Friday, December 18, 2009

Harper Simon - Berkeley Girl

Well the music god handed this gentleman down to me. Thankful I am. I could not have found a more appropriate song for today's post. Enjoy Paul Simon's little boy. I certainly do! And now for the promised fable...

Once upon a time there was a girl called Miss Bliss. She went to a crazy school and learned how to be free. There was a short stint in Seattle that convinced her that California was still the place for her. So back she flew... in a hurry to find TyeDye and J waiting. Big plans were in the makings. They would all fly... when you could for $22 round trip to Berkeley... where they would see the fabulous Rita Coolidge in concert.

Miss Bliss was really looking forward to this. To be home on solid ground where she knew how her footsteps would lead, was a thing to marvel at and once again, she could stretch her wings and fly when the mood struck her.

The whole matter was left in the hands of J, who assured our ladies that a great time would be had by all. He had a good friend who would happily put them up for the weekend. There would be music, alcohol and whatever else might come up. So Bliss called daddy at work and requested an ungodly amount of cash... which he gladly gave his darling daughter. If daddy did nothing else, he relented to Bliss's desire to play and did so with both parents blessing.

The flight there found the threesome in high spirits. The trip from the airport was smooth and soon they were knocking on the door of J's "good friend who would gladly put them up". The girl who peered out of the crack in the door looked hesitant, but opened it and gave J a good hug. Over his shoulder she glared at the two girls who did their best to look friendly and hopeful of welcome. It was not meant to be. Immediately she took J aside into her tiny kitchen. There words were exchanged and a feeling of unwantedness crept over our gals. J won out and they were given a dutiful but cool welcome.

Because Bliss cannot recall the girl's name, we will call her W. The source of W's agitation soon manifested when J kissed TyeDye. There could not be a more sour face on the earth. Bliss noted this as the couple continued to smooch. This was not going to be good.

W had issues. She had something... MS perhaps and walked with a pronounced limp. She did not like anyone doing anything for her, though they all tried to be helpful and cool about it... clearly there was no right action beyond the gals vacating the property. But that of couse was not going to happen until after the concert. The visit was doomed. May as well try to make the best of it. A pipe was produced in the hopes that it would mellow the situation out. Indeed for a time, it seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately all they had was a pipeful and W was still in a snit.

TyeDye and Bliss decided to go find some booze to make things better. (Yeah, like alcohol makes it better!) The problem was their age. You cannot buy alcohol in California unless you are at least 21. Neither gal was. But they did as youths do... waited outside a liquor store until a likely looking fellow came along to cozy up to in the hopes he would buy them a bottle.

A few bright men passed them by and gave polite refusals. Along comes Kenneth. A long hair. A hippy type. A likely dupe. The girls amped up the charm and flirted. He went into the store, came out with his purchase and settled into chatting with them. It did not take much to convince him that he was invited to the party if he was to provide the I.D. Soon the three of them were headed back to W's with the booze.

Poor W. She was a serious student, unlike this group of party fiends. She took one look at Kenneth and refused to let him in. It probably did not help that there was necking going on when she opened the door... then shut it in their faces. Okay. There was a roof top and the three plus J started totake the stairs. W stopped them and insisted that Kenneth must go. Matters went from bad to worse when it became obvious that she felt Bliss was the problem. It could not possibly be TyeDye because she had this girl's dream guy. It had to be Bliss.

The situation was laid on the line... Bliss cold go off with Kenneth or she could send Kenneth away. Kenneth offered to take her in. So Bliss made one of those impulsive choices and wandered off into the night with a man she only knew by his first name. How dumb is that? Pride was behind some of it. Lust was a major player. Besides, the gauntlet had been tossed and Bliss was not one to back down. She hugged and kissed TyeDye good bye and left into the night, promising that they would hook up again the following day.

Summer nights in Berkeley were nice. It was warm, but not too warm. She did not mind walking. Eventually she began to wonder how far Kenneth lived. They did not seem to be moving in any particular direction. What was the deal? So she asked him where exactly he was taking her.

He did not answer directly. Pointed and she followed along. The bottle, which they had taken was dwindling fast, but the buzz was holding strong. When Kenneth sat down in some bushes behind a house and pulled her down next to him, she became a bit uncomfortable. But he could kiss. A few swigs from the bottle and they were getting pretty hot. Bliss asked again where he lived and Kenneth replied. "We can't go to my house... my girlfriend would not understand."

Bliss sat back. Girlfriend. Bliss did have a rule about that. You do not screw around with another woman's man. It causes untold troubles. She stood up, dusted herself off and said she was not going to do this. Take her back. Now. Kenneth did not agree. There were harsh words and in the end he agreed to take her somewhere else. As far as Bliss was concerned, her mood for Kenneth was shot.

The safe place turned out to be an all night coffee shop. Kenneth was hungry, so he orderd and ate. As it turned out, he had no money... so it was on Bliss's nickle. She began to fume. The night was a complete wash and so was Kenneth. Looks are not everything. When he finished eating he began to worry about his girlfriend. Bliss did not want to hear it. She asked him to point the way back to W's. They parted at the door, Kenneth muttering about a cock tease and Bliss stomped all the way up the street to the apartment.

It was one of those security buildings. Bliss looked at the locked foyer and considered waiting until someone came out and trying to brush past them. But it was very late and chances were that no one would be leaving or arriving. She looked at the buzzers to the boxes. Which one was the right one? Yikes. She took a chance and pushed one. She waited until it was clear that nothing was happening.

A man walked past her, stopped and asked if he cold help. She shook her head and pushed another buzzer. As the man entered the alcove behind her... an answering buzzer sounded and Bliss quickly stepped inside, being sure to pull the door tight. The man said something and pounded at the door. Bliss ignored him and took the stairs at a run.

When she reached the right floor, the door was cracked open and TyeDye waited. Nothing needed to be said. They hugged and that was that. Bliss was again safe. W glared at her from her bed... it was a studio sort of deal. But said nothing more, content that Kenneth was not present. Bliss crawled into her sleeping bag and promptly fell into a good hard sleep. Morning came with thunder. W insisited that they leave. Concert tickets could not be had anyway. The weekend was a total bust.

The flight home was uneventful with one exception. A strange short ancient man in an expensive overcoat sat next to Bliss on the shuttle to the airport. He spoke softly through a big bushy mustache. He asked her where her boyfriend was. Bliss snorted and said that she did not have one. He said that he could not believe this. He flattered and flirted. Bliss had a good couple of laughs.

Especially when he asked her to marry him and go to Acopulco. She refused, of course. It was part of the game he was playing at being young for a moment. No harm in that. When they arrived, he took a pin from his lapel and pinned it... with shaking hands while she waited calmly... as he grouped with her halter dress to secure it. Nice old man. Sweet really. The pin was the head of a walrus. She giggled and asked him if he was the "egg man". He looked puzzled, then smiled and said he'd be happy to be whatever she wanted. Bliss smiled back, kissed his cheek and said good-bye. When she looked back, he was grinning as he waved.

Bliss was very impulsive. Always a problem. But always an adventure too. Through most of it... but not all and not nearly enough... TyeDye was there to rescue her when she needed it. There is much to be said for making new friends and Bliss loves that to this day. People and their stories fascinate her. She was aware then as she is now that impulse leads down dangerous paths. Some have turned out great, others have been truly awful.

But always... TyeDye was there, waiting to open the door to safety. God bless you babe... I loves ya like a fat kid loves cake! (As the Bear is fond of saying.) Thanks for what was... what is... and what is yet to be.


  1. You were lucky that adventure didn't end worse for you. Kenneth and the guy pounding on the door were creepy enough.

  2. Cube-- I know. It was very dumb. The dumbest thing I think I can recall doing. The whole thing was implusive from start to finish... even from deciding to go.

    Being spontaneous is one thing... being an idiot is another. This was part of a series of poor choices that led me to believe that I would be happy if I could find my way to normal life.

    Now I know there's no such thing as normal anyway. Only life. You can parody "normal" which is what I did to blend socially into the world, but you are what you are.

  3. Your posts are always a wonderful read, whether humorous or serious. Thanks for sharing so much of your life here. You brighten my days.

  4. We all do dumb things when we're young. It's amazing how many of these scrapes we manage to survive without serious harm.

  5. Suldog-- Thank you, you are very kind to say so!

    Whenever I meet someone who says they wish they were young again... this is the story I call up in my head to remind me that I do NOT want to go back there. Now my thirties would be fun.

    I am glad that you enjoy them. I am flattered to think that I can brighten anyone's day! ha.

  6. Cube-- You are so right.

    Someone asked me why I tell these stories and make myself look bad. I laughed! Anyone who cannot admit to having done something stupid in their life is a liar... so everyone should understand. That's what I figure anyway.

    For every stupid thing I've done... and yes, there have been many... I have learned a lesson that I keep close.

  7. Of all the money that e'er I had
    I spent it in good company
    And all the harm that e'er I've done
    Alas it was to none but me
    And all I've done for want of wit
    To memory now I can't recall
    So fill to me the parting glass
    Good night, and joy be to you all.

    Ah, the follies of youth. I'm sure this song is so popular for a reason.

  8. Cricket-- I love that one! No doubt my ill spent youth is the reason I love The Pogues...

    I took shelter from a shower,and I stepped into your arms
    On a rainy night in Soho,the wind was whistling all it's charms
    I sang you all my sorrows,you told me all your joys
    Whatever happened to that old song,to all those little boys and girls?

    They do hit the nail on the head don't they?

    Follies? I've had a life-capade!

  9. It's a wonder we made it through our younger acts of stupidity, isn't it? I swear, my mom was in heaven looking out for me back then.

  10. Churlita-- Yes it is!

    My mom was right here near me telling me to go and have a great time. I'm not sure that was helpful. Come to think of it, my parents took C4c and I out drinking and dancing when I was 17 and C4c was 16. Shame on them!

    I had an angel in my pocket.

  11. What an adventure! I mean, yes it was all impulsive, possibly wreckless, but you were quite equipped to handle yourself.

    I have nothing to compare to your Miss Bliss tales and I enjoy them so much. Thanks, Ananda :-)

  12. laura b.-- Its probably just as well you don't... and I am sure that your experiences are valuable treasures. Glad you enjoy them. You are welcome!

  13. a puff, a party, a tragedy!

    i miss those days. i might have a few puffs tonight but no party.

  14. billy pilgrim-- Aaawww... me too billy p. me too. I'm the opposite though... no puffs, just snorts. Ha.

  15. I think that if someone with a #6 Phillips screwdriver were to stick it in your left ear and probe around to potentiometer #473 and tweak it some your brain might work better. :-)

  16. Billy B.-- You are probably right. hahahaha

  17. I like you just the way you are, Ananda.

  18. Peggy-- Thank you! I know I am a bit different... but I like myself too. ha. Hay... it's a great night for croakers. And for what its worth darling girl... it's as if we never had a break in talking. I'm a fan of you too!

  19. Peggy, don't take me wrong, I like her also and unlike you I have met her in person. She is a sweet lady, but she has some loose wiring and doesn't listen to my advice.

    Well, she does, but it just goes in one ear and out the other, like a wind tunnel. :-)

  20. Billy B.-- Peggy has known me since before I even had boobs.

    But thanks for saying I'm sweet... if ill-wired. ;-)

  21. Sheesh - I think her name was Janet or Janette and I think she had CP and I think she liked J, but he just used her. What a suprise! Sheesh.

    He used to model naked for art classes and said I should too. No one would suggest such a thing these days!

    My brother said J should be a ranger in a fire watch tower. He was a good looking guy and had GREAT hair, but a bit too nacissitic and self involved for my taste.

    So instead I married a guy, somewhat like J, but without the great hair, so my poor kids got the tail end of the hair stick ;-)

    And of course, I have somehow made this about me, since I did get a mention or two.

    I am so glad you found your way back to the apartment. I was worried sick about you and could not believe you went off with the guy. I was way too chicken to go off with a stranger. You were the couragous one, you were. We were both pretty foolish, though.

  22. C4c-- I was good and loaded is what I was. And that girl hated me! Nothing courageous in that. Yah.. sorry to say, we were totally foolish.

    As for J... he did nothing at all for me in the attraction department.
    To be honest I used to wonder when he was going to come out of the closet. Ha. I'm bad. I know.

    You probably wondered about my choices plenty of times.

  23. Ananda - I am sure the closet outted him at some point! I hope he found someone just like him!