotten and one which has been horrendously forsaken. God is love. That’s why people say God is everywhere JT. You are surrounded by love so always in the presence of God. But you need to love to be love and that means everything. God doesn’t create misery, or suffering, humans did when they began to misuse love. You need to love the slimiest rat or the most beautiful Cat equally, because they are God as well. The cockroaches and spiders you get all jittery over, they are God. You need to lose all the misconceptions you have been taught. You all do if you really want to go on as a species. There is no one or no entity that can save the human race, the human race has to do that.”
I sat there for what seemed like hours and the truth is I have absolutely no idea how long it was. It had been a mindblowing meeting and it took me a long time to sort through everything. So I can dig it, the purpose of life is life, to embrace it and enjoy it and just be a part of it. I know now that a search for the one true god is pointless because it will change nothing, nothing at all. I still don’t understand why there is so much suffering and pain in the world and while I understand the how of war I am at a loss still as to the why. Yet something inside had touched me in a very deep way and I was beginning to think I understood. It was up to me to get the word out, to get other people to understand how great life I and most important that we are on the brink of losing in a war we don’t even know we are in. I had to come up with a way to educate, to warn others but what can I do? I am not a guru, no one really listens to me. Then a thought struck me. All through my life I had learned many good lessons from reading. From the very beginning my Mom and Dad told me stories to help me understand the right thing to do. It’s through stories that we learn the most in life, so I sat down at my keyboard and wondered how I could make this an interesting story that people would enjoy and thereby get Cosmos message out. I was blank for over an hour, then suddenly a thought jumped up and down and grabbed my head in both hands. It was a familiar phrase. “Begin at the beginning.” Simple and not surprisingly when I began at the beginning I was at the middle and at the end, It was beginning to sink in. The cycle of life had always been and always will be, but the characters and locations may change. I wrote this story in the hopes that it may get some people to change the way they think. Then I did what any self respecting human would do. I smiled from ear to ear and continued to enjoy my life.
PEACE

Carlos and The Age Of Aquarius (A cryptic mythic revelation of Music)

abraxas

 

A cryptic mash up free flowing tale of the spirituality of Carlos Santana and various mythological characters with a little hippie legend tossed in……..

This is the dawning of the Age Of Aquarius
Golden living dreams of visions and The minds true liberation
When the moonflower is in the seventh house
And Jingo aligns its Evil Ways……Carlos flies

 

The Pumas guitar sang me a tune
Revealing a painting hung on ancient wall
There the image of the whore I had once berated
Calling her name as I made love to my mother
My beloved Abraxas squealing delightful
Daughter of the clawed feline devil
Angel who shared my very own womb
I half god Castor the true son of Leda
Born of the rape by the swan chameleon
Hath stabbed to death my devious father
The frozen heart of Damien stopped
Vile chilled slayer of Pollex Gemini
But my deeds are etched deep in stone
Upon the hill of the angel Gabriel
Messenger of the creator on high
Mystic crystal revelation
Play on Carlos

 
As my sword pierced the burning spirit
A huge crowd sings of soul sacrifice
The Morning Glories fade to crimson
The whore of the Caravanserai pauses
Clutching me tight to her breast
Filling my mouth with lactic lifeblood
Offering me an oedipal choice
Take the life of Sophocles and the bed of Jocasta awaits
The rape of my mother and murder of my father
Blessed by the oracle of Delphi
The four elements remained in riddle
Revealing the Sphinx as a fraudulent god
So I destroyed the body of the lion
But the spirit of the head remained
Inscribed in the kingdom of Babylon
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Play on Carlos

 
The whispers of my love stricken Rhea
Sobbing behind a forbidden wall of sin
Begged me with tears most amorous
My brother please take away my virginity
Give fully yourself unto Magna Mater
Water bearer of my daughter Gaia
Sister of the father husband Cronos
Blessed incestuous communion
Now the face of the lion Borboletta
One of many morphed in the mane
Layered egos in regal camouflage
Brother father and raper of Europa
Bearing the fruit from the loin of Zeus
The hallucinations of the abalone bull
A song sung in voices Supernaturel
I begged of him strum his lyre once more
To escape me this life of indescribable pain
The Aztec Archer drew back tight his bow
Firing his arrow across the entire world
His message of peace love and music
And then he played a Samba for me
All I had to do was listen
Let peace guide the planets and love steer the stars
Play on Carlos

 

I Wanna New Drug ( From The Insidious Adventures Of JT Hilltop)

new drug

 

J. T. Hilltop

The moment I saw the shit eating grin on Kens face I knew he had scored something special. My heart was racing even before any kind of chemical assistance would kick in. Will it be some opium streaked black hash? Some wheelchair gold weed or Thai stick?  Whatever it was I knew we were about to embark on an adventurous ride somewhere. “Yo, JT. Check this out Bro, my cousin Jerry just came from Brooklyn with this.”  Ken passed me a small tinfoil package, “Here man lets  do a line.”   I opened up the packet and noticed a familiar white powder, but it seemed almost wet. “What is it man, some super coke or something?”  Ken chuckled, “no no no man, this is fucking powdered THC, Jerry just calls it T. Its like all the good shit from weed all packed into this powder without smoking. You and me are gonna see just how powerful it is.”

Ken  used me as a barometer for his drugs because like him I have like a natural ability to metabolize drugs and  can normally handle at least a half a hit more than most kids. If someone did one hit of Blue Cheer we did two.  So if it freaks us out he dials it back or warns his customers how far to push it and if it doesn‘t get us jazzed he knows its weak shit. Carrie and I had been doing a lot of coke lately and frankly I wasn’t really digging it that much. I’d rather smoke a joint, eat a couple of ludes, and then just have sex or something. But everyone was chasing the coke high. This new T powder could be a welcome change, a new drug. I took the square piece of mirror from the table, poured out the powder, then went through the awesome ritual of chopping and forming two thick and two thin equal sized lines of the powder. Ken passed me a rolled up twenty dollar bill so I placed one end up my nose and bent over sniffing the first line like professional Dyson. Tilting my head back I dipped my fingers in my beer and dripped some into my nostrils forcing the residue further into my sinus cavity. It burnt a little bit and had a kind of chemical taste but it walloped me instantly at the back of my head turning it numb. I repeated the same processes on the second line passing the mirror to Ken. My nose hairs probably disappeared running away in flames but my brain would not be registering any pain. I felt it going right to the back of my cranium tickling my cerebellum.

It took about fifteen seconds for the inside of my head to explode. A mushroom cloud erupted in my brain  forcing my skull to grow like five inches to compensate for the euphoric growth. I imagined my forehead like a Cro-Magnon. Dead brain cells were being piled up in brain cell body bags by the endoplasmic reticulum synapse police as what was left of my sanity began triaging the remaining frazzled yet live cells. I got up to walk but my feet and legs had filled up with helium so I couldn‘t feel the ground. As I closed my eyes and tilted my head back I visualized walking, or rather floating in someone’s garden. The garden was beautiful full of running streams, fruit tees, and flowers. It seemed as though it should be familiar but I couldn’t ever remember being there before. None the less I wanted to walk through it until I noticed the paths were lined with what I  thought was cooked spaghetti. The pasta began slithering and hissing as it morphed into snakes. It felt like two people were watching me and I began chuckled thinking I must be in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve wondering who the fuck I was. I did however realize I was tripping and needed to master this new high so I focused as best I could.  I opted to try and negotiate a walk through the garden.  The helium continued to fill up in my legs. It was as though  I needed to be tethered like the balloons at a Macys parade or I may float away. I took a few steps forward without feeling my feet on the ground but going forward on complete faith that I still knew how to walk and the floor would happily meet my unfeeling feet. Everything looked distorted to the point of surrealism. Dimensions came and went or piggy backed on each other leading to total confusion. On top of that apparently some of the helium was escaping because as Ken spoke to me he sounded like Theodore or Alvin from the old Chipmunks cartoon. The world had morphed into slow motion, or maybe stop motion it was hard to discern.

A squeaky mouse voice whispered in my ear, “JT, I’m too fucking high man. I can’t fucking move.” Then the squeaker began laughing. I looked over at Ken and his mouth was laughing but his eyes were like fixed, open but staring into nothingness and registering no emotion. He was seated in a multi colored cushioned rocking chair that was hovering a foot above the floor. Except for his laughing mouth he looked like he was frozen solid. Somehow I made my way over to him, “Are you okay Bro?” I think I was swaying, like a weeble that wobbles but doesn’t fall down but I can’t say for sure. Ken stopped laughing, “I think I’m a wax statue.” For  two seconds that seemed like sixty we both thought about what he said and broke out laughing. I laughed so hard I had to sit down, if only I could figure out where a chair was. It took us somewhere in the vicinity of forty five minutes to regain our composure. Or maybe it was two days, that was how high we were.

Once I was able to maintain a lucid thought I realized all the hallucinating I had been doing. Ken was back in that green recliner, I had legs, and I had visited the Garden Of Eden. Best hallucinations ever, we found a new drug and it was beyond groovy. But this shit was definitely way strong so it had to be cut with some mannitol. I knew instantly our entire town would put the cocaine on hold and get into this new THC.
TBC

Epilogue.        T became the new drug of choice, it was like being more stoned than you had ever been before without falling asleep.  After about six to eight  months reports of kids being hospitalized after using powdered THC and becoming paralyzed, like frozen. It seemed someone had adulterated the chemical by adding something far more dangerous and it quickly fell out of fashion. Much to my dismay cocaine once again became to drug of choice at bars. I didn’t dig coke too much because you only got one good rush from coke on the first hit then spent the rest of the night trying to relive it until your mouth hurt from grinding your teeth. Not to mention the paranoia it caused. None of that however deterred me from putting as much of it up my nose as I could afford. We invented snake lines which were the longest white powdered lines possible but it still had people going crazy looking for more. I continued snorting even though I didn’t particularly care for coke because it was still a drug and the rush of doing illegal shit was addictive. The shrinks later on would tell me I suffered from an addictive personality disorder but I still think like most kids I was just always looking for kicks, I just had a bigger sweet tooth for the forbidden than most.  Either way my mantra back then was most definitely  “I wanna a new drug.”