Once upon a time, long, long ago… Miss Bliss had yet another birthday… though at that time the number was still small…19. Life was good. She was in a relationship… a hard won relationship where the guy had been the prize. The contest had been between her and her dear friend, who shall be called Assassin… and in fact would later continue that friendship using that as her friend’s name in communications… calling herself, aptly, Asylum on each note she signed. Let us say that for a time she felt that she had gone insane.
The contest for the guy had been simple. They had both adored him… swooned over him for over a year. The unattainable mystery man who had perfect pitch and a musical recall that was divine. He could hear a song once and then sit down and play it. Did that in fact one day… the first time either he or Bliss had heard Over the Hills and Far Away. Sat right down and played it back for Bliss on a 12 string. But my mind wanders… He was much sought after and avoided being tied down. What do you do when you both like the same guy? Well, we decided that the first one to get him to kiss her would win. The other would gracefully back off and let the other have him. Yeah… right.
Bliss never thought of herself as competitive. She was for the most part very giddy but otherwise laid back… took great joy in the odd things that she could find to do. By odd I mean, well… strange. As Gonzo the Muppet says “Silly’s bad, weird is good!” (though not for years after this). You could not find a more mellow person than Bliss, who avoided drama like the plague. Crazy was okay too. As long as it was fun and no one got hurt. No more dithering… you have the back ground and a healthy foreshadowing of the issue here. But only part. Let us call this man… GMan… for guitar man.
GMan had a 57’ Chevy Bellaire. What a great car! All through Ananda year GMan drove them around in it… Assassin was always first up front, so Bliss rode in the back usually alone. Wrote a poem about that too. Bugged the piss right out of her! Revved that competitive spirit right up to overdrive. There had to be a way… Yep, heaven help the unwary. Bliss was a creative gal who could bide her time and remain in the back seat only so long. One night she got her chance when there was something that the Assassin’s mother said she had to attend. Hee hee. (Give that a good evil tone, will ya!)
Sorry again… no details. Let us just say she won in a very devious (deviant?) way. Hee hee. But all is fair in love and war and the lines had been drawn. Bliss won the prize… and gloated horribly. Assassin for her part seemed to take it well and took a giant step back… waiting for Bliss to fall flat on her face, no doubt. Bliss would have been lesser person had she lost. Indeed. But Karma has a one hand clap for those who dabble in arrogance!
A few weeks later, they learned that Steve Miller, King Crimson and someone gone from my brain cells were to play at Filmore West. It was decided that the four of them… because the Cuckoo was always present as GMan’s best friend and something odd else. (Give him any role you wish.) But he was crazy about Bliss. It was decidedly the most odd of relationships between the four of us… all attempting to manage to stay together while jockeying for positions. Still it made things awkward at best and Bliss was more than willing to ditch Cuckoo for the concert.
The plan was to stay at GMan’s friend’s home, Walnetto… then to manage to locate and visit the Cartoonist (Okay if you have been a reader here long, you should be able to figure that guy out.) who had moved to SF to their group’s dismay.
It should have been a great time. Bliss triumphantly tossed her backpack in the Chevy and took the front seat. It was hers now by right. It was Assassin’s turn to be in the back alone.
There they were outside the Filmore West. As the line moved up slowly, it became obvious that people were being searched. Hummmm… it was Bliss’s birthday and she had a full lid in her purse. How good could she be at getting in with it? Too public to stash it quickly in her underwear…She accepted that challenge and failed! The police were busy busting a guy in the line next to hers when it happened. HOLYMOTHER F****** S***! She was certain that she was about to see what the inside of SF’s jail looked like. But never to be held back, she put on her best sad look and the attendant took pity on her… stuffing her glorious full lid into his tiny drawer at his search station and told her to get inside quick. HA! No jail tonight!
But I’ll lay money that the attendant had a great buzz later. Small price to pay.
The relief she felt was enough for her to shake it off… there were lids and they were cheap in those days. Daddy always gave her money… the pot business was thriving… and at concerts things were always passed around. Life was still good. The birthday magic was holding firm. She was inside and she was safe. Her assumption held true. Joints were passed around as they waited for the music to begin, each gal sitting on either side of the prize. Their excitement increased and they chatted happily.
Then she was telling her I-almost-got-popped-story… because Bliss cannot resist a story telling… to a nice looking man in the row ahead of her… including the fact that it was her birthday… what a day to lose your lid! No hidden guile here… she was after that fatty the man was smoking. Gentleman that he was NOT, he passed it to her. She took a few good lungs worth and passed it on to her fella. He passed it to the Assassin. Then it was quickly passed back. GMan was whispering something to Assassin. Never mind, thought Bliss… no problem here. Her confidence swelled like a banana fish. Damn but that was odd tasting pot… but wow… her mind was exploding… and she accepted the joint back with eager anticipation of better explosions to come. The not a gentleman smiled wide at her. She grinned back and he nodded at her to keep puffing… so she did.
“Would you quit smoking that shit!” GMan demanded. HUH? She hit again and again.
“Bliss… STOP! ITS DUST.” He shouted. Puff, puff… dust? Puff, puff…HUH? OH!” She handed it back. The not a gentleman nodded at her to keep it. She shook her head and said she had had enough. Right about then things got weird. A band came on… the house lights dimmed and Bliss was tossed into the music.
At some point, the need to pee made it’s way into her not very conscience mind. She told GMan, who passed that problem on to Assassin, who rolled her eyes and made a snorting sound, stuck out her hand and hauled Bliss off to the ladies’ room… at least that was what was supposed to happen. Walking was a problem. All of SF had managed to tilt to one side and it was as if Bliss was on a rolling ocean liner. This made Bliss have a terrible case of the giggles and she began to sing… quite badly… Thirty Days in the Hole… and lost the Assassin about when she hit the words… “It takes a dirty whore and a rolling dance floor to give me my release…” as the ocean liner drifted off somewhere without her. Bliss was afloat in a sea of bodies and music. She used her hands along the wall to keep herself upright.
Then she arrived to semi-alert in a strange place. There were very few people and she still needed to pee like a race horse needs to run. But where was she? Confusion set in, so she did what she could and stood still… a dangerous balancing act on no a high wire. A rather concerned looking god in overalls came up and peered at her face… asked if she was okay. She croaked out “no”. He nodded and found her a chair. She sat… and confessed… “Some guy dusted me. I have to pee.” Ah… the silver tongue! He nodded again, took her by the hand and led her to a nice little private bathroom. He, who was a gentleman, waited outside.
To this day Bliss cannot recall what happened after for an undetermined interlude. But she may have seen Robert Fripp walk past and glace her way. He may have been someone else. And there were others who just sort of accepted that she was sitting there quietly trying not to fall out of her chair… in awe. It was a bit foggy back there. No brain cell activity was firing. Then the good stranger in the over alls returned to ask how she was doing… and Bliss dared to stand up. He asked if she thought she could make it back now. She agreed that she could. He steered her by her shoulders to a door and all the sound returned… music, the ocean of people. Gentleman that he was, he asked if she could make it back again. Bliss thanked him profusely and started forward. But he caught her elbow and called to someone… who came to look at Bliss’s ticket stub. A furry man, a short man. He smiled and led her back to her seat’s row, pointed and left her to crawl across the knees to sit at last next to GMan. Safe again.
Who knows how long that ocean voyage had lasted? Time had lost its grip for Bliss, but she was content to be where she belonged. How long could it have taken if the Assassin and GMan had not thought to come looking for her? Talk was impossible at this point, so she leaned back in her seat to enjoy the show.,, though time and awareness both eluded her. When King Crimson hit the stage, she perched on the edge of her seat… trying to see and compare with the foggy memory if that was indeed Mr. Frip. The strangeness of the music carried her mind away several times… poor girl never did figure that out for sure. So she let it lay at rest.
This night, Michael Giles, the usual drummer was absent. In his place was Bill Bruford… an amazing drummer from Yes… who began an awesome drum solo. Bliss peered at the man who was spinning as he drummed… the whole drum set spun with him. It took her a moment to get that this was part of the act. It truly was spinning. He was wearing overalls with no shirt. Bliss considered this carefully and tired harder to see him. She looked at GMan who was enrapt with the music and looked back again. Could it have been the man who was a gentleman? Bliss will never know. So much for the glory of being high. In all honesty, she could not see or think straight for a good amount of time. The one thing that she is sure of is that Greg Lake, was there to sing.
As concerts go, it was outstanding. Bliss was sort of aware again by the time Steve Miller played and enjoyed that very much. But angle dust has some odd property that makes a person behave in a strange manor… Bliss became royally pissed on the ride back to Walnetto’s over absolutely nothin. This anger made her stew something terribly and she was not a kind person to be around. By the time they got there, she was in a snit, pacing and being generally the worst company possible. Both the Assassin and GMan tip toed around and left her to stew.
Then the worst thing in the world happened for that moment in time. GMan told her that he wanted to screw the Assassin. One tiny bit of information that was way too big for her brain. He asked permission! Permission? Ha! What an idiot! So Bliss screwed her face up and said “I guess that’s up to you.” Then she marched over to her sleeping bag and zipped herself in tight.
The Assassin broke Bliss’s poor angry heart and he did too. Turns out he was not much of a prize after all. The mission to see the Cartoonist fell in the wake of her silent wrath. They loaded themselves into the Chevy… Bliss purposely set her livid self into the back seat alone and spoke only when spoken to… simmering on high. They returned to Bliss’s home because the parents were out of town. Cuckoo was there waiting… a fact that further fueled the fire behind her slitted eyes. Soon after she would pitch the biggest meanest fit of her life… and throw every one out to the last man.
That was it for GMan. He made the wrong choice. For her part, I think that Assassin felt really bad. I know that GMan did. But hey… you make your choices in life and you have to live with the consequence. Including Bliss’s for not screaming No in his face. Yet then, she might not have met the Esq. who was her fiancée for a time… until he made a bad choice too… and she made another by stealing the Esq’s best friend and nailing him to the cross… becoming a wife… sealing the door on Miss Bliss. Goodness but Bliss has made some poor choices!
But then she would never have had the wonderful children she did… and that was the best choice she ever made. But Bliss is back and relatively happy. An end to one thing and the beginning of another. And so it goes.
I guess the moral of this story is best summed up by Heroin Bob who wisely told me
"Drugs make you stupid."
What a horrible birthday from hell. I possibly had the opportunity of a lifetime to meet some very high quality musicians and was too high to enjoy it. I lost big hunks of time that I have no idea what I did or did not do... chunks of time like missing jigsaw puzzle pieces. I was betrayed by the two people closest to me. Yikes.I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will not be at my box on rocks. I'm off to a turkey pot luck. It should be an interesting adventure. I haven't been to meet anyone's mom in a long time. It's a strange experience for me. But that is fine... I still enjoy odd things... new things. Wish me luck.
Now here is a bit of music for you to enjoy, please do!