Tales of a Zany Mystic

Chapter Two



A Star is Born

"Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die."

Williams Butler Yeats

Hollywood or bust.



There was a slight "detour". As we didn't know where we were actually going, we landed in downtown Los Angeles in a small sterile apartment complex. I had no job skills, so Laura worked in an office. She had her own Volkswagen car by then.  Mine, which had received a ticket for a muffler hanging too low, sat silent having reached the end of it's days. We were both inquisitive, so I dragged her to many underground clubs since I was underage. I remember being drunk and stoned on downers, with company in the living room, me in the bathtub naked, passed out. That happened a few times, but I never OD'd.

I was a very sloppy drunk, and taking seconal and nembutal simultaneously is a prescription for trouble. At a club for underage gays, friends directed me to kids who sold 3 to 5 downers for a buck, wrapped in tin foil. We'd take a few with coffee to dissolve the capsules faster, then get sloppy on the dance floor, drugged and dazed. I never had sex with anyone there,

Original book cover

because it was about getting loaded. During breaks, I'd go out front and talk to the transvestites and transsexuals, along with any "in between". A few were taking hormones and developing breasts in preparation for surgery. The procedure was explained to me, but I'll spare you the details or you'll never eat bananas again. I loved the "weirdness" of these strange bedfellows and their private club of freaks.

I always drove high, and a couple times I whacked someone's car and just kept on going, having "momentarily" passed out at the wheel.  Whoops!  It was considered no more unusual than a hiccup or fart, and we gaily traveled onward relatively unruffled. I usually thought, "How nice - that car was placed at the perfect spot to wake me up. I could have driven off a cliff!"

Toonces the Driving Cat, from Saturday Night Live

By that time, I'd figured out we were living in the "wrong place".  West Hollywood was where it was at.  The impetus to move occurred when I was stopped by the police while driving the Volkswagen for having a tail light out.  The officer told me to get out of the car.  He said, "You're under arrest", as they spun me around and shackled my wrists.  


Astonished, I desperately tried to find out why.  Told nothing, I was shoved into the back and hauled off to one of the vilest holding tanks in the country: downtown Los Angeles County Jail.  We discovered the ticket on my Chevy had progressed into a warrant. 


 As the car had been towed away months previously, I figured it was moot.  They didn't seem to agree with me.  While there, I was placed in a "holding cell" with another guy who looked in his 30's.  This was a small closed metal room with a solid metal door.  There were screw holes in the door opening into the booking area.  He and I avoided one an-other as long as we could, then put down our facades and began talking.  It seems he was hauled in by a deputy that was off duty.  Apparently, the two of them had gotten into a pissing match on the road, and this guy yelled some profanities to the cop, who had the last laugh by placing him under arrest.


No sooner had we exchanged frustrations, than we heard a commotion from the other room.  Someone screamed, "Stop! Stop! Don't hit me, please stop!"  Eyeballs glued to the small screw holes, we witnessed several white cops mercilessly beating an unarmed black man in his underwear with their batons.  They repeatedly kicked him, while curled up in a ball under a desk for protection.  The black cop at the desk turned his head to the left and looked the "other way".  When the cops had their fill, they left the man lying there in a pool of blood and walked out laughing.  The man was moaning, so he was alive, but it took another 20 minutes for someone to come and drag him away in a trail of blood.


Stunned by what we'd witnessed, the guy admitted that he was one of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, and that they'd had cops keeping people off the stage during performances, but he never suspected they were capable of such cruelty.  We were both concerned that we'd get similar treatment, if it were known what we saw, so we kept our voices down. He swore that when he got out, he'd do something to bring this occurrence to light. I don't know what happened to him after that, as we parted ways within a couple of hours. In my bones, it seemed we had crossed the line into a police state without me realizing it, and a large part of me wanted out.  That feeling never left.

I got out the next day, and life went on.  

We immediately moved to a small funky apartment below Sunset Strip owned by a lecherous German with an enormous handlebar moustache by the name of Mr. Hansen.  It was located on Cynthia Street, a tiny hard-to-find spot, which suited me just fine.  We were now "where it was happening".  Clubs like the Whiskey A GoGo, The Trocadero and Ciro's paid homage to a free-spirited lifestyle of the rich, famous and the rest of us, the "wannabes".  

Sunset Boulevard is famous, but the best known portion of the boulevard is the mile and a half stretch of Sunset between Hollywood and Beverly Hills that has been dubbed "The Sunset Strip."

Running between Crescent Heights Boulevard (on the east) & Doheny Drive (on the west), the Sunset Strip embraces a premier collection of rock clubs, restaurants, boutiques, and Hollywood nightspots that are on the cutting edge of the entertainment business.

In the evening, the Strip is a vibrant slash of gaudy neon, a virtual traffic jam of young cruisers on weekends, a stimulating mecca for people-watchers and celebrity wannabes.


I was very good-looking, or so I was told, and the vain thought occurred to me that I could be in show business.  Taffy Davenport would say, "Is the circus in town?"  Like many young males living in a dream world, I had my "portfolio" done, which is basically a very expensive set of pictures for naive and vain young peacocks with no talent.  Money was tight by then, so naturally the thought occurred to me to "hustle".  Intellectually, it sounded great.  To be paid for something I loved doing should be a "walk in the park" - literally. 

I knew where the "boys" hung out to escort, and one day I got up the courage to go.  Within a few minutes a potential "client" pulled over and rolled down his window.  He was old and unattractive.  It took one nanosecond to realize that it "just wasn't me".  I couldn't force myself to have sex with someone for money.  I politely excused myself, walked away, and never looked back.

To earn money, I took a job with a small mail-order business, and was hired to "fill orders" and transcribe the owner's book.  It turned out to be a pornography business.  When caught up on the day's orders, I put headphones on, stepped on a peddle, and typed the words from a dictaphone.  Well, it was a job.  We had a small circle of strange bedfellows as "friends".  


All were underground cult drug addicts and one was the funniest, strangest fellow with long stringy blonde hair and face like a turtle by the name of Rick.  Alan was the "star" of the crowd.  With aspirations to stardom, he had the looks to match, and slept with anyone and everyone, myself included. 


As close as I ever got to "the Studios" was by listening to stories about his auditions.  Oh, I met people with Jaguar sports cars, afghan hounds, enormous mansions in Beverly Hills, all of it just one fast blur like a high speed car chase on the Autobahn.




For fun, we'd drop acid (LSD) at Arthur J's Coffee Shop, with a couple of downers, then "go out" from there.  I remember looking at the plastic table with astonishment and telling everyone, "It's ALIVE!"  


Many nights were spent in a blackout, yet there was always someone around to say, "Do you know what you did last night?"  I got so tired of hearing that that I told everyone the next day, "I don't want to know anything about what I did, so just shut up".  Of course, they told me anyway and I was duly shocked at my own performances.  I should have won an Academy Award - for being foolish!  Shoulder-length hair, a patent leather jacket, I thought I had arrived.


We'd have dinner at one of the Strip's outdoor hamburger joints, looking around to see who was there, having fun being "seen".  None of us took ourselves too seriously, however, because we all knew we were 100% authentic phony baloney.  When you pass out at a table, or do something bizarre on drugs, it's hard to convince your friends that you're "something special".  In fact, we had the most fun laughing at ourselves.


One day, we got to Rick's place and everyone was distraught. A friend of theirs had injected himself with heroine and didn't know the strength of what he had, which turned out to be almost pure. No sooner had it gone into his arm than he looked up in shock bordering on horror, then instantly dropped dead.  I vouched that I'd never "shoot up", but that was a "never" that came true years later. 


Wise not say “never” in the first place; in the second place too.


There is always another floor one can fall down on the way to the basement, but we don't have to get out there.  The elevator stops at every floor.


Our relationship was becoming rocky.  My partying was "off the hook", and she was coming along to watch over me and keep me alive.  Still, it must have been difficult on her, and we eventually agreed to separate.  She returned to Santa Barbara, and my mother told me that Neil, her old friend, had built a new house in a small village outside of Mazatlan called Loma de Monterey.  I could visit Neil, and possibly teach English.  This seemed like a marvelous opportunity to solve several problems at once.


I was utterly convinced, from my debacle in jail, that California was becoming a police state and it was only a matter of time before the "little old world" realized it.  Still confused about my sexuality, I couldn't handle the bar scene, being underage.  We gave notice, and Mr. Hansen was very sorry to see us leave.  He had a "thing" about Laura, who spent time in Germany, and could speak the language.  He and his wife were kind, decent people who gave us "kids" a break by not charging outlandish rents.  Life meant more than making money, although his property which was quite large, probably sold for many millions of dollars.  I wish them both the best.

Neil was on his way back to Mexico, which seemed to be timed perfectly with my departure from Hollywood, exit stage left.  We caravanned through the border, Neil in the lead, as I would never have found his home.  I didn't know what to expect, and though warned there was no electricity, it was surprising to find he lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere.  This was no large city or small city.  It was a very small village of about a hundred people. 

Ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza

They lived in huts with dirt floors and thatched roofs, and most had never been "to town".  Horses were used for local travel, and there was a decent sized muddy river running through the moist, tropical landscape, lush and green.  The house itself was built of red brick, three feet off the ground.  I learned this was to keep snakes and scorpions out, and was warned to check my shoes each morning. 

There were no glass windows, as the air was always humid and warm, allowing breezes to flow naturally.  We sat around at night by lantern light, several local teenage boys with us, who spoke no English.  I enjoyed learning new vocabulary, as Spanish was my language in high school.  It came in very handy indeed.

They were beautiful people, all of them.  I fell in love with the village, and they with me.  Because they had difficulty pronouncing my name, I was dubbed "Pluma Blanca", after an Indian chief who had a nearby mountain named after him.  When leaving the village, kids ran after me shouting, "Pluma Blanca, Pluma Blanca!"  They were adorable and totally in "essence".  Two of the teenage boys were quite stunning.  One had green eyes and the other was ruggedly handsome.  No, we never crossed the line sexually, but the energy was there and we all had fun being brothers in spirit.  They took me under their wings, showed me how to find mangoes, coconuts and to ride a horse.  We went skinny dipping in the dirty river, and they even took me to a local party in a small neighboring village.  


One night, we all went to "the movies".  Every building was made of adobe, similar to the house I was raised in.  I couldn't figure out what was different about the theater until it started to sprinkle - no roof!  I laughed to myself, and watched the movie, an American film with subtitles.  Then we went to visit "las muchachas".  The boys flirted with the young ladies while adults laughed and told stories.  The Mexican people are truly wonderful.  Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.  


Most have a profound sense of family, togetherness, and love that we have factored out of living, to our detriment.  We could learn much from their closely knit lifestyles, and their natural unaffected wisdom. 


Were we to discard the obvious differences between all races, we'd be left with a core of love, uniting all in harmony and peace.  It’s not too late to make that choice now.


One night, fireflies blinking on and off, donkeys braying to the tune of love, I asked Neil if he was "gay".  His instant reply shot out, "Are YOU!?!" That was the last time the subject ever came up.  He sat with one leg crossed over the other, brilliant blue eyes, nose like a hawk's beak, and sharp owl-like features.  Thin, his main source of food was beer.  Occasionally something would tickle his perverse sense of humor, and he'd let out an enormous CACKLE that could be heard for miles.  He was a brilliant man from whom I learned more in his silence than by talking.  Of course, as a child I'd heard his opinions on just about everything, and very rarely was he "wrong" about life.

After about a month or two, I began to realize the folly of leaving civilization.  Living my beliefs was not as planned.  I had the opportunity to experience an entirely different culture, with nothing spoiling it.  To this day, their enthusiasm for life, innate wisdom and sense of humor resonates deeply within my soul.  Mom realized I needed a lifeline, so she volunteered to fly to Mazatlan, spend some time with Neil, and "rescue me".  I know my grandmother was worried, and paid for the trip.  I was really happy to see Mom, and by this time I could almost rival her drinking.  

We went to restaurants, to the beach, and I had as many shots as she did. I was very proud of myself.  For a few moments we were "simpatico".  She was a complex being, highly empathic, tender, artistic, smart with something "old soulish" thrown in that none got to penetrate, even myself.  She was a living Mona Lisa.

The trip back was scary. 

Endless parched desert stretched before us, nary a cactus, and not a clue on the whereabouts of the next gas station.  Of all things, the radiator broke down.  Thoughts of dying flashed before us with a few lizards and one lone shrub as witnesses.  The car coasted into a town the size of a wine barrel, limping on last legs, steam spewing from under the hood.  My greatest fear was that we'd be "hustled". 

At a repair shop, the radiator had to come out.  I saw the handwriting on the wall.  It would cost our last dollar to get the car back.  After being tested under water for leaks, it was put back in.  The bill came to not much more than a decent lunch, and I realized how mistaken I was by projecting my own baggage.  

Humbly, I paid the bill and gave a bit extra for having been so nice.  Another lesson learned: do not judge others.

Back home, Laura and I began going out for coffee, talking for hours.  I'd never found anyone whose company was as enjoyable, so I decided to ask her to marry me.  She accepted.  Her father was a tyrant and would never have approved, so we waited until he died. 


 It was a beautiful small ceremony outdoors in a shaded meadow.  Her mother let us rent one of their small cottages, nestled on the side of a verdant hill nearby.  We were happy for the most part, at least I thought so.  Our sex life was not all it could be, and I found myself sneaking off to restrooms for "brief encounters" with men.  I didn't see a problem, as my desires for men had nothing to do with her, and I figured I could simply shut it off like a light switch.


  The toll on her must have been great but not apparent to me, living in total denial.  Eventually, we discussed it frankly, and I agreed to undergo behavior modification with a renowned psychologist.  I was to wear an electrical device on my arm with a button.  Every time I looked at a man, or had a thought about male sex, I was to zap myself.  This may sound ridiculous from today's perspective, but it wasn't too long ago that "witches" were burned at the stake. Needless to say, this didn't work. 


Ironically, I met a guy in a public bathroom who was the most well endowed male I'd ever met.  A beer can pales in comparison.    It turned out that his wife was my boss.  They invited the two of us over for dinner, and I wondered if his wife was as clued in as my wife.  Somehow we all made it through the evening and I never found out.  


Laura had been to Europe several times, so many conversations centered on travel.  However, I sensed something wrong.  Just before we were to buy tickets to visit Europe, it came out: she couldn't take any more.  I'm surprised in retrospect she held up as well as she did. Instead, we got divorced and remain friends to this day.


I "fooled around" with college after the divorce, but not as much as I did in the park bathroom at the bottom of the hill.  There, I learned why they call them "glory holes".  


For your edumacation:


You'll find them in every big town and city all over the world - public restrooms where at least one of the booths has had a big hole bored out of the ajoining wall, conveniently at about cock level. Wait for the booth next door to be occupied then stick your finger through the hole and wait!!. If you're lucky you'll be presented with a big hard dick or a a pair of perfect peachy ass cheeks. Either way, it will be time for some amazing, uncomplicated sex with a stranger!!
Okay, that's pretty sleazy, yes?  Let's go back to my book!


My favorite subjects were French, Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy, sex and drugs - in reverse order.  Living in a beach town has benefits, and riding a bike to and from my apartment afforded me the opportunity to leisurely peddle along the beach.  One day, I stopped alongside an expensive late model Buick with a surfer at the wheel, sporting long blonde hair.  A surfboard rode the roof, so I assumed he was the "rider".  

We began conversing, and something prompted me to ask if he'd like to come over and see me sometime.  After all, that line worked for Mae West.mae4.gif  He called me that week and brought a record to play.  I didn't have a record player.  My contribution was alcohol, but he didn't drink.  Sitting awkwardly, both wondering what we were doing, he broke the silence by asking if he could "touch my beard".  He leaned forward, animal magnetism drew us closer and, like long lost lovers, lips passionately pressed in a provocative, erotic kiss.  From that moment, we saw a lot of each other and I fell in love with "number two", a Gemini.  


By now, I accepted the fact that I had given heterosexuality a good try, had been sincere in my efforts, but simply wasn't "wired that way".  My fatal attraction for men was now acknowledged and complete, though still riddled with the guilt laid on myself.  Being "gay" is not acceptable by anyone 's standards, and the secret has to be maintained - at all costs.


Relationships of one year became my pattern.  After a year "dating", he slept with a friend of mine.  Besides me, he was dating a childhood sweetheart in contemplation of marriage.  That's a Gemini for you!  We ended things, and I was to learn 25 years later that he'd married and divorced - twice.  In addition, he finally "came out" and was living with a really nice businessman who I met at dinner.  It was great to see them both happy.  


However, that year my drinking escalated, as did my use of other substances, thanks to a friend of my ex-wife.  He seemed to be able to find things like PCP, LSD and other illegal drugs.  We had some wild trips together, never sex.  He was the strangest person I think I've ever met. Sexually, he'd been "gay" as a small boy, then "hetero" in his teens, then tired of both sexes and turned to animals on the farm, with whom he had very intimate relationships.  He could speak to animals, horses, deer and sheep.  


This may seem disgusting to some, but one night he demonstrated his "skills" by walking up to a mother horse and baby, whispered to the mother, then approached her child.  He whispered to it as well, and in the dark I could tell he was having sex with the colt.  He told me afterwards that he had to ask permission from the mother first. 


Manimal Sex


Bestiality has never appealed to me personally, but we don't live in a vacuum, and people do have sex with animals.  I wish I had a nickel for every person who confessed a private desire to be penetrated by a horse or a dog.  We are sexual beings, a fact which cannot be denied; just ask Marilyn, or any Emergency Room nurse who's pulled many a light bulb or gerbil out of someone's ass!


Sweet, sweet gerbil...


One common thread throughout my life has been a burning quest to know why we're here, if there's a God, and what it's all about, Alfie. 


As information came to me, innate curiosity beckoned me forward.  I had seen the underground gay lifestyle, met transvestites and transsexuals and found they were not unlike me, but with different "problems".  For me, there was so much that was missing.  


My experiences with LSD opened many doors to "other worlds", yet I always returned yearning for more.  Pioneers such as Timothy Leary, Terrence McKenna and others give credence to this path.  But at some point it seems to reach a dead end.  College was running out of gas, in terms of holding my interest.  I didn't want to "become" anything, so getting a degree meant nothing to me.  Those classes I didn't like, such as Chemistry, I simply dropped or got an "F" in. My education was spotty, at best, and I knew it would follow me to my detriment.  


I'm a "Born Again Romantic".  No matter how many relationships with people, ideas, or places disappoint, I "rise up" like the Phoenix from the ashes to follow some new excitement to the bitter end.  I had read most major philosophies, seen an autopsy, studied comparative religions, and done drugs, all leading "nowhere".  


I stumbled across a book called "In Search of the Miraculous" by Peter D. Ouspensky,P. D. Ouspensky a Russian scientist, mathematician and philosopher, who described a mystical encounter with G.I. Gurdjieff.  Mr. Ouspensky spoke to me. 


No, I didn't hear his disembodied voice in my head, I just knew he was speaking the truth: no spiritual progress was possible without a "school".  Not just any school would do, an esoteric school was required for man's further evolution.  That meant me. 

   I heard the "calling", as so many do who travel to places far and wide seeking wisdom from this guru or that teaching.  By the time I had read everything I could find by both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, I was ripe for the picking.  I had to find a school.


From Ouspensky:

"Gurdjieff gave me many new ideas I did not know before, and he gave a system I did not know before. About schools I did know, for I had been travelling and looking for schools for 10 years. He had an extraordinary system, and quite new. Some separate fragments of it could be found elsewhere, but not connected and put together like they are in this system."

P. D. Ouspensky


I heard the "calling", as so many do who travel to places far and wide seeking wisdom from this guru or that teaching.  By the time I had read everything I could find by both Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, I was ripe for the picking.  I had to find a school.

Photo courtesy Gert-Jan Blom



Thus ends Chapter Two.


In Chapter Three, you'll get an "insider's look", feel and detail about what it's like to be in an "esotertic school", studying the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ousepensky.  This is not something most people ever HEAR about, let alone EXPERIENCE.
During this time, which was approximately between 1975 and 1980, I was "asked by the Teacher" to help open a new center in St. Louis.  My alcoholism continuted unabated and I was to discover what it's like to total not one, but TWO automobiles, sturdy and large.
I end up leaving the school "disenchanted", to say the least, and quite alcoholic.  Where did I end up?  In Haight Ashbury, renting a room from a buffed Queen who was never home, had copper pots never used, living the "perfect gay life".  Right.
That, in itself, is an entire book...
    Do read on, gentle reader, I promise you:  IT GETS WORSE!


Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened over 70 years ago, with the 1927 debut of the original silent version of "King of Kings," produced by Cecil B. DeMille. Since then, the Chinese Theatre has been the site of more gala Hollywood movie premieres than any other theatre. (In 1939, for instance, over 10,000 spectators showed up for the world premiere of "The Wizard of Oz.)

Home | Chapter One | Chapter Two | On Gurdjieff | Blank page | Chapter Three | Broken Link | Photo Album Page | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven

Email zanymystic@yahoo.com
Yahoo Group:  Awakening Cosmic Consciousness