First off- let me say that the cake I made yesterday might possibly be the best cake I ever made. And I have made a lot of cakes. It is dense and incredibly moist and yet not heavy. Probably half of it has been eaten already but it's not only Glen and I who have had a piece. He had a little duck snack-stick making party here in the garage today with two of the guys he went hunting with and they both got a piece of cake too.
What are snack sticks, you may ask? And are they really made with duck meat?
It would appear that they are. Snack sticks are like, well, sticks of processed meat that you can eat for snacks. I assume. I am not a consumer of snack sticks. They are smoked after the meat is all ground up and spiced and mixed together and stuffed into casings. So like little sausages you don't have to cook.
So. Should I continue on with my tale of how and why I got to Tallahassee in 1974? I feel a bit shy when it comes to these things. But I didn't do a damn thing of interest today and I have to write about something or else the world will come shuddering to an end and I would hate to be responsible for that.
And I know I have told pieces of these stories before. So for you very, very long-time readers (thank-you!) some of this may sound familiar.
As I said, I was attending college in Denver. University of Denver. I was vastly and hugely unhappy. I was going through my first major bout of depression although I did not know that's what it was. There were some good things in my life. For awhile I had a roommate whom I did adore even though we were as different as chalk and cheese. She was a wise-before-her-time Long Island chick who'd been doing drugs since Jr. High, wore lots of eyeliner and turned me onto Laura Nyro. Her father was a psychiatrist, her mother was an art therapist and possible witch. And this girl knew everything that I did not. I had a guy friend whom I adored but I think he was sort of in love with me and here I was- depressed, and he was depressed because I didn't love him the way he wanted to be loved by me and that got to be a bit of a mess. I volunteered at a place called the Open Clinic where people could call or walk in to get help with just about anything but mostly drug-related situations and I made some friends there. I remember these people although I have to admit it was mostly the men I recall. The guy who wore one earring. The skinny uber-intelligent guy whom I had a huge crush on even though he had a girlfriend and my love did not go entirely unrequited. The beautiful boy named Luke who is still as mysterious in my memory as he was when I knew him. The women intimidated me. They all seemed so much cooler and groovier and undoubtably skinnier than I was in their low, low-waisted bell bottom jeans.
I had a lot of very interesting experiences, working at the Open Clinic. We worked first aid at concerts too and I got to see some good music including Carole King at Red Rock. I saw The Eagles and Jethro Tull. I saw Joe Walsh and I don't even remember who all. Most of our first aid efforts were directed more to tequila than drugs. Not that tequila isn't a drug because of course it is but it was legal. We worked hand-in-hand with fire rescue and they were the guys who got to give oxygen to the performers who were in no way prepared for the thin air at that elevation. I have a very clear image in my mind of Ian Anderson, the lead singer/flautist for Jethro Tull backstage, leaning over with his hands on his legs, gasping for breath. He was fine, just winded.
I was having my own drug experiences. Mostly pot and a little peyote here and there. I got drunk on tequila a time or two and decided that wasn't a very good idea. I did acid a few times. I loved getting stoned and I loved the psychedelics. I was a very wounded bird, coming from what I now realize was a horribly dysfunctional family, unsure, to say the least, about my place in the universe and somehow, acid and peyote gave me a sense of deserving to be here. Of the knowledge that all is one with far more genuineness than reading anything Ram Das ever wrote which I craved because everyone I knew seemed to be more experienced than I was at everything, seemed to know all the things I did not. One thing I was good at though, was cooking and that got me some acclaim with the boys, at least. We could all be so stoned that the idea of even getting up out of a chair seemed impossible and yet at the same time, suffering desperately with the munchies and I could somehow manage to get up, find my way to a kitchen where I'd never been before, and make something edible out of whatever random ingredients I could find there which amazed and astounded everyone.
I remember one boy, his name was Bruce Perlstein, and he would come over to my apartment and I would make bread for him, and soup, and he would ask me to marry him and I would laugh. I had become a vegetarian, of course, under the influence of Hanuman's Conscious Cookery Restaurant where the most blissed-out servers in the world who wore all white, including turbans, served up steaming hot pots of peppermint tea and individual dishes of mung bean casserole which lay under bubbling blankets of cheese that was probably made from the milk of holy goats blessed by the Dalai Lama. The bread was thick and dark and as far from the white bread I grew up on as a Bud Lite is from a craft IPA.
I saw Allen Ginsberg there one night. Even I knew who Allen Ginsberg was. Even this plump little dumpling of a southern girl knew who Allen Ginsberg was.
And I was amazed.
And I think that's all I want to write tonight.
I have supper to make. I've barely spent any time today with my sweet man as he was in the garage, making snack sticks.
I've already made up a skillet spanakopita that just has to go into the oven to bake but I need to make up a nice thick, sherry-flavored white sauce to cover some snapper to also bake.
Let me know what you think about this journey I'm relating. Is it interesting at all or is it like listening to someone else's dreams? As Yoko Ono once said, and which I have quoted many times, "Everyone has a story to tell."
Well. This is part of mine. Whether or not it's worth telling is...another story?